Prospect Roundup – Week 14

Adam Garland highlights the prospect performances you should know about from this past week.

(Photo by Icon Sportswire)

New to Pitcher List, we are going to be doing a weekly prospect roundup that is designed to keep you informed on what is happening down in the minor leagues that is relevant for your dynasty leagues. I’ll be talking about who is hot, which top prospects are struggling, underrated guys that are producing to keep an eye on, or anything that may have caught my eye in general.

Jeren Kendall (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) Age: 22, Level: A+

Kendall is a former 1st round pick (23rd overall) from 2017 and is known as a power/speed threat with some contact concerns. He lived up to that reputation this week by posting 5 hits, 2 of them being HRs, and adding a SB while striking out 9 times. His season batting line is now up to .227/.317/.394 with 9 HRs and 26 SBs in 315 PAs and he’s supporting that with a 10.9% walk rate and 32.8% strikeout rate. That performance to date has been worth a slightly below average 95 wRC+. The 32.8% strikeout rate is very high, and his well below-average 15.7% swinging-strike rate suggests that his K issues are a result of below-average contact skills. Still, if he proves he can hit, he could be a fantasy star and he’s worth picking up in medium-sized dynasty leagues and above.

Joey Wentz (SP, Atlanta Braves) Age: 20, Level: A+

Wentz is another impressive pitching prospect in a deep Atlanta Braves minor league system, and he recently continued a stretch of dominance with a 5.2 inning start on Tuesday. In that game, he struck out 7 batters against just 1 walk and allowed just 3 hits and no earned runs. This was the 3rd consecutive start for Wentz in which he allowed 0 earned runs, a stretch that covers 15.2 innings. His season ERA now sits at 2.51, and he has 37 strikeouts against 22 walks over 46.2 innings pitched. Do note that his 8% swinging-strike rate for the season is below-average, and his 4.14 FIP and 4.11 xFIP suggest that he has been lucky to post a 2.51 ERA. He has been much better since returning from an undisclosed injury earlier in the year though and perhaps he’s found his groove again. He should be on radars in medium-sized dynasty leagues and above.

Kody Clemens (2B, Detroit Tigers) Age: 22, Level: A

The third son of the great Roger Clemens to reach professional baseball, Kody Clemens was recently drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 3rd round (79th overall). He began his professional baseball career on June 30th, but had his best professional game this week on Wednesday in which he went 2 for 5 with 2 HRs. 7 games into his career, he has posted a .222/300/.444 line with 2 HRs and 2 SBs. He has managed 6 strikeouts against 3 walks in those games and is showing reasonable contact skills with a 12.9% swinging-strike rate. He proved he could hit in the NCAA for Texas this year with a .351/.444/.726 line over 248 ABs so perhaps he could be a nice sleeper for those of you in deeper leagues with prospect drafts coming up.

MacKenzie Gore (SP, San Diego Padres) Age: 19, Level: A

Considered one of the top pitching prospects in the minors after being drafted 3rd overall in 2017, Gore has continued to show why he is so highly regarded by throwing a 6 inning gem on Wednesday in which he struck out 6 against 2 walks, and allowing just 4 hits and 0 ERs. His season ERA now sits at 4.10, and along with that he has 32 strikeouts against 7 walks in 26 innings pitched. His 16.9% swinging-strike rate is elite and would rank 2nd best in the Midwest League if he had enough innings to qualify. His 2.56 FIP and 3.15 xFIP also suggest that he’s been fairly unlucky to this point and that perhaps positive regression is coming. Look for Gore to rise up top prospect rankings going forward and he should be in competition for the top overall pitching prospect in the minors as soon as the end of this year. He should be owned in all dynasty leagues at this point.

Kyle Tucker (OF, Houston Astros) Age: 21, Level: AAA

Another very highly regarded prospect, Kyle Tucker who is pictured above, recently received the call that baseball players dream of, the call to the majors. Congrats to him and I’m excited to see what he can do in that ultra-talented Houston Astros lineup. Tucker leaves the AAA level on a high note after going 2 for 5 with a HR on Thursday. That HR pushed his season total to 14, and he has added an impressive .306/.371/.520 line over 371 PAs. Add in 14 SBs along with a 9.7% walk rate and 18.9% strikeout rate and you can see why he is so highly regarded, especially in fantasy baseball circles. Oh yeah, and he’s 21 and he’s 5.6 years younger than league average in the Pacific Coast League. My expectations for him in the majors aren’t terribly high short-term since he has traditionally started slowly at new levels before figuring out things well with more experience. He should still be picked up in pretty well every league leagues including re-draft.

Josiah Gray (SP, Cincinnati Reds) Age: 20, Level: ROK

The recent 72nd overall draft pick in the 2018 MLB draft, Gray has started his professional career off well including a 5 inning masterpiece on Tuesday that included 5 strikeouts against just 1 walk while allowing 0 hits and 0 earned runs. This performance lowered Gray’s ERA to 2.45 over 11 innings pitched, and he has added 11 strikeouts against 2 walks along the way. As a former college SS out of division 2, Gray is pretty new to pitching and in theory should have lots of growth and development left in his game. He should be on radars in deep dynasty leagues with prospect drafts coming up.

Luis Garcia (2B, Washington Nationals) Age: 18, Level: A+

A $1.3 million signing in the 2016 international amateur class, Garcia has moved quickly through the minors thanks to a hit tool that has helped him post a .298 career batting average in the minors. Garcia was recently promoted to Advanced-A ball after posting a .297/.335/.402 line for Hagerstown in the South-Atlantic League with 3 HRs and 8 SBs. He supported that line with a 5.9% walk rate and a 15.2% strikeout rate, and overall has been worth a solid 109 wRC+.  Garcia has received 65 run grades on scouting reports, and in addition to his ability to make contact, he is a consistent threat on the bases and that helps his fantasy viability. He should be on radars in dynasty leagues that roster around 100-150 prospects.

Sam Carlson (SP, Seattle Mariners) Age: 19, Level: ROK

The Mariners 2nd round pick in 2017, Carlson hasn’t pitched much as a professional, throwing just 3 innings last year and now will miss the rest of his 2018 season before throwing an official inning due to Tommy John surgery. This is an unfortunate development for Carlson who is considered the top pitching prospect in the Mariners farm system. Scouting reports suggest a strong 3 pitch mix and above-average control, and that makes his ceiling pretty high. Unfortunately, his injury means he will be out for over a year and since he will be so far behind developmentally, I think he’s likely eligible to be dropped for another prospect at this point in dynasty leagues.

Michael Hermosillo (OF, Los Angeles Angels) Age: 23, Level: AAA

A terrific story after being drafted in the 28th round back in 2013, Hermosillo reached the majors earlier in the year filling in for an injured Chris Young. Hermosillo is back in the minors and making his best case to earn a promotion back to the big leagues. He had a huge game on Tuesday, going 4 for 5 with a HR plus a walk, and he is now slashing .279/.396/.497 for the season at AAA. He has an interesting profile as he walks frequently (12.3% at AAA this year), has 60-grade speed (8 SBs at AAA this year), has double-digit power potential (8 HRs at AAA this year), and has shown reasonable contact rates throughout his minor league career (9% swinging-strike rate last year over 3 levels, 13.4% this year at AAA). The upside isn’t immense, but he looks to have the ability to contribute modestly across the board and he may be a valuable 4th or 5th fantasy outfielder in the future.

Joel Payamaps (SP, Arizona Diamondbacks) Age: 24, Level: AA

A slightly older pitching prospect, Payamps has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the Southern League this year. He was especially dominant this past Tuesday in which Payamps went 5.2 innings, striking out 14 batters against 0 walks, and allowing just 2 hits and 0 ERs. That performance pushed Payamps season ERA to 2.38 over 64.1 innings pitched, and he has racked up 75 strikeouts against 13 walks along the way. His 12.3% swinging-strike rate is well above-average and ranks 5th best in the league, and his 2.73 FIP and 2.87 xFIP rank 2nd and 1st respectively. He’s worth monitoring in deeper dynasty leagues.

Adam Garland

Adam is a marketing professional 9-5, but a fan and nerd of the beautiful game of baseball 24/7. He's known for his "Going Deep" articles on both MLB and MiLB players and has a strong reputation of identifying valuable players before the consensus. His passion though is MLB prospects, and he loves digging into scouting reports and dissecting the stats of prospects trying to understand what they mean. He plays in multiple dynasty leagues of varying sizes, and he hopes he can help with yours! He's also always up to talk baseball/prospects with anyone, so please don't hesitate to strike up a conversation here or @AdamGarlando on Twitter!

4 responses to “Prospect Roundup – Week 14”

  1. Jason says:

    Love the analysis…keep it going.

    Dynasty league would you rather own; Francisco Mejia, Greinke or Patrick Corbin?

    • Adam Garland says:

      Thanks for the kind words! It’s very tough to answer this question without any context. What scoring format are you playing in and what sort of timeline to contention are you realistically on (like are you trying to win now and think you have a chance for a title or are you rebuilding and a few years away?)? Team needs also come into play with this too.

      • Jason says:

        Dynasty H2H 6×6 (OPS and QS). Team is built for both win now and the future. I was looking to bolster the pitching staff this year and was offered either one of Greinke or Corbin for Mejia. I already accepted it for Corbin, Here’s hoping dude can continue!

        • Adam Garland says:

          Definitely fine with that deal with you looking to win now and into the future! Corbin is a nice get with an elite slider. Good luck with your title aspirations!

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