I just wanted to see another picture of Trevor Bauer. Can you really blame me?
Last week, I posted the Top 50 Dynasty League Prospects for your reading pleasure. This week, as was requested in the comments, I am going to take a closer look at
ten eleven more prospects who did not make the list, but whose names you should know. These are all players who were not in my 2012 Top 100 list, but will at least be candidates for my 2013 Top 100 list. On top of this, to finish off this mid-season look at dynasty league prospects, I'm going dive into my personal cheeseball next Tuesday (but you'll see more about that in due time).
Just remember, My prospect lists are solely for fantasy value in dynasty leagues, assuming a standard 5x5 rotisserie leagues. So you won't see me talk about an outfielder's arm or a catcher's defense because for these purposes, I am not taking that into account. These prospects are not ranked in order of awesomeness, they are just sorted by the level they are currently playing at. Without any further ado, your first prospect on the rise is:
Davidson's game is about power, and he's hinted at this promise before, hitting 16 HR in 415 Midwest League at-bats and following that up with 22 HR in 606 California League at-bats. This year, he's taking it up a notch in the Southern League with 16 HR in 267 AB through Sunday. Not only is the power a great sign against this tougher level of competition, but he's also striking out less and walking more than he did last year. His power will play up at Chase Field, and I don't need to reinforce the value of a potential .275/30/100 third baseman.
The remaining ten after the jump...
Jackie Bradley Jr, OF, Boston Red Sox (Double-A Portland)
The first of three prospects in a row who received mid-season promotions from High-A to Double-A, to say Bradley tore up the Carolina League is an understatement. In fact, Bradley's .359 AVG and .480 OBP in the Carolina League are still tops in the circuit, and he also ran up a 1.006 OPS in 234 AB. He's a guy who could legitimately help you in all five categories, though he's unlikely to win you one - and he's on the fast track.
Cody Buckel, SP, Texas Rangers (Double-A Frisco)
Let's just get this out of the way first - Buckel is not an ace. Yes, he put up eye popping numbers in the Carolina League during the first half (1.31 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 91 K in 75 2/3 IP) - but his raw stuff lags behind the stat page. His advanced changeup is to blame/credit for this differential. On top of that, his 52% ground ball rate is very good, and better than you'd expect out of his 6'0" frame. He could be a #3 starter with good peripherals, or if he ends up having issues with durability (as some scouts suggest), he could be a pretty good closer as well.
Miles Head, 3B/1B, Oakland Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Head scoffed at Cal League pitching to the tune of 18 HR and a 1.149 OPS in 267 AB. But then again, it is the Cal League. He's the kind of guy who's going to have to keep hitting at each level to prove himself, since he's likely a 1B in the end, but don't sleep on his ability to do so. If he can harness his raw power as he moves up the chain, he could be a 30 HR hitter, even in Oakland.
Yordano Ventura*, SP, Kansas City Royals (High-A Wilmington)
Ventura is listed at 5'11", 140 pounds and he throws 100 MPH. That's not a typo - the dude has crazy arm speed (which comes with its share of violence). This year, he's put up some impressive stats (3.10 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 11.5 K/9 in 61 IP); however, the biggest difference between this year and last year is that more scouts view him as a potential starter. Whether he ends up there, no one knows, but if he continues to harness his command/control, he'll be valuable even in a relief role (read: potential shut down closer)
* In fact, our own Craig Goldstein just saw him in person last night and had this to report: "He looked really good, as his line (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K) indicates. He threw almost all fastballs with very few curves and changes; and he couldn't get a handle on the secondaries since he threw so few. Fastball is incredible. Up to 98 per Keith (Law) and as he tweeted he sat 96. Keith said the 98 MPH fastball was the one that left the yard." Look for a much more detailed scouting report on Ventura from Craig later this week.
Josh Sale, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Low-A Bowling Green)
The 17th overall selection in the 2010 draft, Sale was billed as a big bat (arguably the best prep bat available in the draft) with not much to offer on the defensive end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, in his 2011 pro debut, he didn't hit - posting a .634 OPS in the Appy League. However, this year has been a different story. Through just 105 at-bats at Low-A, Sale has a .286/.403/.581 line with 8 HR. On top of that, his K/BB rate has improved from 1.78 to 1.21, showing his improved plate discipline.
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Kansas City Royals (Low-A Kane County)
Unlike his brother Emilio, whose game is predicated on speed, Jorge Bonifacio's game is all about hard contact. His .310/.368/.459 line, mostly as an 18-year old (he turned 19 earlier in June) in Low-A, has impressed just as much as his scouting reports. In fact, on the most recent Up and In podcast at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Parks said that a scout he respects told him that Bonifacio has similar or better raw power than Miguel Sano (#15 on the list), so we're talking about substantial upside here.
Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing)
Among the Jays highly touted arms, no one has raised their stock more than Sanchez has so far in 2012 (though to be fair, Daniel Norris and Kevin Comer just started their seasons last week). Yes, his walk rate is high, but he's got time to figure that out. What's especially encouraging, though, is his 61.5% ground ball rate and 10.2 K/9. If he can carry those with him as he advances, we could be looking at a solid #2 starter.
Alen Hanson, 2B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)
One of the biggest breakout stars of this minor league season, Hanson is tied for the most extra-base hits in the Sally League (40) with the next player on this list. Hanson was on few radars heading into this year, but he's showing a lot more power than anyone expected (10 HR in 284 AB). If he can hit for average power, he has the skills to hit for average and steal bases around that - which could make him pretty valuable at 2B.
And Austin is the aforementioned player who is tied with Hanson with 40 extra-base hits. Unlike Hanson, Austin is not a speed guy - despite what his 16 steals in 17 attempts might say. He's going to have to mash his way up the food chain to force his way into the Yankees plans, but if he can continue to punish the ball (1.045 OPS with 14 HR so far this year), he could have some real fantasy value in that park.
Luis Heredia, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Short-season State College)
Heredia is the baby on this list, as he's still only 17 years old. The Pirates have been pretty aggressive with his assignments, starting with last year when he started in the Gulf Coast League at 16. He's forever and a half away, but the sky is the limit with Heredia. He's only had one start so far this year, since he's playing short-season ball, but it was four shutout innings. I'll be keeping a close eye on him the rest of the summer.
Follow me on Twitter at @tfw_bret.
All statistics are through Sunday, 6/24 and courtesy of MiLB.com
All else equal, which AA guy would you rather have on your dynasty team?
Matt Davidson (56 votes)
Jackie Bradley Jr (45 votes)
Miles Head (14 votes)
Cody Buckel (16 votes)
131 total votes