This edition of Farm Tracker presents a position-by-position analysis of April's best performances by fantasy prospects across all four levels. It is not a mere inventory of players who posted the best statistics but rather a recognition of those prospects who, all things considered, submitted April performances noteworthy for excellence. Many of these players appear on our Fake Teams Consensus Top 100 Fantasy Prospects List or on the team-by-team, organizational Top 10 prospect lists we published throughout the offseason.
In short, whether this season or four years from now, we expect these prospects to make an impact in fantasy leagues.
Catcher: Austin Allen, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres), Low-A Midwest League, Age 22; Preseason Top 100 Rank: not rated; Preseason Org. Rank: not rated; .460/.539/.603, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 10 BB, 8 K
A 2015 fourth-round pick out of Florida Tech, Allen has followed up an impressive short-season pro debut with a scorching start at the plate. He's a relative unknown--MLB.com ranks him the 26th-best prospect in San Diego's system--and yet he might be the 2015 draft's second-most promising offensive catcher behind Cincinnati's Tyler Stephenson.
First Base: Josh Ockimey, Greenville Drive (Red Sox), Low-A South Atlantic League, Age 20; Preseason Top 100: not rated; Preseason Org. Rank: not rated; .293/.430/.587, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 18 BB, 21 K
Another obscure prospect, Ockimey, whom the Red Sox selected in the fifth round in 2014, could be on the verge of a breakout season thanks to his raw power and much-improved plate discipline.
There's nothing obscure about Moncada, who might be the best position player in the minor leagues and who looks every bit like a future superstar.
Third Base: Ke'Bryan Hayes, West Virginia Power (Pirates), Low-A South Atlantic League, Age 19; Preseason Top 100: not rated; Preseason Org. Rank: #10; .343/.368/.457, 1 HR, 14 RBI
The second of Pittsburgh's two first-round picks in 2015, Hayes destroyed GCL pitching last season and has not stopped hitting as a teenager in full-season ball.
Speaking of teenagers, Albies, only 19 and just promoted to Triple-A over the weekend, has a claim to being the most impressive overall prospect in baseball. Teenagers aren't supposed to make the game look so easy at that level.
Dahl's power-speed potential would make him an elite fantasy prospect in any system. The fact that he soon will play 81 games per season in Coors Field merely enhances his appeal.
Outfield: Andrew Benintendi, Salem Red Sox (Red Sox), High-A Carolina League, Age 21; Preseason Top 100: #29; Preseason Org. Rank: #5; .360/.426/.640, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 3 SB, 10 BB, 9 K
Another OF with serious power-speed potential, Benintendi, Boston's first-round pick in 2015, has quite possibly the sweetest left-handed swing in the minors. He should be taking aim at Pesky's Pole by next season.
Outfield: Victor Robles, Hagerstown Suns (Nationals), Low-A South Atlantic League, Age 18; Preseason Top 100: #18; Preseason Org. Rank: 3; .351/.474/.545, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 11 SB, 9 BB, 11 K
Dahl, Benintendi, and now Robles: we do love our toolsy OFs with high upside. Although he's still a few years away from the Majors, Robles will be a Top 5 overall prospect before long. He's that good.
Starting Pitcher: Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings (Twins), Triple-A International League, Age 21; Preseason Top 100: #14; Preseason Org. Rank: #2; 2-0, 1.06 ERA, 17 IP, 8 BB, 20 K
Glasnow and Taillon both make the April All-Star team in part because of their outstanding performances and in part because we should expect that they will be called upon to help fortify Pittsburgh's shaky rotation, perhaps as early as June. (See Jason Hunt's piece on Taillon, "The Forgotten Man.")
Starting Pitcher: Joe Musgrove, Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros), Double-A Texas League, Age 23; Preseason Top 100: not rated Preseason Org. Rank: #9; 1-1, 0.52 ERA, 17.1 IP, 2 BB, 21 K
Since early 2015 Musgrove has posted ridiculously good numbers and shown perhaps the best control of any pitcher in the minors.
Starting Pitcher: Brent Honeywell, Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays), High-A Florida State League, Age 21; Preseason Top 100: #64; Preseason Org. Rank: #3; 2-0, 0.89 ERA, 30.1 IP, 4 BB, 31 K
The 72nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Honeywell is making it look easy in High-A ball. He should be in line for a promotion to Double-A before long.
What to Watch Early This Week:
On Monday at 8:05 ET Corpus Christi's Joe Musgrove (see above) will try to shut down the 17-4 Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers), whose lineup includes top prospects Lewis Brinson and Ryan Cordell, along with a rehabbing Josh Hamilton.
The 18-4 Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) of the Double-A Eastern League will send their three top pitchers to the mound--German Marquez (2-1, 1.71), Harrison Musgrave (3-0, 0.87), and 2014 1st-round pick Kyle Freeland (3-1, 0.87)--for a series against the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals). Harrisburg's rotation is not yet set, but there's a chance that on Wednesday Freeland could face Lucas Giolito, our #2 overall prospect.
Enjoy the games!