In April, FakeTeams started the 'Prospect Parade Duds' by
showcasing noting players who had less than stellar months at the plate or on the mound. I plan to pick players who we would expect much better production from. As is the case of our top performers of the month, many of the prospects in this article can also be found on our Fake Teams Consensus Top 100 Fantasy Prospects List or on the team-by-team, organizational Top 10 prospect lists that were published throughout the offseason.
C - Tyler Stephenson CIN (Dayton Dragons Low A)
Tyler Stephenson is a former 2015 1st round pick for the Cincinnati Reds. Stephenson is ranked as the #91 prospect and #7 overall prospect in the Cincinnati system. Although just a high school graduate, Stephenson was the consensus top catcher in the 2015 draft. His best tool is his arm, but his plate discipline, power, and on-base skills are also his calling cards. However, the first two months of the season have been forgettable as he only hit .195. He has also hit the disabled list on separate occasions this season which will hinder his progress. At just 19 years old he will be fine in the future, but his April and May were months to forget.
1B - Bobby Bradley CLE (Lynchburg Hillcats Adv A)
Bobby Bradley is the first baseman of the future for the Indians and rated their #3 prospect behind Zimmer and Frazier. Bobby Bradley's month wasn't out of character for him, but it really wasn't a good month on paper because he only hit .180. Nearly one-third of his hits were bombs - his power is his best tool, with 14 total home runs this season. Bradley would probably be left off of this list if this were his stats at AAA. However, hitting below the Mendoza line with 28 strikeouts in May facing High A pitching just won't cut it for the Tribe.
2B - Alen Hanson PIT (Indianapolis Indians AAA)
What?! He hit .500 during his cup of coffee with the Pirates! Yes. Hanson was called up for a short time in May and went 1 for 2 before being sent back down. However, his month at AAA was not pretty. Often a forgotten prospect in the Pirates' system, Alen Hanson has found himself blocked at times from a call-up (Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Jung Ho Kang). In May, however, he blocked himself. He hit for a less than solid slash line of .178/.185/.267 over 90 at bats. Ouch. Hanson will still be an impact player for Pittsburgh (or elsewhere) in the future, but it may no longer be in 2016.
3B - Rafael Devers BOS (Salem Red Sox Adv A)
Last season, at age 18, the 11th ranked prospect in all of baseball hit .288 in 500 plate appearances for Low A Greenville. Devers definitely improved from April as he hit .255 in May, but he still isn't the player of 2015. As the #11 prospect, he just is not living up to the billing that it takes to perform and succeed at Fenway. I have high hopes for him as he is so young and things are moving up for him this season, but he was still a May dud. Get off the list Rafael!
SS - Javier Guerra SD (Lake Elsinore Storm Adv A)
Javier Guerra is our #83 prospect here at FakeTeams and the Padres' #2 prospect. Guerra is known for his plus defensive skills. However, 2015 showed a new player at the plate and everyone in the Padres system thought he made great strides. After the month of May, San Diego may need to rethink that. His slash line was .131/.196/.192 over 99 at bats. No one needs sabermetrics to understand that a SLG less than OBP is never a good sign.
OF - Alex Jackson SEA (Clinton LumberKings Low A)
This one pains me as I have been high on Alex Jackson since before the 2014 draft when I thought he was the best overall hitter available. I have him in a couple dynasty leagues and definitely have high hopes for him. He is our #60 prospect and the Mariners' #1 prospect. Jackson's 2016 season finally started in May after extended spring training coming off shoulder and hand injuries. Maybe he should have extended his extended spring training. He has come out ice cold and hit .105 in May. Obviously that is a slow start to a season, but he has had a cold start to his career. I can't imagine Low A pitching is too much for him, so hopefully he and the Mariners make some adjustments to help his progression through the system.
SP - Jorge Lopez/Taylor Jungmann MIL (Colorado Springs Sky Sox AAA)
If you follow my writing you will know that I am a Milwaukee Brewers fan. The fact that these two players are pitching so badly is causing me to lose sleep at night. At times I am curious is the Colorado air is a factor for these pitchers as this is the first season the Brewers' AAA affliate is in Colorado as they moved from Nashville. Jungmann was a revelation for the Brewers last season pitching to the tune of a 3.54 ERA and 9 wins. Yet, this season he was extremely hittable with a ERA over 9 and no wins before being sent down to the Sky Sox. It hasn't improved since the demotion. His May numbers included a 19:27 K:BB ratio and a 10.41 ERA. Jorge Lopez has been better than Jungmann (which isn't saying much), so he is still a dud. Ranked as the Brewers' #1 pitcher, his May numbers showed a 22:20 K/BB ratio and a 4.99 ERA. Yes, on paper those numbers are considerably better than Jungmann. This is the future of the Brewers, however, and looking at other #1 pitching prospects Lopez just doesn't match up with them. Thankfully for the Brewers, they have a few players who will make for good trade pieces later this summer to bring in some (hopefully) better arms.
Although the season has started slow for this group of talented prospects, they still are just that - prospects. They can turn it around quickly and none of these players should be dropped in your dynasty leagues if you are banking on them for future success.