PROMOTION: Franklin Barreto Recalled To MLB

The Oakland Athletics have recalled INF prospect Franklin Barreto, according to the team’s official Twitter page. Barreto will take the place of Khris Davis, who was placed on the DL. Barreto, still only 22, played 25 games for the big club in 2017 but struck out at a horrid 43.4% rate. His contact rate has improved in AAA this year (29.6%), allowing him to post a more respectable .235/.352/.445 slash line. As a fantasy asset, he’s more valuable in OBP leagues. As a real-life asset, he’s a well-rounded player who has a nice glove and runs well too.

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UPDATE: Astros Targeting Second Week Of June For Forrest Whitley’s Return

The Astros are targeting the second week of June for Forrest Whitley’s return to the starting rotation for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks, according to The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan. Whitley, 20, has been serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned stimulant. Whitley was one of the top pitching prospects in all of the minors last season. The suspension really hasn’t hurt his prospect stock, as the Astros were likely to limit his innings this season anyway. In fact, if he performs well, the early season break might pave the way to a late-season call-up for him.

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UPDATE: Alec Hansen Pitches Off Mound In Simulated Game Tuesday

Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Alec Hansen worked off the mound in a simulated game against the Indians in Arizona on Tuesday. According to Fangraphs lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen, Hansen’s fastball ran 92-95, and his secondary offerings looked ‘rusty’. Hansen was fantastic in the minors last season but was shut down early this spring with forearm tightness. Look for the White Sox to slowly build Hansen up this season, as the team is nowhere near their competitive window in the MLB at the moment.

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PROMOTION: Franmil Reyes Makes Big League Debut

San Diego Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes has been called up to make his MLB debut. Reyes, 22, leads all of minor league baseball with 14 homers in 2018. His power is prodigious (70-grade raw power according to Fangraphs), and will likely play at the next level. His improvement in his plate control skills (BB% up to 13.3%, K% down to 19.3% at AAA this season), should give us prospectors, even more, to dream on.

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PROMOTION: Jordan Stephens Called-Up To AAA

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jordan Stephens has been called up to AAA Charlotte, in a move that was probably overdue. Stephens, 25, has been excellent for AA Birmingham this year, posting a 4-3 record in 7 starts with a 2.95 ERA. His surface stats are supported by his underlying stats, as Stephens has posted a 9.08 K/9, 2.72 BB/9, 0.23 HR/9, and a 2.81 FIP. If everything works for him at AAA, Stephens might make his MLB debut at the tail end of the season, given the utter lack of pitching for the White Sox at the Major League level.

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PROMOTION: Freddy Peralta Called-Up To MLB, Will Start Sunday

Milwaukee Brewers young pitching phenom Freddy Peralta has been called-up to the majors to replace Chase Anderson, who is dealing with an illness, in the rotation. Peralta, still only 21, has been excellent for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in AAA this season, going 5-1 in 7 starts with a 3.63 ERA. His strikeout stuff (11.9 K/9 in AAA this year), relying on a plus slider and fringy changeup, should play well in the MLB. However, this feels like a spot start at this point, instead of a long-term callup.

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INJURY: Justus Sheffield to 7-Day DL With Shoulder Stiffness

New York Yankees pitching prospect Justus Sheffield has been placed on the 7-day DL with shoulder stiffness. He was removed from his second AAA start on May 11 due to the shoulder problem. It sounds like the Yankees are just being cautious with their 22-year-old pitching prospect. If he’s healthy and pitching well at AAA, we wouldn’t rule out a trip to the Bronx this summer.

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PROMOTION: Brendan McKay Promoted to A-Advanced Monday

Tampa Bay Rays two-way prospect Brendan McKay (1B/LHP) will be promoted to the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the A-Advanced Florida State League on Monday, according to the Bowling Green Hot Rods official Twitter. McKay has been one of the best pitchers in all of the minors so far this season, going 2-0 in 6 starts with a 1.09 ERA, 14.6 K/9, 0.7 BB/9, and 1.10 xFIP. He’s also hit well, posting a .408 wOBA and 147 wRC+ in 91 plate appearances, walking an incredible 30% of the time. The Rays are going to let McKay continue playing both ways until one of them stops working. The Florida State League should be a good test of his abilities.

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INJURY: Wander Javier Out For Season With Labrum Tear

Minnesota Twins promising young shortstop prospect Wander Javier will miss the remainder of the 2018 season following a labrum tear in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, according to MiLB.com. Javier will undergo surgery, with a recovery timetable of approximately 12 months. This is a terrible break for a kid who reached several Top-100 prospect lists as a 19 year-old. Javier’s injury will cut into some of his development time next year as well. Thankfully, he is still young, and has the potential to make a full recovery from the injury.

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