Minor league baseball weekly cultivation for week ending June 12, 2021

Minor league baseball weekly cultivation for week ending June 12, 2021

This week we’re focusing on a few stats for our cultivation to pull out players that otherwise may not be highlighted, but are definitely of interest! Jot down the names below and keep tabs as there are some under-radar guys that could really pop for dynasty teams.

Statistical Leaders (stats through June 12)

AAA

AVG – Jamie Ritchie, Reno (Ari), .429
OBP – Jamie Ritchie, Reno (Ari), .560
SLG – Rangel Ravelo, Oklahoma City (LAD), .758
HR – Jo Adell, Salt Lake (LAA), 15
SB – Vidal Brujan, Durham (TB), 14
IP – Jerad Eickhoff, Syracuse (NYM), 44
ERA – Jackson Kowar, Omaha (KC), 0.85
WHIP – Jackson Kowar, Omaha (KC), 0.88
SV – Luis Garcia, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY), 10
K – Tony Santillan, Louisville (Cin), 45

AA

AVG – Gabriel Moreno, New Hampshire (Tor), .381
OBP – Rudy Martin, Northwest Arkansas (KC), .464
SLG – Johan Mieses, Portland (Bos), .714
HR – Johan Mieses, Portland (Bos) and Dermis Garcia, Somerset (NYY), 11
SB – Jake McCarthy, Amarillo (Ari), 15
IP – Nolan Kingham, Mississippi (Atl), 41 2/3
ERA – Nick Lodolo, Chattanooga (Cin), 0.90
WHIP – Matt Frisbee, Richmond (SF), 0.41
SV – Jose Adames, Portland (Bos), 9
K – Hunter Greene, Chattanooga (Cin), 60

High-A

AVG – Ruben Cardenas, Bowling Green (TB), .363
OBP – Bryson Stott, Jersey Shore (Phi), .453
SLG – Devlin Granberg, Greenville (Bos), .685
HR – Vinnie Pasquantino, Quad Cities (KC), 11
SB – Delvin Zinn, South Bend (ChC), 22
IP – Cade Cavalli, Wilmington (Was), 40 2/3
ERA – Ken Waldichuk, Hudson Valley (NYY), 0.00
WHIP – Jayden Murray, Bowling Green (TB), 0.70
SV – Four with 5
K – Cade Cavalli, Wilmington (Was), 71

Low-A

AVG – Lazaro Armenteros, Stockton (Oak), .431
OBP – Anthony Servideo, Delmarva (Bal), .489
SLG – Joe Gray, Jr, Carolina (Mil), .696
HR – Joe Gray, Jr, Carolina (Mil), 10
SB – Braulio Vasquez, Augusta (Atl), 24
IP – Breiling Eusebio, Fresno (Col), 37 1/3
ERA – Santiago Florez, Bradenton (Pit), 1.17
WHIP – John Doxakis, Charleston (TB), 0.64
SV – Juan Mejia, Fresno (Col), 8
K – Mitchell Parker, Fredericksburg (Was), 55

Sorting through the weeds:

Alejo Lopez, 2B/3B – Lopez was born in Mexico and went to high school in Arizona, drafted by the Reds in the 27th round in 2015. He’s worked his way up the Reds system slowly and meticulously, spending a year at each level until this season when he opened the year with Double-A Chattanooga before earning a promotion to Triple-A Louisville on June 2. Lopez has defensive versatility in the infield and has shown excellent contact ability, though he does significantly below-average power and average-at-best speed. Lopez is likely a utility infielder or low-end starter at second base, but he could be a big help at batting average in fantasy if he got significant time. Season line: .366/.455/.493, 142 AB, 1 HR, 4 SB, 20/15 BB/K.

Hoy Jun Park, 2B/SS – The Yankees signed Park out of South Korea in 2014. He worked his way up the Yankee system to full-season ball quickly, but he’s not set himself apart in the Yankees farm, advancing one level per season. Park has plus speed and plus defense overall, but his arm and range are average at short, so he is a better fit as a full-time second baseman, though he has the glovework to handle short. If he’s offering the offensive line to go with his glovework that he’s put up with Somerset and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, he could be finding his way to the Bronx soon. Season line: .292/.426/.542, 96 AB, 6 HR, 6 SB, 22/23 BB/K.

Bailey Falter, LHP – With a multitude of injuries and ineffectiveness from their pitching staff early on in the season, the Phillies have already called on Falter to make his pro debut in April, though he pitched only one appearance. Falter has never really met the projection seen in his 6’4″ frame when he was drafted out of high school in 2015, as he’s still a very lean 180-185 pounds. Falter has a bit of funk and can reach mid-90s at his top end, but typically sits low-90s with a cutter, curve, and change that are all inconsistent in their quality, but can flash up to plus at their best. If he can put it together, there’s the chance to be a mid-rotation arm from the left side. Even if not, he could work well for multiple innings from the left side out of the bullpen. Season line (minors only): 29 2/3 IP, 1.82 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 8/42 BB/K.

Ryan Rolison, LHP – The Rockies 2018 first-round selection was an elite prep pitcher that was clearly going to college, and he held serve in the SEC. He’s not a guy that will live in the upper-90s, but he can reach back for 96-97 seemingly on command and lives at 91-93 with a fastball that he is aggressive with around the zone, challenging hitters and often getting weak contact based on excellent location. Rolison has shown excellent development in his change this season, which gives him a potential second plus pitch to go with his plus curve. His slider lags behind, but using it as a “show me” pitch allows Rolison to keep hitters guessing. He’s already worked from Double-A to Triple-A this season, and he could find his way to the Rockie rotation ahead of September callups. Season line: 27 IP, 3.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5/35 BB/K.

Marty Costes, OF – The Astros tabbed Costes in the 22nd round out of Maryland in 2018, and they really didn’t know what they had in his first two pro seasons. Costes put up passable stat lines, but his contact was inconsistent, and with average speed and average power, his hit tool was going to need to drive his offensive value. Costes flashed the eye that indicated more could be coming, walking at a 10% rate in his first two pro seasons. This year’s he’s increasing his walk rate while seeing spikes in line drive rate and opposite field approach lift his batting average into the range that can make his average-across-the-board tools work as a fourth outfielder. Season line: .362/.452/.456, 105 AB, 2 HR< 3 SB, 14/25 BB/K. Johnny Rizer, OF – Plucked from TCU with a 7th round selection in the 2019 draft, Rizer was pegged as a guy with advanced average skills that could move quickly but wouldn’t likely push his way into the majors. He’s changed that opinion by showing enough range to handle center field and just enough arm to handle right field, giving him more than enough chance to work as a fourth outfielder as he’s also displayed an above-average ability to put bat to ball and above-average raw power. There may not be a full-time player there, but there’s more than many thought when he was first drafted. Season line: .330/.385/.560, 100 AB, 4 HR, 3 SB, 6/29 BB/K.

Darius Hill, OF – With a below-average arm and below-average speed, Hill was expected to be a cheap senior sign in the 2019 draft, which he was for the Cubs in the 20th round, but what no one seemed to expect is that the West Virginia alum would simply put bat to ball everywhere he went in the minor leagues. He’s not slowed down yet in the upper minors, and though his swing may not be the way you’d teach it, he continues to put solid wood to quality pitches. Hill could find himself working well if he can simply hide his defensive shortcomings and provide just enough pop along the way. Season line: .340/.372/.426, 141 AB, 2 HR, 1 SB, 7/26 BB/K.

Jake Eder, LHP – While everyone gushes over the performance of Vanderbilt’s current rotation, a lefty from last season’s rotation is already making his mark in the upper minors. Eder is looking like a significant steal for the Marlins in the fourth round. If Eder would have had a full season to iron out his time in the rotation, his control likely would have stabilized with Vandy before the draft, and he could have been a top-50 selection. Instead, Eder uses a low-90s fastball with excellent late movement and the ability to reach back for 96-97. His breaking ball has really shown more consistency with Pensacola, certainly showing plus, and flashing double plus with the ability to add and subtract velocity to the pitch. His change is average, but he has sequenced the pitch well to this point. Eder has had one bad start where he seemed off all game and had to battle throughout, but he was able to work through inconsistent stuff to allow just two runs over five innings. He could fly up prospect lists as soon as midseason lists and certainly in end-of-year lists. Grab him now while you can. Season line: 35 2/3 IP, 1.26 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 14/55 BB/K.

Domingo Robles, LHP – After acquiring Robles from the Pirates for international bonus pool money in September of 2020, this could turn out to be another excellent Cardinals front office move. Robles has shown the ability to eat innings over his minor league career, working up to Double-A previously, but he’s struggled with the long ball and to put away hitters. While his raw stuff is still very similar – a low-90s fastball, an above-average breaking pitch that he can shape as a slurvy slider or a more pure loop curve, and a fringe breaking pitch. He’s struggled with consistency in his fastball velocity previously, dipping to 86-88 at times and then up to 90-92 where he sits now, but he’s more consistently 89-92 this season, and it’s allowed him to put away hitters and only allow one long ball on the year. Season line: 28 2/3 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 9/31 BB/K.

Blake Battenfield, RHP – Without shutdown stuff, Battenfield has had to work to outsmart hitters on his trip up the White Sox system since being drafted in the 17th round out of Oklahoma State in 2017. He returned to Double-A this season and has shown much more ability to get hitters to do what he wants. His focus on the mound centers on getting hitters to swing over a low-90s sinker that has deceptive velocity due to his ability to locate his four-seamer throughout the zone, especially up in the zone. Battenfield works with a pair of breaking pitches and a fringe-average changeup as well that he’s sequencing well this season. Moving up to Triple-A could give the 26-year-old Battenfield the challenge to see how his stuff could potentially play as a backend starter or whether he may be more of a swingman/up and down arm. Season line: 36 IP, 2.50 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 4/29 BB/K.

Tucker Bradley, OF – The Royals were highly noted last summer for their undrafted free agent class. Bradley is a member of that class showing well already in 2021. He only lasted three weeks at Low-A before earning his first promotion, and he very well could earn another promotion before long as he’s actually hitting BETTER since the promotion! Bradley is the type whose tools surprise because he’s a smaller guy and doesn’t have any one elite tool, but he’s a five-tool guy in that all five tools can flash above-average. Bradley didn’t get a ton of time in college due to injuries, so he’s a guy with plenty of potential for the Royals to develop. Season line: .365/.476/.506, 85 AB, 1 HR, 5 SB, 14/21 BB/K.

Je’Von Ward, OF – An elite raw athlete with NFL bloodlines, Ward was drafted by the Brewers in the 12th round in 2017 dreaming on his 6’5″ frame turning into something big. That production has been inconsistent to say the least. After hitting .225/.311/.322 at Wisconsin in 2019, he returned to the location in 2021, though the Timber Rattlers are now a High-A club. Familiarity has bred success for Ward this year, as he’s showing excellent contact skills, flashing his raw power, and stealing bases in the way a guy with his legit 70-grade raw speed should be able to do. Season line: .330/.369/.447, 94 AB, 1 HR, 6 SB, 6/32 BB/K.

Ruben Cardenas, OF – The Rays traded away two viable pieces to Cleveland near the 2019 trade deadline with Cardenas being the primary return, so the organization was definitely a fan. The Cal State-Fullerton product was dinged coming into the draft for off-field stuff, and his pro performance was inconsistent, but he put in work over his missed 2020 season that has resulted in Cardenas tapping into his above-average power consistently in-game and flashing his overall athleticism more consistently. He could find his way to Double-A before the season’s end. Season line: .363/.417/.637, 113 AB, 9 HR, 3 SB, 11/30 BB/K.

Brandon Williamson, LHP – The 6’6″ Williamson went through the JuCo route to TCU, immediately establishing himself as a top collegiate starter in his one season for the Horned Frogs. He’s developed further with the Mariners, seeing his fastball tick up to mid-90s consistently, topping out at 97-99 with some rumors of triple digits. He also works with a plus curve and a slider that has really shown development this season to a fringe-plus pitch. The change is even above-average, though he doesn’t need it to be. Overall, Williamson is showing to be the final product of the hope the Mariners had when they drafted him in the second round in 2019, and he absolutely has frontline starter potential. His next challenge will be getting to the upper minors this season and continuing his success. Season line: 25 2/3 IP, 3.51 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 7/51 BB/K.

Brayan Bello, RHP – Bello has worked so well that he actually earned his first start at Double-A to end this week, allowing one run over four innings in his upper minors debut. He’s a guy who’s found more consistency with his big fastball in both location and effectiveness this season. The fastball is consistently mid-90s, touching 98-99, but he shows the ball a long time in his delivery, and due to that, hitters have teed off on the pitch in the past. Better sequencing of his fringe-plus slider and above-average changeup along with some minor mechanical adjustments have allowed for the fastball to at least draw much more weak contact, even if it hasn’t quite drawn the whiffs that a big heater like his should draw quite yet. With the adjustments this season, Bello is one to watch as he could find himself molding into a mid-rotation arm or a potential backend bullpen piece. Season line: 35 2/3 IP, 2.27 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 9/47 BB/K.

Xzavion Curry, RHP – Cleveland selected Curry from Georgia Tech in the 7th round of the 2019 draft. There’s no truth to the rumor that his selection was simply to confuse all minor league announcers, though it’s definitely worked thus far. Curry’s a smaller guy at 5’10” and 185-190 pounds, but he doesn’t back down on the mound, aggressively mixing a fastball that sits 91-93 and tops at 95 with a pair of above-average breaking pitches. Curry has the profile of a future dominant reliever that could see another tick or two in relief, but if he added a workable change to the mix, he could also really work in the middle of a rotation. He’s certainly in the right system to potentially develop him in that way. Curry’s just earned his first High-A start and it wouldn’t surprise if he worked all the way to Double-A by the end of 2021. Season line: 30 1/3 IP, 0.89 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 6/45 BB/K.

Willie Carter, OF – The Atlanta Braves drafted Carter in the 34th round of the 2019 draft. He’s playing in his first full-season league at Low-A Augusta, and his advanced experience coming from college is showing through as Carter is showing impressive patience and contact at the plate. Carter is likely due a promotion, though a 34th round selection is not probably a heavy priority in development for the Braves, so he could spend extra time at a level if the Braves are working to ensure other players are getting playing time at the next level. Season line: .327/.430/.430, 107 AB, 3 HR, 4 SB, 18/30 BB/K.

Braxton Martinez, 1B – After a college career at Saint Louis, Martinez played independent ball with River City in the Frontier League from 2016-2019. The Angels signed Martinez before 2020 and stuck with him through the pandemic. He’s making his pro debut at 27 in Low-A, and while he’s older than much of his competition, he’s not showing that he’s coming from Indy Ball to pro ball at all with his impressive hitting thus far. A guy with Braxton’s back story is always a fun follow and an easy guy to cheer for, so keep an eye on him. Season line: .316/.433/.643, 98 AB, 6 HR, 18/22 BB/K.

Edouard Julien, IF/OF – Julien came out of Auburn with an injury and a reputation for exciting raw tools but a strong need for refinement along with no definite future defensive home. Missing the 2020 season certainly didn’t help his development with the Twins. That said, he’s shown an impressive ability to draw a walk in his pro debut with Fort Myers. Julien may struggle to define his defensive home, and his plate approach borderlines between patient and passive, but he’s definitely got raw tools to go with a whole lot of walks that should keep him on a watch list. Season line: .301/.467/.460, 113 AB, 2 HR, 10 SB, 32/42 BB/K.

Carson Ragsdale, RHP – The Giants don’t shy away from height, already employing the tallest pitcher in pro ball in Sean Hjelle, which made acquiring Ragsdale after the Phillies drafted him in the 4th round last summer a reasonable landing spot for the 6’8″ righty. He’s showing big strikeout stuff in his first assignment, using a fastball that can spike in velocity to 96-97 but typically sits in the lower 90s with late movement along with a curve that has added effect coming from his 6’8″ arm slot. Developing his change and/or another pitch will be the dividing line between Ragsdale as a future inning-eating type of starter or potential back-end reliever. Season line: 29 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 9/54 BB/K.

Brandon Pfaadt, RHP – The Diamondbacks 5th round pick out of Bellarmine, a D-II school in Kentucky, Pfaadt has shown very well in his pro debut. The righty has pounded the strike zone with his fastball that works into the mid-90s with an above-average curveball. That’s been enough at low-A thus far, but if he plans to have success as he moves up the Arizona system, he will need to see development of a third effective pitch. Season line: 33 1/3 IP, 3.51 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 6/52 BB/K.

Adam Wolf, LHP – A long, strong starter for Louisville in college, Wolf was a 5th round pick for the Tigers in 2018, and he’s having much more success in his second go-round at Low-A than his first time through. The 6’6″ lefty doesn’t offer any one pitch that will blow hitters away, but works with 3-4 average to above-average pitches. His changeup has been a slow-developing pitch in pro ball, but mixing with a low-90s fastball, cutter, and slow curve, it gives him a four-pitch option from the left side that could give him a back-rotation future. Season line: 27 2/3 IP, 3.90 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 6/34 BB/K.

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