After a few weeks of draft coverage, it’s time to rant about the Super Two deadline.
Is there a bigger joke than the Super Two deadline that keeps some of baseball’s top prospects in the minors each year? Case in point, Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco, who was more than ready for the majors but was forced to wait until Tuesday to get his call-up while replacement-level bats (no offense to Josh Harrison, Jose Tabata, Travis Snider, or their friends and family) patroled right field until his arrival. A rumor surfaced late last week that Polanco would be called up, which Pirates officials quickly refuted. Polanco has crushed it this season (.349, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 15 SB), and should make an immediate fantasy impact.
I’m curious how others feel about top prospects being held back, not only from a fantasy perspective, but from a general baseball standpoint. Feel free to sound off in the comments, or hit me up with your thoughts on Twitter @rsteingall.
One of the more notable debuts occurred last week when the Astros signed first baseman Jonathan Singleton to a long term contract (5 years/$10 million, with three option years that could push the contract over $30 million), a deal that drew the ire of the MLBPA. It’s hard to blame Singleton for taking the money, as he’s already been suspended once due to drugs, and wanted some financially security up front. May other prospects follow suit in the future to get themselves to the majors earlier, even if it’s against the union’s wishes? From a fantasy perspective, Singleton brings some serious pop to the corner infield market, and has already mashed two homers (including a grand slam) through his first six games. The whiffs are going to come in bunches, and his average isn’t likely to be pretty, but there will be plenty of RBI chances for him.
The Rockies promoted top pitching prospect Eddie Butler to the majors this weekend, and he proceeded to get bombed in his first start (5.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO). I wouldn’t read too much into one start, so chalk this up as a learning experience for the young righty. Butler’s strikeouts have been down this year in the minors (5.24 K/9), and coupled with the harsh Coors Field environment, he’s a bit of a risk in mixed leagues this year. Take a look in NL-only and gamble on his upside.
The Cubs have a monster on the farm in the form of third baseman Kris Bryant, who recently slugged his 21st homer of the season, and is now batting a robust .356 with 54 RBI and eight steals. With Mike Olt struggling mightily in the majors, it may not be long before Bryant earns a Triple-A promotion, with an eye on a September cup of coffee. I’ll be all over Bryant in 2015 drafts, as his power should play immediately in the majors whenever he makes his arrival.
If you’re trying to ball on a budget in your dynasty league, give Giants third baseman Adam Duvall a look. He may find himself a regular gig in San Francisco next season if Pablo Sandoval elects to sign elsewhere through free agency. At 25, he’s old from a prospect standpoint, but the Triple-A numbers speak well (.302, 19 HR, 53 RBI). He can be had for next to nothing. So if you have an extra roster slot, go ahead and make the add.
It may not be long before the Marlins give lefty Andrew Heaney a shot. He's proven to be up to the task through his first three starts at Triple-A New Orleans (23 IP, 2.74 ERA, 27/2 K/BB). Randy Wolf is not a road block fantasy players should be concerned with, so the Marlins are likely to promote Heaney as soon as they feel he’s ready. He should be an immediate source of strikeouts and solid ratios upon his arrival. Get ahead of the curve and add him now if you haven’t done so already.
With the recent demotion of Travis d’Arnaud, one has to begin to question what the Mets long term plans are behind the dish, and if prospect Kevin Plawecki could eventually push his way to the top of the organization catching heap. Plawecki has been doing damage with the stick this season, hitting .333 with six homers, and continues to play passable defense. At the very least, Plawecki could become a very attractive trade chip if d’Arnaud turns things around. He has the potential to be an effective offensive catching for fantasy purposes, and may be major league ready by the summer of 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rsteingall
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