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Fantasy Baseball expert Andy Behrens will periodically take a look around the Minors and report on the MLB prospects we should know about — and who to stash.
Nolan Gorman had a relatively quiet spring for the Cardinals, resulting in a return to Triple-A Memphis. He's been on a ridiculous binge since rejoining the Redbirds, launching seven homers in his first 11 games and slashing .342/.400/.854. Gorman is emphatically making a case that he belongs in St. Louis soon.
He simply will not stop homering:
— Memphis Redbirds (@memphisredbirds) April 20, 2022
He's spent most of the past two seasons at second base, and, in case you hadn't noticed, the big league club could perhaps improve its middle infield. Paul DeJong is hitting .195 with a .671 OPS over his last 430 plate appearances.
Gorman hit 25 bombs while batting .279 last season in the high minors and he's been on an absolute tear in recent days. The soon-to-be 22-year-old looks about as ready as he's gonna get.
The best pitcher in baseball is very far away
Literally no one can hit Roki Sasaki, at least not in recent starts. He's a 20-year-old with an evil splitter and a triple-digit fastball with serious movement. Have a look:
Rōki Sasaki, Unhittable Splitters. 😳
8 Perfect Innings (with 14Ks), taken out with a PG intact...after throwing a Perfect Game with 19Ks last outing. Insanity. pic.twitter.com/sKpLotnHCp
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 17, 2022
Absolutely unfair. We're probably going to have to settle for highlights and occasional international competitions for a few years, because it's not necessarily in Sasaki's best interests to jump over to MLB any time soon. So that's unfortunate for fantasy players.
Apologies for the tease, but he's impossible to ignore.
Max Meyer is nearly untouchable
With three starts for Jacksonville now in the books, Max Meyer has allowed only five hits and two runs while striking out 20 batters over 14.2 innings. He's just wrecking some of these hitters, too.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 20, 2022
Meyer saw a rehabbing Ronald Acuna Jr. on Tuesday and retired him twice. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft and he found immediate success in the high minors in 2021 (2.27 ERA, 130 Ks in 111.0 IP). Definitely a prospect worth holding.
Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio and Brett Baty, binging in Binghamton
Mets' third base prospect Brett Baty is off to a scorching start at Double-A, going 13-for-33 with a homer, five doubles and nine runs scored in his first eight games. He's been a ground ball/line-drive hitter to this point in his minor league development, so we haven't yet seen an eye-popping power total. Baty has been an on-base machine at every stop, however.
That trait is particularly useful in a lineup that also features this dude:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 9, 2022
At 20 years old, Francisco Alvarez is among the youngest players at Double-A, but so far he seems perfectly comfortable. The elite catching prospect has already cleared the fence four times for Binghamton, going 10-for-27 with seven XBHs, four walks and 10 RBIs. He's simply a mauler. Alvarez hit 24 bombs in 99 minor league games last year. It's easy to imagine him producing upper-tier positional finishes in fantasy in his best years.
We should note that the Mets have actually assigned the organization's top three prospects to the Rumble Ponies roster and the entire trio is thriving. Ronny Mauricio is slashing .324/.361/.588 with a homer and six doubles. He's coming off a three-hit performance on Tuesday.
Jarren Duran is back in business
After a short stay on the COVID list, Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran returned to Worcester's lineup and found immediate success. He's gone 4-for-12 with three walks and two steals in his first three games. Last year he went 16/16 in 60 games at Triple-A, though he struggled when promoted to the majors. He had an excellent spring for Boston and remains a prospect of interest with an extremely fantasy-friendly profile. Here's a reminder of his game-altering wheels:
Jarren Duran tagged and scored from 2nd on a fly ball to center.
Yes, you read that right. pic.twitter.com/cneJ66tSGZ
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 27, 2022
Grayson Rodriguez is building his call-up case
Grayson Rodriguez has faced 31 batters in his first two starts for Triple-A Norfolk and he's struck out 15 of them. He's issued just one walk and four hits. He has a deep arsenal of MLB-quality pitches and he's coming off a dominant season across two levels. Rodriguez struck out 161 batters and walked 27 in 103.0 innings in 2021, delivering a 0.83 WHIP and 2.36 ERA.
Even when he doesn't strike you out, he's still pretty rude:
Grayson Rodriguez's cutter is the buzzsaw. pic.twitter.com/y3kpaaxDvo
— Geoff Pontes (@GeoffPontesBA) April 15, 2022
Whenever Rodriguez arrives, it will be an actionable fantasy event. This is a potential future ace, as impressive as any pitching prospect currently in the minors. If you can only stash one young starter, he's probably the best bet.