This Sunday, the minor league All-Star game will be played in front of a national audience. The Futures game is always a highlight of the year for me as it’s a chance to see some top prospects face off against other top prospects and it can be a springboard toward a quicker call up. I play primarily in dynasty leagues and getting the jump on an under the radar player can be huge in building my farm system into a future dynasty. If you are reading this article, you probably don’t need to know about Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor and Maikel Franco. These World Team members are likely already rostered in dynasty and deep keeper leagues as they are top prospects that even the casual fan might be familiar with. Let’s take a look at some players that might not be household names quite yet, but should be on your fantasy radar. I think they might have breakout performances in this weekend’s game.
Jose Berrios (MIN) [20 years old, playing at AA, New Britain Rock Cats]
Berrios just got promoted to AA after an exceptional first half pitching for High A, Fort Myers. He is representing the World Team as he was born in Puerto Rico, but he was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Twins. He isn’t a widely known as Alex Meyer and Kohl Stewart, and is overshadowed by the Top 5 hitting prospects in the organization, Sano and Buxton. However, he might end up being the Twins best pitcher in their minor league system. Only 20 years old, he is in his third season of pro-ball and progressing on a quick pace through the system. His final line in High A this season is 9W-3L in 16 games started. He sported a 1.96 ERA, 1.048 WHIP, an outstanding 2.1 BB% and 10.2 SO%. He showed excellent control while sitting in the low-90s, but changes speed on his fastball that keeps hitters a little off-balance. He is developing a potential plus curveball and a decent changeup. If he continues to perform well as he moves up to AA, he could find himself pitching in the Twin-Cities as early as 2015.
Kennys Vargas (MIN) [23 years old, playing at AA, New Britain Rock Cats]
Here is another under the radar Twins prospect that has been a real bright spot in their organization despite the injuries to their high-profile prospects. Vargas is a switch-hitter that has plus power and terrific plate discipline which he has translated to an above average hit tool with a .291 BA in 6 seasons of pro-ball. He is having an exceptional season in AA this season, slashing a .291/.364/.480 with 15 HRs and 58 RBIs and hovering around a 15% SO rate. This has earned him the selection to the Futures Game which could potentially showcase his power to be in the same stratosphere as Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant. With Mauer the full-time 1B for the foreseeable future, Vargas has a future Hall of Famer blocking his path to the majors. I could see the Twins finding a way to get him in the lineup as soon as 2015 as he will likely be ready and they could use his bat in Minnesota. Perhaps his emergence makes the Kendry Morales experiment a one year project.
Dariel Alvarez (BAL) (25 years old, playing at AA, Bowie Bay Sox]
Alvarez is a little old to be considered a prospect, but he was signed last year by the Orioles as an International Free Agent after a successful defection from Cuba. He spent 6 seasons in the Cuban league so he has plenty of experience which helped him to move up 3 levels in just the half season in the organization. His skill set is somewhat of an enigma. In 2014, he has been slashing .308/.331./.489. He makes consistent contact with less than 10% SO rate, but he seems allergic to taking pitches as he is extremely aggressive at the plate and doesn’t let many pitches go by without swinging. He is showing off a borderline plus power tool with 15 HRs and 67 RBIs. He also has a plus arm and could help the Orioles as early as this summer as they are pushing toward a division title. If you have roster space, you might want to grab him now as he could pay dividends in this year’s fantasy playoffs. If he has a good showing in the Futures Game, he could easily bypass AAA and get the call in the next month or so. He could move Nelson Cruz to the DH slot and offer more consistent offense then Steve Pearce.Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & League Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Major League Fantasy Football Radio kicks off tomorrow, Sunday July 13th from 11:30am-12:30pm EST brought to you by our friends at Sports Palooza Radio Network. Our featured guest is Jeff Nelson a high school defensive coach in PA. We will discuss Corners and how their teams scheme will effect their numbers. Also how to properly draft these players. Chase Jacobs will also be a guest and we will be discussing the Wide Receiver position in depth. Click the link or call in (646) 915-8596. You can also listen to the podcast if you can not make the show live. We will have a football show every Sunday until the season is over from 11:30am-12:30pm EST. Also tune in for Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio every Monday from 1pm-2pm EST