“Alluhring Strategy” MiLB Watch – Pitchers: High A Report


The most exciting part of writing primarily on dynasty and MiLB topics is that when you see that guy (or guys) that you were talking about before they become household names succeed in their early Major League career(s). In dynasty leagues, you can set yourself up for a long, successful run but drafting and/or acquiring a core of minor league prospects that can anchor your team for many years. In this day and age, pitchers can start the season in High A and end it in the Majors if the right set of circumstances play out. For these reasons, we will be spending the next few weeks looking at top performing pitchers at each level of the minor leagues starting with Advanced A Ball or High A (A+).

Last year one of those guys I was talking about was Amir Garrett. He first caught my eye during the 2015 Futures Game when he pitched for A+ Dayton . He seemed a little raw, but the big-framed lefty showed the athleticism that led me to believe that he could improve in consistency and command which were the knocks on him at that point. He showed three Major League pitches with a potential plus fastball, flashing plus slider and average change-up. He pretty well averaged 3.5 BB/9 and 8.5 K/9 during the last three seasons spanning from A, A+, AA and AAA. Three games do not a career make, but…he has certainly had an amazing start to his MLB career over his first three starts.

Game Log
Date Opp G GS W L SV IP H R ER BB K CG SHO ERA WHIP
Apr 19 BAL 1 1 0 1 0 7.0 7 2 2 1 12 0 0 2.57 1.14
Apr 12 @ PIT 1 1 1 0 0 6.2 5 2 2 0 5 0 0 2.70 .75
Apr 7 @ STL 1 1 1 0 0 6.0 2 0 0 2 4 0 0 .00 .67

Three quality starts spanning 19.2 innings, 4 earned runs, 3 walks and 21 strikeouts. Once MLB clubs get a book on him he will need to make adjustments, but his progress over the last three seasons combined with his athleticism gives me hope that he can make these adjustments and be a productive member of the Reds’ rotation and your fantasy team going forward. If you sat on him after his 1st productive start, he’s gone now. Jharel Cotton and Amir Garrett where the guys I was targeting this off-season in all my dynasty and keeper leagues. Cotton hasn’t lived up to his potential (although I still think he will), but Garrett has made me look good.

So who is next? Who do we need to keep an eye out in the minor leagues that we need to be ready to snatch before anyone else? This week we start in High A and look at some top performers over the first few weeks of the season. I am not suggesting that these guys will make it all the way to the Majors in 2017, but it’s not impossible. More importantly, this is the level where the true prospects begin to separate themselves from organizational depth.

 

Florida State League

Clearwater Threshers’ Rotation

 

This staff has been lights out to start the season leading the team to a 10-4 start good for First Place in the league over the first two weeks of the season.

Player W L ERA G GS SHO IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WHIP HLD
Jose Taveras 2 0 1.08 3 3 0 16.2 16 3 2 0 1 6 17 1.32 0
Cole Irvin 2 0 0.69 2 2 0 13.0 8 1 1 0 0 2 10 0.77 0
Seranthony Dominguez 2 0 0.69 3 2 0 13.0 5 3 1 0 1 4 20 0.69 1
Alberto Tirado 1 0 0.00 2 2 0 12.0 5 0 0 0 1 7 7 1.00 0
Franklyn Kilome 0 1 3.38 2 2 0 10.2 13 5 4 0 0 3 12 1.50 0

The most talented and highly rated of the group is Franklyn Kilome who has ironically been the worse of the group so far. The 21-year-old is their top pitching prospect (although Full-A

pitcher, Sixto Sanchez, could make a claim here) in a system loaded with hitting prospects. He features a plus fastball with a potential plus curve. He also throws a change-up which, if it becomes MLB average, will balance out a potential Ace to join a strong group of young pitchers in Philadelphia. He is known as a slow starter in April and the club will be looking for him to limit the damage early in the season to show he has truly put it together. Keep him on your radar as I expect him to be on the Top 100 lists at the end of the season. He is at least a year away from the Big Leagues, but he should advance to AA for the second half of the season to see how he handles the most talented hitters in baseball.

None of these other four guys make the organization’s Top 30 according to MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline but this doesn’t mean we should dismiss them. Former Blue Jays farmhand, Alberto Tirado, is already on the 40 man Roster despite not advancing beyond High A. This is his 3rd season at this level and he should progress quickly if he can figure out how to throw strikes. He has yet to give up a run in his first two starts, but has walked 7 batters in 12 innings. Those odds don’t bode well unless he improves his command.

Seranthony Dominguez has been a pleasant surprise to start the season. He has struck out 20 and only walked 4 in 13 innings. He has given up only 5 hits and one run during that time. He has been the most dominant of the group. The 22-year-old is in only his 2nd full season of pro ball, but showed good ratios in Low and Full A in 2016. His plus sinking fastball and above average slider has helped him dominate hitters at the lower levels. The knock on him is lack of a third pitch which may limit him to the bullpen in the upper levels and especially the Majors. He is worth keeping an eye on, however, after the hot start, I expect the organization to help him develop his change-up. It has enough movement to be a plus out pitch but he tips it too much on his release to fool advanced hitters. If they abandon him as a starter he could progress as a reliever quickly.

 

Carolina League

Lynchburg Hillcats’ Dynamic Duo

 

When healthy, the Cleveland Indians have one of the best rotations in baseball. However, they are not as young as they used to be and after last year’s trade deadline, they were left without any significant pitching prospects in the upper levels of their minor leagues. They are still stocked with hitting prospects, but we have to go to High A, Lynchburg of the Carolina League to find their top pitching prospect, 19-year-old, Triston McKenzie. He was a first round pick in 2015, but the former prep pitcher is advanced for his age and experience. He has three potential MLB plus pitches with his fastball, curveball and changeup. He has shown advanced command and pitchability which leads me to believe he will advance quickly through the system. He had a fantastic first full season of pro ball in 2016 while he was only 18. This will be the real test as he faces tougher competition who will mostly be older than him. So far so good…

DATE OPP W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR HB BB SO NP-S AVG WHIP
APR 08 MB 1 0 1.59 1 1 5.2 3 1 1 1 0 2 5 73-46 .150 0.88
APR 13 @MB 0 1 2.53 1 1 5.0 6 2 2 0 0 0 5 76-53 .225 1.03
APR 18 @CAR 1 0 1.72 1 1 5.0 3 1 0 0 0 2 8 84-55 .207 1.02

Although he hasn’t be as dominate as he was in lower levels in 2016, he has been very

good and if he keeps his command and the balls in the park, he could earn a promotion to AA later this season. This could put him on track for a 2018 call-up which is much earlier than most scouts project him which is late 2019 or early 2020. He is a future frontline starter for the tribe (if he doesn’t get dealt this trade deadline) and should be on your radar for 2018.

His partner in crime this season has been 22-year-old, Thomas Pannone. With four seasons of pro ball, including the last two in full season leagues, Pannone has opened some eyes with his three games start in 2017.

DATE OPP W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR HB BB SO NP-S AVG WHIP
APR 07 MB 0 0 0.00 1 1 5.0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 80-56 .000 0.40
APR 12 SAL 0 0 0.00 1 1 6.0 2 1 0 0 0 1 8 87-64 .061 0.45
APR 18 @CAR 1 0 0.00 1 1 5.2 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 87-55 .060 0.48

He did not make MLB.com’s Top 30 organizational prospects or the Fangraphs’ list either. What I can tell you about him is he has two MLB ready pitches, fastball and curveball, which he typically pitches to contact and induces a lot of ground balls. His career minor league numbers have been good but never stood out and his stuff wasn’t electric enough to gain steam from scouts. I will be keeping an eye out for him as this Spring progresses as he has yet to give up an earned run in three starts spanning 16.2 innings. He has only allowed 8 baserunners in those innings (3 hits, 5 walks) and struck out nearly 30% of the batters he has faced. I don’t see him reaching the Majors this season but 2018 is definitely possible if he continues to progress. This guy could come out of left field and make an impact in the near future.

 

California League

 

Joey Lucchesi, St. Elsinore Storm, San Diego Padres Organization.

 

Stop me if you heard this before…this guy didn’t make the Top 30 List for MLB.com or Fangraphs. By definition, this guy is not a hot prospect. He makes my list this week because after the first two plus weeks of the season, because he leads the California League with 19 strikeouts in 15 innings. Joey was a 4th round pick out of Southeast Missouri St in 2016 and finds himself starting the very next season in High A. Perhaps the Padres see something in him that the scouts do not. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts and even had a no-hitter through 5 innings in his last start. He has improved with each outing and the only negative has been a few too many walks.

ATE OPP W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR HB BB SO NP-S AVG WHIP
APR 06 MOD 0 0 4.50 1 1 4.0 4 2 2 2 0 2 6 80-48 .250 1.50
APR 12 VIS 0 0 2.00 1 1 5.0 3 0 0 0 0 3 5 82-55 .219 1.33
APR 19 @IE 0 0 1.20 1 1 6.0 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 .160 1.07

Lucchesi works off his fastball while using a curveball and changeup as his out pitches. His approach has been to keep the ball down and play to the hitter’s weakness. After the two bombs he gave up in his first start, the strategy has worked and he is on my radar.

He may end up another reliever down the road, but the 23-year-old could progress quickly as a more advanced arm in the organization. On a roster with top prospects, Anderson Espinoza and Cal Quantrill, Joey is holding his own.
Perhaps the guys I have discussed here do absolutely nothing and I spent time analyzing potential off too small a sample size. At the very least, perhaps there are few names to follow that you hadn’t thought about before. That is the fun of dynasty leagues and fans of the games of baseball.

 


Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
Owner, League Developer & Executive Commissioner

RDUD_logo_fRDMB_logo_f

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 16th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #83 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guests this week are Lenny Melnick and Kyle Klinker. Kyle is an MLFB champion and a veteran of MLFS leagues. Lenny is an FSWA Hall of Famer, the co-host of the Sunday morning fantasy sports show from 7-10am EST with Craig Mish on Sirius, and the owner of lennymelnickfantasysports.com. Check his shows out on his site every morning through out the week at 9am EST.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 23rd, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #84 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guests this week are Andy Macuga and Ron Shandler. Andy is the head football and baseball coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in southern California. Ron is a FSTA Hall of Famer and a fantasy baseball pioneer.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”



Categories: Baseball Writers, Fantasy Baseball, Major League Fantasy Sports, Minor Leaguer Projections, MLFS Authors

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave your thoughts

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: