“Tranquilo” – Five Players to Monitor in the Carolina League
After last week’s quick diversion to a hitter stash list in anticipation of the Super Two deadline, we’re going to continue working our way up the MiLB farm system. Today’s stop in the Advanced-A Carolina League. This year the Carolina League is front loaded with talented prospects and hosts a handful of the top prospects in the Minor League pipeline. Most notable are two international outfielders and two 2016 MLB draftees.
The two international signees are Victor Robles of the Washington Nationals and the Cubs’ Eloy Jimenez. Robles is known as a potential five-tool superstar that currently stings baseballs gap to gap and maximizes his speed on the base paths. While he’s most a doubles threat now he is expected to discover over the fence pop as he continues to mature. Jimenez, on the other hand, is a pure hitter that mashes for both average and power. They’re both only 20 years old but profile as fantasy superstars once they arrive in the big leagues.
The Milwaukee Brewers affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, is absolutely stacked right now and are led by the fifth overall selection in last year’s draft, Corey Ray. He is a power-speed threat that hit for both average and power in his college days at Louisville and is expected to move rather quickly through the Brewers farm system. The other stud from last year’s draft is Zac Collins of the White Sox. Drafted as a backstop, there are questions about whether he’ll stay behind the dish despite promising strides his junior year at Miami, but where he ends up in the field his carrying tool is the bat. He is a savvy college bat that is both an average and power threat.
Now that I’ve covered the obvious top prospects I’ll get to the objective. This series is geared toward owners that play in deeper dynasty leagues and the following list strives to provide you with some prospects that may fly under the radar in your league and are worth monitoring.
Age: 22 Bats/Throws: L/R Position: 3B Height: 6-3 Weight: 200
Erceg is somewhat of an anomaly as he was declared academically ineligible after his sophomore season at California and was forced to play NAIA ball for a year before getting drafted by the Brewers in the second round of last years’ draft. Despite the circuitous route, he’s a promising offensive third baseman that plays enough quality defense to stay at the hot corner. He projects to have both average hit and power tools with the potential for more with further refinement. With a lack of other options, he looks like the Brewers’ future plans at third base and may more through the system rather quickly.
Age: 21 Bats/Throws: R/R Position: 3B Height: 5-10 Weight: 210
Chavis is a short, stocky third baseman known for his plus raw power. Before this season, he had been a pull-happy power hitter with a contact problem but this year he appears to have turned a corner. He’s gotten away from his insistence on pulling the ball using the entire field and hitting the ball where it is pitched. Most encouraging is that this hasn’t detracted from his power production as he is slashing .339/.415/.661 with 12 home runs in 45 games so far this season. Now is the time to buy Chavis because a hitter with this type power potential that finally finds a steady hit tool shoots up prospect lists in a hurry.
Age: 21 Bats/Throws: R/R Position: OF Height: 6-1 Weight: 195
Hays had a track record of hitting as an amateur and in JUCO ball and has done nothing to change that impression since joining the professional ranks. He is a natural hitter that hit for strong ratios in his pro debut and projects to have at least average power as he develops. He possesses the above average bat speed necessary to catch up to plus fastballs and sprays the ball from foul pole to foul pole with the ability stretch singles into doubles with above-average wheels.
Age: 20 Bats/Throws: s/R Position: OF Height: 6-0 Weight: 160
Basabe was prospect included with Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech in the legendary Chris Sale deal and has the skillset to become a very good player.A switch hitter that favors the left side, his biggest issue is the strikeouts that plague him from both sides of the dish. When he makes contact it is loud, but more consistency is the key to unlocking his potential as a hitter. His promising defensive ability gives him the floor of a fourth outfielder and with growth in the batters’ box, he has the potential to become an above-average regular that provide a healthy contribution to your counting categories.
Age: 20 Bats/Throws: R/R Position: SS Height: 6-3 Weight: 195
Mountcastle’s offensive profile garnered the Orioles first round selection in the 2015 draft and the young Floridian has not disappointed. He is an advanced hitter with a polished approach and understanding of the strike zone at the dish. He shows the makings of an average hit tool with above-average power that could hit a boatload of long balls at the generous Camden Yards. The biggest question mark with Mountcastle is where he’ll end up defensively because it is not at shortstop. Most likely he’ll settle in at third base or left field but either way, the bat will carry him and cement his fantasy value.
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