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Here it is barely the middle of April and already we have the hot shot prospect seal broken on the 2014 MLB season. The Astros called George Springer up on Wednesday and the fantasy world has rejoiced. I am fairly certain the Astros did this literally just to see how much FAAB folks would bid on the idea of “saving” their season just three weeks in. Here are some short takes on George Springer:
Houston did not call Springer up because they believe he will go 30-30 or even 20-20 this season. They made the move because it is clear he is one of their best all around players at any level. Springer will help the Astros defensively, on the basepaths and with his approach to the game. He strikes out way too much. In the minor league he struck out 31% of the time over three years. In the majors that would project to be about 37-39% which would mean he’d strike out more than Adam Dunn. He has a quick stroke but also cannot hit anything on the outer half of the plate. At this point he is too one dimensional of a hitter to believe he will make a dramatic impact this season. I would cap my FAAB bidding on him at 20% at the absolute most.
So now that the George Springer conversation is out of the way let’s take a stroll down on the farm to see which prospects will be coming up next.
Gregory Polanco – Indianapolis (Pirates) – OF – Polanco has taken the momentum he built up in spring training and has rolled it into a huge start in Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s hitting a robust .423/.464/.654 with 2 HR’s and 13 RBI in just 52 at-bats. It won’t be too long before Polanco joins Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte in the starting outfield in Pittsburgh.
Jemile Weeks – Norfolk (Orioles) – 2B – It still confused the hell out of me why the Orioles are so determined to let Jonathan Schoop, Ryan Flaherty and Steve Lombardozzi roll out in their infield everyday while Weeks sits in Norfolk. Even more is that Weeks could fill the void as the leadoff man which Nick Markakis just isn’t cut out for. Weeks is off to a great start hitting .282/.431/.436 with 10 walks and 2 steals so far this season.
Marcus Stroman – Buffalo (Blue Jays) – SP – 15.1 Innings, 21 K’s, 1.17 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP means that Stroman may not be long for the minor leagues. Despite being only 5’9” tall, Stroman has plenty of weapons in his repertoire to make an impact at the big league level.
Pacific Coast League
Joc Pederson – Albuquerque (Dodgers) – OF – The Dodgers obviously have no room for him but Pederson has quickly outgrown Triple-A pitching. He’s hitting .420/.547/.800 with 5 HR’s and 5 steals already this season. The Dodgers will move one of their outfielders eventually and when they do a spot could open up for Pederson in L.A.
Jonathan Singleton – Oklahoma City (Astros) – 1B – George Springer isn’t the only impact bat the Astros are hiding in their minor league system. Singleton is red hot right now having mashed 5 HR’s and driving in 18 runs. He is hitting .328/.426/.724 in 58 at-bats for Oklahoma City. He’ll be next on the call up list for the Astros.
Trevor Bauer – Columbus (Indians) – SP – When I see Trevor Bauer pitch I wonder how anybody hits him. He is back on track after a horrific 2013 season that saw him squander a golden opportunity in Cleveland. The Indians already called him up for a doubleheader start and will likely call for him again real soon. He has struck out 18 hitters in 12 IP with a 0.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in Triple-A.