Dynasty Baseball

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 6-10-21

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Welcome back to our 6-10-21 edition of the 2021 MiLB Prospect Notes. Each week, I will be highlighting transactions involving prospects.

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 6-10-21

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Coming and Going

Here are the prospects that were promoted or demoted.

Date

Org Player From To

6/1/2021

Orioles Jordan Westburg Low A High A
6/1/2021 Orioles Blaine Knight High A

AA

6/1/2021 Orioles Grayson Rodriguez High A

AA

6/1/2021

Mariners Taylor Trammell AAA MLB

6/1/2021

Cubs Chase Strumpf High A AA
6/1/2021 Braves Spencer Strider Low A

High A

6/1/2021 Rockies Eddy Diaz High A

Low A

6/1/2021

Cubs Brennen Davis High A AA

6/1/2021

White Sox Benyamin Bailey Low A AZL

6/1/2021

Phillies Bryson Stott High A

AA

6/2/2021 Braves Cristian Pache MLB

AAA

6/2/2021 Twins Gilberto Celestino AAA

MLB

6/2/2021

Red Sox Johan Mieses AA AAA

6/3/2021

Royals Edward Olivares MLB AAA

6/3/2021

White Sox Gavin Sheets AAA MLB
6/3/2021 Braves Tucker Davidson AAA

MLB

6/3/2021 Giants Matt Frisbee AA

AAA

6/3/2021 Indians Xzavion Curry Low A

High A

6/3/2021

Phillies Kendall Simmons Extended Low A

6/4/2021

Rays Osleivis Basabe Extended Low A
6/4/2021 Astros Angel Macuare Low A

High A

6/5/2021 Indians Bobby Bradley AAA

MLB

6/5/2021 Marlins Jordan Holloway MLB

AAA (rehab)

6/5/2021

White Sox Gavin Sheets MLB AAA

6/5/2021

Cubs Cory Abbott AAA MLB

6/6/2021

Royals Edward Olivares AAA MLB

6/6/2021

Twins Bailey Ober AAA

MLB

6/6/2021 Dodgers Landon Knack Extended

High A

6/7/2021 Mariners Jarred Kelenic MLB

AAA

6/7/2021 Padres Tucupita Marcano MLB

AAA

 

Next up are prospects that went on in the injured list.

Date

Org Player Level

6/1/2021

Rangers Justin Foscue High A

6/2/2021

Athletics Austin Beck

High A

6/2/2021 Nationals Jackson Rutledge

High A

6/3/2021 Reds Austin Hendrick

Low A

6/3/2021

Pirates Maikol Escotto Low A

6/3/2021

Brewers TJ Shook

High A

6/3/2021 Dodgers Josiah Gray

AAA

6/4/2021

Reds Tyler Callihan Low A
6/6/2021 Twins Matt Canterino

High A

 

This last list consists of prospects recently activated from the IL.

Date

Org Player Level

6/1/2021

Mets JT Ginn

Low A

6/2/2021 Yankees Yoendrys Gomez

Low A

6/2/2021

Braves Cristian Pache AAA

6/6/2021

Rays Graeme Stinson Low A
6/5/2021 Twins Jordan Balazovic

AA

6/3/2021 Angels Chris Rodriguez

MLB

AA Call Up

There has been some uncertainty regarding how calling up a prospect from AA would work in 2021 with COVID protocols.  There are the same COVID protocols in AAA as there are in the major leagues, so players can move between AAA and majors like they normally would.  The Twins outfielder Gilbert Celestino was essentially the first player in 2021 to be called up from AA to the majors.  However, in order for the Twins to bring Celestino to the majors, they promoted him to AAA on May 31st.  He never actually played for the AAA Saint Paul Saints.  On June 2nd, Celestino was promoted from AAA to the Twins.  Presumably, he was sent to Saint Pauls in order to satisfy COVID protocols. Fortunately, the Twins now have their AAA affiliate right next door.

Rays Embarrassment of Riches

A lot has been made about the Rays having two of the best position prospects in baseball that appear to be very close to major league ready in Wander Franco and Vidal BrujanJosh Lowe is also a nice prospect that should be in the majors soon.  However, it is on the pitching side where I think they are loaded.

The Rays have three very highly rated pitching prospects.

Twenty one year old Luis Patino has been a consensus top twenty five prospect in baseball for a couple of years now.  He was acquired by the Rays in the Blake Snell trade with the Padres. Patino made his MLB debut with the Padres in 2020 in relief and is still finding himself at the major league level.  He has shown glimpses of his lively arm this year.

Twenty four year old Shane McClanahan was the thirty first pick in the 2018 draft out of South Florida.  He was a compensation pick for losing Alex Cobb to free agency.  McClanahan made his MLB debut on April 29th and quickly established himself as one of the hardest throwers in baseball.

The Rays acquired twenty one year old Shane Baz in the same trade with the Pirates that brought Austin Meadow and Tyler Glasnow to the Rays for Chris Archer.  There has never been any question that Baz has elite stuff but previously his walk rate was in the doubles figures.  In 2021 in 27.2 innings, Baz has a 1.9 percent walk rate that is among the best in the minor leagues.

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Josh Fleming who debuted in the majors in 2020 has a 1.09 WHIP in 84.2 innings and is taken for granted.

What really sets the Rays apart from other organizations is the volume of quality arms in the next tier. Playing the percentages some of the pitchers on the list below are going to work out and some are not, but with the number of talented pitching prospects the Rays are set up nicely to have a high quality, inexpensive pitching staff for years to come.

AgeAcquiredK-W%

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Prospect

Level

Brent Honeywell

AAA 26 CBB 2014 25.80%

Cole Wilcox

Low A 21 Trade with Padres on 12-29-20.

19.40%

Drew Rasmussen AAA 25 Trade with Brewers on 5-21-21

44.40%

Drew Strotman AAA 24 4th 2017

12%

Evan McKendry

High A 23 9th 2019 25.30%

Jacob Lopez

High A 23 Trade with Giants on 7-31-19

34.50%

Joe Ryan AAA 25 7th 2018

30.20%

John Doxakis

Low A 22 2nd 2019 34.70%

Michael Plassmeyer

AA 24 4th 2018 22.60%

Peyton Bettenfield

High A 23 Trade with the Astros on 1-9-20

39%

Seth Johnson Low A 22 CBA 2019

12.50%

Taj Bradley Low A 20 5th 2018

28.40%

Tobias Myers

AA 22 Trade with Orioles on 7-31-17 23.50%
Tommy Romero AA 23 Trade with Mariners on 5-25-18

31.10%

This does not include Nick Bitsko, JJ Goss, Ian Seymour, Sandy Gaston and Graeme Stinson who are injured or not currently pitching regularly.

 Stuck in Neutral

Yusiniel Diaz defected from Cuba in August of 2015 and under the old international free agent rules signed with the Dodgers for $15.5 million in November 2015.  Diaz had just turned nineteen.  He was advanced enough that the Dodgers assigned Diaz to High A Ranch Cucamonga for the 2016 season.  Diaz missed over a month of the season was an injury but had a respectable 102 wRC+ as a teenager in High A making his pro debut.  Baseball Prospectus ranked Diaz as the 90th best prospect heading into the 2017 season.

In 2017, Diaz spent most of the year repeating High A and had roughly the same results (104 wRC+).  However, when Diaz was promoted to AA Oklahoma City on August 1st, he finished the season strong.  Diaz hit .333/.390/.881 in 31 games in AA as a twenty-year-old.

Diaz began 2018 in Oklahoma City and was just as good as he was at the end of 2017.  In fifty-nine games, Diaz had a .407 wOBA.   The highlight of the season for Diaz was the Futures Game on July 15th when he hit two homers.  Three days later Diaz was the centerpiece of the Dodgers trade with the Orioles for Manny Machado.  The Orioles were in the midst of losing 115 games and beginning a rebuilding process.  The trade appeared to give Diaz a clear path to an everyday job sooner rather than later.

The Orioles assigned Diaz to their AA affiliate, Bowie.  Diaz was not as good with Bowie as he had been with Oklahoma City but it was only thirty-eight games.  Heading into 2019 Diaz was a consensus top hundred prospect (Baseball America 37, MLB Pipeline 64, and Baseball Prospectus 44).

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In 2019 Diaz played well in spring training but was reassigned to AA Bowie. Diaz had two trips to the IL which limited him to 76 games for Bowie.  He did fine (11 homers, a 20.8 strikeout percentage and 135 wRC+) but nothing stood out.

Of course, the 2020 minor league season was lost due to the pandemic.  Diaz spent the MLB season at the Orioles alternate training site but was never called up as Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, and DJ Stewart were young Orioles that were given playing time in the outfield in 2020.

Diaz was added to the Orioles forty-man roster prior to the 2021 season.  He received 36 at-bats in spring training but was not a realistic candidate to make the team. Diaz spent April at the alternate training site and then was assigned to AAA Norfolk for the start of the minor league season.  Diaz strained his quad six games into the season and is currently on the IL.

It is now June of 2021 almost four years since Diaz, then twenty, excelled at the end of the season in 2017 in AA.  Since then, he played a grand total of six games above AA.  While Diaz cannot be blamed for the lost 2020 minor league season, at the time of the trade to the Orioles it was certainly expected that Diaz would be in the majors by 2020. He has missed a lot of time with injuries, but it has been nagging injuries rather than anything major.  He has not exactly failed in the last four years but has not mashed in that time either.

Diaz is still only twenty-four but his window is closing.  Diaz is not a centerfielder and he has not shown a lot of power for a corner outfielder.  The Orioles have some promising outfielders at the major league level and prospects like Heston Kjerstad, Hudson Haskins, Kyle Stowers, and Zack Watson plus potential 2021 draft picks behind Diaz.  It is close to now or never time for Diaz.

Bobby Witt Jr. Loses A Homer

The Bobby Witt Jr. story from June 8th was interesting where he lost a homer allegedly for not touching home plate.  It was certainly not a typical call. I suspect that if Bobby Witt Jr. was a random twenty-six-year-old journeyman, that home run would have stood.  There was likely an element of the umpire showing the hot shot twenty-year-old prospect that he is in charge.

Surprise Resurgence

Garrett Whitley was the thirteenth overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft by the Rays out of a cold weather high school. He is a great athlete but was quite raw.  Garrett has showed some glimpses of a power and promise especially in 2017 in full season A.  However, Whitley missed all of 2018 with a torn labrum in his shoulder and struggled in High A in 2019.  In 2020 Whitley was hit by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout during spring training and suffered multiple facial fractures.

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Whitley was eligible for the Rule V draft but was not picked.  He was assigned to AA Montgomery for 2021 and has gotten off to an impressive start with a .427 wOBA.  He has cut his strikeout percentage from 37.8 in 2019 in High A to 26. percent in AA in 2021.  Whitley turned twenty-four in March.


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Mike Schneider

Michael grew up in the seventies and eighties watching This Week in Baseball and The Baseball Bunch. He played in his first fantasy baseball league in 1986. Michael lives in Frederick, MD where he developed a love for minor league baseball.

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