Dynasty Baseball Double-A Update (4/22)

by Mike Schneider
Dynasty Baseball Double-A Update

On the 22nd of each month during the baseball season, I will be giving you a Dynasty Baseball Double-A Update, this time we look at the 4/22 update. The AA season began on April 5th so AA teams have only played about 15 games.

Minor league baseball at the AA level is comprised of three leagues.

The Eastern League is composed of 12 teams.  With the minor league reorganization in 2021, an attempt was made to try to keep minor league affiliates near the major league team.  The Giants (Richmond) and Colorado (Hartford) are exceptions.

The Southern League has eight teams.  The Angels  (Rocket City-Madison, Alabama) are the furthest from their major league city.

The remaining ten AA teams are in the Texas League although the five teams in the North Division are not located in Texas.

Dynasty Baseball Double-A Update (4/22)

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General AA Prospect Overview

AA is considered the upper minors.  The transition to AA is a huge step for prospects. It is not unusual for it to take some time for a prospect to adjust the AA level.

Last week, I profiled Connor Norby.  He split 2022 between High A and AA.  Norby was significantly better at AA (.298/.389/.571 with 17 homers and 10 steals in 64 games) than High A (.237/311/.425 with eight homers and six steals in 48 games). However, this is not typical.

The prospect that I reference for the other extreme is Hudson Potts. Potts was known as Hudson Sanchez when he was a first-round pick out of high school in 2016 by the Padres. After playing 59 games in short-season ball in 2016, Potts spent all of 2017 at Single-A Fort Wayne as an 18-year-old.  He had a solid season with 20 homers and a 103 wRC+.

It was in 2018 that Potts established himself as a top prospect by hitting 17 homers and 35 doubles in 106 games at High A Lake Elsinore with a .,281/.350/498 line. Potts' strikeout rate was 24.7% but he was one of the youngest players in the league. Potts was promoted to AA San Antonio for the last month of the season where he struggled. Entering 2019 was a consensus top hundred prospect.

Potts never figured out AA pitching. Between 2018 and 2023 he played 354 games in AA for three organizations with a .209/.278/.386 line with a 33.2% strikeout rate. Potts only played two games above AA in his career. He is currently listed as a free agent.

Five years ago or so Potts was the third basemen of the future in one of my dynasty leagues. It was shocking to see a prospect who seemed so promising when he was first promoted to AA to completely stall at AA .  Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances that we do not know about.

It is more typical to see a prospect take too long to adjust to AA or just be decent. Catcher Dillon Dingler is an example. He was the 38th overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Ohio State.  He struggled mightily at AA Erie in 2021 in 50 games with a 59 wRC+. In 107 games at AA in 2022 he had a 107 wRC+. In 2023 in 51 games at AA Dingler had a 131 wRC+ earning a promotion to AAA. Dingler is now struggling at AAA at age 25 and projects as a backup catcher at best.

Hot Hitters

These position player prospects have had impressive starts. At the major league level, The Twins have not gotten off to a good start but Emmanuel Rodriguez is turning into an elite prospect.

NameTeamAgeABPAHHRRRBIK%BB%SBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Matthew LugoBOS2324299341124.14%17.24%00.3750.4830.9170.542268
Agustin RamirezNYY224554117111420.37%14.81%20.2440.3700.7110.467189
Emmanuel RodriguezMIN21416012416928.33%31.67%80.2930.5170.7320.439227
Deyvison De Los SantosARI21576219413929.03%8.06%10.3330.3870.6140.281172
Edgar QueroCHW21364711471417.02%10.64%10.3060.4260.6390.333212
Carson WilliamsTBR21475120314921.57%5.88%40.4260.4710.7450.319265
Matt ShawCHC2238501238724.00%20.00%40.3160.4800.6050.289226

Hot Pitchers

These pitching prospects are off to strong starts. The White Sox acquired Jairo Iriarte in the Dylan Cease trade and he has begun the year with 13 scoreless innings. The walks are a concern with Iriarte.

NameTeamAgeK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Jairo IriarteCHW2232.08%11.32%0.1781.0770.2860.0003.544
Ian SeymourTBR2541.51%5.66%0.1020.5330.1201.2001.921
Tink HenceSTL2130.91%3.64%0.1320.5870.1711.1742.666
Justin WrobleskiLAD2328.57%3.57%0.2220.9770.2971.8842.646
Carson PalmquistCOL2344.64%12.50%0.1630.9380.3330.0002.640
Mason BarnettKCR2335.59%8.47%0.1510.8480.2502.3483.098
Adam MazurSDP2329.63%3.70%0.1540.6250.2000.5632.913

Cold Hitters

It has been a rough start to 2024 for these position players.  Vaun Brown was a big pop-up prospect in 2022 who missed a lot of 2023 with an injury.  Brown's strikeout rate is a bright red flag.

NameTeamAgeABPAHRRRBIK%BB%SBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Kyren ParisLAA22475306437.74%7.55%50.1060.1890.1700.06414
Austin HendrickCIN23444703146.81%2.13%10.1820.2130.2050.02328
Vaun BrownSFG26374014555.00%5.00%00.1080.1750.2160.10812
Denzel ClarkeOAK24505416348.15%3.70%20.1600.2220.2400.08032
Harry FordSEA21516106026.23%14.75%20.1370.2790.1960.05947
Jakob MarseeSDP23546919428.99%17.39%80.1480.3090.2780.13075

Cold Pitchers

These pitching prospects have struggled to begin the year. JT Ginn looked like a top prospect at Mississippi before undergoing Tommy John surgery.  Unfortunately, it does not appear that he ever fully recovered.

NameTeamAgeK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Luis De AvilaATL2313.04%14.49%0.3452.2500.4084.735.19
Wikelman GonzalezBOS229.09%36.36%0.3574.8750.41723.6312.46
Kendall WilliamsLAD2310.00%16.67%0.4082.9030.46510.457.19
J.T. GinnOAK2516.92%4.62%0.3671.8290.4497.244.37
Chase PettyCIN2120.69%12.07%0.3602.2730.42911.464.67
Hurston WaldrepATL2218.46%9.23%0.3902.2310.4677.623.70

Young Hitters

Six pitchers in AA are 20 years of age or younger.

It remains to be seen if Moises Ballesteros can stick at catcher, but the hit tool is elite. Roman Anthony's strikeouts are concerning. Samuel Basallo has yet to walk in 2024 after having a 12.6% walk rate in 2023.

NameTeamAgeABPAHRRRBIK%BB%SBAVGAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Moises BallesterosCHC2027342648.82%17.65%00.2220.2220.3820.4810.259166
Samuel BasalloBAL19555615525.00%0.00%10.2360.2360.2320.3090.07347
Nelson RadaLAA18525803422.41%6.90%60.2120.2120.2760.2310.01960
Jett WilliamsNYM20354507111.11%15.56%20.1710.1710.3560.2860.11497
Roman AnthonyBOS20434926438.78%12.24%30.2560.2560.3470.4650.209128
Cole YoungSEA20566205516.13%8.06%40.2680.2680.3230.3570.08990

Young Pitchers

Six pitchers in AA are 21 years of age or younger.

Caden Dana of the Angels has stood out in the early going.

NameTeamAgeK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Tink HenceSTL2130.91%3.64%0.1320.590.1711.172.67
Bubba ChandlerPIT2130.00%12.00%0.2271.300.3452.923.34
Chase PettyCIN2120.69%12.07%0.3602.270.42911.454.67
Yu-Min LinARI2028.81%6.78%0.3211.660.4576.393.10
Caden DanaLAA2025.58%4.65%0.1580.710.1922.383.39
Robby SnellingSDP2027.27%12.73%0.1491.020.1941.984.25

Popup Hitting Prospect

Frederick Bencosme is an Orioles infield prospect who was born on Christmas day in 2002. He had just a .657 OPS at High A Aberdeen in 2023.

NameTeamAgeABPAHRRRBIK%BB%SBCSAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Frederick BencosmeBAL2152563131210.71%7.14%200.3650.4110.6150.250184

Popup Pitching Prospect

Right-hander Trystan Vrieling was the Yankees' third-round pick in 2022 out of Gonzaga.  He missed the 2023 regular season due to a fractured elbow.  Vriieling did pitch in the Arizona Fall League after the 2023 season before finally making his regular season pro debut this year.

NameTeamAgeIPK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Trystan VrielingNYY2318.226.87%8.96%0.0820.590.1160.4823.49

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