If you play in dynasty format fantasy baseball leagues here at dynastysportsempire.com or elsewhere, you likely already know the value of having a healthy and deep minor league system. Keeping up on literally thousands of minor league players is darn near impossible for the average fantasy baseball owner. I like to think of myself as your funnel to sift through all the minor league talent and display for you the names you should know about.
Coming this offseason I plan to announce my top 10 dynasty fantasy baseball minor league prospects for each MLB organization. In the meantime, at multiple points during the season, I will be doing a notes article like this on each MLB organization’s minor league system that highlights multiple players that are doing well and that for sure should be on your radar as a dynasty league fantasy baseball owner.
Today we look at some of the Baltimore Orioles minor league hitters and pitchers that are having positive seasons and that also have the talent level that is potentially worthy of a dynasty league roster spot (depending on how deep your roster size is).
D.J. Stewart: (AA: Bowie Baysox):
So far, Mr. Stewart has had a good start to the season in AA ball. He has 6 home runs and a .248 batting average in 138 plate appearances in 2017. The BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) of .258 shows that he’s likely been a bit unlucky on his fair ball struck balls and could see an increase in his batting average going forward. His .231 ISO (Isolated Power) is the mark of a solid power hitter. I’m also a fan of his 17.4% K%, which I consider average, and his 8.7% BB%, which I also consider average. This player is definitely someone you should keep an eye on as the season goes on.
Cedric Mullins: (AA: Bowie Baysox):
Mr. Mullins has a .367 batting average and 4 home runs with 3 stolen bases in 65 plate appearances in 2017. Last season, while in A ball, he hit .273 with 14 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 36 attempts. He had 559 plate appearances last year as well. He certainly is a guy to keep an eye on this season.
Tanner Scott: (AA: Bowie Baysox):
Mr. Scott may eventually end up in a bullpen role, but for now at least, he’s starting. He has a 1.29 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched (7 games started). However, his FIP (while still great) is at 2.60. The 37.8% K% is beyond excellent, however, the 19.5% BB% is way beyond awful. This seeming lack of control is exhibit A as to why he might be bullpen bound eventually.
Ryan Mountcastle: (A+: Frederick Keyes):
Mr. Mountcastle is making a case for a promotion from A+ ball to AA ball here in the early goings of 2017. In 155 plate appearances he has 7 home runs with a .342 batting average. Sure, his .374 BABIP is likely not sustainable, but even when that comes down some, we are talking about a player who is performing quite well early on at the plate. His .253 ISO is that of a power hitter. There is some questions as to how much power he will have as he matures, so do keep an eye on his ISO and home run totals.
Jomar Reyes: (A+: Frederick Keyes):
There’s a big difference between a BABIP of .269 and .407. There also is a big difference between a batting average of .228 and .321. The lower numbers were in 2016 at the A+ ball level in 498 plate appearances and the higher numbers are so far this year in only 83 plate appearances. For right now, lets call him a .245 to .255 A+ ball hitter until proven differently. He’s a guy to keep your eye on.
Austin Hays: (A+: Frederick Keyes):
Early on in 2017, while his numbers certainly don’t jump out at you, Mr. Hays is performing well in A+ ball. He has a .294 batting average with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases in 135 plate appearances. While I’d like to see more walks from him, his 15.6% K% (average) speaks to his good and solid plate approach.
Randolph Gassaway: (A+: Frederick Keyes):
Mr. Gassaway is old for this level, so he had better be producing at a high level to make this list. He’s hitting .323 in 145 plate appearances this season after having 196 A ball plate appearances in 2016 and hitting .330. His BABIP is quite possibly inflated and it is reasonable to expect his BABIP and his batting average to drop some as the season goes on. Mr. Gassaway isn’t a guy that wows me and he is just a player to occasionally check in on.
Cody Sedlock: (A+: Frederick Keyes):
You might be wondering why I have a guy with a 4.38 ERA on this list. Well, this just isn’t any guy. He was ranked by many this offseason as the first or second best prospect in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system. Also, this is a guy that has a much better FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) number of 3.32, which is a much better statistic to use when evaluating pitchers and also their future projected ERA. This season, in 37 innings pitched (7 games started), Mr. Sedlock has cut down on his walks by quite a bit. This is an encouraging sign, but we need to continue to track how he does with this as the season goes on.
Ryan McKenna: (A: Delmarva Shorebirds):
Mr. McKenna barely makes this list as he has a .275 batting average and 2 home runs with 5 stolen bases in 159 plate appearances. However, his BABIP is going to come down, as it sits at a very high .398. When it comes down, so will his batting average. A concerning thing is his K% jumped from the 23.4% it was in 2016 while in A- ball (252 plate appearances) all the way up to 29.6% this season. With his lack of power I’m already not a fan of where that K% is at. When he faces tougher pitching at the AA ball level and eventually the AAA ball level he is likely going to have some real issues making contact with the baseball unless he makes some adjustments at the plate right now.