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 San Francisco Giants 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). All statistics, unless indicated otherwise, were gathered from fangraphs.com.
Austin Slater: (AAA: Sacramento River Cats):
Welcome to the major leagues Mr. Slater! In 91 plate appearances at the MLB level Mr. Slater has produced well for the Giants. He has a .333 batting average with 3 home runs. His 18.7% strikeout percentage (K%) is only 0.2% short of a grade of average, and I’m a tough grader in this area.
When he was in AAA ball he had a .322 batting average and 4 home runs in 196 plate appearances with a 19.4% K% (below average).
Ryder Jones: (AAA: Sacramento River Cats):
Welcome to the major leagues Mr. Jones! He hasn’t had the same success that Mr. Slater has achieved. Oh sure, it has only been 23 plate appearances, but a guy can’t be happy about only hitting for a .048 batting average in his first taste of the big leagues.
So, lets’ stop being negative with him and look at the positives, and why he is listed in this article. He had fared well in AAA ball with a .299 batting average and 10 home runs in 228 plate appearances. Heck, he even had been successful stealing a base in all 5 of his attempts this season! His .254 ISO (Isolated Power) is an encouraging thing to see, especially with a 20.2% K% and 11.4% BB%. This is a guy to keep your eyes on.
Chris Shaw: (AAA: Sacramento River Cats):
Prospect hunters should love what they are seeing from Mr. Shaw in 2017! In 135 AAA ball plate appearances he has hit for a .302 batting average with 7 home runs. He has a .248 (solid power) ISO as well. Oh sure, his K% is at 25.2% (awful…but I’m a tough grader here), but if he can keep up the power and a respectable batting average then as fantasy baseball owner we are willing to accept this strikeout percentage.
In 154 AA ball plate appearances this season he had a .301 batting average with 6 home runs and a .211 ISO. His K% was a sweet looking 16.9% when you consider that he is a power hitter that was walking at a 11.7% BB% (above average) rate.
Orlando Calixte: (AAA: Sacramento River Cats):
Ok, so Mr. Calixte hasn’t set the world on fire in AAA ball in 2017. However, his season has been noteworthy enough to at least get a mention. In 247 plate appearances at that level in 2017 he has a .278 batting average and 9 home runs (.201 ISO). He is a player to, at the very least, check in on later in the season.
Andrew Suarez: (AA: Richmond Flying Squirrels):
Mr. Suarez is actually in AAA ball now. In 17.2 innings pitched (3 games started) at that level he has a 3.57 ERA and 3.28 FIP. Walks have been a problem, as his 10.4% BB% (beyond awful) suggest.
However, in AA ball (67 innings pitched in 11 games started) this season walks weren’t an issue, as he had a 5.3% BB% (great). In fact, walks have never really been an issue for him in minor league ball. So, hopefully he gets this ironed out at the AAA ball level as well.
Also in AA ball Mr. Suarez had a 2.96 ERA and 3.00 FIP.
Tyler Cyr: (AA: Richmond Flying Squirrels):
This reliever has produced enough to be noticed by me. Well, barely enough, as I am concerned about his 4.22 FIP that shows that his 2.89 ERA is not going to last long if he continues to pitch at the level he has pitched at already. Call this a cautionary tale…one that suggests you look at FIP in addition to ERA when evaluating pitching prospects and all baseball pitchers really. That said, he has 10 saves on the season and we wish him the best going forward.
Ryan Howard: (A+: San Jose Giants):
This 155th overall draft pick in the 2016 June Amateur Draft just may be starting to make a name for himself in prospect hunter circles with the way he has hit this season. Oh sure, in 312 plate appearances he only has a .088 ISO and 6 home runs to go along with that ISO, but he also has a .323 batting average and 15.4% K% (average). Keep your eyes on this prospect. He’s worth tracking.
Bryan Reynolds: (A+: San Jose Giants):
We go from obscure prospect (in Mr. Howard) to much more known Mr. Reynolds. In 300 plate appearances he has hit for a .306 batting average with 4 home runs and a .149 ISO.
Heath Quinn: (A+: San Jose Giants):
Mr. Quinn has managed to keep his K% at 23.1% in 134 plate appearances this season. It will likely grow as he moves into the higher level of the minor leagues. He has managed to hit for a .287 batting average while clubbing out 8 home runs and hitting for a .246 ISO. This is a power bat that you should keep a firm eye on.
Kelvin Beltre: (A: Augusta GreenJackets):
This is just a short note on a prospect that has finally been able to stay healthy. He has a .266 batting average and 4 home runs (.127 ISO) in 273 plate appearances this season. His K% is only 17.6% (average) and he also has a 11.7% BB% (above average). Keep an eye on him.