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 Texas Rangers 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.
Ronald Guzman: (AAA: Round Rock Express):
It seems like Mr. Guzman has been around forever. The problem with prospects like him is sometimes we get prospect fatigue when they don’t set the baseball world on fire. In 2012 he was in Rookie ball showing that he was ready for A ball. In A ball in 2013 he hit for a modest .272 batting average in 191 plate appearances. In A ball in 2014 (492 plate appearances) Mr. Guzman only managed a .218 batting average. Then in 2015 he spend most of his time in A+ ball (452 plate appearances) and he managed a .277 batting average and 9 home runs. Then last season, in 2016, Mr. Guzman spent most of his time in AA ball and had a .216 batting average there, but he did manage to hit 15 home runs. The batting average in a couple of extended stops along the way certainly didn’t help his prospect visibility. However, he is making a case to be visible again in 2017. He is making a case for us to become a bit more energized when thinking about him.
This season, well, he’s spent all of his time in AAA ball (339 plate appearances). He seems like he has been around forever, but in reality, he is still just 22-years-old. This season he’s hitting for a really nice .319 batting average. His 9 home runs and .160 ISO (Isolated Power) aren’t Earth-shattering from a first base prospect, but at least his whole hitting profile has made a step in the right direction. Be sure not to look past his 16.2% K% (average) and 8.3% BB% (below average), and don’t forget that I am a tough grader when it comes to strikeout percentage. I hope you haven’t given up on following this 22-year-old prospect too early because of prospect fatigue, because, well…I haven’t given up.
Yohander Mendez: (AA: Frisco RoughRiders):
Mr. Mendez is a top prospect in the Rangers minor league system. He has a 3.82 ERA in 99 innings pitched (16 games started). However, he needs more time in AA ball as his 5.35 FIP suggests.
Yanio Perez: (A: Hickory Crawdads):
Well, this season we are getting our first state-side professional baseball look at Mr. Perez. He’s about a month away from his 22nd birthday. He currently is in A+ ball. Typically I get excited about and follow prospects that are a bit younger than Mr. Perez in A+ ball, but when you factor in that this is his first season in professional baseball state-side and also that he has some hype around him, well, he must be followed.
In 95 A+ ball plate appearances Mr. Perez has a .250 batting average and only 2 home runs (.095 ISO). However, he’s not mentioned in this article because of what he has done in A+ ball. He’s mentioned because of his A ball performance of a .322 batting average with 9 home runs (.211 ISO, solid power) in 204 plate appearances. The strikeout percentage isn’t an issue. Hopefully he can add more power at the A+ ball level.
Kyle Cody: (A: Hickory Crawdads):
After being a 6th round draft pick (189th overall) in the 2016 June Amateur Draft Mr. Cody pitched 47.1 innings (9 games started in 12 games pitched) in A- ball. Unfortunately, he finished with a 5.13 ERA. I do hope he didn’t take that high ERA too hard though, as his 3.71 FIP was much better.
Well, the 2017 season in A ball (14 games started) has been much kinder to him. In 70.2 innings pitched Mr. Cody has a 3.57 ERA to go along with his almost identical 3.59 FIP. Oh sure, he has work to do, as his 8.6% BB% (awful) suggests…but at least he has a 23.1% K% (above average).
Edgar Arredondo: (A: Hickory Crawdads):
Mr. Arredondo demands to be noticed. Ok, maybe using the word “demands” for the young 20-year-old is a bit much, based off his performance in 2017 in A ball. Maybe the word “suggests” is more appropriate? I mean, his 3.79 FIP, while better than his 4.23 ERA, isn’t amazing…but it isn’t bad either. Yes, I think the word suggests is appropriate…so do let me start over.
Mr. Arredondo suggests he should be noticed. Oh sure, he only has an 18.7% K% (below average) in 66 innings pitched (14 games started) in his first taste of A ball. That’s not exactly something prospect hunters get excited about. However, the young hurler does have a 5.4% BB% (great) this season. That is, at the very least, worth mentioning.
Ok…so you’re not going to get excited about Mr. Arredondo. I get it. I’m not excited either. However, I do suggest that you continue to follow him.
Jonathan Hernandez: (A: Hickory Crawdads):
By now, if you have been reading this series over the past month to month and a half…well…you would have already looked past Mr. Hernandez’s 4.86 ERA. You would have known…instinctually I hope…to look to his FIP and realize that the 3.87 shows he was quite unlucky on the mound in 46.1 A ball innings pitched (9 games started). The Rangers organization likely realized that (at least I hope they did) and promoted him to A+ ball. While there…which has only been 25 innings pitched in 5 games started (6 games pitched in)…Mr. Hernandez has continued to be unlucky, as his 5.76 ERA shows. Of course, by now you have already looked at his 3.26 FIP and are happy with his level of pitching in A+ ball.
However, you aren’t thrilled, because instinctually you looked next at his K% and saw it to only be 21.1% in A+ ball (average) after the 23.1% (above average) that he had in A ball in 2017. You also aren’t thrilled to see an A+ ball 8% BB% (below average…barely) after a 6.5% BB% (above average…barely) in A ball.
Well…you probably know what I will say next, oh clever reader. Yep…keep an eye on him.