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Fantasy Baseball: June Dynasty Stock Report

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MacKenzie Gore (photo by Bill Mitchell)

The monthly Baseball Ameridca dynasty stock report helps fantasy players make sense of the numbers. In this installment we focus on performance by prospects in the minor leagues at each position in June.

For each position, we highlight a Standout player, who should be viewed as that month's prospect all-star, a Slumping player, who is a prominent prospect who has underperformed, and a Surging player, who is a lower-profile prospect who is playing well and could be worth tracking.

Struggling players are included not to pile on, but rather to highlight players for whom you may be able to buy low.

Key to the abbreviations used. Those with a plus sign (+) are index statistics in which the player is compared with league average, where a score of 100 is exactly average.

RAA = runs above average (based on wOBA and R/9 for pitchers)
WAA = wins above average (adjusted for position and park)
OPS+ = similar to Baseball-Reference.com version (full-season players now adjusted for ballpark!)
XB+ = extra bases divided by batted balls
SB+ = stolen bases attempted divided by (estimated) times on first base
ERA+ = similar to Baseball-Reference.com version (full-season players now adjusted for ballpark!)
FIP = fielding-independent pitching, e.g. strikeout, walk and home runs rates expressed as ERA


CATCHER

🔥 Standout
Luis Campusano, Padres
High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
6.8 RAA, 0.9 WAA, 181 OPS+, 109 XB+

📉 Slumping
Will Banfield, Marlins
Low Class A Clinton (Midwest)
-7.0 RAA, -0.7 WAA, 35 OPS+, 82 XB+

📈 Surging
Payton Henry, Brewers
High Class A Carolina (Carolina)
7.4 RAA, 1.1 WAA, 156 OPS+, 152 XB+

The Brewers have an eye on Henry as a potential impact catcher on both sides of the ball, a fact reinforced by his invitation to big league camp this spring. He scuffled in May but rebounded in a big way in June, hitting .315/.411/.517 with 12 extra-base hits and a strikeout rate of just 15 percent. As a high school catcher drafted in 2016, Henry has work to do, but he's on a good track as a 22-year-old holding his own in the Carolina League.


FIRST BASE

🔥 Standout
Evan White, Mariners
Double-A Arkansas (Texas)
12.2 RAA, 1.2 WAA, 239 OPS+, 210 XB+

📉 Slumping
Will Craig, Pirates
Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
-7.1 RAA, -0.8 WAA, 50 OPS+, 40 XB+

📈 Surging
Roberto Ramos, Rockies
Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
10.2 RAA, 0.7 WAA, 171 OPS+, 179 XB+

Drafted in 2014, Ramos took a few years to get going. The lefthanded hitter broke out with a 32-homer campaign in 2018 and has continued to mash as a 24-year-old at Triple-A this season. The attribute I like best about Ramos is his all-fields power. Roughly half of his home runs have been hit straightaway or to the opposite field this season, according to Ramos' Baseball Savant spray chart.

SECOND BASE

🔥 Standout
Isan Diaz, Marlins
Triple-A New Orleans (Pacific Coast)
9.8 RAA, 0.9 WAA, 184 OPS+, 195 XB+, 76 SB+

📉 Slumping
Shervyen Newton, Mets
Low Class A Columbia (South Atlantic)
-5.2 RAA, -0.6 WAA, 40 OPS+, 41 XB+, 0 SB+

📈 Surging
Franklin Barreto, Athletics
Triple-A Las Vegas (Pacific Coast)
13.3 RAA, 1.2 WAA, 181 OPS+, 192 XB+, 302 SB+

Barreto is a four-time Top 100 Prospect who exhausted his rookie eligibility last season—barely—but entered 2019 with no footing in Oakland. He looked like a new player at Triple-A this year, slashing his strikeout rate from 32 percent to 25 percent while maintaining power and showing greater willingness to run. In June, Barreto smashed nine homers and went 6-for-6 in steals. Now the 23-year-old is the Athletics' primary second baseman after taking over for Jurickson Profar, reminding us all that fortunes can change quickly in baseball.


THIRD BASE

🔥 Standout
Ty France, Padres
Triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast)
11.7 RAA, 1.0 WAA, 193 OPS+, 206 XB+

📉 Slumping
Nolan Gorman, Cardinals
High Class A Palm Beach (Florida State)
-4.7 RAA, -0.6 WAA, 65 OPS+, 150 XB+

📈 Surging
Kevin Padlo, Rays
Double-A Montgomery
14.5 RAA, 1.9 WAA, 265 OPS+, 347 XB+

Only the Nationals' Jose Marmolejos (15.5) and Angels wunderkind Jo Adell (15.3) compiled a higher total for runs above average than Padlo in June. The 23-year-old got there by hitting .329/.442/.744 with nine homers and seven doubles in the pitcher-friendly Southern League. Padlo suffered a hamate injury in 2017 that knocked him off the prospect map for two seasons, but there are attributes here to like for the key prospect acquired in the Rays' German Marquez trade with the Rockies.


SHORTSTOP

🔥 Standout
Bo Bichette, Blue Jays
Triple-A Buffalo (International)
9.8 RAA, 1.0 WAA, 173 OPS+, 105 XB+, 238 SB+

📉 Slumping
Wander Javier, Twins
Low Class A Cedar Rapids (Midwest)
-4.9 RAA, -0.4 WAA, 52 OPS+, 93 XB+, 0 SB+

📈 Surging
Luisangel Acuña, Rangers
Dominican Summer League
12.7 RAA, 1.3 WAA, 192 OPS+, 100 XB+, 97 SB+

He may be Ronald Acuña's little brother, but Luisangel is a distinctly different type of player. Signed by the Rangers last year, he made his debut in the DSL this season and got off to a blazing start. Acuña hit .407 in June with discipline (16 walks, 10 strikeouts) and speed (eight steals) but not a lot of thump. Scouts see Acuña as a hit-over-power prospect with more of a second base defensive profile based on his height, which is closer to 5-foot-8 than what is listed.

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OUTFIELD

🔥 Standouts
Jo Adell, Angels
Double-A Mobile (Southern)
15.3 RAA, 1.9 WAA, 234 OPS+, 255 XB+, 164 SB+

Brent Rooker, Twins
Triple-A Rochester (International)
13.9 RAA, 1.3 WAA, 190 OPS+, 186 XB+, 19 SB+

Drew Waters, Braves
Double-A Mississippi (Southern)
10.8 RAA, 1.3 WAA, 210 OPS+, 197 XB+, 144 SB+

📉 Slumping
Tirso Ornelas, Padres
High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
-7.1 RAA, -0.8 WAA, 26 OPS+, 18 XB+, 32 SB+

Travis Swaggerty, Pirates
High Class A Bradenton (Florida State)
-6.7 RAA, -0.9 WAA, 57 OPS+, 73 XB+, 299 SB+

Jarren Duran, Red Sox
Double-A Portland (Eastern)
-6.1 RAA, -0.8 WAA, 61 OPS+, 36 XB+, 222 SB+

📈 Surging
Trent Grisham, Brewers
Double-A Biloxi (Southern)
13.8 RAA, 1.7 WAA, 238 OPS+, 326 XB+, 24 SB+

The 15th overall pick in 2015, Grisham hit .230-something for three straight seasons heading into 2019 and thus had slipped to No. 28 on the Brewers' prospect ranking. He had always showed strong discipline—in June he walked 23 times and struck out 15 times—so the Brewers encouraged him to attack early-count fastballs. The plan worked. Grisham popped 13 homers at Double-A before a promotion to Triple-A San Antonio on June 20. He has a chance for five average-ish tools, with an emphasis on discipline, fielding and throwing.


PITCHER

🔥 Standouts
Matthew Liberatore, Rays
Low Class A Bowling Green (Midwest)
13.6 RAA, 1.6 WAA, 186 ERA+, 2.29 FIP

Mitch Keller, Pirates
Triple-A Indianapolis (International)
8.2 RAA, 0.8 WAA, 168 ERA+, 3.11 FIP

Brendan McKay, Rays
Triple-A Durham (International)
8.2 RAA, 0.8 WAA, 173 ERA+, 3.12 FIP

MacKenzie Gore, Padres
High Class A Lake Elsinore (California)
7.8 RAA, 0.8 WAA, 173 ERA+, 2.58 FIP

📉 Slumping
Patrick Sandoval, Angels
Triple-A Salt Lake (Pacific Coast)
-15.1 RAA, -1.2 WAA, -5 ERA+, 4.21 FIP

Blaine Knight, Orioles
High Class A Frederick (Carolina)
-14.5 RAA, -1.9 WAA, 24 ERA+, 5.90 FIP

Tony Santillan, Reds
Double-A Chattanooga (Southern)
-13.2 RAA, -1.9 WAA, -19 ERA+, 5.62 FIP

Ryan Castellani, Rockies
Triple-A Albuquerque (Pacific Coast)
-12.1 RAA, -1.1 WAA, -33 ERA+, 11.02 FIP

📈 Surging
Jose Urquidy, Astros
Triple-A Round Rock (Pacific Coast)
13.4 RAA, 1.1 WAA, 163 ERA+, 3.05 FIP

The Astros called up the 24-year-old Mexican righthander in July to patch a rotation that had weathered several injuries—but Urquidy was no emergency callup. He recorded one of the highest swinging-strike rates in the upper minors to go with a 1.84 ERA in 29.1 June innings and a 37 -to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Urquidy is a four-pitch strike-thrower who pitches at 93-95 mph with a varied arsenal of secondary pitches, headlined by a plus changeup. The Astros point to a small mechanical tweak that has helped him reach a new level.

Damon Jones, Phillies
Double-A Reading (Eastern)
10.0 RAA, 1.4 WAA, 169 ERA+, 1.24 FIP

The 6-foot-5 lefthander streamlined his delivery this season and has enjoyed a breakthrough season that has carried him to Double-A. Improved fastball velocity and enhanced feel for his slider enabled the 24-year-old Jones to record a 1.17 ERA in 30.2 innings in June, striking out 44 and walking nine. The biggest improvement had been much sharper control than he had shown in past seasons.

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