Monthly Prospect Update: Outfielders, June 2018
Each month, The Dynasty Guru will provide a prospect update that includes notable performances (good and bad), assignments, promotions, trades, injuries, and suspensions. Most importantly, the monthly update will examine prospects with increasing and decreasing fantasy value, from the elite to the obscure.
At the beginning of June, TDG reviewed May performances for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. In addition, TDG updated the Top 240 Fantasy Prospects, including 2018 MLB draftees. Since early June, several notable prospects exceeded rookie limits and others arrived in the majors. In addition, June saw the start of short season leagues! As this update only reviews performances for one month, please note this bright, flashing warning: SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!
Notable Outfield Prospect Performances
The Major League Outfield Prospect
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves. Today, the Braves activated Acuña Jr. from the disabled list! He has missed the past two months after suffering a horrific-looking, mild ACL sprain.
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals. The Childish Bambino is here to stay! Indeed, Soto has hit cleanup in each of the last six games. Further, the Phillies intentionally walked him earlier this week in favor of facing Daniel Murphy. Respect! Of course, he deserves it, hitting .324/.434/.575 over his first 33 games. Still just 19 years old, Soto is an elite dynasty player, recently ranked as high as 7th overall by Tom Trudeau.
Austin Meadows, Pittsburgh Pirates. After a historic start to his major league career, Meadows is understandably slowing. Over his last 20 games, he is hitting just .254/.289/.324 with no home runs. In a crowded Pirates outfield, Meadows will need to start hitting again to stay afloat.
Dustin Fowler, Oakland Athletics. Following a slow start, Fowler settled in over the past month, slashing .311/.325/.459 with 3 home runs and 2 stolen bases. Although an aggressive hitter, he limits his swing-and-miss (8.7% swinging strikes) and makes tons of quality contact (43.9% hard hits). In addition, Fowler is a solid defensive center fielder, which should keep his bat in the lineup through any slumps.
Others of Note:
- Dylan Cozens, Philadelphia Phillies
- Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants
- Michael Hermosillo, Los Angeles Angels
- Charlie Tilson, Chicago White Sox
The Good: Top 240 Prospect
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros. With hits in all but two games this month, Tucker is one of the hottest hitters in the minors. Entering June, he was enjoying a solid season in Triple-A at just 21 years old (.274/.355/.458). This past month, however, he elevated his performance, hitting .404/.442/.670 with 5 home runs and 7 stolen bases. Meanwhile, the Astros continue to mix-and-match in the outfield after George Springer and Josh Reddick. With Tucker banging down the door for a promotion and an obvious fit at the major league level, it likely will not be long before he debuts.
Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels. Speaking of hot hitters, Adell is lighting up High-A California League. In fact, he has been unstoppable since returning from the disabled list in May. Since then, Adell hit .367/.415/.755 over 12 games in Low-A, and .336/.368/.650 over 32 games in High-A. More recently, he has been even better. Over his last 19 games, Adell is 37-for-82 with 7 doubles, a triple, and 7 home runs (.451/.477/.817). Most impressively, he is only 19 years old! With a rare blend of power and speed, Adell is an elite fantasy prospect, and a potential top 10 prospect as soon as the next update.
Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins. After a sizzling May in Low-A (.360/.423/.640), Kirilloff performed even better in June (.373/.440/.716). Consequently, the Twins promoted him to High-A in mid-June. In his first three games in the Florida State League, Kirilloff amassed 8 hits, including a home run. Since then, he slowed, but, overall, his June performance was spectacular. After losing the entire 2017 season to injury, Kirilloff fully recovered and is quickly climbing up prospect rankings.
Others of Note:
- Tyler O’Neill, St. Louis Cardinals (.295/.429/.557)
- Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers (.341/.394/.527)
- Drew Waters, Atlanta Braves (.312/.350/.473)
- Yusniel Diaz, Los Angeles Dodgers (.309/.434/.441)
- Seuly Matias, Kansas City Royals (10 home runs)
- Blake Rutherford, New York Yankees (.301/.325/.534)
- Austin Beck, Oakland Athletics (.355/.393/.434)
- Brent Rooker, Minnesota Twins (.301/.379/.590)
- Jason Martin, Houston Astros (.322/.402/.456)
- Tirso Ornelas, San Diego Padres (.273/.422/.530)
The Good: Non-Top 240 Prospect
Ryan McKenna, Baltimore Orioles. In May and June, McKenna torched the Carolina League, hitting .405/.492/.625 with 6 home runs. As such, the Orioles promoted him to Double-A, where he is finding early resistance (.240/.367/.240 over 6 games). A fourth round pick in the 2015 draft, McKenna has languished in the low minors prior to this year. Despite his gaudy numbers, he possesses modest, below-average power with only above-average speed. On the other hand, he made real strides with his plate discipline, and has made tons of hard contact this year (27.6% line drives in High-A). With that said, McKenna is a borderline-top 240 prospect at the moment, pending Double-A returns.
Braden Bishop, Seattle Mariners. Known for his excellent center field defense, Bishop began making noise with his bat last year (.306/.393/.413). Entering the season, he flirted with many industry top 100 lists. Unfortunately, Bishop’s bat collapsed to start the year, hitting just .158/.261/.263 through Cinco de Mayo. Since then, he has been a force at the plate, slashing .379/.440/.530 with 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases. Like McKenna, Bishop has nominal power and a promising hit tool. However, he also has double-plus, 70-grade speed, and provides elite defensive value. Although he lacks much upside, Bishop has a high floor and is a likely future major league regular.
Others of Note:
- Adolis Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals (.310/.312/.606)
- Carlos Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers (.423/.458/.474)
- Michael Reed, Atlanta Braves (.349/.449/.542)
- Ryan Noda, Toronto Blue Jays (.375/.447/.833 with 9 home runs)
Monte Harrison, Miami Marlins. For the third straight month, Harrison struck out 40 or more times, hitting just .205/.298/.337 in June. On the year, he now has 122 strikeouts (38.9%)! Despite the strikeouts, Harrison still provides an enticing power/speed combo, with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases. The upside remains massive, but the risk is becoming more and more extreme.
D.J. Peters, Los Angeles Dodgers. Like Harrison, Peters struggles with swing-and-miss, with 98 strikeouts (31.5%) and 18.3% swinging strikes. Unlike Harrison, Peters’ issues may be endemic, given his large 6’6″ frame and long swing. Since May 1st, he is hitting just .200 with 71 strikeouts in 51 games. Regardless, he still possesses tons of potential, with massive, 70-grade (or better) raw power.
Others of Note:
- Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers (.247/.263/.301)
- Corey Ray, Milwaukee Brewers (.207/.316/.329 with 36 strikeouts)
- Jeren Kendall, Los Angeles Dodgers (.184/.253/.342)
- Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (.190/.244/.310)
- Randy Arozarena, St. Louis Cardinals (.170/.235/.234)
Additional Outfield Prospect Notes
- Two elite White Sox prospects are moving up the ladder, with Eloy Jimenez to Triple-A and Luis Robert to High-A.
- Victor Robles appears to be ahead of schedule, hitting with authority in a batting cage.
- After a month-long absence, Yordan Alvarez returned with a bang (14-for-35 with 4 home runs).
- Austin Hays has been in a walking boot for all of June and is visiting a specialist about his ankle.
- Julio Pablo Martinez is finally state-side, playing in the Northwest League.
- The Royals promoted Khalil Lee to Double-A.
- The Tigers promoted Daz Cameron to Double-A, where he has been tremendous (.378/.452/.649 over 9 games).
- The Astros promoted Myles Straw to Triple-A, where he already has 8 stolen bases in 11 games.