A couple of new names are spicing up our Farm Report this week as some middle of the road prospects are progressing right before our eyes. We’ve added a few categories as well as we will now start defining prospects as Ready, Rising or Falling depending on their current minor league production and how they fit into their organizations.
Reds prospect Juan Francisco has always had prodigious power and appeared to be headed for big things this year when he made the big league club out of spring training. However, a miserable start got him sent back down to AAA where he continued swatting flies to the tune of a .115 batting average in April. Francisco has improved dramatically of late and posted an amazing stat line last week going 14-for-24, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB and best of all just 1 strikeout on the week. The Reds are quietly making a run at the top spot in the NL Central and have a wealth of outfielders already. Look for Francisco to be trade bait in the coming weeks as the Reds try and add some depth to their pitching staff. Francisco could get a lot of playing time for whatever team acquires him and he has the power potential to be a forceful fantasy player at such a time.
A player I have my eye on is Jose Tabata , who is currently thriving for the Pirates AAA affiliate in Indianapolis. He’s hitting a solid .326/.388/.432, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 25 runs and a whopping 17 steals. Tabata is a fun player to watch as he goes about his game with a sort of moxie that reminds you of a young Sammy Sosa. Tabata has a nice quick stroke and does a good job of staying inside on pitches and driving them to all fields. Once on base he is almost a guarantee to run as he’s made himself into a very good base stealer despite having good but not great speed. The Pirates have some young players who should get a look pretty soon. Something about watching Tabata play tells me this is a guy to keep your eye on once he is given that chance.
It’s nice to see former Baltimore Orioles washout Jay Gibbons raking again for the Dodgers AAA Albuquerque affiliate. Gibbons is hitting .398/.415/.739, 6 HR, 24 RBI and 16 runs scored. He is finally healthy after suffering with injuries much of his time with Baltimore. Gibbons is downright smashing LHP to the tune of a .583 batting average. He surely has gotten the attention of the Dodgers front office and if he continues at this pace he could be called up or dealt very soon.
- Carlos Santana – Catcher – Cleveland Indians (AAA – Colunbus)
- Brett Wallace – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (AAA – Las Vegas)
- Buster Posey – Catcher – San Francisco Giants (AAA – Fresno)
- Vin Mazzaro – RHP – Starter – Oakland Athletics (AAA – Sacramento)
- Mike Stanton – OF – Florida Marlins (AA – Jacksonville)
- Stephen Strasburg – RHP – Starter – Washington Nationals (AAA – Syracuse)
- Alex Gordon – OF – Kansas City Royals (AAA – Omaha)
- Jake Arrieta – RHP – Baltimore Orioles (AAA – Norfolk)
- Chris Tillman – RHP – Baltimore Orioles (AAA – Norfolk)
- Neil Walker – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates (AAA – Indianapolis)
- Aroldis Chapman – LHP – Starter – Cincinnati Reds (AAA – Louisville)
- Todd Frazier – 1B – Cincinnati Reds (AAA – Louisville)
- Dillon Gee – RHP – New York Mets (AAA – Buffalo)
- Emilio Bonifacio – 3B – Florida Marlins (AAA – New Orleans)
- Jordan Danks – OF – Chicago White Sox (AAA – Charlotte)