It has been awhile since we toured the minor leagues and picked out which performances should be noteworthy to fantasy players.
Most of the top prospects in baseball have been called up to the major leagues now, but there are quite a few that could make a big impact for the parent club and for savvy fantasy baseball owners.
Let’s take a look at what’s been going on down on the farm lately.
The Cleveland Indians got off to a remarkable start this season but have struggled quite a bit lately. Nobody in their right mind expected the Indians to be atop the AL Central in June, but they are in position to contend, and that is not being taken for granted by the front office.
The teams AAA affiliate Columbus Clippers has also started out well and are currently leading their division by 8.5 games over the Louisville Bats. I would expect the major league club to pluck several of the hot hitters from Columbus instead of trading for a higher priced bat.
Here are a few of the names who might make an extended stay in Cleveland this summer:
Lonnie Chisenhall – Third base -- .261/.349/.420, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 41 runs
Luis Valbuena – Shortstop -- .307/.371/.489, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 37 runs, 2 steals
Ezequiel Carrera – Outfield -- .296/.378/.375, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 50 runs, 25 steals
Jeanmar Gomez – Starter – 6-2, 2.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 55 K’s, 66.1 innings
Zach McAllister – Starter – 8-2, 2.82 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 64 K’s, 83 innings
There has been a lot of talk about the White Sox bringing up Cuban slugger Dayan Viciedo, but at what cost? They are not going to replace Juan Pierre in left field with Viciedo even though Pierre has struggled at the plate and on defense this season.
The White Sox lineup needs Pierre as the leadoff man and table setter, and Viciedo just isn’t that type of player. If and when Viciedo gets the call to Chicago it would have to be as a right-handed bat off the bench or at the expense of Carlos Quentin, Adam Dunn or Brent Morel.
Although Morel would seem like a logical swap, the team loves his defense and has played Viciedo exclusively in the outfield so far this season. As much as I love his bat, I just don’t think that Viciedo will make much of a fantasy impact this season barring injury to one of the White Sox' other sluggers.
The Pirates are going to call up outfielder Alex Presley within the next few weeks. Presley is simply destroying minor league pitching right now and can be useful for the young Pirates club who are not quite out of contention in a very mediocre NL Central.
Presley is hitting .330/.382/.498, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 50 runs, 17 steals on the season so far and could certainly be a fantasy producer if given steady playing time. He would likely assume the RF role of Garret Jones with Jones supplanting Lyle Overbay at 1B.
The Reds have an interesting dilemma as far as their starting left fielder is concerned. The platoon of Johnny Gomes and Chris Heisey hasn’t produced on the level they were expecting despite Heisey’s three-HR game against the Yankees.
At AAA Louisville they have both Yonder Alonso and Jeremy Hermida who are performing at an outstanding level this season. Alonso is one of the team's top prospects and a player who has been major league ready for over a year.
He might be a prime trade target for the Reds to use to acquire pitching this summer. Still, he has an amazing bat and is capable of big production if given a chance. Hermida is a former first-round draft pick of the Marlins and is trying to work his way back to the big leagues by leading the International League in hitting.
Hermida is raking at a .346/.434/.500, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 37 runs, 1 steal level and would certainly be a better option than either Gomes or Heisey at this point. Keep an eye on this situation as whoever gets the regular gig should be considered a decent fantasy option in the Reds potent offense.
Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.