Craving more thump? Javier Baez homered four times on Monday for advanced Class A Daytona, becoming only the second hitter in the Florida State League's 94-year history to accomplish the feat. The 20-year-old shortstop, who also drove in seven runs during that contest, has 13 taters and 44 RBIs on the year, all at Daytona, to go along with a .291/.339/.570 line.
Singleton moving up quickly?
He reminds us that the Chicago Cubs have a potential dilemma when he's ripe for a promotion. Starlin Castro still looks like a fixture, but he's had a down year so far and might be vulnerable in the coming years if he doesn't take another step forward at the plate and with his focus.
Baez's bat speed has been lauded by Baseball America as Gary Sheffield-esque, and his boom stick for a shortstop stands in select minor-league company with the likes of Xander Bogearts. Too bad Baez's furious attack in his hacks has given him strikeout problems, which if ever-present at the lower farm stops could signal even more issues, especially if his homers don't follow him up the ladder.
Late 2014 would be the earliest period to expect Baez to face major-league pitching. Theo Epstein and company will want to see more plate discipline from the Puerto Rican before turning him loose. If Baez can acquire more patience, he could boast a serious clout advantage at his peak for a spotty position.
- Another tater binge, this time from another high-strikeout, tons-of-power prospect. Texas Rangers third sacker Joey Gallo (Jerry Callo?) cleared the fences thrice Tuesday for Class A Hickory. Turning 19 in November, he's an intriguing long-term CI, but his 6-foot-5, 205-pound build may force him to switch leather as he emerges. How will his plate discipline fare as he climbs?
- Jonathan Singleton was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi last week, not long after returning from his 50-game marijuana-prompted suspension. He's carried himself well as he's worked his way back. Considering his .284-21-79 stats at Class AA last year, this looks like a fast track that could bring the 21-year-old up to the Houston Astros this summer. Consider grabbing him in stash-friendly, cavernous-mixed formats. Seriously, what does Jeff Luhnow's club have to lose?
- Nick Castellanos has discovered his plate discipline at Triple-A Toledo, walking 33 times compared to 48 strikeouts. Though he's not a true power prospect, the 21-year-old's 10 homers in 262 at-bats this year remind us of his multiple-category stability that should make him an undervalued long-term fantasy asset. Maybe the Detroit Tigers will call on him later in the season.
- Some of Mastersball's weekly contributions to KFFL touched on the 2013 MLB Entry Draft. Read Lawr Michaels' latest Tumbling Dice and Rob Leibowitz's first glance at the youngsters on offense.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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