Mets fans finally got their wish. Two prospects that we talked about in this column a while ago, Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are going to have the rest of the season to prove they are worthy of all the hype that has surrounded them over the past few months. Their promotion goes to show you that as we wade through the heart of the dog days of summer, you still need to work the waiver wire to find baseball’s potential future Fantasy Baseball stars. I’ve identified another five prospects who should be on your watch list. They all have the opportunity to be promoted to the big leagues before long. All statistics are accurate as of the morning of 8/11/17. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @joegallina.
Taylor Clarke, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Making your living pitching in Chase Field is no easy task, but it can be done. Pretty soon, Taylor Clarke may get his chance to prove himself within this traditionally hitter friendly environment. Clarke has had a bit of a hard time of it since being promoted to Triple-A, however, he has three solid pitches that should help make him an eventual middle of the rotation starting pitching option. The 6’4” right-hander has three pitches in his repertoire. His height helps him throw a sinking fastball that can reach up to 96 mph. He also features what some consider a Major League ready slider, and an increasingly effective changeup. Clarke’s height helps him throw his fastball on a downward plane, which helps its effectiveness. He is primarily a fly ball pitcher, but he keeps his pitches down in the zone, and that has helped him keep the number of home runs allowed in check. Clarke has also demonstrated excellent control over his pitches, as his minor league career 8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 suggest.
Mike Soroka, SP, Atlanta Braves
The Braves already have some excellent pitching prospects that they’ve developed, but as the 2017 season has demonstrated, you can never have too much pitching. Mike Soroka is another tall right-handed pitcher with excellent control. His impressive career strikeout to walk ratio (268:65) has helped him compile an above-average WHIP of 1.096. Like Clarke, from the previous section, Soroka features three pitches that he keeps down in the zone. The downward action of his pitches has helped him develop into a groundball pitcher. His fastball and changeup are considered his top offerings, however, scouts note that his curveball is quickly improving. Soroka has a good feel for the game, and is good at making in-game adjustments if he thinks that will help him get opposing hitters out. He has also made more permanent adjustments to his delivery, like changing positions on the mound, which has helped his effectiveness against lefty batters. Soroka should be given an opportunity to make the Braves’ big league club at some point during the 2018 season, making him a nice player to own in dynasty leagues.
Ian Miller, OF, Seattle Mariners
Stolen bases remain one of the most sought after commodities in Fantasy Baseball these days, and it is one category that Ian Miller should eventually be able to help. With a .345 career OBP, (.381 this season), Miller has top of the order type potential, which means he can also help you in the often forgotten and tough to fill, runs category. He has speed, and he knows how to use it. Over the course of his career he has swiped 167 bags, and compiled a notable 83 percent success rate in his stolen base attempts. He doesn’t have much power, but let’s face it, hitters capable of hitting 20 HRs in a season basically grow on trees. Miller is a contact hitter who can spray the ball to all fields. With Jarrod Dyson struggling at the plate for much of the season, the Mariners might want to see if Miller can be their future leadoff hitter. He might end up being a September call up, but should at least fight for a roster spot next spring.
Andrew Suarez, SP, San Francisco Giants
It’s unusual to watch the Giants struggle the way they have this season, but this is one organization that knows how to build a winner. At this stage of the game, they might as well take an inventory of what they have down on the farm. LHP Andrew Suarez is an intriguing option who may see big league action once rosters expand on September 1st. His arsenal features four pitches, all of which can get batters out. Suarez’s slider and changeup are considered above average. He has added a tick or two to his fastball over the past season and he’s a control pitcher who throws strikes. He owns a 7.9 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for his minor league career. I’d like to see him lower his career 9.3 hits per nine inning rate, however, his high rate is partially due to him consistently pounding the strike zone. Overall, Suarez projects out as a middle of the rotation big league starter.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
With the Blue Jays fading in the AL East standings, and Jose Bautista continuing to struggle, the Blue Jays will likely want to see what they can received from the Astros in outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez. Hernandez’s skill set features power and speed, a combination that is always in demand. However, he batted just .230 in 112 plate appearances with the Astros in 2016. Hernandez will probably never hit for high average, however, he can play all three outfield positions. He’s improved his approach at the plate, and although he still strikes out too much, he has become a more disciplined hitter. Hernandez does have upside, especially since he’ll have the luxury of playing in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.
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