Dusty Baker is often the most hated man in the Fantasy community. His refusal to play young players in infuriating, as he’s shown time and time again that he will play the veterans before giving his young guys a shot. In the offseason, the Nationals brought in Ben Revere despite having Michael Taylor ready to contribute. They brought in Bronson Arroyo, too, which was a headscratcher with Lucas Giolito ready and waiting in the minors. Then, to the dismay of owners everywhere, he’s played Danny Espinosa over Trea Turner. While Espinosa has been good – I never thought I’d type that sentence – Turner’s bat and speed could prove to be valuable for the Nationals.
While the Nationals are unlikely to make any big moves to free up time for Turner, they could eventually make him the everyday centerfielder over Revere.
On other teams, though, prospects are ready and waiting, but they don’t have a spot to play. Here are some prospects who could benefit from either being traded themselves or having someone ahead of them on the depth chart dealt.
Gallo Going, Going, Gone?
On Thursday morning, according to FS1 contributor Jennifer Francis on Twitter, the Rangers and Yankees were finalizing a deal that would send Joey Gallo to the Yankees for Ivan Nova and Andrew Miller. The Yankees have refuted the report, but New York has been a rumored landing spot for Gallo for a long time now. The Rangers have to make moves. Their pitching has been abysmal lately, and they have a plethora of young position players that could be dealt, headlined by Gallo, toolsy outfielder Lewis Brinson and former No. 1 prospect, Jurickson Profar.
Regular playing time seems unlikely for Gallo in Texas this year, as the outfield is locked up with Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara and Ian Desmond. At to it that the Rangers just inked Adrian Beltre to an extension, Gallo’s career would be better served to get dealt, and the short porch in right field in the Bronx would be a nice landing spot for him.
On the season, Gallo has 15 home runs, 38 RBIs, a .948 OPS, 43 walks and 71 strikeouts with Triple-A Round Rock. Whether the above deal with Miller and Nova happens or if it’s a guy like Brian McCann instead, Gallo would fit in nicely with the Yankees and your Fantasy team if you’re in a league of 12 teams or larger.
Remember when the Padres thought they were going to compete last year with all of their big signings? That was cute. It’s almost like the Diamondbacks weren’t paying attention to them when they made similar moves this year.
While Wil Myers has broken out this year for the Padres, the rest hasn’t worked out. The Padres sat back and watched Jon Jay’s trade value go away as he fractured his forearm. They flipped Fernando Rodney for Chris Paddack from the Marlins, which is a good start, but they need to make more moves and soon. If someone – anyone – will take Matt Kemp’s contract, it could open the door in a big way for outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
Renfroe, the Padres’ top prospect, has pure power but also has horrible patience at the plate. While he has 21 homers to go along with a .611 SLG, he also has 70 strikeouts to just 15 walks. Similar to Gallo, he’s an all-or-nothing type of prospect, whose power can play well at Petco Park.
Renfroe’s teammate, Margot, was the big piece coming over to the Padres from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal. Margot is the polar opposite of Renfroe, but would fit nicely in the same outfield. Margot has much better patience at the plate, with a respectable 24 walks to 36 strikeouts. Margot doesn’t have the power that Renfroe has, but he brings speed to the game, which is getting harder and harder to find in Fantasy. Margot has swiped 23 bags on the year to go along with a .299/.349/.422 slash line.
But wait, we aren’t done in San Diego yet. Another option for the Rangers to go after at catcher would be Derek Norris. Norris isn’t special, but he’s better than what they have right now. The move would make sense for the Padres, too, as it would allow them to bring Austin Hedges up to San Diego, as he’s been absolutely raking in Triple-A.
The name may sound familiar to Fantasy owners, as Hedges got the call last year for the Padres, but failed to impress. In 56 games and 152 plate appearances, Hedges had three homers, and sported a .168 batting average with a .215 OBP.
As we often see with catchers, they don’t translate to the big leagues right away, as even the offensive-focused catchers such as Hedges have to shift their attention to calling games behind the plate. But now, in Triple-A, the 23-year-old catcher could be ready for the full-time job if the Padres can move Norris. In 38 games in El Paso this year, Hedges has 16 home runs to go along with a .397/.438/.809(!) slash line. If Norris gets moved, Hedges is an automatic grab in two-catcher leagues, and with the state of catcher in general this season, Hedges would be worth a speculative add in one-catcher leagues. As for Renfroe and Margot, in 12-team leagues with five outfielders, both could be added and stashed.
Benintendi Does Boston … or Atlanta
While all of the – deserving – hype in the prospect community is surrounding Alex Bregman right now, don’t forget about Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi, like Bregman, is rising through the minor league ranks despite getting drafted just a year ago. Benintendi is in a unique position because there’s an opening for him to help his current team right now, but he’s also the most likely chip to get dealt if and when the Red Sox go after pitching.
The Braves said they don’t want to deal Julio Teheran, but if the Red Sox offer Benintendi, Anderson Espinoza and another piece for Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino, who says no?
The Red Sox are running Brock Holt and a man named Bryce Brentz out in left field every day, so there is little competition for Benintendi at Fenway. Benintendi has played in 47 games at Double-A Portland, and after a slow start, has been raking. He has six homers to go along with a .288/.347/.497 slash line, with six SBs and 17 walks. The numbers aren’t too far off of his totals at High-A earlier this season in 34 games.
For his long-term value, Boston would be the place I want Benintendi to stay. However, for 2016 alone, he may not get the call – I don’t believe Dave Dombroski’s comments – until late August or early September.
With a trade to Atlanta, however, Benintendi could be the franchise player that the Braves want and would plug him in right away, if for no other reason than to show off their new prize to the fans before opening their new stadium in 2017.
No matter when he gets the call, Benintendi is an automatic pickup in any league of any size. Think Shin-Soo Choo as the height of his career. Yeah, Benintendi is going to be one to watch and own for a long time.
Rocky Mountain High
For years, we’ve heard that the Rockies could be trading Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Well, last year, Tulo got dealt late in the night, and this year, CarGo could be on his way out the door, too. Charlie Blackmon is also a candidate, but bigger return would come from dealing CarGo, who carried over his play in the second half of 2015 to this year.
If CarGo gets dealt, I’ll let someone else see how he does outside of Coors Field. However, I’ll be the first in line waiting to get his replacement, David Dahl. Remember Dahl? He had the freak accident that cost him his season last year as he needed his spleen removed after a collision on the field.
Personally, I didn’t think Dahl would see Triple-A this year, as I thought the Rockies would want to take their time with him, especially after a life-threatening injury. However, after 76 games in Double-A Hartford, Dahl got the call to Albuquerque, where he’s played in six games. Overall this season, between the two levels, Dahl has 15 home runs, 50 RBI, 16 steals, 41 walks, 85 strikeouts and a .296/.380/.529 slash.
The day that CarGo gets traded, Dahl is an automatic pickup. He’s a toolsy outfielder who gets to play half of his games in Coors. Sign me up, please.