The pickings are getting slimmer as the weeks go by and with just one week of minor league baseball left, prospects don’t have much time to impress us and make changes that’ll send us rushing to the wire.
But this time last year I picked up Vidal Brujan in a competitive home league so just because it’s late August don’t think you can sit back and assume no one is popping up. In my last post I covered 10 prospects I had picked up in my dynasty leagues. This won’t run as deep but I still like to share what moves I’m making and why.
Jaylin Davis, OF (SF) - I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’ve been keeping track of Davis all season long. Hell, two weeks ago I didn’t even know him even though he was traded from Minnesota at the deadline. To say Davis’ season has been good is an understatement. A 25-year-old outfielder, he’s hit 35 home runs (tied for third most in MiLB) across Double-A and Triple-A this year with a .313/.406/.615 line. Since coming to the Giants in the Sam Dyson trade, Davis is slashing .387/.477/.867 in 20 games at Sacramento with 10 home runs. That’s one way to get noticed, especially when your previous career high in home runs was 16.
A former 24th-round pick in 2015, Davis has unlocked newfound power this year. And while 25 of his home runs have come at Triple-A, it’s worth noting that he was doing well in Double-A too. While at the level he was hitting .274/.382/.458 with a .184 ISO, a 14 BB% and 25 K% in 58 games. So while the PCL and the ball have been drastically inflating his numbers, I think we got a glimpse into what player Davis could be. He’s admitted the ballparks have helped in the PCL, too. The new environment has him hitting flyballs at an estimated distance of 335 feet according to Minor Graphs, which is 5th longest in the PCL. Another encouraging thing is he’s not a pull heavy power guy. On the season he’s hit balls to right field almost just as much as to his pull side.
Though he’s not on the 40-man, I expect Pablo Sandoval’s surgery and eventual shift to the 60-day IL might give Davis the opening he needs. And with Mike Yastrzemsk’s recent hand injury (extent of damage unknown as of this post), an unexpected spot to contribute might have opened up. I’m not sure how excited to get about Davis’ major league future once he gets the call. Could this be another Jabari Blash type? I hope not, and Blash was a true TTO slugger that Davis is not (which I think helps Davis). But in leagues with 300 or more prospects or for win-now teams gearing for H2H playoffs that can stash him, he’s a worthy flier to see just how much of those numbers translate.
Luis Verdugo, SS (CHC) - If Triple-A outfielders aren’t your jam, here’s an AZL shortstop who’s seven years younger than Davis. We ranked Verdugo 16th in our preseason Cubs list. Here’s what JP had to say about the Cubs’ top 2017 international signee:
Verdugo is another example of #numberslie. This is why you should not exclusively scout the stat line; it is a woefully inadequate representation of Verdugo’s upside. While he is very raw offensively, which bears out in the numbers, there are also reasons for optimism. Verdugo’s body is extremely projectable and some scouts see prolific power projection in his bat. Makeup reports are also excellent, and if you are taking a lottery ticket flyer in a dynasty league, this is someone you want to hitch your wagon to. Defensively, Verdugo has excellent hands and footwork, but perhaps equally important shows great instincts. While unproven, he has one of the higher upsides in the system.
Very recently, Verdugo has begun tapping into some of the power scouts foresaw. In the last week, Verdugo has hit all five of his home runs on the season, bringing his slash line to .306/.369/.451. Here’s a quick gif of his from Tyler Spicer of Prospects 365, a great follow.
He’s got quick hands and strong wrists that let him work deep into counts despite his slight pull tendencies. And while he’s repeating the level, he’s slightly younger than the average age. I don’t have a strong pulse on what his ultimate upside is, but I’d hazard 15 to 20 home runs with a handful of steals. Reports of a strong glove and great makeup give me confidence that he can reach his ceiling with proper guidance.