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“Seventh Nevin” MiLB SPs to Watch: Expanding Your Zone

Truth be told, I’m still waiting on connecting with a certain Twins pitcher to bring you that special article I’ve been alluding to the past couple weeks. I’ve been promised that we’ll connect this week and I’m hoping that it happens. Until then, just like a fantasy draft, I’m pivoting and moving in a different direction.

This week the idea will be to lightly touch on a handful of SPs that you may have forgotten about, were recently promoted and you need to know about them, or perhaps their timeline was altered and we’re touching on that, as well.

With no more ado, let’s get started:

Name: Kolby Allard (Braves)
6-1   Weight: 190   Throws: Left   Bats: Left
  August 13, 1997 (Age: 20), Anaheim, CA
College: None
Drafted: Amateur Draft 2015 (June);
1st Round, 14th Overall by the Braves
Prospect Rank: Braves (#6)
Currently Pitching: AAA Gwinnett Stripers

As an 18-year-old in 2016, Allard started with the Rookie Danville Braves and after five stellar starts was promoted to the Low-A Rome Braves. Allard impressed enough that in 2017 he skipped High-A, settling into a 27-start season with the AA Mississippi Braves. Now 20, Allard is with the Gwinnett Stripers, working toward a debut with the big club. While his first start was a little bumpy, I fully expect Allard to smooth out the wrinkles and appear in Atlanta later this summer (and it won’t be a cup of coffee in September). If your league is deep enough and you have an available roster spot, I’d consider grabbing him sooner than later. (In fact, I’ve all but mortgaged my “present” in my one Dynasty League and Allard may be my next pickup. Giving it one more week to see how the young kids perform.)

Name: Mitchell White (Dodgers)
6-4   Weight: 207   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
  December 28, 1994 (Age: 23), San Jose, CA
College: Santa Clara University
Drafted: Amateur Draft 2016 (June);
2nd Round, 65th Overall by the Dodgers
Prospect Rank: Dodgers (#4)
Currently Pitching: Extended Spring Training

In 2017, White pitched beautifully over 73.2 innings spanning 3 minor league levels, ending with a crisp 1.071 WHIP, 31 K, 2 HR allowed, and 2.57 ERA over 28 IP for the AA Tulsa Drillers. (The 13 BB – 4.2 per 9 – isn’t ideal, but when coupled with only 17 hits allowed [thus the 1.071 WHIP], it’s manageable.) Once he’s fully recovered from the minor dings sustained in Training Camp this spring, White will rejoin Tulsa before eventually making the jump to the Oklahoma City Dodgers. With three true plus pitches (fastball, slider, and curve) he worked to a 2.26 ERA over his first 95+ MiLB IPs, White is a player to add to your long-term tracker today. At 23, MLB Pipeline projects his debut to be in 2018, but with his slow start this spring (and the Dodgers already-deep rotation with Walker Buehler on the “ready five”), you have a bit of time.

Name: Chris Paddack (Padres)
6-4   Weight: 195   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
  January 8, 1996 (Age: 22), Austin, TX
College: None
Drafted: Amateur Draft 2015 (June);
8th Round, 236th Overall by the Marlins
Prospect Rank: Padres (#23)
Currently Pitching: High-A Lake Elsinore Storm

Chris Paddack had Tommy John Surgery in August 2016, shortly after his trade from the Marlins to the Padres in a deal for closer Fernando Rodney. It was a shame, too, as Paddack (coming off an impressive first showing in 2015) was off to a blistering 2016 (14 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 23 K, 1.000 WHIP, 0.64 ERA) in his 3 starts with his new team. But then had to be shutdown due to forearm stiffness, which was ultimately a torn UCL leading to the TJS. Overall, I realize sample-size and level apply here, but Paddack has dominated early in his career: 87.2 IP, 0.787 WHIP, 12 BB, 110 K, 1.54 ERA. Workable fastball (92-95), but pinpoint control and an outstanding change up have Paddack as a pitcher to remember. Of note, while you may argue level in those numbers above, I’d counter that he was – on average – 1.67 years younger than the average age at those levels. A younger player exhibiting mastery over his older opponents. Positive steps in the right direction have me, at a minimum, adding Paddack to my tracker.

Name: Nick Kingham (Pirates)
6-5   Weight: 225   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
  November 8, 1991 (Age: 26), Houston, TX
College: None
Drafted: Amateur Draft 2010 (June);
4th Round, 117th Overall by the Pirates
Prospect Rank: Pirates (#13)
Currently Pitching: AAA Indianapolis Indians

To say Nick Kingham has paid his dues may be an understatement. Drafted in 2010, Kingham reached the AAA Indianapolis Indians in 2014, but alas, like so many, when 2015 started slow, it was revealed the pain in his elbow was due to a tear in his UCL. The same surgeon that repaired Jameson Taillon’s UCL did the work on Kingham and in late 2016, he was back on the mound. 2017 was more about getting back on the horse, with Kingham pitching 118.1 innings. Fully healthy, Kingham is flourishing, absolutely dominating in the early going of 2018, to the tune of 11 IP, 0.636 WHIP (4 H + 3 BB), 16 K, 1 ER, and a 0.82 ERA. At 26, Kingham has a career 3.38 MiLB ERA with a 7.7 K/ 9 number. I believe those numbers are strong enough, as well as he is mature enough to handle the pressures of the big stage. Plus, he’d have so many familiar faces to help ease the transition to The Show in Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams, Steven Brault, and of course, Taillon. (Unless Kuhl or Brault gets bounced to give Kingham the shot he deserves, which should come before the end of May 2018.)

Name: Anthony Banda (Rays)
6-2   Weight: 190   Throws: Left   Bats: Left
  August 10, 1993 (Age: 24), Corpus Christi, TX
College: San Jacinto Junior College
Drafted (1): Amateur Draft 2011 (June);
33rd Round, 994th Overall by the Diamondbacks
Drafted (2): Amateur Draft 2012 (June);
10th Round, 335th Overall by the Brewers
Prospect Rank: Rays (#16)
Currently Pitching: AAA Durham Bulls

Last year when the Diamondbacks needed a spot starter on July 22, 2017, they promoted Banda. The 2017 pre-season #1 ranked Diamondback prospect didn’t fare well in his MLB debut, earning the loss on 5.2 IP, allowing 4 ER in a close 4-3 decision. Banda returned for 3 more starts in August, going 1-2 with 12 ER in 14 IP. Perhaps this is why the Diamondbacks included Banda in a deal for Steven Souza, Jr. this summer? Fast forward to 2018, Banda has performed well in his 3 starts at AAA with the Durham Bulls, striking out 8 in each of games his first two contests (5.0 and 5.1 IP, respectively) before suffering his first defeat on Monday, April 16 (4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K). Overall, Banda has pitched to a 2.40 ERA in 15 IP, with a 1.333 WHIP and 20 Ks, much better than his performance with the Reno Aces. This may be attributable to the International League being more pitcher friendly than the infamous Pacific Coast League, or simply a change in scenery (and pitching coaches) that may have caught a glimpse of something different to help the young pitcher continue his development. Either way, Banda is a player I’m tracking now and with the dumpster fire that is the Rays’ pitching situation, he may get the call sooner than later. It will be his job to lose.

That’s all for this week! Hopefully, we’ll finally be able to connect with our mystery guest and bring you that awesome story for the next article.

Until then, have a terrific week and we’ll see you next time!

7th Nevin


Major League Fantasy Football 2018 League Openings

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 19th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #116 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.

Our guests this week are Tim McLeod of and Cole Freel. Cole is one of the newest writers with the and one of the more popular. Cole’s articles publish every Saturday at 1pm EST and his focus is Buys/Sells from the hitters side of the ball. Tim is one of the most respected minor league scouts in fantasy baseball. Be sure to check out his website linked above.

A business analyst by day, pursuing all things baseball by night. My favorite day of the year is opening day and my favorite sound is the crack of the bat ... the great contact-type, not that flubbed, squishy foul ball-type. In my free time I still collect some baseball cards (though not quite like I did when I was 12), join my colleagues here writing for Major League Fantasy Sports and manage a recently-founded Dynasty League.

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