The half-way point has finally arrived. The 2018 All-Star game is tonight, and this week is the time I try to get trades made for the second-half push in my fantasy leagues. Currently, I’ve been trying to find an additional arm, whether it’s a starter or closer, to help solidify pitching categories. Last week, I made a move acquiring closer Edwin Diaz to accompany Cody Allen and Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias could be on the move, and it remains to be seen if he locks down a closer or setup role if he is indeed dealt. On the other side, I’ve been looking for a bat to obtain, specifically an outfielder, to accompany Giancarlo Stanton and Starling Marte. I dealt away Nomar Mazara in a package that brought back Diaz, and now is the time for me to start planning for not only a playoff push in 2018, but start planning for future seasons in the keeper league I play in. This week, I want to call to your attention an outfielder and pitcher whose names have been brought up recently in baseball media outlets, and two players you need to start becoming familiar with in “That’s Amore! Two Players to Stash Away for the Future.”
The Angels selected Jo Adell with the tenth overall pick in last year’s draft. The 2017 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year was selected to take the field in this year’s Futures Game and the outfielder is making a name for himself in the minors. Through A, and High-A, he’s slashed .318/.369/.601 with 17 home runs, 65 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. The success he’s having, at the plate, has been a warm welcome after leading all high school players with 25 home runs during his senior season of high school baseball. He’s been able to question concerns about making consistent contact to go along with his power and bat-speed from the right side of the plate.
There’s no question he brings the necessary athleticism to play center field with a plus arm and speed, but more than likely he’s destined for a corner outfield role with Mike Trout a lock center field for years to come. As of now, the only concern is his strikeout rate. He currently posts a 27% K-rate, and it remains to be seen if he can keep this number in check while ascending through the minor league ranks. Before the season started, he had a great run in the Arizona Fall League slashing .288/.351/.542 with four home runs, 21 RBI, and five stolen bases in five attempts. Still, strikeouts occurred in over a quarter of his at-bats, but he was able to post successful numbers. There’s no doubt, he’s going to have adjustments to make as he starts seeing advanced off-speed pitches, and control the swings and misses. However, there’s no questioning his ability to jump on pitches early in the count, and that’s attributed to his 44 extra-base hits in 286 at-bats. Simply put, Adell can hit for average and speed, and he’s only going to add muscle to his 6’3″ 208lb frame.
What can we expect when he’s ready to arrive in the Big Leagues? He’s going to provide the Angels an immediate upgrade, in the outfield, alongside Mike Trout. I project him as a right fielder given his arm strength that’s been clocked in the high-90s from the outfield. His power, and speed, make him a electrifying player and there’s no question for 20/20 potential. I can see him starting in the sixth hole, but quickly moving up toward the two or three slot in the lineup. Mike Trout is on pace for three-straight season of 20+ stolen bases and already reached 25 home runs for the third consecutive season. With Adell, the Angels would have two players with perennial 20/20 potential. Only 19, we may be a year or two away from seeing his call, and he’s not currently in ESPN’s player universe, however now is the time to start keeping tags on Adell because you will not only want to stash him away in keeper/dynasty leagues, but you’ll want to add him quickly once he arrives in a season or two. Adell is going to be an immediate producer, and he’s going to be a great addition to any team that is looking for the power numbers accompanied by stolen bases.
Earier in the season Major League Fantasy Sports owner Corey Roberts, and myself, had the privilege of having Prospect 361’s Tim McLeod as a guest on our show. One prospect he talked about with Philadelphia Phillies top prospect Sixto Sanchez. Signed for $35,000, out of the Dominican Republic, in 2015, Sanchez is quickly becoming one of the top pitching prospects in Major League Baseball. At 19, Sanchez is pitching in High-A Clearwater posting a 4-3 record with a 2.51 ERA and [45:11] K:BB. His four-seam fastball sits in the high-90s while occasionally hitting triple-digits. His two-seam fastball is by far my favorite of his pitches as it has great life and sinking ability. He spots it perfectly on the hands of right-handed hitters and it tails away from lefties. His curve has nice, tight spin, and his developing changeup looks to be headed to another solidified pitch.
In 2017, he pitched in A and A+ ball ending with a 3.03 ERA and [84:18] K:BB in 95 innings pitched. He gave up less than one hit per inning, and one major stat that stood out was the fact he only gave up two home runs. It’s very difficult to square up his fastball, and this is evident in his statistics. What can we expect when he arrives in the Majors? Again, he’s only 19 years-old, but possesses all the talent in the world. There’s no question he can be an above-average number two starter, and the potential is there to be a number one. At the floor, I could see him being a strong number three starter for a team with solidified one and two starters. One question that arose while watching tape of Sanchez was his delivery to home plate. He has solid mechanics, but his delivery is a bit long in terms of ascent to home. At 6′ it takes more motion to develop enough inertia and driving force to sport the velocity that he does, which can allow base runners more time to get great jumps off first assuming they reach first. However, with the velocity he does feature on the ball is getting to home quicker allowing the catcher to make a great throw to second. Still, speeding up his delivery is something that can be adjusted. Another concern is the torque on his elbow. I mentioned before he’s only 6′ tall, and the work load is completely different for a player 6’3″+ compared to a player sitting at 6′. He’s battled elbow inflammation previously, and while Tommy John Surgery is down to a science, there’s always the concern that a player of his stature, given the high velocity on his fastball, would eventually succumb to Tommy John.
The 19 year-old clone of Pedro Martinez has been mentioned for a package to land Orioles superstar Manny Machado. It remains to be seen if a deal will get done, and if Sanchez would be in the package. If Sanchez is part of the package, the Orioles would get not only one of the top pitching prospects in the game, but arguably one of the best pitching prospects they’ve had in decades. If Sanchez stays put, there’s slight chance that we could see him out of the bullpen this season as the Phillies currently sit 0.5 games atop the NL East, and there’s no question they will be in contention the rest of the way as well as a Wild Card spot. Bullpen arms are in high demand, and Sanchez could easily bring a boost for the Phillies playoff push. If he does get the call, grab him immediately, and he will be extremely desirable in keeper/dynasty leagues.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday July 15th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #129 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 discss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts, and James Wilk live July 12th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #84 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. Call in number is 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the host. This is our kick of show for the 2018 fantasy football season. We will hit free agents, rookies, and fantasy football as a whole for each team for 2018. This week we will discuss everything AFC South!
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