My First Baseman Vinnie or Deyvison Might be Giant

Royals 1B Vinnie Pasquantino received his long-deserved promotion to the major league club this week and was promptly sent to the bench. Here’s hoping the decision was born from travel-related rest and not a sign of Matheny nonsense to come. My money’s on Vinnie P playing every day and adapting well to the challenge of learning major league arms. 

Diamondbacks 3B Deyvison De Los Santos turned 19 on June 21 but was smashing Low-A ball long before that, slashing .342/.385/.543 with eight home runs and four stolen bases over his last 46 games and a scalding .422/.451/.663 four home runs and two steals in 21 June games. He won’t be in Low-A much longer. He’s already kind of a Named Guy and might not be on the wire in your league, but I suspect he can be pried away for a reasonable trade offer. 

I went off on the Tigers in Sunday’s post: Stash List Volume 4: Esteury Ruiz is Ready for His Close-Up

“I can’t deny I’m a little pissed off at the Tigers development team. I don’t understand why I take this kind of stuff personally, but Kerry Carpenter has played 172 games at AA as a 23-and-24-year-old. He has hit 37 home runs across those games. He is slashing .311/.376/.662 with a 176 wRC+ and 22 home runs in 60 games this season after posting a 102 wRC+ in 112 games last season. I guess it’s none of my business, but what in the gray hell is going on here? By the way, most Tigers are orange, white and black, in case anyone involved with the organization cares to know. Or you could get into white tigers with their piercing blue eyes. These blegh gray day onesies they wear now? Worst use of a mascot in uniforms today.”

Had some fun writing it but looked a little foolish in the end. Long story medium: I’ve been on a trip with a lot of driving this week, so I had to get ahead by a day or so on Sunday’s article before we left on Saturday morning for leg-three of a multistage journey, this leg involving a 10 a.m. checkout time in St. Louis and a 4 p.m. check-in time in Rolla, which was two hours away. Our daughter will turn four years old on July 4, for some context of how that six-hour stretch of in-between time might have gone.  While I was driving into a cell phone deadzone for our family vacation by the lake, the Tigers were promoting Kerry Carpenter to AAA, where he went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, and a stolen base. I’m not mad about it, in the long view. Just a timing-of-the-universe thing. (PS: I still think it was overdue, especially given the state of the organization.)  

Speaking of that stash list, it might be worth your minutes to add Cardinals OF Alec Burleson where you’ve got some room in spare. Harrison Bader just hit the IL, and injuries across that Cardinals outfield should allow Burleson to muscle his way into the lineup for a chance sooner than later. 

Speaking of injuries, Oakland 3B Jonah Bride was just divorced from his first big league chance due to injury, and the Athletics could turn any number of directions with those at bats. Seems like Sheldon Neuse is the man of the moment, but 3B Dermis Garcia (24, AAA) has three home runs in his last five games and is slashing .345/.429/.759 over his last nine games. I hope we see him soon because there’s not a whole lot to watch in Oakland. Nice to see SS Nick Allen join the club this week, and maybe he’ll cover some of the third base at bats, but he’s a defender first, and Garcia has double-plus power that would be a nice find if he can make just enough contact. I’d like to see 

In his last 20 games, San Francisco OF Grant McCray (21, A) is slashing .352/.406/.604 with four home runs and nine stolen bases. The Low-A stolen base numbers are deceptive, but I like to see a player taking advantage of that fact. McCray aces the eye test in general but struggles a little with strikeouts. Even during this hot streak, he’s striking out 29.7 percent of the time. I don’t care much at the moment though, as the 6’2” 190 lb left-handed hitter just oozes major league ballplayer in the batter’s box. 

San Francisco OF Vaun Brown turned 24 this week on June 23rd. Happy belated birthday, Vaun! He’ll be old for the level throughout his minor league life, but the power-speed profile is too loud to ignore. A 10th round pick in 2021, Brown hasn’t met resistance as a pro and is already rocking a .556 on-base percentage with five runs and two stolen bases in two games at High-A after slashing .346/.427/.636 with 14 HR and 23 SB. Might matter less in a lesser organization, but a 24-year-old Brown opening 2023 in AA could easily be a Top 100 prospect and not just here where we prioritize fantasy outcomes. 

At 6’2” 280 lbs, Toronto RHP Max Castillo synthesizes three things I like to see in pitchers: comfortable base mechanics, easy command, and a thick but athletic midsection. I suspect it’s not a coincidence that we find all three in Alek Manoah, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and to a skinnier extent, Kevin Gausman, three of the organization’s bigger pitching investments in recent seasons. Castillo’s fastball, slider and changeup work well together. The heater and slider have big horizontal break in opposite directions, and the changeup has none. Does very little, actually, the changeup, and it might get mashed once in a while, but if he’s courageous enough to throw it at the right times, it will work. 

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter. 

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