May 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Fantasy Baseball Farm Report: Heston Kjerstad gets the call

Fantasy Baseball Farm Report: Heston Kjerstad gets the call

Heston Kjerstad, simply too good for Triple-A, gets the call

It's becoming clear that Kjerstad needs a new challenge, so the O's will give him just that. He reportedly received the call on Tuesday. Kjerstad hasn't really slowed down after his abominable opening week and now leads the International League in runs (25), home runs (10), RBI (30) and total bases (64) while slashing .349/.431/. 744.

We wondered if it might take a trade to get Kjerstad back to the big leagues, because the O's lineup wasn't exactly struggling. His arrival is clearly an actionable event.

Urielves Martinez makes his way through the palace

One of the surest ways to declare one's MLB readiness is to simply hit a home run every day. Toronto's Aurelves Martinez started doing just that:

Martinez has hit six bombs in his last seven games and is now slashing .333/.392/.681 with 13 extra base hits with 18 RBI and 20 runs scored. He has struck out at least 28 homers in each of his past three minor league seasons, so his power credentials are well established. There's no speed to his profile, but he's lowered his K rate while retaining the ability to hit the moon, so there's a lot to like here.

Over the past two seasons, Martinez has split his time defensively between second, third, and shortstop, so he provides unusual versatility for both the Blue Jays and fantasy managers. He has forced his way into the summons conversation and anyone looking for a deep lottery ticket can hide him.

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Drew Thorpe, still dealing

It didn't go well for the White Sox at the major league level, but let the record show that the team managed to make a good return in the mid-March trade that sent Dylan Cease to the Padres.

The prime prospect in the deal was Thorpe, a 6-foot-4 right-hander with an exceptional changeup, who struck out 182 batters over 139.1 innings at two minor league levels last year. He opened the 2024 season in Double-A Birmingham, where he was nearly flawless through three starts. So far, he has pitched 18.0 innings and allowed just one run, 10 hits and four walks, and has struck out 18 batters. He lowered his career ERA to 0.96 and his ERA to 2.29.

After being acquired by the White Sox, Thorpe was immediately identified as a candidate to make his debut in the majors this season. Everything he has done so far indicates that he is still on schedule.

Kyle Manzardo had a nice weekend

All Manzardo managed to accomplish over the weekend was provide seven hits, two doubles, three homers and 18 total bases in three games while scoring five runs and driving in four. The Cleveland first base prospect raised his season line to .308/.400/.585. He has a nice left-handed swing, favorable position, and outfield power:

Manzardo has walked almost as many times as he has this season (12 vs. 14), which is unusual for him historically (.385 career OBP).

Cleveland currently sits atop a wide-open division, and the team certainly has a 1B/DH spot available alongside Josh Naylor. If Manzardo continues to plunder, we should see him soon enough.

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Brian Wu, rehab as anyone can rehab

So this is a great development for Mariners fans. Wu threw three perfect innings in his rehab debut for Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday. I may have written him off when the season opened in the IL due to elbow irritation, but it looks like he'll be helping us by May at the latest. Woo of course had a promising start to his MLB career last season, striking out 93 batters over 87.2 frames while pitching a WHIP of 1.21.

Kidd Povich has been amazing the world

Just in case you think all they have in Norfolk is a bunch of prospects, please note Povich's numbers through four starts: 21.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 9 BB, 33 Ks.

Leadership has been Povich's biggest issue, and that issue has yet to be resolved. But K's potential is exceptional:

He whiffed 171 batters over 126.2 innings at the upper secondary levels last year and is well ahead of that pace so far. Povich has posted an obscene (and unsustainable) 0.74 WHIP while allowing just one homer through four starts.