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5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Off To Hot Starts In Triple-A

Minor league baseball is now in full swing with Triple-A starting on Saturday. In less than three games in the Minor leagues, we have seen some prospects get their first taste of the Major Leagues. In this article, we will dive into five Triple-A batters who are off to a hot start in the game’s highest Minor League Level.

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5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Off to Scorching Starts

Owen Caissie, OF CHC

(3 GP, .583/.643/.750, 1 R, 1 RBI)

One of the most exciting power bats sure to make his Major League debut at some point this summer is Owen Caissie. The 21-year-old 6’3” outfielder has had an impressive rise through the Cubs organization since being drafted in the second round of the shortened 2020 MLB Draft. Caissie had a massive breakout in 2023, playing the entire season in Double-A with the Tennessee Smokies. Across 120 games at just 20 years old, Caissie slashed .289/.398/.519 with 22 home runs, 77 runs scored, 84 RBIs, and stole seven bases. When it comes to drawing walks Caissie is one of the best in the Cubs organization and in 2023 he walked 14.4% of the time.

What has continued to be an issue for Owen Caissie has been the strikeout rate. While with the Smokies Caissie struck out 31.1% of the time no doubt well above what dynasty managers would like to see. So far this season Caissie has faired well in his three games played at Triple-A Iowa. The now 21-year-old is slashing .583/.643/.750 with one run and RBI in 14 plate appearances so far. Staying true to his game Caissie has already drawn two walks bringing his walk percentage to 14.3% while striking out 21.4% of the time in the early goings. When Caissie gets his crack with the Cubs we are looking at a 30-plus home run bat who will help in OBP with an up-and-coming Cubs roster.

Heston Kjerstad, OF BAL

(3 GP, .500/.500/.583, 4 R, 4 RBI)

It’s been a long road for Heston Kjerstad since being selected second overall in the COVID-shortened MLB Draft in 2020. A heart condition delayed the top prospect’s debut to 2022 but once he got started there was no stopping the ascent. Regarded as a plus power hitter coming out of Arkansas Kjerstad started to show the raw power in real game action in 2023. While playing for both Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk Kjerstad crushed 21 home runs in just 122 games played. Combined, Kjerstad slashed .303/.376/.528 with 87 runs scored, 55 RBIs, and five stolen bases in Double-A and Triple-A.

For Baltimore, it made sense to send Kjerstad down to start the season and get his confidence up for a call-up likely early on. In the short sample size of just three games with the Norfolk Tide Kjerstad looks locked in slashing .500/.500/.583 in 14 plate appearances. To this point, Kjerstad has not struggled with the strikeout rate a trait that will serve him well as he bides his time and performs for an early spring call-up.

Nick Pratto, 1B/OF KCR

(3 GP, .417/.500/.583, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB)

One prospect that could be in for a major “bounce back” season could be Nick Pratto. Prior to the Vinnie Pasquantino rise Nick Pratto was one of the top prospects in the Kansas City Royals farm system. Poor play in 2022 carried over into the 2023 season as Pratto failed to lock down the first base job in Pasquantino’s absence. Coming into spring training this season Pratto looked like a different player and performed well in his opportunities. In 38 spring training at-bats with the big league club, Pratto slashed .421/.476/.816 but was ultimately sent down to start the season in Triple-A Omaha.

This season Nick Pratto will continue to get looks at not only first base but in the outfield as well where the potential power bat could play up. The log jam at first base with Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez (when not catching) ultimately sent Pratto back to the minor leagues but the performance so far might not keep him there long. In three games played with the Storm Chasers Pratto is slashing .417/.500/.583 with two runs scored, one RBI, and one stolen base in 14 plate appearances. Pratto continues to walk at his career norm of 14.3% but what will really boost his stock is if he can cut down on his strikeout rate long term.

Already it’s off to a great start as the 25-year-old has a 14.3% strikeout rate, If he can cut back on the 40% strikeout rate from his time with the Royals in 2023 he could skyrocket.

Connor Norby, 2B BAL

(3 GP, .400/.400/.667, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI)

Baltimore is on the rise and the Major League club is starting to get crowded with some of the game’s top prospects. Where does Connor Norby fit in all of this? The former East Carolina Pirate was selected in the second round of the 2021 MLB draft and quickly moved up the ladder. In fact, in Norby’s first full season, he ascended from High-A Aberdeen to finish the year in Triple-A Norfolk where he has been ever since. The 2023 season was solid for Connor Norby as he slashed .290/.359/.483 in 138 games played with the Norfolk Tide. Norby crushed 21 home runs, with 104 runs scored, and 92 RBIs, and stole 10 bases in 633 plate appearances all while walking 9% and lowering the strikeout rate to 21.6%.

So why hasn’t he been called up to this point? The log jam that the Orioles find themselves in has been interesting to watch play out. Baltimore sent Joey Ortiz to Milwaukee due to lack of space and frankly, that’s what I hope happens to Connor Norby. Now with his third stint at Triple-A Norfolk Norby is slashing .400/.400/.667 with one home run, two runs scored, and four RBIs in 15 plate appearances. There has not been a strikeout or walk to this point for Norby. As a dynasty owner believe in the talent and let the rest work itself out, Injuries have been on the rise in MLB over the last three weeks so anything can happen.

If given an opportunity to play it’s not hard to see 20 plus home runs, 10-15 stolen bases with a solid average, and OBP from the second base position similar to Bryson Stott of the Phillies.

James Wood, OF WSH

(3 GP, .400/.600/.500, 3 R, 1 RBI)

The Eddie Rosario, Victor Robles, and Jesse Winker days in Washington could be coming to an end this year with the wave of outfield talent coming up in the Nationals organization. James Wood was one of the key pieces in the Juan Soto Trade that sent him to San Deigo and since becoming a National he has been impressive. At just 20 years old, James Wood ascended from High-A Willmington to finish the season in Double-A Harrisburg in 2023. In 129 combined games, Wood slashed .262/.353/.520 with 26 home runs, 80 runs scored, 91 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases.

There is no doubt about the future power that resides in James Wood’s bat what will be key for the now 21-year-old is how he fairs against advanced pitching in Triple-A and the Majors. So far the small sample size results are promising for Wood as he is slashing .400/.600/.500 with three runs scored, and one RBI in 15 plate appearances. If Wood is tearing the cover off the ball early in Triple-A there is a real chance of seeing him in the Major Leagues this season potentially alongside Dylan Crews.

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