George Springer flies under the radar playing in Houston. He strikes out a lot, but he also has some of the best raw power in the game. He is starting the season off a little slow, though he does lead the league with seven home runs.
I have liked Luke Gregerson since he played with that wrecking crew of a 2014 A’s team. He walked after the 2014 season as a free agent, signed with Houston, and in 2015 went out and had a 31 save campaign. 2016 was a little rougher. He lost his closer job to Will Harris, but was still effective in a non-closer role (4-3, 15 saves, 0.971 WHIP over 57.2 innings).
I have always liked Yonder Alonso, mostly since he is a alumni of the Hawaiian Winter League.
Alonso was the 7th overall pick of the 2008 draft. In eight seasons in the major league he owns a 6.3 WAR, so I guess for such a high pick its been a little disappointing of a career.
Last season he was traded to the A’s and hit .253/.316/.367 with seven home runs. Not really the type of numbers you want to see from your first baseman. But the A’s held onto him for 2017, and he is hitting a respectable .269/.345/.519 with three homers so far this season.
Dexter Fowler is another Hawaii Winter League alumni. He has had a nice 10 year career, showing pop, on base skills and good defense–pretty much everything you could want in a top of the order hitter.
He is the owner of a career 17.9 WAR, was an All-Star and World Champion in 2016, and signed a nice free agent deal in the off-season to play with the Cardinals. Despite being a ex-2016 Cub, he is cool in my book.
Shawn Armstrong has made the major league roster at some point every year since 2014, but in 2017 he broke camp with the big league club and it looked like he was up to stay. But a arm crunch in the pen, and the fact that he had an option to burn, resulted in him getting sent back down to AAA after only 5.1 innings of work. Still, he is a very good pen prospect who should be the first name called when the Indians need a fresh arm.
Bobby Bradley is one of the Indians better prospects, and has easily the best power in the system. Last season he hit 29 HR in High-A, though K’s were a bit of an issue. The good news is he is not a strikout machine and can take a walk. Take this season for example: he is only hitting .173 with 23 K’s, but he also has 3 HR and 14 walks, so he has an OPS of .689. He needs to start making better contact, but I am not too worried.
With all do respect to Kolten Wong, Steven Wright is probably going to be the most successful University of Hawaii alumni in the majors this season.
I still don’t know what the Indians were thinking, trading him for Lars Anderson. So stupid. I am not even going to get into that again. Point is, I don’t even know if Lars is still playing baseball, and the knuckle ball throwing Wright was a 2016 All-Star. For the Red Sox. Always kills me to think about. Good for him, though.