Kelenic and Fraley, that is.
I would have skipped the obligatory desert assignment for Kelenic, have said so already. Harper bypassed A+, although both Stanton and Gallo spent time there. But I find it intriguing that the M’s moved Kelenic nearly across the entire country, east to west, bypassing lovely Arkansas. That got me to wondering if we won’t see The Kid (for I am pushing for that nickname already) in Tacoma, perhaps just a cup of tea stop, sometime this summer?
I like moving prodigy-types up in a hurry. If DiPoto isn’t already imagining Kelenic in Seattle by mid- ‘20, then he has no imagination.
I would have also moved Fraley up to Tacoma. He is so balanced at the plate, with a great ability to wait on the ball, that he should get some Seattle cuts THIS season. He turned 24 a week ago, he isn’t a teeny-bopper. Since his Australian winter of ‘17, when something clicked into place, he is hitting .346-.422.-610 Over 666 PAs. He’s just barely below that at AA. Barely. If that isn’t worthy of a Tacoma flight, then what is?
Mallex Smith is hitting .699 over his last 28 days, that’s better. But it is sort of appearing that CF may not be his spot*, and if it isn’t, then he better hit like he did last season (114) rather than ‘16, ‘17 and ‘19 (about 80 OPS+). His .366 BABIP from ‘18 is likely unsustainable. Ichiro’s was only .338. So, is it possible that Smith is more a 4th OF type?
*His dWAR #’s look way better the more he doesn’t play CF.
BTW, the M’s signed former Oakland A, Jaycob Brugman yesterday. He’s basically missed all of this year with injury, but in ‘17 he saw 162 MLB PA’s. He can’t hit lefties a lick, but he did hit RHP to a .280–.364-.368 tune. He’s mostly been an .800-ish hitter vs. righties in the upper minors, as well. He principally played CF in his MLB stint, but not well.
With Bishop and Miller already got hitting in Tacoma, it sort of looks like DiPoto is making sure he has a 4th OF type for next season, which may make Smith more vulnerable, perhaps.