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House of Shlain: Butler Arrives

Nick Shlain

Nick analyzes prospects for RotoWire and focuses on the Midwest League during the season.

So, is Gregory Polanco coming up?

What did you hear?

Yes, no, both?

He signed an extension?

He didn't sign an extension?

Oh, now he might come up next week?

This mess was made for the Twitter era (Iím sorry, Pirates fans), but it's sort of silly that teams still have to go through this with young players all the time when there was little to gain for Polanco's development to start the season in Triple-A. Further, the Pirates without question actively hurt their chances at the big league level by not having him.

The rules regarding Super Two status need to change, but that would prevent teams from saving money on controllable young talent. Let me know in the comments how you would fix this situation.

Eddie Butler

The 36th ranked prospect in our updated combined prospect rankings with Jesse Siegel, Butler received the call to make his big league debut Friday night against the Dodgers. Heís making the leap from Double-A Tulsa, where he had a 2.49 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 68.2 innings. Itís also worth noting that Butler pitched very well in a brief stint with Tulsa at the end of last season, posting a 25:6 K:BB over 27.2 innings in six starts (0.65 ERA, 0.70 WHIP). Butler, 23, was taken 46th overall in 2012 by Colorado, where unfortunately heíll have to pitch half of his games now. He hasnít been striking very many hitters out in the minors this season, but his game plan is to get groundballs with an array of fastballs with movement. He instantly became the Rockies starter with the most fantasy appeal, but that isn't saying much. He should offer value Ė at least on the road Ė in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixed formats.

Corey Seager

Remember when Seager struggled in Rancho Cucamonga (.160/.248/.320 in 114 PA) at the end of last season? Me neither. Seager is now hitting .343/.392/.593 in 237 PA in High-A and making everything look easy. He has a sweet swing from the left side, good hands, and size at 6-foot-4. Seager was the best hitter in the Midwest League when I saw him last season and he seems to have picked that back up after a rough patch towards the end of last season. Itís not uncommon for high school players to wear down at the end of a long season like that, and Seager even went to the Arizona Fall League. The Dodgers prepared him well last season and now Seager is paying off.

Kevin Gausman

Gausman was pulled from a minor league start earlier this week after just one inning and thereís been rampant speculation that the Orioles will bring him up to start one of their games this weekend. Heís only gone five or more innings in a start three times in the minors so far this season. Since he was last sent down after a sluggish start against the Tigers, he has a 4.41 ERA in 16.1 innings with a 18:4 K:BB with Triple-A. There wasn't a lot to like in that one start in the majors as Gausman wasn't throwing all of this pitches and after the second inning his fastball was tattooed on a consistent basis until his exit. I wouldn't run to the computer to add him this time, but heís certainly worth a shot in AL-only leagues where he's become available. He still has enough upside to be owned in deeper leagues.

Deleted Scenes

Taijuan Walker made his second rehab start Tuesday. He pitched two innings at Triple-A and threw 56 pitches while striking out four, allowing one run on two hits and four walks. A lot happened in those two innings, but at least heís healthy and pitching again.

Danny Salazar is neither healthy nor pitching. He is on the Triple-A disabled list now with a strained right triceps muscle, which may help explain his poor start in Cleveland, but it's amazing to think of the confidence the market showed in him before the season.

If youíre in a league where you can add players selected in this week's first-year player draft, it wouldn't be a bad thing to end up with Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, Carlos Rodon, and Nick Gordon on your teams.

Mookie Betts made his first Triple-A start in center field Thursday. It's all happening.

Jose Berrios, 20, has a 2.24 ERA and 65:17 K:BB in 56 innings in High-A. He'll likely be written up in more detail next week.