We’re starting to see pitching prospects head out for their second starts of the season and, so far, they’ve thrown very well in outing No. 2. Case in point (Read about all Top 100 on Prospect Watch and/or MLBPipeline.com) are the following… even the so-so outings weren’t too shabby:
No. 8 Zack Wheeler, Mets (AAA): 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
No. 18 Danny Hultzen, Mariners (AAA): 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
No. 51 Robert Stephenson, Reds (A): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
No. 64 Wily Peralta, Brewers (MLB): 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
No. 66 Tony Cingrani, Reds (AAA): 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Cingrani gets bolded as the “Pitcher of the second start,” and also because that’s his second straight really good outing. his overall line now:
12 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 21 K, .079 BAA
Pretty good, right?
Pitching today (some underway already)
No. 9 Gerrit Cole, Pirates (AAA)
No. 24 Archie Bradley, D-backs (A+)
No. 46 Chris Archer, Rays (AAA)
No. 49 Kyle Gibson, Twins (AAA)
No. 60 Jesse Biddle, Phillies (AA)
No. 71 Allen Webster, Red Sox (AAA)
No. 72 Justin Nicolino, Marlins (A+)
No. 78 Zach Lee, Dodgers (AA)
No. 89 Jarred Cosart, Astros (AAA)
Since the Opening Day post about how the Top 100 in the Minors did seemed to go over so well, I thought I’d do it again, updating all 100 players, at all levels, and how they’ve fared heading into Monday’s action. As always, you can check out all 100 guys, or the top 20 for every team, over on Prospect Watch. And MLBPipeline is an excellent one-stop shopping destination for your Prospect needs.
Just about everybody has played at this point, with some exceptions:
Dylan Bundy (elbow and forearm stiffness, expected back by end of month)
Christian Yelich (plantar fasciitis, expected back within 2 weeks)
Rymer Liriano (out for season, elbow surgery)
Didi Gregorius (elbow, should start rehab games soon)
Casey Kelly (out for season, elbow surgery)
Jake Marisnick (hand fracture, back end of April/beginning of May)
Lucas Giolito (out for season, elbow surgery)
Andrew Heaney (strained lat, will start throwing program in about a week)
Martin Perez (fractured wrist, out until June)
Adam Eaton (elbow, out at least 6-8 weeks)
Jonathan Singleton is serving his suspension. Albert Almora is in extended Spring Training. A few pitchers are making debuts today: Matt Barnes (Portland, AA), Taylor Guerrieri (Bowling Green, A), Jake Odorizzi (Durham, AAA).
Oscar Taveras was back home attending to a personal matter, but is expected to be in Triple-A Memphis’ lineup today.
Organization-mate Carlos Martinez is on the Temporary Inactive List. He missed nearly all of Spring Training because of visa issues. He’ll catch up in Extended Spring Training and join Double-A Springfield eventually.
A couple of notes:
* Trevor Bauer is listed as with Triple-A Columbus, but his stats are from the big league start he made before being sent back down.
**David Dahl played one game for Class A Asheville in the Rockies system, but was then sent to Extended Spring Training for disciplinary reasons.
|1||TEX||Jurickson Profar||Round Rock||AAA||4-12, 1 RBI, 3 SB|
|3||STL||Oscar Taveras||Memphis||AAA||Personal matter – back today|
|4||TB||Wil Myers||Durham||AAA||4-12, 2 2B, 3 RBI|
|5||SEA||Taijuan Walker||Jackson||AA||5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K|
|6||NYM||Travis d’Arnaud||Las Vegas||AAA||3-8, 2 2B, 2 RBI|
|7||MIA||Jose Fernandez||Miami||MLB||5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K|
|8||NYM||Zack Wheeler||Las Vegas||AAA||3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K|
|9||PIT||Gerrit Cole||Indianapolis||AAA||4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K|
|10||ARI||Tyler Skaggs||Reno||AAA||6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, W|
|11||CIN||Billy Hamilton||Louisville||AAA||4-11, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB|
|12||MIN||Miguel Sano||Fort Myers||A+||7-16, 2 2B|
|14||CLE||Francisco Lindor||Carolina||A+||6-11, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 SB|
|15||PIT||Jameson Taillon||Altoona||AA||5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, W|
|16||CHC||Javier Baez||Daytona||A+||3-16, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB|
|17||CLE||Trevor Bauer||Columbus||AAA||5 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 7 BB, 2 K, L*|
|18||SEA||Danny Hultzen||Tacoma||AAA||6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, W|
|19||MIN||Byron Buxton||Cedar Rapids||A||9-16, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB|
|20||BOS||Xander Bogaerts||Portland||AA||3-14, 1 RBI|
|21||DET||Nick Castellanos||Toledo||AAA||5-18, 2 2B, 1 RBI|
|22||TEX||Mike Olt||Round Rock||AAA||1-16, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 10 K|
|23||SEA||Mike Zunino||Tacoma||AAA||5-12, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI|
|24||ARI||Archie Bradley||Visalia||A+||5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K|
|25||STL||Shelby Miller||St. Louis||MLB||5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, W|
|26||KC||Bubba Starling||Lexington||A||1-12, 2 R|
|28||WSH||Anthony Rendon||Harrisburg||AA||3-15, 3 R|
|29||NYM||Noah Syndergaard||St. Lucie||A+||4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K|
|30||HOU||Carlos Correa||Quad Cities||A||6-20, 2 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB|
|31||ATL||Julio Teheran||Atlanta||MLB||5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K|
|32||BOS||Jackie Bradley||Boston||MLB||3-21, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 5 BB|
|33||STL||Carlos Martinez||Springfield||AA||Temporary Inactive List|
|34||KC||Kyle Zimmer||Wilmington||A+||5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K|
|35||TOR||Aaron Sanchez||Dunedin||A+||5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K|
|36||NYY||Gary Sanchez||Tampa||A+||7-17, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 SB|
|37||BAL||Kevin Gausman||Bowie||AA||4 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, L|
|38||BOS||Matt Barnes||Portland||AA||Makes debut today|
|39||CHC||Albert Almora||Extended ST||TBD|
|40||MIN||Alex Meyer||New Britain||AA||5 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K|
|41||NYY||Mason Williams||Tampa||A+||6-16, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB|
|42||CHC||Jorge Soler||Daytona||A+||7-16, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|43||STL||Trevor Rosenthal||St. Louis||MLB||4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|44||TB||Taylor Guerrieri||Bowling Green||A||Makes debut today|
|45||TB||Jake Odorizzi||Durham||AAA||Makes debut today|
|46||TB||Chris Archer||Durham||AAA||5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, W|
|47||SEA||Nick Franklin||Tacoma||AAA||Flu-like symptoms|
|48||OAK||Addison Russell||Stockton||A+||2-8, 2 BB|
|49||MIN||Kyle Gibson||Rochester||AAA||5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K|
|50||SD||Jedd Gyorko||San Diego||MLB||6-23, 3 2B, 3 RBI|
|51||CIN||Robert Stephenson||Dayton||A||5 IP,|
|52||WSH||Brian Goodwin||Harrisburg||AA||5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|53||SD||Max Fried||Fort Wayne||A||4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K|
|54||PIT||Alen Hanson||Bradenton||A+||4-19, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB|
|56||TB||Hak-Ju Lee||Durham||AAA||4-11, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 SB|
|57||HOU||George Springer||Corpus Christi||AA||3-14, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|58||COL||David Dahl||Extended ST||TBD||0-4**|
|59||KC||Yordano Ventura||NW Arkansas||AA||5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K|
|60||PHI||Jesse Biddle||Reading||AA||6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|61||SEA||James Paxton||Jackson||AAA||4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K|
|62||COL||Nolan Arenado||Colorado Springs||AAA||7-13, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|64||MIL||Wily Peralta||Milwaukee||MLB||5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, L|
|65||PIT||Gregory Polanco||Bradenton||A+||4-15, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB|
|66||CIN||Tony Cingrani||Louisville||AAA||6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K|
|67||LAA||Kaleb Cowart||Arkansas||AA||1-12, 1 SB|
|68||CWS||Courtney Hawkins||Winston-Salem||A+||1-10, 1 SB|
|71||BOS||Allen Webster||Pawtucket||AAA||5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K|
|72||MIA||Justin Nicolino||Jupiter||A+||5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, L|
|73||SD||Austin Hedges||Lake Elsinore||A+||1-14, 1 SB|
|75||NYY||Tyler Austin||Trenton||AA||4-13, 2 2B, 1 RBI|
|76||LAD||Yasiel Puig||Chattanooga||AA||5-10, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB|
|77||ARI||Matt Davidson||Tucson||AAA||7-18, 1 HR, 4 RBI|
|78||LAD||Zach Lee||Chattanooga||AA||4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K|
|79||STL||Kolten Wong||Memphis||AAA||4-16, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 SB|
|80||PHI||Ethan Martin||Lehigh Valley||AAA||4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K|
|82||MIA||Adeiny Hechavarria||Miami||MLB||6-20, 1 R|
|83||STL||Michael Wacha||Memphis||AAA||4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K|
|84||TEX||Luis Sardinas||Myrtle Beach||A+||4-12, 1 RBI|
|85||LAD||Joc Pederson||Chattanooga||AA||3-14, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB|
|86||SF||Kyle Crick||San Jose||A+||4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K|
|87||TEX||Cody Buckel||Frisco||AA||2.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 2 K|
|88||TEX||Jorge Alfaro||Hickory||A||3-10, 1 2B, 1 RBI|
|89||HOU||Jarred Cosart||Oklahoma City||AAA||4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K|
|90||TOR||Roberto Osuna||Lansing||A||5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, W|
|91||WSH||A.J. Cole||Potomac||A+||5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K|
|92||DET||Bruce Rondon||Toledo||AAA||2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K|
|93||MIN||Oswaldo Arcia||Rochester||AAA||6-15, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI|
|94||BOS||Henry Owens||Salem||A+||5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K|
|96||BOS||Jose Iglesias||Boston||MLB||9-17, 2 2B, 1 RBI|
|98||MIN||Aaron Hicks||Minnesota||MLB||2-26, 3 RBI|
|99||COL||Trevor Story||Modesto||A+||1-15, 1 R|
|100||SF||Gary Brown||Fresno||AAA||4-18, 1 3B, 1 RBI|
The Minor League season is now underway and there’s no one happier than me about it. Now we can see how all those prospects in our Top 100 perform. Feel free to peruse Prospect Watch to see how everyone’s doing on your team’s Top 20 as well.
For now, though, I wanted to give a quick report on how the 44 players in the Top 100 who played on Thursday (leaving the big leaguers out of the report) did in their openers. Rain knocked several out of action. Two stars for Opening Day — one hitter, one pitcher – are bolded.
Today (Friday), there are some pretty good pitchers taking the hill — 10 Top 100 arms:
No. 9 Gerrit Cole
No. 46 Chris Archer
No. 49 Kyle Gibson
No. 71 Allen Webster
No. 60 Jesse Biddle
No. 78 Zach Lee
No. 87 Cody Buckel
Class A Advanced
No. 24 Archie Bradley
No. 34 Kyle Zimmer
No. 53 Max Fried
|1||TEX||Jurickson Profar||Round Rock||AAA||2-3, 1 R, 1 SB|
|5||SEA||Taijuan Walker||Jackson||AA||5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, L|
|6||NYM||Travis d’Arnaud||Las Vegas||AAA||2-3, 2 2B, 4 R, 1 RBI|
|8||NYM||Zack Wheeler||Las Vegas||AAA||3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K|
|11||CIN||Billy Hamilton||Louisville||AAA||1-4, 1 2B|
|12||MIN||Miguel Sano||Fort Myers||A+||1-3, 1 K|
|16||CHC||Javier Baez||Daytona||A+||0-3, 1 RBI|
|18||SEA||Danny Hultzen||Tacoma||AAA||6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, W|
|19||MIN||Byron Buxton||Cedar Rapids||A||2-5, 2 RBI, 1 SB|
|21||DET||Nick Castellanos||Toledo||AAA||0-3, 1 RBI|
|22||TEX||Mike Olt||Round Rock||AAA||1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI|
|23||SEA||Mike Zunino||Jackson||AA||3-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI|
|28||WSH||Anthony Rendon||Harrisburg||AA||1-2, 1 R, 2 BB|
|30||HOU||Carlos Correa||Quad Cities||A||2-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI|
|36||NYY||Gary Sanchez||Tampa||A+||2-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB|
|41||NYY||Mason Williams||Tampa||A+||1-4, 1 RBI|
|42||CHC||Jorge Soler||Daytona||A+||2-4, 1 K|
|47||SEA||Nick Franklin||Tacoma||AAA||DNP — flu|
|48||OAK||Addison Russell||Stockton||A+||1-4, 1 BB|
|51||CIN||Robert Stephenson||Dayton||A||5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|57||HOU||George Springer||Corpus Christi||AA||1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI|
|62||COL||Nolan Arenado||Col. Springs||AAA||1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|66||CIN||Tony Cingrani||Louisville||AAA||6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K|
|72||MIA||Justin Nicolino||Jupiter||A+||5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, L|
|73||SD||Austin Hedges||Lake Elsinore||A+||0-4|
|75||NYY||Tyler Austin||Trenton||AA||1-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI|
|77||ARI||Matt Davidson||Tucson||AAA||3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|84||TEX||Luis Sardinas||Myrtle Beach||A+||Postponed|
|93||MIN||Oswaldo Arcia||Rochester||AAA||2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI|
Back in February, I posted a conglomorate Top 100 that averaged out the Top 100 prospects lists from Baseball America, Keith Law at ESPN and yours truly.
Ready for some more? It would be easy to go crazy with including lists, but I don’t want to water it down too much. Besides, the names are more or less the names. But to pad it out a bit, I’ve added in two more Top 100 lists: Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs.
I’m not going to get into deep analysis here in terms of names on those lists not on others, etc., but simply wanted to post the ranked (by average) list. There are 133 names on it now and Jurickson Profar is still the unanimous No. 1. Here’s the list (remember, any player not on a specific top 100 got a ranking of 101 for the sake of averaging):
I was at Jet Blue Park yesterday to watch the Pirates-Red Sox — it was a little light on Top 20 prospects, but a pair from the Red Sox’ list did see action. Again, rankings in parentheses.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (2) went 0-for-1 with two walks. Our own Ian Browne did an outstanding job in his feature on JBJR.
Jose Iglesias (6) went 0-for-2 with a walk. But the guy can play a little shortstop.
The Pirates didn’t have any Top 20 guys in action, though I did get to glimpse Gregory Polanco (4), who made the trip. He didn’t play, but he did take BP. The young man is big. When he fills out, watch out. I’ll be talking to Polanco and fellow Pirates prospect Alen Hanson in the next couple of days. I also was impressed by Phillip Irwin (even wrote a note about him). He’s an under-the-radar type who’s been impressive this spring.
You can see all of MLB.com’s coverage of prospects (and there’s plenty this time of year) on MLBPipeline.com.
Recently, I talked to several scouts about who has stood out in big league camp in the early going. Some quick notes, keeping in mind that this is just a smattering and not comprehensive (so don’t get made there isn’t a note about how good Oscar Taveras is):
- Twins’ prospects Eddie Rosario and Aaron Hicks were playing extremely well. Hicks “looked like a big leaguer” and Rosario was swinging a very good bat for Team Puerto Rico.
- Phillies lefty Adam Morgan didn’t have good results in his first outing, but did in his second. In both, his stuff was good across the board.
- The Royals’ Yordano Ventura was creating a lot of early buzz in Arizona.
- Addison Russell of the A’s looked like he belonged in big league camp
- The D-backs’ Adam Eaton had his tools on display as he continues to exceed expectations.
- Javier Baez of the Cubs may have learned a thing or two over the offeason in terms of staying in control. He appears to have calmed down his game a bit, for hte better.
- Michael Wacha of the Cardinals is impressing with his secondary stuff and his command.
- The Angels’ Kaleb Cowart has played well in his first big league camp, showing nice poise at the plate and strong defensive skills at third.
- The Tigers’ Avisail Garcia is a big kid that can run and has man strength.
- The Pirates’ Gerritt Cole (and this was before his six K’s against Spain) has a gig power arm with life through the zone.
- The Rays’ Wil Myers keeps you on the edge of your seat. Exudes confidence in the box with 80 batspeed.
- Chris Archer of the Rays has always had dominant frontline type stuff, and continues to show it. He also has good poise on the mound. Even stronger physically than last year.
Or STPR for short. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
I’m in Florida now for a two-week stretch and it’s like a gold mine for us prospect fans. Especially this early and especially with the World Baseball Classic, prospects are and will get a lot of playing time in Grapefruit League action.
My goal is to give updates regularly here on B3 about the players I get to see. When I can, I’ll also wrinkle in some opinions from scouts about prospects in big league camps in general. so lets get this thing started, shall we?
Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first game and I took in the Rays-Twins game. There were prospects-aplenty, with both the Rays‘ and the Twins‘ Top 20s well-represented (rank in team top 20 in parentheses):
Will Myers (1): Started in RF, went 1-for-2 with a walk. He told me he’s really working on turning on the ball so he can tap into his power to the pull side more consistently.
Hak-Ju Lee (5): Came into the game and played shortstop, went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Drove in the tying run with an infield single, stole second and third and scored during the five-run Rays’ 8th.
Mike Montgomery (8): The lefty who came in the James Shields trade tossed a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit and one walk (Keep an eye out today for a story I wrote about him).
Joe Benson (13): Benson started in center and hit lead off as he competes with others for the spot. He went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
Much, much more to come. Today, I’m at the Pirates-Red Sox. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s starting in center for the Red Sox and I see that Gregory Polanco is on the travel roster for the Pirates.
We’re in the process of putting together a weekly feature that recaps the weekend action on the amateur scene. It won’t be just stats, though they’ll be included when possible. The idea is that I’ll talk to scouts at the end of each weekend to see who stood out/who didn’t and report back to you what the Draft landscape is looking like. I got a little bit of a late start for this week as we’re getting the ball rolling on Draft-related coverage, so I wanted to just post some “news and notes” on 2013 Draft prospects and their performances from last weekend to whet your appetite.
May have been Stanford vs. Fresno State. Friday saw a good power vs. power contest with Mark Appel facing Fresno State’s Aaron Judge. The Stanford senior had a much better start than he did against Rice the previous week, tossing a complete game, allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out 11. He also got nine ground ball outs.
Judge went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in that game, but he finished off the series with a 5-for-5, 3 RBI performance, including his second home run of the season. People will talk about the swing and miss to Judge’s game, but as one scout put it… there are guys in Cooperstown who had swing and miss to their game. More than one scout projects Judge as a first-rounder.
Stanford will be watched carefully throughout the year because of the depth of talent there. Brian Ragira looked good over the weekend as well, going a combined 5-for-13 with a homer, a double and two RBIs
Sean Manaea, the Indiana State lefty was reportedly sharper in his second start of the year than his first. Facing College of Charleston in an Auburn tournament, Manaea gave up one hit and one walk while whiffing 10 over six shutout innings. He showed at least solid average stuff across the board as the top lefty in the class has made a very strong early case to be a top of the draft candidate.
Vanderbilt lefty Kevin Ziomek isn’t quite in that stratosphere, but he threw well on Friday, albeit against Monmouth. Ziomek was sitting at 91 mph with his fastball, touching 93 mph, to go along with a solid average curve, thrown 75-77 mph. His changeup is fringy, but he threw strikes and impressed with his mound presence as he went seven innings and allowed a run on five hits and two walks while striking out 11. Some scouts see him as a back end of the first round type of college lefty selection.
Appel wasn’t the only right-hander to throw well for scouts. Florida’s Jonathon Crawford didn’t go deep, going just 3 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out four. He had some command issues, which got him into trouble. But he was aggressive with his fastball, up to 94 mph, sitting 91-92 mph. He showed flashes of a plus slider and a fringe-average changeup.
Texas Tech’s Trey Masek got the ball on Sunday against UConn at the UCF tournament in Orlando and tossed nine shutout innings in a no-decision, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out seven. He was up to 93 mph with his fastball and worked very quickly, going right after hitters.. He also showed feel for three secondary offerings — an average slider, a fringy, but usable curve and a playable changeup. He’s not overpowering, but he showed how effective he can be.
Hunter Brothers of Lipscomb might be a little further out on the radar, but his arm strength might be something scouts will continue to monitor. Pitching Saturday at the tournament his school was hosting, Brothers was up to 95 mph in his start, sitting at 92 mph. He had given up just one run through five, but ran out of gas in the sixth, leaving with one out. He ended up allowing five runs total (two earned), allowing four hits and four walks wile striking out two. His command wasn’t good on all of his pitches. He showed glimpses with his slider and he kept attacking hitters, but delivery inconsistencies hurt him. With his arm strength, but lack of command and a changeup that’s not a factor, you have to wonder if teams will look at him as a future reliever.
High school arms
One of the more intriguing names to watch is that of Jordan Sheffield, and not just because of who his uncle is (Gary). The Tennessee high school standout showed some excellent arm strength in his last outing. He touched 95 mph with his fastball, sitting around 91 mph, and he showed a solid changeup, especially for a high schooler. What he didn’t have was good command, especially of his breaking ball. He competes well, though he’ll have to work on managing his effort level.
High school hitters
Scouts hoping to see top SoCal high school hitter Dominic Smith in action on Monday were disappointed. Smith, the Serra HS standout walked his first time up. Then he struck out in his second plate appearance. When he hit the catcher on his backswing — inadvertently, according to reports I received — Smith was ejected from the game by the umpire, leaving many frustrated.
Florida high school shortstop Oscar Mercado had a so-so showing over the weekend as well. Reports were good about his batting practice and infielde pre-game, but his at-bats were just fair and didn’t stand out. He did make some good defensive plays, but also threw a couple of balls away.
By now many top prospect lists are out there. And while I’m confident in my abilities as a prospect reporter and feel that MLB.com’s Top 100 is pretty darn good, I also don’t pretend to think that it’s the only list worth looking at.
I like to comparison shop, too, and see what other people are doing. Such an exercise could go on endlessly as it seems more and more Top 100 type lists are popping up all over the interwebs. For the purposes of this post, I’m taking MLB.com’s, Keith Law’s at ESPN and, of course, Baseball America’s. (Warning: You’ll need subscriptions to access some of that stuff). Now, before you get all miffed that I didn’t include one list or another — this isn’t meant as a slight towards anyone’s list. These are simply the other two lists that I, personally, look forward to seeing the most each year and I like to see how we compare. I’ve dumped the rankings into a spreadsheet and came up with an average rank for each player that we’ve listed. For any player that wasn’t listed in one of the top 100 lists, I gave him a 101 ranking for that list. Make sense?
Before I get to the averages, a couple of notes:
- A total of 78 players appeared on all three Top 100s. Shows you we’re all dealing with the same names, more or less.
- Including the threepeats mentioned above, 95 total players were mentioned on two of the three lists.
- A grand total of 121 players appeared on at least one list.
- The highest ranking player on the MLB.com list not to appear on all three is Rymer Liriano of the Padres. The highest player on Keith Law’s list not to appear on all three is Corey Seager of the Dodgers. Andrew Heaney of the Marlins is the first player on the BA list not to appear on all three.
- The first player to appear only on MLB.com’s list and not the other two is Ethan Martin of the Phillies. On Keith’s list, it’s Seager. And on the BA list, it’s Lance McCullers.
OK, with that context, here’s how the prospects would rank by their averages (Jurickson Profar is the consensus No. 1):
While most people look at this time of year as Pitchers & Catchers time, with good reason, it’s also right around the time when things start to pick up for the Draft season.
Case in point, the Major League Scouting Bureau hosted their annual showcase at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., on Saturday. Southern California, as most of you know, is typically a hotbed for amateur talent, and this one-day showcase has been a must-see in years past.
The overall sentiment after the event was, “Ehhh.”
Yes, scouts tend to be skeptical. Yes, I typically will report, nearly every year, that this year’s Draft class isn’t very good. So we’ll add some grains of salt if it makes you feel better. But it does seem that the SoCal high school scene isn’t thrilling.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t good players. There are. But there aren’t too many “wow” types, top of the first round guys like, say, Max Fried and Lucas Giolito were a year ago at this time. Dominic Smith is the best player in the area, but he didn’t attend the showcase as his team was playing in a tournament last weekend.
In the end, the best player at the event was actually from NoCal. Carlos Salazar is a right-hander committed to Fresno State, more or less in his backyard. Often at these events, the young arms shine in one-inning outings. Salazar was the only one who lit up radar guns, throwing 94-97 mph and showing a sharp breaking ball with decent command. He reminded one scout of Javy Guerra in terms of his delivery.
Lefty Ian Clarkin, from the San Diego area, also threw well, 89-92 mph with a very good curve.
That may have been it in terms of “standout performances.”
One scout I spoke with said that there’s depth, but it’s all round 5-10 type guys, and most will go on to college (and most need it, he thought).
While there were no “coming out parties,” kind of like Christian Yelich had at this event a few years back, so guys did turn in solid performances. Some “highlights”:
- 3B Kevin Franklin, from Gahr HS and an Arizona State commit, had the best raw power.
- SS Chris Rivera (El Dorado HS) was the best defensive shortstop, but there are questions about his bat.
- SS Terrian Arbet (Great Oak HS, commited to U of San Diego) looked like a solid all-around player. He reminded some of Brandon Martin, the Rays’ 2011 draftee from SoCal, though the scout who mentioned him didn’t think he’d be a sandwich pick like Martin was.
- 1B Jake Bauers (Marina HS) may have been one guy to help himself. He simply just hits and had a balanced approach and good at-bats. It’s all about his bat, as he doesn’t have many other tools. But the kid can hit.
- SS J.P. Crawford (Lakewood HS, USC commit) looked good, but he’s all about projection. The now tools weren’t on display. It’s a high risk/high reward kind of situation, but is the reward enough for him to be a first-rounder?
- C Jeremy Martinez (Mater Dei HS, USC commit) was solid, but a scout I spoke with about him worried about his low ceiling.
- 3B Ryan McMahon (Mater Dei HS) is a solid athlete with the right body and toolset to be a solid third baseman.
- C Tyler Alamo (Cypress HS, Cal State Fullerton commit) looked the part of a catcher. He was athletic behind the plate and showed an at least average arm with some accuracy. He was a little stiffer with the bat, though.
- LHP Stephen Gonsalves (Cathedral Catholic, U of San Diego commit) did not throw well, clocking in at 85-88 mph with poor command and a below-average breaking ball. He’ll need to prove that he’s more than that this spring, and perhaps in three years of college.
Sorry for the short delay, but it’s now time to take a look at the AL West prospects. As always, here are the links to the organizational previews and the Top 20 lists, followed by the OMG (One More Guy) from each team in the division:
And now, here’s the OMG, aka Prospect No. 21, for each system:
Astros — Jio Mier, SS — Still young and talented enough at a premium position to not give up on. There are other SS now in the system, so he’ll have to get it going.
Angels — Natanael Delgado, OF — 16-year-old signed this summer, chance to be RF type. May take a long time, but considerable upside.
A’s — David Freitas, C — Offensive-minded backstop came in the Kurt Suzuki trade, hit well following bump to Double-A post-trade.
Mariners — Patrick Kivlehan, 3B — Rutgers football standout decides to play baseball again as a senior; wins Big East Triple Crown, then Northwest League MVP. Raise your hand if you want to see more.
Rangers — Hanser Alberto, SS — That’s right, another shortstop prospect in this system (though he has played a little 3B). He’s gotten Elvis Andrus comparisons, surprise… and earned a promotion to the Carolina League before he turned 20