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May 20, 2013

Monday Morning Ten Pack

May 20

by Jason Parks and Jason Cole


Byron Buxton, OF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids)
After a scorching start to the season (1.194 OPS in April), Buxton has cooled (somewhat) in his second month in full-season ball, but thanks to game heroics and flashes of his future brilliance, Buxton’s stock has never been higher. Equipped with eye-splitting tools, including elite speed and easy plus raw power, the 19-year-old is well on his way to being the top prospect in the minors. Buxton recently hit a walk-off grand slam that one scout source in attendance said traveled an estimated 450 feet and was launched off a 98 mph fastball. Perfect Game’s Justin Hlubek captured the event on video, and if you have a change of pants handy, please click this link and drift into a euphoric state. --Jason Parks

Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)
If Ventura’s physical characteristics read 6’3’’ rather than 5’11’’, the combination of stuff and results would make him one of the premier pitching prospects in the game. Everybody knows about the fastball, as it can hit triple digits in bursts and routinely works in the plus-plus range, but the legitimacy is found in the developmental progression of the secondary arsenal, which includes a plus curveball and a changeup that some think could end up being very special. Because of questions about his ability to handle a starter’s workload, Ventura gets put into the bullpen box, where he profiles as an elite closer. While that’s quite the enticing alternative, the organization is adamant that they always have and will continue to view the 21-year-old righty as a starter, and a very special one at that. Not every slight Dominican righty is going to be the next Pedro, but most slight Dominican righties aren’t in Ventura’s class of talent, and if his body is up to the challenge, the Royals might have the top of the rotation arm they’ve been trying to develop since forever. –Jason Parks

Luis Sardinas, SS, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach)
Another toolsy Rangers shortstop prospect, Sardinas celebrated his 20th birthday this week with a pair of four-hit performances. The recent hot streak has bumped Sardinas’ slash line to .302/.358/.377 in addition to 12 stolen bases. Although the switch-hitting Venezuelan offers little power projection, he flashes a potential elite glove with plus-plus speed and a future plus hit tool.

With a relatively mature all-around game, the slender shortstop has produced solid results in each of his four professional seasons; the issue has been keeping him healthy. Injuries to both of Sardinas’ shoulders limited him to just 40 official games over his first two years. Sardinas appeared in a career-high 96 contests at Single-A Hickory last season but still spent time on the disabled list. He’s off to a promising start in 2013, however, playing well and appearing in 41 of Myrtle Beach’s 43 games. –Jason Cole

Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie)
Listed at 6-foot-6, 240 lbs., Syndergaard provides an imposing presence on the mound. He uses that big frame to generate a steep downward angle on his heavy fastball, making it a potentially dominant pitch. The 20-year-old Texan’s entire arsenal––which includes a projected plus curveball/changeup mix––plays well off the angle and his low-to-mid 90s heater.

Also a good athlete with an advanced feel for command and control, Syndergaard has a front-line rotation ceiling. He’s currently pitching well in the High-A Florida State League, posting a 2.62 ERA through eight starts and improving as he progresses. Syndergaard has worked at least six innings in each of his past five starts, including a 10-K, zero walk performance over 6 2/3 frames Thursday. –Jason Cole

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Francisco Lindor,  Byron Buxton

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Extrem... (05/20)
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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (05/13)
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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (05/28)
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