A look at the prospects who stood out during the past weekend.
Games of Friday, August 9
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Tanner Peters, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 8.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K. Peters has a fastball that works in the upper 80s/low 90s with good command, a potential plus changeup, and a developing curveball. He may not be the brightest prospect, but a start like this is impressive.
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A look at the prospects teams selected in the second round of the draft this past June.
Victor Caratini, C, Braves (Short-Season Danville): .307/.409/.445 with 14 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 21 R, and 18 RBI in 137 at-bats. Caratini offers a feel for hitting with developing power. He improved his draft stock by leaving the impression that he would be able catch after transitioning from third base.
A look at the players whom junior-circuit clubs selected in the first round of the draft in June.
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): .266/.337/.343 with 7 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 13 SB, 3 CS, 15 BB, and 49 K in 169 at-bats. Anderson is a toolsy player selected out of junior college. He was finally able to focus all of his time on baseball in 2013 after previously being a multi-sport athlete. Anderson offers plus-plus running ability and good bat speed, and some believe he has a chance to hit for power. It is going to be difficult for Anderson to stay at short, but scouts believe he could transition to center field if necessary. The White Sox paid $2.16 million for Anderson, and he was instantly in the conversation for the top prospect in their system.
Notes on 11 prospects, including Jake Arrieta, whom the Cubs acquired from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal earlier this year.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jake Arrieta, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K. This has to be a very positive sign for the Cubs. Arrieta was acquired from the Orioles for Scott Feldman with the thought that he may benefit from a change of scenery, and performances like this one keep that hope alive.
Position Prospect of the Day: Victor Roache, RF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI. Roache has the raw power and arm strength to handle right field. The problem that scouts keep noting in conversations is that his hit tool may not be major-league quality.
Notes on 12 prospects, including Reds lefty Ismael Guillon and Dodgers infielder Corey Seager, who slugged two home runs.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Guillon had been scuffling in 2013, but he turned it around last night. He features a plus fastball and changeup. Guillon’s command this season has been poor, to put it bluntly, and he looks destined for the bullpen.
Position Prospect of the Day: Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI. I recently spoke with a scout who feels that Seager has a chance to hit and hit for power, but thinks that he is a third baseman all the way. If Seager is forced to slide to third, that would put more pressure on the bat, but he should hit enough to make that irrelevant.
Notes on 15 prospects, including Royals righty Christian Binford and Mets second baseman Wilmer Flores.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Christian Binford, RHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K. Binford has an extremely tall frame, standing 6-foot-6, and he utilizes it to create good plane on his low-90s fastball. Earlier this season, Binford showed a curveball that flashed solid average and a changeup that was very inconsistent. He still had some mechanical issues that he needed to iron out, but the recent performance may suggest that Binford is ready to step onto the prospect radar; 45.0 IP, 37 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 51 K in last seven starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Wilmer Flores, 2B, Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. Flores continues to play second base in Triple-A, and it looks like the Mets are going to give him a shot to prove that he can handle it in The Show. Flores makes solid contact and has the potential to have a solid-average hit tool with plus power. After a rollercoaster prospect journey, Flores profiles as a solid-average regular going forward.
Notes on 24 prospects, including first-round picks Kyle Zimmer (Royals, 2012) and Francisco Lindor (Indians, 2011).
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K. Someone asked me what I thought of Zimmer tonight. My response was simple, “He needed to get it early in the season and he didn’t for a little stretch, but watch out now because he’s coming for any hitter.” Zimmer has one of the best curveballs I’ve ever seen, and he also can easily touch 98. The changeup is a solid-average offering. Check back to our first official Eyewitness Accounts series to see what Jason Cole and I said about Zimmer; 12.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 19 K in tw Double-A starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (Double-A Akron): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Just a baseball player who simply just gets it done time after time. That is how I would describe Franisco Lindor. I project him to be a plus hitter who will provide 10-12 home runs and plenty of doubles. Defensively, he is as smooth as they come, and has the chance to compete for Gold Gloves. I’ve always said this, and I hope in this day of fantasy baseball we still appreciate players like Francisco Lindor, because he will be a much better real-life baseball player than fantasy player; .441/.578/.647 with 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 5 SB in 34 Double-A at-bats.
Notes on 14 prospects, including Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman and Athletics third baseman Renato Nunez.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K. Stroman is doing his best to prove he can be a starter. I saw him last week and his fastball worked in the low 90s, his slider came in at 84-86, and his changeup registered 83-85. The positive was I saw that the slider has wipeout (plus-plus) potential, and he coupled that with a changeup that could be solid average. He used his fastball and was able to pitch effectively to both sides of the plate, but I did not like the fact that it lacked life. Someone of Stroman’s stature needs life on the fastball in order to compensate for the lack of plane, or he will give up a lot of long drives when he finds opponents’ barrels. I’ll stick to the fact that I believe Stroman can be a top-tier closer in the league, but if he keeps putting up numbers, I think the Blue Jays will give him a shot to start before deciding on his ultimate role; 33.1 IP, 23 H, 10 ER, 8 BB, 42 K in last 5 starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K. It has been a while since Nunez has appeared on this list. I know the bat speed is promising and he offers plus power potential, but scouts have preached to me that he needs to prove that he can hit quality pitching. Nunez has a violent swing that can be exploited, and he also has minimal feel for third base and most likely will end up playing first.
Notes on 15 prospects, including the Nats' Nathan Karns and the ChiSox' Courtney Hawkins.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Nathan Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Karns has a plus fastball and an easy plus curveball. The changeup is developing. I would not be surprised if the Nationals call him up if the need arises.
Position Prospect of the Day: Courtney Hawkins, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K. As everyone that reads this knows, I rated Courtney Hawkins as an organizational player, though I recognize that he has plenty of raw power. My reasoning for that assessment is I do not believe he will be able to hit quality pitching, and he will not make enough contact to tap into his raw power; .205/.239/.455 2 2B, 3 HR, and 17 K in last 44 at-bats.
Notes on 13 prospects who stood out yesterday, most notably Brewers outfielder Victor Roache and Cardinals righty Cory Jones.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Cory Jones, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. Another start, another shove session for Jones. The fastball can touch the upper 90s, and he uses a power curveball that flashes plus to miss bats. There is effort in his delivery, and that, combined with an inconsistent changeup, suggests that Jones’ ultimate future is in relief. Regardless, he is now squarely on the prospect radar; 26.0 IP, 22 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 28 K in four July starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Victor Roache, OF, Brewers (Low-A Brewers): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB. Roache has top-notch raw power, and he really can pack a punch when he gets his hands extended on a ball. The problem here is that superior pitching may give Roache a world of trouble. A player like Roache relies on his power, and if he is not able to make consistent contact, the pop becomes irrelevant; .349/.391/.814 with 2 2B and 6 HR in last 43 at-bats.