He's likely only serving as depth, highlighting the Cubs' absurd depth.
The Situation: Jorge Soler’s injury has added to the Cubs issues in OF. Kyle Schwarber succumbed to a season ending injury, and Matt Szczur has also been on the DL this season. As a result it is time for Jed and Co.’s first draft pick with the Cubs to make his major-league debut.
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What do two scouts think of the Cubs center fielder?
There have been a lot of fun stories over the six weeks of the season, and one of the best has been the rise of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora. The sixth-overall pick of the 2012 draft, Almora has seen his share of ups and downs over his three-plus years in the Chicago system, but it’s only been up in 2016, as he’s hitting .333/.352/.482 with three homers and five stolen bases over the first 41 games of the year for Triple-A Iowa while playing outstanding defense in center field.
Notes on Logan Allen, Albert Almora, Austin Allen and other people with A's in their names.
Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford)
Senzatela was making his first start in five weeks after an outing in April where he had “trouble getting loose.” Rustiness could explain some of his struggles with fastball command early, but Senzatela has high-effort mechanics and doesn't get much out of his lower half, limiting the overall future command profile. The fastball does show some east-west life at times, and the deception in his delivery makes the 90-94 velocity appear “sneaky-fast,” but he struggled to get the pitch down in the zone and Bowie hitters seemed very comfortable taking cuts at his fastball. Even at his sharpest he will struggle to get plane on it out of his 6-foot-1 frame.
Senzatela featured a full four-pitch mix, but only his slider looked like it had a chance to get to average. The best ones sat in the low 80s, and had sharp, late tilt, but at the top end of his 79-85 velocity band the offering would flatten out. He still throws his slow curve on occasion to sneak a strike, but it is mostly a show-me or chase pitch. Senzatela started to work his changeup in more third time through the order, but the pitch is well-below-average at present. It's a major-league-quality arm, but while you can handwave some of Senzatela's struggles due to the long layoff, the mechanical quirks and lack of a clear third pitch likely point towards a future home in the bullpen. —Jeffrey Paternostro
In the first installment of this series, Ben and Craig take you from Domingo Santana to Jonathan Schoop.
We’ve done it, Internet. We’ve compiled a Big List of Players just for you.
Craig and I have spent the past six weeks breaking down each division, forming individual top-30 U25 dynasty rankings and comparing those lists with some witty (read: tired) commentary in each installment. We’ve also been debating each list on TINO, with the help of Dear Leader Bret Sayre and Mauricio Rubio, and have fielded many questions and concerns on Twitter and via the comments section, too.
Notes on prospects who stood out during the past three days, including Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo and Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco.
Friday, April 11
Mike Montgomery, LHP, Rays (Durham, AAA): 5 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 5 K. It should tell us something about where Montgomery stands within the Rays organization that, even after two solid starts to begin this season and with a rash of injuries to their majo- league pitching staff, Montgomery is still in Triple-A. He’s off to a good start, missing bats and throwing strikes, but his inconsistent mechanics and fringy off-speed stuff still have him destined for a bullpen role.
Aaron Sanchez leads off the second half of the list.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2014, our second-annual prospect book, which will collect all of BP's offseason prospect content (plus exclusive prospect and fantasy offerings) in book and e-book form. Here's a look at last year's book; expect an even more meaty offering this time around.
To read part one of this list, published yesterday, click here.
Notes on 12 prospects, including Athletics shortstop Addison Russell and Cubs right-hander Dallas Beeler.
Hitter of the Day: Addison Russell, SS, A’s (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-5, R, 2B, K. There were a few questions about Russell when he was drafted in 2012, but there are very few surrounding him now. Still shy of his 20th birthday, Russell has handled every assignment put in front of him to this point and is now hitting .307 in the AFL. The strikeouts are a little bit of a concern, but as long as he keeps producing, no one will notice.
Pitcher of the Day: Dallas Beeler, RHP, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Coming off a start in which he allowed seven unearned runs, Beeler was strong on Monday, pounding the strike zone and generating weak contact.
Notes on 10 prospects, including Cubs outfielder Albert Almora and Nationals lefty Sammy Solis.
Hitter of the Day: Albert Almora, CF, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 2-4, R, 2 RB, BB. It’s difficult for a hitter to maintain success when not playing every day, but that’s exactly what Almora has done, collecting his third multi-hit game in as many tries in the AFL despite playing in just half of his team’s games. Such is life in the AFL. Almora has solid tools across the board, but he has the advanced feel for hitting that so many toolsy players lack which will allow his other abilities to develop more completely.
Pitcher of the Day: Sammy Solis, LHP, Nationals (Mesa Solar Sox): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Eight strikeouts in any game is usually a good sign. In the AFL, where the outings are much shorter is a sign that Solis was dominant on Tuesday afternoon. The lefthander isn’t a big strikeout guy, but he can rack them up with his changeup, which has the potential to miss bats against aggressive swingers.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!