Fernando Tatis Jr, just promoted to Double-A, has generated significant – and deserved – attention for his record-setting season as an 18-year-old in Low-A. He paced Fort Wayne to the playoffs, and will now join a Double-A club that will also be in the playoffs. Tatis Jr. has great body language and always seems to be at the center of a conversation with teammates or coaches in the dugout. He stands out on the field for his long build and legs and has projection through the upper half and shoulders. He clocked in at 4.25 to first base, just at above average for a right-handed batter, which will tick down a bit as he fills out. What won’t tick down is his effort, as he runs hard with energy and perceptive baserunning instincts (e.g. anticipating passed-balls, taking an extra base).
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Notes on Touki Toussaint, Justus Sheffield, Anderson Tejeda, and more.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome)
With the Rome Braves contending for the South Atlantic League title. its pitching staff's embarrassment of riches is on display. That includes using Touki Toussaint out of the bullpen to stay fresh in a Sept. 5 outing against Augusta that helped clinch the second-half division title. Imagine all of your wildest dreams coming true on a baseball field. Toussaint throwing gas in a one-inning stint is basically the same thing.
The 20-year-old consistently sat mid-90s and hit 97 twice with above-average run and sink. He located it arm side and it was devastating inside to right-handed batters. It didn't end there. Toussaint paired it with an impossible curveball, a true 70 pitch, with plus depth, very tight spin and hard bite. It fell off the table late with downward action that flashed 12-6. He tossed one changeup that dived under a right-hander's bat for good measure.
Scouting a pitcher who has a shelved pitch, and some notes on Touki Toussaint.
Q: From an evaluation standpoint, when an organization is limiting a pitcher, to say, using his fastball and changeup (the night you’re at the stadium), does your evaluation method change at all, knowing the pitcher couldn’t use his whole pitch set? – Andrew E.
A look at some of the high-ceiling talents who didn't show up on the BP Top 101.
Michael Clevinger,RHP, Indians
It’s hard to find a high-upside guy in the upper minors who isn’t in the Top 101; it’s just hard to stay off the radar if you’re throwing smoke and getting people out in Double-A. Cleveland’s development staff is doing pretty special stuff with their minor-league pitchers right now though, and perhaps their most impressive trick is turning Clevinger from a thrower into a pitcher with four usable offerings, three of which flash plus.
For Clevinger, his attack starts with the fastball. The right-hander comfortably sits in the 92-94 mph range, and he’s been clocked at 97. His slider is his second-best pitch, and when he’s on, it’s a late-breaking bender with sharp tumble. His 12-6 curve has good spin, and his best ones change a hitter’s eye-level. His changeup is firm and doesn’t feature the movement his other off-speed pitches have, although it isn’t a throwaway offering either, and it should at least keep lefties honest. There is risk in the profile: Clevinger has Tommy John on his resume, he’s already 25 years old, and he’s only dated the strike zone for about a year. Still, he could be a mid-rotation starter and he’s ready for big-league work right now. Not a bad return piece for a few innings of Vinnie Pestano. —Brendan Gawlowski
Notes on the prospects who stood out yesterday, led by Touki Toussaint and Reese McGuire.
Hitter of the Day: Reese McGuire, C, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 2 BB
Known for his advanced glove as he's moved through the minor leagues, McGuire’s bat is coming around as an asset as well. Hitting .284 and having popped 18 doubles and six home runs in the season’s first half, McGuire is quickly becoming a well-rounded prospect that should arrive in Pittsburgh in the coming months, before assuming the mantle as the club’s every day catcher in 2018. —Mark Anderson