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With action underway (if not postponed) throughout the minor leagues, we bring you guide to the players you should be watching throughout the minor league seasons. Throughout the week the Prospect Team will bring you a league or three per day, with every team covered, and every Top 10 prospect noted. We'll also provide reports on guys who couldn't crack the Top 10s, but are well worth your time anyway. Other pieces in this series:

The Midwest League
The California League
The Florida State League

Rome BravesAtlanta Braves

#6 RHP Touki Toussaint
#7 RHP Mike Soroka
#8 3B Austin Riley
#9 LHP Max Fried

Keep an eye on:

C Lucas Herbert
The high school battery-mate of Atlanta’s top selection in 2015 (Kolby Allard), Herbert has actually beaten his prep teammate to full-season ball in their respective first full pro seasons. Atlanta’s second-round selection last June, Herbert is known for his advanced defensive skill and game-calling. The scouting consensus is that he’ll be the rare prep catcher to remain at the position long-term. The development of his bat will determine Herbert’s ultimate big league utility, but as a sound defensive catcher, the floor is fairly high.

Lexington Legends Kansas City Royals

#4 RHP Nolan Watson
#7 LHP Foster Griffin
#8 C Chase Vallot
#9 RHP Scott Blewett

Keep an eye on:

OF Anderson Miller
The tall, rangy, physical Miller had the attention of area scouts in the Midwest since his high school days in Kentucky. While the question whether he can turn an athletic frame and plus supplementary tools into enough production to carve out contributory big league utility remains, an uptick in his hitting consistency led the Royals to select him in 2015’s third round. Miller held his own in terms of batting average during an aggressive assignment to full-season Lexington during the summer of his pro debut. That said, the Royals decided to have Miller repeat the SAL in his first full professional season as he looks to improve his approach and power outputs.

August Greenjackets San Francisco Giants

#2 SS Lucius Fox, SS
#4 SS Jalen Miller, SS
#5 RHP Phil Bickford

Keep an eye on:

LHP Mac Marshall
Marshall was one of two players not named Brady Aiken who were affected by the 2014 Aiken situation with Houston. Marshall opted to take another shot at professional baseball after his deal with the Astros fell through, heading to Chipola (FL) JC, making him eligible for the 2015 Draft. San Francisco popped him in the fourth round last year. Despite a rough 20-inning pro debut between the Rookie-Level Arizona League and Short-Season Northwest League, the Giants will send the 20-year-old Marshall to Augusta to begin his first full professional season. Listed at six feet and 180 pounds, his long limbs and smooth delivery give him more angle on his pitches than his listed size would suggest. Marshall has the ceiling of a back-end southpaw starter, mixing a low-90s fastball with a quality fading change-up and roughly-average slurvy slider—all of which he throws for consistent strikes at his best. “At best” being the operative phrase, however: he really struggled to limit walks in his pro debut last summer. It will be important to monitor if his control bounces back this season in the SAL.

COF Dylan Davis
Davis’ calling cards at Oregon State—from which he was the Giants’ third-round selection in 2014—were a power bat and a power arm. In fact, his double-plus arm from the outfield was so strong that Davis doubled as Oregon State’s closer in college; some teams reportedly preferred him on the mound, where he would routinely reach the mid-90s with his fastball. Davis was overmatched by an assignment to High-A to begin 2015, spending the remainder of the season in the SAL with Augusta. A muscular 6-footer listed at 205 pounds, he has plenty of raw power and has shown some ability to take walks. However, strikeouts have plagued him as a professional (25% K-rate between San Jose and Augusta last season). As a corner-defender repeating Low-A who will be 23 by season’s end, this year is a critical one for Davis’ prospect stock insofar as trading strikeouts for more game power is concerned. Though this isn’t on the table now, his aforementioned arm strength makes Davis a candidate for a conversion to the mound if his bat remains stagnant.

Greenville Drive Boston Red Sox

#2 RHP Anderson Espinoza
#6 CF Luis Alexander Basabe
#10 C Austin Rei

Keep an eye on:

Michael Chavis, 3B
The Red Sox first-rounder in 2014, Chavis came out of a Georgia high school billed as a polished hit-over-power infielder with quality makeup and a good hitter’s frame. Though he showed intriguing power for a teenage infielder in 2015 (16 home runs, .182 ISO, 47 percent hits for extra-bases), a sub-.230 batting average and 30 percent strikeout rate didn’t match up with the advanced feel to hit many anticipated. Accordingly, he will begin the year repeating Low-A in Greenville. There’s still plenty of room for optimism however, as Chavis will play the majority of 2016 as a 20-year-old while still showing the efficient, strong stroke that made him a first-rounder. A shortstop in high school, Chavis has moved over to third base as a professional where his above-average arm is a good fit. Given his build (5-foot-10, 190 pounds), arm-strength, and quality makeup, there’s been talk of trying him behind the plate—though that seems premature, especially if his bat and approach show more consistency as he takes a second crack at the SAL.

Asheville Tourists Colorado Rockies

#1 SS Brendan Rodgers

Keep an eye on:

RHP Peter Lambert
Lambert was the Rockies’ second-rounder last June out of a California high school. He was sent to the Pioneer League—a hitter’s haven—and held his own as an 18-year-old. A young-looking 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Lambert has a clean delivery with an advanced ability to repeat it down the mound and fill the zone with a full starter’s mix. His fastball sits in the low-90s with secondary offerings that both project to be at least average. Some scouts that saw Lambert as an amateur said he reminded them of Walker Buehler at the same stage, though expecting Lambert’s velocity to jump up 3-4 mph like Buehler’s did between the ages of 18 and 21 isn’t realistic considering Lambert’s superior polish at the same stage, and the fact he’s a warm-weather arm. His ceiling is that of a back-rotation starter, and with his advanced polish and ability to compete and throw strikes, Lambert could move quickly for a high-school draftee.

David Hill, RHP
Colorado selected Hill in 2015’s fourth round out of the University of San Diego. It’s interesting that he’ll be in Asheville’s rotation along with Peter Lambert, because he’s not that dissimilar from what Lambert could look like when he’s 21-22 (Hill turns 22 in May). A coordinated 6-foot-2,195 pounds, Hill has a compact and athletic delivery he repeats well. Some scouts questioned the true impact of his stuff entering the draft, but even after a few months of professional instruction and workouts, it has taken a step forward across the board. I saw Hill this spring on Cactus League backfields, where his fastball ranged between 90-94 and sat at 92. His curveball was significantly improved since his days at USD; a shapely, upper-70s bender that looked the part of a big-league starter’s hook. He has lots of confidence in a high-velocity, splitter-like changeup between 86-88 mph, and while he may have to take something off of it to gain better separation from his average fastball, the pitch shows solid, late arm-side dive on a regular basis. His developments even since last June have been impressive—if he pitches up to his stuff, he’ll move up to a higher rung of the minors fairly quickly in 2016.

RHP Parker French
French was valued like an organizational prospect after his junior year at Texas, lasting until the 19th round in 2014. He returned for his senior year, where a late-season uptick in velocity—paired with the “senior sign” label—vaulted him to the fifth round last June. Though French was used as a starter at Grand Junction in his 2015 pro debut and will be used as a starter for the Tourists in 2016, his delivery has some effort and he works with a primarily two-pitch mix. All signs point to a more likely ceiling in the ‘pen at the end of the day, but it is almost always best to give a guy the chance to start until he proves he can’t. He lands with deceptive cross-fire mechanics, leaning heavily on a 92-95 mph sinker that can be a real bowling ball at times. While French’s low-80s slider can be off-and-on given the complexities of his mechanics, it’s close to an average pitch and would play up more in a short-stint role.

Hickory Crawdads Texas Rangers

#4 RHP Dillon Tate
#9 CF Eric Jenkins

Keep an eye on:

SS Yeyson Yrizarri
While there’s a chance no one will ever be able to pronounce this guy’s name—I’ve stopped even trying to, honestly—he’s a classic Rangers center-diamond player with great athleticism and the defensive tools to profile at shortstop. A quick-twitch, rangy 6-foot and 175 pounds, he’s a good runner with above-average first-step quickness and fluidity, along with an absolute cannon across the infield. Similar to his offensive approach (21 walks in 560 career PAs), the teenaged Yrizarri will have his youthful moments rushing the routine play—though he certainly has the athleticism and toolset to remedy this with time. There’s not much debate as to whether he possesses the chops with the leather to fit a big league profile—whether he’s a regular or not will come down to the development of his offense. He won’t ever hit for real power at his size, and continuing to develop patience at the plate would supply the on-base skills required to fill the table-setter role he’ll need to play in order to be an everyday contributor.

3B Ti’Quan Forbes
When Texas selected Forbes in the second round of the 2014 draft out of a Mississippi high school, they knew that his trajectory to the big leagues would be slow. Undeterred, the club is primed to reap the fruits of their player-development labor this year, as Forbes will start a season with a full-season club for the first time in his professional career. Everything about the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Forbes jumps out: his athleticism, the fluidity of his actions on both sides of the ball, and the projection remaining in his baseball skills and frame. He has a fluid right-handed swing with effortless whip through the zone and the long levers that suggest improvements to his in-game power could be on the way, despite the fact he hasn’t shown much thump in games yet at the professional level. There’s no denying the risk with Forbes in terms of his possessing a low floor, but this type of physicality and natural athleticism don’t grow on trees. If there’s an organization that’s garnered the reputation for getting the most out of this type of player, it’s the championship-caliber player dev staff in Texas. Forbes will be an intriguing player for Hickory fans to watch this season, who almost certainly will show flashes of tremendous natural tools while continuing to work through some raw aspects of his game.

West Virginia Power Pittsburgh Pirates

#9 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
#10 RHP Mitch Keller

Keep an eye on:

OF Casey Hughston
Hughston was Pittsburgh’s third-rounder in last year’s draft, though he doesn’t quite fit the typical mold of a big school college hitter—a type of player that typically moves relatively quickly through the lower rungs of a system. The Alabama alum is more like a prep prospect in that he’s got a big league frame (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and fairly loud tools in his speed and raw power, but the aspects that bring tools into game action are still being honed. He really struggled in his pro debut in the New York-Penn League (sub-.600 OPS, 29 percent strikeout rate) but undeterred, the Pirates are sending him to full-season ball for his first full professional season. Hughston has an interesting power-and-speed toolset; the question for SAL prospect watchers to monitor will be how much those tools play past 5 o’clock.

RHP Seth McGarry
McGarry draws comparisons to another Florida Atlantic alum and similarly hard-throwing, undersized reliever in RJ Alvarez. The Pirates’ ninth-rounder last year, McGarry likely would have gone higher in the draft if he didn’t struggle with injuries his first two seasons at FAU. He consistently sits in the mid-90s and touches 97 at best, with both a curveball and changeup that are effective but not genuine putaway pitches. As such, McGarry’s ceiling is that of a hard-throwing middle-man so long as he can maintain his velocity and health. Already a bullpen pitcher from the college ranks, WV Power prospect watchers should get out to see him early—because if he’s firing on all cylinders, he’ll be moved up out of Low-A fairly soon.

Greensboro Grasshoppers Miami Marlins

#1 RHP Tyler Kolek – INJURED
#2 1B/DH Josh Naylor
#6 OF Isael Soto

Keep an eye on:

SS/CF Anfernee Seymour
Seymour fits Miami’s targeted prep positional mold: Crazy athleticism with plenty of rawness; perhaps more “athlete” than “ballplayer” early in his career. The Marlins’ seventh-rounder in 2014 out of American Heritage (FL) HS, Seymour has been the real life embodiment of Willie Mays Hayes in the low minors. Perhaps a legitimate 80-grade runner, he can take over a game with speed that you just don’t see very much, even at the pro level. Case and point: Seymour has been on base 126 times in his professional career (92 hits, 34 walks). He’s stolen 44 bases. He swiped 11 bases in 26 GCL games in 2014; 29 bases in 64 games in the New York-Penn League last summer. As dynamic as his speed is, the other aspects of his game are still developing. He’ll never hit for power, and his .273 batting average in short-season ball stemmed much more from legging out softly hit balls (.348 BABIP) than it did from legitimate possessing a competent hit tool. Miami has tried him at SS and CF so far, though in my first-hand looks at him, the actions and arm strength don’t profile safely in the infield. Seymour is fun to watch, though his ascent through the minors might be a fairly long one as he refines the type of table-setting game he will have to play in order to crack a big league lineup with regularity. Terrance Gore made a post-season roster, though; speed thrills.

Lakewood BlueClaws Philadelphia Phillies

#4 RHP Franklyn Kilome
#6 COF Cornelius Randolph

Keep an eye on:

C Deivi Grullon

Grullon is a solidly-built 6-foot-1, 180-pounder who will have a long career in professional baseball. Whether that is as a catcher off the bench or as Crash Davis (okay, last movie reference here, promise) is up in the air. Though he’s only 20, he doesn’t show much upside with the bat or in his approach. That said, he’s a catcher that some scouts feel could be close to handling the defensive requisites of the big leagues right now. He’s an agile blocker and sets strong, low targets. More impressively, though, is an arm that gives any catcher in Philadelphia’s system a run for their money—yes, even Jorge Alfaro. A legitimate hand-cannon capable of popping between 1.7 and 1.8 with velocity and sizzling carry through the bag, his defensive tools jump out at you and will ensure he’ll have a chance to hang around high levels of professional baseball for as long as he’s able to hang behind the dish.

Hagerstown Suns Washington Nationals

#3 OF Victor Robles

Keep an eye on:

C Jackson Reetz
Reetz was a third-rounder from a Nebraska high school in 2013, and this season will be a big one in determining whether he can realistically be viewed as a best-case-scenario regular in some capacity, or fits best as a glove guy. A sturdily-built 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he can handle the defensive requisites of the position and keep up his defense throughout the rigors of a long season. What’s concerning is the degree he hasn’t been able to take out the rigidity and stiffness in his swing that caused disparaging opinions about his ultimate big-league value as an amateur. Even against short-season pitching last year in short-season ball—despite playing capable defense behind the plate—Reetz really was overmatched to the tune of a dismal .212/.326/.248 slash line and a 28 percent strikeout rate. He still shows some pull-side pop in batting practice from a muscular right-handed stroke, but he’ll need to show more competency with the bat—and quickly—to avoid an organizational catcher label.

Delmarva Shorebirds Baltimore Orioles

#7 Ryan Mountcastle

Keep an eye on:

COF D.J. Stewart
Stewart had a very distinguished career at Florida State; the question is how well the portly 6-foot, 230-pounder’s game translates to the pro level. He demonstrated great work ethic, makeup, and a very polished approach throughout his college career, but an unorthodox super-crouched set-up from the left-hand side with some arm-bar length and (at times) questionable batspeed made some feel as though the swing was better suited for metal bats and upper-80s velocity. To that end, Stewart didn’t do his supporters much of a service by posting a .218/.288/.345 line in his pro debut in the New York-Penn League, but the muscular frame and flashes of raw power remain. It would be foolish to write off a guy who had so much offensive success in the ACC after a bumpy 62-game debut. Stewart’s value lies entirely in his bat; he and Ryan Mountcastle will be a potentially-formidable tandem in the heart of Delmarva’s lineup to start 2016. I wouldn’t want to make mistakes with my fastball to either of those guys.

Columbia Fireflies New York Mets

No Players in Top Ten

Keep an eye on:

SS Milton Ramos
The Mets’ third-rounder in 2014, the diminutive Ramos (5-foot-11, 160 pounds soaking wet) is a quality defender in the middle of the field with questions about if he’ll ever get strong enough to handle velocity and a wooden bat. His approach is that of a slappy table-setter: rarely walking and looking to put the ball on the ground. The ceiling could increasingly be looking like a Paul Janish type of bench glove-man; Mets prospect watchers should expect to see a skilled, flashy defender who is fun to watch with the glove. He’ll get his first crack at full-season ball in 2016 as he continues to develop his physicality and offensive game.

Kannapolis Intimidators Chicago White Sox

No Players in Top Ten

Keep an eye on:

1B Corey Zangari
Put simply: Zangari is a massive kid (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) with the raw power to match—starting his first full professional season as an 18-year-old. Yes, it’s Rookie-ball, but he put up a slash line of .323/.356/.492 with six dingers last summer in his pro debut. Most clubs considered Chicago’s sixth-rounder in 2015 to be more of a pitcher coming out of an Oklahoma high school, but the Sox saw power and so far he’s made good on their belief he could swing the bat. Zangari carries limited defensive value as a true 1B-only type that might even be relegated to DH for an American League club if he reaches the big leagues, but right-handed raw power in players this big—and this young—is definitely worth monitoring. If there was one nitpick in his AZL stats (because those really matter, right? Right…?) it was a high-strikeout, low-walk approach in a complex-based league. Especially considering his age and time spent as a two-way player, though, the argument can easily be made Zangari’s ability to take walks will continue to develop. An exciting masher that probably should be getting more chatter than he has to date, he’ll start his first full professional season in the heart of Kannapolis’ order.

Charleston Riverdogs New York Yankees

No Players in Top Ten

Keep an eye on:

SS Kyle Holder
Because last year’s draft featured an unusual amount of college shortstops factoring in to the top 100 picks, Holder had an unusual amount of competition for most notable collegiate shortstop in last year’s draft. That said, there might not have been a better pure glove-man of all the top college shortstops. The University of San Diego product is both a live-bodied and polished defender, and plays with a noticeable grit and intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, he’ll look to bounce back from a pro debut in Staten Island in which he slashed .213/.273/.253. He doesn’t strikeout much—nor does he walk a lot, either—it’s just that the contact he made last summer wasn’t particularly impactful. Holder will get his first crack at full-season ball to start 2016, in hopes of continuing to develop enough offensive game to allow a realistic ceiling above that of a bench glove-man.

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