Entering the year, Polanco was one of those players every team has a couple of – the super toolsy outfielder who one hopes will click. There was little sign of that in 2011, when he hit .237/.333/.361 in the Gulf Coast League, but few, if any prospects in baseball have taken a bigger step forward this year. There's absolutely nothing not to like about Polanco. A lean and wiry six-foot-four, the 20-year-old Dominican is the kind of player who catches your eye the second he gets off the bus, and then he shows a good approach, the potential for plus power, plenty of speed (40 stolen bases), and good defense in center. This is a five-tool guy actualizing, and rapidly, into an elite-level prospect.
Others Of Note:
- Engel Beltre, OF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (13), 2 R, RBI, BB, SB. Second-half surge continues with .298/.349/.553 line since the All-Star break; .259/.306/.439 overall.
- Nick Castellanos, OF, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB. Talk of a big league call up has died down, but he's still hitting .306/.322/.444 in 56 Eastern League games.
- David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Rookie-level Grand Junction): First-round pick has shown not only all five tools but plenty of ability as well; .380/.424/.615 in 45 games.
- Delino DeShields, 2B, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 1-for-2, HR (10), R, RBI, BB, SB. Promoted to High-A Lancaster after the game; .298/.401/.439 in 111 games with 83 stolen bases.
- Wilmer Flores, 3B/2B, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, K. Despite offensive improvements, there are still questions about secondary skills and ultimate position; .274/.324/.421 in 44 Eastern League games.
- Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB. Little second baseman with easy plus hit tool is 11-for-21 in last five games; .293/.334/.386 overall.
- Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, BB, 2 SB, CS. Has stolen 11 bases in his last five games to give him 133 on the year; just 12 short of the minor league record and hitting .273/.395/.384 since move to Double-A.
- Slade Heathcott, OF, Yankees (High-A Tampa) 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB. Has lifted OPS 111 points in five games by going 12-for-23 with 21 total bases; .300/.377/.531 in 39 contests.
- Mikie Mahtook, OF, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI. 2011 first-round pick his hitting .308/.324/.523 in 17 games since moving up, but he's a corner outfielder who's college power has yet to translate.
- Tyler Marlette, C, Mariners (Rookie-level Pulaski): 4-for-5, 3 2B, R, 3 RBI, K. Big bonus 2011 draftee is interesting talent with hitting skills and big arm, but catching ability needs work; 17-for-36 (.472) in August and .316/.342/.371 overall.
- Adam Morgan, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Impressive Double-A debut after striking out 140 over 123 innings in Florida State League; 22-year-old has outstanding command, and enough stuff to avoid classification as a pure finesse pitcher.
- Joe Panik, SS, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, 3 R. Ten hits in last three games and hitting .344 since the All-Star break; .293/.369/.412 overall is middle infielder with good approach and gap power.
- Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians (Rookie-level AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, CS. 17-year-old Dominican has been as good as advertised with the bat, but defensive concerns remain; .338/.393/.559 in 33 games.
- Enny Romero, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Left with big velo and big control problems will get plenty of time to figure it out, because when he's right, he's capable of lines like this.
- Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 3-for-5, HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI. First big game since promotion; .260/.319/.413 in 28 games with some minor progress defensively.
- Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem) 4-for-5, R, 3 RBI, K. Has made big strides in cutting down on whiffs with .310/.365/.549 line in 46 games since the All-Star break; big tools are still there, and production is starting to match.
- Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 2-for-4, 2 HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Beefy 19-year-old first baseman has impressed with hitting skills and power; five home runs in last four games and .356/.415/.746 in 15 overall since promotion.
- Mac Williamson, OF, Giants (Short-season Salem-Keizer): 3-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Third-round pick is huge (6-4, 240) and surprisingly athletic for his size; .327/.397/.577 in 13 games.
- Justin Wilson, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 8 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. The rare eight-inning no-no due to rain; Fastball and curve are both a tick above-average, but often has trouble throwing strikes.
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