Games of Friday, March 22
Prospect of the Day: Evan Gattis, C, Braves (competing for a bench job in the majors): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K. A true slugger, Gattis will have days (even weeks) where he is able to show off his raw power. Before I classify him a true prospect, though, I will need to see him show consistency in the upper minors; .388/.404/.796 with five home runs and five doubles in 49 spring at-bats.
Other notable prospect performances…
- Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-5, R, RBI, 2B. Arenado is capitalizing on his plus hit tool and enjoying the thin Arizona air this spring; .333/.333/.714 with four home runs and four doubles in 42 at-bats.
- Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP, Rangers (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Frisco): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The headliner in the Michael Young trade, Bonilla profiles as a late-inning reliever with at least a plus-plus changeup; six strikeouts in four spring innings.
- Tim Federowicz, C, Dodgers (expected to be the backup catcher for the Dodgers): 1-1, BB. Included in the Erik Bedard trade, Federowicz will use his plus defensive abilities to carve out a career as a backup catcher; .161/.278/.194 in 31 spring at-bats.
- Chris Heston, RHP, Giants (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Fresno): 4 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. Heston works with a sinker-changeup combo and good command to overcome his mediocre velocity; 14 hits allowed in 10 2/3 spring innings.
- Corban Joseph, 2B, Yankees (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI. Joseph, a patient hitter who fits the grinder utility-man mold, should start the season back in Triple-A; .205/.279/.308 in 39 spring at-bats.
- Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS, Athletics (expected to start the season A’s bench): 0-3, K. One of the more heralded Japanese signings this offseason, Nakajima’s glove will be his calling card early on; .162/.279/.189 with one extra-base hit in 39 spring at-bats.
- Joe Panik, SS/2B, Giants (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Richmond): 0-5. The 2011 first-round pick may have to slide over to second base, and he has limited offensive projection, which may land him in a utility role down the road; 1-for-10 this spring.
- Ryan Pressly, RHP, Twins (Rule Five pick is expected to make the Twins’ Opening Day roster): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB. A former Red Sox prospect, Pressly pitches off of his fastball and should stick in the majors as a reliever; one earned run in 11 spring innings.
- Darin Ruf, LF/1B, Phillies (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 2-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB. The prospect formerly known as “Babe” has made offensive adjustments since struggling in the beginning of spring, but he is a 30-grade even at first base or in left field; 5-for-13 with four extra-base hits in his last 13 at-bats.
- Jonathan Schoop, SS/2B, Orioles (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Norfolk): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Schoop has plenty of offensive tools, but he is still looking for a stable defensive home; four hits in six at-bats since returning from the World Baseball Classic.
- Nick Tepesch, RHP, Rangers (announced as the fifth starter for the Rangers): 5 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. A big-framed right-hander with a four-pitch mix, Tepesch will rely on command rather than stuff to navigate through his major-league innings; 13 ER in 18 innings this spring.
Games of Saturday, March 23
Prospect of the Day: Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (will start the season as the 5th starter in Atlanta): 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. The 22 year-old Columbian has turned the switch on this spring. Teheran always has had supreme stuff, but has now matured into a pitcher who understands how to use it; 35 strikeouts and only seven hits allowed in 26 spring IP.
Other notable prospect performances…
- Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas): 1-1, RBI. The main prospect in the R.A. Dickey return package, d’Arnaud brings a well rounded profile with excellent bat-to-ball skills, power to all fields, and solid defense; .355/.432/.484 in 31 spring at-bats.
- Clint Everts, RHP, Blue Jays (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Buffalo): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. The Expos' first-round pick in 2002, Everts relies on deception as a reliever in the hope of one day reaching the majors.
- Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Plus-plus fastball velocity and a developing slider will place Familia in high-pressure situations in the Mets bullpen at some point in 2013; 11 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings this spring.
- Josh Fields, RHP, Astros (Rule Five pick expected to start the season in Houston’s bullpen): 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, K. The first-overall selection in the Rule Five draft, Fields has a plus fastball and solid-average curveball; three earned runs in 8 2/3 innings pitched this spring.
- Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Braves (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Gwinnett): 5 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Gilmartin, the Braves’ first-round pick in 2011, lacks dazzling stuff, but his pitchability gives him a back-end starter ceiling ; 13 earned runs in 19 innings.
- Ryan Kussmaul, RHP, White Sox (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Charlotte): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Kussmaul has used a plus fastball, fringy slider, and extreme deception to put up great strikeout numbers in the minors.
- Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (anticipated to start the season in High-A Carolina): 3-5, R, RBI. Lindor displays the tools on both sides of the ball to be a top-five prospect in 2014; 6-for-19 in major-league games this spring, as a 19-year-old.
- Tyler Naquin, CF, Indians (anticipated to start the season in High-A Carolina): 1-4, R, 2 RBI, K. Cleveland’s 2012 first-round pick out of Texas A&M has a plus-plus arm and plus running ability, but some question how the bat will play as a pro; 2-for-10 this spring.
- Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Round Rock): 2-2, R. Profar possesses a complete set of tools, including an 80-grade smile; .244/.354/.317 in 41 spring at-bats.
- Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Chattanooga): 3-3, 2 R, 2B. Puig has put himself squarely in the conversation for the Dodgers’ Opening Day left field job. Even if he does not start the season in the majors, Puig’s performance this spring puts pressure on the Dodgers’ corner outfielders; .547/.527/.887 in 53 spring at-bats.
- Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (expected to pitch meaningful innings out of Detroit’s bullpen): 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Rondon has left the Tigers scrambling for a ninth-inning alternative after a suspect spring; 15 hits and six earned runs allowed in 10 2/3 spring innings.
- Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, Cardinals (expected to pitch meaningful innings out of Cardinals’ bullpen): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Rosenthal, who transitioned into relief work earlier this spring, has the stuff to be the closer if Mitchell Boggs falters in Jason Motte’s stead; nine strikeouts, three hits allowed, and zero earned runs in 6 1/3 innings since moving to the bullpen.
- Edward Salcedo, 3B, Braves (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Mississippi): 2-2, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Salcedo, a $1.6 million signing in 2010, has plus raw power and a feel for making solid contact, but he has been far too inconsistent.
Games of Sunday, March 24
Prospect of the Day: Aaron Hicks, CF, Twins (expected to be the starting center fielder for the Twins): 4-4, 3 R, RBI, 2B. Future Fringe-Average podcast co-host Mike Ferrin said it best, “At this point last year, the talk was if Hicks didn’t hit in the first half, he would have to move to the mound. Now he is going to be the starting center fielder in the big leagues.” What a difference a year makes. Hicks, who is a switch-hitter, has been on an absolute tear this spring, showing plus running ability, plus raw power, and the potential to play center field at a gold-glove level; .350/.397/.650 with six doubles and four home runs in 60 at-bats.
Other notable prospect performances…
- Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox (in a battle for the Opening Day left field job for the Red Sox): 1-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, 2 K. Whispers are that Bradley has shown enough this spring to head north with the major-league team; .423/.508/.615 with 22 hits in 52 spring at-bats.
- Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Portland): 1-1, R. Bogaerts may have to move off of shortstop, but his potential for a plus hit tool and at least plus power will play anywhere on the diamond; two hits in six at-bats since returning to the Red Sox after the World Baseball Classic.
- Bryce Brentz, RF, Red Sox (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Pawtucket): 1-4, 2 K. A 2010 supplemental first-round pick, Brentz shows plus power but has trouble hitting breaking balls; 3-for-8 with a double this spring.
- Collin Cowgill, OF, Mets (battling for a starting job in the Mets outfield): 2-3, R, SB. Profiles best as a grinder reserve who will get the most out of his tools with work ethic and hustle; .309/.367/.545 with three home runs and four stolen bases in 55 spring at-bats.
- Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Blue Jays (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Buffalo): 1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. A former first-round pick, Jeffress has and elite fastball and bat-missing ability, but he lacks the necessary command; 12 strikeouts and nine walks in 11 spring innings.
- Adam Loewen, OF, Blue Jays (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Buffalo): 0-2. Loewen, a former big-league pitcher, shows raw power, but he may never make enough contact to be relevant; 1-for-12 this spring.
- Donald Lutz 1B/OF, Reds (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Pensacola): 0-4, 2 K. The 24-year-old slugger receives high praise from Dusty Baker, and he enjoyed a huge spike in isolated power while playing in the California League last year; .275/.333/.475 in 40 spring at-bats.
- Hunter Morris, 1B, Brewers (anticipated to start the season in Triple-A Nashville): 0-1, K. Morris is limited to first base defensively, and his raw power comes with a high volume of swings and misses; 3-for-26 with seven strikeouts.
- Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Birmingham): 1-4, 2 K. The son of former NBA first-overall pick Mychal Thompson, Trayce displays 65-grade game power and an improving approach at the plate; 1-for-18 this spring.
- Erik Johnson, RHP, White Sox (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Birmingham): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. A Cal product, Johnson has the best stuff in the White Sox system, using a fastball-slider-curveball mix while developing a changeup; seven strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings pitched this spring.
- Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres (expected to start the season as the second baseman for the Padres): 2-4, 2 K. Gyorko, one of the favorites for the National League Rookie of Year award, has great bat-to-ball ability and average game power; .286/.306/.517 with five doubles and three home runs in 60 at-bats.
- Jacob Turner, RHP, Marlins (expected to be the fourth starter for the Marlins): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, K. Turner, the centerpiece of the Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante trade, has a heavy fastball but is still developing his secondary pitches; 14 earned runs in 13 innings this spring.
- Brandon Workman, RHP, Red Sox (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Portland): 3 IP, 3H, 2 ER, 2 BB, K. The former Longhorn features a low-90s fastball and could become an innings-eater.