Daniel Robertson, SS, Oakland (Mesa): 3-5, 2 R, HR. As a hitting prospect, Robertson struggles with very little. He hits for good power (great power for a shortstop), average, and has plus plate discipline. The California League helped this year and the AFL won’t be much different, but even with his stats returning to a more normal environment, Robertson looks to be a major part of the A’s future and one of the best hitting prospects in a depleted farm system. The question is whether or not he will be able to remain at shortstop; most doubt that he will, but the A’s haven’t given up on it yet.
Cal Towey, OF, Angels (Mesa): 3-4, 2 R, HR, BB, K. Towey was a 17th-round pick out of Baylor in 2013, but he handled a jump straight to the California League this season after just a short-season stint last year, which, in the Angels system, makes him something of a prospect. He was a senior sign, however, which means he was old when he got to pro ball and he’ll be 25 before next season begins. There’s virtually nothing blocking anyone who performs in the Angels system, so there’s room for Towey to move quickly, and he should start next season in Double-A. If he can show that his left-handed pop will translate against better pitching and in a more neutral hitting environment, he could end up being a useful piece.
Deven Marrero, SS, Red Sox (Surprise): 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB. Marrero will be a major leaguer because of his glove and his legs, but the Red Sox were hoping for a lot more out of the 24th-overall selection in 2012. He hit in college, but it simply hasn’t translated in the pros, especially when it comes to power. He does offer some plate discipline, which gives him a chance to offer some offensive value, but it may not be enough to make him an everyday player. He was strong in Double-A this year but struggled just as much after a midseason promotion to Triple-A. He’ll return to Pawtucket, but his bat won’t be unseating Xander Bogaerts anytime soon.
Tyler Austin, OF, Yankees (Scottsdale): 2-5, R, 2B. Two years ago, Austin looked like a budding power hitter after a breakout year in Low-A ball. Since his time in Charleston, however, he’s hit just 15 home runs and hasn’t resembled anything close to the kind of hitter he’ll need to be to man a corner-outfield spot for the Yankees. He’s probably a major-league hitter, but at this point, it looks like he’ll settle in as a second-division regular or a role player unless he can find the power stroke he once had.
Addison Russell, SS, Cubs (Mesa): 2-5, R, HR, 3 K. One of the players I’m most excited to see next week when the BP Prospect team hits the desert, Russell has struggled in early going this fall but there’s little reason to worry. He’s had some streakiness to his development thus far, but that is often a byproduct of being pushed so aggressively as a young hitter. He’ll be just 21 when the 2015 season starts, and if he returns to Double-A to begin the campaign, it’s not likely that he’ll be there for long.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now