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After an offseason of moves, some teams' top 10s need tweaking. So, to answer all the many questions we get asking where [X] would rank in his new system, we've updated the lists where applicable and written supplemental scouting reports on each player who is new to a list—either by changing organizations or by taking over a spot vacated by another player. Any teams not listed here have seen no changes to their top 10s. All teams' rankings, along with our Top 101 and organizational rankings, can be found here.

Atlanta Braves

Original List (November 7, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. RHP Lucas Sims
  2. 2B Jose Peraza
  3. RHP Mike Foltynewicz
  4. C Christian Bethancourt
  5. OF/1B Braxton Davidson
  6. RHP Ricardo Sanchez
  7. 3B Rio Ruiz
  8. RHP Garrett Fulenchek
  9. SS Ozhaino Albies
  10. RHP Alec Grosser

3. Michael Foltynewicz
Position: RHP
DOB: 10/07/1991
Height/Weight: 6’4” 200 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2010 draft, Minooka HS (Minooka, IL)
Previous Ranking: #4 (Org); 43 (Top 101)
2014 Stats: 5.30 ERA (18.2 IP, 23 H, 14 K, 7 BB) at MLB Houston, 5.08 ERA (102.2 IP, 98 H, 102 K, 52 BB) at Triple-A Oklahoma City
The Tools: 8 potential FB; 5+ potential CB

What Happened in 2014: The Illinois native continued to showcase a borderline elite fastball while struggling to dial-in his control over 102.2 Triple-A innings and 16 relief appearances, totaling 18.2 innings, in his first major league call-up.

Strengths: Workhorse build; elite arm strength; routinely tops triple digits with the heater, sitting upper-90s, and maintains well into starts; some late arm-side action; curve flashes bite with 11-to-5 action; fully leverages body; good extension; shields ball through arm circle; big presence.

Weaknesses: Below-average control; fastball can catch a lot of plate, flattens up in zone; tendency to come around curve, causing slurvy shape and soft action; change is below-average; can tip with slow arm and come firm and flat with matching arm speed; high-effort finish.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Realistic Role: High 5; late-inning relief/closer

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; achieved major leagues; high-floor as late-inning option.

The Year Ahead: Foltynewicz continues to entice with top shelf arm strength and one of the better fastballs in the minors, but through 104 starts and over 560 innings at the minor-league ranks the imposing righty has continually struggled to find the strike zone with consistency, leading to elevated pitch counts and problematic walk rates. His inability to spot his stuff within the four corners of the zone has additionally rendered Folty more hittable than the raw stuff would otherwise indicate. While the former Illinois prep-product has his share of supporters who would like to see him continue to work out of a rotation, where his size, durability, and premium arm would all be assets, it is becoming increasingly likely that Foltynewicz finds an ultimate home in the pen. If Atlanta opts to continue to develop Folty as a starter he will head back to Triple-A to continue to work on finding some consistency in his mechanics and execution, as well as softening his off-speed. Should the Braves let him loose in relief he has a shot to break camp with the big club. Either way he should find his way to The Big Peach at some point in 2015.

Major league ETA: Made debut in 2014

6. Ricardo Sanchez
Position: LHP
DOB: 04/11/1997
Height/Weight: 5’10’ 170 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2013, Venezuela
Previous Ranking: #9 (Org)
2014 Stats: 3.49 ERA (38.2 IP, 40 H, 43 K, 20 BB) at complex-level AZL
The Tools: 6 potential FB, 6 potential CB, 5+ potential CH

What Happened in 2014: The six-figure J2 bonus baby eased into stateside action with 38.2 innings at the complexes, where he impressed evaluators with his creamy mechanics and projectable arsenal.

Strengths: Easy motion, smooth arm; low-90s fastball regularly touches 94/95 mph; shows some feel for spotting the pitch in-zone; 72 to 78 mph curve most effective at the higher end of the velo band, coming with average depth and above-average bite; low-80s change-up shows promise and displayed growth; projects to above-average command thanks to easy motion and solid athleticism; in-game poise belies age and experience level.

Weaknesses: Fastball lacks plane; pitch will be reliant on quality velocity and in-zone precision to avoid barrels at upper-levels; change-up is consistently below-average offering at present; still developing feel across arsenal.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; no. 2/3 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; complex-level resume.

The Year Ahead: Despite his diminutive stature, Sanchez packs enough oomph in his stuff and ease in his mechanics to project out as a future rotation stalwart. There is a wide delta between present profile and where he needs to be in order to turn over major league lineups with regularity, but the precocious lefty has time on his side and is working with an advanced skill set compared to the majority of his contemporaries. 2015 will include a continued focus on building-up arm strength and innings, while working to improve his feel and comfort level across each of his offerings. He should see time in Orem this summer where he could push his innings totals as high as 70-plus, which would leave him well prepared for a full-season assignment in 2016.

Major league ETA: 2019

7. Rio Ruiz
DOB: 05/22/1994
Height/Weight: 6’2” 215 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Acquired: 4th round, 2012 draft, Bishop Amat Memorial HS (La Puente, CA)
Previous Ranking: #9 (Org)
2014 Stats: .293/.387/.436 at High-A Lancaster (131 games)
The Tools: 5+ potential hit; 5+ potential power; 6 arm; 5 potential glove

What Happened in 2014: Ruiz continued to grow his offensive game in the hitter’s haven that is High-A Lancaster, showing signs of emerging power to go with a solid feel for the zone and improved feel for contact.

Strengths: Smooth lefty swing; bat path offers lengthy pitch plane/swing plane overlap, allowing for use of whole field; maturing body; added length to load and leverage to swing; firm front side at contact; puts together good at bats; improving approach; strong left side arm; capable of making the flashy finish on balls in range.

Weaknesses: Some trouble getting barrel to the inner-half against same side arms; infrequent hard contact against lefties; power may top out around average; swing geared to line drive contact; still learning to lift; present pop skewed to pull side; range at third is fringe-average; still working to improve footwork; inconsistent set-up can impact accuracy across the diamond; well below-average run.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; above-average regular

Realistic Role: 5; average major-leaguer

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; yet to reach upper-minors

The Year Ahead: Ruiz doesn’t boast an impact profile, but there is potential for above-average offensive production to go with a solid average glove at the hot corner. The former over-slot signee has made progress growing his approach and fine-tuning his swing mechanics, which has allowed him to form a firm foundation for an on-base skill set. Despite solid overall production in 2014, Ruiz can struggle against same side arms, tracking less effectively and failing to regularly barrel-up balls in the zone or adequately cover the inner-half. Further, while Ruiz as made progress with the glove he needs to further improve his footwork and lower-half actions to better aid him in finishing plays at the margins and more consistently deliver balls to first with precision. He should spend 2015 with Double-A Mississippi, arguably the most difficult offensive environment in the Southern League.

Major league ETA: 2016

Updated Parting Thought: An eventful off-season saw Atlanta sacrifice some short-term assets in exchange for improved organizational depth, particularly at the upper-levels, and an increased likelihood that the Braves will be able to keep pace in the long-term with a rapidly improving NL East.

Miami Marlins

Original List (November 5, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. RHP Tyler Kolek
  2. C J.T. Realmuto
  3. RHP Trevor Williams
  4. RHP Jose Urena
  5. 2B Avery Romero
  6. LHP Justin Nicolino
  7. RHP Nick Wittgren
  8. LHP Michael Mader
  9. LHP Jarlin Garcia
  10. SS Justin Twine

9. Jarlin Garcia
Position: LHP
DOB: 01/18/1993
Height/Weight: 6’2” 170 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2010, Dominican Republic
Previous Ranking: On the Rise
2014 Stats: 4.39 ERA (133.1 IP, 152 H, 111 K, 21 BB) at Low-A Greensboro
The Tools: 6 potential FB; 5+ potential CB; 5+ potential SL/CT; 5 potential CH

What Happened in 2014: It was an uneven season for the 21-year-old in his first taste of full-season ball, but the projectable lefty finished strong over his final seven starts spanning 35 innings, holding the opposition to a .232 average while posting a 1.03 ERA and 28 strikeouts to just 5 walks.

Strengths: Athletic delivery; easy arm with clean release out of three-quarters slot; simple and repeatable step-in through deceleration; projection in body and stuff; heater plays in the low-90s with dance, touching as high as 95 mph with regularity; curve is a one-to-seven bender with some depth and occasional bite; matches fastball trajectory; early-stage low- to mid-80s short slider with tilt; can drop an occasional change.

Weaknesses: Heavy spine tilt with third-base pull-off; lacking in command, in-zone precision; occasional drag can push fastball back over plate against righties; change is too firm at present and too often traverses the upper-half of the zone; curve can lack sharpness; below-average fielding the position due to exaggerated fall-off; velo and execution diminish later in starts.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; no. 3/4 starter

Realistic Role: 5; late-inning relief

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; low-level minors resume

The Year Ahead: Garcia has developed a nice developmental foundation to facilitate further growth, including proven durability over the course of a full-season. His athleticism allows him to repeat a less-than-textbook delivery with regularity, though his posture and finish can lead to a fair amount of imprescision within the zone, and can reduce the effectiveness of his change-up and curve. Garcia should make the jump to High-A in 2015 where he will continue to work on refining his arsenal while working within the confines of his delivery. The stuff is solid, but may not prove up to the task of turning over higher-level lineups without a little more precision in implementation. Should he eventually switch to the pen he could provide value as a late-inning arm of the strength of his heater and emerging short slider, with the curve serving as a workable change-of-pace weapon. For now, all signs still point to a future in the rotation.

Major league ETA: 2017

10. Justin Twine
Position: SS
DOB: 10/07/1995
Height/Weight: 5’11” 205 lbs at complex level FGC
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2014 draft, Falls City HS (Falls City, TX)
Previous Ranking: N/A
2014 Stats: .229/.285/.355 (44 games)
The Tools: 6+ run; 5+ arm; 5 potential power; 5 potential hit

What Happened in 2014: The ultra-athletic Texas prep shortstop crept all the way into the second round of the 2014 draft, struggling some to adjust to the pro game during his 44 game spin through the Florida Gulf Coast League.

Strengths: Elite athlete; impressive strength; foot speed plays as high as double-plus with a solid second gear; above-average bat speed with good extension through contact; ball jumps when barreled; lower-half agility projects on the dirt; raw materials for an above-average glove in center field; good competitor.

Weaknesses: Game is raw; inconsistent and undisciplined approach in the box; contact ability could limit future power output; some length in load; footwork and hands play below-average, defensively; game can speed up on him.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first division regular

Realistic Role: High 4; below-average regular/utility option

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; complex level resume.

The Year Ahead: The prospect landscape is littered with elite athletes who fell short of mastering the skill set necessary to make the transition from upside to on-field production. The physically gifted Twine faces just that challenge as he begins his developmental journey at the pro ranks, with the native Texan emerging from the prep scene as a standout performer on the gridiron, the track, and the diamond. Twine is an explosive talent, showcasing quick-twitch actions and the potential to grow into a game-changer across the full scope of his game. He’s a borderline double-plus runner with a three step ramp-up that should keep pressure on infielders and outfielders alike, and as he continues to be exposed to pro instruction and further reps on the base-paths he could develop into a solid stolen base threat, as well. He can hit for power but in order to do so will need to make his load and swing path more uniform and continue to refine his ability to identify spin and track from release to contact. Above all else he needs time on the field and in the box. Initial reviews on pro exposure have been solid, but have also reinforced the belief that there is likely a long developmental lead ahead of the second rounder. He should continue in extended spring training with a step-up to short-season ball in June with the hope he will be ready to tackle a full-season assignment next year.

Major league ETA: 2019

Philadelphia Phillies

Original List (November 3, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. SS J.P. Crawford
  2. RHP Aaron Nola
  3. 1B/3B Maikel Franco
  4. RHP Zach Eflin
  5. LHP Yoel Mecias
  6. RHP Ben Lively
  7. LHP Tom Windle
  8. LHP Jesse Biddle
  9. C Deivi Grullon
  10. RF Kelly Dugan

4. Zach Eflin
Position: RHP
DOB: 04/08/1994
Height/Weight: 6’4” 200 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, Paul J. Hagerty HS (Orlando, FL)
Previous Ranking: On the Rise
2014 Stats: 3.80 ERA (128 IP, 138 H, 93 K, 31 BB) at High-A Lake Elsinore
The Tools: 6 potential CH; 5+ potential FB; 5+ potential SL

What Happened in 2014: Eflin put together a solid campaign with High-A Lake Elsinore, showing improved consistency across his arsenal and averaging over five innings per start.

Strengths: Good size; still filling in frame; high waist; gets solid extension and leverages long limbs to create tough angles; shields ball very well; good deception; fastball comes upper-80s to low-90s, routinely topping 94 mph; two-seamer shows lots of arm side action and weight; change-up is a potential weapon; action mirrors two-seamer; at best comes with arm speed deception; low-80s tilted slider flashes above-average with some bite and depth; fills-up the zone; confident air on the bump; developmental progress across arsenal bodes well for continued growth.

Weaknesses: Can get deliberate in mechanics; fastball can get flat up in the zone; change can come too firm in the mid-80s; slider is inconsistent, often lacking bite or backing-up; still developing feel for sequencing; can get formulaic in approach.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate; yet to reach Double-A; lacks swing-and-miss profile at present.

The Year Ahead: 2014 was an encouraging year for the former Hagerty High product, as Eflin saw the body, stuff, and feel all take a solid step forward. Despite long limbs and a continually thickening build, Eflin has done a solid job of keeping his mechanics generally in line, which in turn has facilitated a better control profile than you generally see in big-bodied arms with long levers. In order to reach his mid-rotation upside, Eflin will need to continue to refine his in-zone command as well as better implement his arsenal. As he learns to work both sides of the plate and better utilize his offerings to set each other up, he should be able to keep pace with the advanced bats he’ll face at the upper-levels, and could see an uptick in strikeouts in addition. He’ll spend 2015 in Double-A as a young 21-year-old and is positioned to earn himself a taste of The Bigs as early as 2016.

Major league ETA: 2016

6. Ben Lively
Position: LHP
DOB: 03/05/1992
Height/Weight: 6’4” 190 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 4th round, 2013 draft, University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
Previous Ranking: #7 (Org)
2014 Stats: 3.88 ERA (72 IP, 60 H, 76 K, 36 BB) at Double-A Pensacola, 2.28 ERA (79 IP, 57 H, 95 K, 16 BB) High-A Dayton
The Tools: 5+ FB; 6 potential SL; 5+ potential CH; 5 potential CB

What Happened in 2014: Lively split 2014 between High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, dominating the California League and continuing to look the part against Southern League competition.

Strengths: Strong, durable build; big time deception across arsenal; shields ball from hitter, with fastball and slider particularly difficult to pick up/differentiate; excellent balance and consistent timing; plus control and above-average command; fastball ranges comfortably 88 to 92 and reaches 94 with regularity; some arm-side run; low- to mid-80s slider capable of missing bats and barrels alike; improving feel for changeup; can flash above-average fade; mid-70s curve serves as change-of-pace offering that is most effective as a freeze pitch; can mix all four offerings; little trouble maintaining effectiveness throughout starts.

Weaknesses: Still working to make change-up a consistent weapon; can struggle to put away lefty bats when off-speed not clicking; slider will back up on him when struggling to find release; curve is a limited-use weapon and can be tracked if not properly sequenced; faded some in August; some questions as to whether effort and unorthodox delivery will allow for enough consistency in execution over course of a major-league season; fastball flattens out, particularly up in the zone; could be susceptible to the long ball if in-zone command doesn’t fully develop.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate; limited exposure to Double-A

The Year Ahead: Lively cruised through the first half of 2014, overwhelming High-A bats with four pitches that all showed major-league average or better over the course of his 13 Bakersfield starts. The transition to Double-A fell short of seamless, but the powerful righty continued to show mid-rotation potential thanks to the quality of his fastball and slider, and willingness to mix in the curve and change as needed. Any time you run into a non-traditional mechanical package you will get evaluators entrenched on either side, and Lively is no different. Critics of the arm action and effort continue to insist that Lively will struggle to establish enough command and consistency to thrive against major-league bats, fitting best in the late innings pumping his fastball and slide piece. Supporters point to Lively’s solid 150-plus innings this year and believe the steady progress he has shown in refining his four-pitch mix and overall feel bodes well for a future as a number three or four starter. Whether the former Central Florida Knight starts 2015 in Double-A or Triple-A, he is on the cusp of beginning his big-league career with a chance to debut in Philly at some point next summer.

Major league ETA: 2015

7. Tom Windle
Position: LHP
DOB: 03/10/1992
Height/Weight: 6’4” 215 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2013 draft, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Previous Ranking: NA
2014 Stats: 4.26 ERA (139.1 IP, 147 H, 111 K, 44 BB) at High-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Tools: 6 potential SL; 5+ FB; 5+ potential CH

What Happened in 2014: Windle was a steady force but seldom dominant as an advanced collegiate product in his first full season of pro ball, working in the zone with regularity and at times showing three above-average offerings.

Strengths: Solid size; durable build; sturdy trunk and high waist; leans on long limbs, high release, and slight crossfire to create tough angle on offerings and some deception; low-90s fastball with some heft and tail; can cut for a different look; low- to mid-80s slider is heavily tilted, approaching one-to-seven action; short and crisp; change-up works 78 to 83 mph with similar action to two-seamer; at best shows late dive and is tough to lift.

Weaknesses: Command still loose in the zone; stiff landing can force ball up into zone and reduce effectiveness of downhill trajectory; overall lack of fluidity in arm and motion can complicate release, precision, and consistency in execution; change-up lacks feel at present; can tip with retarded arm speed or come too firm and flat; can lose slot, leaving slider short and on plane, very hittable; can get overly reliant on the slider.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; no. 3/4 starter

Realistic Role: 5; late-inning relief

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; yet to reach Double-A; some shoulder woes during amateur career

The Year Ahead: Windle’s profile comes with the benefit of a high-floored reliever safety net thanks to his deception, tough angels, and a fastball/slider combo that could play up in shorter stints. His progress out of a rotation in his first full pro season, however, should permit him to continue to work as a starter until upper-level lineups prove him incapable of succeeding in that role. He may lack the looseness in actions and athleticism to fully develop his command or his off-speed, though he has found enough consistency to at least work with regularity in the zone. He will step-up to the Eastern League in 2015 where Double-A bats should serve as a solid gauge as to the overall effectiveness of his raw stuff while forcing him to further refine and better mix his arsenal.

Major league ETA: 2016

Washington Nationals

Original List (November 12, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. RHP Lucas Giolito
  2. RHP A.J. Cole
  3. CF Michael Taylor
  4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez
  5. RHP Joe Ross
  6. RHP Erick Fedde
  7. C Jakson Reetz
  8. RHP Jake Johansen
  9. CF Rafael Bautista
  10. SS/2B Wilmer Difo

5. Joe Ross
Position: RHP
DOB: 05/21/1993
Height/Weight: 6’4” 205 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, Bishop O’Dowd HS (Oakland, CA)
Previous Ranking: #10 (Org)
2014 Stats: 3.98 ERA (101.2 IP, 101 H, 87 K, 28 BB) at High-A Lake Elsinore, 3.60 ERA (20.0 IP, 23 H, 19 K, 1 BB) at Double-A San Antonio
The Tools: 6 FB; 5+ CH; 5 potential SL

What Happened in 2014: After a 2013 campaign through the Midwest League where the production far outdistanced the stuff, Ross took a solid step forward in 2014, holding Cal League bats at bay with a plus fastball and improving secondaries, and maintained that momentum through a late-season promotion to Double-A.

Strengths: Good body and strength; starter’s build; retains some physical projection; minimalist motion with very quick arm; low-90s fastball reached as high as 97 last summer and regularly touched 94/95; maintains velo from the stretch and later into starts; solid late run; short slider plays 83 to 86 mph with tilted action; can flash some bite; turns over change-up well, working mid-80s with fade.

Weaknesses: Fastball often catches too much of the dish and gets straight at higher end of velocity band; hitters don’t seem to have any trouble picking up the ball out of the hand; control well ahead of command; change-up can flutter up in the zone when he doesn’t finish the pitch; slider lacks depth and is reliant on fastball speeding up bats; overall stuff might not play impactful against more advanced bats.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; reached Double-A; solid developmental progression

The Year Ahead: Overall it was a very productive year for Ross, as he took a developmental step forward across his game, including more consistent execution of his secondaries and more effective implementation of his plus fastball. Ross effectively utilizes an easy, repeatable delivery to pound the zone with all three offerings, giving him a good chance to stick as a starter long term provided he continues to refine those offerings. As he transitions to the upper-minors, Ross will need to work on the finer points of the craft, including knowing when to take some zip off the fastball in order to get more wiggle, and how best to work to both sides of the plate in order to set up the secondaries. The repertoire still plays below where you would expect given the arm speed and raw velo, but there is a lot to work with here and 2014 saw Ross begin to tap into the potential the Padres saw when they popped him in the first round of a loaded 2011 draft. He’ll return to Double-A in 2015 with the Nationals likely to take their time rounding out his development over the next 18 months.

Major league ETA: 2016

Cincinnati Reds

Original List (November 21, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. RHP Robert Stephenson
  2. OF Jesse Winker
  3. RHP Michael Lorenzen
  4. OF Yorman Rodriguez
  5. RHP Nick Howard
  6. RHP Anthony DeSclafani
  7. SS Alex Blandino
  8. RHP Nick Travieso
  9. OF Phil Ervin
  10. 3B Gavin LaValley

6. Anthony DeSclafani
Position: RHP
DOB: 04/18/1990
Height/Weight: 6’1” 190 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 6th round, 2011 draft, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
Previous Ranking: #8 (Org)
2014 Stats: 6.61 ERA (31.1 IP, 39 H, 23 K, 5 BB) at major-league level, 3.49 ERA (59.1 IP, 48 H, 59 K, 21 BB) at Triple-A New Orleans, 4.19 ERA (43 IP, 45 H, 38 K, 10 BB) at Double-A Jacksonville
The Tools: 6 FB; 6 potential SL; 5 potential CH

What Happened in 2014: DeSclafani handled the upper levels of the minors before getting his first taste of The Show, which proved to be challenging as a starter, but offered some promise coming out of the bullpen.

Strengths: Repeatable delivery; athletic; keeps arm in slot; sits low 90s with fastball, but reaches when needs it; late life to offering; creates hard snap with slider; sharp, late break; flashes feel for changeup; confident using it at any point in count; solid-average to better overall command of arsenal; aggressive mentality.

Weaknesses: At times gets into too much of a challenge mode; falls into ruts of trying to elevate fastball past hitters; needs more focus on pounding lower tier consistently; changeup lacks high-quality action; tends to float; slider will lose shape and get loose in stretches; lacks true bat-missing pitch.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Realistic Role: 5; late-innings reliever (7th/8th inning)

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; achieved major leagues; mature stuff

The Year Ahead: DeSclafani is one of those arms that consistently pitches with a high level of confidence in his stuff. He isn’t afraid to come right after and challenge hitters, avoiding spells of nibbling and trying to be too fine. When the stuff is more solid average than well above average, however, there needs to be some element of finesse to avoid working in spots that usually result in ringing contact around the yard. The right-hander ran into this during his call-up in 2014, especially when working as a starter. DeSclafani’s mentality and fastball-slider combo likely slot him into a relief role over the long run, where his heater can play up a tick in short bursts and his aggressive approach fits with getting two or three concentrated outs before handing the ball over to someone else. There is a chance that the 24-year-old can tone things down a bit and get enough out of the changeup to hang as a starter on a second-division team for the early portion of his career. The righty should be in line to log major-league time in 2015, with ample opportunity to serve as a swingman providing starter innings or coming out of Cincinnati’s bullpen depending on team need.

Major league ETA: Reached majors in 2014

Milwaukee Brewers

Original List (November 17, 2014)

Updated Top 10

  1. SS Orlando Arcia
  2. OF Tyrone Taylor
  3. RHP Devin Williams
  4. RHP Corey Knebel
  5. RHP Taylor Williams
  6. OF Monte Harrison
  7. 3B Gilbert Lara
  8. RHP Jorge Lopez
  9. RHP Tyler Wagner
  10. LHP Kodi Medeiros

4. Corey Knebel
Position: RHP
DOB: 11/26/1991
Height/Weight: 6’3” 195 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2013 draft, University of Texas (Austin, TX)
Previous Ranking: On the Rise
2014 Stats: 6.23 ERA (8.2 IP, 11 H, 11 K, 3 BB) at major-league Detroit, 2.67 ERA (30.1 IP, 15 H, 40 K, 14 BB) at Triple-A Toledo/Round Rock, 1.20 ERA (15 IP, 8 H, 23 K, 8 BB) at Double-A Erie
The Tools: 6+ FB; 6+ potential CB

What Happened in 2014: Knebel blew through the upper-minors in 2014 off the strength of a pair of power offerings in his fastball and curveball, earning his first taste of big league action in Detroit before being shipped off to the Rangers as part of the package for Joakim Soria, then flipped to Milwaukee in the off-season in the deal that brought Yovani Gallardo to Arlington.

Strengths: Fastball flirts with double-plus, sitting easily in the mid-90s with downhill plane and reaching as high as 98 mph up in the zone; curve is a power offering; low-80s hammer with tight rotation and sharp action; effective as a drop-in weapon or burying as when ahead; lots of funk and deception; generally works well in the zone.

Weaknesses: Can overthrow the curve, unintentionally burying; fastball and curve both lose some effectiveness when arm slot drops, turning the bender slurvy and keeping the heater on plane; fastball is plane reliant and can be hittable from a lower angle; in-zone command below average and could leave susceptible to long ball at major league level.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-tier closer

Realistic Role: High 5; late-innings relief/second-tier closer

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low; major-league ready and stuff plays

The Year Ahead: Knebel is an impressive relief prospect capable of lighting up the radar gun and buckling knees with a nasty curve. The stuff is major league ready, with the remainder of the former Longhorn’s development to come in the form of adjustments and refinement in execution. Knebel’s stuff is explosive enough that he can get away with a little bit of imprecision, but in order to reach his ceiling as a true shutdown arm he’ll need to limit the mistakes up in the zone and over the meat of the plate, where major league bats will be well positioned to take advantage. He should have the inside track on a spot in the Brewers the pen this spring and stands as a likely candidate to eventually take over the closer role for Milwaukee.

Major league ETA: Reached majors in 2014

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Muboshgu
2/19
Thanks! Is Bret going to come by to add his fantasy takes?
mentalmeat
2/19
Thanks for the post.

Why does Knebel rate as a "low" risk factor? "his ceiling as a true shutdown arm" has been coincidentally sidelined by... a shutdown arm, aka a UCL sprain.

https://twitter.com/jeffwilson_fwst/status/501849237144211457
NickFaleris
2/23
Brewers were fine with the medicals when they traded for him and there isn't a question at this as to whether or not this is a major league caliber arm. Developmental risk is low.
Shauncore
2/20
Guessing Turner stays on the Padres until he's officially the PTBNL?
NickFaleris
2/23
Yes, he was written up with the Padres list in December as a "Notable Omission":

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=25261
NightmareRec0n
2/20
No love for Isael Soto on the Marlins list?
NickFaleris
2/23
Was in consideration for "On the Rise"; figures to be in the top 10 picture next year if he performs in his full season debut.
BrewersTT
2/20
Max Fried doesn't seem to be on the Braves depth chart nor the updated top 10 prospects. Maybe I'm over-rating him?
NickFaleris
2/23
Did not make top 10. By the time he is make throwing meaningful innings he will have missed almost two full seasons and we won't even know what that looks like until this fall (most likely).

Imagine a highly touted college freshman had a solid but not spectacular year, then missed all but two starts of his sophomore year trying to rest/rehab his way out of TJ surgery, only to have it the winter of his junior year. He is then drafted/signed after that second missed season.

That's the boat Fried is now in. We know that, healthy, he is a highly talented arm with a strong case for Top 100 status and maybe even one of the top lefty arms in the minors. But at this point it isn't just about TJ surgery. It's also about missing two years' worth of developmental time and simply not knowing what it's going to look like when he is back and throwing in games.
BrewersTT
2/25
I see. Makes sense. Thanks for the thorough explanation.