Known for his advanced glove as he's moved through the minor leagues, McGuire’s bat is coming around as an asset as well. Hitting .284 and having popped 18 doubles and six home runs in the season’s first half, McGuire is quickly becoming a well-rounded prospect that should arrive in Pittsburgh in the coming months, before assuming the mantle as the club’s every day catcher in 2018. —Mark Anderson
Once a top draft pick by the Diamondbacks, Toussaint found himself part of a cost savings move as Arizona traded him to Atlanta just a year after being drafted. Since then Toussaint has only teased at his potential, as his uneven command has limited the utility of his plus-plus curve. The instruction the Braves have given him regarding his changeup, however, has taken hold this year. On top of that, he’s showing a career-best walk rate, and his improved control is finally allowing his high-end stuff to play up. There will always be inconsistency, but is is the high-three starter package that's starting to come together. —Mauricio Rubio
Best of the rest
J.J. Schwarz, C, Phillies (Williamsport, SS): 2-4, R, 2 2B, BB, K. The top pick in last month’s draft, Schwarz’s professional debut in the NYPL resulted in two doubles and two more hard-hit balls that found the glove of defenders. Schwarz has the chops to stick behind the plate and the raw power to make him an impact player at the Major League level; something a moribund Philadelphia franchise could certainly use. It won’t be long until he gets a full-season assignment.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Diamondbacks (Reno, AAA): 3-3, 2 R, 3 2B, 2 BB, SB. Swanson’s quick accent through the Diamondbacks system has fans anticipating his arrival in Phoenix during the second half. Swanson has lived up to every expectation that comes with being the top pick in the draft, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t start strong at the game’s highest level. Swanson will eventually pair nicely with Paul Goldschmidt as the two faces of the Arizona franchise.
Rafael Devers, OF, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K. Back in Double-A for at least the first half of this season, Devers has had a rough time at the plate as he adjusts to playing left field on a consistent basis. Over the last two weeks, Devers’ potent bat has begun to wake up, including his two-homer outburst last night. Still blessed with immense offensive potential that could see him with two plus offensive tools at the big league level, Devers’ adjustment to his new position will dictate his arrival in Boston. His bat should be ready soon, as long as his glove catches up.
Ozhaino Albies, SS, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 3-5, 3 R, 3B, 3 SB. Sometimes it seems the only thing Albies knows how to do is hit, and hit a lot. A career .339 minor league hitter, Albies is hitting extremely well in his first full taste of Double-A, posting a .351 average through the first half. While he owns a shiny average, Albies has been mostly a slap hitter this year, with yesterday’s triple standing as an aberration in his typical daily stat line. In today’s game, however, Albies’ batting-average driven offensive game and solid glove will be more than enough for him to carve out a career as a quality shortstop. —Mark Anderson
Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (Chattanooga, AA): 3-5, HR, 2B, K. He's not a power hitter by any means but Gordon's sneaky pop is starting to creep into his game, and his hit tool is also starting to mature as well. He's always shown a feel for the barrel and an ability to use the whole field, but now he's starting to produce against better competition. Additionally, Gordon continues to provide above-average defense, rounding out a fun set of skills for a shortstop.
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 4-4, 2B, 3B. The Red Sox were aggressive with Benintendi and he is finally starting to reward them by displaying feel for the barrel and refined baseball skills in his second season at Portland. He has a smooth swing from the left side and a mature approach that is close to major league ready. Benintendi's broad skill set isn't elite but he stands a good chance to fulfill his second-division floor—and remains a great depth piece for an increasingly shallow Red Sox organization.
Ashe Russell, RHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamonga, A+): 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Already a divisive prospect, Russell's start from last night will only deepen the divide over his future role. His delivery still raises concerns that the effort is too high to last as a starter, but his size, big fastball-slider combination, and developing feel for a change inspire hope that he can grow into a starter. The Dodgers aren't short on starters by any means, and Russell is still pretty far away so they can take it slow with the righty.
Paul DeJong, 3B, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 3-4, 2 2B, R. A bit of a surprise from the 2015 draft, DeJong just continues to impress against upper-level pitching, and he's getting closer to factoring into the Cardinals’ near-term plans. DeJong's hit tool is his calling card and his gamer tendencies, along with his ability to play multiple positions around the diamond, draw positive attention from evaluators. —Mauricio Rubio
Fight Another Day
Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. Repeating High-A after a near disastrous 2016 season, Kolek has had far too many starts like last night, and with that comes growing concern. There’s still the high-octane fastball that draws significant attention, but Kolek’s body remains soft, his control/command continue to lag significantly behind, and general consistency is lacking. Unfortunately, instead of measurable signs of progress in a return to the Florida State League, Kolek is beginning to invoke more references to former Royals first round pick and massive bust, Colt Griffin. —Mark Anderson
Micker Adolfo, OF, White Sox (Winston-Salem Dash A+): 0-5, 3 K. Contact woes are preventing the maturely built Adolfo's from achieving his potential as a power hitter. His over-the-fence strength is obvious from his frame down to his leveraged swing, but it still hasn't actualized in game, as his hit tool is tempering the power output. It’s way too early to give up on the 20-year-old , but Adolfo will have to figure out the contact issues soon if he wants to avoid taking his place among the White Sox failed power prospects. —Mauricio Rubio
Notable Prospect Starters
- Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
- Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Phillies (Reading, AA): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 K
- Jason Groome, RHP, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
- Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
- Jose De Leon, RHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
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