- Franklyn Kilome is showing much more consistency than even his most ardent admirers could have hoped for a few years ago. He still hasn't put on enough weight to really be certain that he'll be able to take the ball every fifth day, but the stuff that he has will play in the big leagues in any situation in which the Phillies choose to use him. If he can handle taking the ball every fifth day, he’ll be effective. If not, he’ll be a weapon in the late innings.
- Jorge Mateo continues to wreak havoc on the minor leagues, but are we certain he isn't the second coming of Billy Hamilton, whose inability to get on base has mitigated his base stealing abilities against better competition? Without any power, Mateo will have to hit close to .300 in order for his legs to really hold any value. He’s a threat when he does get on base, but those legs aren’t scaring anybody in the batter’s box. The hit tool really has to play in order for this to keep working.
- Ali Sanchez is a big league bat, but he's not the Mets catcher of the future. The bat speed will ensure that he hits enough to handle left field, but his lack of arm – the same thing that limits his utility as a catcher, also limits his positional flexibility. It would be nice if he could play third base, but his arm won’t play there either. And the Mets don't need him in left field with Brandon Nimmo firmly entrenched as their leadoff hitter, making him expendable. Anybody who can hit will find a place, but he’s blocked on the Mets roster for the time being.
- In any other organization, Willy Adames would already have a year of big league experience under his belt. He's all set to be a top-15 big league third baseman, but because the Rays refuse to promote position players before they are absolutely ready to star, he's left wallowing in Triple-A. He's ready.
- It's time to give up on Albert Almora as a potential everyday player. Sure, he can play a good center field, but despite his talent as a hitter, he's never shown any ability to make an adjustment at the plate, and doesn’t seem to even want to. Now 23, he's had over 2,000 minor league at-bats and still can't identify a breaking ball. At this point, it's not going to happen.
- Francisco Mejia has taken a tremendously long time to develop, but the Indians are about to be rewarded for their patience. He has more pop than most catchers, better feel for the barrel, and more than enough defense to stick at the position. He’s a big leaguer right now, but he’s one or two years away from being among the best catchers in the game.
- There’s nothing inherently sexy about Carson Sands’ stuff, but there’s no real weakness here, either. Sands sat 92-94 with his fastball, and the pitch played up because of his above-average command of the offering as well as his ability to manipulate the pitch. Neither of his secondary offerings are plus right now, with the best pitching being an above-average slider with some depth, while the change is a solid-average offering with some fade to it. That stuff plays up because of his feel for pitching though, and Sands projects to be a solid mid-rotation starter that can either help the Cubs acquire another piece or pitch in the back of the rotation by the middle of next year.
- It was my first live look at Alec Hanson since the 2016 Big 12 Championship game, and even against much better competition, the massive former Sooner right-hander was just as dominant. Hanson sat 93-95 while touching 97, and his ability to get downhill along with the high three-quarter arm slot gave right-handed hitters fits all day. Left-handers didn’t have very much fun either, as the slider was a plus offering with hard, downward tilt, and the change—while still very much a work in progress—showed flashes of being a solid third offering thanks to deception from arm speed. He repeated his delivery well and threw strikes with all three pitches, and it wouldn’t shock me if he was pitching in Philadelphia by the end of the summer.
- Brayan Hernandez was impressive both in-game and during batting practice, shooting line drives all over the park with a quiet, quick swing. Power isn’t ever going to be a huge part of the game, but he did show the ability to keep his hands in and hit the ball into the gaps. He’s a plus runner with an above-average arm, giving him a great chance to stick at centerfield and hit at the top of the lineup when he’s done developing.
- A’s farmhand Richie Martin continues to put up quality numbers, and I continue to be confused as to how he does it. The swing has no load and is essentially all hands. There is some solid hip rotation it shouldn’t be enough to hit the ball hard as often as he does, yet here we are. With his ability to play a quality shortstop with an above-average arm, he’s got a chance to be a regular up the middle.
Nick Gordon’s power hasn’t developed the way some thought it would, but at least he ended up with more than his brother…Alex Jackson is still talented, but he’s quickly becoming a cautionary tale on how big of a risk it is to draft prep players whose value is tied entirely to their bats…Dominic Smith finally reached double-digit home runs, but unfortunately that’s a career total and it took him four years…It was three years in the making, but the Red Sox have to be thrilled with what they’ve seen from first rounder Ryan Boldt so far in his Low-A debut, as the power stroke looks a little more developed than anticipated…As expected, Jose De Leon’s command continues to be an issue, but it’s still the same raw stuff that made him the centerpiece of the Christian Yelich deal.
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