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  • Ketel Marte’s stick is ready. He knows the zone well and he’s fouling off pitches on the edges of the plate until he gets something he can handle. Defensively, Tacoma started him in center twice over the weekend, which is where he best fits into Seattle’s long-term plans. He did fine during the daylight hours, showing plenty of range and good ball tracking ability on flies over his head, but problems came when the stadium lights took over. He lost two balls in the lights, and while that’s not all that unusual in the twilight in Tacoma, it’s clear that he’ll need some time to get up to speed at the position before the Mariners will feel comfortable starting him there in a big league game. The fundamentals looked good but he needs reps. –Brendan Gawlowski
  • For those looking for an under-the-radar prospect to remember, write down the name Dustin Fowler. An 18th round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2013, Fowler is talented yet unrefined. He’s built like a linebacker, with ideal, broad shoulders. His strong, quick hands generate above-average bat speed thanks to a short, compact swing. He’s overly aggressive at the plate, though to this point it hasn’t hurt his ability to consistently find the barrel. With plus speed from the left side, he should be able to remain in center field. It’s an impressive collection of tools for a relatively unknown player. –Jeff Moore
  • James Ramsay is one of those unheralded players that just seems do something positive every time I see Lancaster. He’s a quality defender who can handle all three outfield positions. He gets good reads, runs tight routes, and shows plus closing speed. The arm grades out average to a tick above, with consistent accuracy and carry, and I’ve got multiple clocks on him under 4.1 from the left side. He makes contact, doesn’t give away at-bats, and generally plays a solid, fundamental game. It’s a versatile fourth-outfielder profile, and a pretty good one at that. He’s buried in Houston and he’d make for a nice target as the third or fourth name in a larger deal. – Wilson Karaman
  • A fourth round pick by the Padres out of a small college in Florida, Austin Allen is very raw behind the plate. He struggles to move his big frame — listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds — in front of balls in the dirt and his slow feet won’t be conducive to quick pop times. At the plate, he had a tough time with spin and good velocity, and he hasn’t been able to tap into the raw power that made him so enticing to the Padres all year. A tough home ballpark in a pitchers league has amplified his struggles but it looks like he may need to return to short season ball next summer. –Brendan Gawlowski
  • Brian Anderson is slow. The adjective applies to most aspects of his game, but most importantly it describes both his bat and foot speed, limiting his overall skill set. The Marlins third base prospect, who once saw some time at second base as a professional but has no business in the middle of the field, has some raw power because of his strength and size, but he gets beat on the inner half by below-average velocity far too often. He’s a below-average defender at third base, meaning the bat will have to carry him, but it’s not going to produce enough to get the job done. –Jeff Moore
  • A’s 2012 4th rounder B.J. Boyd comes from the Kirby Puckett mold of left fielders with round waistlines but surprising agility for the body type. He looks more like a fullback than a baseball player, but shows above-average foot speed underway and a quick stroke with some leverage. He’s aggressive against fastballs, showing an ability to square balls and drive them up the middle, and flashes a solid inside-out technique to spray balls into left field. The arm is below-average, limiting his profile to left and increasing pressure on his bat. – Wilson Karaman
  • The raw power is prodigious for Giants first-rounder Chris Shaw, and it shows in-game as well. In his final at bat of the night, he launched a homer well beyond the right-centerfield fence, no easy feat with the wind blowing in at night in the Tri-Cities. Shaw has above-average bat speed and a long, leveraged swing with plenty of loft and a ton of strength behind it. So he has most of the ingredients you want to see in a power hitter. What he lacks is patience. I saw him expand the zone early in counts, chasing high fastballs and curveballs in the dirt alike. He particularly struggled in his at-bat against a lefty, when he looked late on everything. He has plus power, but his lack of discipline at the plate limits the utility of his best tool. Shaw’s bat will have to carry him to the big leagues. He’s a below average defender at first base — he has limited range and I saw him bobble a few easy grounders in pre-game fielding practice. None of that will matter if he hits though, and at the very least, it’s easy to see him carving out a career as a masher of righties. –Brendan Gawlowski
  • Athletics first baseman Michael Soto showed some rough defense at first base over the weekend. He was slow off the bag holding runners on multiple occasions and lacked the mobility to get down on balls to his right. He also misplayed a pickoff throw into a two-base error on Friday and misplayed two relatively straight-forward backhand scoops on Sunday. The swing is unorthodox and long, and while he’s got above-average raw power it’s tough to see him getting to it routinely in games. – Wilson Karaman
  • Twenty-year-old Juan Carlos Urena has shown dramatic improvement in his second turn through the Northwest League. A right-handed hitter, Urena likes to pull the ball with a leveraged, line-drive swing. At 6-foot-3, he’s wiry strong and he’s capable of driving the ball out to left and left center. He likes to hit fastballs but I saw him adjust to a slider mid-pitch and drive it hard to left field. He’s got a good eye at the plate, and that shows up in the numbers, as he’s struck out less often this year and walked 27 times in 36 games. The Mexican native doesn’t have the highest ceiling but he can hit a little bit, and that always gives you a chance. –Brendan Gawlowski
  • J.D. Davis can be a vexing hitter to watch. I recently gave him a 4 hit tool, and some nights that projection looks like shoot-the-moon optimism. Multiple looks at the Astros prospect showed repeated whiffs both in and out of the zone but mixed in with was a line drive single pulled off of a slider and an opposite field double drilled off of a low-and-away fastball. At-bats like those reinforce that there is some raw talent there. His pitch recognition remains below-average though, and there are significant issues with timing to where I just can’t see him overcoming the extreme swing-and-miss issues and developing into an average bat against better competition. – Wilson Karaman

Quick Hits: Miguel Andujar (Yankees) is a better athlete than you’d expect by just looking at the body type, busting a 4.17 time down the line despite being on the right side and having a long finish (JM)…Kyle Finnegan (Athletics) generates one of the longest strides you’ll see and gets excellent extension, but his sinker didn’t sink much on Sunday and he was up in the zone en route to getting whacked around by Lancaster (WK)… Carlos Belen (Padres) is one of the youngest players in the NWL and he has some thump in his bat but he swings at everything and his lower half is out of sync with his hands. He’ll be back in the league next year (BG)…Dante Bichette, Jr. has a lot of flaws and few tools, but he does have plus raw power, a swing that’s not afraid to unleash it, and the ability to hit lefties, meaning he’s going to keep getting chances (JM)… Jose Castillo (Padres) is a 19-year-old lefty having a lot of success, but he’s 86-89 with the fastball and surviving on guile (BG)… Melvin Mercedes (Athletics) showed above-average foot speed and a lightning quick transfer filling in for injured Stockton SS Franklin Barreto (WK)… I saw Tyler White (Astros) twice and he crushed everything on the inner half. He has good plate discipline, knows what he can drive, and has an intelligent plan at the plate. If he can cover the outer half of the plate, he’ll be a DH someday (BG).

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mharriman
7/29
Isn't James Ramsey in the Cleveland system?
moore315512
7/29
James RamsEy is, but this is a different player, spelled RamsAy.
jkaflagg
7/29
First mention I've seen referencing Tyler White as an actual prospect, even though as a DH....wonder if the Astros might give him a shot if he keeps raking at AAA....would be quite ironic if their best non-Correa hitter turned out to be a low draft pick who was selected more as organizational filler, but I'm sure nobody in St. Louis was excited when they drafted Carpenter and Adams either.
Muboshgu
7/29
I was meaning to ask you about Fowler earlier, Jeff, but I forgot. He was a dual-sport guy in high school so he may now be starting to put it together.