Mac Williamson, OF, Giants (Sacramento, AAA): 4-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, BB. Williamson is big and powerful, which is exactly what the Giants need in their lineup. With some lost developmental time due to injury, he’s getting old for a prospect, yet still has less than a full season in the upper minors under his belt. He’s the kind of player who is likely just about ready to make a contribution in the big leagues.
Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B, Rays (Durham, AAA): 3-6, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, BB, 2 K. Schafer has already made his mark in the big leagues, having already enjoyed some moderate success in a brief cameo earlier this year, which included two home runs. Given the Rays' general lack of power and offensive production at first base, it’s surprising that Shaffer isn’t still with the big league club, though he’s all but certain to return in September.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 2-4, R, 2 2B. The overall production has fluctuated for Devers over the course of the season, but Devers’ talent has not changed one bit, nor has his ceiling or the confidence most scouts have that he’ll reach it. There have been some natural growing pains, but nothing out of the ordinary for an 18-year-old in full-season ball. Devers is one of the most naturally gifted hitters in the minors.
Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 7 IP, 5 H, R, 0 BB, 10 K. It’s easy in hindsight, but it might be fair to wonder if the Twins could have avoided their second-half slide had they inserted Berrios into their rotation a month ago. Berrios has electric stuff that he continually pounds the strike zone and misses both bats and barrels with, while avoiding superfluous base runners. He’s proven himself at every level and has dominated Triple-A in the same way he has throughout his pro career, and has been ready for the big leagues for quite some time.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Diamondbacks (Hillsboro, SS): 2-4, 2 2B. Swanson is getting re-acclimated to game speed and his holding his own in short-season ball, likely a lower level then the Diamondbacks had anticipated, but understandable given the time he missed due to injury. Long-term, it shouldn’t have any affect on his development, though it could set him up to start in Low-A next year. Once he hits as expected, however, he’ll catch up in no time.
Alex Bregman, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, R, 2B, 3B, BB, SB. Bregman’s ceiling isn’t as high as Swanson’s, but he’s taken to pro ball more quickly and has shown that the skill set of solid all-around tools that got him drafted second overall will translate well. Playing shortstop for now, Bregman’s future is clearly somewhere else as long as he’s still an Astro and Carlos Correa is still upright, though there’s no reason to make a move just yet. We can expect him to get his feet wet around the rest of the infield, likely as soon as next year, as the Astros have shown a propensity to move prospects quickly.
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 3-3, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 BB, SB. Judge isn’t completely being held back by a deep Yankees roster full of veterans, though he’s not far away either. There’s been some adjustment period to Triple-A for Judge, but the power production has remained in tact, which is the most important component of his game. With what will turn out to be a half-season of Triple-A under his belt when it’s all said and done, Judge is a guy the Yankees can factor into their plans for next season, if not right out of camp, then by the summer.
Richard Urena, SS, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B. Urena is talented but extremely raw in all aspects of his game, as indicated by his struggles after a brief and ill-advised mid-season promotion last month. There was little reason to push the 19-year-old out of the Midwest League, where he was keeping his head above water, but just barely. His lack of a plan at the plate negated his raw hitting abilities even more so in the Florida State League, completely eliminating any offensive production. The talent is evident, but he’s a player who the Blue Jays are going to have to be patient with.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K. The Pirates have been patient with Glasnow—and are one of the more patient clubs in terms of prospect promotions—but their patience is on the verge of being rewarded with Glasnow. The progress he had made throwing strikes more consistently in Double-A has fluctuated in Triple-A, but we’re dealing with very small samples at all levels. Overall, he’s made improvements in terms of repeating his delivery and throwing more (and better) strikes, but he’s not there yet. Still, the improvements are important to note in terms of his development and he’s getting close.
Austin Gomber, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K. Gomber fell to the Cardinals in the fourth round after a disappointing junior season, but his talent level and pure stuff could have pushed him higher than that. That stuff has returned this season, and he’s handled full-season ball remarkably well, much more along the lines of what was expected coming out of Florida Atlantic University.
Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 4-4, 2 R, 2 2B. At this point, we pretty much know what Sanchez is. His hit tool hasn’t quite reached the levels of what was once expected from him in his earlier prospect years, though he’s still extremely talented. His power production hasn’t reached the impact levels some thought it once might reach, though it’s still plus for a catcher. He’s not great defensively, but he’s been able to remain behind the plate. Overall, it’s a solid package of skills that’s just about major league ready, should be able to spell Brian McCann a few days a week defensively, and provide average to above-average offense for the Yankees, depending on the positional context.
Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB. Power will never be a major part of Arcia’s game, though his swing, complete with a large leg kick in his load, does project to have more than he’s shown thus far. His glove is his carrying tool, but he’s hardly a glove-only player and should have enough pop to keep pitcher’s honest, projecting for double-digit home run totals in the big leagues. When paired with his plus defense, that makes for a potential all-star caliber player.
Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 3-5, R, 2B, 3B. Bell continues to hit, though the power still hasn’t kicked in on a consistent basis. That could change, and he’s shown signs of coming around, especially since further emphasizing the leg lift in his load this season, but it hasn’t manifested yet. He’s still hitting, however, and making contact at elite rates, which is a positive sign, but he’s going to need some power as a first baseman.
Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 10 K. Sims has been erratic his entire career, but it’s outings like this that continue to give scouts hope for more. The arsenal has never really been in question, though his ability to command his pitches and bring his best stuff to the park every night has been an issue throughout his career. Until he gains more consistency, Sims will remain a player that scouts dream on, but not someone the Braves can count on just yet.
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