Wednesday, November 25th
Everyone in the prospecting universe is likely aware of Alcantara’s upside and potential to contribute in Chicago, but after struggling in a brief big-league trial in 2015, he has continued to struggle this winter. The 4-for-4 performance as part of a Licey blowout win was nice but was only enough to boost his average to .218 for the winter season, and he has since jumped to .233 over the last few games. Alcantara still looks the part of a MLB contributor, but he has to do it in Chicago at this point or he could become a forgotten man.
Dylan Cozens, OF, Phillies (PRWL, Indios de Mayaguez): 2-3, 2B, R
Blessed with extreme physicality and outstanding strength, Cozens looks the part of a big-league player when he steps off the bus. Despite the appearance, Cozens needs a lot of work to transform himself into a viable MLB player. His approach must be tightened up and his swing gets stiff and slow at times, but when he connects, he can drive the ball as far as anyone. Cozens is going to get plenty of chances to sort out his issues, and if he does, the bat could play enough for him to hold down left field.
Thursday, November 26th
A second-round pick of the Rockies in 2013, Balog’s stock has slipped as his stuff backed up, he became more hittable, and he battled some injuries. When he’s right, Balog can run his fastball in the 92-94 mph range with ease and spin a slider that misses bats. As Balog tries to right his prospect ship, he is using the ABL as a springboard to what will hopefully be a healthy and successful 2016 season in which he reaches Double-A. Thursday’s showing dropped his offseason ERA to a minuscule 0.83, and he has racked up a strikeout per inning across six starts.
Friday, November 27th
Steven Moya, OF, Tigers (DWL, Toros del Este): 3-4, 2B, K
The warts remain the same for Moya: a long swing, a lack of pitch recognition, a lack of an approach at the plate, and a propensity to swing and miss. For all those warts, Moya has performed well this offseason, capped by another solid showing in Friday’s game, including another hard-hit double. Moya will remain a divisive player until he either funds consistent success at the highest level or he flames out and is no longer a prospect, but performance like this continue to give hope to those that believe he has a big-league future.
Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (VWL, Caribes de Anzoategui): 2-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 K
As we sit and debate where Arcia will land on the latest edition of the BP Top 101 prospects, he is putting on a show in Venezuela. Poised to take over at shortstop in Milwaukee for years to come, Arcia is an all-around player with quality defense at the infield’s toughest position, as well as the stick to place him in consistent All-Star consideration. Arcia will head to Triple-A to start the 2016 season but he could take over for Jean Segura by the second half of the campaign.
Saturday, November 28th
Ryan Kalish, OF, Padres (PRWL, Criollos de Caguas): 0-3, BB
It’s not that Kalish did anything on the field, it’s that he was on the field at all. As his injury-riddled career continued with only 87 games played in 2014 and none in 2015, Kalish is trying to get back on track and revive a once-promising career. A corner outfielder with defensive and offensive potential at his best, Kalish will be lucky to capture any of his former glory. Just by virtue of his presence on the field, don’t be surprised if some team brings him to spring training to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.
Riley Unroe, SS/2B, Rays (ABL, Brisbane Bandits): 2-3, R, BB
After the Rays popped Unroe in the second round in 2013 and signed him for nearly $1 million, he has yet to translate his amateur success to pro ball. Unroe’s raw skills remain, as he shows the defensive ability to play either shortstop or second base, and his instincts allow his glove to play up a tick. Offensively, Unroe has yet to display the type of bat speed amateur scouts saw, but reports out of Australia indicate he could be heading in the right direction; a direction that could allow him to jump back on the Rays prospect map.
Sunday, November 29th
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Astros (DWL, Toros del Este): 1-4, 2 K
Left unprotected for the Rule 5 draft by the Astros, Hernandez remains an extremely intriguing prospect with loads of potential, but with his Double-A struggles following him to his brief winter league cameo (.143 average in four games) it seems unlikely any team will try to stash him on their 25-man roster for a season. Hernandez just turned 23 years old and it is reasonable to expect a rebound from him at Double-A in 2016. The Astros appear to be the team poised to cash in on that rebound assuming he slips through the Rule 5.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (ABL, Sydney Blue Sox): 2-4, 2B, R
The toughest prospect path to navigate is that of the right-handed-hitting first baseman with no prayer of playing anywhere else on the diamond, and yet here Hoskins is putting himself squarely on the prospect radar. After hitting .300 with 36 doubles and 17 home runs across two A-ball stops in 2015, Hoskins is ripping a .276/.340/.517 line through 22 games in the ABL this offseason. A big, lumbering individual, Hoskins has to mash to continue getting chances, but he has the strength and feel for hitting to do just that.
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