Prospect of the Weekend:
Tyler Jay, LHP, Minnesota Twins (High-A Fort Myers) 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. Jay was a somewhat controversial selection last year because of how limited his experience as a starter was, but there’s no question that he has starter stuff. There are two pitches that flash plus-plus in his fastball and slider, and, for good measure, he has a workable curve and change in his arsenal, as well. The command wasn’t great on Saturday, but he’s generally in the strike zone, and that arsenal suggests he can pitch near—or even at—the top of the Minnesota rotation someday.
Others of Note:
Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 SB (Doubleheader). Turner is in Triple-A to start the season because (stupid) reasons, but he’ll be hitting at the top of the Nationals lineup soon.
Jorge Polanco, SS/2B, Minnesota Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 3-for-4, 2 3B, 2 R. Polanco has the perfect skillset to be a “super-utility” player, but with a 55 hit tool, he could be an everyday guy, too.
Jharel Cotton, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Cotton shows a plus-plus change and plus fastball, which means that if the curveball can be even average, he’s a mid-rotation starter.
Chris Ellis, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. He’s the “other” arm acquired in the Andrelton Simmons deal, but two 55 pitches and average command give him a chance as a starter.
Mike Papi, OF, Cleveland (High-A Lynchburg): 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB. That’s a lot of twos.
Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. The complaint with Stewart last year was that he wasn’t missing enough bats. This is a promising way to begin remedying that.
Travis Demeritte, 2B, Texas Rangers (High-A High Desert): 3-for-5, 2 HR (4), 2B, 2 R, 2 K. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the friendliest of friendly confines, Demeritte still slugged four homers in two games.
Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-4, 2B, R. As good as Turner is, in terms of tools, Robles is the best hitting prospect in the Nationals system.
Phil Bickford, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Low-A Augusta) 4.2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. It’s one of the weirder box-score lines you’ll see this year, but it shows you why the Giants are so high on Bickford’s right arm.
Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4-for-5, 2B.He’s blocked by Moustakas and Hosmer, but solid-average offensive tools give him a chance to play on a corner if everything goes right.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 2-for-5, 2 HR, R, K. Dingers.
David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 2-for-3, HR, R, K. Everyone knew that Dahl could hit, but they weren’t so sure about whether or not he could hit for power. It’s coming.
Ozzie Albies, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 3-for-7, R. He’s likely going to move to second base as a pro because of that Dansby guy—but, with a plus hit tool and arm, and double-plus speed, that kind of seems like a waste.
Francis Martes, RHP, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. You’ll see a few more starts where Martes doesn’t give up many runs; you won’t see many more where he only strikes out one guy.
Mike Gerber, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 3-for-4 ,2 R, 2B, HR. Gerber’s an AFL standout who can do a little bit of everything. He’s far too old for this level, but he’s also one of the few potential regulars in the Tigers system.
Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B. He was overshadowed at Arizona by Kevin Newman, but his feel for hitting is nearly as good, and there’s plus speed here, too.
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 2-for-4. Tucker’s swing is one of the more hotly debated among prospect nerds. It works just fine for me.
Lucius Fox, SS, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, SB, K. No Batman jokes. Fox boasts the highest ceiling of any prospect in the San Francisco system—and it isn’t close.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. Glasnow struggled with his command early, but he settled in and missed plenty of bats in the shortened affair.
Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. I’d say he’s ready now, but he’s been ready for a while.
Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Double-A NW Arkansas): 2-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR. If there’s ever been proof that you can’t give up on talent, it’s this guy.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves (High-A Carolina): 2-for-3, BB. The southern senator has had no issue adjusting to professional pitching yet.
Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (High-A Ft. Myers): 4-for-6, 3 2B, SB, K. He gets lost in the shuffle because of all the quality shortstop prospects, but he’s as talented as almost any of them.
Kevin Newman, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-for-5, 2 R. It’s an all-shortstop High-A showcase, and Newman has the best hit tool (potentially) of them all.
Austin Allen, C, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): His .800/.800/1.300 line probably isn’t sustainable, but Allen is an offense-first catcher who could be a regular if the receiving skills improve.