Prospect of the Weekend:
Kolby Allard, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Short-season Danville): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Even with the all of the talent the Braves have accumulated on the pitching front in the last two drafts, Allard is still the guy with the highest upside, and he’s pitched like it since being “demoted” to the Appy League. All three of his pitches will flash plus—though the change is mostly an average offering—and he throws all these pitches for strikes. There’s work to be done, but this is your ever-so-rare, high-floor, high-ceiling pitcher.
Others of Note
Jake Thompson, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. With two plus pitches, Thompson should miss more bats, but he’s throwing strikes with all four of his offerings, and he still looks like the best pitching prospect in the system.
Artie Lewicki, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Double-A Erie): 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. If the change can even become average, Lewicki has a chance to start, as both his fastball and slider flash above average.
Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 4-for-6, R, K. Sisco has just one homer in his 262 at-bats, but he showed plenty of pop in San Diego last week. It’s just a matter of filling out and adding a little more loft to the swing. The hit tool is the selling point, however.
Henry Castillo, IF, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 4-for-4, 2 R, 3 2B. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss in Castillo’s game, but he’s shown the ability to hit for average from both sides of the plate, and his strong arm should serve him well at third base.
Angel Perdomo, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. After a not-so-great effort (to put it nicely) at the Futures Game, Perdomo responded nicely. Despite the age, there’s still quite a bit of upside here.
Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers (Short-Season AZL): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Taveras can do a little bit of everything, and the scouts I spoke with who’ve seen him in Arizona have mostly gushed about his upside.
Dakota Chalmers, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Short-Season Vermont): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. There’s no doubt about Chalmers’ stuff—he has three pitches that flash plus and a fourth (change) that flashes average. It’s just a matter of throwing those pitches for strikes. If he can, look out.
Shawn Morimando, RHP, Cleveland (Triple-A Columbus): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Most believe Morimando’s future is in the bullpen, but he does have a chance to start thanks to his above-average fastball and a change that will show plus.
Myles Jaye, RHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 8.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K. A dominating start for Jaye, who has turned some heads in the Eastern League this year. He might be their best upper-level pitching prospect right now.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-5, 2 HR, BB, K. It’s still amazing that many people—and I just might have been one of them, but you can’t prove that—preferred this guy on the mound in high school. I think the Dodgers probably made the right decision.
Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland (High-A Lynchburg): 3-for-6, 2 R, HR. If I have one qualm, it’s that the batting average in High-A is higher than the on-base percentage. We love you, Francisco, but take a darn pitch (yes, I know the sample size is still ridiculously small).
Hansel Rodriguez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Short-Season Bluefield): 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. Hansel. He’s so hot right now.
Gilbert Lara, SS, Brewers (Short-Season Helena): 2-for-5, 2B, HR, K. All of the tools are here for Lara to be a first-division shortstop. It’s just going to take several years before we see it.
Jio Orozco, RHP, Mariners (Short-Season AZL): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Don’t be fooled by the 14th-round selection last year; Orozco has mid-rotation stuff, highlighted by a fastball that touches 95 and an above-average curveball with quality spin.
Patrick Kivlehan, OF/IF, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-for-4, 2 HR, K. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball since reentering the Seattle system, and though there’s no chance he’s a regular, his versatility makes him a valuable asset for someone’s bench.
Andrew Moore, RHP, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Moore pounds the strike zone with four different pitches, the best of them being a change that flashes 55-grade at times.
Mike Gerber, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 3-for-4, R, K. I realize that not all developmental cycles are created equally, but man, at 24 years of age, he really should be in Double-A. Still nice to see him hitting and all, but 24? High-A? Come on.
Fernando Romero, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. The dominant numbers he posted in Cedar Rapids have continued in the Florida State League, and the command keeps getting better. These are good things.
Yunior Marte, RHP, Kansas City Royals (Low-A Lexington): 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. On top of having a wonderful first name, Marte also has a plus fastball and an above-average change, although he too often doesn’t know where the heck those pitches are going.
Isan Diaz, IF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 4-for-6, 2 R, 2B. As I wrote in the Monday Morning Ten Pack last week, Diaz is that rare player who can strike out 120-140 times a year and still hit for average. It’s a wonderful thing.
Thomas Szapucki, LHP, Mets (Short-Season Kingsport): 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. He’s been dominant in Kingsport, and one scout told me he was the best pitcher he’s seen in the Appy League—including Allard.
Jahmai Jones, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Short-Season Orem): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB. We’ve made so much fun of the Angels system over the past year, and with good reason. In Jones, however, the Angels have a legitimate chance at developing a first-division outfielder. There are a few teams I can name that don’t have that, so leave ‘em alone.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now