Prospect of the Weekend:
Alec Hansen, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Short-Season Great Falls): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 13 K. Yes it’s in Short-Season ball, but my goodness has Hansen been impressive. Keep in mind this was one of the favorites to be the first pick of the 2016 draft coming into February, and he’s finally starting to show that stuff. There are reasons to be concerned about the command, but Hansen has legit swing-and-miss stuff, and the upside here is massive. Also, imagine this guy, Chris Sale, Carlos Rodon, and Carson Fulmer in a rotation. Unlikely? Perhaps. Scary for the AL Central? Yer gosh damn right.
Others of Note
Yandy Diaz, 3B/OF, Cleveland (Triple-A Columbus): 3-for-5, 2 R. Maybe there’s no room at the inn right now, but I can’t help but think Yandy can help off the bench with the bat and glove come “clutch” time for Cleveland.
Matt Koch, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Koch is one of the best strike-throwers in the minors, and there are three pitches in his right arm that flash average. It’s very much a back-end profile, but he can help.
Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Double-A Chattanooga): 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Stewart’s strikeout numbers are—again—uninspiring, but he’s inducing weak contact, and the stuff still suggests mid-rotation arm.
Richard Urena, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 3-for-5, 3 R. If I would have told you Richard Urena would be one of the three best prospects in the Toronto system on August 21st, you would have wondered what blockbuster trade they pulled off.
Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees (High-A Tampa): 3-for-6, 2 R, K. There’s plenty of time for Mateo to develop into a first-division shortstop, and nights like this remind you that it’s possible. There have been many, many nights in 2016 that make you wonder if that’s likely, however.
Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 4-for-5, 2 R, HR. There is a ton of swing-and-miss in Dalbec’s bat, but there’s also a chance for 65-grade or better pop, and if he can’t hit, he’s 92-94 off the mound with a good breaking ball.
Guadalupe Chavez, RHP, Houston Astros (Short-season GCL Astros): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Acquired from Toronto in the Scott Feldman deal, Chavez is almost entirely projection in terms of stuff, but he throws a ton of strikes, and the change could be a real out pitch in time
Jordan Montgomery, LHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He’s been dominant since his promotion to the International League; posting a 0.71 ERA and 26 strikeouts in just over 25 innings.
Sal Romano, RHP, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. His name suggests bookie; his plus fastball and solid curveball suggest back-end starter/quality reliever.
Mauricio Dubon, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 4-for-5, 4 R. In any other system, I think we’d be talking about Dubon more. He’s in this system, though, so he goes underrated. The Red Sox know he’s pretty good.
Taylor Ward, C, Los Angeles Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 3-for-4, 2 R. The defense is what gives Ward a chance to play every day behind the plate, but he’s not completely bereft of offensive ability. Don’t expect him to hit anywhere but the bottom of the order, though.
Cory Taylor, RHP, San Francisco Giants (High-A San Jose): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Taylor is massive, and he uses that frame to touch 95 mph with his fastball while showing two average offspeed pitches.
Dario Agrazal, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Agrozal has no chance of missing a ton of bats, as he just doesn’t have the stuff to allow it. What he can do is pound the heck out of the strike zone with three usable pitches. There’s certainly more floor than ceiling, but he has a chance to start because of the control.
Jose Azocar, OF, Detroit Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 2-for-4, R, 3B, K. Azocar is a bit “controversial” around scouting circles. Some see him as the best bat in the Tigers system because of his elite athleticism and plus defense. Others view him as a fourth outfielder because of the lack of patience and pop. I split the difference.
Bryson Brigman, SS, Seattle Mariners (Short-Season Everett): 2-for-4, 3 R, BB, 2 SB. The Mariners third-round pick, Brigman has plus speed and an excellent approach at the plate. He’s probably going to have to move to the other side of the bag, but he could be a nifty utility infielder in time.
Jaycob Brugman, OF, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 4-for-5, 2 R, HR, BB. Brugman has been a quick advance through the A’s system, which isn’t a surprise considering he was already flashing average tools at BYU.
Josh Hader, LHP, Brewers (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K. Dominant. Wonder if we get a chance to see this dominance before the end of the season with the big-league team.
Hunter Wood, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Wood has been a real pleasant surprise for the Rays in 2016, showing a fastball that can get up to 96 and an above-average curveball. If the change can go from 40 to 50, he could be a solid starter.
Steven Duggar, OF, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 4-for-4, 3 R. Duggar is now up to .335/.395/.435 in the Eastern League and playing plus defense in the outfield. It’s probably time to take this guy more seriously.
Corey Ray, OF, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2-for-4, SB. Stats are still ugly, but Ray is definitely figuring it out, and again, college to High-A for a hitter is a big, big step.
Jordan Johnson, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. When you look at Johnson’s numbers, keep in mind he’s pitching in the Cal League, and the Cal League is really stupid.
Austin Hays, OF, Baltimore Orioles (Short-Season Aberdeen): 2-for-4, BB. The Orioles selected Hays in the third round this June, and he’s shown average tools across the board, with the exception being a plus throwing arm that allows him to play right field.
Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland (Low-A Lake County): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. There’s still a ton of projection here, but McKenzie is missing plenty of bats already, and showing more feel for pitching than even his biggest supporters imagined.