Prospect of the Weekend:
Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K
On July 25th, De Leon gave up seven runs on eight hits while getting four outs. Since that start, De Leon has given up six runs in 41 innings. In his last three starts, he’s struck out 33 hitters in 21 innings while allowing just four runs. Long story shorter, Jose De Leon is on fire, and by all accounts, he’s ready to pitch for the Dodgers.
Others of Note
Ty Blach, LHP, San Francisco Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Very quietly, Blach has had a very solid year for the Grizzlies. If you expect more than a fifth starter, you’re expecting entirely too much, but there are worse things than fifth starters.
Jeimer Candelario, IF, Chicago Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 3-for-3, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, BB. I can’t help but wonder where Candelario will be playing in 2017 and beyond; it just doesn’t seem like there’s space for this talented infielder in Chicago. I could be wrong. I have been wrong before.
Trey Ball, LHP, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. There have been just enough of these starts in 2016 to call Ball interesting. Frustrating as heck? You betcha, but still interesting.
Luis Urias, IF, San DIego Padres (HIgh-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-6, R, 3B. I can’t think of many prospects who have had their stock rise as much as Urias has in 2016. I’m not sure I can think of any to be honest, but, to play it safe, we’ll just say many.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Alvarez now has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 52-to-9 in High-A. That is also good.
Gavin Cecchini, SS, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 5-for-5, R, 2 2B. After hitting .258 in April, Cecchini’s average by month: .370, .346, .282, .355. He won’t hit for average like that as a big-leaguer, but he’s not just a quality defender. This is an underrated prospect, and I’m not sure how that’s happened.
Dinelson Lamet, RHP, Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Welcome to Triple-A, Mr. Lamet. We’ll see you in San Diego soon. Unless you get traded. Then we’ll see you somewhere else.
Josh Taylor, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Taylor was an UDFA in 2014, and he’s quickly advanced through the Diamondbacks system with a plus fastball and two average secondary pitches.
Billy McKinney, OF, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-6, 2B, BB, 2 K, SB. McKinney has really struggled with the bat since the trade, and he wasn’t hitting all that well with the Cubs, either. I still have faith that he can be a starting outfielder, but the stats have been pretty gross in 2016.
Jomar Reyes, 3B, Baltimore Orioles (HIgh-A Frederick): 1-for-4, HR. Speaking of struggling, Reyes has been borderline abysmal in August, to a tune of .209/.240/.286. The talent is there, but the application of the talent is still very much a work-in-progress.
Junior Fernandez, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. A guy with Fernandez’s stuff (plus-plus fastball, change that flashes plus) should miss way more bats, but he’s still a teenager, and there have been flashes of brilliance in 2016.
Jacob Nix, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Nix’s stuff has been solid in 2016, but what has really impressed scouts is his ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes. If you can do that, you can start.
Nick Torres, OF, Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 2-for-4, 2 HR. The Padres fourth-round pick in 2014, Torres has fringe-average tools across the board, and he could be a nifty platoon outfielder in the coming seasons.
Erik Skoglund, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Despite being 6-foot-7, Skoglund doesn’t have a big fastball, but he does get downhill and throws three solid pitches for strikes.
J.D. Davis, 3B, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-3, 3 R, 2B, HR, BB. There’s too much swing-and-miss here for even an average hit tool, but Davis has plus power in his right-handed bat, and he should be a competent backup at both corner infield positions.
Osvaldo Abreu, IF, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-5, R, HR. Abreu does have some offensive ability, but it’s the glove that makes him a future big-leaguer, he can provide solid defense all over the infield.
Zack Littell, RHP, Seattle Mariners (High-A Bakersfield): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. When Littell is at his best, he shows two plus pitches in his fastball and curve, and the change is a 50-grade offering. In 2016, Littell has been at his best a lot.
Gage Hinsz, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Hinsz is never going to miss a ton of bats, but he throws a plus fastball and two fringe-average secondary pitches for strikes, and on occasion the curveball and change will flash above that range.
Chase Vallot, C, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 1-for-5 HR, K. If you can deal with strikeouts—okay, lots of strikeouts—Vallot has a chance to be a starting catcher; as the power, plate-discipline, and arm are all plus.