Prospect of the Weekend:
Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Expectations for Newcomb were sky-high after coming over in the deal for Andrelton Simmons, and the results have been decidedly mixed. When he’s been at his best—as he was on Friday—Newcomb still shows ridiculously good stuff; a plus-plus fastball, a breaking-ball that flashes in that range but is mostly plus, and a good=enough change. It’s just a matter of showing all three pitches on a consistent basis, and throwing them for strikes. When he does like he did that night, he looks like a future no. 3 starter. It’s up for debate whether or not he can do it consistently enough to reach that level.
Others of Note
Jacob Faria, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Faria generally misses more bats than this, but I think he/the Rays will take the shutout tradeoff. There are two plus pitches here, and the curve has made some progress.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-for-5, R, 2B, SO. I’ll go on record and say 2016 has been slightly disappointing, but only because the expectations are up here. You can’t see me, but I’m pointing really high.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. This is a good Double-A debut, Justus. It’s a shame you won’t get to build on it. And by shame, I mean I just would like to see your name in the box score some more.
Ian Happ, IF/OF, Chicago Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-4, 2 HR, SO. One of the “underrated” things about Happ was how present his power was. Fifteen homers later, that tool isn’t so underrated anymore.
Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-4, SO. We’ve been spoiled by some other young players dominating at the higher-levels, but for Robles to be holding his own as a teenager in the Carolina League is really impressive.
David Thompson, 3B, New York Mets (St. Lucie): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR, SO. Not a dominant season, but considering this is his first full professional season, 46 extra-base hits and a .280 average will suffice.
Antonio Santillan, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Low-A): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Pay no attention to that ERA. Santillan has been one of the most pleasant surprises in a system that has had plenty of them.
Jose Pujols, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 3-for-4, 2 R, BB. It looked like Pujols was gonna get to 200 strikeouts for a while, but he ends the regular season with only 180. Tony Gwynn Pujols, they call him.
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 6 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. For the last time—this year, anyway—when Fulmer throws strikes, he’s as good of a pitching prospect as there is in baseball.
Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. I can’t really explain the lack of strikeouts other than reports that say his stuff has ticked down slightly, so, I guess I can explain it a little bit.
Steven Duggar, OF, San Francisco Giants (Double-A Reading): 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 BB. Remember how the Giants never had quality outfield prospects (sorry, Gary Brown)? Well, with Duggar and Bryan Reynolds, they have two guys who project to be starters at the next level.
Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-5, 2 R, K. A small sample size, but Basabe ended his year in the Carolina League with a .937 OPS after the (very) late promotion. Don’t be surprised if this guy takes a massive step forward in 2017.
Phil Bickford, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Bickford struggled to throw strikes upon his promotion to Brevard County, but he also missed plenty of bats, and I don’t think you can call this year anything but a success.
Max Fried, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Fried’s year is also an unmitigated success, if only because he stayed healthy. Staying healthy is a good thing, in my opinion.
Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, 3B. Just a friendly reminder, I’m betting that at this point next year Senzel is playing third base for the Reds. If I’m wrong, Daniel Rathman will delete this article.
Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR. Bellinger’s first three games in the PCL: .545/.586/1.364 with three homers. I guess he was anxious to show the Dodgers he’s ready to help in 2017, somehow.
Chase De Jong, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. De Jong has a potential out pitch in his curveball, and the other two average pitches in his arsenal play up because of his ability to locate them. .
Brandon Woodruff, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Biloxi): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. If I would have told you that Brandon Woodruff would have struck out 173 guys in 158 innings, you would have asked who Brandon Woodruff is. I would have told you, if I wasn’t eating. Woodruff has a chance to be a part of the Brewers rotation in 2017.
Austin Dean, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 4-for-7, R, 2 2B. All of Dean’s tools have a chance to be fringe-average or better, making him a competent platoon or fourth outfielder someday, potentially. Sadly, this makes him one of the best bats in the system.
Tomas Nido, C, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-for-5, R. Nido has the same fringe-average tools as Dean outside of speed, but because he plays a premium position, it gives him an ever-so-slim chance of becoming a starting catcher.
Corey Ray, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Yep, there’s two of them. The pitching version of Ray will touch 97 mph with his fastball, and the change has a chance to be solid average. The curve will have to be better if he’s going to start.
Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. Since July 13th, Kilome has posted a 2.23 ERA and struck out 64 hitters. Most importantly, he’s walked only 11 hitters in that span. That’s a huge development.
Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves (Low-A Rome): 3-for-4, R. If you own Acuna in your fantasy league, you have no worries. Or, Acuna Matata. Sorry.
Joan Gregorio, SP, Giants (Triple-A Sacramento): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. This is another guy you should ignore the ERA of. Gregorio has taken big strides forward in 2016, and both the fastball and slider are flashing plus.
Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-4, R. Let him play. Let him play. Let him play.
Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 2-for-6, 2 R, HR, K. The good: Stewart has six homers and 12 walks in the first 24 games. The bad: he also has 26 strikeouts and has hit .218. The good > The bad.
Josh Staumont, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K. Be it as a starter (probably not) or a reliever, Staumont is going to miss a lot of bats, and walk a lot of people in the process. Everyone would love to see more games like this to shut me the heck up.
Grayson Long, RHP, Los Angeles Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. This wasn’t even that great of a start, but Long has been very good for most of 2016, and there weren’t very many good starts by any of the other High-A starters tonight.
Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland (High-A Lynchburg): 2-for-3, 2B, BB, K. What a difference a year makes.
Jake Cronenworth, SS, Rays (Low-A Charlotte): 3-for-5, R. In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard some borderline glowing reports on Cronenworth, with one scout giving him a chance at three plus tools in his hit, speed, and arm.
Dylan Cease, RHP, Cubs (Short-season Everett): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that Cease could be the next Edwin Diaz. More starts like this and he’ll be more like the next Josh Beckett; a name that I’ve heard Cease compared to on more than one occasion.