Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago Cubs (short-season Eugene)
I saw Cease for the second time this year, and while the pure stuff—upper-90s fastball, hammer 12-6 curve, firm and rarely used changeup—is mostly unchanged, it's clear that he's made strides. First, he did a much better job of moving his fastball around the zone in his second outing. In the first game, he spiked his heater a lot and he looked shaken and afraid to unleash the pitch for an inning or so after hitting someone in the head with it. There was no such hesitation in his second start: his command is a work in progress, but he hit all quadrants of the zone, got several whiffs elevating, and had no qualms about pitching inside. His curve also flashed plus more consistently than it did in my first viewing. He's still struggling to get people to chase it out of the zone—it's either a strike or it breaks early into the dirt—but it's tough to hit when it's in the zone, and he froze multiple hitters who were sitting on the fastball. Cease will need to tighten both pitches as he climbs the latter, but he's made substantial progress with both in the last three months, and it's clear that he has thoroughly passed the short season test. —Brendan Gawlowski

Kyle Cody, RHP, Texas Rangers (short-season Spokane)
Tall, big frame; good plane, downhill thrower; straight stride; quick arm; clean landing; no head whack; good posture; clean arm action; 3/4 arm slot. Throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball. The four-seamer sits in the low-to-mid 90s, touching 95, two-seamer has average wiggle, and he's most comfortable locating the pitch arm-side. His primary off-speed pitch was the slider, a two-plane pitch with predominantly horizontal movement. It flashed above average, but the shape was inconsistent, and it spun badly out of the hand more than once. He also has a fading changeup, but he didn't use it much in my viewing. While he has most of the ingredients you look for in a starter, but I'd project a bullpen arm in the long run. He's 22, which isn't old, but isn't young for a pitcher with an inconsistent secondary offering. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I'd seen more of his changeup, but the fact that he didn't use it much presents its own concerns. —Brendan Gawlowski

Forrest Wall, 2B, Colorado Rockies (High-A Modesto)
Wall shows solid contact ability and good barrel control, with quick, strong hands through the zone. He’s heavy on his back foot when he loads, but he manages to drive through his hips well, and that creates solid bat speed. While the power is limited on account of a more linear bat path, he did drive the ball deep to center a couple of times, and the overall approach is geared to the gaps in a way that should mix well with his contact ability. The approach isn’t quite there, however, as he struggled in both looks to recognize pitches—particularly breakers away—and stay in the zone. In the field Wall really struggled in both games, making several misplays born out of issues with game speed. Despite the makings of decent range, he reacted slowly on multiple balls. And while his hands showed as soft during infield, he missed several plays he should have made in-game. He’s still quite young for the level, and there are indicators in his actions that he’ll be able to stick at second, but the package as a whole looked very raw. —Emmett Rosenbaum

Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers (short-season Spokane)
Taveras hits with a high leg kick and a medium stride. He's noisy pre-pitch, with a lot of extraneous hand movement, and while his wrists are explosive, his swing can get a bit stiff. The swing itself is short with a mostly flat plane, though he likes to put pitches that are down and in into the air. Defensively, he has plus arm strength, if a somewhat erratic arm. He's in center field now, and while I didn't get to see him really run for a ball, his instincts were good and on the flies that he got, he tracked well. Just 18 years old, I was encouraged to see him take a few decent at-bats against players more than three years his senior—the starting pitcher in the game sat 92-94 with four distinct offerings, and he got decent wood on the ball in his first two trips to the plate. Given his youth and inexperience, he'll probably be back in the Northwest League next summer. Assuming he's a bit stronger and more prepared for the challenge, I'm eager to see how the tools play again in nine months. —Brendan Gawlowski

D.J. Wilson, CF, Chicago Cubs (short-season Eugene)
Wilson is an easy 70 runner, and he has more than enough speed to handle center field. While he's not big, Wilson has the strength to drive a ball out of the park when he gets a mistake or a fastball in his wheelhouse. While he doesn't project as an impact bat, I'm bullish on his chances to have a big league career in a reserve role—if he makes enough contact. His swing is short and geared for contact, but he had trouble laying off of breaking stuff throughout the summer. He doesn't read spin well out of the hand, and he can be beat on curves and sliders in the dirt, particularly ones from same-sided hurlers. He struck out in over 20% of his at-bats this summer, and that number will need to come down as he climbs the minor league ladder. —Brendan Gawlowski

Josh Fuentes, CI, Colorado Rockies (High-A Modesto)
Fuentes signed as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Baptist University, so the fact that the 23-year-old is finding moderate success at High-A already makes him somewhat of a success story. He’s a big boy at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, with present strength and a natural feel for hitting. The swing features a small leg kick and quiet hands, with a compact load that helps him get the bat into the hitting zone fast enough to make up for his below-average bat speed. He can boast above-average raw power, and an advanced approach helps it play to all fields. In these looks he pulled a long home run to left, while driving several balls to the wall in right-center in other at-bats. Fuentes’ utility is certainly limited by his defense, as he looked questionable in a stint at third, and his below-average speed limits his ability to play the outfield. But there’s a chance he could turn a bench bat with some decent pop, and that’s pretty good for an undrafted guy. —Emmett Rosenbaum

Gio Brusa, OF, San Francisco Giants (short-season Salem-Keizer)
A big junior season could have propelled Brusa into the first round in 2015. Instead, an elbow injury pushed him out of action halfway through the season and he fell in the draft. Brusa opted not to sign, crushed the Cape Cod League once he got healthy, and then had a big senior year at Pacific. The Giants grabbed him in the sixth round, and he's an interesting prospect. Brusa is big, strong, has a swing geared for power, and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. I saw him pound a couple of balls deep, including a would-be home run that sailed well over the right field fence—on a ball where he got jammed inside. Surprisingly for a guy his size, he's an average runner, and while his route-running needs work, there's every chance he could hang in the corner outfield. The problem is that he's very unpolished for someone his age. He struck out 69 times in 238 plate appearances, and he only had 11 walks against Northwest League pitching. The strikeouts stem from a couple of things: clearly, he's very aggressive at the plate but he also lacks feel for the strike zone, expanding (and often missing) in all quadrants. He looks like a big leaguer, but unless the Giants can help refine his approach at the plate, he's destined to be a five o'clock hitter. —Brendan Gawlowski

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