Prospect of the Weekend:
Brett Martin, LHP, Texas Rangers (High-A High Desert): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K
Well, this wasn’t too hard. If you throw seven no-hit innings in the Cal League, you don’t just deserve Prospect of The Weekend, you deserve… I dunno… some sort of delicious dessert. Martin doesn’t have the type of stuff that suggests missing bats like this at the big-league level, but he does have an above-average fastball/curveball combination, and he’ll mix in a change that flashes a tick below that range. There’s also still some projection left in his left arm, so if more velocity comes—and it just might—he could really see a rise in status in 2016. As is, he’s a perfectly competent back-end starter prospect, but this was a heck of a night.
Others of Note
Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 2-for-3, BB, K. Frazier struggled for most of the playoff series, as the two hits brought his average “up” to .185. He could have done absolutely nothing in this series and you’d still call his 2016 season an easy success. Next stop, New York. Estimated time of arrival: June.
Kyle Farmer, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3-5, RBI. Farmer is 26, but he still qualifies as a prospect because they haven’t passed the age limit legislation I propose to congress every summer. There’s only one above-average tool here—his arm—but the approach is solid, and his ability to play a competent third base and be an emergency third catcher makes him an interesting depth piece.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. If you wanna nitpick, the concern with Sheffield from a statistical standpoint would be the walks. The stuff is certainly good, but as a big-leaguer, you’re counting on that stuff playing up because of advanced feel. Advanced feel can’t really be applicable if you’re not throwing a ton of strikes. He was still a heck of a get at the deadline, and he’ll be pitching in the Bronx by 2018—assuming he’s not traded. I assume too much sometimes.
Jose Trevino, C, Rangers (High-A High Desert): 2-for-4, R. Trevino’s run was the only one scored in the 1-0 game in Visalia, and please don’t read this out loud, because it just might be a phrase so uncommon someone programmed it as a detonation code. I’m risking our lives by typing it.
Max Fried, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 K. Max Fried was the second kid I ever interviewed when I was working for a website that doesn’t exist anymore. He’s a great kid. I’m thrilled as heck that he’s pitching up to his potential now that he’s healthy.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 2-for-6, 2B. Verdugo’s statistics weren’t superb or anything close to that level, but the stats do lie sometimes. Oh, how do they lie. He impressed the heck out of the scouts I spoke with this summer, showing three above-average tools and an advanced feel for the strike zone for a guy who won’t turn 21 until May. He’s probably a year away, but in a system full of interesting bats, he may have the most upside.
Josh Morgan, 3B, Rangers (High-A High Desert): 2-for-3, R, BB. Does Morgan have the prototypical upside you generally see from Texas infield prospects? Nope. Not even close. That’s okay, because Morgan makes up for it with his acumen and versatility, and it’s not like the tool shed is empty. The hit tool could max out at above average when all is said and done.
Victor Reyes, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 1-for-5, R, HR. Reyes doesn’t have a ton of power, but 10-15 homer seasons aren’t out of the question if he’s playing every day. I don’t think he’s gonna play every day, but I think he’s gonna be a big-leaguer, because he can really hit.
Caleb Ferguson, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. I can’t tell you much about Ferguson other than that he was a 38th-round pick back in 2014. Our own Will Siskel has a nifty report on him, though.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. I can tell you a lot about Alvarez, however. The command needs a lot of work, and there are still some who believe that his future is in the bullpen. There are also some folks—and I’m talking about high-ranking folks—who believe that this is a special, special right arm. It’ll be fascinating to see which side is right. I’m not ready to make a decision yet.
Alex Jackson, OF, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 1-for-2, HR, 3 BB. Ahh, if only we had seen more of these statlines in 2016. Jackson’s stock has fallen hard, as pretty much every tool has regressed from what we saw in high school. That being said, we’re just two years removed from him being lauded as the most advanced prep bat in the 2014 class, so if he can make the necessary adjustments—heck, any adjustments—he still has a chance to become a regular.