Prospect of the Weekend:
Ian Happ, OF, Cubs (AFL, Mesa): 4-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR. There’s nothing quite like switch hitting home runs and adding a double, and a lowly single, all in the league championship game. Happ capped his 2016 AFL campaign in just that fashion on Saturday, adding an exclamation point to what had already been an outstanding year. Happ is neck and neck with Eloy Jimenez as the Cubs top prospect, and with his polish at the plate, he could reach the big leagues before the end of the 2017 season. Gee, just what the Cubs need, another talented, young hitter.
Friday, November 18th
Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves (ABL, Melbourne): 1-4, 3 R, BB, 2 SB. One of the breakout prospects of the 2016 season, Acuna wasted no time getting to work during his ABL debut. A multi-tooled outfielder that owns one of the top few spots in a loaded Braves system, Acuna should be an even bigger deal by this time next year.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (DWL, Leones del Escogido): 4-5, R. It wasn’t all pretty for Devers last summer, including some stretches that led to numerous questions from fans wondering what was wrong with him. Well, there’s nothing wrong with him; he is a very young prospect that was pushed aggressively. He can flat out hit, end of discussion.
Malik Collymore, OF, Brewers (ABL, Sydney): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, CS. Acquired from the Cardinals in exchange for Jonathan Broxton, Collymore remains exceptional raw and in need of reps; making the ABL the perfect stop for the 21-year old outfielder. A good athlete with pop in his bat and above-average speed, Collymore needs consistent reps to try and turn his potential hit tool into something resembling an actual hit tool.
Saturday, November 19th
Zach Shepherd, 3B, Tigers (ABL, Sydney): 2-5, R, 2 2B. The Tigers remain hopeful that Shepherd’s bat will develop to the point that his uncertain defensive future doesn’t really matter. Shepherd is a natural hitter with a line-drive swing that can spray balls to all fields, giving him a chance to be a solid hitter with gap power, and possibly a little more; all of which is more enticing if he can figure out a way to hang on the dirt.
Frankie Montas, RHP, Athletics (AFL, Mesa): 3 IP, H, 0 R/ER, BB, 5 K. Teammate Dylan Covey may have picked up the win with five strong innings in Saturday’s championship game, but Montas stole the pitching show with electric stuff that included multiple fastballs reaching 100 mph.
Sunday, November 20th
Gabriel Guerrero, OF, Diamondbacks (DWL, Estrellas Orientales): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB. Gabby Guerrero cares not that he was removed from the D’Backs 40-man roster; instead he blasted his first winter league home run of 2016 and even picked up a walk.
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