Prospect of the Weekend:
Juremi Profar, 3B, Rangers (Double-A, Frisco): 8-13, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K.
Profar doesn’t come with the fanfare of his older brother, Jurickson, but he’s handled his first taste of Double-A admirably this season; continuing to look like a potential big leaguer. Profar has a wealth of average tools, including the potential to hit .270-.275 with average power. He can handle the hot corner thanks to excellent instincts, good hands, and an accurate, average arm. Nothing jumps off the page in Profar’s profile, but he continues to perform, has some big-league tools, and could be a solid second-division player.
Friday, July 14th
Kevin Maitan, SS, Braves (Rookie, GCL Braves): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, K, SB.
Heralded as one of the premium international players on the market over the last decade, Maitan has come out of the gate hitting in his professional debut. An advanced hitter for his age, Maitan has the potential to hit for plus power, though he’s no guarantee to stick at the six spot.
Jose Trevino, C, Rangers (Double-A, Frisco): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI.
Trevino doesn’t post many days like this, but he is an elite defender that should reach the big leagues as a backup catcher in the next couple of years.
Gilberto Celestino, OF, Astros (Rookie, Greeneville): 3-5, 2 R, RBI, K, SB.
Just 18 years old, Celestino is an outstanding defensive center fielder that will contribute in the field long term. He has a solid approach at the plate with quality pitch recognition skills for his age, and he projects as an above-average hitter with some gap power.
Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals (Low-A, Peoria): 3-4, 3 2B, RBI, K.
Carlson’s full-season debut hasn’t gone smoothly, but he still flashes power from both sides of the plate, making him a player to watch as he adjusts to more advanced arms. His defensive home remains up in the air, as he has already shifted to an outfield corner, and there are some scouts that believe he may be a first baseman down the line.
Jon Duplantier, RHP, Diamondbacks (High-A, Visalia): 7 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K, HRA.
Duplantier hasn’t missed a beat since jumping to High-A a couple of weeks ago, and he’s one of the few breakout stars of the Diamondbacks system. There’s still a lengthy injury history here that remains worrisome, but he’s on the hill and pitching well, which is all he can to move past that history.
Gregory Soto, LHP, Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 11 K.
Soto has emerged as a high-end prospect in a Tigers system desperate for them, pumping low- to mid-90s heat from the left side with a curveball that will flash in the plus range. It’s tough to view Soto as a starter long term, but the more he keeps posting lines like this, the more chances he’s going to get.
Saturday, July 15th
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (Double-A, Hartford): 4-7, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K.
Rodgers has had a bit of an adjustment period since moving to Double-A, but this could signal the start of him pounding the ball in the Eastern League like he has done throughout his minor league career. Rodgers is still one of the premium talents in the minor leagues, and I should have a good personal read on him after several looks throughout the second half.
Riley Pint, RHP, Rockies (Low-A, Asheville): 6 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
Pint’s adjustment to full-season ball is a work in progress, but he’s still showing the elite-level raw stuff that has long made him an enticing prospect.
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (High-A, Buies Creek): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 10 K.
Still just 19 years old, Whitley is torturing opponents this year, particularly those in High-A over the last few starts. Whitley pounds the strike zone with a premium four-pitch mix, including a mid-90s fastball, hammer curveball, and power slider. Whitley has a rare combination of power and polish at his age, and he could blow through High-A on his way to the upper minors.
Jose Paulino, LHP, Cubs (Low-A, South Bend): 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
Paulino has had a rough time in his return to the Midwest League, struggling to locate within the strike zone and not missing bats consistently. He still shows the low-90s fastball that touches 95 from the left side, as well as a quality slider, but he looks more and more like a reliever long term.
Sunday, July 16th
Delvin Perez, SS, Cardinals (Rookie, GCL Cardinals): 3-4, 2 R, 3B, RBI.
Perez is a premium athlete with 7 speed and the potential to be an above-average defender at shortstop. He is an aggressive hitter that must develop an ability to work counts more consistently in order to find pitches he can drive. Perez has a chance to develop into an above-average hitter with gap power as he refines his game and puts his athleticism to good use in the box.
Derek Hill, OF, Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 2-4, R, 2 3B, RBI, K.
Hill is finally back on the field following Tommy John surgery, and while there are still massive questions about how his bat will develop, a day like this is encouraging. Hill is a double-plus runner with the potential to hang the same grade on his glove in center field.
Joshua Palacios, OF, Blue Jays (Low-A, Lansing): 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, RBI, K.
Palacios has shown a knack for hitting in the past, with a quick bat and good approach at the plate, allowing him to spray the ball from line to line. He lacks prototypical power for a corner outfielder—where he’s likely headed long term—but he does enough on the diamond to help in a variety of ways and could carve out a career as a quality fourth outfielder.
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, White Sox (Triple-A, Charlotte): 7 IP, 2 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 12 K.
Lopez has had a bit of an up-and-down season in Triple-A, but he still owns the raw stuff to dominate in a big-league rotation. The White Sox rebuild will include Lopez as a key rotation piece, and I would expect to see him in Chicago before the season is over.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, RBI.
These glimmers of hope are becoming slightly more frequent for Crawford lately. I really want to believe he’s putting it back together.
Josh Ockimey, 1B, Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 3-6, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K.
Ockimey has built on his breakout 2016 season with another strong showing this year, this time in High-A. Blessed with plus raw power from the left side, Ockimey also works counts and is willing to take walks, getting him into position to find pitches he can drive. A solid defensive first baseman, Ockimey has the raw power and on-base ability to thrive in the middle of the order if he continues refining his game against advanced pitchers at higher levels.
Tyler Nevin, 3B, Rockies (Low-A, Asheville): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K, SB, CS.
Back in Low-A after a reset in short-season ball, this type of game he is capable of at the plate. A physical third baseman, Nevin has a solid approach and raw power in his bat. If he can put together a few more outings like this in the season’s second half, Nevin could get back on track headed to the 2018 season.