Prospect of the Weekend:
Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (Low-A, Rome): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like Anderson has flown a bit under the radar this year, particularly as a 19-year-old having success and striking out a ton of batters in full-season ball. I understand there are some issues with control at times, and he’s not really being stretched from an innings perspective, but he has dynamic raw stuff and the potential to become a front of the rotation arm. I’m buying in early here and suggest you do the same, considering his upside.
Friday, July 21st
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (Double-A, Hartford): 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI.
I’m running out of things to say about Rodgers this year, so I’ll just let this line largely stand for itself. When he debuts with the Rockies in 2018, it should be loads of fun.
Josh Ockimey, 1B, Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 3-5, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K.
The strikeouts bother me given that he has yet to face advanced arms that will be able to sequence and torture him, but Ockimey has impressive raw power and a solid approach, giving him some baseline ingredients to stay on the prospect radar as he moves up.
Aramis Ademan, SS, Cubs (Short-Season, Eugene): 3-4, 2 R, 3 2B, K, SB, CS.
Ademan has come out of the gates strong, showing speed, hitting ability, gap power, and a reasonable approach at the plate. The general consensus is that the Cubs farm system has lost some luster via promotions and trades, but Ademan could be a sleeper to help bring the system back to life.
Joe McCarthy, OF, Rays (Double-A, Montgomery): 3-4, R, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, SB.
I was a big believer in McCarthy as a good gamble for the Rays coming out of college; a gamble only in that he was coming off a back injury, and he’s proven to be a quality hitter at the professional level. That said, if he’s limited to left field or first base long term, then the bat is going to have to take yet another step forward; something I’m not sure I would be comfortable projecting.
Reggie Pruitt, OF, Blue Jays (Short-Season, Vancouver): 3-5, 2 R, K, 2 SB.
This line is pretty typical of Pruitt’s skills with a little bit of contact, a little swing and miss, and some stolen bases. Pruitt is a burner on both sides of the ball with the ability to cover ground in center field and swipe bases when he gets on. He has a top of the order profile if he can find consistency with his swing mechanics, but he’s going to take a while to develop.
Yohander Mendez, LHP, Rangers (Double-A, Frisco): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
It feels like we’ve been discussing the merits and potential of Mendez for years around the halls of BP, and at times that leads to prospect fatigue. With Mendez, though, it just feels as though he’s progressed steadily and is beginning to become the type of pitcher I envisioned when I saw him on the back fields in Arizona as a teenager. The numbers aren’t as spectacular this year as they have been in year’s past, but the returns from scouts have been very positive this season.
Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A, New Hampshire): 6.2 IP, 4 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 12 K.
Great start by one of the Blue Jays top prospects; a guy that should help in the big leagues next year.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (High-A, Florida): 8 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 0 BB, 11 K, HRA.
I don’t really know what to do with myself when I see a line where Toussaint doesn’t walk a batter. His stuff can be absolutely electric and when he knows where it’s going, he’s a lethal prospect, which is exactly what he was on Friday.
Saturday, July 22nd
Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds (Double-A, Pensacola): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B.
I’m going to go ahead and say after less than 30 games that Double-A just isn’t that challenging for Senzel, much like we could say at every stop he’s made so far as a professional. He’ll be in Cincinnati in short order, likely at some point next summer when the refinement of his game just happens to coincide with gaining an extra year of control.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, RBI, K, SB.
I enjoy seeing strong nights from Crawford, particularly considering the heat he’s taken this year as he’s struggled at Triple-A. There’s so much talent here that I just can’t manage to quit believing in his MLB potential.
Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays (Low-A, Bowling Green): 3-6, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI, K.
The Midwest League is a tough place to hit consistently for just about any player, let alone a teenager, but Sanchez has hit very well this season. His offensive tools have routinely excited scouts I’ve spoken with and he is quickly emerging as one of the Rays elite prospects.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K.
He keeps on keeping on. That’s about all we can ask of a first base-only prospect.
Raudy Read, C, Nationals (Double-A, Harrisburg): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI.
Read’s first exposure to advanced arms in Double-A has gone reasonably well, and the Nationals are likely pleased with their decision to add him to the 40-man roster in the off-season. The profile here is largely that of a backup catcher, but Read has enough pop and hitting ability to make him a solid bench backstop.
Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A, Great Lakes): 5 IP, 5 H, R/ER, BB, 7 K.
The older brother of Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield, Jordan flashes some of the same impressive stuff as his brother, but lacks the ability to control his arsenal. Thanks to a high-effort delivery, Sheffield’s future is probably in a relief role, but he’ll need to refine his strike throwing before even that future can become a reality.
Luiz Gohara, LHP, Braves (Double-A, Mississippi): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 11 K.
Gohara has performed quite well in his first season as a Braves farmhand, with this possibly serving as the crowning achievement of his 2017 season. If you’re a believer in his ability to throw strikes and changeup, you can still envision a No. 2 starter. If you’re not quite there, particularly with the control, then you’re on your own, because there’s a lot of different directions his development could go at that point.
Gregory Soto, LHP, Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 5 IP, 5 H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K.
I was well aware of Soto’s raw talent entering the year, having seen him pitch extensively since he came stateside, but even I wasn’t expecting this type of breakout. The command and control come and go, and I’m not a huge believer in the changeup, but there’s lightning in this left arm, and even if things don’t work as a starter, this is a dynamite reliever.
Sunday, July 23rd
Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (High-A, Winston-Salem): 5-6, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI.
How do you like your new toy, White Sox fans?
Dawel Lugo, 3B, Tigers (Double-A, Erie): 3-7, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB.
Nothing like endearing yourself to a fan base that was largely pissed off when you were the only name prospect in a trade for one of the team’s best hitters. Lugo has the potential to become a solid regular at the hot corner, particularly if his power develops anywhere close to what he showed yesterday.
Blake Perkins, OF, Nationals (Low-A, Hagerstown): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, SB.
The 2017 season has represented progress for Perkins, even if the stat line remains underwhelming. Scouts I’ve spoken with have noted a decent approach at the plate despite some continuing issues with swing and miss, and the potential to translate speed and solid power to his offensive game. There’s a lot of development remaining but Perkins has the tools to be an intriguing prospect.
Andrew Calica, OF, Indians (High-A, Lynchburg): 4-8, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 K, SB.
There’s no wiggle room in Calica’s profile, so if he doesn’t hit a bunch at the minor league level, he’s probably not a prospect. He can handle center field adequately and will fit on the corners, and there’s a chance the bat plays just enough for him to carve out a future as a fourth outfielder.
Jordan Hicks, RHP, Cardinals (High-A, Palm Beach): 5 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K.
Hicks still isn’t throwing enough strikes to satisfy some evaluators, a concern that I can certainly understand, but he’s showing a quality fastball and filthy curveball that can carry his profile for now. A reasonable athlete, Hicks should improve his control as he matures, giving him a chance to fulfill his potential as a mid-rotation starter.
Thank you for reading
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