Prospect of the Weekend:
Jordan Adell, OF, Angels (Rookie, Orem): 7-15, 6 R, 2 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, K, SB
Adell is an absolute toolshed of a prospect who has everything you could ever want in a raw talent. What he’s done so far in rookie ball has been nothing short of shocking, even as the tenth overall pick in the draft; most observers expected Adell to have difficulty translating his impressive raw tools to game action. If Adell can continue this type of performance during his full-season debut next year, watch out, because he could be flying up prospect lists.
Friday, August 25
Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals (Rookie, AZL Royals): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB
Drafted just four picks after Adell, Pratto was the more polished prep player but has not found the same level of success in his professional debut. A natural hitter with an advanced approach for his age, Pratto has a chance to develop the impact bat necessary to carry his defensive home. He’ll need to continue adjusting to more advanced arms to maintain his approach and ability to draw walks, but if he does, he could be a plus-hit, plus-power first baseman.
Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, Athletics (Triple-A, Nashville): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SB
Ho hum, more raking in the minor leagues. Just a few more days and Barreto will be back in the big leagues to try and prove his first taste was not indicative of his future.
Brandon Marsh, OF, Angels (Rookie, Orem): 3-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Finally back on the field this summer after sitting out what should have been his pro debut last year with a stress reaction in his back, Marsh is making up for lost time by torching the Pioneer League. Loaded with tools and athleticism, Marsh profiles as a classic right fielder with a plus arm and power potential.
Brent Rooker, OF, Twins (High-A, Fort Myers): 3-4, 3 R, HR, RBI, K
The Twins' competitive balance pick after the first round in 2017, Rooker has continued dominating opposing pitchers this summer, just as he had this spring as he assaulted the SEC. While he is a free swinger who will need to tone down his aggressive ways, Rooker makes it work for him and consistently drives the ball against all types of pitchers.
Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians (High-A, Lynchburg): 6 IP, H, R/ER, BB, 11 K
McKenzie has done everything the Indians could have hoped for as a 19-year old in High-A this season, including holding his walks at a reasonable level, striking out a ton of opposing hitters, and limiting damage when hitters do figure out how to make contact.
Riley Pint, RHP, Rockies (Low-A, Ashville): 0 IP, 6 H, 9 R/ER, 3 BB, 0 K
Ouch? I suppose that’s the appropriate thing to say, but I’m really not sure. I haven’t seen too many lines like that from a high-end prospect over the years. Oh well, toss it to the side and move along.
Saturday, August 26
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (High-A, Dunedin): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, BB
What “Vladito” has done this season doesn’t seem as extreme or as impressive as Ronald Acuna’s 2017 campaign, but it really isn’t that far short of the mark. Acuna’s season has been downright insane, but Guerrero has been sensational in his own right, and he is making a strong case to be considered among the top handful of prospects in the game.
Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals (Low-A, Hagerstown): 4-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K, CS
Kieboom has made an impact in High-A this season, in and around his injury, and should he remain on the field this year and for the bulk of next season, he could emerge as one of the top prospects in the Nationals organization. Kieboom has the potential to play shortstop, where his potential average hit and power grades would play extremely well.
Will Benson, OF, Indians (Short-Season, Mahoning Valley): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
The Indians' first-round pick in 2016, Benson has struggled as pro, but will continue to get chances due to his premium athleticism and the chance he develops above-average power in game situations. Benson should make his full-season debut next season and while he will likely continue to have ups and downs, there will hopefully be enough progress to remain excited about his potential.
Anderson Tejeda, SS/2B, Rangers (Low-A, Hickory): 3-5, 3 R, 2 3B, 4 RBI, K
There’s a ton of swing-and-miss in Tejeda’s game, but he’s also a lot of fun to watch thanks to a natural feel for hitting and budding power potential that could result in him popping 15-20 home runs a season at his peak. Tejeda could stick at shortstop long-term, but most scouts project him to the keystone in order to allow his defensive development to keep up with the potential timeline of his bat.
Gabriel Maciel, OF, Diamondbacks (Rookie, Missoula): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI
Maciel has exploded onto the scene this summer, controlling the strike zone, making consistent contact and driving the ball with much more authority than last season. Larger than his listed 5'10", 170 lbs, Maciel is an emerging prospect who should be on the radar for DBacks fans.
Gabriel Cancel, 2B, Royals (Low-A, Lexington): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI
A seventh-round pick in 2015, Cancel has adjusted well to his first taste of full-season ball, keeping the strikeouts at a reasonable level, working occasional counts, and driving the ball with authority. He’s a long shot, but one worthy of attention given his potential to hit for power as a middle infielder.
Julio Garcia, 3B, Angels (Rookie, Orem): 4-6, 3 R, 4 2B, 4 RBI, K
Garcia has spent a lot of time in Rookie Ball over the past few seasons, and his offensive production as been severely lacking for much of that time. He finally put things together this summer in the AZL, flashing a broad offensive skill set to go along with his potential plus defensive projection at shortstop.
Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (Double-A, Birmingham): 5 IP, 2 H, R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K
As solid as this start was, it represents one of the worst ones Kopech has tossed lately; that’s saying something.
Johan Oviedo, RHP, Cardinals (Short-Season, State College): 8 IP, 2 H, R/ER, BB, 9 K
Signed for $1.9 million out of Cuba, Oviedo is still figuring out where everything is going when he’s on the mound, but when he’s right he shows a heavy mid-90s heater that can dominate hitters, and an interesting curveball with above-average potential. The changeup and command must come, and some scouts are skeptical that they will, leaving him to project in the bullpen long term.
Sunday, August 27
Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (Double-A, Birmingham): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 K
Jimenez is going to be so much fun to watch in the big leagues next season.
Jacob Pearson, OF, Angels (Rookie, AZL Angels): 3-5, 2 2B
Yet another intriguing prospect in the lower levels of the Angels system, the club handed Pearson $1 million as a third round pick this summer. Pearson’s profile will be carried by his bat, which could end up offering above-average hitting ability and power, and that would mitigate his slide to a corner outfield slot.
Sandro Fabian, OF, Giants (Low-A, Augusta): 3-5, R, 2B
Fabian has impressively walked fewer than ten times in more than 100 games this season, leaving many scouts to question how he’ll adapt against more advanced arms at higher levels. In spite of his lack of patience at the plate, Fabian finds pitches to hit and makes plenty of contact to all fields, and there’s a chance he grows into average power down the line. He’ll need his bat to develop – and likely his approach – in order to fulfill his right field profile.
D.J. Wilson, OF, Cubs (Low-A, South Bend): 4-4, R, 2 2B, BB, CS
Wilson has missed time with injury this season, but when on the field he’s flashed the tools that coaxed $1.3 million out of the Cubs in fourth round in 2015. What Wilson lacks in size, he makes up for in natural ability. Wilson can hang in center field with good speed and a plus arm, and he’s got a chance to hit for average with gap power.
Logan Ice, C, Indians (Low-A, Lake County): 2-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB
Ice is a glove-first backstop that profiles as a big league backup, despite his high-round draft pedigree. A strong receiver with good hands and arm strength, Ice is beloved by his pitchers and should be a defensive contributor at the big league level.
Mike Shawaryn, RHP, Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 8 IP, 5 H, R/ER, BB, 9 K
Shawaryn has pitched well this season across two levels, though there are some warts that must be addressed as he reaches higher levels. With a solid arsenal that won’t blow anyone away and plenty of deception in his delivery, Shawaryn has a chance to become a back-end starter who can eat innings at the highest level.
Luis Escobar, RHP, Pirates (Low-A, West Virginia): 7 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Escobar’s velocity has bumped up this year and his curveball has taken a step forward, giving him two premium offerings that have allowed him to dominate Low-A hitters. Now reaching 98 mph at his best, Escobar also has a changeup that continues to come along and could give him the third pitch necessary to stick as a starter long term.
Max Kranick, RHP, Pirates (Rookie, Bristol): 5.2 IP, 5 H, R/ER, BB, 5 K
Signed for $300,000 as an 11th round pick in 2016, Kranick has an athletic 6-foot-3, 200 pound frame that gives him plenty of projection remaining on his low-90s fastball. Capable of reaching 95 mph at times now, he could bump higher as he reaches physical maturity. Both his curveball and changeup flash potential to become average pitches as he develops.