There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009.
The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013′ will look back on some of the major happenings in each MLB organization since the beginning of April as a primer for the upcoming FanGraphs Top 10+5 prospects lists. This series will run throughout September and October. I hope you enjoy the series and are eagerly anticipating the start of ‘Prospect List Season.’
The player listed in the sleeper section was featured in a pre-season series that looked at one fringe prospect in each organization that was expected to take a big step forward during 2013, chosen by myself, a scout or a front office talent evaluator.
The Graduate: Jedd Gyorko, 2B: Gyorko played a steady second base while also backing up third base during his freshman season in the Majors. His on-base average was dismal at .301 but he showed some pop and his 23 home runs were good for second place in the Majors among second basemen behind the Yankees’ Robinson Cano (27 taters) and one a head of the Braves’ Dan Uggla. Gyorko actually led the Padres in home runs as a rookie and should return to the keystone in 2014.
The Riser: Matt Wisler, RHP: Wisler went from ‘interesting follow’ to full-blown prospect in a short period of time thanks to his solid season in the Double-A Texas League at the age of 20. Improved numbers against left-handed hitters would be the icing on the cake. Twenty-one of his 27 Double-A walks came against same-side hitters in 46.2 innings of work. Wisler needs a little more minor league polish before he’s ready to excel at the big league level with the ceiling of a No. 2 starter.
The Tumbler: Casey Kelly, RHP: Blowing out your elbow may be the easiest way to hurt your value and, unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to the athletic Kelly. The right-hander missed the entire season while rehabbing after elbow surgery. If all goes well, Kelly could see the Majors again by mid-2014 — if he can avoid the same bad luck that delayed the returns of fellow TJ-alums Joe Wieland and Cory Luebke.
The 2013 Draft Pick: Dustin Peterson, 3B: D.J. Peterson was a consensus first round draft pick in 2013 and he went 12th overall to the Seattle Mariners after a strong career at the University of New Mexico. His younger brother, Dustin, followed him with a second-round selection after his senior year of high school. In his debut, he showed a strong hit tool but didn’t tap into his raw power and just eight of his 48 hits went for extra bases.
The Sleeper: Matt Andriese, RHP Andriese has been one of my favorite sleepers for a couple years now and he continues to fly under the radar in part because he doesn’t have the electric stuff that gets scouts’ hearts palpitating. His fastball has at least average velocity but it’s the heavy sink that makes it stand out. Andriese, 24, is very close to big-league ready and he could settle in to the role of back-end, innings-eating starter.
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