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Prospect Watch: Angels System Is Not Empty… Yet

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Victor Alcantara, RHP, Los Angeles Angels (Profile)
Level: Low-A   Age: 21   Top-15: N/A   Top-100: N/A
Line: 87.0 IP, 48-79 BB-K, 64 H, 4.03 ERA

With the recent trade for the Padres’ Huston Street, the Angels all but emptied their minor league system. Read the rest of this entry »


Prospect Watch: Cubs, Marlins Go Fishing for Pitching

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Pierce Johnson, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Profile)
Level: Class-A/Double-A   Age: 23   Top-15: 6th   Top-100: 77th
Line: 54.1 IP, 35-46 BB-K, 32 H, 3.48 ERA

The Chicago Cubs organization has one of the stronger minor league systems in baseball — but that’s on the strength of its hitting prospects.

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Prospect Watch: Archie Bradley, Nepotism and the Rule 5 Draft

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Profile)
Level: Triple-A/Double-A   Age: 21   Top-15: 1st   Top-100: 5th
Line: 46.2 IP, 38 K, 26 BB, 45 H, 3.66 ERA

Bradley is a talented pitcher.

The 21-year-old hurler entered the season as the No. 1 ranked pitcher on FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects list. He recently placed second amongst pitchers behind Seattle’s Taijuan Walker on the mid-season update. Keep in mind that he missed significant time during the first half due to an elbow injury and you have a good idea of just how talented this Oklahoma native truly is.

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Top 25 Prospects: A Midseason Update

It’s a good time to be a talented (and cost-effective) young professional baseball prospect.

We’ve seen quite a few members of the pre-season Top 100 Prospects list graduate to the Majors. Clubs appear to be accelerating the development of top prospects and leaning heavily on them right out of the chute; freshman and sophomore players can be found playing key roles on the top teams in each division.

Some of the players still eligible for the list will become ineligible for the offseason Top 100 list when, in the second half, the front office comes calling. Prospects that could get the call include: Francisco Lindor (Indians), Taijuan Walker (Mariners), Archie Bradley (Diamondbacks), Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays), Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Joc Pederson (Dodgers), and even Dylan Bundy (Baltimore).

So who sits atop the heap at the midpoint of the 2014 season? Let’s have a look….

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Prospect Watch: Christian Walker, Anthony Alford

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Christian Walker, 1B, Baltimore Orioles (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   Top-15: N/A   Top-100: N/A
Line: 374 PA, .307/.366/.542, 20 HR, 8.6% BB, 19.5% K

Summary
With Chris Davis suffering through a disappointing season, Christian Walker is picking a perfect time to develop into one of the better first base prospects in the minors.

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Prospect Watch: More Mookie, and Rob Refsnyder

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Mookie Betts, IF/OF, Boston Red Sox (Profile)
Level: AA/AAA/MLB   Age: 21   Top-15: 4th   Top-100: 59th
Line: .345/.437/.520, 8 HR, 29 SB, 51-33 BB-K (MiLB)

The Boston Red Sox organization has one of the best minor league systems in baseball and it’s been on full display in 2014. Xander Bogaerts, a 21-year-old middle infielder, opened the year with the big club. Jackie Bradley, 24, has seen significant playing time. Third baseman Garin Cecchini received a cup of coffee in the Majors despite experiencing a bit of a down year at Triple-A. These players ranked one-two-three, respectively, on the Red Sox’s Top 10 prospects list at FanGraphs prior to the 2014 season.

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Prospect Watch: Here Comes Domingo Santana

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Domingo Santana, OF, Houston Astros (Profile)
Level: AAA Age: 21 Top-15: 8th Top-100: N/A
Line: .304/.383/.502, 13 HR, 5 SB, 40-99 BB-K

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Prospect Watch: Dalton Pompey and the Jays’ Dilemma

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Dalton Pompey, CF, Toronto Blue Jays (Profile)
Level: A+/AA   Age: 21   Top-15: 13th   Top-100: N/A
Line: .312/.393/.461, 6 HR, 29 SB, 36-58 BB-K

Summary
Pompey is one of the fastest-rising prospects not only in the Jays system but minor-league baseball, in general. He’s also likely to be a hot commodity during trade talks at the July deadline approaches.

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Prospect Watch: Can Marco Gonzales Be the Next Wacha?

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals (Profile)
Level: A+/AA   Age: 22   Top-15: 6th   Top-100: N/A
Line: 76.1 IP, 67 H, 78/18 K/BB, 1.89 ERA, 2.34 FIP

Summary
Can lightning strike twice for the Cardinals? After seeing 2012 first rounder Michael Wacha rocket to the Majors in 2013, Marco Gonzales — the 19th overall selection of the ’13 draft — will attempt to duplicate his injured teammate’s success.

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Prospect Watch: AL Central

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. This particular Prospect Watch feature will focus on prospect notes from around the minors — focusing on both top prospects and sleepers.

Chicago White Sox

On the surface, the Chicago White Sox have seen solid returns from their 17th overall pick from the 2013 amateur draft. Tim Anderson, a shortstop, is hitting .303 with solid gap pop and some base running aptitude thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, his plate discipline leaves something to be desired. He carries a shockingly-bad 61-7 K-BB rate through 61 High-A ball games. Anderson’s on-base percentage is bound to bottom out if (when) his BABIP of .379 normalizes.

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Prospect Watch: Bullpen Arms in the Desert

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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The Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen ranks among the worst in the league in numerous categories — including ERA and home runs per nine innings (HR/9) — which has helped the club land in last place in the National League West division. But there is good news on the horizon. Arizona actually has some of the best relief depth in the minor leagues in terms of pitchers’ ceilings — especially when looking at Double-A and above. Here are a few names to know:

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Prospect Watch: AL East Prospects

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. This particular Prospect Watch feature will focus on prospect notes from around the minors — focusing on both top prospects and sleepers.

Baltimore Orioles

A highly-regarded 2013 draft pick, Chance Sisco has shown a solid, developing bat so far in 2014. The young catcher is hitting .290 through 43 games while also flashing gap power. The left-handed hitter has an .835 OPS against right-handed pitching but has struggled against southpaws in a small-sample size as witnessed by his .353 OPS in 25 at-bats. With Matt Wieters‘ future in Baltimore looking cloudy, Sisco could be the backstop of the future.

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Prospect Watch: NL West Prospects

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. This particular Prospect Watch feature will focus on prospect notes from around the minors — focusing on both top prospects and sleepers.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Recently, I wrote about the Diamondbacks’ intriguing third base prospect Brandon Drury. He’s not the only young player worth monitoring at the hot corner. Jake Lamb‘s bat has woken up after a slow start to the 2014 season at the Double-A level. He’s now up to a triple-slash line of .307/.385/.545 and the left-handed hitter is producing a .900+ OPS against both left- and right-handed pitching.

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Prospect Watch: Revisiting Rule 5 Recommendations

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Back in late November 2013, I published a Rule 5 draft preview with some names of players that had intrigued me over the course of the previous season but had been left unprotected by their current organization. None of the players were subsequently selected and all remained with their original organization. Let’s have a look at a few of my favorites to see how they’re performing in 2014…

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Prospect Watch: NL Central Prospects

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. This particular Prospect Watch feature will focus on prospect notes from around the minors — focusing on both top prospects and sleepers.

National League Central

Chicago Cubs

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Prospect Watch: Joey Gallo’s Breakout Continues

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers (Profile)
Level: High-A   Age: 20   Top-15: 6th   Top-100: N/A
Line: 185 PA, .342/.459/.795, .452 ISO, 17.8% BB, 23.8% K

Summary
Joey Gallo used to throw pitches. Now he just abuses them.

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Prospect Watch: NL East Prospects

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. This particular Prospect Watch feature will focus on prospect notes from around the minors — focusing on both top prospects and sleepers.

Read the rest of this entry »


Prospect Watch: Mets Relievers

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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The New York Mets have a talented group of young arms in the minor league system. That’s great news in terms of the pitching talent pipeline but it might make roster management difficult.

The club has eight arms that would be at risk of being lost in the annual Rule 5 draft if they were to be left unprotected: Noah Syndergaard, Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett, Jack Leathersich, Gabriel Ynoa, Luis Mateo, Domingo Tapia, and Akeel Morris.

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Prospect Watch: Drury, Bedrosian, Giles

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Brandon Drury, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (Profile)
Level: High-A   Age: 21   Top 15: 11th   Top 100: N/A
Line: .297/.359/.563, 8 HR, 8.1 BB%, 16.2 K%

Summary
Acquired in the deal that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta, Drury has continued to build off an impressive 2013 campaign.

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Prospect Watch: Severino, Andriese, and Schimpf

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees (Profile)
Level: Low-A Age: 20 Top-15: 11th Top-100: N/A
Line: 19.0 IP, 15 H, 22/6 K/BB, 1.89 ERA, 2.41 FIP

Summary
He’s still raw, but Severino is helping to lead a new wave of high-ceiling prospects into the conscious mind of New York fans.

Notes
Signed for a modest bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Severino looks like a scouting coup. He’s produced excellent numbers in his two seasons of pro ball prior to 2014.

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