A talented college player, Bradley’s stock slipped a bit in the 2011 draft due to injury. As a result the Red Sox organization may have gotten a bit of a steal. A potential gold glove fielder, Bradley also possesses good speed and appears to understand his own strengths. He’s currently hitting .333 with 11 walks in 12 games. He also has four steals in five attempts. If Bradley, 22, keeps hitting for average, walking and stealing bases he could end up as a real impact player at the big league level. If his hitting levels off, though, he will likely still have value at the big league level because of his glove work.
The Arizona organization is absolutely filthy rich in pitching depth. You’ve probably heard lots of good things about Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs but Corbin has the chance to be a pretty solid big leaguer as well. Currently repeating double-A (more to avoid AAA than for poor ’11 results), Corbin has whiffed 20 batters in 20 innings. He tends to give up his fair share of hits (19 so far) but it’s because he’s around the strike zone so much. Corbin, 22, has walked just six batters so far this year and walked just 40 in 160.1 innings last season. The southpaw could eventually become a solid No. 3 or 4 starter at the big league level; he just needs to learn to throw better quality strikes.
Although he’s now in his fourth season, Portillo is still just 20 years old and is a good lesson in not giving up on a promising arm. The right-hander has struggled to produce respectable numbers since turning pro but his early 2012 seasons are reason for optimism. Portillo has been nearly unhittable with just six hits allowed in 15.1 innings of work (three starts). He’s struck out 18 batters but his control is still a work-in-progress as witnessed by his eight walks. Although he’s currently starting, his future role might be a high-leverage reliever.
A former third round pick by the O’s, Townsend has battled injuries throughout his four-year career and has yet to top 72 games played in a single season. The left-handed hitter has always displayed promising raw power but he’s tapped into it early in 2012 with four home runs in 12 games at the double-A level. Townsend, 23, has also been an on-base machine with eight walks. On the down side he’s been swinging and missing a lot more than usual. I had him ranked pretty high on the organization’s Top 15 list during the pre-season and feel he could be set for a breakout.
Tropeano just narrowly missed the Astros Top 15 list for 2012 and he’s trying to make me look bad. Selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, the right-hander has posted impressive pro numbers with decent, but not stellar stuff, and above-average control/command. The college product is pitching in low-A ball so he’s not exactly young for the league but he’s dominating the competition. In 19 innings he’s given up just 12 hits and five walks. Tropeano has K’d 27 batters. Because Houston’s high-A affiliate is in the launching pad known as Lancaster, the right-hander’s next promotion could be to double-A.