Daily Prospect Notes: 4/25

Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, Los Angeles NL (Profile)
Level: Hi-A   Age: 20   Org Rank: 9  Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 R, SB

Baseball Prospectus’ Wilson Karaman was the first to notice that Diaz now has a leg kick instead of his 2016 Sammy Sosa variation. He struggled with contact at times last year and is repeating the Cal League, but he’s hitting .293 so far this season and will play all of this season at age 20. He’s hitting the ball on the ground more often this year and isn’t hitting for power right now.

Kevin Kramer, 2B (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   Org Rank: HM   Top 100: NR
Line: 2-for-5, 2B

Kramer is up to .382/.500/.636 now. While he isn’t likely to continue hitting for anywhere near this kind of power, he has terrific bat-to-ball skills. He was one of several advanced college bats Pittsburgh selected in the 2015 draft (Kevin Newman and the underrated Mitchell Tolman were the other two) but was likely to move off of short and lacked the power for second or third base. He’s hitting the ball in the air more often this season than last, so perhaps some of the improved power is real, but I haven’t spoken with anyone who has seen a mechanical tweak that may have unlocked it.

Andrew Pullin, LF, Philadelphia (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   Org Rank: 30  Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-5, 2 HR

Pullin stepped away from the game for a while in 2016 and has raked since returning, hitting .293 in the Florida State League last year and then .346 during a six week run at Double-A. He’s back at Reading and hitting .382. Pullin has a bit of a unique swing — one scouted compared it to Eddie Rosario’s. Pullin often strides toward first base but has such great hand-eye coordination that he’s still able to at least spoil pitches with which he has no business making contact.

At first glance, he looks like the type of prospect who doesn’t hit for enough power to profile in an outfield corner, where he now resides after things didn’t work out at second base early in his pro career. But Pullin had 14 homers in the FSL in 2015 and 14 more in just 82 games last year, and while some of that was at Reading, Pullin does have plus bat speed and more power than his frame suggests.

Charcer Burks, CF, Chicago NL (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 22   Org Rank: NR  Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-5, HR, 3 BB (double header)http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-admin/edit.php

Scouts like Burks in center field but have never been on his bat as he lacks strength and bat control. He’s hitting .285 so far this year at Double-A, he plays hard, runs well, had a .160 ISO last year, and has a .143 mark in 2017. He may only end up with a 40 bat, but I think he has a chance to be a big leaguer of some kind. He probably should have been on my Cubs list somewhere.


Notes from the back fields:
Rehabbing Angels prospects Taylor Ward and Nate Smith are getting reps in Extended, a sign they may head to an affiliate soon. Diamondbacks RHP Curtis Taylor, the club’s fourth rounder in 2016 out of British Columbia, tossed four innings yesterday but barely threw his slider. He missed bats in the Northwest League last year, touching the mid-90s with a plus-flashing slider but was changeup-heavy yesterday. It’s likely a developmental emphasis.

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Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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I dont’ think Matt Thaiss is rehabbing. He’s currently playing for Single A Inland Empire.