Archive for the 'Dominican Republic' Category

Top Dominican Prospects in American League

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Last week myworld identified the top ten prospects from National League teams from the Dominican Republic. Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez, Luis Garcia, Christian Pache, Brailyn Marquez and Edward Cabrera all made their major league debuts from that list. From that group all reappeared on this year’s list except for Luis Garcia, who lost his rookie eligibility.

The top three from the American League list remains unchanged. Leody Taveras, Jorge Mateo and Deivi Garcia all played in the major leagues. Below are the top prospects from the American League from the Dominican Republic.

1. Wander Franco SS (Rays) - For many he is considered the top prospect in baseball. Wander was denied a 2020 season so he went to the Dominican Republic to play in the winter league. An injured bicep ended his season early. There is no question that Wander can hit. In his two minor league seasons his career average is .336/.405/.523. He also has a walk/strikeout ratio of 83/54. The main question around Wander is whether he can stick at shortstop. The arm is strong enough to play there but there is some concern about whether the range to cover the position exists. If he is not a fit at short the bat is potent enough that a move to third would not be a problem. The Rays already have a decent shortstop in Willy Adames. If Franco is promoted in 2021 it will probably be to play third or fill in for an injured Adames.

2. Julio Rodriguez OF (Mariners) - The Mariners signed Rodriguez for $1.75 million in 2017. Power will be his calling card. The 2019 season was his debut in the minor leagues and he hit .326 with 12 homeruns in just 84 games playing in Low and High A. The walk to whiff ratio was 25/76, which could result in an average more in the .270s once he hits the major leagues. He should be good for 30 plus homeruns. The speed is a better fit for a corner outfield position and his arm is strong enough for right field. If he is tearing it up in AA he could make his major league debut in 2021. The Mariners are rebuilding and Julio is one of their most important pieces in this project.

3. Jasson Dominguez OF (Yankees) - It has been a long time since the Yankees have had a superstar center fielder. Jasson could change all that. Little is known about Jasson from a stat perspective since he was not signed until 2019 for $5.4 million. His tools have had him compared to Mike Trout but at 17 years of age he has some growing up to do. He is a five tool player with the speed to steal 30 plus bases and the power to hit 30 plus homeruns. He should provide quality defense in centerfield and have the arm to fit in right. There is no short season league in the minor leagues, so the Yankees could keep him in extended spring and then promote him to Low A later on in the season.

4. George Valera OF (Indians) - The Indians outfield has been short of quality players the last couple years. They hope to change that with Valera, who was signed for $1.3 million in 2018. The hitting tools are there for him to hit over .300 and slug 30 plus homeruns. His speed and arm rate about average, making him a better fit for a corner outfield spot. Valera actually lived in New York until his teenage years when he moved back to the Dominican Republic. In 2019 he started at short season. He only hit .236 but still slugged 8 homeruns. Too many swing and misses resulted in a low average. A promotion to Low A was even worse, where he only hit .087 in 23 at bats. Valera will probably only play A ball in 2021. An Indians debut is not expected until late 2022.

5. Vidal Brujan 2B (Rays) - Sometimes players who rely mainly on speed can turn into major league disappointments. Jose Peraza is an example of that. Brujan is one of those players with tremendous speed but very little power. That speed resulted in stolen base totals of over 100 the last two seasons. He did have pretty good walk to whiff ratios, but that digressed in 2019 to 37/61, dropping his average to .277. The previous year he had hit .320. To utilize his speed Brujan needs to get on base to be effective. He did play 20 games down in the Dominican in the Winter Leagues where he hit just .254 with a .691 OPS but he did steal 10 bases in 13 attempts. He is an above average defensive player for second base so that is on his plus side. He also has a strong enough arm to play short making a utility role another possibility. Vidal should make his major league debut in 2021.

6. Deivi Garcia RHP (Yankees) - Last year he made his major league debut, performing in six starts. His ERA was not that stellar (4.98) and opponents hit .254 against him with six homeruns. He did have an impressive 6/33 walk to whiff ratio, showing an ability to hit the plate that he struggled with in 2019. Perhaps he was around the strike zone too much. His minor league career shows a .202 career opponent average. Deivi stands only 5′9″, which is usually a death height for right handed pitchers. His fastball is not overpowering and can ride the plate in the mid-90s. It is his breaking pitches, both the slider and curve that will grade his success higher. If a starting role does not pan out Deivi always could be used in relief. Expect the Yankees to go north with him in their rotation in 2021. How long he stays there will depend on his success.

7. Noelvi Marte SS (Mariners) - The Mariners signed Marti for $1.55 million in 2018. He was considered one of the top international prospects for that year. In 2019 he only played in the Dominican Summer League, but he put up some pretty impressive numbers, hitting .309 with a .511 slugging. He showed enough speed to steal 17 bases in 65 games. Noelvi will hit for power. His defense is a bit shaky for short. Whether he stays there or not will depend on keeping his consistency. He could move to third, or if he keeps his speed a move to the outfield is also a possibility. The 2021 season should see him play A ball. Noelvi will probably not see the Mariners until sometime during the 2023 season.

8. Gilberto Jimenez OF (Red Sox) - Over the last couple years the Red Sox farm system has turned a bit bleak. They hope Gilberto is one of many players who can change that prognosis. They only had to shell out $10,000 to sign him in 2017. For that they could have their centerfielder who can run with the wind. The last couple years Gilberto was able to combine for 30 steals in the Dominican Summer League and short season ball. He hit an impressive .359 in his short season debut. Gilberto does not carry a lot of power in his bat, slapping the ball into the outfield instead of driving it into the gaps. He did hit three homeruns in 2019, with 17 of his 84 hits going for extra bases. It appears that speed will bring Gilberto to the major leagues. That speed has not resulted in a lot of stolen base success, but it could help him fill the centerfield role. Don’t expect him to fill that role for the Red Sox until 2023.

9. Robert Puason SS (Athletics) - Like Dominguez, Puason was a major international signing for 2019 with a $5.1 million bonus. With no 2020 season not a lot is known about Puason. At 6′3″ he could develop some power, but at this point in his career that could be the weakest part of his game. There is speed, an arm and the tools to play a quality shortstop. The Athletics will probably keep him in extended spring or perhaps have him play some Dominican summer league ball before rushing him to full season ball. He will probably not see the Athletics until sometime late in 2023.

10. Anderson Tejeda SS (Rangers) - The Rangers are talking about moving Isiah Kiner-Falefa from third to short. Last year Anderson played 23 games there, hitting .253 with three homeruns. Anderson does not carry great range at shortstop, but he has an excellent arm. With some power in his bat he could ultimately become a utility player. The one big question with his hitting skills is his patience at the plate. Last year he had a 2/30 walk to whiff ratio, giving him a poor .273 OBA. He did play eleven games in winter ball, slugging .500 with half of his hits going for extra bases. He hit .300 with a .348 OBA, enough to stick with the Rangers if he can keep plugging those numbers. With a good spring Anderson could convince the Rangers to keep him with the club as their shortstop or as a utility player. Otherwise he will play in AAA to further enhance his game.

Winter League Update - Aguilas Advances to Series del Caribe

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

Dominican Republic

Aguilas became the first team to qualify for the Series del Caribe. They had to win their last three games to win the seven game series. They exploded for five runs in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie, then hung on to win 7-4.

Johan Camargo and Juan Lagares did their damage early in the game. Camargo went solo in the third to score Aguilas first run and Lagares went deep with a solo in the sixth inning. For Lagares it was his third homerun of the seven game series.

Camargo and Lagares were also instrumental in the five run seventh. Luis Juarez broke the 2-2 tie with a one out solo blast. Camargo doubled to put runners on second and third. He scored as well as Francisco Pena after a Jonathan Villar two run double. Lagares drove in the final run with a ground out to second.

Gigantes rallied in the ninth after a triple by Abiatel Avelino and a double by Jose Siri to close the lead to 7-4. Dario Alvarez replaced the struggling Neftali Feliz to retire the final two batters to clinch the Dominican championship for Aguilas.

The loss has to hurt for one of the newest franchises. They have represented the Dominican Republic once in the Series del Caribe back in 2014-2015. This is the fourth time they have finished as runner up.

Puerto Rico

The day before Mayaguez had scored 30 runs. The pitching was a tad batter for Manati in the second game as they limited Mayaguez to just 20 runs in the 20-7 loss. Kennys Vargas, who went deep twice the previous day also went deep yesteday, finishing the game with five RBIs in a 5 for 6 day. Emmanual Rivera, who drove in 10 runs in the previous game with two homeruns, hit two more homeruns yesterday as well, but both were solo shots so his RBI production was limited to two.

For Manati, Roy Morales had a good game, going 4 for 4 with a two run homer and double. He scored twice. Luis Medina struggled for Mayaguez, giving up eight hits and four runs in 3.1 innings. The Yankee prospect had been voted pitcher of the year in the Puerto Rican League regular season. Veteran Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina put himself on the mound for the ninth inning for Manati. He gave up one run, a solo shot from David Vidal.

Venezuela

Aragua evened their series with Lara at two games apiece with a 6-4 win. Ramon Cabrera sliced two two run singles, one in the first and the second in the seventh innings to contribute to the victory. Edwin Garcia drove in the other two runs with an RBI single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Logan Duran pitched six strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits to get the win.

Rene Reyes made the game close with his two run homer in the ninth for Lara.

Magallanes Navegantes had an easier time with Caribes, evening their series at two games apiece with a 13-5 win. Danry Vasquez was the hitting star, driving in six of the runs, three of them driven in with his bomb in the fifth inning. Renato Nunez went deep for the third time in the series with a two run shot in the eighth. Leonardo Reginatto crossed the plate four times with his 3 for 4 performance.

Winter League Update - Lagares Slam Ties Series for Aguilas

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Dominican Republic

Juan Lagares grand slam in the fourth was enough to give Aguilas a 6-5 win over Gigantes and even the series at three apiece. Lagares drove in five of the six runs scored by Aguilas. The Gigantes put on a rally in the ninth, Jose Siri mashing a three run homer and Ronald Guzman making it back to back with a homerun. The Gigantes came up a run short. After giving up the two long balls, Neftali Feliz was able to get out of the inning to escape with the victory.

Puerto Rico

They were able to restart their second semi-final series, but it was not much of a game. Mayaguez pulverized the expansion team of last year Manati 30-8. Emmanuel Rivera went 4 for 5 with two doubles and two homeruns to drive in ten runs. Both his homeruns were three run shots in the fifth and sixth innings. Ivan Dejesus Jr. walked six times, but still got two hits to drive in four runs and score five. Kennys Vargas also went deep twice and drove in five runs.

Venezuela

Williams Astudillo slapped around five hits in six at bats, including a double and homerun to lead Caribes to an 11-2 win over Magallanas. They now lead the series two games to one. Luis Sardinas drove in three runs on three hits, two of them doubles.

Gorkys Hernandez three run homer in the seventh inning broke open a tight game leading Lara to an 8-4 win over Aragua. Lara leads that series two games to one.

Mexico

Both teams tethered together 14 hits but it was Hermosa that won the game 8-6. They now lead the series three games to two. Robinson Leyer pitched two shutout innings to earn a save, his second of the series. Julian Leon smashed a two run homer and Yadiel Hernandez hit a solo shot to lead the Hermosa offense.

Obregon lived another day with their 6-2 win over Culiacan. The Yaquis strung together 15 hits including four each from Carlos Sepulveda and Dariel Alvarez. Leandro Castro added three hits, including a solo shot in the ninth, three runs scored and two driven in.

Winter League Update - C. Martinez Keeps Aragua Alive

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Carlos Martinez got behind early 3-0 by giving up back to back homeruns to Ronald Guzman and Kelvin Gutierrez in the first, but the Aguilas bats came alive to down the Gigantes 9-3. After the two homeruns Martinez shut out the Gigantes through six innings.

Aguilas pulled to within one run with back to back solo shots from Ramon Torres and Juan Lagares. Torres added a two out RBI single in the seventh to tie the game 3-3. In the eighth a five run out burst put the game out of reach, Torres also adding an RBI single in the inning to finish the game with three RBIs on a 4 for 5 day. Melky Cabrera had the RBI single in the eighth that broke the 3-3 tie.

Mexico

Ricardo Serrano slugged a two run homer in the seventh to give Monterrey a 6-5 win over Hermosa to even the series at two games apiece. Paulo Orlando hit an RBI double prior to the homerun to put the Sultanes to within one run. Alberto Carreon went 2 for 3 with fours runs scored. Jeff Johnson pitched the ninth inning and despite giving up two hits earned the save. The Sultanes needed nine different pitchers to win the game.

Manny Barreda outdueled Andre Rienzo to shake out a 1-0 win for Culiacan over Obregon. Barreda went seven innings giving up just two hits. Andre Rienzo lasted five innings, giving up just the lone run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Ramiro Pena in the third. Yoelkis Guibert opened the inning with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a bunt. Alberto Baldanado gave up a leadoff single in the ninth but retired the next three batters, the last two on strikeouts to chalk up the save.

Gigantes One Win Away From Series Del Caribe

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Dominican Republic

Richelson Pena threw seven innings of shutout three hit ball to put the Gigantes within one win of the Series del Caribe with the 5-0 win. Gigantes also got solo homeruns from Juan Francisco and Peter O’Brien in the fourth inning. Jose Siri also added a solo shot in the fifth inning. Ronald Guzman went 4 for 5 to increase his average to .588.

Mexico

Courtney Hawkins slugged a two run homer in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie to give Monterrey a 5-3 win over Hermosa, their first victory in the three games. The bullpen of the Sultanes shut out Hermosa for the final three innings, Jeff Johnson pitching the ninth inning, striking out three for the save. Paulo Orlando had crushed in two run double in the fifth inning to give Monterrey a 3-0 lead. Jose Cardona tied it with one swing in the sixth with a three run homer.

Obregon also won their first game with a 5-2 win over Culiacan. A three run explosion in the first proved the difference in the game, fueled by a two run homer from Victor Mendoza and an RBI double from Jonathan Aranda. One of the hottest hitters for Culiacan came up with the bases loaded and two outs representing the winning run and grounded out. Castillo was 3 for 4 for the game and hitting over .700 with 8 RBIs coming into the at bat. Leandro Castro contributed a solo homerun for Obregon in the fifth.

Venezuela

An 11 run ninth inning gave Lara a 19-10 win over Aragua. Lara managed only 12 hits, but they equaled that number in the walks. Lara nickled and dimed the pitching staff with five singles, four walks and two hit by pitches in the 11 run ninth. They hit two doubles later in the inning. Osman Marval, Yordanys Linares and Cesar Puello each scored three times. Linares also drove in three runs and Puello walked four times in five at bats. Cesar Hernandez also walked four times.

Roel Santos, the speedy leadoff hitter from Cuba, finished the day 5 for 5 with one double, two triples and five RBIs for Aragua. Ronald Belasario could only retire two hitters before coughing up six runs to blow the save.

Magallanas also won their first game over Orientes with a 4-1 win. The Navegantes used seven different pitchers to secure the win. Three solo homeruns proved the difference in the game, hit by Leonardo Reginatto in the first, Danny Vasquez in the eighth and Renato Nunez also in the eighth. Vasquez also went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

Winter League Update - Aguilas Gets a Win

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Dominican Republic

Aguilas wrapped up their first win over Gigantes 6-3 to put the series at two games to one. They jumped out to an early 4-0 lead until Gigantes rallied for three in the sixth to close the gap. Two of the three runs were the result back to back solo shots from Juan Francisco and Peter O’Brien. Francisco Pena gave Aguilas a bit of comfort with his two run homerun in the eighth to elevate their lead to 6-3. Pena finished the game a perfect 3 for 3 with one walk, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Aguilas pitcher Andy Otero threw 5.1 scoreless innings. Gregory Soto worked the ninth to earn the save.

Venezuela

Some wild playoff openers in Venezuela. Caribes won their opener 12-9 erupting for back to back five run innings in the fifth and sixth. Oswaldo Arcia contributed a grand slam in the fifth and finished with six RBIs on the day. Willians Astudillo drove in four runs on a 3 for 4 day. The duo contributed driving in 10 of the Caribes 12 runs.

Renato Nunez hit a three run homer for Navegantes in the loss to make the game close.

Lara edged out Aragua 7-6 in their opener. Aragua had scored three in the top of the eighth to take a 6-4 lead. Lara responded with three in the bottom frame, the final two scoring on a Cesar Hernandez two run single. Pedro Rodriguez gave up two hits in the ninth, but still managed to earn the save by retiring the final two batters while leaving the tying run on second.

Henry Rodriguez got four hits for Aragua and Jose Martinez three. Ildemaro Vargas was the hitting star for Lara, going 3 for 4 with a double, triple and three runs scored. Carlos Rivera hit a solo shot to lead off the eighth to gather momentum for a three run rally.

Mexico

Both teams lead their series two games to none. Culiacan beat Obregon 6-1. Edgar Arredondo went 6.1 innings and only allowed a solo blast to Victor Mendoza for Obregon’s only run. Jessie Castillo was again the hot bat for Culiacan, going 4 for 4 with two doubles, a homerun and three RBIs. His three runs driven in were on a homerun in the fourth. He is batting .750 with seven runs batted in and two homeruns in the first two games.

Hermosa clipped Monterrey in the other game 2-1. Niko Vasquez delivered the walk off hit with a one out single in the ninth to score Isaac Paredes, who had walked. In the eighth Jose Cardona singled for Hermosa to tie the game 1-1.

Edgar Gonzalez worked six brilliant innings for Monterrey in a losing cause, not allowing a run and giving up just three hits. Cesar Vargas went 5.1 innings, giving up a solo shot to Ricardo Serrano in the sixth. Heriberto Ruelas got the win by shutting out Monterrey in the top of the ninth.

Winter League Update - Gigantes Continues to Roll

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

The Winter League playoffs continue. Mexico began their second round of the playoffs. Venezuela begins their playoffs today. Puerto Rico is a mystery as one of their playoff games had to be postponed because of the corona virus. Below is a summary of the games yesterday.

Gigantes 6 Aguilas 2

Aguilas scored a quick two runs but then Paolo Espino quieted them through six innings. Yunesky Maya was the starter for Aguilas. Moises Sierra got to Maya with a leadoff single in the second. Carlos Peguero followed with a double. Peter O’Brien drove in Sierra with a deep fly out to right field. Richard Urena tied the game with a single.

The Gigantes took the lead in the third inning, Jose Siri getting the inning started with a one out triple. Ronald Guzman drove him in with an RBI single. After that it was all Espino and the bullpen keeping the Aguilas bats silenced.

The Gigantes did add an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI double by Urena, his second RBI of the game. They added two more in the seventh on RBI doubles from Ronald Guzman and Kelvin Gutierrez. Jumbo Diaz came on in the ninth to close out the game.

The Gigantes now lead the series two games to none.

Culiacan 10 Obregon 7

This was a battle of the offense. Obregon jumped out to an early 5-2 lead after two innings. Dariel Alvarez sliced a two run single in the first and Obregon added three more in the second, two of them scoring on a Victor Mendoza two run double.

Culiacan came back to tie the game 5-5 with a three run fifth inning. Jessie Castillo hit a two run double to fuel the inning. Obregon responded with two of their own to take a 7-5 lead, the key hit a Leandro Castro two run single. Castro finished the game 3 for 5 with three RBIs.

Culiacan recaptured the lead in the fifth with three runs. Michael Wing hit a sacrifice fly and then Jessie Castillo had the big hit with a two run homer to give Culiacan the lead 8-7. Castillo finished the game with four RBIs.

The pitching showed up for the last 4.5 innings. Only Culiacan could score any runs, both driven in by Sebastion Elizalde, one on a solo blast in the seventh, and the other a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Sasagi Sanchez and Alberto Baldonado each pitched a perfect final two innings to secure the win.

Hermosillo 2 Monterrey 0

The second playoff game for Mexico was a sharp contrast to the first game, with pitchers dominating. Juan Pablo Oramas lasted seven innings, shutting out Monterrey on four hits while striking out eight. Romario Gil gave up two unearned runs in the third, but after that pitched six masterful innings. Isaac Paredes drove in both runs with a two run homer, after a two out error by shortstop Roberto Valenzuela allowed the third inning to continue. Robinson Leyer worked the ninth to earn the save, issuing a one out walk to Ricardo Serrano. Roberto Valenzuela came up in the ninth representing the tying run at the plate but popped out to short to end the game.

Gigantes Wins Opener

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

The only winter league playoff game was being played in the Dominican Republic. Gigantes ruled over Aguilas with a convincing 5-1 win in the finals of the Winter League playoffs. Cesar Valdes lasted five innings, allowing just two hits for Gigantes. One of those hits was a solo shot by Francisco Pena.

The Gigantes did not homer but they strung together 11 hits to score five runs. Ronald Guzman hit two doubles and scored twice. Kelvin Gutierrez went 3 for 4 with two runs drive in. One player who struggled was Oneil Cruz, who struck out in all four of his at bats, stranding six baserunners. Fortunately, the Gigantes survived without his bat.

Four different relief pitchers for Gigantes each worked one inning of shutout ball. Jumbo Diaz worked the last inning, retiring the Aguilas bats in order. Joe Van Meter struggled for Aguilas, failing to get past the second inning after giving up six hits and three runs.

Winter League Playoffs - Aguilas Advances

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Aguilas will play Gigantes in the finals to see who will represent the Dominican Republic in the Series del Caribe. Aguilas won the big seventh game 5-1, getting five strong shutout innings from Marcos Diplan. Marcos allowed two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six.

Juan Lagares was the offensive sparkplug for Aguilas. He smashed a three run homer in the third to give Aguilas an early 3-0 lead. He also added an RBI single in the seventh to make the score 4-0. A wild pitch in that inning scored the fifth run.

Toros loaded the bases off Gregory Soto in the ninth on a single and two walks. Another walk forced in the first run for Toros bringing Jorge Mateo to the plate as the tying run. He struck out to end the game.

Monterrey, Obregon, Culiacan and Hermosillo all advance in the Mexican playoffs. All the games went six.

Monterrey blasted Mexicali 7-2. Paulo Orlando hit a two run homer in the third to give them an early 2-0 lead. Roberto Valenzuela and Gilberto Galiviz also contributed two RBIs in the victory.

Obregon easily defeated Jalisco 8-1 in six games. Jonathan Aranda hit a two run homer and Leandro Castro also added two RBIs. Orlando Pina went a perfect 2 for 2 with two singles, two walks and three runs scored. Jalisco could only manage three hits against five different Obregon pitchers.

Culiacan nipped Guasave 4-3. Michael Wing broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth with an RBI single. Manny Barreda left the game after six innings with a 3-1 lead, allowing just one run on one hit. The bullpen could not protect the lead with Alejandro Ortiz slicing a two run double into right field to tie the game. Alberto Baldonado retired the last five hitters he faced to earn the save.

Hermosillo got seven shutout innings from Ryan Verdugo to pull out a 1-0 win over Mazatlan. Francisco Rios pitched seven strong innings for Mazatlan. The only run scored in the second inning on a ground out.

Top Prospects From the Dominican - National League

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

Myworld will go around the world to identify the top prospects from various areas of the world playing in the minor leagues. In order to do this effectively we have to find enough prospects who have a chance to appear in the major leagues. The Dominican Republic is one of the best places to find prospects so we have broken them out into American and National League. Below are the top Dominican prospects in the National League.

1. Marco Luciano SS (Giants) - You have to like a shortstop that has the potential to hit for power. At the rookie level in 2019 Marco slugged .564 with 10 homeruns and 13 doubles in just 47 games. He also showed some patience at the plate with 32 walks. At 6′2″ he has some length and his speed is not his greatest asset, so he could move to third base. This would slightly tarnish his prospect ranking, but finding a player to hit .300 with 30 plus homeruns at any position is still a skill any team would want. He has yet to play full season ball so how he adapts as he faces better pitching will soon be discovered. Next year will be his first season in full season ball.

2. Christian Pache OF (Braves) - He has gold glove potential as a centerfielder. His speed allows him to track down fly balls but it seems to be deficient when it comes to stealing bases. He did steal 32 in 2017 but the last two years he only combined for 15. The power is there for him to hit in double digits for homeruns, but he will not be a power source. The Braves would like to see him be more patient at the plate so he could draw more walks to better fit at the top of the lineup. In 2018 his OBA was only .307 but in 2019 he drew more walks to elevate it to .340. Last year he made a brief major league debut, appearing in just two games and getting four at bats. If he can show the bat and the patience to get on base consistently he could be the Braves starting centerfielder in 2021. The glove is ready, the bat is still a work in progress.

3. Sixto Sanchez RHP (Marlins) - By the end of the 2020 season Sixto had entrenched himself as one of the top three pitchers in the Marlins rotation. His fastball hits the upper ranges of the 90s and reaches triple digits. He complements that pitch with a changeup that dives into the dirt. He doesn’t get the swings and misses you would expect from a pitcher with his stuff, but he should fit in the middle of the rotation next year for the Marlins. If he can harness a quality third pitch those strikeout numbers could climb. The one concern myworld has is his 6′0 body carrying 234 pounds. That could have an impact on his health if he doesn’t improve his conditioning.

4. Brailyn Marquez LHP (Cubs) - Scouts drool when they see a lefthander consistently hit triple digits with his fastball. At 6′4″ Brailyn also carries an ideal pitcher’s frame. While the fastball is special his secondary offerings (slider and change) line the average spectrum and his command can be spotty. To be effective in the major leagues he needs to enhance those pitches. Last year he made one appearance in the major leagues and retired two hitters, giving up two hits and walking three for a 67.50 ERA. The Cubs will give Brailyn some time in AAA to enhance his secondary pitches and fine tune his control. Once he finds improvements there he could be the ace of the Cubs rotation. If those struggles continue he could always fill the closer role.

5. Ronny Mauricio SS (Mets) - Don’t know if the Mets trade of Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez is a call of faith for the future of the shortstop capabilities of Mauricio. Ronny has not shown the power of Luciano and his speed could be described as below average, so staying at shortstop does not appear to be in the cards. But at 6′3″ the Mets are expecting the power to arrive, enough so that a move to third base is practical. His career slugging percentage in the minor leagues is .374, which falls short of what teams look for at the hot corner. However, gaining strength and learning how to elevate the ball could result in more power production. He still is a couple years away from the Mets, giving Francisco Lindor the reign at short for that time period.

6. Oneil Cruz SS (Pirates) - Hard to imagine a 6′7″ shortstop in the major leagues. That is Cruz at the moment in the minor leagues. He doesn’t seem burdened by the height. If the Pirates consider moving him the speed and the arm are good enough for him to patrol right field. There are few players that can match Cruz for power once his arms are extended. Despite all that power he has yet to slug .500 at any level in the minor leagues. With that height comes a larger strike zone and holes in his swing that pitchers can exploit. Cruz was involved in a traffic accident in the Dominican in which a couple people were killed. He appears to have avoided any major consequences for that event and is playing shortstop in the Dominican winter league. If there are no delays in getting a visa he could see some time with the rebuilding Pirates in 2021.

7. Geraldo Perdomo SS (Diamondbacks) - The fourth and last shortstop in this list, but unlike the other three players above him Geraldo has a greater possibility of sticking at the position. He has good speed, a strong arm and all the other attributes to make a solid defensive shortstop. His hitting tools are not as strong as those others mentioned above. At 6′2″ the power could develop. In 2019 he had an impressive 70/67 walk to whiff ratio. This put his OBA at .397 and with his speed on the bases allowed him 67 steals. That would be enough to stick at the top of an order. He still is a couple years away from making his major league debut, but perhaps by the end of the 2022 season Geraldo could make an appearance.

8. Edward Cabrera RHP (Marlins) - Cabrera is another rotation candidate who could hit triple digits with his fastball. At 6′5″ that delivery would be more intimidating than Sixto. Early in his career Edward had challenges commanding his pitches. Hitters raked him at a .280 clip and his ERA was above 4. Last year the command improved, the slider had more break and hitters struggled with a .190 average, resulting in a breakout 2.23 ERA. With all the injuries in the Marlins rotation last year while they surprisingly fought for a playoff appearance, their was some talk of sliding Cabrera into the rotation. That did not happen. It could though as the 2021 season develops.

9. Jesus Sanchez OF (Marlins) - Sanchez was first a Devil Ray. At that time he had the speed to be considered a centerfielder. The Marlins sent the Rays some pitching help to acquire Sanchez. His speed depleted as his body matured so now he is probably better suited for the corners. It is hoped his bat can start generating power to justify the move. His last three years those power numbers have dropped from a .478 slugging percentage to .433, to finally .398 last year. In 2019 he also hit a career low .260. Last year he did make his major league debut, but he was able to piece together just one hit in 25 at bats. For the 2021 season he will try to show some improvement in his offense to justify putting him at a corner outfield position, where a modicum of power is expected.

10. Lewin Diaz 1B (Marlins) - The fourth Marlin on this list, but the third that was acquired via trade. Diaz was originally a Twin but the Marlins acquired him for Sergio Romo. Lewin had a nice breakout season last year from a power perspective hitting 27 homeruns and 33 doubles for a .530 slugging percentage. He was called up last year, appearing in 14 games while hitting just .154 with a .205 slugging. The Marlins will give him another opportunity before they spin the wheel again in search of a first baseman. His speed is below average but his defense can get him on the field. It will not win any gold gloves so the bat must come alive if he hopes to secure a permanent spot in the lineup. The Marlins will give him another chance in 2021, provided he hits in AAA.