Archive for the 'Braves' Category

Myworld’s Top Southern League Prospects

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Last week myworld took a look at the Pacific Coast League and had trouble finding pitchers we liked. This week we took a look at the Southern League and found plenty of pitchers to include in our top ten. Again, the prospects are selected based on the numbers they have put up this year. If they do not have good numbers they do not appear on this list.

1. Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) - The first round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 is one of the hardest throwers in baseball. He was one of the headline players the Red Sox shipped to the White Sox for Chris Sale. As a starting pitcher his fastball can hit triple digits, but it will sit in the 95-97 range. His slider and change need to be enhanced to achieve success in the major leagues, but if not his velocity will allow him to survive in the bullpen as a closer. There were off field incidents last year that make some question his character but he appears to be pretty behaved this year. Command has been a problem with more than one walk every two innings. A .191 opposition average and 126 whiffs in just 98 innings of work make him an ace in process, if he can avoid injury, improve his secondary pitches and find the strike zone a little bit more.

2. Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - The Braves have been aggressive with the promotions of the Venezuelan native. Every level he has played at he has found success. Ronald was signed out of Venezuela in 2014 for just $100,000 and his speed and power mix now finds him knocking on the major league door at AAA. Many compare him to Andrew Jones. Ronald started his year in the High A Florida State League and is currently playing in AAA. During that time he has combined for a .305 average with 15 homeruns and 35 stolen bases. His OPS has never fallen below .814 at all three levels. Expect a September promotion before the season is done.

3. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - The Braves drafted the Canadian in the first round of the 2015 draft. He is not the kind of pitcher who will light your eyes up with his velocity. He works around the plate with a low 90s fastball, curveball and changeup to achieve soft barrel on the ball contact. Last year he pitched at Low A. The Braves decided to skip him past High A and put him in AA. In 19 starts he has a 2.32 ERA, a .224 opposition average and 97 whiffs in 112 innings. His walk to whiff ratio is greater than 4 to 1. At 19 years of age he is one of the younger pitchers in AA. Expect his major league debut to be some time next year.

4. Luis Castillo RHP (Reds) - Castillo was originally signed by the Marlins in 2011. For some reason they were very intent on trading him, first dealing him to the Padres until an injury to one of the players (Colin Rea) the Marlins acquired brought Castillo back to the Marlins. The Marlins then found a taker in the Reds to acquire Dan Straily. Castillo, with his triple digit fastball that sits in the high 90s has the potential to be a much better pitcher than Straily. But the Marlins thought they were playing for now. Castillo also has a slider and change for his secondary pitches. Castillo had a nice 14 starts (2.58 ERA) though you would expect more whiffs (81 K’s in 80 innings) based on his fastball. The success has resulted in a promotion to the Reds. There he has held his own (4.05 ERA) but giving up too many long balls in the small park (7).

5. Kolby Allard LHP (Braves) - Kolby was the Braves first round pick in 2015 who dropped in the draft because of a back injury that limited his high school season. Last year he was able to start 16 games, rising to Low A for 11 starts. His fastball sits in the low 90s, plenty of heat for a left handed pitcher with an excellent curveball. His change is a third pitch. Like Mike Soroka the Braves skipped him past A ball and put him in AA where at 19 he is nine days younger than Soroka. In twenty starts he has not had as much success with a 3.75 ERA, a .268 opposition average and 86 whiffs in 105 innings. Expect the Braves to be patient with him and keep him at AA.

6. Brian Anderson 3B (Marlins) - A third round pick in 2014 myworld was impressed with what we saw of him in the spring. He had power to the gaps, played solid defense and carried a couple balls over the fence. Drafted out of college the Marlins can be aggressive with his promotion. With Martin Prado missing the remainder of the season this may be a good opportunity for Anderson to make his major league debut. In AA he slugged 14 homeruns with a .251 average leading to a promotion to AAA. In 12 games at AAA Brian is hitting .349 with three homeruns. Between the two levels his OPS is .816.

7. Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) - Players drafted in the seventh round, as Tyler was drafted in 2013, are not considered the best prospects. Tyler had height (6′4″) and a skinny frame to fill. Once he matured his fastball went from low 90s to mid 90s. Tyler threw a no hitter last year and a complete game no hitter this year. In the Southern League he dominated the hitters with a 1.59 ERA and a .190 opposition average. A promotion to AAA has not led to the same success (2.88 ERA) but enough so that he should see a September callup this year if not sooner.

8. Nick Gordon SS (Twins) - The half brother of Dee Gordon was drafted in the first round in 2014. Unlike his half brother he may have the tools to stick at short. The power is a little short but the speed is there for him to be an impact player on the bases. Like Dee he would move to second if the Twins felt shortstop was a bit too much of a challenge for him. Nick is hitting .292 but showing a little more pop with a career high seven homeruns. He does not steal as frequently as his brother and the strikeout numbers need to be reduced, but a .362 OBA is good enough to fill the lead off role. The Twins have played Nick a little bit at second this year, but they have a bigger need at short. Expect him to make his debut there next year.

9. Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) - Luis was a first round pick of the Rangers in 2014. The Rangers traded him to the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. His claim to fame was winning the MVP award at the 18 and under World Cup in 2014. As he has gotten older the weight has gotten greater and he will have to watch that. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with a slider and change as his secondary pitches. He still needs a lot of work on the change to make it an effective third pitch. He is repeating AA where he has limited the opposition to a .207 average. Injuries have been the biggest impediment to his advancement to date.

10. Luiz Gohara RHP (Braves) - The Mariners originally signed Luiz out of Brazil in 2012. Just before spring training this year they traded him to the Braves in the Mallex Smith deal. At 6′3″, 210 Luiz is a big boy with triple digit velocity to his fastball. The challenge has always been finding the plate. His secondary pitches (slider and change) were also below average so it appeared he would be destined for the bullpen. The Braves kept him in the rotation and he won a promotion to AA from High A and just recently his success at AA has led to a promotion to AAA. His combined opposition average at the two levels is .228 with 99 whiffs in 88 innings. He may still end up in the bullpen with the surplus of starters the Braves have, but with the success he is having the Braves will keep him in the rotation.

Other Prospects to Like

Mauricio Dubon SS (Brewers) - Originally signed by the Red Sox after drafting the Honduran born Dubon in the 26th round of the 2013 draft. He was made part of the Travis Shaw trade to acquire Tyler Thornburg, which could turn into a disaster if Dubon pans out. Dubon lacks power and is probably a bit short on the tools to play shortstop full time. But he appears to have the ability to hit for average and steal bases. Coming into this season he has a .306 minor league average. He hit .276 at AA with 31 stolen bases to earn a promotion to AAA where he is hitting .300 with six stolen bases. The Brewers have been rotating him between second and short. He could end up being a solid utility player.

Jen-Ho Tseng RHP (Cubs) - The Cubs signed Tseng out of Taiwan for $1.6 million in 2013. With a fastball in the low 90s he is not overpowering and at 6′1″ he will not intimidate hitters. His numbers up until this year have not been good. In 15 starts at AA this year he finished with a 2.99 ERA with more whiffs per innings pitched than in previous years (83 whiffs in 90 innings). His opposition average is at .232 when last year at AA it was .308. This success earned him a promotion to AAA where his success has continued with a 1.42 ERA and a .204 opposition average.

Fernando Romero RHP (Twins) - Romero was signed out of the Dominican Republic way back in 2011. He missed the 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery. Despite his 6′0″ height he still gets the ball to the plate in the mid-90s. In his first season at AA Fernando has been good with a 2.64 ERA in 19 starts and 112 whiffs in 105 innings. He has held the opposition to a .231 average. At 105 innings pitched he has reached his career high so expect him to stay in AA with the Twins watching his work load, especially after the Tommy John surgery. If he continues to see success expect him to make his major league debut next year, though the Twins could promote him for the bullpen this year if they want to limit his innings.

Stephen Gonsalves LHP (Twins) - The fourth round 2013 pick is not overpowering, but he can hit the mid-90s, but generally sits in the low 90s. A plus change is what leads to his success. In 13 starts he has a 2.47 ERA with a .206 opposition average. Despite his lack of heat he still strikes out more than a hitter an inning, the changeup making that heater look that much better. An injury resulted in a late start to the season but after his success in AA last year Gonsalves earns at least a promotion to AAA.

2017 Top Venezuelan Prospects - National League

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

The 2016 group of prospects did a better job of making the major leagues last year. The number one prospect Orlando Arcia earned the starting shortstop job for the Brewers to begin the season. The number two prospect Wilson Contreras saw significant playing time behind the plate and in the outfield by mid season. The number four prospect Jose Peraza earned playing time at second base for the rebuilding Reds. With all that success new players will fit the bill. Below are the top Venezuelan prospects in the National League, some of them already getting enough playing time in the major leagues this year not to be eligible for this list next year.

Below is the list of National League top prospects from Venezuela:

1. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Padres) - Injuries have delayed the start to his 2017 season. Last year he pitched in Low A and had some success, though his ERA was at 4.49 and his whiff rate was below one per inning. The opposition hit him at a .276 clip. Someone with his mid-90s fastball and top of the class change should put up better numbers at Low A, though he was one of the youngest players in the league. The Red Sox signed him in 2014 for $1.8 million then traded him to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Missing a full year could have an impact in his development, especially as he tries to develop a work load that will allow him to pitch 200 innings in the major leagues. At 6′0″ he draws comparisons to Pedro Martinez and Yordano Ventura, with the potential to be a top shelf starter. If his small stature makes it difficult for him to stay healthy he could always move to the bullpen as a closer.

2. Kevin Maitan SS (Braves) - It is unusual for a 2016 international signing to find himself on top 100 prospect lists. That is the case for Maitan, but the $4.2 million the Braves shelled out for him could have had an influence. Maitan did not play last year and at 17 years of age had to wait until July for the Rookie Leagues to begin to make his debut. His .302 batting average in minimal at bats (43) validates the Braves faith in his offense. Power should develop as he matures. Maitan has the tools to play short, but if he physically matures he has the bat to move to third base.

3. German Marquez RHP (Rockies) - The Rays signed German in 2011 for $225,000. The Rockies acquired Marquez in the Chris Dickerson trade. Last year he made his major league debut. This year he has cemented himself in the Rockies rotation after two starts in AAA. The fastball hits the mid 90s and his curve ball is considered above average. The change will need to develop more consistency if he hopes to stick in the rotation. Currently he has a 4.34 ERA after 15 starts with the Rockies. His .276 opponent batting average is influenced by the High Colorado air. Staying in the rotation will require improved consistency.

4. Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - Acuna signed for only $100,000 in 2014. Despite his young age the Braves are speeding him through their minor league clubs. This year he has played at three levels despite his 19 years of age, currently at AAA where he is hitting .250 with two homeruns in his first six games. All the tools are there with the speed to play defense in center and the arm for right. He should hit for both average and power as he matures. His strikeout numbers are up this year but he appears to have improved his stolen base numbers with a career high 33 in just 91 games. In his first two years he stole 30 bases. It would not surprise my world to see Acuna get a September callup. The biggest comp for Acuna is Andrew Jones. Expect him to have an impact in 2018.

5. Elias Diaz C (Pirates) - The Pirates signed Diaz in 2008. Last year he made his major league debut as a September callup. This year he returned to the major league team after injuries to their catchers. Nobody questions his defense. Elias has a strong arm with good mobility behind the plate. The big question mark with him is his inability to hit major league pitching. The Pirates turned to Elias once injuries decimated the catching staff. After a hot start his average has dropped to .266. If he can show a decent bat he should at least make it as a back up in the major leagues.

6. Antonio Senzatela RHP (Rockies) - Another Rockie pitcher. Antonio signed in 2011. He was limited to seven starts because of a shoulder problem. That did not stop the Rockies from promoting him to the major leagues after only one start in AAA. Last year he only pitched 35 innings. The previous year he threw a career high of 154 innings. This year he has already gone over 100 innings with a 4.57 ERA, not bad when half of your games are played in Colorado. Antonio has a low 90s fastball with excellent command. In between he can throw a slider, curve and change.

7. Luis Torrens C (Padres) - The Yankees like to sign catchers with offensive potential but limited on defense, as evidence by Gary Sanchez and Jesus Montero. Luis was considered the better defensive catcher early in his career, one of the reasons the Yankees signed Torres for $1.3 million. Injuries have limited his ascent up the minor league ladder with 62 games in 2014 his minor league career high. The Padres acquired him in the Rule V draft and despite never getting past Low A kept him on the major league roster. Luis is hitting .188 with a .225 slugging in limited playing time. At 20 years of age he is young enough to develop in the minor leagues next year.

8. Jose Martinez OF (Cardinals) - Jose Martinez is a hitting machine. In 2015 he combined for a .382 average. Last year he slipped to .278 but made his major league debut, hitting .438 in 12 games. The Royals traded him to the Cardinals mid season and this year Jose has spent most of the year on the major league club as a fourth outfielder. He is best suited for left field defensively but lacks the power for the position. The Cardinals have been using him at first and the two corners. Expect him to stick in the major leagues as a fourth outfielder/pinch hitter.

9. Andres Gimenez SS (Mets) - The Mets signed Andres in 2015 for $1.2 million. With Amed Rosario a couple levels ahead of him second base may be his best position. Gimenez does not have a lot of power but the tools are there for him to play shortstop. This year in Low A he is making his domestic debut, having played in the Dominican Summer League last year. A .274 average with a .676 OPS shows his offensive limitations. The Mets have a bevy of depth in the minor leagues at shortstop so the Mets will be patient with him as he rises up the minor leagues.

10. Ricardo Sanchez LHP (Braves) - The Braves acquired Ricardo from the Angels for Kyle Kubitza. For a lefthander he has good velocity on his fastball throwing in the mid-90s. Command is the area that results in his ERA rising above 5 and the opposition hitting .296 against him. At 5′11 he is not a big guy, but lefthanders under 6′0″ have a better opportunity to survive as a starter.

2016 National League Prospects - Venezuela

Braves Thump Nats in Worse Loss of Season

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Myworld does not know what is worse. Waiting three hours for a ballgame to be played because of the possibility of rain. Or watching the home team get spanked 13-0. The Nationals were shutout for the first time this season, the last team to do so, with Julio Teheran getting credit for the zeroes. He also did pretty good job with the bat driving in three runs.

It was not a very good day for Stephen Strasburg. The Braves were pricking him to death with seeing eye singles through the infield. The first hit off him was ruled a double but it was a low fly ball that Adam Lind lumbered for. A Goodwin out in left might have caught the ball but Lind could not reach it and then had the ball bounce past him. That led to an intentional walk to Matt Adams after the first two pitches missed. Kurt Suzuki found the hole on the left side of the infield for a single to score Nick Markakis. Johan Camargo hit a grounder to short. If Stephen Drew had taken it himself by stepping on second he may have turned two but he flipped to Murphy who made a tough pivot and throw to first that did not beat Camargo to the bag. Teheran made it hurt by bouncing a single through the left side to score Adams to make it 2-0.

The beatdown continued in the third. Freddie Freeman hit a legitimate double into the left centerfield gap. Matt Kemp bounced a single up the middle to score Freeman. Nick Markakis lined a pitch off the hip of Strasburg. He picked the ball up, threw to second but one hopped it. Drew could not handle it and the ball trickled into centerfield, advancing Kemp to third. Matt Adams flied out too shallow to score Kemp, Brian Goodwin rifling a one hop throw to the plate. Unfortunately for Strasburg the bottom of the order came through again. Suzuki, Camargo and Teheran all singled, Teheran driving in two runs to give the Braves a 6-0 lead. Strasburg would not come out in the fourth.

Teheran only gave up four hits in his seven innings of work. The Nationals put two singles back to back in the first inning by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman but the Nationals could not score. The Braves played excellent defense behind Teheran with Brandon Phillips making three excellent defensive plays, including a diving catch on a liner by Murphy that appeared to be going into right field. Nick Markakis also made a diving catch in right field and Matt Adams made a nice diving stop at first base. Freddie Freeman made an error at third, but the Braves were already up 6-0 at that time.

Tanner Roark came on to eat some innings for the Nationals. He gave up three runs in his five innings of work including a Nick Markakis line drive solo shot into the right field bullpen. He retired the side in order in the first two innings but then got nicked with single runs in the next three innings.

Sammy Solis came on for the ninth with an ERA of 10.94. Before he was done that ERA had risen to 14.73. He retired only one of the seven hitters he faced. Matt Adams took one of his pitches for a ride into the second row of the Brewhouse. Solis fed him a fat 0-2 pitch. The Braves got three hits on his 0-2 deliveries. Solis got one strikeout on an 0-2 pitch.

Game Notes: The first two hitters in the Braves order went 1 for 11 with one walk. The last two hitters in the Braves order, which includes the pitcher went 5 for 7 with two walks and one sacrifice…Brandon Phillips played stellar defense at second base. He let very few balls get by him, diving three times to make outs…The Braves hits were squirting through the infield. The Nationals hits were being robbed by excellent defensive plays by the Braves…Jose Lobaton hit the ball hard his first three times up but his average dropped to .136. That slash line of .136/.202/.235 is ugly…It took 87 games but the Nationals were shutout for the first time this season. They were the last team to be shutout…An announced crowd of 38,459 watched this ugly affair.

Nats Have Fans Wait…And Wait….And Wait for Rain and Baseball

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Myworld attempted to watch a baseball game. We arrived at the park at 6:30 PM. There was no rain. At about 7 PM the scoreboard informed the fans that the start of the game would be delayed as the Nationals monitored the weather situation. In the meantime the video board showed the Philiies playing the Pirates, the second night in a row the fans were treated to a game on the video board.

The fans waited. And waited. No tarp was on the field. If rain was expected you would have thought there would be a tarp on the field. 7 PM turned to 8 PM and still no rain. The Phillies game on the video board was into the fourth inning. Still no tarp on the field. There were dark clouds in the sky but still no rain.

At about 8:18 the grounds crew appeared and the tarp went on the field. Still no rain but a mass exodus by the fans who had waited for an hour and fifteen minutes. Myworld joined them.

When we got home at about 9:30 the game had still not started. It did not begin until 10:05 PM. For those people who rely on the Metro for their transportation the most they could see of the game would be three innings. That would not qualify as a complete game. A poor decision by the Nats to wait to play the game.

Agreed, the bullpen is bad and to play the game, then wait out a rain delay and have to go to the bullpen when the rain stops is suicide for the Nats if they want to win the game. But they screwed the fans with that decision. They would have gotten four innings in, waited out a rain delay, and then given the fans another two innings and at least given the fans who take the Metro a compete game to watch. As it was, most of those fans get nothing and the game was played so no refund. Thank you for your support and hope to have you back soon. Psyche.

Myworld’s Top Ten International League Prospects

Friday, June 30th, 2017

They may not be the best prospects in the league but myworld either likes what we’ve seen from them or the numbers they are putting up in the International League. A couple of these players have already been called up to the major leagues.

1. Yoan Moncada (Charlotte/White Sox) 2B - He got knocked from his perch as the best prospect in baseball by Andrew Benintendi, who is now playing for the Red Sox. There are a lot of tools to his game such as speed and the thunder in his bat. There are also some issues to be concerned about, such as his 85 strikeouts in his 66 games and his 10 errors at second base. His .281 average is also a bit pedestrian for a man of his talent. The White Sox are being patient with him so do not expect any major league playing time until possibly September. Yoan will hope to improve on his .211 average and his 12 whiffs in 20 major league at bats.

2. Willy Adames (Durham/Rays) SS - Adames has a smooth glove for short. He made a number of impressive defensive plays in the four game series myworld witnessed against Norfolk. If his bat can hit .270 or above he should be fine as a major league shortstop. His power seems to be limited for the gaps. The Rays picked him up from the Tigers a couple years ago and he is filtering up their system one level at a time. Expect a September callup with more major league time expected next year.

3. Rhys Hoskins (Lehigh Valley/Phillies) 1B - Many felt the Reading park helped him with his 38 homeruns last year. He is not playing at Reading this year and leads the International League in homeruns with 19. He is also hitting .303 with a league leading 63 RBIs. What you have to like about him is his ability to make contact with only 48 whiffs in 80 games. He also shows a good eye with 44 walks. The Phillies are in no rush to promote Hoskins for a last place run in 2017 but a September callup could be possible.

4. Brent Honeywell (Durham/Rays) RHP - Myworld does not like the 89 hits he has given up in just 73 innings or his 4.91 ERA. He also did not look too good in the one start myworld witnessed him pitch. But we still like his ability to miss bats (90 whiffs) and throw in the mid-90s. It may take another season in AAA to enhance his secondary pitches before he sees significant time with the Rays. With Blake Snell (no longer a prospect), Jacob Faria and Ryan Yarbrough the Rays have four excellent starters in their AAA rotation.

5. Jacob Faria (Durham/Rays) - There is not much velocity in his game. Jacob relies more on his plus change to make his low 90s fastball that much tougher to hit. It shows in his 84 strikeouts in his 58.2 innings of work. Jacob is also not giving up a lot of hits with just 44 hits given up. He is a tenth round pick from 2011. His success in AAA has resulted in a callup where he has earned quality starts in each of his four major league appearances.

6. Ozzie Albies 2B/SS (Gwinnett/Braves) - Dansby Swanson won the shortstop job, moving Ozzie to second. An injury late in the year prevented him from being promoted with Swanson. With the acquisition of Brandon Phillips it will be tough for Ozzie to find playing time this year. He has the tools to play shortstop but the Braves have moved him to second because that will be his future position with the Braves. He is hitting .280 with 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts. There will not be a lot of power in his game. The Braves would like to see a reduction in the 65 whiffs and an increase in his .327 OBA. Coming into this season his career OBA was .377. With his speed he would be an ideal lead off hitter with an improved OBA, Expect a September callup or an injury to Brandon Phillips to initiate his major league debut.

7. Dustin Fowler (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) OF - His season ended after crashing into a fence in his major league debut. Clint Frazier, a number one pick by the Indians in 2013 who the Yankees acquired in the Andrew Miller trade may have more tools. Dustin has the better numbers in AAA including slugging (.542), batting average (.293), homeruns (13) and stolen bases (13). His power appeared to break out last season when he hit 12 homeruns to go with his 15 triples. He has the speed to play centerfield but his arm falls short of Frazier as a right fielder.

8. Zach Granite (Rochester/Twins) - Coming into this season the 14th round pick was not a highly touted prospect. His minor league career average was just .282. His speed is not centerfield quality and his arm is probably better suited for left field. The pop is not there to fit the profile of a left fielder. The one thing he has done well this year is lead the International League in hitting with a .367 average. The power is still absent with only three homeruns but the Twins have been using him in centerfield, where his bat will profile better. If Byron Buxton stays with the Twins it will be difficult for Zach to dislodge him from centerfield, but any team will make room for a bat hitting .360.

9. Lucas Sims (Gwinnett Braves/Braves) RHP - The Braves traded for a bevy of number one picks to stock their pitching depth in the minors. Lucas is one of their originals, drafted by them in the first round of 2012. He is starting to make the Braves take notice that maybe the best they had was already in their system. He is second in the International League in whiffs with 92 and the opposition is hitting him at a .229 clip. That is much better than the .280 they hit against him last year. His biggest problem is giving up the long ball with 16 homeruns in just 86 innings of work. That is a reason for his high 3.98 ERA. Lucas has good velocity to his fastball at 93-95 with an above average change. Improving a third pitch is critical if he wants to stay in the starting rotation.

10. Nick Williams (LeHigh Valley/Phillies) OF - Nick got a callup to the major leagues. This year he is breaking out all his tools, hitting for average (.280) and power (15 homeruns and a .511 slugging). There are still too many whiffs in his game (90 in 78 games) but if he continues to hit the ball hard the Phillies will tolerate the swings and misses. His defense is centerfield caliber but may be more suited to left field. His arm is not a rocket but it is adequate for a right fielder. It would not surprise me if Nick struggles in his major league debut, with a whiff percentage at greater than 50 per cent.

Others worth noting

Dylan Cozens (Lehigh Valley/Phillies) - He has recovered from an average that was below the Mendoza line. His 18 homeruns are second in the International League to teammate Rhys Hoskins but last year he won the Eastern League homerun title with 40. Low batting averages and strikeouts will be a part of his game but the big time power is there. Dylan has the arm to play right field.

Johnny Field (Durham/Rays) OF - Not a player blessed with a lot of tools. What myworld witnessed was he made the diving catch in centerfield routine. At 25 he is about as good as he is going to get. He will hit .260 and give you moderate power with the bat for double digit homerun totals. If he could walk more he might be more attractive. His speed will also give you double digit totals but he falls short of being a 20/20 player.

Clint Frazier (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) OF - The Indians made him a first round pick in 2013. The Yankees traded Andrew Miller to acquire him. He has all five tools, with speed, power, arm and the ability to play defense. His one big challenge is his ability to make consistent contact, which could impact his average. The Yankees just called him up as a replacement to Dustin Fowler.

Tyler Wade (Scranton Wilkes Barre/Yankees) SS - In this age of seven to eight man bullpens it is important to find a player who is comfortable at multiple positions. Tyler appears to be that player. His .313 batting average is second in the league and his 24 stolen bases is tops in the league. Most of his time in the minor leagues was at shortstop, but he also played second, third and the outfield. Expect him to be a utility player in the mold of Marwin Gonzalez.

Ryan Yarbrough (Durham/Rays) LHP - He does not have an overpowering fastball but there is still a lot of swing and miss with his pitches. He leads the International League in whiffs with 92. The opposition is hitting him at a .248 clip. On his own team he shares the rotation with Honeywell, Blake Snell (recently called up) and Faria but don’t be surprised if Yarbrough gets an opportunity. If the Rays are in a pennant race it is not the starters with the most potential who get the callup, but the starters who show they can get the job done.

Sean Newcomb (Gwinnett/Braves) LHP - Sean pitched well in the International League (2.97 ERA) and is now transferring that success to the major league team (1.48 ERA). The Angels had drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft and the Braves acquired him in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Not overpowering with a fastball in the low 90s but he hides the ball well and has an excellent curve ball.

Lucas Giolito/Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer (Charlotte/White Sox) RHP - It is a talented group of pitchers but the numbers they put up are not major league quality. The biggest issue for all three is their ability to throw strikes. Each of them walks close to a hitter every two innings. The biggest concern with Lucas was his drop in velocity. Reynaldo has a mid-90s fastball but stands only 6′0″. Based on their press clippings all three will get an opportunity to achieve success in the major leagues, but press clippings fail to get hitters out.

Austin Meadows (Indianapolis/Pirates) OF - Staying healthy has always been a problem for Austin. Without health the numbers are not there to show case his tools. A pulled hamstring put him on the disabled list just recently. Last year he was limited to just 80 games. He makes more contact than Frazier but his averages his last two years have fallen far below his norm. His power has been limited to the gaps but last year he hit 12 so there could be a break out season there. His arm is best suited for left field but his defensive instincts and speed could see him in centerfield.

Future Games Rosters Selected

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The futures game is played before the All Star team and features the best prospects outside of the United States against the best prospects inside the United States. The game is scheduled for July 9. Below are the rosters of the two teams.

World Team

Pitchers

Domingo Acevedo (Dom Rep/Yankees), Yadier Alvarez (Cuba/Dodgers), Jaime Barria (Panama/Angels), Luis Escobar (Colombia/Pirates), Tayron Guerrero (Colombia/Marlins), Jonathan Hernandez (Dominican Republic/Rangers), Jairo Labourt (Dom Rep/Tigers), Cal Quantrill (Canada/Padres), Mike Soroka (Canada/Braves), Thyago Vieira (Brazil/Mariners)

Catchers

Tomas Nido (Puerto Rico/Mets), Francisco Mejia (Dom Rep/Indians)

Infielders

Yordan Alvarez (Cuba/Astros), Josh Naylor (Canada/Padres), Yoan Moncada (Cuba/White Sox), Mauricio Dubon (Honduras/Brewers), Lucius Fox (Bahamas/Rays), Ahmed Rosario (Dom Rep/Mets), Rafael Devers (Dom Rep/Red Sox), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Dom Rep/Blue Jays)

Outfielders

Ronald Acuna (Venezuela/Braves), Estevan Florial (Haiti/Yankees), Eloy Jimenez (Dom Rep/Cubs), Victor Robles (Dom Rep/Nationals), Alex Verdugo (Mexico/Dodgers)

United States team

Beau Burrows (Tigers), Jon Duplantier (Diamondbacks), Jack Flaherty (Cardinals), Foster Griffen (Royals), Jimmy Hegert (Reds), Brent Honeywell (Rays), Michael Kopech (White Sox), Triston McKenzie (Indians), A.J. Puk (Athletics), Tanner Scott (Orioles)

Catcher

Zack Collins (White Sox), Chance Sisco (Orioles)

Infielders

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Ryan McMahon (2B/3B) Rockies, Scott Kingery (Phillies), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays/Brazil), Nick Gordon (Twins), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Brian Anderson (Marlins), Nick Senzel (Reds)

Outfielders

Lewis Brinson (Twins), Derek Fisher (Astros), Corey Ray (Brewers), Bryan Reynolds (Giants), Kyle Tucker (Astros)

Braves Roast Roark

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

The Tanner Roark fastball is down a couple ticks. The balls seem to be hit harder off his deliveries, especially the Braves bats seemed to have their way with the Roark pitches. The first three hitters in the lineup combined for 10 hits in their 13-2 rout of the Nationals. If this had been an international competition this game would have been over after the seventh inning when the beleaguered Nats bullpen gave up six runs.

The top three in the Braves batting order, Ender Inciarte, Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis all started the game with hits, Brandon Phillips gapping a double into left center to score Inciarte and Markakis driving in Phillips with a single. Matt Adams, another bat that has been destroying Nats pitchers drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

For a brief period the Nationals attempted to make a game of it. Brian Goodwin hit a ball over the Nats bullpen into the second deck for a two run homer in the second inning to close the lead to 3-2. After that Julio Tehran quieted the Nats bats for three hits in the next five innings. By the time he departed the Braves were ahead 13-2.

Roark gave the runs back in the top of the third, plus one. Nick Markakis got the inning started with a single into right field. Matt Kemp followed with a hit and run single up the middle that went past a diving Murphy. A lot of hits this day were scooting past the glove of a diving Murphy. Ryan Zimmerman was not looking when Jose Lobaton threw a ball to first base in an attempt to pick off Kemp. The ball went untouched into right field. Bryce Harper was able to retrieve the ball and throw out Matt Kemp at third for the second out. Kemp came up hobbling, holding his hamstring and was replaced by Danny Santana in the bottom of the third.

The Braves did not stop scoring in the inning. Roark walked Matt Adams. Kurt Suzuki struck a 1-1 pitch from Roark and sent it into the Braves bullpen for a 6-2 lead. For Nationals fans the only hope was for the rains to come to avoid another loss.

The fifth inning saw more of the same ineffectiveness of Roark. Back to back singles by Phillips and Markakis and a walk to Danny Santana loaded the bases with no outs. Matt Adams hit a sacrifice fly to left to score a run. Fortunately for the Nationals it was the only run the Braves would score.

It appeared Dusty was trying to save his bench. Michael Taylor, Matt Wieters and Anthony Rendon were not in the starting lineup. In the bottom of the fifth he let Tanner Roark hit despite being down 7-2 and Roark at 102 pitches. In the top of the sixth Trevor Gott went in to pitch. In the ninth inning, down 13-2 Joe Ross would pinch hit.

Gott gave up two hits in the sixth but still prevented the Braves from scoring a run. In the seventh he was not so lucky, his issue with throwing strikes got the best of him. With the bases loaded and two outs he walked Julio Teheran for a run after getting ahead of him in the count 0-2. Ender Inciarte finished his day with a two run single. Blake Treinen replaced Gott and could not stop the bleeding, giving up a two run double down the third base line to Brandon Phillips and an RBI single to Danny Santana to put the score at 13-2. It was an inning you had to wonder had an end to it.

Fortunately, it did and the game mercifully was finished with the Nationals suffering a big beat down 13-2, finishing the home stand 2-5 after doing so well on a west coast road trip.

Nats Notes: Odd occurrences in the top of the eighth when Ryan Raburn was announced as the left fielder. Before the inning was started he walked back to the dugout and Adam Lind returned to left field. Blake Treinen pitched to one hitter and retired him. Raburn then trotted back out to left field, Lind went to first base and Zimmerman left the game with Joe Blanton coming in to pitch. The explanation given was after Jose Lobaton grounded into a double play Blanton was not sufficiently warmed up so Treinen was left in to pitch to one more hitter. Raburn obviously did not get that message…Lobaton is an anchor in the Nats offense. After an 0 for 3 performance his average dropped to .127. if he was a superior defender who managed a pitching staff well myworld would have a bit more patience, but he appears to have no qualities in his game to put him in the lineup. Roark and Lobaton seemed to require a lot of mound communication about what pitches Roark wanted to throw..Trea Turner had stolen second base in the first inning but was called out after popping up after the slide and being tagged by Swanson, who kept his glove on Turner. In the eighth Trea hit a ground ball to Phillips at second with the team down 13-2. He did not run to first with the speed he did in the first inning when he hit a ground ball to Phillips and beat it out. Tough to stay motivated when you’re down 13-2…Matt Kemp hurt his hamstring sliding into third and had to be taken out of the game…Daniel Murphy seemed to be spending a lot of his time diving at balls that skipped past him for hits…Nats pitchers threw 196 pitches in the game, 124 of them for strikes…Joe West was umpiring at second base. At one point he was seen talking to Murphy asking him if this was the spot he should stand. In the game yesterday the second base umpire argued with Murphy after Murphy asked him to move because he was in his sight line. Some umpires think they are above the game…The Braves had lost 23 of their last 25 games in Nats park. Winning two out of three in this series had to feel good. It was their first series victory in Washington since April 2014.

Another Nats Bullpen Meltdown

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

They say closing can be a different animal. Matt Albers found that out as he struggled to find the strike zone in the ninth inning in an 11-10 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He had to groove a 2-0 pitch to Tyler Flowers, who had struck out in his first three at bats against Stephen Strasburg, but drove Albers pitch into the Nationals bullpen for a three run homerun. That drove up his ERA.

Both starters got assaulted for homeruns in five or less innings of work. For Mike Foltynewicz he had perhaps his worst outing of the year. He gave up a lead off homerun to Trea Turner in the first, a ball that just eluded the leaping Ender Inciarte in centerfield. A walk to Bryce Harper and back to back singles by Adam Lind and Matt Wieters scored Harper. The Braves were still up 3-2 when he got Micahel Taylor to hit a hard grounder to second.

In the second Brian Goodwin took a Folty pitch down the right field line with the ball not stopping until it had reached the Nationals bullpen. Two singles and a walk would load the bases. Anthony Rendon hit a fairly shallow fly to right field with Trea Turner challenging the gun of Nick Markakis. That gun does not appear so lethal anymore with Turner easily beating what appeared to be a loopy throw from Markakis.

The Nationals added another run in the fourth on a single by Matt Wieters and a double into the left field corner by Brian Goodwin. Stephen Strasburg hit a hard grounder to second with Brandon Phillips choosing to get the out at first rather than throw it home. Despite the run the Nationals were still down by one, 6-5.

In the fourth the Nationals chased Folty. Bryce Harper led the inning off with a rocket line drive that barreled into the right field bleachers to tie the game. Daniel Murphy singled and Adam Lind hit a high, routine fly ball to Inciarte in center. Murphy seemed to put on a burst of speed as he rounded second and raced to third with only one out. Did he forget how many outs there were? Inciarte lost the ball and it bounced behind him for a double with Murphy scoring easily. Perhaps Murphy recognized Inciarte had lost the ball? That was the end for Folty. Michael Taylor singled into left center with the dive by Matt Kemp not being caught and bouncing the ball away far enough to allow Lind to score from second. Brian Goodwin lined a single to right with Markakis diving and bouncing the ball away enough for Michael Taylor to score from first on a single. The four runs gave the Nationals a 9-6 lead.

Strasburg had his troubles as well. He gave up a two run homer to Nick Markakis in the first inning, only the second homerun of the year by Markakis. Matt Kemp followed with a solo homerun off a 97 mile per hour fastball into centerfield reaching the first two rows of the Red Porch. The Nationals were quickly down 3-0.

After the Nationals had strafed Folty for four runs to take a 4-3 lead Strasburg got lit up again. Brandon Phillips singled and Nick Markakis walked to put two runners on. With two out Matt Adams connected into a pitch and hit it over the 402 marker in centerfield to give the Braves a 6-4 lead.

When Strasburg departed after the fifth inning he was still in good shape to be the winning pitcher. The Nationals were up 9-6. Strasburg had given up three long balls but he had whiffed 10 hitters, many of them swinging and missing at his curveball. At close to 100 pitches and clearly not sharp Dusty Baker chose to go the bullpen.

Oh that bullpen. It is turning into a nasty word in D.C. From Drew Storen to Jonathan Papelbon to now Blake Treinen the fans have not seen a closer they have liked in a few years now. Jacob Turner worked two scoreless innings, but the signs should have come in the seventh inning when his outs were hard hit. Perhaps there is not an arm in the pen Dusty can trust except for maybe Matt Albers, but he wanted to get to the ninth inning before using Matt.

Matt Adams hit the first pitch thrown by Jacob Turner in the eighth inning for a homerun into the right field bleachers. Rio Ruiz doubled and a four pitch walk to Dansby Swanson ended the day for Jacob Turner.

In comes the fireballing Enny Romero. He is lefthanded and throws bbs that consistently hit 100 plus miles per hour. His first bb was fired into the arm of pinch hitter Danny Santana. The problem with Romero is he has no control where his bbs are going. With the bases loaded Ender Inciarte hits the next pitch deep enough into left field to score Ruiz. That made it 9-8. With two out it was enough to bring in Matt Albers.

Matt got Brandon Phillips to ground to short to end the inning. The Nats went down meekly in the bottom frame and Albers came on to protect the one run lead in the ninth. The animal began to roar in the head of Albers. He couldn’t find the plate. After getting ahead of Nick Markakis 0-2 he threw four balls to walk the leadoff hitter. A called third strike to Matt Albers gave the fans something to cheer about, but then Matt Adams walked on a 3-2 count. That brought up the hitless Tyler Flowers who had struck out three times and grounded to second. Albers threw two balls to Flowers. Not wanting to walk him to load the bases and put the tying run on third with just one out Albers next pitch was grooved and Flowers blasted the pitch into the right field bullpen. Bryce could only turn and watch it sail into the arena that has been the bane of the Nationals season.

Bakers trusted reliever was tarnished as all the other bullpen arms. His 1.06 ERA climbed to 2.10. Shawn Kelley came on to pitch and made fans moan even more with a two base throwing error. Fortunately he got out of the inning without another run scoring. Kelley has only given up 8 homeruns in 16 innings. That lost him the closer job.

The Nat bats finally perked up against the Braves bullpen, realizing they were behind and had to score some runs. After scoring in four consecutive innings to start the game they were shutout by the Braves bullpen in the next four innings. A Michael Taylor double and Trea Turner single had given the Nationals one run. Bryce Harper failed to provide the walkoff, lining to center for the third out.

Game Notes: Overall the Nationals are hitting .274. After the sixth inning their batting average drops to .249. That means that in addition to having a poor bullpen, the Nationals have trouble hitting against the opponents bullpen, a double edged sword…The Nationals 11 blown saves are still two behind the Mets and Rays who lead the majors with 13. But only Minnesota has a worse OPS (.812) than the Nationals (.810) bullpen. The Nationals 5.11 ERA is third worst in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers (5.14) and Minnesota Twins (5.55) falling behind them. Surprisingly the 63 walks by the Nationals bullpen is tied with Cleveland for the least walks by a bullpen. Perhaps the bullpen should think about throwing more balls…Stephen Strasburg had his curveball working. Most of his strikeouts were swings and misses at his curveball. His fastball was hit hard…Nick Markakis arm is no longer a threat. There is too much loop in what used to be a cannon for an arm…People in the stands refer to Matt Albers as Fat Albers in reference to Bill Cosby and his Fat Albert character. Let’s just say Albers does not have a svelte figure…It was $1 ice cream night. In order to get the ice cream you had to use an app from MLB. Myworld still uses a flip phone which does not take kindly to apps. So much for our $1 ice cream…Brian Goodwin was a triple shy of the cycle. He was intentionally walked in his fourth at bat and struck out in the ninth in his final at bat to miss hitting for they cycle.

Top Caribbean Prospects

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Not a lot of can’t misses on this list. Last year we did a top ten for Panama alone, but the prospects were not that great to try to come up with another top ten. There is one major leaguer on this list, but that is because he is a Rule V pick.

1) Ariel Jurando (Rangers/Panama) RHP - Ariel relies more on command than heat. His fastball hits the mid-90s with downward spin that entices numerous ground balls. For his career his ground ball to air ball rate is 2.12. At 6′1″ he is not the ideal height for a righthander and the lack of quality secondary pitches could spell trouble against major league hitters. This year teams are hitting him at a .278 clip with seven homeruns in just 58 innings. Ariel has not given up seven homeruns in a season in his career. His strikeout numbers have also fallen off. Ariel is expected to find himself in the back end of the rotation or as a middle reliever. He could see a September callup if his year improves.

2) Edmundo Sosa (Cardinals/Panama) SS - Edmundo got a bonus of $425,000 in 2012, which was the largest for any Panamanian that year. The best tool for Edmundo is his glove with the ability to make the spectacular plays as he glides to the ball. The bat appears to be a little light despite the .300 average in the rookie leagues. The 2016 season was shortened by a wrist injury that ended his season in July after just 97 games. The power also seems a little light. He is playing in the Florida State League where he is hitting a soft .269. If stolen bases were in his tool box he could be a possible starter but he also falls short in that department. The Cardinals seem to be set at short with Aledemys Diaz so the best hope for Sosa could be as a utility player or be included in a trade package if the Cardinals want to load up for a playoff run.

3) Mauricio Dubon (Brewers/Honduras) SS - They don’t play a lot of baseball in Honduras where Mauricio was born. Fortunately for Dubon he moved to the United States to play high school ball. The Red Sox drafted him in the 26th round of the 2013 draft then traded him to the Brewers last year in the Tyler Thornburg trade. He makes solid contact with good gap power. His over the fence power could improve with added strength. He will never be an elite fielder at short, but his bat could make him a good utility player. He is currently hitting .294 at AA while showing some impressive speed with 23 stolen bases in 30 attempts. Last year he stole a career high 30 stolen bases. Myworld expects him to be more a utility player than starter.

4) Touki Toussaint (Braves/Haiti) RHP - Touki was born in Florida but moved to Haiti when he was three months old. He returned to the United States at six years of age and began his baseball career. At 6′3″ he has good height for a pitcher. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft but grew frustrated with his lack of command and traded him to the Braves to rid themselves of the Bronson Arroyo salary. His command is still suspect where he walks more than 4.5 hitters per nine innings. His fastball hits the mid-90s and the curveball is a stellar pitch, but his lack of command and a missing third offering could prevent him from pitching in the rotation. A bullpen role could be in his future. This year he seems more hittable with the opposition hitting him at a .251 clip when his last two years hitters stayed below .230. This has elevated his ERA to 6.80 in nine starts.

5) Roniel Raudes (Red Sox/Nicaragua) - What Roniel lacks in velocity he makes up for in his arsenal of pitches. While his fastball can barely touch 90 he mixes it well with his curveball and change. With his above average command he sends hitters back to the bench frustrated. Last year the opposition hit him at a .260 clip but he did create a lot of swings and misses with 8.8 whiffs per nine innings pitched, winning 11 games and being voted the Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year. This year the success has been lacking in High A with the opposition hitting him at .293. A couple days ago the Red Sox placed Roniel on the minor league disabled list.

6) Jaime Barria (Angels/Panama) - Another pitcher from Panama who lacks the heat, but controls the plate with his command. The Angels signed him in 2013 and last year he debuted in the full season Low A pitching well enough to make the All Star team. His best pitch may be the change, with a curve ball also in his arsenal. With the promotion to the California League, known for hitters abusing pitchers Jaime is dominating with a 2.48 ERA and limiting the opposition to a .202 average. The Angels will do good if he can make the back end of the rotation.

7) Jonathan Arauz (Astros/Panama) - The Phillies signed Arauz for $600,000 in 2014 then traded him to the Astros along with closer Ken Giles for a package of prospects. There is very little flashy about his game. The bat is light, lacking power. His range is also light with little to no stolen base speed. His 2017 season has not started yet, which could be the result of his 50 game suspension for testing positive for drugs.

8) Estevan Florial (Yankees/Haiti) - Estevan was actually born in Haiti. Originally signed to a six figure contract it was reduced to $200,000 after an identity problem. Speed is his best tool but it has not resulted in stolen bases. It does help him cover ground in centerfield. His bat shows some power but his inability to make contact hampers the power from showing. Last year at Pulaski he hit .225 with 78 whiffs in just 60 games. This year his average is improved (.270) with better extra base power. His 11 doubles has already surpassed his total from last year. If Estevan can improve his ability to make contact he could have a future as a lead off hitter. If his power develops he could find himself in a power spot.

9) Javier Guerra (Padres/Panama) SS - Javier had a rough year last year (.202 average) after hitting 15 homeruns and batting .279 in 2015. The Red Sox signed him in 2012 for $250,000 then traded him to the Padres for Craig Kimbrel after the 2015 season. The Padres may be wondering who they got in the trade especially after those struggles continue this year (.212). His ability to make contact has suffered after 2015 striking out 141 times in 105 games last year and 65 times in just 48 games this year. His OBA sits at .264 this year, the same as it was last year. His defense is exceptional but if his bat does not improve his major league opportunities will be limited.

10) Allen Cordoba (Padres/Panama) - The Padres stole him from the Cardinals in the Rule V draft. In rookie ball he showed an ability to hit with a .309 career average. Since he had not played past rookie ball many did not expect him to make the major league roster. The Padres are not going anywhere so they kept him where he has surprised with the bat (.304 average). Not expected to hit for any power he has hit three homeruns for the Padres for a .435 slugging average. In the minors he had a career slugging average of .395 with just four homeruns in four years. The Cardinals drafted him as a shortstop but Allen has seen most of his time in the outfield.

Another May Prospect Review

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Christian Walker 1B (Diamondbacks) - At 26 and recently put on waivers by the Orioles Christian is not much of a prospect. But he did hit for the cycle in a 4 for 6 game, driving in five runs. He is an RBI machine with his 42 leading the Pacific Coast League. His 10 homeruns is second in the league, but the league leader Jamie Romak has left for the KBO.

Colton Welker 3B (Rockies) - Colton will not move Nolan Arenado from third base. At 19 years of age the Rockies have a long time to figure out where they want to place him. He is wearing out Low A pitchers. A 13 for 21 five game hitting streak has elevated his average to .355. He has homered in his last two games driving in 7 of the 18 runs he has driven in all year.

Johan Mieses CF (Dodgers) - When Johan hits the ball they usually go over the fence. In a three game stretch he collected five of his 10 hits for the year, four of them clearing the fence. Five of his 10 hits have cleared the fence. The 36 whiffs in 24 games has anchored his average at .125 in AA.

Tyler Wade SS (Yankees) - Shortstop appears to be well stocked in the Yankees minor league system. Tyler may not be the most heralded, but a seven game hitting streak (14 for 33) raised his average to .326 and produced his first two homeruns. Tyler has 12 steals in 15 attempts and has already appeared on this list twice, one more than Gleyber Torres.

Brendan Rodgers SS (Rockies) - Brendan is in the midst of a 13 game hitting streak that puts his average at a Ted Williams like .405. A promotion from the California League looks to be on the horizon.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - The Orioles will be looking for a shortstop in a couple years after J.J. Hardy departs and Machado follows him a year later. The 2015 first round pick had a four hit game to raise his average to .342. Ryan is showing some power with his bat, unloading for seven homeruns and 14 doubles for a .596 slugging average.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - In five starts Jon has not given up an earned run in four of them. He pitched another five innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. The whiffs give him 48 for his 36 innings. The opposition is hitting only .142 against him.

Kyle Lloyd RHP (Padres) - Kyle threw the third no hitter of the year, going all nine innings. He walked one and only struck out three. There was a three game stretch in which he gave up 14 runs in just under 13 innings. His other five starts he has only allowed two earned runs.

Kolby Allard LHP (Braves) - His back problems seem to be gone. In eight starts he has only given up six runs. The strikeout numbers are not great (35 in 44 innings) but hitters are not making solid contact (.190). Last year Kolby only went 87 innings. This year he has already reached 44 innings.

Lucas Sims RHP (Braves) - Up a level in AAA Sims threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball, giving up just two hits, striking out 10. Lucas could be an option for the Braves in mid-season.

Chance Adams RHP (Yankees) - Chance dominated in AA, allowing just four earned runs in six starts. The opposition hit just .183 against him. Promoted to AAA he pitched five more shutout innings, allowing just two hits. The Yankees could use some starters with Tanaka struggling.

Wilmer Font RHP (Dodgers) - Wilmer had a day with 15 whiffs in just seven innings of work. He gave up one run on two hits. For the year Font has been a whiff machine with 63 in 42 innings. Font has bounced around with his high 90s fastball putting him in the closer role for a couple years. Font did not pitch in 2015 after being released by the Rangers but the Dodgers signed him in 2016 and moved him into the rotation.