Archive for the 'Yankees' Category

Myworld’s Top Prospects - 30-21

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

30. Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) 6.62 - Myworld was a little surprised to see him rated so highly in many of the Top 100s since we did not know that much about him. The Pirates 2014 second round pick had a breakout year last year with a 2.46 ERA in 23 starts. Increased velocity in his fastball, which now hits the mid-90s plus an improved change was the reason for the turn around. His curveball was already a swing and miss pitch. Mitch hopes to repeat his 2016 performance in High A in 2017.

29. Kyle Lewis OF (Mariners) 6.62 - Kyle was the Mariners first round pick in 2016. A gruesome knee injury cut his season short but not before he impressed with a .915 OPS. Kyle has all five tools to be an impact player. His speed, especially after the injury may be a little short to play center but his arm is good enough for right. Kyle makes good contact, is patient enough to take walks and should hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. The knee injury will delay the start of his 2017 season. Myworld expects him to begin the season in Low A.

28. Josh Bell 1B/OF (Pirates) 6.7 - Josh Bell began as an outfielder but the Pirates moved him to first base because his speed was not extraordinary and the Pirates outfield situation was already crowded. He was a second round pick in 2011 draft but the Pirates had to pay him a $5 million bonus to convince him to give up his football career. The power has yet to arrive but it showed flashes last season with 14 minor league homeruns and three major league shots. Defensively, his play at first is below average and needs to improve if he hopes to make the major league team in 2017. Expect him to start the season in AAA with Bell playing both the outfield and first base.

27 Brent Honeywell RHP (Rays) 6.87 - One of the better pitchers in the minor leagues with a different pitch in the screwball. He complements that pitch with a fastball in the low 90s with a plus change and a cutter that is above average. That is four pitches hitters have to look out for. He finished his season in AA with a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts, limiting the opposition to a .231 average. His command is good and with his mix of pitches he has a chance to be a number two starter. He should begin the 2017 season in AAA and should make his major league debut this year.

26 Clint Frazier OF (Yankees) 7.22 - A first round draft pick of the Indians, they traded him to the Yankees last year to acquire Aroldis Chapman to push themselves into the playoffs. Clint is a five tool player who will hit for both average and power. His above average speed could allow him to play centerfield but a plus arm makes right field a good fit. The Yankees would like to see Clint cut down on his strikeouts, an issue that may drive his average below .300. He will see next season in AAA and is just an injury to Jacoby Ellsbury away from getting promoted to the Yankees.

25 Jose Deleon RHP (Rays) 7.28 - Deleon was acquired recently from the Dodgers for Logan Forsythe. The Puerto Rican throws in the low to mid 90s, but his change is what gets hitters out. In AAA he struck out more than a hitter an inning, threw strikes and limited the opposition to a .194 average. When promoted to the majors his command disappeared, the opposition hit him at a .288 clip and he gave up five homeruns in 17 innings pitched. The Rays hope this was a learning experience for him. He will probably start the season in AAA but the Rays have the potential to have one of the best young rotations in baseball with Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell and Jose Deleon.

24. Mickey Moniak OF (Phillies) 7.48 - The Phillies 2016 number one pick, making him the top pick in the draft. Above average speed and a rocket arm makes him flexible for center or right field. The power is absent for now but it is expected to show as he fills out. He makes solid contact now, hitting balls into the gaps. Last year in rookie ball he slugged .409. Expect him to start the 2017 season in Low A. Don’t expect the power to become evident until 2018.

23. Manuel Margot OF (Padres) 7.52 - The Padres acquired Manuel from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal. He has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. Last year that speed contributed to 32 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Power is lacking but he should get close to double digits and with his speed doubles should be frequent. Last year he made his major league debut hitting just .243. In AAA he was able to get the average up to .304. The Padres expect him to compete with Travis Jankowski for the centerfield job.

22. Francis Martes RHP (Astros) 7.77 - The Astros stole Martes from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade. At that time he was still in rookie ball struggling to throw strikes. His control has gotten better and his fastball has climbed to the mid-90s, hitting triple digits when he really lets loose. Martes also has a plus curveball that sharply breaks down towards the plate. The one down side with Martes is his short height (6′1″) which does not give him any downward plane. After his success at AA last year it is expected the Astros will start him at AAA, with a promotion to the major leagues if an injury or ineffectiveness plagues the starting staff.

21. Lewis Brinson OF (Brewers) 7.77 - Brinson is a nice little centerfielder who the Brewers got from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Brinson shows all five tools, with the ability to hit for power with 30 plus homeruns and the speed to play centerfield. That speed has not translated well to stolen bases. The Brewers would like to see him walk more to increase the OBA, making him better suited for the leadoff role. He reached AAA last year and hit .382 in less than 100 at bats. The 2017 season will see him back at AAA with the chance to see the outfield for the rebuilding Brewers.

Myworld’s Top 100 - 40 -31

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Spring training games and the WBC games are making it hard to complete this list. Here are the next ten, 40-31 as we trudge down to number one.

40. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - The Canadian was the Braves second first round pick in the 2015 draft. Not an overpowering pitcher with a fastball in the low 90s, he relies on the command of his above average curveball and change to force hitters to make weak contact. Last year he averaged just 7.9 whiffs per nine innings at Low A. Next year should see a promotion to High A. Eventually he will fill a role in the middle or back end of a rotation.

39. Blake Rutherford OF (Yankees) - Blake was the Yankees first round pick in 2016. He starred for the under 18 United States baseball team that won the gold medal, batting in the middle of their lineup. The Yankees hope to see enough power from him to bat in the middle of their lineup. Last year he hit .351 in rookie ball in a little over 100 at bats, slugging .570. Average speed will leave him in right field, the only tool he lacks from competing as a five tool player.

38. Bradley Zimmer OF (Indians) - Bradley was the Indians first round pick in 2014. The Indians still have hopes to put him in centerfield, but myworld thinks he lacks the speed to play there. We think he is a better fit in right field, but perhaps we have seen him on bad days when he takes poor routes. His bat should hit for enough power to fit in right field with 15 homeruns last year. That included a power outage in AAA when he could only hit one over the fence in 150 at bats. Zimmer has the speed to be a 20/20 player. If he can cut down on his strikeouts his average could rise above .250.

37. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers continue to spend big bucks on Cuban players with little success. Yadier was signed to a $16 million bonus, which is the second highest bonus they have paid to a prospect, the $28 million they signed for Hector Olivera the number one bonus. Yusniel Diaz ($15.5 million), Yasiel Puig ($12 million) and Alex Guerrero ($10,000) round out the top five bonuses for the Dodgers and they all happen to be Cuban players. Since arriving in the United States Yadier has seen his fastball hit triple digits, sitting mainly in the mid-90s range. Commanding that fastball can be an issue with 21 walks in 59 innings. Adding a change as a third pitch will put him in the rotation, otherwise he will fill a role as a closer. The Dodgers could start him in Low A where he has already achieved success in 9 starts or push him with a promotion to High A. At 6′3″ he has a good frame for a pitcher.

36. Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - The Astros already have his brother Preston on the team as a fifth outfielder. When Kyle is ready to play he will be the starting centerfielder for the Astros. Kyle was the first round pick of the Astros in 2015. All the tools are there to make him an impact bat, especially since he hits from the left side. The one tool he may be short on is speed, which could move him to right field where his arm is more than adequate to play the position Last year in a brief call up to High A he hit .339 with a 1.096 OPS. The Astros may start him there to begin the 2017 season and then promote him if he continues to maul High A pitching.

35. Josh Hader LHP (Brewers) - He has already been traded twice, from the Orioles to the Astros and now to the Brewers. For the Orioles he was their 19th round pick in 2012. His hair has grown since then and his velocity has increased, hitting the mid-90s. That is plenty of speed for a left handed pitcher. Last year he average 11.5 whiffs per nine innings at AA and AAA. A slider gives him a good second pitch but his change is still lacking. Trouble with finding the strike zone in AAA resulted in a 5.22 ERA when he walked 36 in 69 innings. The Brewers would like to see him have success at AAA before they promote him to their major league rotation. They would also like to see him improve his change to give him three pitches.

34. Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays) - His talent level falls short of his dad. His arm is not as powerful and his hitting tools also fall short. He’s probably a little better at taking pitches, but still puts his bat on the ball when he swings (33/35 walk to whiff). His arm is not a rifle but it is good enough for third. More stocky than his dad, he should hit for power. Despite his 15 steals last year Vladimir is not fleet afoot. This makes third base a better position for him. Expect to see him start the 2017 season in Low A.

33. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - The Athletics may regret trading Addison Russell but they got Barretto in the Josh Donaldson trade. He could be the player Russell is now, with good pop for a shortstop. His defensive tools do not stand out so a shift to second is possible, but the Athletics will keep him at short to let his average tools develop. He has decent speed, stealing 30 bases last year so a move to centerfield is also a possibility. Where ever he plays a plus bat that should hit in the neighborhood of .300 with 20 plus homerun pop will find a position to play. Expect the A’s to start him at AAA with a promotion to the major league team in September. Marcus Semien also has average tools for a shortstop so the Athletics will have to find a match and move one of the players to second.

32. Kolby Allard LHP (Braves) - The Braves traded for a number of pitching prospects who were first round picks from other teams. Kolby was drafted by the Braves in the first round of the 2015 draft. The fastball is not overpowering, sitting in the low 90s but he complements it with a plus curve and a solid change, besides throwing lefthanded. His command is also excellent. He didn’t appear to be bothered by a back problem that dropped him in the draft and limited his 2015 season to three starts. For the 2017 season he may start it in Low A where he had some success last year.

31. Jason Groome LHP (Red Sox) - Jason would not have dropped as far as he did in the 2016 draft to get to the Red Sox in the first round if not for some questions about his character. At 6′6″, throwing lefthanded with a fastball hitting the mid-90s with room for more growth as he matures, Jason could end up in the top of a rotation. His curve is good and his change is in the developmental stage since he did not use it much in high school. The Red Sox hope to begin his 2017 season in Low A.

Myworld’s Top 100 Prospects - 70 - 61

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

70. Kevin Maitan SS (Braves) 3 - The Braves shelled out $4.25 million for him in 2016. At 17 years of age he has no minor league experience so this rating may be a bit optimistic. He can hit for power from both sides of the plate and is expected to hit for average. The Braves compare him to Chipper Jones. At 6′2″ he may have to move to third, but Dansby Swanson could also be a reason for that move. It will be interesting if the Braves have him start in the Dominican League or bring him to the United States for the rookie leagues.

69. Aaron Judge OF (Yankees) 3.15 - With a good spring he could win the right field job, though Aaron Hicks will have a say about that. At 6′7″ Judge has tremendous athleticism. He can cover ground in right field and has a strong throwing arm. What makes Yankee fans drool is his Giancarlo Stanton type power possibilities. What is a cause of concern is his plethora of strikeouts. He cut down on the whiffs last year in the minor leagues, but when promoted to the majors the whiffs returned, 42 of them in less than 100 at bats.

68. Raimel Tapia OF (Rockies) 3.25 - In the minor leagues Raimel has yet to hit less than .300. His career minor league average is .317. The Rockies outfield situation is a bit crowded so he will have to again spend most of his time in the minor leagues. With a little more meat on his bones he could surpass 20 homerun power but 40 double gap power is his current projection. The arm is good enough for right field and his defensive prowess should put him at the top of the league. If he wants to steal bases he must improve his jumps. A 63 percent career success rate will not allow managers to give him the green light.

67. Dominic Smith 1B/Of (Mets) 3.32 - Dominic may be the second coming of James Loney, with a little better bat and less of a glove. In 2016 he did break out for 14 homeruns after hitting only seven in his first two years. Also at 250 pounds Dominic will have to watch his weight so Pablo Sandoval comparisons do not creep into the conversation. He is a Lucas Duda injury away from making the Mets. His glove is solid despite his girth, however his speed would make him a liability in the outfield. Dominic hits the gaps and should consistently hit near the .300 neighborhood. If he could sprinkle in some power that would be ideal.

66. Braxton Garrett LHP (Marlins) 3.35 - The Marlins 2016 first round pick. He pitched for the gold medal winning United States team in the 18 and under World Cup of baseball. His fastball does not have great velocity, sitting in the low 90s. The curve is his best pitch, allowing him to strike out two hitters per inning in high school. He did not pitch in 2016 so extended spring training with rookie league action seems a possibility.

65. Kevin Newman SS (Pirates) 3.47 - Kevin was the Pirates first round pick in 2015. He should replace Jody Mercer at shortstop at some point in 2018. He’ll start this season in AA with a possible late season callup to get him acclimated to the major leagues. He is not a player who will light you up with his tools, but neither was Jody Mercer. He makes contact, does not have a lot of power, is consistent at shortstop but lacks gold glove type range.

64. Leody Taveras OF (Rangers) 3.5 - Leody is a $2.1 million bonus baby out of the Dominican Republic. He is a potential five tool talent, though he only took one ball over the fence in over 300 at bats in rookie ball last season. At that point he was a high school player competing against first round picks. He makes solid contact, is patient enough to draw walks, has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. He should begin the 2017 season in full season Low A.

63. Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) 3.53 - Anthony would be a five tool player with a better arm. His speed and range are good enough for center, but if that doesn’t work out he will be a better fit in left field. A top notch defensive back in football he has the speed to steal bases but the power to sail balls over fences. He did strike out 117 times in 92 games but the Blue Jays hope that gets reduced now that his focus is on baseball. A knee injury in 2016 slowed him down so the Blue Jays hope a healthy 2017 will show the real Alford.

62. David Paulino RHP (Astros) 3.57 - A history of injuries may keep Paulino in the bullpen. At 6′7″ with a mid to high 90s fastball he can be a very intimidating presence on the mound. He missed the 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery and has not pitched close to 100 innings in his last two seasons. David did make his major league debut last year, throwing seven innings. With potential for a plus slider and change Paulino has the requisite number of pitches to be a successful starter. He just needs to stay healthy.

61. Jorge Mateo 2B/SS (Yankees) 3.6 - The acquisition by the Yankees of Gleyber Torres will move Jorge to second base. It is unclear how he will take that since the Yankees had to suspend him last year after he pouted about not being promoted to AA last season. Compared to the numbers he put up in 2015 Jorge was not deserving of the promotion, his stolen base totals dropping from 82 to 36 and his batting average slipping 20 points. Speed will be his game but Jorge has deceptive power. Last year he showed it with 8 homeruns.

My World’s Top 100 - 80 - 71

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

80. Dylan Cease RHP (Cubs) 2.03 - He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school dropping him to the sixth round where the Cubs selected him in 2014. He’s pitched the last two years in short season ball and reports have him hitting well into triple digits (103) with his fastball, sitting in the high 90s. Last year he struck out 13.3 hitters per nine innings. The real test will be full season ball in 2017 to see if he can maintain that velocity. Dylan also needs to work on his secondary pitches (curve and change) and improve his command.

79. Jesse Winker OF (Reds) 2.05 - Winker should carry some power but a wrist injury last year prevented him from showing it. If the power does not develop this year it will be tough for him to make a major league roster. His defense limits him to left field. The only contribution he can make to a team is with his bat driving in runs. In 2015 he did drive in 55 runs but he also walked 74 times. In 2016 he walked as many times as he struck out (59). Jesse can hit, but the Reds would like to see more balls carry over the fence.

78. Sean Newcomb LHP (Braves) 2.07 - Sean was a first round pick of the Angels in 2014. The Angels traded him to the Braves in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Sean misses bats (10.7 whiffs per nine) or gets hitters to make soft contact (.216 opposition average). Last year lefties hit better against him than righties. His fastball sits in the low 90s, plenty of velocity for a lefthander, and he throws a curve and change. One weakness in his game is a lack of control, walking a batter every two innings, resulting in an unattractive ERA (3.86).

77. Isan Diaz 2B/SS (Brewers) 2.17 - The Puerto Rican broke onto the scene with a .360 average in Rookie ball in 2015, his OPS sitting at a majestic 1.076. With an average arm and lack of speed his best position appears to be second base. Last year his average dropped to .260 but he did hit 20 homeruns. His slugging average dropped .180 points but the numbers he put up in Rookie ball would be difficult to sustain. Expect him to be an offensively oriented second baseman in the major leagues. In 2017 he will start the season in High A.

76. Justus Sheffield LHP (Yankees) 2.33 - Justus was the Indians first round pick in 2014. He was one of the many prospects the Indians traded to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. He appeared in one AA start for the Yankees and struck out nine hitters in four shutout innings. With a fastball that borders along the mid 90s neighborhood Justus should be tough to hit. A 5′10″ frame does not give the downward action he needs to intimidate hitters which could explain why he is more hittable (.251 opposition average) than he should be. He will start the 2017 season in AA where he will work on improving his secondary pitches (slider and change) and throw more strikes.

75. Yohander Mendez LHP (Rangers) 2.48 - Yohander had a nice break out year last year, rising all the way from High A to the major leagues. His strikeout numbers decreased every level he advanced, but in AAA he dominated with a 0.57 ERA in seven appearances, four of them starts. The opposition hit him at a .118 clip. This led to a promotion to the Rangers where he did not fare as well (18.00 ERA, .333 opposition average). An increase in velocity to the low 90s with his fastball added more separation from his changeup. At 6′5″ he also has a good downward plane on hitters. The 2017 season should see him start at AAA.

74. Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) 2.63 - Luis was the number one pitcher for the United States under 18 team, resulting in the Rangers drafting him in the first round of the 2014 draft. The Rangers traded him to the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Ortiz has good velocity on his fastball (mid-90s) complementing it with a nasty slider. Finding a third pitch could enhance his swing and miss capability, which currently sits at an uninspiring 7.1 per nine innings. He also got hit a little bit in AA (.290 opposition average). At 20 years of age he is still young so a repeat in AA would not be a surprise.

73. Delvin Perez SS (Cardinals) 2.7 - There was a lot of talk Delvin would be a top five pick in the 2016 draft. Coming from Puerto Rico many compared him to Carlos Correa. A positive drug test dropped him to the 23rd pick in the draft. At this point his glove is ahead of his bat. His defense and speed may be better than Correa, though he committed 17 errors, however his power at this point falls far below Correa. He failed to hit a homerun in over 150 Rookie league at bats. The power could come, but it will not be near what Correa can produce. The Cardinals could rush him and promote him to Low A after his .294 rookie season or they can continue his instruction in extended spring training and have him repeat a month in Rookie League before being promoted to Low A.

72. Jake Bauers 1B/OF (Rays) 2.85 - A seventh round pick in 2013 Jake is showing that he can provide some lefthanded pop to a lineup. At AA he slugged 14 homeruns with minimal swing and miss activity. With Casey Gillespie ahead of him and slated for first base the Rays gave Jake some outfield time. His speed is not great to cover a lot of ground in the outfield, but with enough repetition he could fit in the corner. Jake was acquired from the Padres in the Wil Myers trade. He should start the 2017 season in AAA.

71. Matt Manning RHP (Tigers) 2.98 - Matt was the Tigers 2016 first round pick. Coming out of high school he has a few years of minor league ball to swim through before he makes the Tigers. A 6′6″ frame and a mid to high 90s fastball resulted in him averaging 14.1 whiffs per nine innings at rookie ball. The fastball is his premium pitch but Matt can sling a decent curve and change. The 2017 season will see him begin it at the Low A level

30 Teams in 30 Days - New York Yankees

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Overview - The Yankees are in rebuilding mode. If they could find takers for Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley they would go with an even more youthful team. The talent is there to make a difference. Last year they didn’t do a lot well, finishing near the bottom in most of the offensive, fielding and pitching categories. They also have to hope the arm of Masahiro Tanaka stays together. Starting pitching is where their depth gets dicey. The Yankees also had Gary Sanchez hit 20 homeruns in 52 games and hope he does not become another Shane Spencer. They also had Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge become the first rookies to hit back to back homeruns in their first at bats.

Strengths - The Yankees traded Brain McCann to the Braves after Gary Sanchez hit 20 homeruns in 52 games. His homerun production will probably not be as great next year but he has the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. He also has a strong arm for controlling a running game. Didi Gregorius is making Yankees fans forget Derek Jeter. The shortstop is not noted for his power but last year hit 20 homeruns and slugged .447. Didi is also a good defensive shortstop, committing just 15 errors and showing Yankee fans what a rangy shortstop looks like. The bullpen will be strong with Dellin Betances setting up Aroldis Chapman. Dellin was not comfortable in the closers role last year for the Yankees but he is now in his more comfortable set up role. Tyler Clippard will take over the seventh inning role. The Yankees need their bullpen to give them about three innings each game to make up for a young pitching staff.

Weakness - They are relying on talented rookies to fill two positions. Aaron Judge could hit 30 plus homeruns but he also could strikeout 170 times and bat .210. The Yankees have Aaron Hicks they can use to protect Judge if he struggles. Greg Bird was supposed to take over the first base position last year but missed the whole season because of injury. He is healthy now and will take over first base. The Yankees signed Chris Carter as a backup should Bird falter. Despite their stellar bullpen last year their pitching was 15th in ERA. That is the fault of the starting rotation. Masahiro Tanaka is the ace but he has been troubled by a balky elbow that could need surgery. C.C. Sabathia had a decent season last year but he will be 37 years old and his stuff is not as good as it once was. Michael Pineda continues to tease, but the repertoire is there for him to become a top of the rotation pitcher. After those three it will be a battle between rookie and second year pitchers. Chase Headley will put up no more than vanilla offensive numbers at third base. Last year he slugged 14 homeruns and drove in 51.

Impact Prospects - Aaron Judge is expected to be the starting rightfielder. At 25 he does not have much to prove in the minor leagues. His power can be 30 plus but he needs to improve on his ability to make contact. Clint Frazier is another outfielder who could see time in centerfield if Jacoby Ellsbury misses significant time due to injury. Ideally the Yankees would like to see him play most of his season in AAA. He has the potential to be a 20/20 player. Chance Adams and Jordan Montgomery have a chance to see some time in the rotation. Adams limited the opposition to a .145 average in 12 starts at AA. Montgomery finished with an ERA of 0.97 in six AAA starts. Chad Green dominated in AAA last year but when called up to the Yankees coughed up 12 homeruns in just 46 innings.

Prospects to Watch - Gleyber Torres is the Yankees top prospect. With Didi Gregorius at shortstop the Yankees can be patient with him. The shortstop with all five tools should start the season in AA. Blake Rutherford was the Yankees first round pick in 2016. He hit .389 in a short 89 at bat trial in the rookie league. The Yankees could start the outfielder in Low A this year where a below average arm could relegate him to left field. Jorge Mateo may have to move to second with the arrival of Torres. The main asset for Mateo is his speed though his stolen base numbers dropped from 82 to 36 last year. Jorge showed some deceptive power, but also some character flaws, suspended for objecting to no promotion to AA after the All star break. Dustin Fowler is an 18th round pick that broke out last year. He shows speed for centerfield and enough power to hit 12 homeruns. His speed gives him excellent range in centerfield. The Yankees are waiting for Miguel Andujar to show he is ready for third base. The power is there but the defense is still in question. The Yankees would prefer not to move him to first since they have Greg Bird as a fixture there. From the pitching stand point James Kaprielian is a 2015 first round pick out of UCLA who could be moved up quickly. Injuries last year limited him to three starts. Justus Sheffield is a high profile left hander who throws in the mid-90s who was acquired from the Indians in the Aroldis Chapman trade.

Expected Finish - Myworld anticipates the starting pitching will hold up and Aaron Judge and Greg Bird will hit for power. This will get them a finish of third place in their division, missing any playoff opportunity.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch in AL East

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Myworld continues to look at prospects who will have a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States but were stars in Cuba. Today myworld takes a look at the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles

Breakout Prospect (Trey Mancini 1B/DH) - Chris Davis is blocking him at first base but the O’s have still not acquired a DH who is a better hitter than Trey. Last year in a brief September call up he mashed three homeruns in 14 at bats. This was a bit of an aberration since his minor league numbers took him to 550 at bats to hit 20 homeruns. He has a solid bat that can go gap to gap to all fields. If given an opportunity he will hit .280 with 20 plus homeruns. His foot speed will prevent a move to the outfield but if the O’s find a DH Chris Davis could still fill an outfield spot to make room for Mancini at first base.

Prospect to Watch (Adam Walker OF) - Every year there are players you are shocked to see on the waiver wire. The Orioles farm system is not flowing with prospects, especially with outfielders so Walker is a good gamble. The Twins put him on waivers to remove him from the 40 man roster but the Orioles took a chance on his power and picked him up. He has always had trouble making contact but he has light tower power once he does. A below average arm with questionable foot speed will probably pigeon hole him to left field or force a move to first base. Last year he struck 202 times, but he did splash 27 homeruns. He needs to make a little more contact to up that .243 average and .305 OBA. If he played a superior defense you might be able to tolerate an extreme swing and miss propensity.

Boston Red Sox

Breakout Prospect (Andrew Benintendi OF) - The Red Sox have two talented outfielders in Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley. Andrew hit .305 in a late season callup to earn the third spot in the lineup. He should make the team out of spring training. With the killer Bs of Betts, Bradley and Benintendi in the outfield the Red Sox will have three centerfielders on defense. All the tools are there for Andrew to steal 20 plus bases and hit 20 plus homeruns giving the Red Sox an opportunity to have three 20/20 hitters playing the outfield. Expect Andrew to win a batting title or two before his time is up with the Red Sox.

Prospect to Watch (Jason Groome LHP) - Jason dropped to the 12th pick with the Red Sox this year because of concerns about his maturity. The 6′6″ lefthander can light the radar guns up to the high 90s, excellent velocity readings for a lefthander. His curve ball is an excellent pitch and despite his height he can fill the plate with strikes. While he only made three starts last year there were no reports of any character breakdowns. Next year he should reach full season ball so the true test will come whether he can maintain his composure over a six month period.

New York Yankees

Breakout Prospect (Aaron Judge OF) - An injury ended his September callup early. It was still a rewarding experience despite his .179 average. He and Tyler Austin became the first rookies in major league history to hit back to back homeruns in their first at bats. After that the season went down hill for Judge with 42 strikeouts in 90 plus at bats, almost a 50 percent strikeout percentage. In the minors he had improved his ability to make contact, limiting his whiffs to just 98 in 400 at bats, so that seemed to indicate progress. At 6′7″ Judge has excellent power if he can extend his arms and his height does not limit his ability to cover ground in the outfield. Many compare his tools to Giancarlo Stanton with two more inches of strike zone length. Because of the high strikeout number he may repeat AAA to refocus on improving his ability to make contact. The Yankees are rebuilding so there is only Aaron Hicks in right field to block him from a starting spot.

Prospect to Watch (Gleyber Torres SS and Jorge Mateo 2B) - The Yankees are in no hurry to promote either of these two players to the shortstop position with Didi Gregorius covering the position well. Jorge Mateo was a shortstop last year but he struggled with attitude and consistency. The Yankees seemed to realize he would not replace Didi at short and gave him opportunities to play second. Mateo has blazing speed with the ability to steal 50 plus bases per year. His hit tool isn’t bad but he seemed to sacrifice average for a little more pop last year. His career OBA is .359 but last year it dropped to .308. The Yankees disciplined him because he pouted about not being promoted to AA when his numbers did not appear deserving of the promotion. With the acquisition of Gleyber Torres from the Cubs Jorge appears to be permanently moved to second base. Torres has the more consistent defensive tools at short, though he lacks the speed of Mateo. His bat can generate more power and if the need arises the Yankees could still move him to third if they feel uncomfortable moving Gregorius away from short.

Tampa Bay Rays

Break out Prospect (Brent Honeywell RHP) - Brent is last year’s Blake Snell minus the consecutive shutout innings at the start of the season. Successful stints at High A and AA signal a readiness to pitch at the major league level. The screwball is the pitch in his repertoire that sets him apart from the other pitchers. His fastball is not overpowering, hitting the low 90s but his command of the fastball, a better than average change and the threat of the screwball makes him a pitcher tough to figure out. With some early season success in AA he could get an early callup to fill the major league rotation.

Prospects to Watch (Lucius Fox SS and Adrian Rodon SS) - Both signed for impressive bonus contracts, Rodon out of the Dominican Republic for $2.9 million. Lucious signed out of the Bahamas for $6 million, a bonus you would normally see for Cuban players. Fortunately for the Rays the Giants paid off most of that bonus money. Lucious played high school in the United States but moved back to the Bahamas after high school to qualify as an international free agent. Lucius is probably the more pure shortstop with a lot of speed to cover the middle infield, but Rodon has the better arm and more consistent glove. Adrian clearly has the better bat of the two, including inducing power, but that would make it an easier move to third for him if the Rays had to choose one of the two to fill the shortstop position.

Toronto Blue Jays

Breakout Prospect (Sean Reid Foley RHP) - Myworld had a hard time finding a prospect to make an immediate impact with the Jays. Foley seemed to be the best bet based on his .190 opposition average between High A and AA. At 6′3″ he is not tall, but this doesn’t prevent his fastball from hitting the mid 90s. An above average slider and a decent change makes his fastball tough to pick up. Expect the Jays to start him in AA to begin the season. If he dominates in AA Sean will see a call up to the major league club, one of the few players to make the major leagues born in Guam.

Prospect to Watch (Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B) - He lacks the same physical traits as his dad being a little thicker and not having the arm of his father. His thick build also contributes to his lack of foot speed, limiting him to a corner infield position. What he does do well is swing the bat with a .271 average having the capability of hitting 20 plus homeruns. Guerrero signed for $3.9 million last year during the international draft so the 2016 was his first season. If his genes are anything close to his dad Junior could be an All Star for years to come.

Comparing the Mets and Yankees Drafts

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The Yankees had an interesting 2006 draft when they selected Joba Chamberlain, Dellin Betances, Zach McAllister, Mark Melancon and David Robertson. That is a top notch bullpen. The following year they drafted Drew Storen but did not sign him. Both teams would have a very competitive roster with their drafts.

New York Mets

2005 - Mike Pelfrey (1) RHP, Drew Butera (5) C, Jon Niese (7) LHP, Bobby Parnell (9) RHP, Josh Thole (13) C, Pedro Beato (17 - DNS) RHP

2006 - Joe Smith (3) RHP, Daniel Murphy (13) 2B, Johnny Monell (49 - DNS) C

2007 - Lucas Duda (7) 1B, Dillon Gee (21) RHP, Roy Merritt (29) LHP, Juan Centeno (32) C

2008 - Ike Davis (1) 1B, Kirk Niewenhuis (3) OF, Eric Campbell (8) 3B/1B, Colin McHugh (18) RHP

2009 - Steve Matz (2) LHP, Mitch Haniger (31 - DNS) OF, Zack Godley (50 - DNS) RHP

2010 - Matt Harvey (1) RHP, Matt den Dekker (5) OF, Jacob deGrom (9) RHP, Akeel Morriss (16) RHP, Erik Goeddel (24) RHP, Josh Edgin (30) LHP

2011 - Brandon Nimmo (1) OF, Michael Fulmer (1) RHP, Logan Verrett (3) RHP, Jack Leathersich (5) LHP, Robert Gsellman (13) RHP, Jarel Cotton (28 - DNS) RHP, A.J. Reed (25 - DNS) LHP/1B

2012 - Kevin Plawecki (1) C, Matt Reynolds (2) SS/3B

2013 - None

2014 - Michael Conforto (1) OF

C - Kevin Plawecki, Josh Thole, Johnny Monell, Drew Butera, Juan Centeno

1B - Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, A.J. Reed

2B - Daniel Murphy

3B - Eric Campbell

SS - Matt Reynolds

OF - Kirk Niewenhuis, Mitch Haniger, Matt den Dekker, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto

SP - Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steve Matz, Jon Niese, Colin McHugh, Dillon Gee, Michael Fulmer, Robert Gsellman, Jharel Cotton, Mike Pelfrey

RP - Bobby Parnell, Pedro Beato, Joe Smith, Roy Merritt, Zack Godley, Akeel Morris, Erik Goeddel, Josh Edgin, Logan Verrett, Jack Leathersich,

New York Yankees

2005 - Brett Gardner (3) OF, Doug Fister (6 - DNS) RHP, Austin Jackson (8) OF, Justin Turner (29 - DNS) 3B

2006 - Ian Kennedy (1) RHP, Joba Chamberlain (1) RHP, Zack McAllister (3) RHP, George Kontos (5) RHP, Dellin Betances (8) RHP, Mark Melancon (9) RHP, David Robertson (17) RHP

2007 - Drew Storen (34 - DNS) RHP, Pat Venditte (45 - DNS) R/LHP

2008 - Gerritt Cole (1 - DNS) RHP, David Phelps (14) RHP, Pat Venditte (20) R/LHP

2009 - J.R. Murphy (2) C, Adam Warren (4) RHP, Caleb Cotham (5) RHP, Tyler Lyons (10) LHP

2010 - Rob Segedin (3) 3B, Mason Williams (4) OF, Tommy Kahnle (5) RHP, Danny Burawa (12) RHP, Tyler Austin (13) OF/1B, Mike Gerber (40 - DNS) OF

2011 - Greg Bird (5) 1B, Jon Gray (10 - DNS) RHP, Nick Goody (22 - DNS) RHP

2012 - Peter O’Brien (2) 1B/LF, Rob Refsnyder (5) 2b/LF, Nick Goody (6) RHP

2013 - Aaron Judge (1) OF, Nick Rumbelow (7) RHP

2014 - Jacob Lindgren (2) LHP

C - J.R. Murphy, Peter O’Brien

1B - Greg Bird

2B - Rob Refsnyder

3B - Justin Turner, Rob Segedin

SS - None

OF - Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, Mason William, Tyler Austin, Mike Gerber, Aaron Judge

SP - Doug Fister, Ian Kennedy, Gerrit Cole, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Jonathan Gray

RP - Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, George Kontos, Dellin Betances, Mark Melancon, David Robertson, Drew Storen, Pat Venditte, Caleb Cotham, Tyler Lyons, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Jake Petricka, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Burawa, Nick Goody, James Pazos, Nick Rumbelow and Jacob Lindgren

Right Handed Starting Pitcher Prospect Review

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Just like shortstops there were a number of right handed starting pitchers to review so myworld extended it to the top 20 prospects in this category. The below list was the top 20 prospects as rated by myworld.

1. Lucas Giolito (Nationals) - The top pitching prospect struggled with his command. He dominated minor league hitters splitting time between AA and AAA but when promoted to the Nationals struggled, walking more hitters than he struck out (11/10). When the Nationals picked a starter to pitch in the bullpen in relief it was Reynaldo Lopez, who myworld had rated 28th. Gio Gonzalez will probably be gone (the Nationals not picking up his option) so it will be a battle between Reynaldo and Lucas for the fifth spot, leaving the Nationals without a lefty in the rotation. Both throw in the mid-90s so it becomes a luxury of riches with the loser getting an opportunity to prove himself by mid-season, when Strasburg is due to go on the DL.

2. Alex Reyes (Cardinals) - A 50 game drug of abuse suspension delayed his appearance in the starting rotation for the Cardinals. If they had him in the rotation at the beginning of the year they may have made the playoffs. He was pretty dominating, first in relief and then in the rotation when he was promoted to the Cardinals. Command issues were a problem with a walk every two innings. Expect him to be in the rotation next season.

3. Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) - Another pitcher with command issues which prevented him from making the rotation at the beginning of the season. He had success in AAA (1.87 ERA) despite walking 62 hitters in just 111 innings. The opposition hit only .148 against him and he struck out 133. Those command issues did not do so well when promoted to the Pirates (4.91 ERA with more hits than innings pitched and not as great a whiff rate). In spring training he will compete for a spot in the rotation and the improvement he shows with his command will determine whether he makes the rotation. He has swing and miss stuff if he can improve the location of his pitches.

4. Anderson Espinoza (Padres) - The Red Sox best prospect pitcher was traded to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Drew was more damaged than the Padres medical records showed and A.J. Preller was suspended for not disclosing the complete medical history of Pomeranz. The Red Sox still chose not to nullify the trade and Espinoza is still a Padre. The Red Sox may have been troubled by the struggles of Espinosa in Low A (4.38 ERA). He was not better in his seven starts with the Padres (4.78). He stands only 6′0″ so there is some durability concerns but at 18 years of age he still has a lot of time to mature. Because of his short stature and his triple digit fastballs there are a lot of comparisons to Pedro Martinez.

5. Francis Martes (Astros) - Another pitcher short of stature (6′1″) who throws a fastball in the triple digits. He pitched well in AA (3.30 ERA) striking out more than a batter per inning. He should start the 2017 season in AAA but it should not take him long to reach the Astros rotation by mid-season.

6. Jose Deleon (Dodgers) - Julio Urias was our top rated lefthanded starter. With all the injuries to the Dodgers rotation this season both got opportunities to start for the Dodgers. Urias had a little more success so this could leave Deleon with another season in AAA or starting the season in the Dodgers bullpen. He dominated in AAA (2.92 ERA with a .181 opposition average) so he has nothing to prove by repeating AAA. A lot will depend on his performance in spring training and the Dodgers needs.

7. Jose Berrios (Twins) - His starts in AAA showed the makings of an ace (2.51 ERA and .171 opposition average) but his major league opportunities were a disaster. He had trouble throwing strikes, walking almost a batter per inning and baseballs left the park with great regularity, coughing up a homerun every four innings of pitching. A good spring could earn him another opportunity in the rotation but expect him to begin the 2017 season in AAA. Success or injury in the rotation will give him another big league opportunity.

8. Robert Stephenson (Reds) - Another pitcher who can hit triple digits with his fastball. The Reds are in rebuilding mode so despite his struggles when called up he could still make the rotation with a good spring. He also had trouble keeping the ball in the park, giving up more than a homerun for each four innings of work. The Reds would have liked to see more minor league success (4.41 ERA in AAA) but 71 walks in just 137 innings spells command issues.

9. Jon Gray (Rockies) - The third pick in the 2013 draft started 28 games for the Rockies. His 4.5 plus ERA is credible considering the hitters atmosphere in Colorado. He should be a foundation for the Rockies rotation, perhaps inserting himself in the ace role in 2017.

10. Michael Fulmer (Tigers) - He almost saved the Tigers season, becoming the ace in the rotation. He tired a bit towards the end of the season as his innings pitched increased. Expect him to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award for 2016. Fulmer will also be a foundation in the Tigers rotation for the 2017 season.

11. Kenta Maeda (Dodgers) - Not really a rookie because of his success in Japan. He pitched well early in the season but the length of the major league season may have caught up with him. He averaged just over 5 innings per start but was the one Dodger that got over 30 starts. He was the number two starter behind Kershaw until the Dodgers acquired Rich Hill. He will be an important cog in the Dodgers rotation for 2017 despite a fastball that barely breaks 90.

12. Jorge Lopez (Brewers) - Jorge had a season to forget in AAA (6.81). He walked a lot of hitters and gave up more hits than innings pitched. With a good season he could have been promoted to the Brewers by mid-season. Instead, he saw more time in AA to build up his confidence with a little more success. The 2017 season will probably see him begin it in AAA and with success he could see a mid-season promotion.

13. Aaron Blair (Braves) - Another pitcher who struggled in his 14 starts with the Braves. Blair was one of the players the Diamondbacks gave up for Shelby Miller. As hard as it was Blair had a worst season than Miller. His AAA numbers were not impressive and myworld saw a back end of the rotation pitcher when we watched him pitch in the spring. With all the talented young pitchers the Braves have in their farm system it would not surprise myworld to see the Braves attempt to trade him.

14. Luis Ortiz (Brewers) - One of the players the Brewers acquired in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. He pitched in AA and seemed to be pretty easy to hit (.290 opposition average) with less than impressive whiffs per innings pitched. He starred for the United States 18 and under team, winning the MVP award at the World Cup in 2014. Poor conditioning and weight issues could prevent him from achieving success as he gets older.

15. Brent Honeywell (Rays) - A screwball gives him a different pitch than other pitchers. He was the Rays 2015 version of Blake Snell without the shutout innings. Blake was rated as out second best lefthanded starter. Honeywell had success splitting his time between High A and AA, limiting the opposition to an average of just over .200. Expect him to join Snell in the Rays rotation by mid-season in 2017.

16.Jeff Hoffman (Rockies) - The first round pick of the Blue Jays, the Rockies acquired Hoffman last year for Troy Tulowitski. He made his major league debut late in the season but struggled, giving up lots of homeruns, lots of hits with a walk to whiff ratio of 1/1. Not a promising debut to see him start the 2017 season in the Rockies rotation. His minor league numbers were not impressive (4.02 ERA) so expect him to repeat AAA and get a major league callup upon the Rockies need and his success.

17. Dillon Tate (Yankees) - The Yankees picked him up in the Carlos Beltran trade. Tate was the Rangers first round pick in 2015. The Yankees used him in the bullpen to decrease his innings count. He struggled in the Rangers Low A rotation (5.12 ERA) but did better with the Yankees (3.12 ERA). Combined the opposition hit over .300 against him. He could repeat Low A, but expect the Yankees to promote him to High A. Don’t expect to see him in the Yankee rotation until 2018.

18. Carson Fulmer (White Sox) - The White Sox called him up early in the season to use him in the bullpen. His ERA neighbored a run per inning pitched so he was sent back down to AAA to finish his year in the minors as a starter. Expect him to spend the 2017 season in AAA until he can address his command issues. In AA he walked 51 hitters in his 87 innings of work. That will have to improve if he hopes to make the White Sox rotation.

19. Grant Holmes (Athletics) - The Dodgers traded their 2014 number one pick to the Athletics in the Rich Hill trade. At 6′1″ he is small in stature and his success in the minor leagues has been limited. After the Athletics acquired him they shifted him to the High A California League where the opposition tagged him for a .355 average. The Athletics could promote him to AA in 2017 but he is still a couple years away from making the Athletics rotation.

20. Jake Thompson (Phillies) - The Phillies are rebuilding and Jake could be part of their rotation next year. His numbers for the Phillies last year were poor with a 5.70 ERA and a 28/32 walk to whiff ratio. He also gave up one homerun for each five innings he pitched. Those kind of numbers will not keep him in a major league rotation. Expect him to start the season in AAA where he had success. His strikeout numbers are not impressive but he is not an over powering pitcher.

Lefthanded Pitcher Review

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

At the start of the season myworld ranked the top pitching prospects who threw lefthanded. This is an assessment or progress review of their 2016 season.

1. Julio Urias (Dodgers) - He was still a teenager when he was promoted to the Dodgers. He did not dominate in the major leagues as he did in the minors, but the tools are still there to ensure major league success. He has a fastball/change combination that gets his share of swings and misses. In the majors his hits to innings pitched were not impressive but expect that to improve with more experience. He will start the Dodgers 2017 season in their starting rotation.

2. Blake Snell (Rays) - Last year he started his minor league season with a 50 plus minor league shutout streak. This year he spent most of his time with the Rays. He was one of the Rays top starting pitchers though his strikeout to innings pitched were down and his hits to innings pitched were up after his promotion. He doesn’t throw quite as hard as Urias but also relies on a fastball/change combination to get hitters out. Blake also throws two effective breaking pitches in a curve and slider. Expect him also to be in the Rays rotation in 2017.

3. Steven Matz (Mets) - Injuries have prevented Matz from reaching his potential. Injuries last year prevented him from eating up innings allowing him to remain on the prospect list. Those injuries continued in the major leagues in 2016 as an elbow injury plagued him much of the season. The Mets finally shut him down even though they were in a playoff race towards the end of the season. Matz was the lone lefthander in the rotation at the beginning of the season and also relies on a mid-90s fastball and change to retire hitters. If healthy he should be in the Mets rotation in 2017. Don’t be surprised if he is limited to just over 20 plus starts.

4. Sean Newcomb (Braves) - The Angels traded many of their prospects to the Braves and Sean was one of those included to acquire shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The Braves farm system is loaded with talented arms and Sean is one of them. Command has been his biggest challenge with a walk every two innings pitched. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he can hit the mid-90s with a curve as his second best pitch. Once he improves his control in AAA for the 2017 season he will make his debut some time by mid-season.

5. Cody Reed (Reds) - There are two different Cody Reeds. This is the one who pitches for the Reds. Cody Reed was limited to 13 starts in AAA with a back injury. He got some major league opportunities but they toasted him in his 10 starts with an ERA over 7.00. The Reds could take a mulligan on his major league starts because you don’t give him on a lefthanded arm that can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. Unless he has a terrific spring expect him to start the 2017 season in AAA. He needs to get that confidence back that was tattered by major league pitching.

6. Sean Manaea (Athletics) - Sean did not spend a lot of time in the minor leagues. He made the Athletics rotation after just three AAA starts. Injuries limited him to 24 starts. The Royals drafted Sean in the first round in 2013 and traded him to the Athletics in the Ben Zobrist trade. At 6′5″ Sean can hit the mid to high 90s with his fastball, but sits mostly in the low 90s. A slider is his second best pitch. Expect him to be in the Athletics rotation to start the 2017 season.

7. Brady Aiken (Indians) - Drafted as the first pick by the Astros last year they failed to sign him after lowering his bonus payment for fear of an existing arm injury. Those fears proved to be true when Brady attempted to pitch in an Independent League and failed to finish the game because of an arm injury. He underwent Tommy John surgery. That did not prevent the Indians from drafting him in the first round in 2015, He spent all his time in the short season leagues struggling to find success. His fastball was pedestrian, sitting in the high 80s and his breaking pitch lacked the sharp break, but this was a rehab year. Next year the Indians hope for better results when they stick him in a full season league. He is still at least a couple years away from seeing a major league rotation.

8. Tyler Jay (Twins) - Tyler spent most of his time in the Florida State League and did not pitch like a 2015 first round pick. Drafted out of college the Twins were hoping for a quick ascent from the minors for Jay. The numbers are not showing he deserves a promotion. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he balances that out with a wipe out slider. At 6′1″ he is not a big guy so durability issues could be a concern. A brief promotion to AA will probably be repeated to start the 2017 season. Myworld can’t get too excited about him at this point.

9. Justus Sheffield (Yankees) - The Indians traded him and Clint Frazier to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. Other players were involved in the trade but these three were the main players. Justus was a 2014 first round pick of the Indians. At 5′10″ he also has a small frame but packs a lot of heat with a mid-90s fastball. Last year he pitched at High A with limited success. The Yankees gave him one start in AA which is where he will probably start the 2017 season.

10. Kolby Allard (Braves) - A bad back delayed the start of his 2016 season. The 2015 number one pick of the Braves spent all his time in Low A where he put up pedestrian numbers (3.73 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s with a good curveball and change combination. Expect him to start the 2017 season at High A.

Catcher Prospect Review

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

These were the top ten catchers at the beginning of the year as rated by myworld. We could not find our Baseball America magazine that rated the top ten catchers, lefthanded pitchers and righthanded pitchers so we will go with our list for these three positions, even though we hate using our bias.

1. Gary Sanchez (Yankees) - He did not get a lot of major league at bats because of his late callup but his homerun production when promoted to the major leagues was record breaking. With more playing time he would be the cinch American League rookie of the year, but he may still win it. His defense has improved to such an extent that he is now considered above average. Brian McCann will be the back up next year despite his large contract while Sanchez takes over the starting role. Expect a drop in production but his bat should still carry 20 plus over the fence each year.

2. Wilson Contreras (Cubs) - Another player who got a major league promotion mid-season. Wilson played a lot in left field because the Cubs had more veteran catchers to use behind the plate. Wilson has 20 plus homerun power and an arm to limit base stealing. His pitch calling and handling of a veteran playoff pitching staff still needs more work. With Kyle Schwarber coming back next year to play left field and Anthony Rizzo at first Wilson will have to get more playing time behind the plate to justify him staying in the major leagues. David Ross retirement will ensure him of at least a back up spot.

3. Jorge Alfaro (Phillies) - His tools have always exceeded his production. Injuries have also limited his playing time. This year he played at Reading, a hitters park, but he was one of the better players on one of the top minor league teams in baseball. He slugged 15 homeruns and stayed free of any major injury. The Phillies have a young catcher in Cameron Rupp but Jorge offers more offensive and defensive potential. Alfaro won the Captains Choice catcher award for being the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues. He did get a September callup for the Phillies to get his feet wet for a mid-season 2017 role.

4. Andrew Knapp (Phillies) - When it rains it pours. Tommy Joseph was a top Philly catching prospect but moved to first base after concussion issues. This year Tommy took over the first base job from Ryan Howard. The Phillies will have to do something about their trio of catchers. Knapp is a couple years older than Alfaro and is playing at AAA. Next year Alfaro will be ready for AAA and Knapp does not have the power or arm to compete with Alfaro. Don’t be surprised to see Knapp traded next year or getting promoted to the Phillies to be the back up to Rupp.

5. Tom Murphy (Rockies) - The Rockies catcher of the future. He hit for power (19) and average (.327) in AAA and those tools were evident in a late promotion to the Rockies. Expect him to be looked at as the starting catcher for the Rockies next year. The third round 2012 pick can also handle the defensive side of the game with a strong arm and good pitch calling abilities. Playing in the high altitude of Colorado can only accentuate his offensive numbers.

6. Tyler Stephenson (Reds) - Eventually he could team up with Robert Stephenson to give the Reds a Stephenson/Stephenson battery. The 2015 first round pick is still a couple years away from playing for the Reds. Last year he struggled in Low A hitting only .216. Injuries limited him to just over 100 at bats. At 6′4″ he might be too big to catch. The arm is strong enough to limit a baserunning game and his bat is better than the .216 he showed in 2016.

7. Jacob Nottingham (Brewers) - The Athletics acquired Jacob from the Astros as one of the players for Scott Kazmir. They then traded him to the Brewers for Khris Davis. Davis hit 40 plus homeruns for the Athletics in 2016. Nottingham may take four years to reach that homerun figure, though at 6′3″ he is said to have raw power. Last year he hit 11 homeruns in AA but a 29/138 walk to whiff ratio brought his average below .250. His defense needs some improvement before it can be considered major league ready, but he does have a strong arm that can gun down baserunners.

8. Reese McGuire (Blue Jays) - The Pirates sent Reese McGuire and other prospects to the Blue Jays to rid themselves of the Francisco Liriano contract. McGuire has been a disappointment for a first round 2013 pick. He has shown little power with too much of a vanilla bat. With a little more electricity in his offense his defense is strong enough to play in the major leagues. McGuire does a good job of making contact but it is just too much soft contact. The Blue Jays do not really have a catcher they can brag about. If they can not find anyone with a bat next year McGuire has the defense to fill the position.

9. Clint Coulter (Brewers) - With the acquisition of Nottingham this takes the pressure off the Brewers to put Coulter behind the plate. He will continue to see more time in the outfield. His defense will always be below major league average but his bat carries enough power to play right field. It has now been two years since he has seen any time behind the plate. The 2016 season saw a big drop in his power numbers (.358 slugging). He will need to improve upon that to make up for his defensive deficiencies in the outfield.

10. Chance Sisco (Orioles) - His power numbers took a big drop in 2016 but he raised his average over the .300 mark again (.319). Defense is not his strong suit. Matt Wieters will be a free agent next year so the Orioles have a catcher opening. Chance probably needs a full season in AAA to get major league ready.