Archive for the 'White Sox' Category

2017 Top Ten Prospects Carolina League

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

These are the players myworld would rate as the top ten prospects in the Carolina League. A pretty impressive group at the top of the list with some impressive names at the lower end. These prospects have put up the numbers to earn a spot on this list and are not named for just potential.

1. Tristan McKenzie RHP (Indians/Lynchburg) - Myworld remembered when we watched the then 19 year old Clayton Kershaw pitch in an early spring training game at Vero Beach. That is the same kind of Wow we had watching Tristan pitch in a short season game at Williamsport last year. The supplemental first round pick in 2015 reminds me of a praying mantis, all arms and legs as his 6′5″ stick frame comes at you with a mid-90s fastball. There were a lot of swings and misses in that game. Those swings and misses continue in the Carolina League with 150 in 118.2 innings. While the opposition is hitting only .199 against him, some of those balls have gone a long way, with 13 homeruns given up. His command could use some improvement, but as his body fills out with maturity that fastball could be impressive if the secondary pitches improve with it.

2. Victor Robles OF (Nationals/Potomac) - Myworld likes Victor over Eloy because of his speed and ability to play a quality defense in centerfield. As he matures the power should increase. The Dominican has the five tools you look for in a superstar. The Nationals signed him for $225,000 in 2013. His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. A .289 average with a .872 OPS resulted in a promotion to AA. Currently his power is restricted to the gaps where he blasted 25 doubles and 7 triples. The 9 homeruns he has hit over the two levels is a career high. Expect him to fit into a crowded Nationals outfield sometime in September of next year.

3. Eloy Jimenez OF (White Sox/Winston Salem) - The Cubs signed the Dominican Eloy for a splashy $2.8 million in 2013, the same year they signed Gleyber Torres for $1.7 million. Now both have left the Cubs, Eloy traded to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana trade. Eloy has a power bat but his lack of blazing speed or a strong arm will restrict him to left field. The trade from the Cubs to the White Sox has seemed to give him a power surge. He batted .271 with 8 homeruns in 42 games for Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League. For the White Sox he is hitting .362 with 8 homeruns in 28 games. It may be too late in the season to promote him to AA, but Eloy appears to be ready for that level now.

4. Forrest Whitley RHP (Astros/Buies Creek) - The 2016 first round pick was called up from Low A after 10 starts. He has not had a lot of time in the Carolina League but in six starts he has struck out 50 in 31.1 innings. At 6′7″ with a mid to high 90s fastball he can dominate games with above average breaking pitches (curve and slider) and a decent change. Opponents still get some hits off him with a .243 opposition average between the two levels. Forrest has shown good command of his pitches, walking just 9 in his 31.1 innings. Drafted out of high school it will take him a couple more years before he reaches the Astros.

5. Austin Hays RF (Orioles/Frederick) - The third round 2016 pick did not last long in the Carolina League after hitting .328 with 16 homeruns. That batting average (.350) and power (12 homeruns) have improved since his promotion to AA. He did hit 16 homeruns for Jacksonville his junior year to lead the Atlantic Sun Conference in homeruns. After being drafted he slugged another four homeruns and hit .336 in the New York Penn League. The Orioles had him skip Low A to move to the Carolina League. Austin has a right fielders arm and decent enough speed to cover ground out in right field. That speed will not result in a lot of stolen bases. The way he is tearing up each league in the minors expect Austin to be with the Orioles sometime next year. They do not have a lot of players there right now to hold him back.

6. Michael Chavis 3B (Red Sox/Salem) - Michael was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 2014. It has been a disappointing first three years for Michael. The Red Sox have a need for a third baseman and if Michael had hit like he has this year perhaps he would get the call. It has been a breakout year for Michael with 17 homeruns in just 59 games with a .318 average and a 1.029 OPS in the Carolina League. His strikeouts are still prevalent, but they have been reduced from his first three years. In AA he has added 12 homeruns to give him 29 for the year. His defense at third is still a little suspect with 14 errors, which could result in a move to first base or left field.

7. Zack Collins C (White Sox/Winston Salem) - Zack was a first round pick of the White Sox in 2016. The 117 whiffs in 110 games has kept his average down at .220, but he does have 17 homeruns with 75 walks for a .362 OBP. His bat should always play but a thick lower half and plodding feet has resulted in 16 passed balls. He has thrown out 45 runners so he can sling it to second. The White Sox will be patient with him. The power will play well behind the plate, but if his defense remains weak he could move to first. It is still way too early for the White Sox to give up on his catching tools.

8. Alec Hansen RHP (White Sox/Winston Salem) - The White Sox drafted Alec in the second round of the 2016 draft. At 6′7″ with a mid to high 90s fastball he can dominate games, with frequent double digit strikeout outings. He started the season in Low A and after dominating there was promoted to High A, where he had back to back 12 K games. His secondary pitches need improvement (slider, curve and change) but that will come with time. The opposition hits him at a .210 clip with 155 whiffs in 119 innings.

9. Kyle Tucker OF (Astros/Buies Creek) - Kyle was a 2015 first round pick of the Astros. His brother Preston plays in AAA for the Astros Fresno affiliate. Kyle got the height (6′4″) while the shorter framed Preston inherited the Popeye arms. Kyle has the greater prospect potential. He has the speed to cover the ground necessary in centerfield and the arm and power to play right. He didn’t last long in the Carolina League, promoted to AA after hitting .288 with 9 homeruns and a .932 OPS in the Carolina League. AA has been a bit more of a struggle but expect Kyle to show case his outfield abilities at Minute Maid park some time next year.

10. Dane Dunning RHP (White Sox/Winston Salem) - The Nationals drafted Dunning in the first round of the 2016 draft, then traded him to the White Sox in the Adam Eaton trade. He was the lessor of Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito but in the long run he may turn out to be the greater. His fastball sits in the low 90s but can touch the mid 90s but his secondary pitches need improvement (slider/change). Dunning started his season in the South Atlantic League but needed only four starts to get his 0.35 ERA promoted to the Carolina League. His numbers (3.43 ERA) would be a little better if not for an 8 run outing in July when he coughed up four of his 12 homeruns. His command is good but a .260 opposition average could be indicative of being around the plate too much.

Other Players to Watch

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles/Frederick) - We talked about him in the AA Eastern League top ten prospects. He was leading the Carolina League in batting average at .314 but after his promotion he will not carry enough at bats to win the title. He also slugged 15 homeruns. His eventual position may be third base but the Orioles will keep him at short until he proves he can’t play it.

Ademar Rifaela OF (Orioles/Frederick) - The native of Curacao leads the Frederick League in homeruns with 22. Last year he broke out with 13 homeruns but this year he could double that quantity. The batting average (.290) and homeruns are a career high. It will be interesting if he can continue to produce as he rises up the minor league ladder.

Chase Vallot C (Royals/Wilmington) - A lesser version of Zach Collins the supplemental first round pick does not hit for average (.231) but has some pop (12 homeruns). He also has the patience to draw walks (.380). His defense with 10 passed balls and 12 errors may force a move from catcher. He only has thrown out 13 baserunners.

Josh Ockimey 1b (Red Sox/Salem) - The 2014 fifth round pick has shown the ability to hit for power. After hitting .275 with 11 homeruns in 100 games he was promoted to AA. Josh is not afraid to draw walks (.388).

A.J. Puckett RHP (White Sox/Winston Salem) - A second round pick of the Royals in 2016, he was traded to the White Sox mid year in the Melky Cabrera trade. He has not had a great year in the Carolina League (4.01 ERA) with a .262 opposition average, but 102 whiffs in 112 innings shows a swing and miss quality.

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 Ten Prospects from Venezuela - American League

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

No one from the list last year had any significant major league time last year. A couple players who made the National League list last year are now on the American League list. As a result only five players from the list last year made the list this year. The others dropped off. Myworld is not confident of the major league qualities of any of the players on this list after you get past the top five.

1. Gleyber Torres SS (Yankees) - Tommy John surgery has prevented him from making his major league debut. Originally signed by the Cubs in 2013 for $1.7 million, Gleyber was traded to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade rental last year. Gleyber has the tools to play shortstop but may not get the opportunity to play there now that Didi Gregorious has established roots at the position. With Chase Headley a disappointment at third there was talk of moving him there but his injury has stalled that development. Prior to his injury he got 15 games at third base. His bat shows the potential for plus power as he matures and should play at third. He slugged .480 between AA and AAA but at 20 years of age he has room to grow. With Chase Headley a free agent expect Gleyber to take over the third base position, though Miguel Andujar could have some influence over that and his injury could delay his start there.

2. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - Franklin was signed by the Blue Jays in 2012 for $1.45 million. Like Gleyber he was packaged in a trade for a pennant race, Josh Donaldson going to the Jays and Barreto and a number of other prospects going to the Athletics. Franklin does not quite have the defensive tools of Gleyber or the power bat so if shortstop does not work for him he may move to second. The injury to Marcus Semien forced the Athletics to call up Barreto sooner than they wanted. In 11 games he hit .190 with two homeruns, playing mostly at short but getting some time at second. In AAA he has seen most of his time at short but has found some time to play second. His bat has been as expected with a .279 average but he has shown a little more pop with 9 dingers. His minor league high has been 13 and including his two major league homeruns Franklin is two short of his career high. Expect him to get a September callup and more opportunities at second. The Athletics have a number of options at short in Semien, Chad Pinder and Richie Martin so versatility is a key.

3. Yohander Mendez LHP (Rangers) - Yohander was signed by the Rangers for $1.5 million in 2011. It has been a patient ascent up the minor league ladder for Yohander but last year he made his major league debut with a September callup. The Rangers have him repeating AA even though he did well last year in seven AAA appearances (0.57 ERA). His fastball has gained velocity over the years, now touching the mid-90s and his change is an excellent pitch. An inability to find a third breaking pitch has been stalling his major league career. That may ultimately see him finding a role in the bullpen.

4. Franklin Perez RHP (Astros) - Franklin was signed by the Astros for $1 million in 2014. He was originally a third baseman but the Astros saw an arm destined for the mound. His fastball currently sits in the low 90s but can touch the mid-90s. He has the potential for a good change with a nice break on his curveball and the command of the strike zone needed for a starting pitcher. A 6′3″ frame gives him good height for coming down on the hitters. The Astros have him at High A in the Carolina League where he has limited hitters to a .191 average. He has more than three whiffs to every walk and is just short of a strikeout per inning. A 2.98 ERA could lead to a promotion to AA before the season is out. It will be 2018 before Franklin sees the major leagues and that may be as a September call up.

5. Renato Nunez 3B (Athletics) - Renato was one of the big bonus babies of 2010, signing for $2.2 million. The Athletics are crowded at the corner infield positions with power bats. It may result in the best defensive player earning the right to play the corner positions. Renato falls short of that and may see a move to first base with DH as his best position. He does have a power bat with consistent seasons of double digit homeruns. This year there seems to be more swing and miss in his at bats but the 24 homeruns he has hit in AAA are already just five short of his career high. Last year he struggled with a .228 average but this year despite the increased strikeouts he has raised it to .250. The Athletics have been playing him a lot in left field this year but a lack of speed will never make him a gold glove there. Expect a September callup where Renato hopes to improve on his .133 average from his debut last year.

6. Luis Alexander Basabe OF (White Sox) - The Red Sox signed both him and his twin brother Luis Alejandro as a package. The Red Sox traded his brother to the D-backs in July of 2016 and included Luis in a trade to the White Sox with more heralded players Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech in the Chris Sale trade. Luis is expected to be the better of the twins. The tools are there for him to be a quality defensive outfielder, with the range to play center and the arm to play right. An inability to make consistent contact has prevented him from showing his offensive tools. The power is there but getting barrel of the bat on the ball is not. Down in the Carolina League Luis is hitting just .218 with a .641 OPS. If he can improve his ability to get on base his steal (15 for 19) opportunities will increase. His brother is also in High A with the D-Backs hitting .229 with a .655 OPS.

7. Anthony Santander 1B/OF (Orioles) - The Indians signed Santander in 2011. Injuries to his elbow limited his 2013 and 2014 seasons. He stayed healthy for 2016 hitting 20 homeruns while playing 128 games. The Orioles made Santander a Rule V acquisition in an attempt to spruce up their farm system. Another arm injury has prevented Anthony from making a 2017 appearance. If the Orioles can not put him on their major league roster this year because of the injury they will be forced to keep him on their major league roster in 2018 if they hope to keep him. This will slow his development for a player who did not get past High A last year. Anthony has good power but his arm issues could force a move to first base, a position the Orioles find quite crowded with Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini.

8. Samir Duenez 1B (Royals) - Samir was signed by the Royals in 2012. His first three years the Royals moved him slowly, reaching Low A in 2015. During that time he hit all of two homeruns in the three years. Last year his promotion was a little more accelerated as he hit three levels, finishing at AA. During that time he slugged 13 homeruns. This year he already has 12 in AA. His speed will limit him to first so the power will have to develop if he hopes to play there in the major leagues.

9. Miguelangel Sierra 2B (Astros) - The Astros signed Miguelangel for $1 million in 2014. Last year in the rookie league he showed some pop with 11 homeruns and a .620 slugging percentage. With Carlos Correa firmly planted at short Miguel may have to play another position if he hopes to reach the major leagues with the Astros. The tools are there for him to play short. This year the power bat has been absent with two homeruns in 19 games in short season ball with a slugging average buried at .317. Sierra is a long way away from the majors so they will keep him at short. They can always move him to another position as he gets higher in the minors or use him as trade bait to acquire a veteran to help them in a playoff race.

10. Wilkerman Garcia SS (Yankees) - The Yankees are not shy about throwing around money in the international arena. They signed Garcia for $1.35 million in 2014. Last year in rookie ball he struggled hitting .198 with a .284 slugging. He has the tools to play short but with so many ahead of him with better tools his best position could be at second. The bat is expected to be able to hit for average but not with a lot of power. This year Garcia is hitting much better in the short season Penn League (.276) but still lacking power (.303 slugging). With the amount of depth in the middle infield positions for the Yankees Wilkerman may have to be traded to see the major leagues.

Top 2016 Venezuelan prospects in the American League

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)

2017 Top Cuban Prospects - American League

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Not included in his list are any players signed after April, which include players like Luis Robert, who may have topped this list and Hector Mendoza. They will qualify for the 2018 list. Last year myworld put together a top 20 list. Seven of our top 10 were not on a major league roster. All of those players have signed now with Yulieski Gurriel the only player on a major league roster. Aledmys Diaz is the only other player on this top 20 from last year that played in the major leagues. He was rated number 16 in this top 20 list and had a nice rookie season.

1. Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Last year he was the number one rated prospect on our top 20 list. He has all the tools. Speed, power and the ability to hit for average. With all those tools it is interesting he plays second base and not shortstop. The Red Sox paid $62 million to sign him, $31.5 million bonus and a $31.5 million penalty for going over there salary cap. They traded him a year later to the White Sox as one of the players for Chris Sale. He has had some major league opportunities but struggled, striking out 12 times in 19 at bats with a .211 average. This year he is hitting .282 showing a little bit of power (.432 slugging). Don’t be surprised if the White Sox promote him after the All Star break. Only Yolmer (ex-Carlos) Sanchez stands in his way.

2. Lourdes Gurriel LF/3B (Blue Jays) - He was the number two rated prospect last year but had yet to sign with a team. He waited until he turned 23 to sign with the Blue Jays, maximizing his financial opportunities. His seven year $22 million contract appears to be a bargain when compared to Moncada. Lourdes doesn’t really have a position. Myworld thinks he will fit best in the outfield. As a shortstop and third baseman in the Cuban League he made numerous errors. His older brother Yulieski was considered an excellent fielding third baseman but is now playing first for the Astros. Lourdes started hitting in his last season in the Cuban League. Once he develops he could be a .300 hitter with 20 plus homerun pop. The Blue Jays began his career in the Florida State League but he got injured after his first game and was placed on the disabled list. He only was activated a couple days ago and in four games is hitting .267. Only one of his four hits has gone for extra bases. Lourdes could advance quickly and be ready for the major leagues by mid 2018 once he finds a position. So far Lourdes has played four games at shortstop committing seven errors for a .611 fielding percentage. That is not going to cut it.

3. Lazaro Armentares OF (Athletics) - He created a little hype with his brash personality trying to achieve a Yoan Moncada sized contract. The Athletics signed him for a relatively modest $3 million. At 17 years of age he has a lot of development in his future. In the United States he would still be playing high school. The reports are that he will hit for power and steal bases. His speed should translate to centerfield capability. Playing in the 15 and under World Cup he dominated with a .462 average. The Athletics have started him in the Dominican Summer League. He has only played in six games there but is struggling with a .167 average and 9 whiffs in 18 at bats. He has not played since June 12 so he may be back at extended spring training or injured.

4. Yandy Diaz OF/3B (Indians) - Myworld did not have him rated in our top 20 list last year and then he went out and hit .325 in AAA with a .461 slugging, winning the International League batting title. At 26 years of age he is already pretty well developed. There will be a lot of contact in his game but his power will be soft if he doesn’t learn to elevate his hits more. His defense is excellent at third but he can also play second base and the outfield, making a utility role an ideal fit for him. This year at Columbus he is hitting .318 with 28 walks to his 22 whiffs. The power is still soft (.439 slugging). The Indians gave him a major league callup and he was a bit overmatched (.203 average and .219 slugging). His main positions this year are third base and left field.

5. Andy Ibanez 2B (Rangers) - Ibanez signed for $1.6 million in 2015. Last year he was number 15 on our list. He could end up like Carlos Baerga, with a thick lower half eliminating his range at second base, meaning his bat will have to justify his staying at the position. The power is not really there to play the hot corner. Last year he did hit 13 homeruns skipping High A to move to AA. It will be tough with his skill set to usurp Rougned Odor from the second base position. This year he missed a month in the season because of injury but now healthy he is hitting .261 with a .405 slugging. Most of his game has been at second base. The tools could be there if he could master a utility role but myworld thinks he is a bit short to make it as a starter.

6. Yanio Perez OF (Rangers) - The Rangers signed him in 2016 for $1.1 million. He played for the 18 and under World Cup team in 2015, sharing the outfield with Luis Robert. There is power in his bat but his foot speed appears to destine him for a corner spot. His minor league debut in A ball this year has seemed to justify the bonus payment. He hit nine homeruns in just 49 games at Low A resulting in a promotion to High A. In nine games in the Carolina League he has yet to get an extra base hit.

7. Yordan Alvarez LF/1B (Astros) - Yordan will turn 20 in a couple days. He is another new comer, not appearing on our Top 20 list last year. The Dodgers initially signed Yordan for $2 million then traded him to the Astros for Josh Fields before even playing a game in a Dodgers minor league uniform. The Astros had him play in the Dominican Summer League where he hit .341. Yordan will hit for average. As a 17 year old he hit .351 in the Cuban Nacional Series. His big challenge is to develop the power expected for the first base position. His lack of speed makes a move to the outfield a poor alternative. He dominated at Low A hitting .357 with 10 homeruns (.670 slugging) which led to a promotion to High A yesterday. With his 33 RBIs in 32 games he has shown he can be a run producer. The Astros have been using him mostly in left field this year.

8. Guillermo Heredia OF (Mariners) - With his success in the major leagues myworld should move him up on this list on general principal. He is a plus defender with the ability to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. The big concern for my world was his bat. There is no power there. To be effective he needs to hit for a higher average. During his 45 game major league debut last year he hit .250. This year he has won the starting centerfield job for the Mariners, hitting .279 and showing enough pop for five homeruns. The power will still be short but if he can keep his average above .270 he should be effective for his defensive ability. Despite pretty decent speed he is not a stolen base threat.

9. Yulieski Gurriel 1B (Astros) - The Astros went out on a limb to sign him to a five year $47.5 million contract despite his age of 33. When he was younger scouts considered him the best player in Cuba. His main position then were third and second base. The Astros have moved him to first where his power may be a bit short. The bat will provide a lot of doubles power and his international experience should provide some leadership qualities to a young team. With A.J. Reed ready to take over the position next year Yulieski could move to a utility role, a spot currently filled by Marwin Gonzalez.

10. Norge Ruiz RHP (Athletics) - The Athletics signed Norge for $2 million in 2016. Interesting he is the only pitcher to make this list, though there will be a couple to make the National League list. Norge is not overpowering, with a fastball that sits in the high 80s to low 90s. At 5′10″ he is also not a tall pitcher making his lack of velocity an impediment for a starting role. He does throw a lot of junk with a change and slider being his best pitches. He gets hitters to hit the ball on the ground resulting in a number of double play grounders. Pitching at the lower level it is not surprising that he is dominating hitters with his breaking pitches. In four starts he has only allowed one run for a 0.47 ERA, a .141 opposition average and 14 whiffs in 19 innings.

Hot Prospects for the End of May

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Memorial Day has ended and with it the month of May. Myworld will take a look at those prospects heating up as the month draws to a close.

Jose Marmolejos 1B (Nationals) - Jose got a late start to the season but it did not take his bat long to get heated. A 5 for 6 day in which he hit his second homerun for the year and drove in five began a nine game assault on AA pitching. He got his average up to .420 but the next five games he cooled down to drop it to .385. Jose was signed by the Nationals out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. His power is probably lacking to be an every day first baseman, but last year he hit a career high 13 homeruns.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - The Orioles need to prepare for the day when J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado depart from the Orioles and they need to fill the hole at short. Ryan could be that fit. He had a three homerun day with four runs scored and three RBIs to up his tater total to 11. Ryan was a first round pick of the Orioles in 2015. Last year he hit a career high 10 homeruns for Delmarva but hit only .281. This year he is raking with a .330 average.

Max Moroff 2B (Pirates) - The Pirates waived prospect Alen Hanson and optioned Gift Ngoepe to the minor leagues. One of the players expected to be called up to replace them is Moroff, who has a career high 13 homeruns in AAA. He did have nine major league at bats earlier in the season, garnering only one hit. Max has been seeing most of his time at shortstop, but he has been playing second and third base. Strikeouts can be a problems (48 in 42 games but he does show patience at the plate with a high walk rate.

Socrates Brito CF (Diamondbacks) - The oft injured Brito is working his way back to the major leagues with a .375 average at AAA Omaha. He has gone 8 for 14 in his last three games with two doubles and two triples. The Diamondbacks would like to see Brito patrol centerfield for the Diamondbacks but he has not been able to stay healthy.

Shed Long 2B (Reds) - Shed has been ripping through the Florida State League with a .321 average. That has been fueled by a .350 average in his last 10 games that have included three three hit games. Three of his nine homeruns have been hit in his last four games. A 12th round pick of the Reds in 2013 has an opportunity to be an offensive oriented second baseman despite his 5′8″ frame.

Francisco Mejia C (Indians) - Francisco is heating up in AA, his .436 average in his last 10 games elevating his season average to .331. Francisco also has one of the strongest arms for a catcher in the minor leagues. This year he has thrown out 8 of the 20 baserunners who have attempted to steal against him. Last year he threw out 30 of 69 baserunners.

Nick Williams OF (Phillies) - Nick is sending balls out of the park. He had a three game stretch in which he sent four over the fence to give him 10 for the year. Nick has always shown batting practice power but the swings and misses have stunted his homerun production. The strikeouts are still prevalent (57 in 50 games) but the homerun totals are seven shy of his career high of 17.

Scott Kingery 2B (Phillies) - Reading tends to be a friendly park for homeruns and Williams teammate Kingery is leading the minors in homeruns with 16. The career high for the second round 2015 pick is five. It was expected that most of the power for Scott would be to the gaps but he has been rewriting that book. He also had a recent six game multiple hit hitting streak that has raised his average to .309. Power is not his only tool. Scott has also stolen 12 bases in 48 games, on his way to a 30/30 season.

Orlando Calixte LF (Giants) - Injuries to the Giants outfield has provided an opportunity for Orlando to show his power bat this season is not a fluke. Orlando was originally signed by the Royals but after six years became a minor league free agent. The Giants signed him this year and his eight homeruns is just six shy of his career high 14. Orlando has also shown some speed with 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Colton Welker 3B (Rockies) - Colton has been on this list before, but when you keep on hitting myworld feels an obligation to keep noting that. An eight game hitting streak has seen his average rise to .370, especially after the last four games when he has gone 11 for 16. Expect Colton to see a promotion to High A soon.

Tyler Marlette C (Mariners) - Four games ago Tyler had hit one homerun in 32 games. After those four games his homerun total climbed to five. He also drove in 10 runs in that four game stretch. RBIs have not been a problem for Tyler with 37 in 36 games. Tyler was the fifth round draft pick of the Mariners in 2011. His career high for homeruns has been 17.

Derek Fisher CF (Astros) - Derek is hot for the Astros with homeruns in three consecutive games, bringing his homeruns total to 13. The supplemental first round pick of the Astros has a six game hitting streak (12 for 25) that has raised his average to .335. His one down side to the season is being caught stealing 10 times in 19 attempts. The Astros outfield is not crowded with talent so if Fisher keeps on hitting he could get a call up.

Max Schrock 2B (Athletics) - The last time we saw Max he was spraying line drives for Potomac. Now he is doing that for AA Midland. A nine game hitting streak (17 for 36) has raised his average to .304. During that streak he had a two homerun game to give him five for the season, four shy of his career minor league high. Max does not have a lot of tools except for the line drives that are sprayed from his bat.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - In his 10 appearances, nine of them starts Jon has only given up runs in one of those appearances. His latest shutout start he gave up one hit in six innings, striking out six. That extends his shutout streak to 29 innings. During that time his ERA is 0.50 and the opposition is hitting .139 against him. A third round 2016 pick his best pitch is his curveball. His fastball is not overpowering, reaching 95 at its peak.

Domingo Acevedo RHP (Yankees) - The 6′7″ righthander was promoted to AA and threw two shutouts in his first two starts covering 13.2 innings. He gave up only seven hits in those two starts and struck out 14. His last outing he got smacked around a bit, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings, but he did not walk anyone. In 19 innings of AA ball Domingo has only walked two. His delivery is a lot of arms, but his fastball can cross the plate in triple digits. He also has an excellent change. The development of a breaking pitch will determine whether he spends his time in the bullpen or the starting rotation.

Jake Junis RHP (Royals) - Drafted in the 29th round in 2011 Jake has already gone above expectations with three appearances and one start in the major leagues. His latest minor league start Jake struck out 12 in seven innings, allowing just two hits in the shutout outing. With a major league ERA at 2.70 and an opposition average in AAA at .222 Jake will get another opportunity on a major league mound.

Taylor Clarke RHP (Diamondbacks) - Watch out for the young pitching down on the farm in the Diamondbacks system. Taylor is another pitcher with double digit whiffs, striking out 12 in just 6.1 innings. In ten starts Taylor has kept his ERA at 2.70 with a 17/53 walk to whiff ration in 50 innings. The opposition is hitting him at a .215 clip.

Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - The Reds paid a $4.5 million bonus to sign the Cuban. The smallish 6′0″ Cuban has a fastball that sits in the low 90s with a good curveball and developing slider and change. It has been two years since he has pitched in a competitive environment so in his nine starts he has been tagged around some. His ERA dropped below 5.00 after his last outing when he failed to give up a run in 6.1 innings. Like future team mate Raisel Iglesias, Vladimir was a reliever in Cuba but the Reds are trying to convert him as a starter.

A.J. Puk LHP (Athletics) - In his last two outings Puk has given up just one hit in 10.1 innings. After pitching five innings of no hit ball Puk followed that up with five innings of one hit ball. He struck out 15 in the two outings lowering his ERA to 3.43. Finding the plate is a bit of a challenge with 8 walks in his last two games. For the year A.J. has a 20/69 walk to whiff ratio in 44.2 innings with a .179 opposition average.

Thomas Hatch RHP (Cubs) - The third round 2016 draft pick had an impressive outing in his last start, whiffing 13 in just 5.1 innings. He did give up two runs and allowed six hits so he was not unhittable. Despite the 13 K’s Thomas finds himself with an 0-5 record with a 5.19 ERA.

Alec Hanson RHP (White Sox) - The 6′7″ righthander struck out 15 hitters in a seven inning outing in which he gave up one run. That gives him 25 whiffs in his last two starts and 67 total whiffs in 54.2 innings. Alec was drafted in the second round in 2016. His fastball lights up the radar in the high 90s but usually sits at 95 of below. Before Hanson can reach the major leagues he needs to develop more consistency with his secondary pitches.

Nick Neidert RHP (Mariners) - Nick went on to pitch six innings of no hit ball in the California League. The no hitter lasted until the ninth with Modesto eventually losing the game in the tenth. Nick struck out nine on the day and walked one. Nick keeps the ball around the plate with just 10 walks in 56.2 innings.

Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) - Tyler already has a nine inning no hitter to his resume, as well as a one hitter in just seven innings. In his last start he gave up just three hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out a career high 9. With a fastball that sends radar guns buzzing in the high 90s Tyler has struck out 72 in 69 innings with an opposition average at .177.

White Sox Sign Luis Robert

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

They had international salary cap available, i.e. were willing to pay the penalty for going over the cap (other teams were prohibited from pursuing Luis Robert because they were restricted to $300,000 maximum to sign a player). They had two Cubans on their team or in the minor leagues in Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada. They had a Spanish speaking manager in Rick Rentaria. Those were enough to convince Luis Robert to sign with the White Sox.

Plus a bonus that almost equaled that given out to Yoan Moncada that shot between $25 - 30 million. Since the White Sox exceeded their international salary cap space they will have to pay a penalty of close to $25 million, or just short of one on one. They did ease the burden a bit by making a trade with the Orioles to increase slightly their international salary cap, trading Alex Katz for two international slots totaling $750 thousand. The Orioles are always willing trade partners for international signing slots since they rarely sign foreign players. The White Sox international pool limit was $2.9 million.

Robert will begin the season in extended spring training to get some reps in. How he progresses will dictate where he begins his season. The rookie leagues are not that far off, beginning June 19. Robert has the talent to begin his career in Low A.

Prospects Raking in May

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Below are the prospects making a name for themselves in the month of May. Some of them have earned a call up to the major leagues or a promotion to the next level of the minor leagues.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Tapia had a 16 game hitting streak where he saw his batting average climb from .341 to .400. That got him a promotion to the major league club. Tapia does not hit for a lot of power but he spreads the gaps with 9 doubles and three triples during his streak. He can also move around the outfield with the arm to play right and the range to play center. Stolen bases are also in his repertoire with 8 in 10 attemepts.

Josh Ockimey 1B (Red Sox) - Josh was a fifth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014. A nine game hitting streak was recently ended where he drove in nine runs. He’s hitting .327 but his biggest contribution is his RBIs. His 31 RBIs is second in the Carolina League. The power has not been eye popping with just four homeruns, but he has a .529 slugging percentage and a .961 OPS.

Jake Gatewood 3B/1B (Brewers) - Jake was a first round pick of the Brewers in 2014. He has gotten a hit in all the games he has played in May to extend his hitting streak to 22 games. The strikeouts are a little prevalent with 39 in 34 games but his hitting streak has maintained his average at .333. His 13 doubles top the Carolina League.

Alex Jackson C (Braves) - The trade of Alex to the Braves has rejuvenated his career, or perhaps it is his return to catching. The number one pick of the Mariners in 2014 is hitting .312 with 10 homeruns in the pitcher friendly Florida State League. He is 9 for 21 in his last five games. His 10 homeruns and 30 RBIs lead the Florida State League. Alex has bounced between catching and designated hitter.

Brendan Rodgers SS (Rockies) - Raimel is not the only Rockie minor leaguer to raise his average to .400. A 10 game hitting streak in which he hit .488 moved his average from .276 to .400. Brendan has driven in 12 runs during the streak. All this production will only get him a promotion to AA despite the early season struggles of Trevor Story.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is making AAA look easy with a .352 average and six homeruns. His OPS sits at .971 and he has stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts. Despite all that and a hole at second base on the major league roster the White Sox are not calling him up. At least not right now. If he continues to assault AAA pitching they may have no choice.

Victor Caratini C (Cubs) - The Cubs are loaded at catcher. Back to back four hit games by Victor put his average at .361. If Wilson Contreras does not get out of his hitting funk Caratini will make his presence known. The defense is not as strong but the Cubs needs some offense and Victor has shown he can provide that. The second round 2013 pick of the Braves was traded to the Cubs in 2014 for Emilio Bonafacio.

Mauricio Dubon SS (Brewers) - Mauricio was drafted in the 26th round by the Red Sox but was born in Honduras. The Red Sox traded him to the Brewers as part of the Tyler Thornburg swap. A six game hitting streak (11 for 27) has raised his average to .294. Mauricio has speed stealing 30 bases in 2015 and 2016. In only 35 games this year Mauricio has stolen 18 bases in 22 attempts.

Carson Kelly C (Cardinals) - No one questions his defense. Some say his bat is a little soft. Carson is trying to change that with a 15 for 26 seven game hitting streak that has raised his average to .329. With Yadier Molina still functioning behind the plate the Cardinals can be patient with Carson. His bat is also showing a little pop with five homeruns and a .576 slugging percentage.

Ronald Acuna CF (Braves) - The 19 year old Venezuelan was recently promoted to AA and he keeps on raking. After hitting .287 with three homeruns and five triples in the Florida State League Ronald had back to back three hit games in his AA debut. He hit homeruns in each of those games and is now batting .500 after four games. Many compare his quick ascent up the minor league ladder to Andrew Jones.

Travis Demeritte 2B (Braves) - The bat is starting to come to life for Travis. After slugging 28 homeruns last year Travis had just one in his first 28 games of 2017. He has now slugged three in his last five games and a 10 for 23 six game hitting streak has elevated his average to .274. The whiffs are still there with 33 in 33 games.

James Nelson 3B (Marlins) - The 2016 15th round pick is raising eyebrows in the South Atlantic League with his .357 average. A recent 10 game hitting streak (19 for 41) has seen his average climb 150 points. The production is still lacking with only seven RBIs.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike may not solve the Tigers center field problem from a defensive perspective, but there is some juice in his bat. He has hit three homeruns in his last two games to give him five for the year. A four game multiple hit streak (11 for 18) has raised his average to .331. Last year Mike slugged 18 homeruns between High A and AA. The Tigers could be prepared to sacrifice some defense for offense if they continue their struggles in centerfield.

Rhys Hoskins 1B and Dylan Cozens RF (Phillies) - The duo have taken their homerun show to the International League where their 8 homeruns are tied with two others for the league lead. Last year the duo were 1-2 in the Eastern League in homeruns. Rhys is having the more consistent year with a .339 average. His 26 RBIs tie him for the league lead. Dylan is struggling a little bit, but a three game hitting streak of 8 for 15 has raised his average to .221. He has hit three homeruns and driven in five during that streak.

Jorge Mateo SS (Yankees) - Jorge has not been heard from in awhile, with his batting average slumming around the low .200 range. This is his third year in A ball and he would like to get promoted before he throws another temper tantrum. Last night could be the impetus to that after a 4 for 6 day in which he hit his first two homeruns. The whiffs need to be reduced with 39 in just 35 games but he has stolen 15 bases in 17 attempts despite his struggles to get on base (.290 OBA).

Cole Tucker SS (Pirates) - The 2014 first round pick had a day with two homeruns, a triple and a double in a 4 for 6 performance in which he drove in seven. Cole was just a single short of the cycle. A three game multiple hit streak (8 for 16) has raised his average to .285. The seven RBIs in one game almost equaled the 9 he drove in for his first 33 games.

Jack Flaherty RHP (Cardinals) - The 2014 first round pick is dominating AA with a 0.99 ERA in seven starts. The two runs he gave up in his last start is the most he has given up this year. The start previous to that he struck out 12. The opposition is hitting him at .185 and he has only walked 6 in 45 innings for a 0.79 WHIP. Expect a promotion to AAA or the Cardinals soon.

Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) - Mitch has not given up a run in his last three starts covering 18.2 innings. He was taken out of his last start after just 4.2 innings when a bee stung him. The bee may have been confused by the black and yellow uniforms the Marauders wear. For the year Mitch has an ERA of 2.54 with the opposition hitting him at .196.

Ronald Herrera RHP (Yankees) - Ronald gave up his first run after three starts, a span covering 18.1 innings. That puts his ERA at 0.49. The Venezuelan stands only 5′11″ and does not put up the strikeout numbers but the soft contact is evident by the .188 opposition average. This is his third year in AA for the 22 year old.

Luke Weaver RHP (Cardinals) - Another Cardinal heard from. Luke was put on the disabled list after his first two inning start. Returning in May Luke has not given up a run in 13 innings to extend his 2017 scoreless streak to 15 innings. He has yet to walk a batter and the opposition is hitting just .167 against him. If Luke can show he is healthy it could result in a quick promotion to the major leagues.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - The third round 2016 pick only saw one appearance last year. This year in six appearances and five starts he has only given up runs in one of those appearances. His ERA sits at 0.86 and the opposition is hitting him at a .146 clip. He has 40 whiffs in 31.1 innings.

Logan Shore RHP (Athletics) - Logan tossed five innings of no hit ball in his last start. The 2016 second round pick has now lowered his ERA to 2.37. The five inning outing was the longest of the year.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh had his second double digit strikeout game with 10 in five innings. His five walks continue to show his wild side with a 23/52 walk to whiff ratio in 37 innings. This has kept his AAA ERA at 3.62 and given pause by the Royals brass for a promotion. Almost half of his 15 runs were given up in his opening start.

Hot Prospects to Start May

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Many ballparks are promoting Star War giveaways on the fourth of May. These are the players who have the force with them as April turns to May.

Yandy Diaz 3B (Indians) - The first two days of May Yandy drove in 8 runs. He finished the first three days of May 6 for 11 to raise his average to the magical .400 spot. Yandy began the season with the Indians. With a 10/2 walk to whiff ratio he deserves another call back for his bat alone, though a .236 average and 5 for 14 walk to whiff ratio shows major league pitching is a little tougher than AAA. The 25 year old Cuban has been playing some outfield as well as third base.

A.J. Reed 1B (Astros) - Marwin Gonzalez has five more homeruns than A.J. and Gurriel is over .300 so there will not be a lot of first base action for Reed. He did have a 10 for 15 streak that raised his average to .306. He did not hit any homeruns during that streak and has only four for the year so the Astros would like to see more power from his bat before they promote him ahead of Gonzalez or Gurriel.

Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) - Red Sox third baseman have made 12 errors on the year, the most in the league. Rafael has only made three. A five for five day with two homeruns at AA shows a pretty good bat. With a .333 average and a .590 slugging percentage the Red Sox will only show so much patience before promoting him. They will wait for Pablo Sandoval to come back from the disabled list to see if he can perform better. They can always try to null and void the Travis Shaw trade that got them Tyler Thornburg.

Zack Granite CF (Twins) - The Marlins have got Stone but the Twins have got Granite. Myworld will take Granite. Zack started the year on the disabled list but two three hit games in his first five has put his average at .368. Only two of his seven hits have gone for extra bases. Power will be lacking but steals should be prevalent, with three already in his first five games.

Aneury Tavarez RF (Red Sox) - Aneury was a Rule V pick of the O’s. He failed to make the major league roster and the O’s returned Aneury to the Red Sox. After tearing up AA with a .377 average the Red Sox promoted him to AAA. In his first two games he was 5 for 8 with two homeruns for a .625 average. The Red Sox do not have a lot of room in their outfield, but if his bat keeps stinging they will find a spot for him.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Raimel currently has a 11 game hitting streak. In his first 20 minor league games he has failed to get a hit in only one of them. The Rockies outfield is also a bit crowded, especially with Ian Desmond playing some outfield. Raimel had a streak of seven straight games in which he got at least two or more hits. He is currently hitting .376 with seven stolen bases in 9 attempts.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is in the stretches of a 10 game hitting streak that has raised his average to .340. The stolen bases are absent, with just six in 8 attempts but he has shown some pop with five homeruns and a .536 slugging average. Myworld doesn’t expect him to be the in minors for too long, especially with no one blocking him at second base.

Patrick Mazeika C (Mets) - An eighth round player to watch. Patrick hit .354 after being drafted in 2015, leading the Appalachian League in doubles with 27. The 2017 season is seeing some of the same with a recent 8 game hitting streak (14 for 28) raising his average to .361. With a .602 slugging percentage in the Florida State League this could be a player to watch.

Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - Despite Marcus Semian’s injury the Athletics have kept Franklin in AAA where he is raking with a .364 average. The strikeouts are high with 34 in 25 games but the need is there.

Franchy Cordero CF (Padres) - Franchy had the force with him on May 4 with a 5 for 5 day raising his average to .253. He drove in four runs on the fourth and has four triples, four homeruns and four stolen bases on the year.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike also had a 5 for 5 game, but that was the day before the fourth. That raised his average to .310. He has been playing CF in the 24 AA games he has played, giving the Tigers another option for the black hole on their major league club. Mike is better suited for right, but so are many of the other Tiger outfielders. They might as well put someone there with a bat.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh got his second 12 K performance on the first day of May. The whiffs are coming with 38 in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting just .188 against him. Too many walks (16) has left his ERA at 3.81.

Logan Allen LHP (Padres) - Logan is one of the obscure players the Padres got for Craig Kimbrel. In five starts for the Padres at Low A Logan has a 1.50 ERA with 34 whiffs in 24 innings and just a .146 opposition average. Manuel Margot is already making his presence felt on the major league roster but Logan could be there in a few years.