Archive for the 'Tigers' Category

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 - Tigers

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Overview - The team wants to get leaner and younger. They have been trying to trade some of their large contracts but are not finding any interest. Last year the Tigers finished eight games back of the Indians and just missed making it as a wild card team. They are a year older now and have not done much to improve their team. The younger players will benefit from that year but the Tigers roster is dotted with too many 33 plus players. The sustained health of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and one more year of continued excellence from Justin Verlander is needed for this team to compete with the Indians. They have subtracted Cameron Maybin from the roster and have yet to fill that hole in centerfield.

Strengths - Even at 40 years of age Miguel Cabrera will continue to hit. At 34 he hit .316 with 38 homeruns. The bat remains productive but the glove is beginning to slide. Victor Martinez mainly slots in the DH position but he is the primary back up for Cabrera at first base. His glove is worse but he can still swing the bat at 38 years of age. The corner outfielders in Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez have the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. Upton remains a mystery, always producing less than expected, but 31 homeruns is not something to sneeze at. J.D. Martinez was injured for a good part of the year so having him healthy for the whole season is a plus. Myworld is not enamored with his defense but we’ve read some reports stating he is a good defensive outfielder. That is not what we have seen. Ian Kinsler is another player getting long in the tooth, but at 34 he was able to slug 28 homeruns. The Tigers have no speed in their lineup so they rely on Ian to get on base from his leadoff spot. The rotation has an opportunity to be good but it must rely on the continued excellence from Justin Verlander. no sophomore slump from Michael Fulmer and a return to excellence by Jordan Zimmerman. The last two spots will be determined in spring training.

Weakness - Their defense is not going to be very good. Centerfield is probably their biggest hole. They recently acquired Mike Mahtook who can handle the position defensively. He has yet to prove his worth with the bat. If he doesn’t hit the Tigers may have to go with Tyler Collins or JaCoby Jones. Neither is noted for their blazing speed to cover ground in centerfield and they both lack proven bats. The bullpen has always been a problem. Last year Francisco Rodriguez fixed the hole with his 44 saves. He doesn’t have much of a fastball anymore and we’d be surprised if he can replicate those results. If he falters the Tigers could turn to hard throwing youngsters Bruce Rondon, who achieved some success in limited opportunities, or rookie Joe Jimenez who combined for 28 saves at three levels of the minor leagues. More than likely they will turn to a more experienced arm in Justin Wilson. There is no proven closer behind Rodriguez should he struggle.

Impact Prospects - Joe Jimenez will probably begin the season in AAA but expect him to be called up early to reinforce the bullpen. He struck out more than 12 hitters per nine innings and limited the opposition to an average of less than .200 at three different levels of the minor leagues. Dixon Machado has been hanging around for a long time. His bat is suspect but his glove is smooth. The Tigers could give him an opportunity as a utility player this year. The outfield is crowded with corner outfielders and some of the best offensive players in the minor league system are corner outfielders. Steven Moya had a .790 OPS in a brief major league trial but he is poor defensively and has trouble making contact. Mike Gerber has the better glove but lacks the power you would like to see in a corner outfielder. He also lacks the rangeto cover the ground needed from a centerfielder. Christin Stewart is probably still a year away but he hit 30 homeruns last year. Like Moya his defense is suspect with an arm that will limit him to left field. He does draw a lot of walks. Jacoby Jones is one of the centerfield candidates, but he can also play third base. His defensive tools for center are probably lacking and he failed to hit last year but he could find a role.

Prospects to Watch - Matt Manning was their first round 2016 pick. He has a good mid-90s fastball and 6′6″ height that could make him an ace in a couple years. Beau Burrows was their first round pick in 2015. He is not as tall as Manning and his fastball is a tick less in velocity but his secondary pitches are a little more developed. He should start the season in High A and could be ready in 2018. Myworld is fascinated how a catcher at 6′6″ will handle his position. Grayson Grenier has shown a decent bat but his defense at this time is a work in progress. He could start the season in AAA and if injuries ravage the Tigers catching staff he could be called up for the 2017 season. Myworld is not too impressed with the quality of the Tigers minor league system.

Expected Finish - The Tigers will again finish in second and miss the wild card festivities. They will win less games than the year before and could have a fire sale at the trade deadline if they fall too far back from playoff consideration. Myworld feels they will be in that purgatory of too close to sell but too far to have any reasonable chance of contention.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch AL Central

Wednesday, January 4th, 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. Today myworld takes a look at the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Breakout Prospects - (Yoan Moncada 2B, Lucas Giolito RHP, Reynaldo Lopez RHP) - The White Sox are rebuilding which creates a process where prospects can make an immediate impact. Yoan struggled in his first exposure to major league pitching. The Red Sox used him at an unfamiliar position, third base because second base was occupied by Dustin Pedroia. The White Sox have no such blockage at second base. A good spring could get him on the roster when the season begins or the White Sox could save some service time by giving him more time in AAA. Yoan has power and speed that will have an impact on a major league offense. Reynaldo Lopez performed better at the major league roster last year than Lucas Giolito. The White Sox acquired both in the Adam Eaton trade. Giolito was considered the best pitching prospect in baseball last year as Moncada was considered the best offensive prospect, but Giolito has struggled when exposed to major league hitters. His fastball can hit the high 90s with his 6′6″ frame bearing down on hitters and his curve is above average. His command was non-existent with the Nationals resulting in a abhorrent 12/11 walk to whiff ratio in 21.2 innings. Reynaldo Lopez does not have as much upside and at 6′0′ does not have the size of Giolito, but he performed better against major league hitters. His mid-90s fastball had more swing and miss qualities than Giolito. The curve is of less quality and he struggled with his command as well when facing major league hitters (22 walks in 44 innings).

Prospects to Watch (Alec Hansen RHP) - It will be interesting to see if the 6′7″ righthander can replicate his 2016 performance. Alec was virtually unhittable with rookie league hitters batting below .100 against him. When promoted to a full season league he got tattooed a bit more in his two starts, giving up 11 hits in 11 innings. His fastball sits in the mid-90s but can tick close to three digits with an above average slider to mix in to confuse hitters. His season did end early because of arm soreness. With Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez also set for future rotation status the White Sox pitching looks solid for years to come despite the absence of Sale and soon to be disappearing Quintana..

Cleveland Indians

Breakout Prospect (Greg Allen CF) - Myworld is not enamored with the centerfield capabilities of Bradley Zimmer. He is probably best suited for right. Tyler Naquin also is not a centerfielder. This should provide an opening for Allen by mid-season. He has game breaking speed which allows him to cover a lot of ground. The fact that he is also an Aztec colors my bias. The power is lacking, but he has the plate discipline to take a walk (77/78 walk to whiff ratio) to stir the drink for the power hitters. He will probably start the season in AA with a major league call up expected once it is realized there is too much green for Naquin and Zimmer to cover in centerfield.

Prospect to Watch (Tristan McKenzie RHP) - Myworld was awed watching the 6′5″ lanky right hander with the prey mantis limbs have his way against Rookie League hitters. He was not quite so dominant once promoted to Low A, but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .195 clip. He also had a 22/104 walk to whiff ratio with his low 90s fastball which should continue to grow as he develops physically. He already has developed two above average pitches in the curveball and change. It will be interesting to see how his fastball velocity increases as he matures and whether that will be enough to continue has mastery over higher level minor leaguers.

Detroit Tigers

Breakout Prospect (Joe Jimenez RHP) - The Tigers are always looking for a closer. They thought they had one with a triple digit fastball in the name of Bruce Rondon, but he has not provided the answer. Now they are looking at the mid-90s fastball of Joe Jimenez, who saved 30 games at three different levels last year. Joe is built for the bullpen, with only two pitches in a fastball and slider. The start of the season will see him in a setup role, but if the Tigers continue their search for a closer the Puerto Rican righthander will be given an opportunity.

Prospect to Watch (Grayson Greiner C) - Not because he is a great prospect, but because his 6′6 inch frame is a bit unusual for a catcher. Despite his size he is not noted for his power. The bat has some potential, but he will sit around .250 with homerun numbers in the teens. His arm is solid and whether his tall frame can weather the assaults a hot summer day can bring upon a catcher will be the real test. Matt Wieters made it as a tall catcher, but the list is small.

Kansas City Royals

Breakout Prospect (Alec Mill RHP) - He has made his comeback from Tommy John surgery to have some success in the minors. The Royals are a little short on pitching from a depth perspective. It seems natural for the righthander with the low to mid-90s fastball to be one of the first to be called upon to help the rotation. Last year he dominated in AA but struggled a bit when promoted to AAA. In 9 less innings he allowed six more balls to leave the park which ballooned his ERA by two runs. Alec has an assortment of quality pitches to bode well to achieve success at the major league level.

Prospect to Watch (Meibrys Vilaria C) - The Colombian with the .376 average was exceeded by no one. He also complemented that with 28 doubles and a 1.042 OPS. The big question with Meibrys is whether his defense tools can develop enough to be used as a catcher. He was a shortstop when signed by the Royals in 2013 so his arm is strong. Whether he can block, frame and call pitches will be decided at the higher levels. If he doesn’t make it as a catcher the Royals will find another spot for him if he continues to hit over .350.

Minnesota Twins

Breakout Prospect (Stephen Gonsales LHP) - Last year Gonsalves dominated, with his ERA improving from 2.33 to 1.82 after a promotion from High A to AA. The opposition struggled to make barrel of the bat contact on the ball, hitting him at a .179 clip. He stands 6′5″ with a fastball that can buzz to the plate in the low 90s. His change may be his best pitch making the fastball appear to have more velocity. The Twins will probably start him in AA but their rotation is full of holes. Gonsalves is their most advanced pitcher in the minors who has achieved success at each level he has pitched. Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2013 he has yet to have an ERA higher than 3.19 and his career opposition average is .204.

Prospect to Watch (Aaron Whitfield OF) - The Orioles drafted a softball player out of New Zealand and tried to make a baseball player out of him but they had little success. Aaron Whitfield was a national team level softball player when the Twins drafted him. He has had a better transition to the game of baseball than Pita Rona hitting .298 last year at the Rookie Level. He has also shown some pop in the Australian Baseball League where he hit three homeruns in a double header last weekend, improving his average to .330 and his OPS to .933. The big test is when he gets promoted to full season ball and the adjustments pitchers make to him after they have seen him hit a number of times.

Rosters for Tigers and Blue Jays Based on Domestic Drafts

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

The two cities are across the border from another. After visiting Toronto I was almost denied entry coming through Customs in Detroit because I had difficulty stating the pledge of allegiance. Maybe they thought I was a draft dodger. This was years ago, before passports were required for all reentries.

The Blue Jays have done a good job building a slew of starting pitchers, with the 2010 draft alone capable of filling 60 percent of most teams rotation. The Tigers had some good early years and Justin Verlander was drafted in the first round of 2004 so he doesn’t count on this roster, since we decided only to go back to 2005. That makes the rotation very short, though it is ironic they have two starting pitchers in their rotation now that were drafted by the Blue Jays.

Detroit Tigers

2005 - Cameron Maybin (1) OF, Matt Joyce (12) OF, Burke Badenhop (19) RHP, Alex Avila (34 - DNS) C, Zach Putnam (38 - DNS) RHP
2006 - Andrew Miller (1) LHP, Casey Fien (20) RHP, Kevin Chapman (42 - DNS) LHP
2007 - Rick Porcello (1) RHP, Danny Worth (2) UTL, Charlie Furbush (4) LHP, D.J. LeMahieu (41 - DNS) 2B
2008 - Alex Avila (5) C, Ryan Lollis (30 - DNS) OF
2009 - Jacob Turner (1) RHP, Giovanni Soto (21) LHP
2010 - Nick Castellanos (1) 3B, Drew Smyly (2) LHP, Rob Brantley (3) C, Bryan Holaday (6) C, Kyle Ryan (12) RHP
2011 - James McCann (2) C, Tyler Collins (6) OF, Curt Casalli (10) C, Chad Smith (17) RHP
2012 - Jake Thompson (2) RHP, Drew VerHagen (4) RHP, Devon Travis (13) 2B
2013 - Corey Knebel (1) RHP, Buck Farmer (5) RHP, Joe Mantiply (27) LHP
2014 - Mike Gerber (15) OF

Roster

C - James McCann, Alex Avila, Curt Casali, Bryan Holaday, Rob Brantly
1B - Danny Worth
2B - D.J. LeMahieu, Devon Travis
3B - Nick Castellanos
SS - no one
OF - Cameron Maybin, Matt Joyce, Ryan Lollis, Tyler Collins, Mike Gerber
SP - Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly, Jake Thompson, Jacob Turner
RP - Burke Badenhop, Zach Putnam, Andrew Miller, Casey Fien, Kevin Chapman, Charlie Furbush, Giovanni Soto, Kyle Ryan, Chad Smith, Drew VerHagen, Corey Knebel, Buck Farmer, Joe Mantiply

Toronto Blue Jays

2005 - Ricky Romero - (1) LHP, Brett Wallace (42 - DNS) 1B
2006 - Travis Sanders (1) OF, Cole Figueroa (9 - DNS) SS, Jonathan Diaz (12) SS, Brad Mills (22 - DNS) LHP
2007 - J.P. Arencibia (1) C, Brett Cecil (1) LHP, Brad Mills (4) LHP, Mike Rzepczynski (5) LHP
2008 - Eric Thames (7) 1B, A.J. Jimenez (9) C, Danny Farquhar (10) RHP, Dallas Beeler (37 - DNS) RHP
2009 - Chad Jenkins (1) RHP, James Paxton (1 - DNS) LHP), Jake Marisnick (3) OF, Ryan Goins (4) 2B, Ryan Schimpf (5) 2B, Aaron Loup (9) LHP, Yan Gomes (10) C, Drew Hutchinson (15) RHP, Daniel Webb (18) RHP
2010 - Aaron Sanchez (1) RHP, Noah Syndegaard (1) RHP, Justin Nicolino (2) LHP, Sam Dyson (4) RHP, Sean Nolin (6) LHP, Dalton Pompey (16) OF, Kris Bryant (18 - DNS) 3B
2011 - Joe Musgrove (1) RHP, Daniel Norris (2) LHP, Anthony DeSclafani (6) RHP, Luke Weaver (19 - DNS) RHP, Aaron Nola (22 - DNS) RHP, David Rollins (24) LHP, Kevin Pillar (32) OF
2012 - Marcus Stroman
2013 - Matt Boyd (6) LHP, Kendall Graveman (8) RHP

Roster

C - Yan Gomes, J.P. Arencibia, A.J. Jimenez
1B - Eric Thames, Brett Wallace
2B - Ryan Schmpf, Ryan Goins
3B - Kris Bryant
SS - Jonathan Diaz, Cole Figueroa
Of - Kevin Pillar, Jake Marisnick, Travis Snider, Dalton Pompey
SP - Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, James Paxton, Justin Nicolino, Daniel Norris, Marcus Stroman, Matt Boyd
RP - Ricky Romero, Brad Mills, Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepczynski, Danny Farquhar, Dallas Beeler, Chad Jenkins, Aaron Loup, Drew Hutchinson, Daniel Webb, Sam Dyson, Sean Nolin, Joe Musgrove, Anthony Desclafani, Luke Weaver, Aaron Nola, David Rollins, Kendall, Graveman

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.

AL Central Predictions and Looking Forward

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

It appears myworld got this division right, except for picking the Royals to finish second. The Indians superior pitching has paid off. Below are the teams current standings with myworld’s prediction in parenthesis. We have also listed the five top prospects, excluding anyone currently at the major league level who we feel will not be considered a prospect next year.

Cleveland Indians (1) - The pitching has been solid even with the step backward from Corey Kluber, now the third best starter on this team. They need to get Mickey Brantley back in the outfield picture. Tyler Naquin has been has been filling one of the outfield positions. Francisco Lindor has proved that last year was not a fluke. A bullpen meltdown could prevent them from holding this lead and acquiring a catcher for the stretch run is on the priority list.

The Indians probably have the strongest prospect system in the Central and could use some of that surplus to fill the holes at catcher or in the outfield. 1) Clint Frazier should see the Indians outfield next year. He shows a good mix of power and average with the defensive chops to play centerfield. 2) Bradley Zimmer is said to be a better centerfielder than Frazier, but from what we’ve seen we like Frazier there. Zimmer is probably a less consistent hitter than Frazier but he has a nice combination of power and speed. 3) Bobby Bradley is a slugging first baseman with a lot of swing and miss to his game. His lack of speed leaves him as a first base or DH candidate only. 4) Tristan McKenzie is a stick figure who can throw a fastball in the mid-90s. Imagine what he can do once he fills out. An impressive 0.61 ERA after 8 starts in the rookie league. 5) Francisco Mejia has a 40 game hitting streak and a .347 average. His arm is a rocket that will make runners think twice before stealing a base.

Detroit Tigers (4) - Who would have thought Michael Fulmer would be the ace of this staff? Justin Verlander is having a better year than last year but he is still short of his Cy Young stuff. The power bats of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and the emergence of Nick Castellanos gives them one of the best offenses in this division. As the season winds down the Tigers would like to see more from Justin Upton and get back a healthy J.D. Martinez. They seem to finally have found a closer in Francisco Rodriguez, something they have been missing in their other playoff runs.

The Tigers have a veteran lineup that makes it difficult for prospects to crack. 1) Christin Stewart has slugged his way to prospect status, bashing homers in the Florida State League. His defense will limit him to left field and he will strike out a lot. 2) Joe Jimenez does not throw as hard as Bruce Rondon but he may end up a better closer. He has 23 saves and a 1.17 ERA at three minor league levels. 3) Jacoby Jones was acquired from the Pirates and was suspended for a drug of abuse. He has a lot of making up to do. If his offense does not come around he could be a solid utility player. 4) Matt Manning was a first round pick, throws in the high 90s and is 6′6″. We’ll give him some creds for that. 5) Derek Hill will be a speed guy at the top of the order, patrolling centerfield. He seems to have resurrected his prospect status with a solid year.

Chicago White Sox (3) - Their pitching almost rivaled the Indians but Carlos Rodon is still inconsistent and now needs to get healthy. Jose Abreu has not matched his rookie year and Todd Frazier may be hitting for power but his average is way down. It is hard to conceive that at one time in his career David Robertson was to be the replacement for Mariano Rivera as the Yankees closer. It appears the White Sox are selling so a drop in the standings is likely.

The farm system is ugly. Myworld had a hard time finding five players to get excited about. The 2016 draft crop dominates this list. 1) Zack Collins was criticized for his poor defense behind the plate. Some say he may have to move to first. He has the power bat to survive at the position but the White Sox will give him a chance behind the plate. 2) Zach Burdi was another first round pick who has a fastball that hits triple digits. Coming out of the bullpen he could be a fast riser. 3) Adam Engel has impact speed that can create chaos from the leadoff spot. He still needs to do a better job of getting on base. 4) Alec Hanson is another 2016 pick, a second rounder who carries a mid to high 90s fastball. Command was said to be an issue but in six starts he has only walked six hitters with a .119 opposition average. 5) Trey Michalczewski is having trouble making contact this year resulting in a lower than expected average.

Kansas City Royals (2) - We were a little more optimistic about the Royals but an end of season injury to Mike Moustakas and a down year from free agent signee Alex Gordon has hurt the offense. The starting rotation lacks an ace and the bullpen does not have the same firepower it had in their first World Series run. Ian Kennedy has been a big disappointment after signing a multi year contract. The Royals may be in sell mode and Kennedy would be tops on the list.

Another weak farm system that has been decimated by trades to fulfill playoff ambitions. 1) Hunter Dozier has a power bat but Cheslor Cuthbert appears to have this position covered after the Mike Moustakas free agent departure. Dozier lacks the speed to be a rangy outfielder but it may be the best way to get his bat in the lineup. 2) Jorge Bonafacio has finally discovered his power. It won’t take him long to fill one of the Royals outfield positions. 3) Alec Mills had some dominant starts in AA. He has struggled a bit in AAA but a good pitcher’s frame and solid fastball will get him to the major leagues next year. 4) Brooks Pounders is a big boy who throws hard. His best bet may be to fill the closer role. He puts up video game numbers when pitching out of the pen. 5) Ashe Russell is a first round pick from last year with a explosive fastball slider combination. He needs to develop a third pitch to remain in the rotation.

Minnesota Twins (5) - The Twins are having such a disappointing year they fired Terry Ryan, who came out of retirement to try to resurrect the team. He had built up the roster to many playoff appearances years ago but the magic did not return in his second stint. Korean free agent signee Byung Ho Park struggled making contact leading to a demotion to the minors. Miguel Sano has not progressed from his rookie year and his outfield defense was poor forcing a move to DH/first base. The starting rotation lacks an ace and even a number two starter, though Ervin Santana, the only starter with an ERA below 4 can mime one on occasion.

1) Jose Berrios was used in the starting rotation but found major league hitters a bit of a challenge. He will be back next year. 2) Nick Gordon, the son of Flash Tom Gordon and half brother of Marlin Dee Gordon will try to stick at shortstop. He does not have the speed of Dee but his defensive tools should allow him to play the positiont. 3) Tyler Jay was a reliever in college but the Twins are using his arm in the rotation because he has four average to above average pitches. 4) J.T. Chargois could be the Twins future closer with his three digit fastball. 5) Stephen Gonsalves fastball is not overpowering but a plus changeup gives it more giddy yup.

Five Games, Five Days, Five Parks - Day Four Tyler Tater Only Run in Railriders Victory

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

The pitchers dominated in the game tonight. Chad Green of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders threw 95 mile per hour heat tacking up swings and misses to the tune of nine strikeouts in seven innings. His fastball lost a tick or two in the later innings but the only hits he gave up were the two singles to Tyler Collins in the first and third innings. Tyler Austin, whose prospect status has disappeared provided the only run of the game when his blast bounced onto the walkway in left field that straddles the bullpen area, taking one hop and hitting the scoreboard. It was all the Railriders needed in their 1-0 win over the Toledo Mudhens.

Lefty Chad Bell pitched well for the Mudhens. He didn’t allow a run in his six innings of work, giving up just three hits. Preston Guillmet served up the Austin homerun to take the loss.

Logan Kensing faced three Railriders in the eighth inning and struck all three hitters out. The Railriders rallied against Diego Moreno with a walk and single putting runners on first and third with only one out. Dixon Machado hit the ball hard but right at the third baseman, who easily turned two to end the threat. Gonor Mullee closed out the game for the Railriders, retiring the side in order, the last two on whiffs.

Scranton Facts

There is not a city named Scranton Wilkes-Barre. The name is a combination of two city names located close to each other, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Scranton is the larger city, the sixth largest in Pennsylvania.

Scranton could be the most powerful city in the world. Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States was born in Scranton and Hilary Clinton spent her childhood here, with her father buried in Scranton. Don’t know if the two ever crossed paths while living in Scranton.

Scranton was built on iron and steel. When that production moved overseas the city stopped growing. In 1962 a retailer named Thrif D Discount Center opened in Scranton. This was the beginning of the Rite-Aid drugstore chain.

Wilkes-Barre

This is the 13th largest city in Pennsylvania. It was built on coal. When coal was replaced as an energy source the city downsized with it.

There is no person that catches my eye that was born in Wilkes-Barre. It is the birthplace of Planters Peanuts Co.

Legend has it that Babe Ruth hit one of the longest homeruns ever in an exhibition game here. It was measured at 650 feet. It was witnessed that the ball was still rising as it cleared the 400 foot fence. Don’t know if they measured it where it stopped or where it landed.

Game and Stadium Notes: The ballpark does not have a lot of personality to it. PNC was built in 2013 so it is a new park. History can build personality, but it doesn’t appear they wanted to bring any of the history of the old park to the new park. PNC has all the bells and whistles of a modern park, with a nice scoreboard, a kids fun zone and a couple bar areas in the outfield where the adults can spend money on expensive alcoholic beverages. There are no statues of great players or plaques recognizing the achievements of great players, at least what I could find…The food choices are not as varied as Reading but they have nachos and tacos, pannini sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers, Texas style barbecue in right field and chicken tenders. Myworld tried the pierogis, a staple in Pennsylvania. We’ve had better in Pittsburgh at the Pirates park…It is best to buy tickets on the third base side. You are looking into the sun for the first three innings on the first base side…In the fourth inning they have a legend’s race with Thurman Munson, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Billy Martin. Joe won the race tonight. Billy Martin never wins…Streamed along the right field fence PNC has an International League scoreboard in addition to a major league scoreboard…The town of Hazelton, which is as far from Scranton as Wilkes-Barre, likes to point out that Joe Maddon, the manager of the Cubs was born in Hazelton…There is a walk ramp that passes the bullpen area in left field. Tyler Austin hit a homerun to score the only run of the game tonight. The ball landed on the ramp passing the bullpen, bounced up and hit the scoreboard…The stadium has a nice backdrop with the trees and the hill. The restaurant Non’Nos sits atop the hill looking down at the ballpark…Mark Teixeira made a rehab start in the game at the DH spot. He singled his first time up, grounded out and walked…Aaron Judge seems to have trouble making contact at pitches thrown near the knees. At 6′8″ he has a large strike zone. His last two at bats he swung and missed at three pitches travelling near the knees…Chad Green had a lot of swings and misses to his 95 mile per hour fastball. The Yankees briefly called him up and he struggled in two appearances. The Yankees acquired Green from the Tigers in the Justin Wilson trade…Jacoby Jones has trouble making contact on balls with a break. He struck out in three of his four at bats. Anthony Gose struck out all three times he batted. After Diego Moreno had thrown six straight balls to start his appearance Gose had a check swing strike on a pitch that appeared to be out of the strike zone. Two more pitches and he was a strikeout victim for the third time. If he continues to have at bats like that myworld would predict his return to the major leagues is doubtful…The Railriders shift against Dean Green paid off when Green lined one to the shortstop who was playing on the first base side of the base…Nick Swisher does not have a lot of speed to be playing outfield. Tonight he was playing right field and Judge was playing left.

AL Central Review of Number One Picks

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

The number one picks selected by the teams in the Central have had much more impact for their teams than the AL East. Perhaps that is why the AL East is no longer the dominant conference in the American League.

Chicago White Sox

2015 - Carson Fulmer (RHP) - Fulmer is having a little bit of a struggle after being promoted to AA to start the 2016 season (5.44 ERA). Command is a big issue with 36 walks in 52 innings. Based on these results he will not rise as fast as two other first round picks, Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon. His fastball hits the mid-90s consistently and he has a power curve, but developing a third pitch has been a challenge. Expect him to see a full season in AA.

2014 - Carlos Rodon (LHP) - Carlos has a devastating slider to go with a hard fastball. He is taking his lumps in the major leagues but eventually he will settle as a number two starter behind Chris Sale.

2013 - Tim Anderson (SS) - Jimmy Rollins is temporarily holding the shortstop position for Tim. The White Sox are in a pennant race, not the best time to debut a rookie shortstop, but with a .302 average in AAA that is better than what they are getting from Jimmy. The only down side is the 8/58 walk to whiff ratio which could lead to a low OBA.

2012 - Courtney Hawkins (OF) - He has had a roller coaster minor league career, hitting .178 in 2013 but with 19 homeruns. His strikeouts come in bunches so expect an average in the low .220s. Defensively he will not win any gold gloves so unless he is contributing offensively he will have a limited major league role.

2011 - No pick

2010 - Chris Sale (LHP) - He may have been slight of build but that has not prevented him from becoming the ace of the staff. There was a lot of early discussion about moving him to the bullpen because of durability concerns, but that is no longer an issue.

Cleveland Indians

2015 - Brady Aiken LHP - The Astros made him the first pick in the 2014 draft, had some concerns with his arm and tried to convince him to sign a lower valued contract. The Astros failed to sign him and Aiken tried to pitch in an Independent League game but left after his first start and had Tommy John surgery shortly after that. He dropped to the 17th player selected and signed for $2.5 million, half of what the Astros had offered him last year in their revised contract. The 2016 season will be a rehab year for Aiken to recover the velocity on his fastball and the break on his curve. He has yet to make an appearance this year and probably won’t until sometime near the end of the season when the rookie leagues begin.

2014 - Bradley Zimmer (OF) - The younger brother of Kyle Zimmer who was drafted in the first round by the Royals in 2012. Bradley is the centerfielder of the future for the Indians, though myworld was not impressed with his defense in the one game we saw him play. He has a power bat and an arm that could shift to right if centerfield does not pan out. The 2016 season has been plagued by whiffs resulting in a .225 average, though more than half his hits have gone for extra bases. The power and speed are there to produce a 20/20 player.

Justus Sheffield (LHP) - A bonus pick for the Orioles signing Ubaldo Jimenez. The Indians will take that trade anytime. Not a tall pitcher at 5′10″ but he has some lefthanded heat. Pitching well in the Carolina League (3.10 ERA) but at 20 years of age the Indians will be patient with him.

2013 - Clint Frazier OF - Another option for centerfield, though his power bat fits better in right. He lacks the speed of Zimmer so his range would be limited. A good year in Akron (.304 average with .401 OBA) could result in a September callup by the Indians. Should give the Indians some 20 plus homerun power in the outfield something they are lacking this year.

2012 - Tyler Naquin OF - Got an opportunity to start in centerfield for the Indians this year. After a hot start he slowed down and was returned to the minors. May not have the range to stay in center or the power to be a corner. He returned to the Indians outfield and got on a power streak with homeruns in three consecutive games, elevating his average to .338. This should keep him with the big club but myworld projects his future as a fourth outfielder.

2011 - Francisco Lindor (SS) - Second in the rookie of the year voting to Carlos Correa last year. To prove the offensive numbers of last year were not a fluke he has repeated those numbers this year. One of the best defensive shortstops in the game who has found his bat once promoted to the major leagues. Expect some gold gloves in his future.

2010 - Drew Pomeranz (LHP) - The Indians packaged Pomeranz to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez. He has bounced around to a number of teams since that trade but this year is pitching well for the Padres with a 2.44 ERA in 12 starts.

Detroit Tigers

2015 - Beau Burrows RHP - Beau has not allowed a run in his last three starts covering 16 innings. His fastball sits between 93-95 but his strikeout numbers are down when compared to last year. In 19 appearances and 17 starts over the last two years he has yet to give up a homerun.

Christin Stewart OF - He hit a lot of homeruns in Georgia as a high schooler, setting the record with 26 as a junior. That homerun swing has not wavered as he starts his professional career. He hit 10 last year in 71 rookie ball games. This year he is battling for the minor league homerun lead with 16 in 56 games in the pitcher friendly Florida State League. A player to watch for a corner outfield spot.

2014 - Derek Hill OF - Hill has not panned out. He has burner speed to cover a lot of ground in center field, but he needs to hit better than his minor league career average of .227. He is still struggling in Low A while Stewart has surpassed him in High A.

2013 - Jonathan Crawford RHP - Included in the Alfredo Simon trade with the Reds. Last year he only started five games, ending his season for shoulder surgery. He has yet to pitch this year.

2012 - No pick.

2011 - No pick.

2010 - No pick

Kansas City Royals

2015 - Ashe Russell RHP - Failed to put up great numbers last year with a 4.11 ERA and 13/24 walk to whiff ratio in 36 innings. Has yet to pitch this year.

Nolan Watson RHP - His numbers were the same as Ashe (4.91 ERA with a 11/16 walk to whiff ratio in 29 innings). He was allowed to start in the Low A league this year and it has been ugly (1-6, 8.72). He may need to spend some time with Ashe in extended spring training. Not overpowering so if his stuff is lacking he becomes pretty hittable. Opponents are hitting .315 against him the last two years.

2014 - Brandon Finnagan LHP - The only pitcher to appear in a college World Series and a major league World Series in the same year. The Royals included him in a trade to the Reds for the brief use of Johnny Cueto for their World Series run. He should fit as a number three starter. The Royals bounced him around between the bullpen and the starting rotation.

Foster Griffin LHP - Not a hard thrower like Watson so his numbers have been underwhelming. This year he had some success in Low A (3.38 ERA) but after a promotion to High A the struggles have continued (6.62 ERA with 13/14 walk to whiff ratio).

2013 - Hunter Dozier 3B - The Royals paid less for him than their second pick (Sean Manaea) who they eventually traded to the Athletics. Dozier has had trouble making contact, but this year he already has a career high 13 homeruns. He was initially drafted for his potential power but that power has been absent until this year. His .545 slugging average this year in AA/AAA is more than 100 points higher than his career average.

2012 - Kyle Zimmer RHP - He has trouble staying healthy, pitching 217 innings in three years. Shoulder and elbow issues have shelved him a number of times. When drafted out of college the Royals were hoping he would make an immediate contribution. Those injuries continue in 2016 with three starts and a little over five innings his only contributions for the year.

2011 - Bubba Starling OF - A local boy with lots of tools. The Royals still hold out hope the tools will come together but a .202 average in AA with a .276 OBA is not promising.

2010 - Christian Colon SS - The season ending injury to Mike Moustakas has given Colon an opportunity. For a corner infielder his power has been absent. He has close to 200 major league at bats and has yet to go deep. Expect Dozier to get an opportunity if the Royals continue to struggle and Colon continues to show the tools better utilized in a utility role.

Minnesota Twins

2015 - Tyler Jay (LHP) - Last year all his games were in relief after a heavy college role. This year he is in the rotation and is doing well. He has not given up a run in his last two starts and his 2.44 ERA would be better if not for one poor outing. Eventually should work himself in a mid-rotation role.

2014 - Nick Gordon (SS) - The son of Tom Gordon and half brother of Dee Gordon is the future shortstop of the Twins. The Twins have no one there now but Nick is still a couple years away. His bat will not offer a lot of power and he needs to improve on his 7 for 14 success rate in stolen bases.

2013 - Kohl Stewart RHP - His numbers have failed to generate a lot of excitement. Still could win a role as a mid-rotation starter.

2012 - Byron Buxton OF - His tools have advertised a top five prospect the last couple years. His appearances in the major leagues have resulted in failure. Demoted again in 2016 an injury to Miguel Sano gave him another opportunity and Buxton is starting to show his potential. The Twins have a history of toolsy centerfielders taking time to make it in the major leagues, ala Denard Span and Aaron Hicks. Expect an All Star at this position.

2011 - Levi Michael SS - He’s still around but hitting .194 in AA. If he is lucky he will make it as a utility infielder.

2010 - Alex Wimmers RHP - Wimmers is in the bullpen in AAA. Myworld would be surprised if the Twins use a 40 man roster spot on Wimmers. Expect him to be a minor league free agent next year.

Hot Memorial Day Prospects

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Myworld was in Pittsburgh for the Memorial Day weekend. It was a bummer the Pirates were not in town. The Wi-Fi reception at the hotel was horrible so we got a little behind.

Taylor Sparks 3B (Reds) - Entering the Memorial Day weekend the Reds second round 2014 pick was hitting just .180. A 10 for 19 five game spread raised that average to .215. During a three game sweep Taylor drove in eight runs with three homeruns, one more dinger than he had hit before Memorial Day.

Miguel Andujar 3B (Yankees) - The 21 year old Dominican only hit eight homeruns in the Florida State league in 2015. He slammed two homeruns on Saturday, driving in five to put his homerun total at 9 and RBI total at 37. Last year Miguel only drove in 57 runs in 130 games.

Joey Wendle 2B (Athletics) - They traded Brandon Moss to acquire Joey. A slow start to the season put his average at .197 after May 25. A six game hitting streak (13 for 27) has elevated his average to .235. During that streak he had a five RBI day falling a double short of the cycle.

David Dahl OF (Rockies) - David has smacked five doubles in three games, going 7 for 11 during that streak. Dahl has hit 10 doubles for the month of May, 16 for the year.

Wilson Contreras C (Cubs) - It is getting harder for the Cubs to ignore the offensive exploits of Wilson. A ten game hitting streak (15 for 44) has raised his average to .331. During that streak he has slugged five homeruns and driven in 14 runs. In his last four games he has driven in at least one run for a total of 11 runs driven in.

Austin Meadows OF (Pirates) - A fractured orbital bone delayed the start of the season for Meadows. He has come back swinging with a nine game hitting streak, his last five games multiple hit games. Meadows hit his first homerun of the year on Memorial day.

Steven Moya RF (Tigers) - Moya had a nine game opportunity with the Tigers where he hit .281 with two doubles and two triples. The Tigers have a crowded outfield and were forced to demote him back to AAA. He hit two homeruns in three games to give him a league leading 11 International League homeruns.

Tyler O’Neil RF (Mariners) - Tyler is on a streak of driving in at least one run in his last eight games. During those eight games he has driven in 13 runs for 25 during the month. That gives him 40 runs driven in for the young season. The Canadian is hitting .328 with nine homeruns with a five double streak in five games giving him 13 doubles for the month.

Manuel Margot CF (Padres) - Margot has scored 31 runs in the month of May. The amazing thing is he did not score a run in his first three games of the month but now has scored the 31 runs in just 26 games. In his last four games he has crossed the plate six times and is 6 for 8 in his last two games. Myworld smells a promotion, especially after the outburst of the owner embarrassed about his team’s play.

Hunter Renfroe RF (Padres) - Hunter has been the beneficiary of all those times Margot has been on base, driving in 27 runs for the month of May, slugging eight homeruns and 12 for the year. A 7/37 walk to whiff ratio makes myworld wonder if he can sustain his .320 batting average.

Pitching

Tyler jay LHP (Twins) - Tyler was electric with eight shutout innings and 11 strikeouts on Tuesday. For the month of May his ERA is 0.84 in five starts. He has also struck out 38 hitters in 32 innings with only 7 walks. A promotion to AA is soon.

Reynaldo Lopez RHP (Nationals) - Reynaldo has had a Jekyl and Hyde season, struggling in the cold months of April (4.91 ERA) but looking better in the month of May (3.51). The swings and misses were plentiful on Saturday with 12 whiffs in just five innings of work against Akron.

Adalberto Mejia LHP (Giants) - The Dominican was an out away from pitching a complete game shutout, striking out 10 in the 104 pitch performance. It was his second consecutive start in which he did not allow a run extending his shutout streak to 15.2 innings.

Hot Prospects for May 17

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Not a lot of big names on this list.

Josh Naylor 1B (Marlins) - He may not be as tall as Giancarlo Stanton but he hits the ball as hard and as far. He walloped his fourth homerun of the year on Tuesday to drive in five runs. His contact rate is improving in the month of May with a 6/7 walk to whiff ratio in 15 games. One of the down sides for Josh his inability to make contact. The other is a large frame (6′0″, 225) that limits his speed to playing the outfield.

Hunter Renfroe OF (Padres) - Hunter extended his five game multiple hit streak and a homer streak that sits at three games. During that streak he is 12 for 27 with three homeruns and eight RBIs. Hunter is batting .318 but until the Padres can trade Matt Kemp he will have to continue to bide his time in AAA.

Jose Azocar CF (Tigers) - The Venezuelan had a perfect 4 for 4 day to raise his average to .310. Power is absent from his game so his 5/36 walk to whiff ratio needs to improve for him to occupy the lead off spot and take advantage of his speed. This is his first season in a full season league so there is plenty of time to improve the hit tool.

Matt Chapman SS/3B (Athletics) - Matt has been playing mostly third, but Tuesday he was at short. He raked on a 4 for 8 day, his other four at bats resulting in strikeouts. The 2014 first round pick has yet to play in more than 100 games in his first two seasons. Last year wrist surgery limited him to 80 games but he still smoked 23 homeruns. This year he has nine.

Pitchers

Adam Plutko RHP (Indians), Sandy Baez RHP (Tigers), Nick Pivetta RHP (Phillies) and Nick Traveiso RHP (Reds) - All four pitchers tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Plutko was a Bruin star. His five hitter was his second straight outing without allowing a run covering 13 innings. Traveiso had the gem with a one hitter ending a streak of three starts where he gave up three or more runs in less than six innings. Pivetta and Baez each gave up two hits.

Jordan Kipper RHP (Angels) - The Angels need some good news regarding their starting pitching. Jordan gave them some good news with a nine inning no hitter in AA. He faced the minimum 27 batters but walked one, striking out eight. Two of his last three starts he was banged around for 10 hits so this no hitter was a bit unexpected.