Archive for the 'Twins' Category

Twins Blast Marlins in Spring Training Tuneup

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Myworld returned to Jupiter for our last spring training game of 2017. The next two games will be WBC. The Twins took it to the Marlins today 8-2 on the day Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich left to represent the United States in the WBC.

The Marlins scored the first run in the opening frame when Ichiro lined a single through the second base hole. J.T. Realmuto sliced a double down the right field line. Ichiro had to stop at second when the ball bounced over the fence. Justin Bour grounded a ball up the middle but right at the shortstop in the shift for the ground out, but Ichiro scored on the play.

That was the last lead for the Marlins. The Twins scored the next two runs, John Ryan Murphy hitting a solo shot over the left field wall in the second inning after two were out. Byung-Ho Park also hit a solo homerun in the third inning after two were out. For Park it is his third homerun of the spring.

The Twins put the game away in the last three innings scoring six runs. Kyle Barraclough hit a batter and walked four to score two runs in the seventh. Dan Rohfing grounded into a double play just as the bullpen was warming up to put the Marlins out of their misery.

The Marlins scored a run in the eighth on a walk and passed ball. Eduardo Escobar singled to drive in a run. Miami loaded the bases in the bottom frame but Brandon Barnes struck out to strand the runners.

In the top of the ninth Rohlfing made amends for his grounding into a double play with the bases loaded by crushing a three run homer over the left field wall to give the Twins a 8-1 lead. In his only at bat for the Marlins Brian Anderson hit a two out homerun off a J.T. Chargois three digit fastball over the centerfield fence to end the game at 8-2.

Game Notes: Byung-Ho Park seems to have trouble hitting any pitch that has a bend to it. His homerun came off a fastball…J.T. Realmuto had a nice throw to second to get Eduardo Escobar caught stealing. He has a nice arm…This game had its own WBC flair to it with Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan) starting on the mound, Adeiny Hechevarria (Cuba) at short, Miguel Rojas (Venezuela) at third, Marcel Ozuna (Dominican Republic) in right field, Ichiro Suzuki (Japan) at DH, Byung-Ho Park (Korea) playing first base and Max Kepler (Germany) in right field…The Jupiter stadium has the best concessions on the East Coast. Tacos, bbq nachos, various types of hot dogs, sliders and the traditional flair…All spring training parks now charge $10 for parking. That may be standard now.

Myworlds Top 100 - 90 - 81

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

A compilation of the six top 100 lists rolled into one. Below is 90-81.

90. Matt Chapman 3B/SS (Athletics) 1.35 - Myworld does not think Chapman will be playing shortstop, but with so many corner infielders the Athletics will have to find room for them all. Chapman is probably the best defensive third baseman of the group and has a strong arm. His range is good for third base but would fall far short of what is needed for a shortstop. His bat also gives the Athletics power, with 36 homeruns last year. There is a tendency for him to swing and miss (173 whiffs) which could lead to averages falling below .250.

89. Max Fried RHP (Braves) 1.4 - He was drafted in the first round by the Padres. The Padres traded him to the Braves to acquire Justin Upton. Tommy John surgery has knocked some luster off his prospect status. Last year was his first year back and he averaged 9.8 whiffs per nine innings with a fastball that sat at 92-95. With a little more pitching that velocity could increase. His secondary pitches (slow breaking ball and change) need some improvement as does his control. He’ll start the season in High A and could see AA by the end of the year.

88. Chance Sisco (Orioles) 1.4 - Playing for so long at Bowie myworld has seen a lot of Chance. His defense behind the plate needs work and his power is absent. As he matures he may hit ten plus homeruns. The best part of his game is his ability to get hits and strike the gaps. He is not afraid to take walks and will give you OBAs of over .400. Being a catcher he does not have great speed but he will not clog the bases. Expect him to make his major league debut this year after at least half a season in AAA. With Matt Wieters gone the Orioles do not really have a viable catching option blocking him from making a contribution. His lack of power makes a move to first base questionable.

87. Cal Quantril RHP (Padres) 1.42 - The son of All Star reliever Paul Quantril and the 2016 first round pick of the Padres. Cal hopes to make it in the starting rotation with a fastball that slides between low to mid 90s. He also has a good change and is working to improve his slider to give him three pitches for the rotation. Tommy John surgery as a sophomore in high school is a concern. He should make his debut next season in full season Low A where he can work on improving his slider and his command of pitches.

86. Carson Fulmer RHP (White Sox) 1.43 - The White Sox may have rushed him last year. Fulmer only stands 6′0″ and with the recent acquisitions of Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez his best spot may be in the bullpen. Despite being the same height as Lopez he lacks his velocity, hitting the low 90s with his fastball. His best pitch may be his curveball and he does throw a plus change to give him three above average pitches. A 8.49 ERA, 7 walks in 12 innings and a .273 opposition average in eight relief outings in the major leagues is not what the White Sox were looking for but many top prospects struggle in their first exposure to major league hitters.

85. Brady Aiken RHP (Indians) 1.5 - The Astros drafted him as the first pick in the draft in 2014 but concerns over his arm led them to reduce his bonus leaving a sour taste in Brady’s mouth for not signing. Brady later had to undergo Tommy John surgery. This did not prevent the Indians from selecting them as their number one pick when he fell to them as the 17th pick in the 2015 draft. He struggled in his first professional debut in 2016 with an ERA combined of 5.83 between two rookie leagues with an opposition average of .274. The bright spot is his K rate was 11.1 per nine innings and his fastball sat in the low 90s but touched 97. He also throws an above average curve and change. This was his rehab year so 2017 should see greater velocity on his fastball and sharper breaks on his curve with improved command, at least that is how the Indians would like it drawn up on their blueprint.

84. German Marquez RHP (Rockies) 1.58 - Soon he will have to deal with pitching in the high altitudes of Colorado. German throws the ball hard with a mid-90s fastball touching into the high 90s. He also carries an above average curve with a changeup in the developmental stages. Last year he made his major league debut with three starts and three relief appearances, fashioning a 5.23 ERA. His strikeout rate has never been above 9 but has always been in the neighborhood, but against major league hitters it dropped to 6.5. Expect at some point the Rockies stick him in their rotation after he has success in AAA.

83. Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) 1.6 - At 5′8″ you could compare him to Jose Altuve, except he does not have his speed and he is not a good defensive player. What he does have is the ability to carry the ball over the fence with 27 homeruns in AA. Ideally, he could fit in left field but slow foot speed and a below average arm make that a liability. His best position may be DH but they don’t have that in the National League so the Dodgers will keep him at second base and if he keeps on hitting bombs they will not complain.

82. Stephen Gonsalves LHP (Twins) 1.67 - Stephen is a pitcher the Twins used to thrive on putting in their rotation during their playoff years. He doesn’t throw hard with a fastball in the low 90s, but he is able to hit the corners, throw up and down in the strike zone and give hitters different looks. Despite the lack of velocity he still struck out more than a hitter an inning last year and kept opponents to a batting average at less than .200. He also throws a change and a curve with the changeup being his second best pitch. After dominating in 13 starts at AA expect him to begin next season in AAA with a shot at making his major league debut before mid-season.

81. Ian Anderson RHP (Braves) 1.83 - Anderson is one of many number one draft pick pitchers in the Braves camp. However, with Anderson he will be a home grown pick, drafted by the Braves in the first round in 2016. The New Yorker throws hard with a fastball sliding in to the mid-90s and touching 97 with the potential for an above average curveball and change. He made a promising professional debut and should start 2017 in Low A.

30 Teams in 30 Days - Twins

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Overview - After finishing over .500 in 2015 the Twins came into 2016 with hopes of a playoff run. They went out and signed Korean slugger Byoung-Ho Park to provide some muscle at first base. After losing their first nine games the Twins lost over 100 games during the season, giving them the first round pick in 2017. They also recently waived Park one month before the start of the 2017 season, but because of his rich contract they fear no other team will claim him, keeping him in their minor leagues. Terry Ryan, the hero who gave the Twins a number of playoff runs, who had retired and come back to try to resurrect the Twins back to their winning ways of the past was fired after the 100 loss season. It will take the Twins a little while to compete in the AL Central, especially if they are successful in trading their one star Brian Dozier.

Strengths - Brian Dozier at second base gives them the best power at the position in the major leagues. Last year he slugged 42 homeruns. The Twins have been trying to trade him for prospects. If that happens they could turn to Eduardo Escobar or perhaps move Danny Santana to the position. This would no longer make this a position of strength. The outfield should provide excitement if Byron Buxton and Max Kepler reach their potential. The Twins have been waiting for Buxton to break out and he had a September team officials could get excited about. Max Kepler had enough punch to power 17 balls over the fence, but he hit only .235. He needs to improve the batting average to become an impact player. Miguel Sano has the potential to hit 40 plus homeruns. His poor defense makes first base his best position but the Twins will keep him at third as long as Joe Mauer is on the roster. Last year was a struggle for Sano with a .235 average and 178 strikeouts.

Weakness - The pitching staff lacks an ace and once you get past Ervin Santana you have a lot of back end rotation starters or unproven rookies. Jose Berrios provided promise but his 8.02 ERA in 14 starts screams for more development time in the minors. The starting rotation will be ugly. At one point Joe Mauer was one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. Now that he has moved to first base his lack of power makes him a liability. He also did not hit lefthanders well (.224). They could call up Kennys Vargas to platoon. He struggled against lefthanders in AAA (.131) but raked in limited major league at bats (.378). Jorge Polanco is a promising shortstop but he lacks the tools of many of the other top rated shortstops coming up through the minors. He lacks power and speed but provides good contact and steady defense, though he committed 11 errors in just 47 major league games last year at the position. His best position could be second base and he could slide over there if Dozier is traded. Left field is normally a power position. Eddie Rosario occupies that now and he lacks power. His alternative Robbie Grossman also lacks power. Both are probably better utilized as fourth outfielders.

Non-Roster Invitees - Byoung-Ho Park could still make the roster if he has a good spring. He needs to make better contact and show the power he did in Korea. Ryan Vogelsong came over from Japan in 2011 and had two good seasons as a starter for the Giants. Those years now seem to be a distant memory.

Break out Prospects - Like the White Sox the Twins are rebuilding so there will be a number of opportunities for rookies. The rotation is weak and Stephen Gonsalves has been invited to spring training. He had some dominating performances in High A and AA but the Twins will most likely start his season in AA. He could see some time by midseason. Like Twins pitchers of the past he is not overpowering but relies on command and the use of a change to retire hitters. Kohl Stewart is a rare Twins power pitcher who can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. The Twins drafted in the first round of 2014 but injuries have stunted his development. He did start 25 games last year but a walk to whiff ratio of 44/47 is cause for concern. Kohl had arm problems in 2015 and could be best suited for the bullpen if his fragility continues. Adalberto Mejia is another pitcher who could see the major leagues but his stuff is very pedestrian and he may be best used in relief. The bullpen could see some power arms light up the radar in Pat Light and J.T. Chargois. Both pitchers easily hit the radar in the high 90s. There are really no prospect position players ready to make an immediate impact with the Twins.

Prospects to Watch - Nick Gordon is the son of Tom Gordon and the half brother of Dee Gordon. He is the shortstop of the future for the Twins but his future is still a couple years away. He has the defensive tools for the position, could hit for average but will not hit for a lot of power. Alex Kirilloff is the Twins 2016 first round pick. The hope is the corner outfielder will provide some power for the position. Nick Burdi is another hard throwing reliever who can hit triple digits with his fastball. The 2014 second round pick was limited to three appearances last year so the Twins will be careful about his innings usage. Lewis Thorpe is an Aussie signing who missed the 2015 and 16 seasons because of Tommy John surgery. Wander Javier is a shortstop the Twins signed for $4 million, the fourth largest bonus they have paid for a player. Only 18 Javier is a long way from the major leagues.

Expected 2017 Finish - They will battle for the basement position in the AL Central. If they keep Brian Dozier it may prevent them from having the number one pick in the 2018 draft.

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.

Twins and Rangers Roster from Domestic Draft

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Myworld takes a look at the last two teams to see what their roster would look like if they only relied on the domestic draft to build their team. Myworld only went back to 2005. The link these two teams have is they were both at one time located in D.C. We have to give our kudos to Allan Simpson and the Baseball America ultimate draft book for our research. Anything you want to know about any draft is compiled in this book that would put the Baseball Encyclopedia to shame.

The Twins find their roster filled with number ones who never fulfilled their potential, or who the Twins hope become late bloomers like Denard Span. The Rangers had a number of players on their roster from the 2007 - 2009 time period, but their offense is still lacking super stars. Chris Davis and Joey Gallo both exhibit light tower power that comes with lots of strikeouts. Gallo is still waiting to achieve some success in the majors and not turn into the second coming of Brandon Woods.

Minnesota Twins

2005 - Matt Garza (1) RHP, Brian Duensing (3) LHP, Steven Tolleson (5) UTL, Yonder Alonso (16 - DNS) 1B
2006 - Chris Parmelee (1) 1B, Jeff Manship (14) RHP, Danny Valencia (19) 3B, J.D. Martinez (36 - DNS) OF, Chase Anderson (42 - DNS) RHP
2007 - Ben Revere (1) OF, Seth Rosin (28 - DNS) RHP, Chase Anderson (40 - DNS) RHP, Chris Heston (47 - DNS) RHP,
2008 - Aaron Hicks (1) OF, Kolton Wong (16 - DNS), Aaron Barrett (20 - DNS) RHP, Michael Tonkin (30) RHP, Adam Conley (32 - DNS) LHP, George Springer (48 - DNS) OF
2009 - Kyle Gibson (1) RHP, Chris Hermann (6) C, Brian Dozier (8) 2B, Pat Light (28 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Eddie Rosario (4) OF, Ryan O’Rourke (13) LHP, Cody Martin (20 - DNS) RHP, A.J. Achter (46) RHP
2011 - Kyle Barraclough (40 - DNS) RHP
2012 - Byron Buxton (1) OF, Jose Berrios (1) RHP, J.T. Chargois (2) RHP, Tyler Duffy (5) RHP

Roster

C - Chris Herman
1B - Chris Parmalee, Yonder Alonso
2B - Brian Dozier, Kolton Wong
3B - Danny Valencia
SS - Steven Tolleson
OF - J.D.Martinez, Ben Revere, Aaron Hicks, George Springer, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton
SP - Matt Garza, Adam Conley, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Chase Anderson
RP - Brian Duensing, Jeff Manship, Seth Rosin, Chris Heston, Aaron Barrett, Michael Tonkin, Pat Light, Ryan O’Rourke, Cody Martin, A.J. Achter, Kyle Barraclough, J.T. Chargois, Tyler Duffy

Texas Rangers

2005 - Taylor Teagarden (3) C, Chris Dominguez (17 - DNS) 3B
2006 - Chris Davis (5) 1B, Jacob Brigham (6) RHP, Craig Gentry (10) OF, Derek Holland (25) LHP
2007 - Julio Borbon (1) OF, Neil Ramirez (1) RHP, Tommy Hunter (1) RHP, Anthony Ranaudo (11 - DNS) RHP, Drew Pomeranz (12 - DNS) LHP, Mitch Moreland (17) 1B
2008 - Justin Smoak (1) 1B, Robbie Ross (2) LHP, Joe Wieland (4) RHP, Joey Butler (15) OF, Justin Miller (16) RHP, Tanner Roarke (25) RHP, Nate Frieman (28 - DNS) 1B, Matt Andriese (37 - DNS) RHP, Brad Miller (39 - DNS) SS
2009 - Tanner Scheppers (1) RHP, Robbie Erlin (3) LHP, Jabari Blash (9 - DNS), Aaron Barrett (27 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Luke Jackson (1) RHP, Justin Grimm (5) RHP, Jared Hoying (10) SS, Alex Claudio (27) LHP
2011 - Kyle Hendricks (80 RHP, Andrew Faulkner (14) LHP, Jerad Eickhoff (15) RHP, Ryan Rua (17) OF, Nick Martinez (18) RHP, Phil Klein (30) RHP, Brandon Finnegan (45 - DNS) LHP, C.J. Edwards (48) RHP
2012 - Joey Gallo (1) 3B, Alec Asher (4) RHP, Keone Kela (12) RHP
2013 - Alex Gonzalez (1) RHP

Roster

C - Taylor Teagarden
1B - Chris Davis, Mitch Moreland, Justin Smoak, Nate Freiman
2B - Jared Hoying
3B - Joey Gallo, Chris Dominguez
SS - Brad Miller
OF - Craig Gentry, Julio Borbon, Joey Butler, Jabari Blash, Ryan Rua
SP - Drew Pomeranz, Matt Andriese, Eddie Butler, Tanner Roark, Kyle Hendricks, Branden Finnegan
RP - Tommy Hunter, Neil Ramirez, Jacob Brigham, Derek Holland, Anthony Ranaudo, Robbie Ross, Joe Wieland, Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Erlin, Aaron Barrett, Luke Jackson, Justin Grimm, Alex Claudio, Andrew Faulkner, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Martinez, Phil Klein, C.J. Edwards, Alec Asher, Keana Kela, Alex Gonzalez

Right Handed Starting Pitcher Prospect Review

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lefthanded Pitcher Review

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corner Outfielder Prospect Review

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Not an impressive list of players. These players usually lack speed, which means to be in the starting lineup power is an expected attribute from them. Below are the top ten corner outfielders as rated by Baseball America to start the 2016 season and an assessment of what they did to enhance their prospect standing or shatter it.

1. Nomar Mazara (Rangers) - He was promoted to the majors after the injury to Shin-Soo Choo. After a hot start his bat has cooled off finishing with 18 homeruns after hitting .270. Those are numbers Choo can spit out during a healthy season. The Rangers have to do something with Joey Gallo. If Ian Desmond is not signed that seems to open an outfield spot, but neither Gallo, Choo or Mazara are strong in centerfield. Nomar needs to show better plate discipline with a 37/105 walk to whiff ratio if he wants to take one of the corner slots from Choo or Gallo. One attribute Choo brings to the game is his plate discipline.

2. Austin Meadows (Pirates) - The Pirates have one of the best outfields in baseball when Andrew McKutchen is producing. This year was an off year for Andrew so if the Pirates trade him that will open up a spot for Meadows, who was drafted by the Pirates in the first round in 2013. Meadows can play centerfield but Starling Marte is the better outfielder, so it would be a move to left for Meadows if the Pirates chose to move McKutchen to another team. Injuries cut short Meadows at bats in 2016. After a little over 120 AAA at bats Austin only hit .214. Another half a season in AAA would do Meadows no harm.

3. Nick Williams (Phillies) - Nick had a rough 2016. Strikeouts are the big problem for him, 136 of them, which only came with 19 walks. Originally a property of the Rangers, he was included with a number of other prospects in the Cole Hamels trade. He has the speed to play centerfield but it is probably better suited for right field. Lightening bat speed brings some impressive power, but it also produces a lot of swings and misses, which will result in low batting averages should he make it to the major leagues.

4. Max Kepler (Twins) - One of the first players from Europe to sign a large bonus ($800,000) the son of two ballerinas chose baseball as his sport. He moved to Florida as a high schooler, went to instructional camps and after seven years is finally a major leaguer. The German native replaced Miguel Sano in right field by mid-season because of a mixture of injuries and his struggles defensively. Kepler does not have the power of Sano but is a much more polished defensive player. Once Sano was healthy Kepler had proven himself in right field. The 2016 season displayed some impressive power, but that also came with some swings and misses and a low batting average. He should hit for 20 plus homeruns each year in the major leagues but the Twins hope to see better than a .240 average.

5. Clint Frazier (Yankees) - He played in the same area as Meadows (Georgia) and was also a first round draft pick, Frazier going to the Indians. The Indians traded him to the Yankees in 2016 as part of the Andrew Miller trade. Frazier is more gifted defensively than Meadows and is a logical fit in centerfield. With the declining skills of Jacoby Ellsbury and his propensity for getting injured, Frazier could see a lot of time in center for the Yankees by mid-season. With some speed he could end up being a 20/20 player with a possibility of being a consistent 30 homerun hitter in the major leagues.

6. Jesse Winker (Reds) - Jesse kind of disappeared for the Reds in 2016, a wrist injury sapping much of his power. While he hit .303 that came with only three homeruns and about 90 singles. That would be good for someone who can steal bases and play centerfield, but Winker lacks speed and the Reds would like to see him become much more than a singles hitter. The Reds have a lot of choices for left field next year but they would like to see Winker show a little more power before they give him the left field job.

7. Hector Olivera (Released) - Hector played second base in Cuba. Despite his advancing age and mystery injury the Dodgers signed him to a big contract. The Braves ate much of that contract, trading away Jose Peraza and a cadre of veteran pitchers to get Olivera’s bat in the lineup. Problem is that bat never materialized. What myworld saw of his defense in the outfield was pretty deplorable. A domestic assault charge has ended his hopes of continuing his professional baseball career. Major league baseball suspended him, the Padres traded for him to subtract the Matt Kemp contract from their ledgers, then released Olivera. To date, no team has bothered trying to to sign him so his major league career seems to be over.

8. Kyle Tucker (Astros) - The younger brother of Preston had a pretty good year in 2016, reaching the high A level and hitting .339 in limited at bats. He has more tools than his brother and could be playing with him next year as he rises up the minor league ladder and his brother stagnates at the AAA level. It would be ideal if the 2015 first round pick could play center field, but he lacks the burner speed to play the position and is destined for a corner outfield spot. The Astros have some room in the outfield, but expect his arrival to be more in 2018 than 2017.

9. Aaron Judge (Yankees) - A massive bat from a big guy. There is a lot of non contact in his at bats, with a lot of walks and strikeouts and balls carrying over the fence when he makes contact. Despite a 6′7″ frame that would fill many NBA baseketball rosters, Judge moves pretty well to be a good right fielder. The Yankees are rebuilding and Judge showed some power in his September callup. He also showed a lot of swing and miss and a low batting average that will have to improve if he wants to win the job in 2017.

10. Hunter Renfroe (Padres) - The amazing thing is Hunter is still with the Padres after Preller tried to trade all his prospects for veterans in 2015. That was then and this is now where the Padres are now rebuilding. Renfroe should be an important part of that rebuilding project. He does not show the speed to play center, but his arm is suited for right. His bat his geared for driving in runs with balls leaving the yard. He had an impressive September callup for the Padres, putting together one game where he drove in seven runs.

Centerfield Prospect Review

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Other than shortstop these are the darlings of major league baseball. Everyone is looking for the next Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle or Michael Trout. Below are the top ten players named by Baseball America as the best centerfielders in the minor leagues before the start of the 2016 season. Myworld will take a look at their season to see how their prospect status has progressed or regressed.

1. Byron Buxton (Twins) - The Twins are waiting for him to put his tools together. Former number one picks Denard Span and Aaron Hicks were slow learners. This is the second major league season for Buxton and the second year he has struggled. A September hot streak gives the Twins some hope that perhaps he is starting to figure things out. If he can make a little more contact he has the potential to be a five tool player. There is nothing more he can prove in the minor leagues.

2. Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox) - The Red Sox are loaded in centerfield. Andrew is not going to supplant Mookie Betts or even Jackie Bradley from the position. But he has the bat to fit in left field. Scouts expect him to hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. A late season callup has seen him take over the troubled Red Sox left field slot. Average speed prevents him from being a five tool player.

3. Lewis Brinson (Rangers) - If the Rangers do not resign Ian Desmond there will be no tears shed by management. Lewis appears to be ready to take over the position. Ideally the Rangers would like him to play half a season in AAA after only hitting .237 in AA with just 11 homeruns. He lacks big time stolen base speed, but his instincts and routes make him an excellent centerfielder. There is enough power in his bat to hit in the double digits in homeruns.

4. Anthony Alford (Blue Jays) - A quiet year for Alford. His body is built for football, but his swing does not incorporate over the fence power. He should fit in centerfield. Alford hit just .236 in High A with 9 homeruns. He needs to do better to reach his potential.

5. Bradley Zimmer (Indians) - Myworld was not impressed with what we saw of him in centerfield. With the trade of Clint Frazier to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade Zimmer appears to have won the centerfield job. He strikes out a lit (over 150) but carries some pop in his bat. Myworld is convinced the corner outfield position is best for him, with the arm to play right field. With vanilla AAA offensive numbers he will probably see at least half a season in AAA.

6. Victor Robles (Nationals) - Michael Taylor’s inability to make contact set the stage for Victor Robles to be the Nationals centerfielder of the future. That was until Trea Turner took over the position. The resume for Victor is tremendous speed to cover ground in centerfield and steal bases, but the power is lacking to fit in a corner. Victor Robles played half a season in High A so he is still a couple years away from forcing the Nationals to make a decision of who to commit to for centerfield.

7. David Dahl (Rockies) - His .300 plus batting average in a late season callup has already sealed his position for next year. The Rockies may have to trade Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon to make room for him. The outfielder who lacks a spleen should hit for double digits in homeruns, compete for batting titles in the thin Rocky Mountain air and play enough defense to fit in centerfield. His biggest challenge will be to avoid injuries that have forced him to miss almost two complete seasons.

8. Trent Clark (Brewers) - The 2015 first round pick of the Brewers slumped with the bat this year playing in a full season league. His average dropped more than 70 points and his slugging was absent (.344) in 2016. There is enough speed in his legs to cover the ground necessary to play in centerfield. If his power does not pick up that will be the position he will fit best at.

9. Manuel Margot (Padres) - One of the players the Padres acquired for Craig Kimbrel to juice up their farm system. The potential four tool player has earned a September callup for the Padres after his success in AAA. The one tool he is lacking is power, though that may develop as he matures. Expect him to win the centerfield job for the Padres next year, if not at the start of the season, then by mid-season.

10. Brett Phillips (Brewers) - One of the players the Brewers stole from the Astros for Carlos Gomez. While he can play centerfield his average speed makes a corner outfield position his best bet. The Brewers minor league outfield depth is growing and Brett will need to hit better than .229 to get one of those major league opportunities. An inability to make contact (154 K’s) has been the big reason for his low average.

Shortstop Prospect Review

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Shortstop was a very talented position this year so myworld will take a look at the top 20 prospects at the position as rated by Baseball America to see how their 2016 season went.

1. Corey Seager (Dodgers) - Not much needs to be said here. Corey is on his way to winning the NL rookie of the year award, leading the Dodgers to the NL West Division crown. He’s hit for power and average and kept his miscues on the field to a minimum.

2. J.P. Crawford (Phillies) - Still the Phillies shortstop of the future despite his struggles at AAA (.244). He hit well at AA but with only seven homeruns and 12 stolen bases at the two levels his offensive production falls short of what is expected. He finished the season with a .688 OPS. While his defense will get him to the major leagues the Phillies would like to see a little more offense. Freddy Galvis is all that stands in his way in the major leagues.

3. Orlando Arcia (Brewers) - Compared to his 2015 season his offensive production in AAA was a bit of a disappointment this year. Like Crawford defense is his calling card and a late season major league callup has seen his offensive struggles continue. The Brewers could always move Jonathan Villar back to short if they feel Arcia is not yet ready for the major leagues to begin the 2017 season. It is only a matter of time before he takes over the position.

4. Trea Turner (Nationals) - With an earlier callup and more at bats he would be giving Seager a run for the rookie of the year honors. Turner has moved to centerfield and has filled the leadoff roll for the Nationals, hitting .340. What has been a surprise to his season is the power he has shown in his bat.

5. Dansby Swanson (Braves) - A trade the Diamondbacks will ultimately regret and could lead to massive changes in the administration. Swanson has been rotating with Ozzie Albies for the Braves shortstop job, but Swanson appears to have the upper hand at the position. Swanson got the head start with the first September callup. He should provide an offensive bat with power for the position.

6. Jorge Mateo (Yankees) - His ultimate position may be at second base after the season for Didi Gregorious this year and the late season acquisition of Gleyber Torres. Mateo has shown a little pop but speed is his big tool. A mid-season suspension because of his impatience about not being promoted to AA is the only taint to the 2016 season, though his offensive numbers have fallen short of what he produced last year. His stolen base production especially dropped in half from 82 to 36.

7. Raul Mondesi (Royals) - The only player to appear in a World Series game before he ever appeared in a regular season game. Offense will be the big question mark for the son of Raul Mondesi Sr. He lacks the power of his father but has a smooth glove to play the position. A mid season major league callup has resulted in an offensive struggle to hit major league pitching (.181). The Royals would like to see better than a .484 OPS at the position.

8. Brendan Rodgers (Rockies) - The Rockies 2015 number one pick may have to find another position after the explosion from Trevor Story, who was rated 19th on this list. Story was a first round supplemental pick in 2011 and got the first opportunity. Rodgers is expected to have the bat and the power to play third base, but Nolan Arenado sits there. Fortunately, the Rockies have a couple more minor league seasons to figure out what they want to do with Rodgers, but his potent bat will get him in the lineup.

9. Gleyber Torres (Cubs) - The Yankees acquired Torres from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade. The Yankees will have to find a position for him. He did hit 11 homeruns and slugged .421 and at age 19 it is expected his power will continue to develop, so third base could be an option. The Yankees currently have a hole there, with Chase Headley the current alternative. Miguel Andujar is a possible suitor for Torres in the minor leagues.

10. Tim Anderson (White Sox) - Last year with the Dodgers Jimmy Rollins lost his shortstop job to Corey Seager. This year he lost the position to Tim Anderson. Tim lacks the offensive numbers of Seager but his glove is better. It has been a disappointing season for the White Sox but Anderson gives them a building block at shortstop.

11. Willy Adames (Rays) - The Rays picked up Adames from the Tigers in the David Price trade. The Rays are still unsettled at short but Adames had a solid season to punch his ticket in for the position in 2017. He had a solid season at AA so expect him to take over the position at the mid season mark.

12. Javier Guerra (Padres) - He was the big piece the Padres acquired from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade. The 2016 season was a big disappointment with a .199 average and 141 whiffs. The Padres hope the 2016 season is an anomaly and will hope for a bounce back in 2017.

13. Nick Gordon (Twins) - Another son for Tom Gordon from a different mother than Dee Gordon. Nick shows good speed but lacks power. His defense will get him to the major leagues, but his lack of offense may make a utility role his best option.

14. Amed Rosario (Mets) - The Mets have been hunting for a shortstop for a long time. What they have had at the position for the last couple years have been good bats who lacked range to cover the position. Amed should solve all that. His bat should be good enough to create some havoc, after hitting .341 in a mid-season callup to AA. Power is not there but his defense is something the Mets have not seen at the position in a long time.

15. Christian Arroyo (Giants) - He will not supplant Brandon Crawford at the position. He could be one of those in between players who lacks the range to play short and is a little short of power to play third. Second base could be his ultimate destination. He does not have a lot of speed and his power is absent so he is a bit vanilla in the talent department. A utility role could be his best hope for a major league job.

16. Ozzie Albies (Braves) - The Braves traded Jose Peraza to the Reds last year after seeing what they have in Albies. With the acquisition of Swanson the ultimate position for Albies may be second base. Fortunately for Albies the Braves have no player at the position with the talent to block him. Speed is his best tool, power his worst.

17. Jorge Polanco (Twins) - Polanco may get an opportunity to play short before Nick Gordon. His defense is not as flashy but he shows a better bat. He has held his own in the major leagues with a .283 average, playing second, third and short. A utility role may be his ultimate position.

18. Deven Marrero (Red Sox) - Deven is blocked at short by Xander Boegarts. His glove is smooth but his bat comes up short. A utility role or trade to another team is all he can hope for, but even after a trade his .198 average in AAA falls far short for what teams want to see in a bat at the position.

19. Trevor Story (Rockies) - A Jose Reyes domestic assault charge gave Story an opportunity at short and he ran with it, slugging 27 homeruns in 97 games before an injury ended his season early. He will get consideration for rookie of the year but failed to get the at bats to win the award. The big question with Trevor is his ability to play defense to stay at the position.

20. Gilbert Lara (Brewers) - Arcia will have to fail at the shortstop position if Lara hopes to get the job. Lara is still in rookie ball as an 18 year old so the Brewers have plenty of time to see if Arcia can earn the position. Lara has shown a quiet bat, but he is still young and developing. Defense is his calling card.