Archive for the 'Padres' Category

Another Perfect Game and Other Prospect Notes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Domenic Mazza LHP (Giants) - Not really considered a prospect. Players drafted in the 22nd round as Domenic was in 2015 fall far from that criteria, unless large bonuses are associated with their name to get them to sign. Mazza did make some press by throwing the second perfect game of the year and the first nine inning perfect game in South Atlantic League history. For Domenic that is a welcome start after lasting under three innings and giving up seven runs in his first start of the season. During that game he gave up Tim Tebow’s first professional career homerun, publicity he would just as soon avoid. The lefty needed only 85 pitches to toss his perfecto.

Dane Dunning RHP (Nationals) - It was pay back time for the ex-National as he threw six innings of two hit ball against Low A Hagerstown, a Nationals farm team. For Dunning that was his third consecutive shutout outing to lower his ERA to 0.35. He has only given up two runs in four starts with only one of them earned. He has a 2/33 walk to whiff ratio in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting him at a .143 clip. He was traded to the Nationals along with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. Dane is making the Nationals begin to regret that deal.

Nik Turley LHP (Twins) - In his fourth appearance and second start Nik Turley gave up his first run. He also struck out 14 in the seven inning outing, at one point striking out eight hitters in a row. In 20.1 innings he has now struck out 36 hitters with a 0.44 ERA and a .076 opposition average. At age 27 his prospect status is sagging but the Twins starting rotation could use some help.

Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) - Michael was throwing bb’s in his six inning one hit shutout. The 2014 first round pick of the Red Sox struck out eight in his outing. The opposition is only hitting .145 against him but 14 walks in just 18 innings have plagued him. During his one hitter he walked four. The Red Sox traded him to the White Sox as part of the Chris Sale trade.

Dinelson Lamet RHP (Padres) - Myworld remembers writing about Dinelson a lot last year. After a 13 K performance in his third start he came back with a 9 K performance, throwing seven innings of shutout ball. Like Kopech, Lamet does not give up a lot of hits (.171 opposition average) but his walks could be tapered down (9 in 20 innings). After four starts the Dominican has seen his ERA lowered to 0.45.

Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - After dominating in Australia Acuna is wreaking his wrath on Florida State League pitchers. The Venezuelan banged out three hits, including his second homerun of the year and five RBIs. Acuna was a double short of the cycle. Strikeouts have been a bit of a problem with 25 in 17 games, but his last two games in which he went 5 for 9 have come without a whiff. He has 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts.

Alex Jackson C (Braves) - Another Fire Frog, Jackson has seen his bat come alive now that he is no longer a Mariner. In the same game Acuna banged out three hits Alex collected three hits including a homerun and two RBIs. Alex was a double short of the cycle. The three hits raised his average to .338. While with the Mariners he struggled to get his average above the .250 neighborhood. The Braves have returned Alex back to his high school position as a catcher.

Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - The homerun drought has ended for Willie with his first yesterday. Last year the 5′8″ slugger bashed 27 over the fence. Despite the paucity of homeruns Willie has been hitting with his average at .333.

Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies) - The Phillies don’t have room for Jorge behind the plate for their major league team. So they will show patience with him as he assaults AAA pitching. Back to back three hit games in which he hit a homerun in each game raised his average to .377. The Phillies would like to see some improvement on his 1/17 walk to whiff ratio (22/105 in 2016).

Edward Olivares OF (Blue Jays) - With the two perfect games comes the first cycle that myworld has become aware of in the minor leagues. Edward singled, doubled, tripled and homered in a four RBI event a couple days ago. His batting average needed the outburst as it was sitting at .172 before the game. Edward now has a four game hitting streak to raise his average to .231. He has driven in 8 of his 14 runs during that streak.

Jason Vosler 3B (Cubs) - Jason is not considered one of the more touted Cub prospects. Last year he hit three homeruns. In a game last night Vosler equaled his 2015 homerun out put with three dingers to give him four for the year. The third baseman drove in six runs to double his RBI output for the year.

Hot Prospects in Mid-April

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - Sometimes a season can be defined by one game. For Kyle Tucker that season could have been Saturday night. Coming into the game he was hitting a modest .267. After a 4 for 5 day with two doubles, a homerun and seven RBIs that average had spiked to .343. His RBI total for the year now sits at 11 for nine games. To date 8 of Kyle’s 12 hits have gone for extra bases to put his slugging percentage at .714.

Jose Medina OF (Padres) - Coming into this game Jose was hitting .167 with no homeruns. After a 4 for 5 day with three homeruns Jose was hitting .304 and was no longer embarrassed about seeing his batting average displayed on the scoreboard. The five RBIs he produced in the Lake County 17-5 rout over Lansing were his first five RBIs of the year.

Marcus Wilson OF (Diamondbacks) - Marcus was already having a pretty solid season prior to his 3 for 5 day with two homeruns and six RBIs. The special day upped his average to .405 and doubled his homerun output for the year to 4. Pitchers have been hesitant about pitching to Marcus with 8 walks in 10 games for an OBA of .511. He has an 8/5 walk to whiff ratio.

Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) - The fourth outfielder on this list. Anthony has slashed hits in seven of his first eight games. All of those hits have been singles, until last night when he doubled and homered to record his first extra base hits of the year. Alford should have a combination of speed and power. His four stolen bases early in the year have shown off his speed. Now he hopes his most recent production will show off his extra base hit potential.

Chance Sisco C (Orioles) - Chance has struggled in the early part of April but he hopes a 3 for 3 day sparks his season to life. It raised his average to .276. Part of his struggles could be attributed to his inability to make contact. Chance had struck out 11 times in his first seven games, a trait not associated with his skill set.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) - Luis was slapped around in his first start for five runs in just four innings of work against Montgomery. He was much better in his second start, not allowing a hit in five innings of work. His command was a little off with four walks in the outing. Ironic he did not walk a batter in his first start. Maybe a little wildness is good. It creates an atmosphere of unpredictability.

Jake Jewell RHP (Angels) - So far Jake is having a jewel of a season. He shutout Visalia in the California League for seven innings, allowing just two hits and walking nary a soul. He did strike out eight. After two starts Jake has only allowed one runner to cross the plate for a 0.82 ERA. The Angels could use pitchers like that to fit in their rotation.

Merandy Gonzalez RHP (Mets) - The Mets seem to find a way to discover good pitching. Merandy is another one of these obscure finds. He pitched his second straight game of shutout ball, working 7.2 innings without allowing a run. In his first start he did not allow a run in his six innings of work. That gives him 13.2 innings of shutout ball to start the season with a .149 opposition average and a 1/11 walk to whiff ratio.

Walker Buehler RHP (Dodgers) - The start did not seem so special when he gave up hits to two of the first three hitters he faced. Then he struck out the last eight hitters to raise his season shutout streak to six innings. The Dodgers are being careful with Walker after his Tommy John surgery has limited Walker to five innings of work since he was drafted in the first round in 2015. The two three inning outings have exceeded the five innings he pitched in his first two years with the team.

MyWorlds Top 100 - 20-11

Monday, March 20th, 2017

20. Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) 7.83 - Michael was the Red Sox first round pick in the 2014 draft. He created quite a buzz last year when his fastball hit 105. The Red Sox made him part of the prospect haul of the White Sox in the David Price trade. Maturity issues are his big obstacle. He has two suspensions in his short career, one for drugs and one for fighting. His fastball is probably one of the top five in the minor leagues consistently hitting triple digits. He complements that fastball with a nice low 90s slider, with a change that he can throw as his third pitch. Single A hitters managed to hit only .147 against him and he was filthy with the strikeouts. Command could use improvement but that should come with time. The White Sox will probably start Kopech in AA. Because he has not eaten up a lot of innings they will be patient with his pitch count. If a major league promotion occurs it will not be until September.

19. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Padres) 8.05 - At 6′0″ with a fastball in the mid 90s the Domincan Espinoza is compared to Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox shelled out a $1.8 million bonus to sign him then traded him to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. What separates Anderson from many pitchers his age is his ability to throw his change with a similar delivery as his fastball, giving him two plus pitches. His curve needs more consistency but it has the makings to be a plus pitch. Despite the glowing reports on his mid-90s fastball that can hit triple digits and a plus change hitters had success against him last year with a .276 opposition average at Low A. His small stature brings discussions of durability, which could result in a move to the pen as a closer. Expect Anderson to start the 2017 season in High A.

18. Nick Senzel 3B (Reds) 8.27 - Myworld has not seen much of Senzel. He was the Reds first round pick in the 2016 draft and to rise this high in many prospect rankings this early in his career is impressive. He has a college bat so a lot is already known about him. In his professional debut in Low A he hit .329. He also had a .982 OPS hitting seven homeruns. What was surprising was his 15 stolen bases, a lot for a player with average speed who plays the hot corner. More will be known about him as he rises up the minor league ladder and faces better pitching. A .415 OBA with a 32/45 walk to whiff ratio was also eye opening and his defensive tools should play out at third. As a college bat expect him to rise quickly in the minor leagues, with a start in High A and a promotion to AA if he continues to find success.

17. Willy Adames SS (Rays) 8.3 - The Tigers originally signed Adames but traded him to the Rays in their playoff drive to acquire David Price. Adames has a lot of upside with a bat that could hit for average and the power to hit for 20 plus homeruns. His tools should allow him to stay at short, though there is some question about his range. A strong arm and quick feet should help with that issue. The Rays have a shortstop opening and Adames hit .274 with a .802 OPS last year in AA. Myworld expects him to start the season in AAA but would not be surprised to see him with the major league club by mid-season.

16. Ozzie Albies 2B/SS (Braves) 8.38 - Ozzie was one reason the Braves felt they could trade Jose Peraza. The 20 year old from Curacao lost out on the shortstop job to Dansby Swanson and appears to be destined for second base. A late season injury last year may have prevented him from joining Dansby on the major league club. Ozzie has speed, the tools to play shortstop and the bat to stay near .300. What he lacks is power. An ability to draw walks with a .358 OBA between AA and AAA will allow him to hit at the top of the order to set the stage for the run producers. Myworld expects him to start his season in AAA with a quick callup when the Braves need help at second base or in a super utility role.

15. Tyler Glasnow RHP (Pirates) 8.68 - Tyler was a fifth round pick in 2012 but at 6′8″ with a lefty arm that hits the mid to upper 90s with his fastball his stock rose quickly. He also has a curve that misses bats and a change that is serviceable. His big issue is finding command. The opposition only hit .190 against him and he averaged over a strikeout per inning. Runners reached base consistently as he walks more than one hitter per two innings. In the major leagues his 4.24 ERA was inflated by a 13/24 walk to whiff ratio in just 23 innings. That lack of command also impacts hitters looking for the fastball when he gets behind in the count and major league hitters burned him for a .250 average. Expect him to start the 2017 season in AAA as he further tries to improve his command by working on a consistent delivery.

14. Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) 8.78 - Devers is one player the Red Sox tried to avoid having in conversations in trade talks. The Red Sox have hopes that he will take over the third base position when Pablo Sandoval is done. His lefthanded swing should find the .300 neighborhood with 30 plus homeruns an achievable goal. As a teenager in High A he slugged .448 with most of his power dedicated towards the gaps. As he matures and gets stronger those gap shots should get closer to the fences. His fielding at third will not win any gold gloves but it should do the job. If not a move to first is still a possibility. He lacks the foot speed to fit in the outfield. The 2017 season will see him do damage to AA pitchers.

13. Lucas Giolito RHP (White Sox) 8.82 - Lucas was a first round pick of the Nationals in 2012. Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching but one start that year and in 2013 it was only rehab. He was considered the top pitching prospect entering the 2016 season but struggles against major league hitters in his major league debut dropped him down a notch. It also convinced the Nationals that they could include him in a trade for Adam Eaton. At 6′6″ with a fastball in the mid to high 90s Giolito can be intimidating. He also has a nice break to his curve and a dropping changeup that leads to a lot of swings and misses in the minor leagues. His velocity dropped when promoted to the major leagues and his command was poor with a 12/11 walk to whiff ratio. He also saw seven balls leave the park in just 21 innings of work, equaling the number of jacks he gave up in the minors in 115 innings. A good spring and a return to the high 90s in velocity could see him open the season in the White Sox rotation. The better bet is he starts the season in AAA.

12. Austin Meadows OF (Pirates) 8.83 - Austin was a first round pick of the Pirates in 2013. Injuries last season limited him to just 87 games. He did reach AAA but in 126 at bats he only hit .214 with a .297 OBA. The left handed stroke of Austin should hit for average as his .311 batting average in AA attests. His power should also come where he should hit 20 plus homeruns every year. The speed is there for him to steal 20 plus bases and cover centerfield, but the arm is below average so if centerfield is not a possibility a move to left would be an alternative. The Pirates outfield is a little crowded so expect Austin to spend his 2017 season in AAA. He is just a major injury away from getting a callup, or a Andrew McCutchen trade away if the Pirates should fall out of the playoff race.

11. Victor Robles OF (Nationals) 8.85 - Victor Robles has all five tools to make him a superstar. He will hit for average (.305 in low A), carries the potential power to hit 20 plus homeruns, has the foot speed to steal 50 plus bases and the tools and arm to play either center or right. At 19 years of age he held his own in High A, hitting .262 with a .354 OBA. A good work ethic and a leader in the clubhouse could add a sixth tool to his skills. It is difficult to watch these tools and show patience with him to allow him to develop in the minor leagues. With less than 200 at bats it may be best for Robles to start the season in High A with a promotion to AA once he achieves success.

Myworld’s Top Prospects - 30-21

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Teams 30 Days - San Deigo Padres

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Overview - Two years ago A.J. Preller traded a number of Padres prospects to obtain veteran players in an attempt to make a pennant run. The Padres won three less games than they had the previous year. Last year the focus was reversed with Preller trading veterans to acquire prospects. That resulted in six less wins. The team was at the bottom in pitching, hitting and fielding. The only thing they could do well was leave runners on base, finishing first in that department. The only good thing about the 2016 season is they hosted the All Star game. The bad was their only All Star was Drew Pomeranz who they later traded to the Red Sox before the season ended, a trade that resulted in a suspension for A.J. Preller for not disclosing an injury.

Strengths - The Padres hope the rookie duo of Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot achieve for the Padres what rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice accomplished for the Red Sox in their rookie seasons. Fred Lynn was the first player to win rookie of the year and MVP and led the Red Sox to a first place finish in the AL East. Renfroe hits for power with a rifle for an arm to play right while Margot has the speed to play center. The defense behind the plate should be good with Austin Hedges leading the charge. Christian Betancourt is a backup who will also be used as a relief pitcher. Both players have strong arms to control the running game but the bats are lacking.

Weakness - The starting pitching could result in some brutal games. It is a rotation lacking aces, filled with other team’s rejects. Spring training will sort out who starts. The bullpen lacks a closer, though Barndon Maurer filled that role after the trade of Fernando Rodney. Carter Capps has closer experience but he may not be ready to start the season with the Padres. The Padres are still in the hunt for a shortstop. Luis Sardinas can handle the position defensively, but his bat is very light. For a team that finished last in hitting last year another light bat will not help the offense. Travis Jankowski can still win the centerfield job or move over to left. Travis lacks the power bat to play a corner outfield position. Alex Dickerson carries more power than Travis but his batting average and defense are not as strong. The two will fight for the left field job in spring training.

Spring Training Invitees - The spring invitee list is loaded with pitchers, but myworld is not really enamored with any of them. The Padres may need a third catcher to accommodate moving Christian Betancourt to the bullpen. Hector Sanchez has a lot of experience with the Giants as a backup catcher. Eric Aybar was once one of the top shortstops in the game. He is only 30 years old so he should have plenty of baseball left in him.

Impact Prospects - The two that should have big impact are their two outfielders, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe. Hunter lacks the foot speed of Margot but has a rifle arm and a power bat that should hit 30 plus homeruns. Margot is the man with speed who is expected to cover ground in center. Dinelson Lamet put up some dominating numbers in AA, limiting the opponents to a .207 average with 11 whiffs per nine innings. He has good velocity on his fastball with his slider makes for a good secondary pitch. He started two games in AAA where the Padres will start him there and if he succeeds promote him to the major leagues. Carlos Asuaje is a more consistent hitter than Ryan Schimpf but lacks his power and defensive acumen. The Padres could also move him to left field to get his bat in the lineup. Luis Torrens was a Rule V pick. The Yankees paid a $1.3 million bonus to sign him. The Padres will need a third catcher but Torrens has not played beyond Low A.

Prospects to Watch - Instead of signing free agents the Padres spent large bonuses on Cuban players. Adrian Morejon may be the best of those signed, a 18 year old pitcher who starred for Cuba in the 15 and under World Cup. His fastball can light up a radar in the mid-90s but sits in the low 90s. He was given an $11 million bonus. Jorge Ona was their second big signing for $7 million. He plays outfield and was a star for the Cuban 18 and under team in 2014. He has plus power but could be susceptible to the swing and miss. His foot speed is also slow so Jorge would be limited to a corner outfield position. Michael Baez ($3 million), Ronald Bolanos ($2,25 million), Ramon Perez ($400,000) and the recently signed Osvaldo Hernandez are other players to watch. Anderson Espinoza is perhaps the Padres top prospect. The Padres acquired him in the Drew Pomeranz trade with the Red Sox. He’s got good velocity but still has not gotten past Low A. Cal Quantrill is the son of Paul and was the Padres 2016 first round pick. Tommy John surgery in college is a concern, but his fastball hits the mid 90s. Michael Gettys has some impressive tools but there is still too much swing and miss in his at bats. Josh Naylor is a big time power hitter limited to first base. He was the Marlins first round pick in 2015. Javier Guerra was their top prospect entering the 2016 season hitting .279 with 15 homeruns. His 2016 numbers were horrible (.202, 9) dropping his prospect status. He still has the tools so a bounce back season would put him back in the shortstop race. The Padres are loaded here.

Expected Finish - It is a young team with a suspect pitching staff. Finishing ahead of the Diamondbacks would be an accomplishment.

Padres Add to their Cuban Contingent with Osvaldo Hernandez

Monday, March 13th, 2017

The Padres continued their impressive collection of Cuban players, signing 18 year old lefthander Osvaldo Hernandez to a $2.5 million bonus. Since the Padres were already over their cap that comes with a 100 percent penalty, or an additional $2.5 million. The Padres have spent close to $25 million in signing bonuses to Cubans

Not a tall pitcher at 6′0″, but he does throw lefthanded in the low 90s, according to multiple reports. Like many Cuban pitchers his bread and butter pitches are the breaking pitches, with a plus slider, curveball and change.

Myworld does not know a lot about him but add him to the names of Adrian Morejon ($11 million), Jorge Ona ($7 million), Michael Baez ($3 million), Ronald Bolanos ($2,25 million) and Ramon Perez ($400,000) to the list of Cuban pitchers signed by the Padres.

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.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch NL West

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

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

Arizona Diamondbacks

Breakout Prospect (Socrates Brito OF) - He had his opportunity to make an impact last year but stumbled with a .179 average in 79 at bats. Above average speed and minimal power makes centerfield an ideal position for him, but his arm is suited for right. In AAA he showed the ability to hit for average (.294) but he needs to improve his patience (13/65 walk to whiff ratio). His lack of patience was even more pronounced in the major leagues (2/23). Despite his speed he does not seem to rack up a lot of stolen bases. If he can establish a little more power he could fit in the seventh or eighth spot in the batting order but a poor OBA makes it difficult for him to win a leadoff role. With very little in the outfield Brito has an opportunity to establish himself this year if he can improve on his ability to get on base.

Prospect to Watch (Andy Yerzy C) - Myworld was going to put Peter O’Brien on this list but the Diamondbacks traded him after putting him on waivers. So we will take a look at the Canadian Yerzy, who impressed at the high school homerun hitting contest at the 2015 All Star game in Cincinnati, making it to the finals. This upped his draft stock with the Diamondbacks selecting him in the second round of the 2016 draft. Teams are always looking for lefthanded hitting catchers and when one shows the power as Yerzy the eyes light up. He is a clone of O’Brien, needing a lot of work defensively and his plate discipline is below average (4/38 at two levels) but there are tools there that the Diamondbacks can work with. And he hits lefthanded.

Colorado Rockies

Breakout Prospect (Jeff Hoffman RHP) - It is always tough for pitchers to succeed in Colorado. The 2014 first round pick got six starts at the major league level last year and fared well finishing with a 4.88 ERA. The opposition tagged him at a .287 clip and his 17/22 walk to whiff ratio was disappointing. Those numbers will have to improve if he is going to have success in 2017. He throws three very good pitches in a fastball, curveball and change, though his fastball has not gained the high 90s it had prior to his Tommy John surgery. Jeff was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round and the Rockies acquired him in the Troy Tulowitski trade. All Hoffman has to do is pull ERAs just above 4.00 and win games when Rockie bats score more runs than the opposition. After all, the altitude is not friendly to visiting pitchers either.

Prospect to Watch (Forest Wall 2B) - The Rockies drafted him in the first round supplemental draft in 2014. The defensive work at second base is below average but the bat is supposed to be good. There was some talk about moving him to centerfield but that has not come to fruition. If Wall is going to play his bat will be his ticket to the major leagues. Last year he hit .264 with a .355 slugging. That is not going to cut it with a below average glove at second base. In 2015 he slugged .438 at Low A with a better strikeout to walk ratio. He needs to bounce back to be a viable player for the Rockies in the future.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Breakout Prospect (Jose Deleon RHP) - The Twins want Deleon included in any trade for Brian Dozier. The Dodgers are reluctant to trade Jose. The 24th round pick out of Puerto Rico has given the Dodgers a number of reasons to want to keep him. His mid-90s fastball and excellent changeup give the Dodgers at least two reasons. There was a bit of a struggle in his major league callup (6.35 ERA and .288 opposition average) but his minor league numbers were dominant (2.61 ERA and .194 opposition average). Coming into the 2016 season he averaged 12.3 whiffs per nine innings. In AAA he struck out 111 in just 86.1 innings.

Prospect to Watch (Willie Calhoun 2B) - He is a small second baseman, standing just 5′8″, a little taller than Jose Altuve. The quick lefthanded bat managed to drive 27 balls over the fence in AA. This was a breakout season for him when you consider in 2015 he hit just 11 homeruns. He did show power in junior college with 31 homeruns in 61 games. It will be interesting to see if his small, powerful frame can continue to send balls over the fence. His defense is not exemplary and the fact he did not steal any bases last year says a lot about his foot speed. The Dodgers have yet to acquire Brian Dozier so second base is still an open spot for Willie.

San Diego Padres

Breakout Prospect (Manuel Margot OF and Hunter Renfroe OF) - It is tough for teams to compete for a playoff when they have two rookies patrolling their outfield. The Padres know they are in rebuilding mode and it is time to see what these two talented players can do. Margot has the greater set of tools with the speed and athleticism to play center field. His power is good enough to split the gaps. Last year in a September callup he hit .243 in 37 at bats. Five of his nine hits went for extra bases (four doubles and one triple), but he failed to draw a walk, giving him a low OBA. Renfroe is the slugger who mashed four homeruns in a brief 35 at bat September callup. He is a little more plodding than Margot, but he has enough speed to cover the outfield. His arm is one of his best attributes so right field appears to be the perfect position for him. The Padres have to hope this duo reminds them of when the Red Sox brought up Fred Lynn and Jim Rice as rookies.

Prospects to Watch (Josh Naylor 1B and Javier Guerra SS) - Josh Naylor was drafted in the first round by the Marlins. They traded him to the Padres shortly after he cut Stone Garrett with a knife that was classified as horse play but some reports have stated was a little more serious than that. Not a lot of players are packed with the power that Naylor possesses but there is also a lot of swing and miss to his game. Last year could be classified as a disappointing season for him with his 12 homeruns resulting in a ugly .407 slugging percentage. That is a little south of .500 that teams want to see from their first baseman. Slow foot speed would make a move to the outfield not wise. Guerra had an off season where his average dropped more than 100 points to a .202 clip. His OPS also fell below .600 and his walk to whiff ratio (34/141) was ugly. All of the tools exist for him to play a quality defensive shortstop, but the bat has to work to get him in the lineup.

San Francisco Giants

Breakout Prospects (Christian Arroyo SS. Clayton Blackburn RHP) - We can’t get really too excited about any Giant making an impact this year. Arroyo is more suited for a utility role. With Brandon Crawford staffing short his only opportunity to get a full time gig in the lineup will be at third base. Myworld doesn’t think he has the power for that position. A move to the outfield would not be to his advantage because of below average foot speed. He did have a career minor league average of .303 coming into 2016 but hit just .274 at AA, so he can hit. A more likely player to make an impact is Blackburn. The problem with Blackburn is his stuff is more back of the rotation starter. His fastball is in the low 90s with average breaking balls and change. What he does have is command with the ability to locate the pitches and miss the barrel of bats.

Prospect to Watch (Chris Shaw 1B) - We like his power bat, which could eventually move Brandon Belt to left field. The 2015 first round pick hit 12 homeruns in his rookie season in 2015. He slugged 21 homeruns last year, but struggled in he AA Eastern League only slugging .414. There is not any speed to his game so a move to the outfield is out of the question and his defense is a little stiff at first. Expect him to repeat AA. If he has some success first base may be his position in 2018, or he could become trade bait for another team to allow the Giants to stock up on veteran players in a playoff run.

Randy Smith and Shohei Otani Connection

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Randy Smith was recently hired by the Nippon Ham Fighters to be a senior adviser to their general manager and conduct duties as a major league scouting director. The Fighters current general manager Hiroshi Yoshimura worked under Smith when he was with the Detroit Tigers.

Shohei Otani pitches for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Randy Smith was general manager of the San Diego Padres from 1993 to 1995. He returned to the Padres in 2003 to be the special assistant to the general manager. In 2011 he became Vice President of Player development and International Scouting for the Padres, a post he held until 2016. The Padres have a working agreement with the Fighters, though they probably do not have the resources to sign Otani to a contract.

Dominican Winter Wonders to Watch in 2017

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Below are some of the players to watch in the Dominican Republic winter leagues. They are either highly considered prospects or veterans having a good winter that they hope will bring some attention to them when they enter spring training in 2017.

Rafael Bautista (Nationals/Escojido) CF - He will not hit for a lot of power but if he can hit for average with his speed and defense he could win the starting job in centerfield for the Nationals, moving Trea Turner to second or shortstop. With Leones he is hitting .314 with eight stolen bases in ten attempts. That could get him some playing time for the Nationals.

Manuel Margot (Padres/Toros) CF - Margot has some pop to go with his speed. A good winter could give the Padres a tough choice between him and Travis Jankowski for the centerfield starting job. In the Dominican he is hitting .263 with two homeruns and eight stolen bases in 9 attempts. He could fit in the three hole if he shows double digit pop or the leadoff spot if he can improve his patience at the plate. In a brief major league callup he did not walk once in his 37 at bats.

Dylan Cozens (Phillies/Aguilas) RF - Last year Cozens hit 40 homeruns to lead the Eastern League. It is not easy hitting homeruns in the Dominican, but his four lead the Dominican league. Unfortunately, the more experienced pitchers are finding the holes in his swing resulting in 32 strikeouts in 85 at bats for a .165 average. They are passionate about their game in the Dominican and Dylan will have to be more consistent if he hopes to stay on the roster. He is 0 for his last 13 but appears to have gone home for the winter, his last game on the 21st.

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies/Gigantes) 1B - They are playing for different teams in the Dominican but Rhys and Dylan hope to both be playing for the Phillies by September 2017. Rhys is tied with Dylan for the Dominican homerun lead. Last year his 38 homeruns were second in the Eastern League to his teammate Dylan. He is making better contact than Dylan with just 14 whiffs in 76 at bats but his .224 average is still disappointing. He is 0 for his last 14 and may be home for the winter, his last game on the 22nd.

Willy Adames (Rays/Licey) SS - Willy has struggled early this season with a .167 average. Of his five hits none have gone for extra bases. He has the tools to play shortstop and showed a potent bat in AA last year. The 30 at bats are a small sample size but they could be indicators that he needs another year in the minor leagues before he takes over the Rays shortstop job.

Alec Asher (Phillies/Gigantes) RHP - He made a nice end of the season debut with the Phillies with a 2.28 ERA in five starts. He is achieving the same amount of success with a 2.14 ERA in eight starts for the Gigantes. Right handed hitters are batting only .145 against him. Myworld expects his last start was on the 27th, his worst start of the winter when he coughed up three runs in four innings.