Archive for the 'Padres' Category

Forbes List of Top Paid Baseball Players

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Soccer players are the top three salaried athletes on the Forbes Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes list. The process was to figure out a player’s salary or winnings and endorsements, add them up and come up with their 2019 earnings. The one difficulty with that is the endorsements were based on publicly identified endorsements or word of mouth by talking with representatives about the worth of those endorsements. So the list may not be totally accurate.

Soccer takes the first three, a boxer is number four, tennis at five, football takes 6-7, basketball dominates 8-10 and golf is at 11. You have to go to the 17th spot to find your baseball player. Only one woman makes this list and she plays tennis. Myworld will force you to go the Forbes list to get the names of the above listed athletes associated with their sport.

For baseball, endorsement money was a small portion of their value. I’ll list the endorsement money for the top three, but after that it was under $1 million.

17. Mike Trout (Angels) - $56 million ($3 million in endorsements)
23. Bryce Harper (Phillies) - $44.5 million ($6.5 million in endorsements)
30. Manny Machado (Padres) - $34.8 million
50. David Price (Red Sox) - $31.7 million
54. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) - $30 million
61. Justin Verlander (Astros) - $29.5 million
62. Yoennis Cespedes (Mets) - $29.4 million
63. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) - $29.2 million
68. Jake Arrieta (Phillies) - $28.8 million
73. Albert Pujols (Angels) - $28 million
77. Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees) - $27.4 million ($2 million in endorsements)
84. Felix Hernandez (Mariners) - $26.6 million
94. J.D. Martinez (Red Sox) - $25.6 million
96. Joey Votto (Reds) - $25.4 million

Stat of the Week

Sunday, June 9th, 2019 carries some interesting statistical numbers. Last week we listed the top ten players for speed. Some of the names surprised us. This week we list the top ten players in exit velocity on average and distance to see how they marry. Not too many surprises here.

Exit Velocity

1) Joey Gallo (96.3) - Having a career year in batting average (.276) with 17 homeruns.
2) Nelson Cruz (94.5) - At 38 years of age his homerun numbers are going down, but it appears he still hits the ball hard.
3) Josh Bell (94.4) - Having a career year with 18 homeruns and leading the NL in RBIs (57).
4) Christian Yelich (93.8) - Gunning for another MVP award with 23 homeruns leading major league baseball.
5) Gary Sanchez (93.4) - A good bounce back year for him with his 19 homeruns already exceeding last year’s totals in less at bats.
6) Shohei Ohtani (93.3) - He can still throw the ball harder than he hits, but that exit velocity is still impressive.
7) Josh Donaldson (93) - The flyer the Braves took on him signing him to a big one year contract is paying off
8) Franmil Reyes (93) - One of the best young hitters in baseball. Staying with the big boys with his 19 homeruns
9) Carlos Santana (92.9) - Not changing his evil ways against American League pitchers. Homerun numbers are down (12).
10. Yoan Moncada (92.9) - Finally reaching his number one prospect potential. Also only 12 homeruns but a .284 average.

Tommy Pham just missed the top ten at number 11 with an average exit velocity of 92.8.

The top ten in average homerun distance has some surprise names because some of the players on the list have not hit a lot of homeruns. So myworld took a look at the average distance a player hits the ball and the top ten from that list:

1) Gary Sanchez (236) - He appears in our top ten exit velocity.
2) Jay Bruce (233) - He has blasted 18 homeruns but a low batting average indicates a lot of soft contact in his game.
3) Anthony Rendon (229) - They call him Tony Two Bags because of all the doubles he hits into the gaps.
4) Joey Gallo (227) - Number one on our exit velocity list
5) Jorge Polanco (225) - Not noted for his homerun pop but lots of doubles this year. His 10 homeruns is approaching his career high of 13.
6) Justin Smoak (222) - Seems to be having a quiet year with a .237 average and only 12 homeruns and 6 doubles.
7) Mike Trout (220) - About time this superstar appears somewhere on this list.
8) Daniel Vogelbach (219) - We never saw his major league homerun production coming.
9) Brandon Belt (218) - His offensive numbers seem to be down. Perhaps a lot of fly ball outs to the warning track.
10) Cody Bellinger (216) - If not for Yelich he would be gunning for the NL MVP honors. A NL league leading .362 average

As far as distance, the top five homeruns for distance have been hit by Nomar Mazara (482), Ketel Marte (482), Keon Broxton (474), Josh Bell (474) and Mike Trout (473). Marte and Broxton are two interesting names I wouldn’t associate with power, though Marte has been hitting some homeruns this year.

A lot more interesting stats at Hope to give you more next week but you can check the numbers yourself.

Top Cuban Prospects in National League

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

The list from last year had a player traded to the American League (Yusniel Diaz) and three drop from the list. No player from the list from last year graduated to the major leagues. We expect that to change after this year with Yoan Lopez providing the Diamondbacks with good bullpen work.

1. Adrian Morejon LHP (Padres) - Since pitching for the 15 and under gold medal team and winning the MVP, Adrian has added some meat on his bones. That has upped his velocity to a steady diet of 93-95 mile per hour fastballs with an occasional helping of 97-98. His curve ball is also a high quality pitch. The Padres signed him for $11 million as a 17 year old. The pitches are all there, the command of those pitches can be a little spotty. This year he is pitching at AA as a 20 year old. He is struggling a bit with 11 walks in 20.2 innings, resulting in a 5.66 ERA. Unless he improves his command he will probably pitch all season in AA and will not see the major leagues until late next year. One of the strengths of the Padres is their depth in starting pitching.

2. Victor Victor Mesa OF (Marlins) - The Marlins season is not going well and the attendance is lagging. They did pull a coup signing one of the top international prospects and his brother in 2018. The father, Victor Mesa was a star of many international tournaments and played with Lourdes Gurriel, whose youngest son Lourdes Jr. appeared on this list last year. The big tool for Mesa is his speed, which will allow him to cover a lot of ground in center field with a strong arm. There is some question whether his bat will be one that will have an impact. Victor Victor signed for $5.25 million with his younger brother Victor signing for $1 million. The older brother had some up and down seasons in the Nacional Series, but felt the pressure of being the son of a legend. He is not making much of an impact in the Florida State League, hitting just .224 with a .274 OBA and a .260 slugging. All the defense in the world will not support that offense.

3. Michel Baez RHP (Padres) - The Padres signed Baez for $3 million, the same year they signed Morejon (2016). He is an imposing figure at 6′8″ 220 pounds. His fastball splits the plate in the mid-90s. His secondary pitches are promising but with his long limbs a consistent delivery is difficult resulting in poor command. If he fails to make it as a starter he has the velocity and intimidating presence to make it as a closer. He got a late start to the season but in AA he has made four relief appearances, striking out 13 in 8.2 innings, but giving up 10 hits. If he can show dominance in the bullpen he could see some time with the Padres as a September callup.

4. Malcom Nunez 3B (Cardinals) - The Cardinals signed Malcom in 2018 for just $300,000, the maximum salary they could sign international players because of penalties. They stuck him in the Dominican Summer League where he crashed the party, hitting .415 with 13 homeruns. The bat carries some big time power, with the potential to hit for 30 plus homeruns once he reaches the major leagues. He led Cuba to the gold medal in the 15 and under World Cup in Japan in 2016. His defense needs improvement, otherwise a move to first may be necessary, chipping away at his value. He is finding the Midwest League a little tougher than the Dominican Summer League, hitting just .183 in 21 games. Currently only one of his 13 hits has gone for extra bases, resulting in a paltry .197 slugging average.

5. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers spent a rich $16 million in 2015 to sign Yadier. His high 90s fastball convinced the Dodgers to give him his suitcase full of cash. His breaking ball pitches show promise but his change needs more work. His control is poor and he will need to improve on that if he hopes to stay in the rotation. This is his fourth year of pitching in the minors and the results have been mixed. Last year he walked 43 hitters in just 48 innings in AA, leading to a inflated 4.66 ERA. This year has not looked any better with a 14.73 ERA in two starts. Yadier needs to harness his command to get an opportunity to pitch for the Dodgers sometime in 2020.

6. Yoan Lopez RHP (Diamondbacks) - Yoan signed for $8 million in 2015. His indoctrination to United States baseball was rough as he quit his minor league teams his first two seasons in baseball. After his first year the D-Backs moved Yoan from the rotation to the bullpen. There his fastball hits in the high 90s. His persistence has paid off with his major league debut being made last year. This year he has been one of the better bullpen arms for the D-Backs major league team with a 1.52 ERA. The swings and misses are not prevalent but the opposition average is just .223.

7. Adolis Garcia OF (Cardinals) - The Cardinals paid him $2.5 million to leave Cuba. In the Nacional Series back in 2016 he was voted the MVP. Adonis is his older brother, who played briefly with the Braves before leaving for Korea to play in the KBO. Adolis is bigger than his brother and carries a bit more power. Last year he slugged 22 homeruns, leading to a promotion to the major leagues where he could only muster a .118 average. This year he has slugged 12 homeruns but is only hitting .224 in AAA. Strikeouts have been a big problem with 74 in 56 games.

8. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - At 6′0″ and throwing right handed, Vladimir is not a big presence. The Reds still shelled out $4.7 million to sign him in 2016. He does not throw hard, with his fastball sitting in the low 90s, but he can dial it up to the high 90s. His big swing and miss pitch is a quality curveball. His first two seasons Vladimir has been kind of vanilla, with ERAs above 4 and strikeouts to innings pitched just a shade under 9 per 9 innings pitched. This year he is struggling even more with a 7.64 ERA in 11 starts in AAA. He has been a victim of the new AAA balls, where 9 have left the park in just 74 innings. Vladimir needs to turn his 2019 season around if he hopes to reach the Reds this year.

9. Jose Israel Garcia SS (Reds) - The Reds paid $5 million to sign Jose to a contract in 2017. He is a defensive oriented player with a questionable bat. Last year the Reds placed him in Low A where he hit .245 with a .290 OBA. His walk to whiff ratio was 19/112. This year the Reds promoted Garcia to the Florida State League where he shows more of the same (.252, 9/31 walk to whiff). He is still a few years away from impacting the Reds.

10. Miguel Vargas 3B (Dodgers) - Miguel is the son of another Cuban legend, two time gold medalist Lazaro Vargas. Miguel starred on the Cuban youth teams before leaving with his father for the States. The Dodgers signed Miguel for $300,000 in 2017. Defensively he may lack the tools to play third so he will have to develop the power to fit at first. His slow foot speed rules out the outfield. Last year he dominated at the rookie levels, hitting .400. He struggled a little at Low A, hitting just .213 in 75 at bats. Another year in the Midwest League and he is hitting .316. The power is lacking but a 29/30 walk to whiff is evidence that he could hit for average.

Adams Walkoff Prevents Padres Sweep

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Matt Adams completed an impressive Nationals comeback with a walk off homerun to lead off the 11th inning to give the Nationals a 7-6 win. The shot landed in the upper deck of Nationals stadium. Prior to that at bat Adams was 0 for 5. He only got the start against the lefthanded Joey Lucchesi because of an injury to Ryan Zimmerman.

It was not a good start for the Nationals. Jeremy Hellickson and his pedestrian fastball was fodder to the Padre bats. Fernando Tatis Jr. took his first pitch to the deepest part of left field before Juan Soto caught it with his back against the fence. The next batter Greg Garcia hammered a pitch into the Nationals right field bullpen.

In the second inning Eric Hosmer blasted a line drive over the head of Michael Taylor for a double. Hunter Renfroe followed with a bloop single into left to turn the score to 2-0.

The Padres erupted in the third. An infield single and boot by Brian Dozier put the first two runners on. Manny Machado singled up the middle to score Tatis Jr. After a Wil Myers whiff Eric Hosmer lined a 90 mile per hour fastball from Hellickson into the left field bleachers for a 6-0 lead. It rained down boos from the National fans in attendance, though there appeared to be more Padre jerseys than Nationals.

It looked bleak for the Nationals. In the bottom frame a video replay showed Victor Robles beat out an infield single to first. That was followed by a Brian Dozier single. Juan Soto gave National fans some reason for hope by depositing a pitch into the centerfield grass area, just below the curly W for a three run shot. The Nationals tacked on one more when first baseman Hosmer overthrew pitcher Lucchesi covering first to advance Howie Kendrick to second. A single by Kurt Suzuki drove in Kendrick and cut the lead to 6-4. The Nationals loaded the bases, sending up Adam Eaton to pinch hit for Hellickson. He struck out to end the threat.

In the fifth Victor Robles hit one just beyond the glove of Wil Myers and off the top of the fence of the left field bullpen for a solo shot. Carter Kieboom hit a solo homerun off Adam Warren in the sixth to tie the game, a line drive into the left field bleachers.

It went scoreless after that. The Nationals had an opportunity in the tenth. With a runner on first Robles laid down a bunt. The pitcher Matt Wisler threw to second. Fernando Tatis Jr. stretched for the ball but his foot went off the bag as he did a split. The split also pulled his hamstring sending him out of the game. The Padres did some shuffling, keeping Machado at third and moving Wil Myers to short. Catcher Francisco Mejia went to play left. When Brian Dozier had two strikes on him Machado moved to short and Myers moved to second, with Greg Garcia shifting to third. Garcia and Myers bounced around depending on the batting side of the hitter. With runners on second and third with two out Howie Kendrick bounced a ball up the middle. Machado made a nice sliding grab, bounced back on his feet and threw Kendrick out to save the Padres for another inning. That inning was brief after the Matt Adams lead off homer.

Nat Notes: Howie Kendrick had been on base in every at bat until the ground out to Machado. He had two singles, a walk, got on base via the Hosmer error and also got on base when Austin Hedges tried to tag him after a third strike swing and miss on a pitch in the dirt. When Austin reached out to tag Kendrick the ball dropped out of his glove. Howie only scored once…Michael Taylor struck out in four of his five at bats, all four looking at a called third strike. He walked in his other at bat. The 8th and 9th spot in the order struck out in 8 of their 9 at bats until the Wilmer Difo pinch hit single in the 10th inning…The Nationals chose not to bunt Michael Taylor with runners on first and second and no outs. He struck out, as well as pinch hitter Yan Gomes and Victor Robles…Myworld has seen Victor Robles bunt twice. Both have been hard to the pitcher and should have resulted in two force outs at second, if not for Tatis taking his foot off second…Wil Myers is not a good left fielder…The Nationals bullpen shined this day with eight shutout innings. Recently called up Eric Fedde tossed four shutout innings and could be a good candidate to replace Hellickson in the rotation…Hunter Renfroe showed some good speed beating out a slow grounder to shortstop…In the 9th inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Manny Machado swung at a 2-0 pitch and popped out to third…The homeruns by Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom broke a record. They became the first trio 21 or younger to homer in the same game…Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list because of plantar fasciitis on his right foot. Matt Adams now gets an opportunity to show he can have an impact in the lineup.

Ka-Boom to Ker-Plunk

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

In any sport you can go from hero to goat in a flash. Carter Kieboom discovered that on Friday night. In the bottom of the eighth, with the Nationals down 3-2, Kieboom led off the inning by driving a ball to deep centerfield. Manuel Margot went back on the ball, leaped and came up short as the ball travelled over the fence to tie the game.

Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth Kieboom got another opportunity. The Nationals loaded the bases off Padres closer Kirby Yates. Kieboom worked the count to 2-2. His next pitch, a nasty splitter dove into the dirt, Kieboom swung at it and missed. The catcher tagged him out and the Nationals lost another game the bullpen swallowed.

Max Scherzer was strong at the start throwing four perfect shutout innings, while striking out six. The Nationals gave him a lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two run homer from Yan Gomes that landed on the planters in left field for a homerun. After the Gomes homerun the next 11 hitters failed to get on base.

In the top of the fifth Eric Hosmer drove a 0-2 pitch from Scherzer into the right field bleachers to cut the lead to one. In the seventh he struggled with his control, getting behind in the count to four of the five batters he faced. A double down the left field line by Wil Myers and a single up the middle by Manny Machado tied the score. Another single by Eric Hosmer put runners on first and third with one out. Scherzer K’d Ian Kinsler and Franmil Reyes was picked off third by catcher Gomes.

Matt Strahm stymied the Nationals bats. He gave up a two run homer to Gomes in the fourth but he also struck eight batters in six innings, five of them looking. The Nationals need to be more aggressive at swinging the bat, taking too many called third strikes. Strahm was gone after six and Scherzer was pinch hit for in the bottom of the seventh.

The Nationals bullpen does what it does best in the eighth inning. It implodes. Kyle Barraclough got the first opportunity. He walked the first hitter he faced, Austin Hedges, missing on a 3-2 pitch. Ty France got his first major league hit, pulling a single through the hole into left field. That was it for Barraclough. Wander Suerro came in to replace him. Fernando Tatis grounded one back to the box. Suerro turned to second to get two, threw the ball in the dirt but still got the out at second. Not turning the double play turned critical when Suerro threw a wild pitch that was ruled a passed ball to score Hedges and give the Padres a 3-2 lead.

After Kieboom homered to tie the game the Nationals went to their best reliever Sean Dolittle. He did not prove best enough. Hunter Dozier lined a 1-2 pitch into the centerfield bleachers to give the Padres a 4-3 lead. Kirby Yates was able to protect it, loading the bases but striking out Carter Kieboom for his 13th save. The Padres have only won 15 games.

Nats Notes: Carter Kieboom was the second player out of the dugout after Max Scherzer. The Nationals were also selling Kieboom jerseys at their stores…Max Scherzer struck out the side in the sixth. That put him at 2,500 strikeouts…Myworld was supposed to go to the game today but a volleyball tournament had me running late. We still tried to make it but Metro failed me, shutting down the station I wanted to get on. The still unreliable Metro. They provided shuttle service, but we were already running late so we returned back home…The eight K’s by Matt Strahm were a career high…Fernando Tatis had his 12 game hitting streak broken on an 0 for four day.

Top Ten Mexican Prospects

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Only one player graduated from last year’s top ten. Victor Arano was myworld’s number 5 prospect from Mexico and he appeared in 60 games of relief for Philadelphia last year. We expect a couple players to graduate from this year’s list. A number of new faces to keep this list fresh.

1. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) - Alex was born in Tucson but his dad is from south of the border. That was enough to qualify Alex for the Mexican national team. He probably should have made the list last year. A second round pick of the Dodgers in 2014 Alex is more of a gap hitter than over the fence power. The arm is strong enough for right field but he lacks the speed for center. He will hit for average but the homerun numbers could fall shy of 20. This could put him in the fourth outfielder category. The trade of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig opened up some outfield room for Verdugo this year. The average is there (.345) and his .635 slugging comes with three homeruns. That will be enough to graduate from this list after this year. The Dodgers outfield is crowded so playing time will be dependent on a productive bat.

2. Florencio Serrano RHP (Rangers) - The Cubs had originally signed him for $1.2 million but major league baseball voided the contract after a dispute with Mexico over the distribution of the bonus money. When major league baseball and Mexico came to an agreement the Rangers swooped in and signed Serrano for $850,000. Serrano was born in Texas but moved to Mexico after his freshman year in high school. He signed with the Mexican League team the Tijuana Toros. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has reached the mid-90s in try outs. He also has a decent slider and developing change. At 19 years of age he has time to develop his pitches. After pitching in extended spring training he will join one of the short season leagues.

3. Luis Urias 2B/SS (Padres) - He was supposed to start the season as the Padres shortstop but Fernando Tatis impressed so much in spring training that Urias was sent down while Tatis was kept to play shortstop. Luis was later called up to play second but struggled with the bat and was sent down. In the minor leagues Luis has no problem hitting for a high average. His struggles have come in the major leagues where hitting for an average above .200 has been a struggle. He has the defensive tools to play short but will probably fit better at second base, deferring to Tatis at short. The power is lacking and his legs do not carry enough speed to steal bases, so he needs to hit for average to make an impact. Expect him to be called up again by mid-season and at some point figure out major league pitching.

4. Isaac Paredes 2B/3B (Tigers) - The hit tool is impressive. Isaac was originally a shortstop but his lower half is a bit thick to have the range to play that position. This year the Tigers have moved him to third base where the power could be there to play the position. Last year he hit 15 homeruns. He tends to be a pull heavy hitter where most of his power is and as he rises up the minors the pitchers could become more savvy to that approach. How he responds to being pitched away could have an impact on his major league development. At worst he will become a solid utility player with the Tigers. At best he could be an offensive oriented second baseman or solid third baseman. He is currently playing in AA where last year he hit .321 in 150 at bats last year. He should hit for a high enough average and decent power to be a good major league contributor.

5. Luis Verdugo SS (Cubs) - The Cubs seem to do a pretty good job of mining prospects down in Mexico. They lost Serrano but they have three other prospects in the minor leagues who were discovered in Mexico. Verdugo may be the best, signed in 2017 for $1.2 million. He played on the Mexican National team as a 15 year old. The arm is there to play short but a lack of speed could limit his range for the position. His bat is solid with some potential for power, which could allow for a move to third base if his range is found lacking. Last year he struggled with a .193 average in the Arizona Rookie League. At 18 years old he is young enough to repeat at that level.

6. Andres Munoz RHP (Padres) - The Padres are the closest team to take advantage of the south of the border talent. Andres was signed by the Padres in 2015 for a $700,000 bonus. His fastball has gone from the low 90s as a 16 year old to touching triple digits now that he is 20. Last year he pitched 25 games in relief for the Padres and averaged 100 miles per hour with his fastball. Over his three year minor league career he has only had one start, but his whiffs per nine innings sit at 11.8. Command and the improvement on his slider would make him closer material. It is unusual to find a hard thrower out of Mexico, but Munoz fits the bill.

7. Jose Albertos RHP (Cubs) - The Cubs shelled out $1.5 million in 2015 to sign Jose. There is a lot of talent in his arm, with a fastball that can rise to the mid-90s but often falls to the low 90s. This resulted in a horrible year last year where he could not get anyone out. His ERA was in double digits, hitters whacked him at an over .300 average and his walks to whiff ratio hit an ugly 65/38 in just 30 innings. That is usually not the numbers for a prospect but he has shown the Cubs some good seasons. The 2019 season will be key to determine whether he stays a prospect or becomes a journeyman. Some time in extended spring to work on his delivery is best and perhaps a callup to Low A or wait until the short seasons starts before making his 2019 debut. At 20 years old he needs to start showing more consistency on the mound.

8. Reivaj Garcia SS (Cubs) - Garcia was signed in 2017 for $500,000. He doesn’t have the tools of Verdugo and lacks the power bat to fit at third base. The ability to make contact is there so if he can hit for a high average he could eventually move to second base. Last year in his minor league debut he hit .302, but only nine of his 52 hits went for extra bases. At 18 years of age coming into this season he will probably see another year of short season. As he matures the Cubs hope enough power develops to give him a shot at making it as a utility player.

9. Gerardo Carrillo RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers got a bargain with Carrillo, signing him for just $75,000 in 2016. Despite his lack of size (6′0″, 155) he throws the ball hard, hitting the mid 90s with his fastball. He also has the ability to find the plate and as pitchers in Mexico learn, uses a multitude of pitches to retire hitters. His change is probably his best pitch. Last year when promoted to Low A he put together a 1.65 ERA in nine starts, limiting hitters to a .200 average. He relies more on soft contact than swings and misses to retire hitters, but as he bulks up that could change.

10. Tirso Ornelas OF (Padres) - Tirso signed for $1.5 million in 2016. At 6′3″ he has the potential to hit for some pop, last year hitting eight homeruns in Low A. The speed is lacking but the arm is enough to allow him to play either corner. Once he learns to pull the ball more effectively the power numbers should improve. He makes good contact for a power hitter. As he grows he will have to watch his weight. A move to first base would lesson his value and require that he fulfill his power potential to make it to the major leagues. The big advantage he has is he hits lefthanded.

Top 100 - 10 -1

Friday, April 5th, 2019

Finally complete. Lots of good bloodlines in the top ten. The Blue Jays and Astros were able to squeeze two players each in the top ten.

10. Bo Bichette SS (Blue Jays) - The son of Dante has a potent bat. It’s a mixture of power and batting average. The power is mainly in the gaps, with 42 doubles, but as he matures the balls will carry over the fence. His defense should be adequate for short. It would be better at third or even second but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio, two other sons of Hall of Famers have those positions covered. So the Blue Jays will take his adequate defense at short. He also has the speed and instincts to steal 32 bases last year. He will not be as fast as Trea Turner, but he could make just as big of an impact. The second round pick of 2016 will start the season in AAA and could be with the Blue Jays by mid-season, joining Vladimir.

9. Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - His older brother Preston was also drafted by the Astros. Kyle has a lot more talent. Preston could make it as a fourth outfielder. Kyle should be an All Star. The Astros outfield is currently crowded but many think Kyle will earn a starting spot by mid-season. Josh Reddick has the most to fear. Last year Kyle hit .332 with 24 homeruns, evidence of his ability to hit for power and average. He stumbled in his promotion to the majors last year, hitting just .141. His fringe speed will limit him to a corner with his best fit in left field. AAA is where Kyle will spend his time until the Astros feel he is ready.

8. Nick Senzel OF/3B/2B (Reds) - The Reds are trying to find a position for him. His original position is third base, but Eugenio Suarez has that position covered. He could find himself at second base after the Scooter Gennett injury. The Reds insist he will be in AAA to learn to play centerfield. If he can stay healthy it will not take him long before he reaches the Reds. Vertigo last year limited him to 44 games. The bat has big time power and his career minor league average is .314. That is incentive enough to get his bat to the major leagues after the Reds drafted him in the first round in 2016.

7. Forest Whitley RHP (Astros) - The only pitcher in the top ten. The Astros 2016 first round pick has a plethora of pitches, including a mid-90s fastball that can touch triple digits. He also works with the technology to improve the spin rates on his breaking balls (curve and slider) to make them quality pitches and his change up is a swing and miss pitch. Injuries limited him to just eight starts last year where the opposition only hit .160 against him in AA. He did some extra credit work in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) to eat up innings and should be ready for AAA to start the 2019 season. Expect him to be called up by mid-season.

6. Wander Franco SS (Rays) - It may be too early in his career to anoint him the next Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the minor leagues. The Rays signed him in 2017 for $2.8 million. His first year in rookie ball he hit .351 with 11 homeruns. The bat hits for power and average. His defense will not be Gold Glove caliber for shortstop, but the bat will play at third where he would be an above average defensive player. The only tool that is not above average is his speed. Wander will see his first season at Low A in 2019 as an 18 year old. He should rise through the minor league system quickly, something the Rays are not normally prone to do.

5. Royce Lewis SS (Twins) - The first player selected in the 2017 draft has the tools to be a premium shortstop. The bat should be something special, hitting for both power and average. His speed should also play havoc on the bases, making him a threat to be a 30/30 player if his power develops more than expected. Lewis struggled a bit in the Florida State league last year (.255) so the Twins may start him there to begin the 2019 season with a quick promotion to AA if he finds success. A five tool infielder once he is ready.

4. Victor Robles CF (Nationals) - With Bryce Harper leaving for Philly, the center field job was given to Victor. Currently his speed is the best part of his game. It will allow him to be a Gold Glover on defense in centerfield and a pest on the bases. His bat should hit for average, but it won’t be as potent as teammate Juan Soto. The concern for some is his average exit velocity for the ball off his bat is just 82-84. He needs to get over 86 to reach the average exit velocity of major leaguers. The Nationals will be patient with him and allow the speed to create havoc as they wait for the power to arrive.

3. Eloy Jimeniz OF (White Sox) - The White Sox rewarded him with a major league spot on opening day after he signed a big contract extension that gave them one year after free agency. The bat will be special. The defense in left field will not. He could spend most of his time at the DH spot. Once the Dominican develops he could vie for batting titles with 40 plus homerun power. Don’t be surprised to see him win a Triple Crown before his career is complete. Eloy will start his season with the White Sox in left field.

2. Fernando Tatis Jr SS (Padres) - The son of Fernando Sr., he did not sign a long term extension as Eloy, but he had newly signed free agent Manny Machado recommending Padre management forget keeping him in the minors for a couple weeks to get an extra year. The Padres agreed. Fernando is ready now. His defense at short should be passable, better than what Manny could provide at short, which is a reason why Manny is playing third. The bat will generate big time power and hit for a decent average. He will battle with Victor Robles for the National League Rookie of the Year award.

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays) - The son of Vladimir Sr. was going to be sent to the minor leagues to give the Blue Jays another year of service time despite the fact he is ready for the major leagues now. An early season injury will give them an opportunity to have him spend some time in rehab and then get promoted. His defense is average and his body could get too bulky for third. So a move to first could be in his future. His bat will be special with a .330 career minor league average and a slugging average of .529. Unlike his dad Vladimir is not afraid to take a walk. Expect him to be called up by May and win the American League rookie of the year award.

Top 100 - 20 - 11

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

20. Carter Kieboom 2B (Nationals) - Two homeruns in spring training off Justin Verlander this year is pretty impressive. The 2016 first round pick will follow in the footsteps of Juan Soto and Victor Robles to vie for rookie of the year in 2020. Shortstop is his main position and he has the tools to play it. With Trea Turner cemented at short for the Nationals Carter will need to move to second or third. The power is there to hit 20 plus homeruns which would also make him a good fit for third base. If the Nationals do not sign Rendon to an extension that position will be open in 2020. The Nationals will promote Kieboom sometime late this year to get him ready for the 2020 season.

19. Sixto Sanchez RHP (Marlins) - The Phillies included Sixto in a trade as one of the players to send to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto. Sixto has a good fastball, sitting in the mid-90s and hitting the high 90s. He also has quality secondary pitches (slider and change) and the command to carve the plate. The 6′1″ height brings out questions of durability. Last year injuries limited him to just 8 minor league starts. The Marlins are rebuilding and will be in no rush to promote Sanchez to the major leagues. They could start his year in High A and promote him to AA once he achieves success.

18. Brent Honeywell RHP (Rays) - Brent missed the 2018 season after Tommy John surgery. The 2014 second round supplemental pick has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and reaches high 90s. He also has a quality screwball that can enhance his repertoire. How those pitches survive after Tommy John is open to question. After the success he was having in AAA and during spring training the Rays were ready to promote him to they Rays to take the same flight path to the majors as Blake Snell. The Tommy John surgery delayed that major league arrival by a year. Expect him to be in their rotation by 2020.

17. Mackenzie Gore LHP (Padres) - Blisters interrupted his 2018 season after dominating in Rookie ball in 2017. The first round 2017 pick may have the best stuff of any pitcher in the minors. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with a curve, slider and change as quality pitches. Last year the blisters limited him to 16 starts and impacted the quality of his pitchers. Hitters hit .260 off him after barely making contact the previous year (.180). If healthy he should start the 2019 season in High A.

16. Alex Kiriloff RF (Twins) - One of the top outfielders did not play in 2017 because of Tommy John. The 2016 first round pick bounced back last year hitting .348 between Low A and High A, with 20 homeruns and 101 runs driven in. Myworld also saw him at the Future’s Game and despite his surgery he seemed to have a very strong arm. He lacks the speed to play center leaving the corners where his power will fit well. Expect him to begin the 2019 season in AA with a September promotion a possibility. The 2020 season he will join Byron Buxton to form an impressive outfield group.

15. Taylor Trammell OF (Reds) - Another Future game player, he won the MVP award with a homeruns and triple. The 2016 supplemental first round pick is one of those five tool players, minus the arm. The speed is there to play center and steal bases. The arm is fringe which limits him to left field if he is moved from center. His bat will produce power and if he can contain his whiff rate hit for average. Don’t be surprised if his bat breaks out for power when he starts the season in AA in 2019. A promotion to the major leagues is just around the corner.

14. Jesus Luzardo LHP (Athletics) - The Nationals 2016 third round pick will see his season delayed because of arm issues. The Nationals traded him to the Athletics along with Blake Treinen for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. He missed much of his senior year of high school after Tommy John surgery, which dropped him to the third round. Jesus has excellent control of a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can reach north of 95. His best pitch may be his change which produces a lot of his swings and misses. Once he returns from his injury he will have to start his season at the lower levels of the minor leagues for rehab before being assigned to AAA, where he struggled last year in his four starts.

13. Brendan Rodgers SS/2B (Rockies) - The 2015 first round pick is ready for the major leagues if the Rockies can find a position for him. Nolan Arenado was just signed to an extension, Trevor Story is cemented at short, so second base will be his best option. He will battle Ryan McMahon for at bats there. Last year he hit 17 homeruns. The tools are there to play short and those tools should easily transfer to second. He will eventually win the second base job over Ryan McMahon because of his superior defense.

12. Keston Hiura 2B (Brewers) - Perhaps the best pure hitter in the 2017 draft. Tommy John surgery limited him to DH duties his senior year in college. The Brewers drafted him in the first round despite not seeing him play defense at second. Last year his bat was good enough to play AA. In the majors it could be could be good enough to win batting titles. He won’t be a gold glover at second but he will not hurt you on defense. At some point the Brewers will want his bat in the lineup to make a playoff run for the 2019 season.

11. Jo Adell OF (Angels) - It won’t be long before the Angels have another super star outfielder to join Mike Trout. The 2017 first round pick is a legitimate five tool player. He will hit for power and average and have the speed to play center. The biggest question for the Angels when Adell is ready for the majors is who plays centerfield, Mike Trout or Adell. Fortunately for the Angels they will not need to make that decision until 2020.

Padres Prospects Ready for Now

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Manny Machado and his youthful brigade of prospects are ready for the 2019 season. The 2017 season was the first year since myworld has been tracking (2008) prospects that the Padres were rated in the top ten. Last year they went from tenth to fourth. Players who appeared in Top 100 lists last year were Fernando Tatis Jr., MacKenzie Gore, Luis Urias, Cal Quantril, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon and Anderson Espinoza. Myworld will come out with the 2019 rankings for the teams in a couple weeks once we finish the top 100 listings.

The Padres chose not to send Fernando Tatis Jr. down for a month to keep him an extra year. With the spring he had they felt he could help the team now at short. His defense could lack some consistency but his bat will generate lots of offense. The Padres will be as strong as the Dodgers left side of Justin Turner and Corey Seager. Tatis has the bat to drive in 100 runs, the power to hit 20 plus and the speed to steal 20 plus bases. The big issue is how he adjusts to major league pitching. If they find a weak spot they will exploit it.

Francisco Mejia is another player to have made the Padres roster. He will share the playing time with Austin Hedges, but if his bat shows up Mejia will see more action. Francisco has the stronger arm, one of the strongest in baseball, but the other tools are still not as sharp as Hedges, who is considered one of the better defensive catchers in baseball. What Mejia has that Hedges lacks is the bat that can hit for average and power. Like Tatis, he needs to adjust to major league pitching. One of the areas he needs to work on is not swinging at pitcher’s pitches.

Chris Paddock has made the rotation. The 2015 eighth round pick knows how to carve the plate with a fastball in the low 90s that he can dial up to the mid-90s. He also has an excellent changeup. Finding a breaking pitch has been a challenge and could result in struggle if his control and location falter. The Padres will also have to watch his innings. He missed the 2017 season because of Tommy John surgery and only pitched 90 innings last year. Don’t be surprised if the Padres shut him down for a month mid-season.

Luis Urias was supposed to play shortstop this year while Tatis spent a month in the minors. Luis failed to hit in spring training and was sent down to find his bat. Signed out of Mexico in 2013, the bat will pepper the gaps with line drives putting his batting average near .300. Power is lacking and his speed is fringe average, so if he is not spraying the ball for hits his contributions are limited. Last year, in a 48 at bat major league debut he hit just .208. Luis was going to move to second once Tatis got promoted. Now he will play second in AAA, show his bat is ready and play second once promoted to the Padres.

While Paddock made the major league roster, their potential future ace in the rotation is MacKenzie Gore. The lefthander has a plethora of pitches that he can control for strikes, with a fastball sitting in the mid-90s. Last year the 2017 first round pick had blister issues which limited him to just 16 starts. These blisters also made it difficult for him to control his breaking pitches, resulting in an ERA climbing to 4.45, compared to his first year when he had it down to 1.27 in rookie ball. The 2019 season should see him start in High A.

Two Cubans are close to making the rotation. Adrian Morejon is a lefthander who was the MVP of the 15 and under baseball World Cup and then defected when he was 16. The Padres gave him an $11 million bonus. His fastball can rise as high as 98 but sits just south of 95 with solid secondary pitches. He generates lots of swings and misses, averaging more than a whiff per inning, but when his location is not on he can be hit hard (.253 career opposition average). Next year he should see time in AA, just a whisper away from the major leagues.

Less developed is Michel Baez. At 6′8″ with a fastball that can touch the high 90s, his size and velocity can make him an intimidating presence on the mound. That size can also be a challenge for him to find the plate. He also has had his last two seasons delayed because of back issues. If he can stay healthy and find more consistency with his breaking pitches Baez could become a force. This year he should start the season in AA, where he struggled last year in four starts (7.36 ERA) walking 12 hitters in 18 innings.

Anderson Espinoza is the forgotten man. At one point he was compared to Pedro Martinez because of his small stature (6′0″) and his blazing fastball in the mid to high 90s. Tommy John surgery has prevented him from pitching the last two years. After missing two years one has to question whether his stuff will be the same.

Luis Patino is another 6′0″ pitcher hailing from Colombia. Despite his small frame his fastball can ride the plate in the mid 90s and reach as high as 99. His slider was rated as the best in the organization by Baseball America and he filters in a curveball and changeup to keep hitters honest. Durability because of his small frame could be an issue. Last year he was shutdown after 17 starts and 83 innings. He also needs to find a pitch to retire lefthanded hitters, who battered him for a .345 average last year. Next year he should start the season in High A.

Fernando Tatis is not the only son of an ex-major leaguer. Cal Quantril had a father (Paul) who pitched in the major leagues mainly out of the bullpen. Cal hopes to make it as a starter. The Canadian does not have an explosive fastball, sitting mainly in the low 90s, but his slider and change combination can create soft contact. Last year he got six starts in AAA but he was battered around for a .300 average. This year he should start the season in AAA. He is an injury away from being called up.

The Padres are deep at catcher. Austin Allen has shown excellent pop the last two years, hitting 22 homeruns at High A and AA. His defense is fringe behind the plate because of his lack of mobility so a move to first could be an option. Luis Campusano was a second round pick in 2017. He has a strong arm and better defensive tools than Allen. His power is not as great so he needs to make it behind the plate. Next year he will be in High A.

Josh Naylor was a catcher in his youth. His defense behind the plate was limited so a move to first was needed. He has a younger brother who was drafted last year by the Indians as a catcher. The Padres got him from the Marlins, who had drafted him in the first round in 2015. The Canadian has light tower power with his lefthanded bat. Only 5′11″ he weighs 250 so there are conditioning concerns. The Padres have tried him in left field but his lack of speed makes that position a liability for him. If Josh mashes in AAA the Padres could find room for him in the lineup, especially if the DH comes to the National League in a couple years.

Hudson Potts was a first round pick in 2016. He may need to find another position since Manny may have third base covered for a number of years. The bat and power are there for him to be a benefit to a lineup. The speed may be lacking to play the outfield. The Padres drafted him as a shortstop so a move to second base is a possibility. Last year he slugged 19 homeruns. The 2019 season should see him start his season in AA.

Buddy Reed is an outfielder loaded with tools. He has the speed for centerfield and the arm to fit in right. The bat has some pop to make him a potential 30/30 player. The issue is his ability to make contact. Last year he struck out 147 times in just 122 games. While he hit .324 at High A a promotion to AA saw him struggle with a .179 average. AA is where he should begin the 2019 season.

The light may be off for Javy Guerra. He was highly touted a couple years ago. The tools are there to make him a solid shortstop defensively, but the bat has been lacking the last couple years. With Tatis now at shortstop his hope is to fill in as a utility player or get traded to another team that is looking for defense at shortstop.

Top 100 - 30-21

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Though the Braves added one more righthanded pitcher after including three in the 40-31 prospect list, the White Sox dominated this ten with two righthanded pitchers and an infielder.

30. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - The Canadian pitcher and first round pick of the Braves in 2015 was limited to 11 starts last year because of injury, five of those starts in the major leagues. At 6′4″ with a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can touch mid 90s he has the quality secondary pitches to be a perfect fit as a mid-rotation starter. Injuries to Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Guasman could improve his opportunities. The Braves will be in a pennant race but it may be wise to limit his innings and start his 2019 season in AAA. What sets Soroka apart from other pitchers is his excellent command. He throws it to all quadrants of the plate and appears to have a purpose for each pitch.

29. Nick Madrigal 2B/SS (White Sox) - Nick was a first round pick of the White Sox in 2018. He played second base for NCAA champion Oregon, but he could have just as well played shortstop. At 5′8″ he is small in stature but his bat sprays line drives to all parts of the park. His bat will not hit for a lot of power, but batting titles could be in his future. The arm may be better suited for second base but if Nick can make it as a shortstop he would increase his value to the lineup. He should rise quickly, finishing at AA in 2019.

28. Dylan Cease RHP (White Sox) - The Cubs traded Cease to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana trade sacrificing a pitcher for the future for one that could help them in the present. The sixth round pick in 2014 throws in the mid 90s and can hit triple digits. His secondary pitches lack consistency and he has trouble finding the plate. Last year he had success in AA with a 1.72 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .168 average. The White Sox are in rebuilding mode. Dylan will probably start the season in AAA and be promoted to the major league team by mid-season if he shows success in AAA.

27. Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) - Last year Mitch Keller struggled for the first time since being drafted in the second round in 2014. He finished with an ERA of 4.82 in 10 AAA starts. His fastball hits the mid-90s and reaches the high 90s. Normally it is unhittable, but AAA hitters assaulted him for a .280 average last year. Both his fastball and curveball are the best in the Pirates system so they expect a bounce back. He is a better alternative than Nick Kingham or Jordan Lyles in the rotation so after a few starts in AAA he will be the Pirates number five starter by mid-May.

26. Francisco Mejia C (Padres) - With Manny Machado at third and the Padres outfield crowded Mejia will have to make it as a catcher. His arm is one of the strongest in baseball but his other tools for the position are fringy. Austin Hedges is the better defensive catcher but Mejia has the better bat. The Padres acquired the Dominican from the Indians last year for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Francisco has the potential to hit for a high average with good gap power. Last year he slugged 17 homeruns. If he starts the season with the Padres he will be the starting catcher with Hedges taking on the back up role.

25. Austin Riley 3B (Braves) - The Josh Donaldson signing delayed the arrival of Riley to the Braves by one year. The 2015 first round pick is a potential All Star who can provide quality defense and hit bombs far over the fence. If Riley has an Achilles heel it is his penchant for not making contact. The Braves will accept that as long as it comes with light tower pops. Last year Riley played at AAA hitting .282 with 11 homeruns. His .456 slugging average was below his norm. For the 2019 season he will start the season in AAA and if Donaldson is injured or struggles to find any offensive consistency Riley will be with the Braves by mid-season.

24. Alex Reyes RHP (Cardinals) - Drug suspensions, Tommy John surgery and injured lat muscles have kept Alex on the prospect lists two years longer than he would like. He was supposed to be in the Cardinals rotation a couple years ago. Because of his injuries he may start the year in the bullpen to lesson his innings and could move into the rotation towards the end of the year. His fastball is electric, consistently hitting the mid-90s and shaving the triple digits. He’s also got excellent secondary pitches which would make a move to the bullpen a waste. If he can’t stay healthy enough to stay in the starting rotation Alex would be a top notch closer. He should start the 2019 season in the Cardinals bullpen.

23. Casey Mize RHP (Tigers) - Casey was a first round pick of the Tigers in 2018. He has lept ahead of the other Tiger pitching prospects by being the first player selected in that draft. The fastball flashes across the plate in the mid-90s but what makes it so impactful is a quality splitter that gets a lot of swings and misses as it dives out of the strike zone. As a college drafted pitcher Casey should rise quickly. Last year he got four starts in High A, but hitters attacked him for a .295 average. High A is where he should begin his 2019 season.

22. Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) - He owned the best fastball in the minor leagues, reaching triple digits consistently and sitting north of 95. Tommy John surgery will put a halt to his 2019 season. Command of his pitches had been his biggest impediment, but just when he appeared to be mastering his control he was felled by his UCL. Prior to his injury he did get four starts in the major leagues and they hit him at a blistery .328 clip. It will be probably sometime in mid 2020 before he can again try to make an impact with the White Sox.

21. Luis Urias SS/3B (Padres) - The 2016 signing out of Mexico will begin the 2019 season playing shortstop for the Padres. Once Tatis is called up he will move over to second base. The arm is strong enough to play short but the range is lacking. Second base he could win gold gloves. His bat lacks power but will fill the gaps. In time Luis could win batting averages. Rookie of the year will be within his grasp for 2019 if his teammate Fernando Tatis does not take it away from him.