Archive for the 'Phillies' Category

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.

MyWorld’s Top 100 - 60-51

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

60. Zack Collins C (White Sox) 3.62 - The 2016 first round pick of the White Sox would have been their top prospect if not for the acquisitions of Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech. Now he has to share the spotlight. Zack is a power hitting catcher whose defensive skills are not fully developed yet. If he does not make it as a catcher he has enough pop to move to first base, though he would be more valuable as a catcher. Next season should see him break out in a full season league after he hit six homeruns in just 36 games in rookie ball. Pitchers were a little hesitant pitching to him, walking him 33 times.

59. Sean Reid-Foley RHP (Blue Jays) 3.75 - Sean had a breakout season last year, lowering his ERA by more than a run and striking out more than a hitter per inning. The opposition had trouble making hard contact off him with an opposition average less than .200. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he can touch north of 95 with a solid curve and developing slider. If he can find the feel for his change he could move fast. Last year he reached High A for 10 starts. Sean should start the season in AA with a possible major league callup if he continues to achieve success.

58. Erick Fedde RHP (Nationals) 3.75 - The Nationals like to collect those pitches who have to undergo Tommy John surgery prior to the draft, dropping them lower in the draft. They did that with Lucas Giolito and Erick was drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft even after he found out he needed Tommy John surgery. Erick pitched 121 innings last year and will need to start the season in the minors to control his innings count. With the trade of Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito he could be considered the number six starting pitcher for the Nationals after their first five. He has a low 90s fastball and a high 80s slider. His change needs to develop more consistency if he hopes to make it as a starter.

57. Amir Garrett LHP (Reds) 3.82 - Until last year Amir was a basketball player who dabbled a bit in playing baseball. He has now decided to focus on baseball. That may jump start his career. At 6′5″ he has impressive height with a fastball in the low 90s complemented by a plus slider. His change is still a work in progress. Amir dominated at AA with a 1.75 ERA, 9.1 whiffs per nine innings and a .184 opposition average in 12 starts. A promotion to AAA gave him a little bit of a struggle but the opposition still only hit him at a .202 clip. A 31/54 walk to whiff ratio shows he was more hittable with less command. A repeat of AAA will be in store for Amir in 2017.

56. A.J. Puk LHP (Athletics) 4.05 - Puk was the Athletics first round pick in 2016. He was drafted ahead of his Florida teammate Logan Shore, who was their Friday night starter, usually reserved for the best pitcher on the team. The Athletics chose Puk but then had the opportunity to snag Logan Shore in the second round when his name was still on the list. At 6′7″ Puk has an intimidating plane he brings to hitters with a fastball that can cross the plate in the high 90s. His secondary pitches (slider and change) still need a lot of work, but once he figures it out his fastball will be that much better. While he finished the season 0-4 Puk averaged just 3.3 innings per start.

55. Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies) 4.07 - Injuries have slowed down Alfaro’s development, leaving him on prospect lists for at least five years. The Colombian was signed by the Rangers but traded to the Phillies in the Cole Hamel deal. His bat has pop and his arm can slow down a running game. The big concern with Jorge is the 5/1 strikeout to walk ratio (105/22 last year) that can be exposed by better pitchers. Cameron Rupp is currently ahead of him on the major league roster so Jorge will probably see a full season in AAA.

54. Triston McKenzie RHP (Indians) 4.12 - The only pitcher we witnessed pitch this year that made me go wow. He has long arms that seem to fly all over the place in his delivery. At 6′5″ his fastball can already hit 95. Once he gets more meat on his bones that fastball velocity should increase. His curve has a nice break but his change still needs more consistency. Rookie league hitters had no chance against him with a .180 opposition average. A 0.55 ERA in nine starts got him a promotion to Low A. That is where he will begin the 2017 season. For a young pitcher he is very good at throwing strikes.

53. Carson Kelly C (Cardinals) 4.18 - Carson has a superb glove who frames pitches well and controls the running game with a strong arm. The big question mark with him is whether his bat can develop. That will determine whether he will be a starter or backup. Last year he hit around .290 splitting time between AA and AAA. A promotion to the major leagues saw that average dip to .154. With Yadier Molina the Cardinals catcher for the next couple years Carson will improve his craft in 2017 in AAA with a possible back up role for Yadier by mid-season.

52. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) 4.4 - Verdugo was a second round pick in the 2014 draft. Last year he hit a career high 13 homeruns in AA, showing the power is there to play a corner. Slow foot speed prevents him from playing centerfield, but a strong arm is a nice fit for right. If Yasiel Puig continues his downfall the Dodgers could call up Verdugo to take his place. Mark saw a full season in AA so the 2017 season should start in AAA. Alex needs to maintain his focus to win the right field job. There are times when he has a tendency to dial it back.

51. Luke Weaver RHP (Cardinals) 4.48 - Luke was a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2014. His fastball neighbors the mid-90s and he complements that well with a plus change. After dominating the minor leagues last year Luke was given a promotion to the Cardinals. In nine starts a 5.70 ERA and .311 opposition average with seven homeruns given up in his 36 innings showed he was not ready yet. He had only given up a total of seven homeruns in his last three minor league seasons. On the bright side he did strike out 11.1 hitters per nine innings proving he has swing and miss stuff. A good spring could find him in the starting rotation, but expect more a mid-season callup.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch - NL East

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

This is the last group of prospects myworld will look at who have a chance to make 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 East.

Atlanta Braves

Breakout Prospect (Dansby Swanson) - The Diamondbacks are going to regret trading Swanson to the Braves for an established pitcher Shelby Miller who struggled last year. Even if Miller bounces back in 2017 Swanson will be the starting shortstop for the Braves. He got a brief 100 at bat callup last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS. Most teams would trade a starting pitcher to get a shortstop who can hit .300 or better. Defensively he is not a stellar shortstop, but he has the tools to play the position. If a better shortstop comes along his bat is good enough to move to second or third, though his lack of immense power will limit him to the low teens in homeruns. Hitting doubles in the gap will be his forte.

Prospects to Watch (Balbino Fuenmayor 1B, Touki Touissant RHP and Max Fried LHP) - With Freddie Freeman at first base and no DH Balbino will not get a big opportunity to play. He was the Independent League player of the year a couple years ago when the Royals picked him up. Last year he struggled with his bat so the Braves were able to pick him up on a waiver claim. An injury mid-season that ended his season in 2015 probably prevented him from making his major league debut after he had a monstrous season in batting average and homeruns. Myworld really likes the long limbed Touki who the Diamondbacks also traded to the Braves to rid themselves of a large contract (Bronson Arroyo). Dave Stewart did not think Touki would ever make it to the major leagues, but myworld begs to differ. His command must improve (71 walks in 132.1 innings) but you have to like his tools. The curveball may be his best pitch, but his fastball can zip past the plate at 95 miles per hour. If he can’t develop a third pitch the bullpen is always an option. Max Fried was a high school teammate of Lucas Giolito. Scouts flocking to see Giolito pitch were also impressed with Fried. When arm problems and scholarship offers scared scouts away from Giolito the Padres drafted Fried in the first round before Giolito was drafted. Tommy John surgery could have been the motivating factor for the Padres to trade Fried to the Braves during their fire sale, but Justin Upton was not going to be traded away cheap by the Braves. Fried was able to get 20 starts last year after being restricted to just five in the 2014 season and missing all of 2015. A low 90s fastball packs plenty of heat for a lefthander and his curveball is one of the best. Last year he pitched in Low A so expect him to begin in High A with a promotion to AA if he does well.

Miami Marlins

Breakout Prospect (Tayron Guerrero RHP) - Myworld was going to say Luis Castillo but the Marlins traded him a second time. They originally traded him to the Padres last year but got him back after Colin Rea came back as damaged goods. This year they traded Luis Castillo to the Reds as part of the package for Dan Straily. Myworld is not impressed with the rest of their farm system for a break out major leaguer. Tayron Guerrero is a pitcher to be watched for the bullpen. The 6′8″ Colombian throws hard, hitting triple digits with his fastball. As long as he continues to pitch out of the bullpen he could be a quick callup.

Prospects to Watch (Destin Hood OF) - Tayron was our player to watch, but we’ve bumped him up so our prospect to watch is Destin Hood. Once a highly touted prospect with the Nationals he made his major league debut with the Marlins last year. His .240 batting average did not overwhelm last year and he had some defensive lapses. With a good spring he should make the team as a fifth outfielder behind Ichiro. Stanton is also always getting hurt so he could be insurance against that. His defense is best suited for a corner.

New York Mets

Breakout Prospect (Ahmed Rosario SS) - Ahmed is a fireplug who will beat you many different ways. Power is the one tool he currently lacks, but as he matures he should hit in the teens in homerun. The Mets have Asdrubal Cabrera signed through next year but Ahmed is probably the better defensive shortstop. All Ahmed is lacking is consistency. The bat is also filled with explosiveness with many of his future hits destined for the gaps. If the Mets fail to contend Cabrera will be traded and the job will be given to Rosario. It has been a long time since the Mets have had a natural shortstop who could also hit. Ruben Tejeda was the last Met true shortstop, but he lacked the offensive swag.

Prospect to Watch (Thomas Szapucki LHP) - Myworld has to admit we don’t know a lot about Szapucki. The lefthander was a fifth round pick in 2015 but an opposition batting average of .145 with 86 whiffs in 52 innings is pretty impressive. At the lower levels pitchers with good breaking pitches can amass a lot of strikeouts but Szapucki has good velocity on his fastball, hitting 92-96. A full season of work in Low A will determine whether his body of work in 2016 was a mirage or the real thing. The Mets always seem to have a knack for finding good pitchers from the lower levels of the draft.

Philadelphia Phillies

Breakout Prospect (Jorge Alfaro C) - Injuries have prevented him from making a major league impact. The Phillies already have a pretty good catcher in Cameron Rupp, but Alfaro has more tools in his tool box. The bat has power and the arm is a rifle that will limit the run game. The intangibles need to be improved such as calling a game and managing a pitching staff but that will come as he stays healthy to catch more games. A 22/105 walk to whiff ratio is a bit worrisome, which could result in a low batting average. He also struck out in close to 50 percent of his major league at bats. Jorge is the second player from Colombia on this list.

Prospect to Watch (Mickey Moniak OF) - He was the first player drafted in 2016. Those kind of players draw your attention. A .409 slugging average and one homerun gives myworld the impression power may be lacking so if his defense is not of centerfield quality he could be a bust. He runs well and makes consistent hard contact but the ball does not carry over the fence. For 2017 the Phillies should give him an opportunity for a full season league. The high school pick is still a couple years away from the major leagues,

Washington Nationals

Breakout Prospect (Koda Glover RHP) - The Nationals need a closer and Glover throws hard, hitting the high 90s with his fastball. The Nationals will probably not trust the closer role to a rookie, but expect him to get in a lot of innings as the set up reliever before the season is over. Last year he was promoted to three different levels before making his major league debut. At each level his strikeouts to innings pitched ratio was reduced but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .197 clip. That continued to ring true in the major leagues with a .200 opposition average but only 16 whiffs in 19.2 innings. At 6′5″ and 225 he is a pretty imposing force on the mound.

Prospect to Watch (Carter and Spencer Kieboom SS/C and Victor Robles OF) - Most teams wanted Victor Robles when the Nationals looked at enhancing their playoff roster. Victor is that five tool athlete with gold glove defensive ability and the speed to steal 50 plus bases, ideal for a leadoff hitter. The power is still lacking in his game but the Nationals expect it will break out once he matures. When Bryce Harper is ready to sign his $400 million free agent contact with the Yankees Victor will be ready to take his place with an outfield role in centerfield. The Kieboom brothers have a father who played baseball in the Netherlands. Carter is considered the better prospect after being drafted in the first round last year. Carter has the tools to play shortstop, but that defensive capability will not win him any gold gloves. His bat will carry him to a major league lineup. His older brother Spencer is a fringe prospect who was drafted in the fifth round in 2012. He is still down a couple levels in the totem pole of catchers ready to make a major league impact. His defense behind the plate is average, but his bat is lacking and his speed is non-existent. It would be nice if the two of them make it to the Nationals major league roster, but only Carter really has a chance for that.

The Philies and Pirates Roster Through the Draft

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Below is a look at what the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates roster would look like with the players they drafted, beginning with the 2005 draft. It is no wonder that the Phillies are mired in last place after a number of years of success. There drafts have left them without players at second and short. The Pirates are a little better than the position players, thou they will have to rely on a young pitching staff. The 2008 draft the first eight players drafted made the major leagues, though the second round pick Tanner Scheppers never signed with the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates

2005 - Andrew McCutchen (1) OF, Steve Pierce (8) 1B/OF, Ryan Lollis (20-DNS) OF
2006 - Jared Hughes (4) RHP, Alex Presley (8) OF, Lonnie Chisenhall (11-DNS) OF/3B, Ryan Kelly (20) RHP
2007 - Tony Watson (9) LHP, Cameron Rupp (47 - DNS) C
2008 - Pedro Alvarez (1) 3B/1B, Tanner Scheppers (2 - DNS) RHP, Jody Mercer (3) SS, Chase d’Arnaud (4) SS, Justin Wilson (5) LHP, Robbie Grossman (6) OF
2009 - Tony Sanchez (1) C, Brooks Pounders (2) RHP, Brock Holt (9) UTL, Matt den Dekker (16 - DNS) OF, Jake Lamb (3B - 30 DNS)
2010 - Jameson Taillon (1) RHP
2011 - Gerrit Cole (1) RHP, Josh Bell (2) 1B, Tyler Glasnow (5) RHP, Trea Turner (23 - DNS)
2012 - None
2013 - JaCoby Jones (3) 3B, Chad Kuhl (9) RHP

Roster

C - Cameron Rupp, Tony Sanchez
1B - Steve Pearce, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Bell
2B - Brock Holt, Chase d’Arnaud,
3B - Jake Lamb, Lonnie Chisenhall, JaCoby Jones
SS - Trea Turner, Jody Mercer
OF - Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman, Matt den Dekker, Ryan Lollis
SP - Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl, Tanner Scheppers
RP - Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, Brooks Pounders, Ryan Kelly

Philadelphia Phillies

2005 - Josh Outman (10) LHP, Tuffy Gosewich (11) C, David Huff (19 - DNS) LHP, Vance Worley (20 - DNS) RHP
2006 - Kyle Drabek (1) RHP, Quinten Berry (5) OF, Dominic Brown (20) OF, Kyle Gibson (36 - DNS) RHP
2007 - Travis d’Arnaud (1) C, Justin DeFratus (11) RHP, Jacob Diekman (30) LHP
2008 - Anthony Gose (2) OF, Vance Worley (3) RHP, Trevor May (4) RHP, Julio Rodriguez (8) RHP, Ryan Weber (12 - DNS) RHP, Keon Broxton (20 - DNS) OF, Jarrod Cosart (38) RHP, Giovanni Soto (46 - DNS) RHP
2009 - Jon Singleton (8) 1B, Aaron Altherr (9) OF, Josh Zeid (10) RHP, Andrew Susac (16 - DNS) C, David Ruf (20) 1B, A.J. Griffin (34 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Cameron Rupp (3) C, David Buchanan (7) RHP
2011 - Adam Morgan (3) LHP, Cody Asche (4) 3B, Ken Giles (7) RHP
2012 - None
2013 - Andrew Knapp (2) C
2014 - Aaron Nola (1) RHP

Roster

C - Travis d’Arnaud, Cameron Rupp, Tuffy Gosewisch, Andrew Knapp, Andrew Susac
1B - Darin Ruf, Jon Singleton
2B - None
3B - Cody Asche
SS - none
OF - Quinten Berry, Dominic Brown, Anthony Gose, Aaron Altherr, Keon Broxton
SP - David Huff, Vance Worley, Jarred Cosart, A.J. Griffin, Aaron Nola
RP - Ken Giles, Josh Outman, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Julio Rodriguez, Ryan Weber, Justin DeFratus, Jacob Diekman, Giovanni Soto, Josh Zeid, David Buchanan, Adam Morgan

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.

Right Handed Starting Pitcher Prospect Review

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catcher Prospect Review

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

These were the top ten catchers at the beginning of the year as rated by myworld. We could not find our Baseball America magazine that rated the top ten catchers, lefthanded pitchers and righthanded pitchers so we will go with our list for these three positions, even though we hate using our bias.

1. Gary Sanchez (Yankees) - He did not get a lot of major league at bats because of his late callup but his homerun production when promoted to the major leagues was record breaking. With more playing time he would be the cinch American League rookie of the year, but he may still win it. His defense has improved to such an extent that he is now considered above average. Brian McCann will be the back up next year despite his large contract while Sanchez takes over the starting role. Expect a drop in production but his bat should still carry 20 plus over the fence each year.

2. Wilson Contreras (Cubs) - Another player who got a major league promotion mid-season. Wilson played a lot in left field because the Cubs had more veteran catchers to use behind the plate. Wilson has 20 plus homerun power and an arm to limit base stealing. His pitch calling and handling of a veteran playoff pitching staff still needs more work. With Kyle Schwarber coming back next year to play left field and Anthony Rizzo at first Wilson will have to get more playing time behind the plate to justify him staying in the major leagues. David Ross retirement will ensure him of at least a back up spot.

3. Jorge Alfaro (Phillies) - His tools have always exceeded his production. Injuries have also limited his playing time. This year he played at Reading, a hitters park, but he was one of the better players on one of the top minor league teams in baseball. He slugged 15 homeruns and stayed free of any major injury. The Phillies have a young catcher in Cameron Rupp but Jorge offers more offensive and defensive potential. Alfaro won the Captains Choice catcher award for being the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues. He did get a September callup for the Phillies to get his feet wet for a mid-season 2017 role.

4. Andrew Knapp (Phillies) - When it rains it pours. Tommy Joseph was a top Philly catching prospect but moved to first base after concussion issues. This year Tommy took over the first base job from Ryan Howard. The Phillies will have to do something about their trio of catchers. Knapp is a couple years older than Alfaro and is playing at AAA. Next year Alfaro will be ready for AAA and Knapp does not have the power or arm to compete with Alfaro. Don’t be surprised to see Knapp traded next year or getting promoted to the Phillies to be the back up to Rupp.

5. Tom Murphy (Rockies) - The Rockies catcher of the future. He hit for power (19) and average (.327) in AAA and those tools were evident in a late promotion to the Rockies. Expect him to be looked at as the starting catcher for the Rockies next year. The third round 2012 pick can also handle the defensive side of the game with a strong arm and good pitch calling abilities. Playing in the high altitude of Colorado can only accentuate his offensive numbers.

6. Tyler Stephenson (Reds) - Eventually he could team up with Robert Stephenson to give the Reds a Stephenson/Stephenson battery. The 2015 first round pick is still a couple years away from playing for the Reds. Last year he struggled in Low A hitting only .216. Injuries limited him to just over 100 at bats. At 6′4″ he might be too big to catch. The arm is strong enough to limit a baserunning game and his bat is better than the .216 he showed in 2016.

7. Jacob Nottingham (Brewers) - The Athletics acquired Jacob from the Astros as one of the players for Scott Kazmir. They then traded him to the Brewers for Khris Davis. Davis hit 40 plus homeruns for the Athletics in 2016. Nottingham may take four years to reach that homerun figure, though at 6′3″ he is said to have raw power. Last year he hit 11 homeruns in AA but a 29/138 walk to whiff ratio brought his average below .250. His defense needs some improvement before it can be considered major league ready, but he does have a strong arm that can gun down baserunners.

8. Reese McGuire (Blue Jays) - The Pirates sent Reese McGuire and other prospects to the Blue Jays to rid themselves of the Francisco Liriano contract. McGuire has been a disappointment for a first round 2013 pick. He has shown little power with too much of a vanilla bat. With a little more electricity in his offense his defense is strong enough to play in the major leagues. McGuire does a good job of making contact but it is just too much soft contact. The Blue Jays do not really have a catcher they can brag about. If they can not find anyone with a bat next year McGuire has the defense to fill the position.

9. Clint Coulter (Brewers) - With the acquisition of Nottingham this takes the pressure off the Brewers to put Coulter behind the plate. He will continue to see more time in the outfield. His defense will always be below major league average but his bat carries enough power to play right field. It has now been two years since he has seen any time behind the plate. The 2016 season saw a big drop in his power numbers (.358 slugging). He will need to improve upon that to make up for his defensive deficiencies in the outfield.

10. Chance Sisco (Orioles) - His power numbers took a big drop in 2016 but he raised his average over the .300 mark again (.319). Defense is not his strong suit. Matt Wieters will be a free agent next year so the Orioles have a catcher opening. Chance probably needs a full season in AAA to get major league ready.

Corner Outfielder Prospect Review

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shortstop Prospect Review

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Base Prospects Review

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Myworld is taking a look at each of the positions in which Baseball America identified as the top ten players in the minor leagues. Today we will take a look at second base.

1. Yoan Moncada (Red Sox) - He is considered the best prospect in baseball, but the position of need for the Red Sox appears to be third base. That is the position he is playing since his callup to the Red Sox. His speed is his best tool (45 stolen bases) but Yoan has a thunderous bat that is potent enough to play third. He has the potential to become a 30/30 player if his power develops. He makes contact to consistently hit .300.

2. Jose Peraza (Reds) - He had been playing utility for the Reds, riding the roller coaster ride from the minors to majors. In his recent callup he collected a series of multihit games that raised his average from .250 to .350. The Reds are now looking at him as a permanent solution to shortstop. Their hope was to trade Brandon Phillips and move Peraza to second base, but Phillips rejected a trade to the Nationals. So Pereza was stuck in a utility role, playing centerfield, shortstop and second base. When his at bats were limited he was demoted to the minors to get at bats. The Reds have talked about trading the injury plagued Cosart after the season.

3. Ian Happ (Cubs) - The Cubs have bounced him around from second base to the outfield. The position for this year is second base. He shows a little power with 15 homeruns and a .445 slugging percentage. His strikeout numbers are high and his defense is not gold glove so there are still things he needs to work on in the minor leagues.

4. Brandon Drury (Diamondbacks) - He was originally a third baseman, but with Jake Lamb taking over the position the Dbacks moved him to second. He showed power for the position, but his defense was suspect. He has seen more time in the outfield this year because of injuries to the Dbacks outfielders where he is hitting .263 with 10 homeruns. Once the outfield finds its health the Dbacks will have to find another position for him. His power is probably a little short for a corner spot and he lacks the speed and range to play center.

5. Alen Hanson (Pirates) - Next year he may find a role as a utility player. Alen has speed but his bat could be a question mark. He has nothing more to prove in the minors. Josh Harrison seems to have second base covered for the Pirates but he will soon be eligible to ask for the big bucks, which could give Hanson an opportunity. The Pirates called him up for some September appearances to see if he can help them next year. He has at least been suspended by two different managers for his surly attitude.

6. Alex Blandino (Reds) - Alex is not having the kind of year that will get him promoted to the Reds. A .232 average will guarantee at least one more season in AA. In a brief callup last year to AA he only hit .235 in limited at bats. His gap power of previous years has also been muted, with only a career low .337 slugging percentage. Jose Peraza will get the major league opportunity next year while Alex will see at least one more season in the minors.

7. Rob Refsnyder (Yankees) - His defense at second is suspect and Starlin Castro also owns the position. Rob does not appear to have the power to play third or a corner outfield on a more permanent basis. He does have the potential to hit for a high average, but that will only give him a utility role for the Yankees.

8. Forrest Wall (Rockies) - The Rockies first round pick has an electric bat but suspect defense. The bat has failed to reach the .300 neighborhood after his first year, but that is where many think he will reside. Playing in Colorado will enhance that possibility. His power has not really developed with a career .408 slugging percentage. With his struggles on defense Wall will need to improve on that to get a major league opportunity.

9. Scott Kingery (Phillies) - A second round pick of the Phillies last year, Kingery has not shown a thunderous bat. Playing in the band box of Reading his slugging average has dropped to .333. His walk to whiff has also worsened to 5/36. He needs to improve on those if he expects to be an offensive oriented second baseman. His defense is not that stellar to support a weak bat.

10. Willie Calhoun (Dodgers) - The Dodgers have to be pleasantly surprised by the power he has shown in AA (27 homeruns). At only 5′8″ that kind of power was a little unexpected. If his defense does not pan out at second base the Dodgers will find a position for him to accommodate his 30 homeruns bat. Myworld would like to see him replicate those numbers next year before we get too excited.