Archive for April, 2014

Hot Corner Infield Prospects

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

This week myworld will be in Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland and Altoona.  Tomorrow we will be at the new Reds stadium, or at least new to myworld.  It’s been raining forever, but it appears to be dry for tomorrow.  We hope it will be as hot as some of the hot corner infield players in AAA and AA.

International League

Jesus Aguilar 1B (Indians) - Ernesto Mejia has left for Japan so the only big time corner infield hitter that is really impressing with the bat is Jesus Aguilar.  His .361 average is second in the league and his .675 slugging percentage is tops among players still in the league (J.D. Martinez is with the Tigers and Mejia will soon be in Japan with the Lions).  Jesus has seven homeruns, but many of them have not done a lot of damage as his 16 RBIs will attest.  The Venezuelan should be up with the Indians by Indian summer if he keeps popping the ball over the fence.

Pacific Coast League

Jonathan Singleton 1B (Astros) - George Springer has been called up.  Singleton would like to be next.  He leads the Pacific Coast League in homeruns with nine and RBIs with 27.  He is hitting .304 with a 1.099 OPS.  Singleton was acquired from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade.  The Phillies selected him in the 8th round of the 2009 draft.

C.J. Cron 1B (Angels) - Cron is third in RBIs with 24, hitting .353 with five homeruns.  Cron was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft but could be destined for a DH slot with a stiff glove for first base and little speed for the outfield.

Eastern League

Allie Stetson 1B (Pirates) - Allie was selected in the second round in the 2010 draft as a pitcher.  He spent most of his time trying to find the plate with his 100 mile per hour fastball but with little success.  The Pirates moved him to first base and he has shown a power bat.  Allie finds himself second in homeruns with six, with a .250 average, but a .368 average against lefthanders.  He hit four homeruns and drove in 9 runs in a three game stretch against Harrisburg.

Giovanny Urshella 3B (Indians) - The Colombian slapped three doubles in one game to give him eight for the season.  His average sits at .305 with four homeruns and 17 RBIs.

Texas League

Ryan Rua 3B (Rangers) - Not the best of fielders but a monster bat as evidence by his .347 average with five homeruns and 12 RBIs.  The 17th round 2011 pick has a 11 to 9 walk to whiff ratio.  He is also one of just two players with an OPS over 1.000 (1.079.

Jonathan Rodriguez 1B (Cardinals) - He had a streak of three three hit games in his last four raising his average to .338 with four homeruns and 15 RBIs.  The Puerto Rican was also a 17th round pick, but in the 2009 draft.  His .623 slugging average is second to Rua.

Southern League

Kris Bryant 3B (Cubs) - It won’t be long before his bat is with the Cubs.  Drafted in the first round of 2013 he is already raking at AA with a .298 average, five homeruns and 12 RBIs.  His .571 slugging average is third in the league.

Rangel Ravelo 1B (White Sox) - Jose Abreu is in the way of the 2010 sixth round pick.  He is hitting .371 with two homeruns and nine RBIs.  He has been criticized for his lack of power but that average is impressive.  He went on a 10 for 14 streak in his last four games with a 15/11 walk to whiff ratio putting his OBA at .506

Top Ten Venezuelan Prospects National League

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

This list has not changed much from last year.  The names have shifted around a bit, but no player from the 2013 prospect list was disqualified for the 2014 list because they played too much in the major leagues.  You can see last year’s list by going here:  http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?p=1735

1. Edwin Escobar (LHP) Giants - He is left handed and throws in the low 90s, a skill sought after by major league teams.  He was originally drafted by the Rangers but the Giants acquired him in return for allowing the Rangers to send Rule V pick Ben Snyder to the minor leagues.  He needs to gain consistency with his breaking pitches and changeup before the Giants will trust him to get major league hitters out.  Last year he had success in High A (2.89) and AA (2.67).  This year he was assigned to AAA and after a slow start (14 runs in 12 plus innings) he has given up only one run in his last two starts covering 11 innings.  He could see the major league roster if he shows success in AAA.

2. Yorman Rodriguez (OF) Reds - Yorman was a highly touted prospect in 2008 when he signed for a then Venezuelan record $2.5 million.  He has not quite lived up to that signing bonus, slowly working his way up the minor league system.  His power numbers have been absent, though his 13 homeruns last year were the first he has achieved double digits.  The big concern with that year is he struck out 153 times in 129 games.  It was originally thought he would be a centerfielder, but he is more comfortable in right field.  This year he is repeating AA with an improvement in average (.325) and slugging percentage (.442).  He has also slightly cut back on his strikeouts with only 19 in his first 19 games.

3. Wilmer Flores (2B/3B) Mets - The Mets have been waiting a long time for Wilmer to make the 25-man roster, though despite his six years in the minor leagues he is still only 23 years old.  Wilmer is basically a man without a position, or at least a position that is available.  Third base is his best position, but that is taken by David Wright.  He lacks the range to play short and second is taken by Daniel Murphy.  Last year Flores made his major league debut because of an injury to Wright and only hit .211 after hitting .321 in AAA.  The Mets still talked about using him at shortstop but sent him back to AAA where he is hitting only .247.  Eventually the Mets will find a place for him if he shows them he has a bat.

4. Cesar Hernandez (2b/OF) Phillies - With the injury to Ben Revere last year the Phillies used Hernandez in centerfield where he hit .289.  His best position is second base where Chase Utley holds rank.  If Freddy Galvis continues with an average under .100 Cesar may take over his role as a utility player.  He is known more for his defense than his bat.  He lacks power but hit .309 with 32 stolen bases last year at AAA.  This year the Phillies have him playing at AA where he has hit .321.  Cesar has already seen six major league games this year and is probably best suited for a utility role.

5. Jose Peraza (SS) Braves - With Andrelton Simmons at short Jose may have to eventually move to second base or play short for another team.  The Braves have some time to make that decision as last year was his first year in a full season league, where he hit .288 with 64 stolen bases.  He is said to have good baseball instincts which raises the bar on his already impressive tools.  The only thing he lacks is power, which would seem to prevent a move to third base.  This year he is playing in High A and has not slowed down stealing 12 bases in just 23 games with a .330 average.  He is also seeing time at second base.

6. Carlos Tocci (OF) Phillies - The Phillies signed Carlos in 2011 for $759,000.  He has the range to play centerfield and the arm to fit in right.  His bat last year was a little suspect (.209) with only 17 extra base hits.  He is still one of the youngest players in each league he plays in.  Despite his struggles the Phillies promoted him to High A where he has started well (.278).  This is his third professional season but he has yet to hit a homerun or triple.  This year Carlos did hit his first two triples in his professional career.

7. Ehire Adrianza (SS) Giants - Ehire had a good spring which got him a job with the major league team (helped by a lack of options).  While he is noted for his defense he showed a good stick during spring training hitting three homeruns.  He rarely hits three homeruns in one whole season.  Last year he hit three homeruns, one of those coming in the major leagues.  The Giants have Brandon Crawford at shortstop so Adrianza will play a utility role.  He is hitting only .192 in a part time role.

8. Jesus Solórzano (OF) Marlins - Jesus showed some good power in his first season in a full season league.  In 2012 he led the Penn State League in slugging (.519) and continued that success in Low A with 15 homeruns and a .450 slugging percentage.  The big concern was his 24/111 walk to whiff ratio, evidence of a lack of patience at the plate.  He has the speed to steal 33 bases and the range to play center field.  An injury has prevented him from getting a start to the 2014 season.

9. Ismael Guillen (LHP) Reds - Another lefthander who has a fastball that sits in the low 90s but can hit 95.  His changeup is a strikeout pitch, allowing him to average over a strikeout per inning in his minor league career.  He lacks an effective breaking pitch and his command is non-existent, walking 95 in 121 innings last year, putting his ERA at 4.75.  That lack of success has him repeating Low A where he has dominated (1.59 ERA) limiting the opposition to a .118 average.  He has not allowed more than three hits in any of his five starts and has walked more hitters (12) than he has allowed hits (10).

10. Orlando Arcia (SS) Brewers - a broken ankle forced him to miss all of the 2012 season.  He recovered in 2013 to hit .251.  His .333 slugging percentage shows a lack of power, but he did hit four homeruns last year.  His older brother Oswaldo plays outfield for the Twins, though a knee injury has put a crimp to his 2014 plans.  Orlando makes contact (35/40 walk to whiff) and has the tools to play short defensively.  Right now his defense is ahead of his offense.  This year he was promoted to the Florida State League where he is only hitting .209.

Under 15 Tournament Countries Announced

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

It was originally scheduled 16 countries would participate in the under 15 tournament to be played in Baja California Sur, Mexico.  Because of the interest the IBAF added two more countries to the tournament.  Below are the countries scheduled to play in the under 15 world cup.

Africa - South Africa and Tunisia (new addition)

Americas - Argentina (new addition), Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, United States and Venezuela

Europe - Czech Republic, Italy, Germany and Lithuania

Asia - Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan

Oceania - Australia and New Zealand

Absent from the tournament are Korea, Netherlands and Canada.  Korea and Netherlands are not noted for developing their youth programs, though the Netherlands professional league is considered just below the Asian professional leagues and on a par with Italy.  The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has agreed to develop more youth leagues to increase the quality of play for their professional league now that they are expanding to ten teams next year.

The Dominican Republic does not have any kind of organization to develop a youth team.  Most of their youngsters are in the camps of the buscones trying to prepare for a major league career.  It would be asking a lot for the buscones to put together an all star team of their under 15 players to participate in an international tournament.

Tigers 2014 Domestic Draft Team

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Myworld is taking a look at all the major league teams to see what kind of 25-man roster they could field if they only relied on the players selected from the domestic draft and nothing else to stock their team. Only current major leaguers are considered for the 25 man roster. Realistically, some players would extend their career because without foreign players a job could still be available and others who never were called up could fill the empty positions.  The Tigers have had a couple big name first rounders who have failed to live up to their potential.  They have to hope Nick Castellanos is not added to that list.  At least they were able to trade Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera among this list of drafted players.

Catcher - Alex Avila (2008 - 5th) had an All Star season in 2011 but his average has dropped each year after that.  He would still take the starters job over youngsters Rob Brantley (2010 - third round) and Bryan Holaday, both of whom have yet to win a starting catching position.

First Base - The Tigers have been happy with Miguel Cabrera and have had no need to seek out a first baseman.  Andy Dirks (2008 - 8th) has been out with a back problem but he would be the best fit here among a surplus of outfielders.

Second Base - Scott Sizemore (2006 - 5th round) would share this position with Ryan Raburn (2001 - 5th round) who could also move to the outfield.  Scott could provide the defense while Raburn could hope to provide some inconsistent offense.

Third Base - The rookie Nick Castellanos (2010 - 1st round supplemental) would take over this position, but then the Tigers really had no one to play here prior to Nick.

Shortstop - The Tigers do not like playing Danny Worth (2007 - 2nd round) or Don Kelly (2001 - 8th round) here, but like this year’s Tigers these are the only two shortstops they have drafted who have played in the major leagues.  They are their only alternatives, and a poor one at that.

Outfield - Cameron Maybin (2005 - 1st round) would try and stay healthy and patrol center.  He was one of the players the Tigers traded to acquire Miguel Cabrera.  The corners would be shared by Cody Ross (1999 - 4th round), Curtis Granderson (2002 - 3rd round), Matt Joyce (2005 - 12th round), Brennan Boesch (2006 - 3rd round) and Tyler Colins (2011 - 6th round).  This would also leave them with a couple options at DH.

Starting Pitcher - Justin Verlander (2004 - 1st round) would continue to be the ace but R.A. Dickey (1993 - 10th round not signed) would be a good number two man if they had signed him.  Rick Porcelo (2007 - 1st round) would continue to show promise but be a disappointment in the third spot.  Jacob Turner (2009 - 1st round) would fit in the fourth slot.  Drew Smyly (2010 - 2nd round) would round out a pretty solid rotation.

Relief Pitching - No real closer among this list.  From the right side there is Jason Fraser (1994 - 33rd round) and Burke Badenhop (2005 - 12th round).  From the left side you have Kevin Chapman (2006 - 42 nd round) and Brian Flynn (2011 - 7th round).  That would not be enough to fill the pen so you would have to hope for a lot of complete games from their rotation.

Abreu Sets Rookie Homerun and RBI Record

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Jose Abreu broke the record for RBIs by a rookie in the month of April.  He has 31 RBIs, breaking the record that had been held by Albert Pujols who had 27 in 2001.  The month still has a couple days left.

Abreu had already broken the record for homeruns for a rookie in the month of April (or before May) with his eighth and ninth on Friday.  The previous record holders were Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado and Kent Hrbek.  He hit another homerun Sunday to make that ten and leads the American league in homeruns.

Jose is finding that this game they call the major leagues is not too difficult.  All the scouts who showed caution with Abreu because they did not believe he could hit an inside fastball should take another look at their notes.  Or the pitchers should start feeding him those inside fastballs.  He is certainly feasting on the stuff they are throwing him now.

Masahiro Tanaka is also carving up major league hitters.  He has yet to lose a game, but the anemic Yankee offense is preventing him from winning more games.  Tanaka is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA striking out 35 major leaguers in 29 innings.  He has not lost a regular season game since 2012.

If these two players continue to shine it will be interesting to see who wins the American League rookie of the year award.

Padres Walk Over Nats to Achieve Split

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Aaron Barrett walked in two runs that proved to be the difference in the Padres 4-2 win over the Nationals.  The win helped one of the weakest hitting teams in the National League achieve a split over the Nationals, despite scoring only nine runs in the four game series.

Ian Kennedy silenced the Nationals bats.  They were able to get to him in the first inning after Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth hit back to back doubles.  Kennedy hit Danny Espinosa to lead off the second inning but after that retired the next 16 hitters.  Ian Desmond hit a one out single off him in the seventh but Kennedy was able to retire the next two hitters to complete seven innings.

The Padres took advantage of their walks to score four runs.  Chris Denorfia worked a leadoff walk against Taylor Jordan in the fourth.  Yasmani Grandal followed with a double off the scoreboard to advance Denorfia to third where he scored on a Jedd Gyorko fly ball to right field to tie the game.

The Padres took the lead in the fifth, taking advantage of Ross Detwiler after he had retired the first two hitters.  Evereth Cabrera singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Chris Denorfia lined a 3-2 pitch for a single to score Cabrera and give the Padres a 2-1 lead.

The Padres collected three straight singles in the sixth, two off Detwiler and one off Aaron Barrett to load the bases.  After Barrett struck out Ian Kennedy for the second out it appeared the Nationals would escape the sixth without giving up a run.  Barrett threw four straight balls to Cabrera and walked Denorfia on a 3-2 pitch to plate two.  Jeremy Blevins had to come in, the third pitcher Matt Williams brought out in the sixth to strike out Yasmani Grandal to end the inning.

Nate McLouth, hitting below .100 and playing left field for the injured Bryce Harper got the Nationals fans excited by leading off the eighth inning with a line drive homerun into the right field bullpen off Joaquin Benoit.  It was the only hit the Nationals were to get in the inning.

Jayson Werth hit a leadoff single in the ninth, but Huston Street easily disposed of the next three hitters to give the Padres the win and a split of the series.

Game Notes: The Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame were announced today.  Charles Lefty Dreisel (University of Maryland basketball coach), Ola “Ollie” Kozig (Capitals goalie), Johnnie Holiday (voice of University of Maryland basketball and football), Michael Weiss (gold medalist figure skater), Chris Weller (university of Maryland women’s basketball coach), George Solomon (Sports reporter) and Ted Lerner (Nationals owner) were voted in.  The Lerner vote seemed a little odd to me and very self serving…The Padres batting practice display sent very few balls into the seats.  If the team can’t hit homeruns during batting practice how are they to hit homeruns in actual games?…Cameron Maybin made his 2014 debut and went 2 for 4.  The Padres could find themselves with a surplus of outfielders once Carlos Quentin returns, though if Will Venable does not start hitting the decision to replace him will not be hard…Ross Detwiler paid no attention to Chris Denorfia on second and he almost walked into third with a stolen base.  By the time the catcher received the ball Chris was standing on third…Ian Desmond was saved from committing another error in the ninth by the dugout railing.  Cabrera broke for second, Denorfia hit a hard grounder to Rendon, who flipped to Desmond.  The relay throw from Desmond to LaRoche was wide of the bag and headed for the dugout.  It hit against the railing, bounced back to LaRoche, who threw to second to retire the sliding Denorfia, a 4-6-3-6 double play…Ian Desmond is taking poor swings at pitches out of the strike zone, leading to 33 whiffs in just 26 games.

Freddy Garcia Finds Work in Taiwan; Mejia Goes to Japan

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Freddy Garcia was recently released by the Atlanta Braves.  He has now found work in Taiwan, signing with the EDA Rhinos.

One of myworld’s favorite players, Ernesto Mejia was recently released by the Braves despite hitting .354 with seven homeruns in 20 games for AAA.  He was released by the Braves so he could sign a contract with the Seibu Lions in Japan.  Myworld has wondered on this blog why an Asian team had yet to discover Mejia.  At 28 years old he had no future with the Braves as a first baseman, as long as Freddie Freeman was healthy in front of him.

Highest Paid Sports Athletes in China

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

None of them play baseball but it will give you an idea of what the more popular sports are in China and what these athletes are getting paid in a communist society.  You can go to the article here: http://www.chinasportsbeat.com/2014/04/highest-paid-chinese-athletes-in-2013.html  Below are the earnings for 2013.

1. Li Na (tennis) - $20 million, 2. Lin Dan (badminton) - $4.8 million, 3. Sun Yang (swimming) - $3.5 million, 4. Zheng Zhi (soccer) - $3 million, 5. Feng Xiaoting (soccer) - $2.6 million, 6. Peng Shuai (tennis) - $2.4 million, 7. Yi Jianlian (Basketball) - $2.4 million, 8. Zeng Cheng (soccer) - $2.4 million, 9. Huang Bowen (soccer) - $2.4 million, 10. Gao Lin (soccer) - $2.4 million.

It appears soccer is the sport that has the most earnings, unless you are a female and the game for you is tennis.  All the athletes are male except the two tennis players.  None of them make more than the top paid baseball players.

Twins 2014 Domestic Draft Team

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Myworld is taking a look at all the major league teams to see what kind of 25-man roster they could field if they only relied on the players selected from the domestic draft and nothing else to stock their team.  Only current major leaguers are considered for the 25 man roster.  Realistically, some players would extend their career because without foreign players a job could still be available and others who never were called up could fill the empty positions.  The Twins lack quality pitching, both in the rotation and the bullpen.  They also have not had a player reach the major leagues since after the 2009 draft.

Catcher - A couple of good catchers to stock the position in Joe Mauer (2001 - first round) and A.J. Pierzynski (1994 - third round).  They need somebody to replace those two in a year or two.

First Base - Justin Morneau (1999 - third round) would be the starter with Adam Lind (2002 - 8th round not signed) rotating between the designated hitter spot and first base.  Another unsigned player Yonder Alonso (2005 - 16th round) would be battling for playing time here.

Second base - Brian Dozier (2009 - 6th round) is a solid player and the last Twins player drafted to make the major leagues.  Kolton Wong (2008 - 16th round) was never signed but he could play second and move Dozier to short.

Shortstop - This position is empty, though Nick Punto (1997, 33rd round) could play here in a crunch.  He was not signed by the Twins after being drafted.  Nick would also play an excellent utility role.

Third Base - Trevor Plouffe (2004 - first round) would provide the power while Danny Valencia (2006 - 19th round) would hit for average.

Outfield - Lots of power hitters to move here for the corners and rangy fielders for centerfield.  Denard Span (2002 - first round) would slide into center field.  The corners would be occupied by Michael Cuddyer (1997 - first round) and Torrii Hunter (1993 - first round).  Waiting for playing time would be Jason Kubel (2000 - 12th round) and two centerfielders in Ben Revere (2007 - first round) and Aaron Hicks (2008 - first round).  He was not signed but George Springer (2008 - 48th round) would be knocking on the door.

Starting pitching - Matt Garza (2005 - first round) would be the ace.  The remaining four positions would be filled by suspects Nick Blackburn (2001 - 29th round) and Anthony Swarzak (2004 - second round) and two unsigned players Paul Maholm (2000 - 17th round) and Jason Vargas (2001 - 43rd round).

Relief Pitching - If he was healthy Jessie Crain (2002 - second round) would be the closer.  Glenn Perkins (2004 - second round) is the second option.  J.J. Putz (1997 - 17th round) was never signed but he could also close.  Rounding out the pen would be J.C. Romero (1997 - 21st round), Pat Neshek (2002 - 6th round) and Evan Meek (2002 - 11th round).

2014 Top Ten Venezuelan Prospects American League

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Last year Bruce Rondon topped this list.  He made his major league debut last year but Tommy John surgery has put a delay to his career.  Players who have graduated from this list include Martin Perez, Oswaldo Arcia and Avisail Garcia.  You can take a look at last year’s list here: http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?p=1710

With the departure of players from Cuba they seem to be surpassing the Venezuelan prospects quality wise.  Puerto Rican and Colombia players also seem to have more talented players.  This could be due to the unrest in Venezuela creating an environment that give team’s hesitancy for sending scouts into an area they perceive as volatile.

1. Roughned Odor 2B (Rangers) - There was talk of sending Odor to the major league team to replace the injured Jurickson Profar.  Odor has the speed to steal twenty plus bases, hits for average and power with 41 doubles and 11 homeruns, but needs more development to take the major league job.  He got one hundred plus at bats in AA last year hitting .306 but he repeats AA as one of the younger players in the league, getting off to a slow start with a .253 average and only four extra base hits (one double and three homeruns).  His defense also needs improvement, which is not something the Rangers want to see him work on when playing on the major league roster.

2. Eduardo Rodriguez LHP (Orioles) - A young lefthander the Orioles signed for only $175,000.  At 6′2, 200 pounds he has matured to the point where his fastball easily hits the low 90s in velocity, sometimes hitting 95.  Eduardo pitched well at Frederick (6-4, 2.85), struggled early when promoted to Bowie but ended the season well.  A slider and changeup give him two other good pitches to put him in the starting rotation.  With Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy ahead of him in the rotation he may see all his 2014 season in the minor leagues, where he has again gotten off to a slow start in AA (1-2, 6.75).

3. Luis Sardinas SS (Rangers) - One of the better defensive players for the Rangers his bat will keep him in a utility role.  He reached AA last year where he and Odor were double play partners.  Sardinas also has the speed to steal twenty plus bases, but his inability to get on base may limit his opportunities.  His power will limit him to a mid 300 slugging percentage and his lack of patience could make him a less than 700 OPS.  But when the game is on the line and you need a top notch glove man in the game Sardinas is the man.   This year his bat has started out slow in AA with a .226 average and .519 OPS.

4. Bruce Rondon RHP (Tigers) - He will miss all of the 2014 season after Tommy John surgery.  He had a triple digit fastball, but last year when Jim Leyland gave him opportunities to close he showed a lack of command.  He needs to get more consistency on his slider and improve the change to give the hitters another speed to look at.  That will all have to wait as he recovers from Tommy John.  He pushes 300 pounds with his 6′3″ frame so he will need to watch his conditioning while he remains inactive.

5. Victor Sanchez RHP (Mariners) - Victor will start the season as one of the youngest players in the Southern League, skipping High A. At 6′0″ 255 he carries a lot of weight for a 19 year old.  His fastball is in the low 90s but should increase and he has a good changeup.  He needs to work on his breaking pitches.  Pitching in Low A Victor only struck out 6.7 hitters per nine innings but walked just 1.4 batters per nine innings last year.  Excellent command is what dictates his success.  He made two starts at AA (5.40) before being put on the disabled list.

6. Jose Campos RHP (Yankees) - The Yankees acquired Campos along with Michael Pineda from the Mariners in the Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi trade.  With Montero reporting to camp overweight and Noesi being designated, while Pineda pitches in the major leagues (if he can stay away from getting pine tar on certain parts of his body) and Campos is back from his elbow issues, this could be a steal for the Yankees.  The fastball only sits in the low 90s, with inconsistent breaking pitches and change to go with it, giving him a lot to work on in 2014.  He repeated Low A last year (3.41 ERA) and did well enough for the Yankees to protect him on the 40 man roster.  He has yet to throw more than 100 innings in a season because of injury issues.  This year he starts the season on the disabled list.

7. Carlos Sanchez 2B/SS (White Sox) - Carlos can play either second base or shortstop, which could make him a utility player in the future.  He is currently one of the youngest players in AAA, where he played last year but hit only .241 with a .589 OPS.  Power is lacking with only three homeruns in his five year minor league career and a .347 career slugging average.  This year he has started his AAA season stronger with a .280 average.  To become a starter he needs to get the OBA up to .340 plus.  The White Sox are in a rebuilding mode and could trade either shortstop Alexei Ramirez or Gordon Beckham to make room for Carlos.

8. Josmil Pinto C (Twins) - Joe Mauer has moved to first for the 2014 season to open the catching job to Pinto, who last year hit .342 in 76 major league at bats with a .566 slugging percentage.  Twin fans should not expect those kind of numbers to be the norm for Pinto though he did hit in the low .300s in AA/AAA last year with 15 homeruns.  Right now he is an offensive catcher so the Twins need a strong defensive alternative to back him up if they are going to give the starting job to him in 2014.  In his first 17 major league games he has slugged four homeruns but has only hit for .222 average.  What is impressive about his season is his 16/15 walk to whiff ratio, giving him a .408 OBA.

9. Renato Nunez 3B (Athletics) - Renato still has a long ways to go before the Athletics consider him for the major league team, where they currently have Josh Donaldson manning the position.  The Athletics signed Nunez in 2012 for $2.2 million and last year he rewarded them with a 19 homerun season, hitting .258.  Renato needs to taper down his strikeouts to bring that average up (136 in 128 games).  Last year he made 39 errors so he will have to cut down on those to stay at the position.  This year he is playing in High A where strikeouts (25 in 19 games) has kept his average down (.250) but his power has stayed in place with four homeruns.

10. Franklin Barreto SS (Blue Jays) - The Blue Jays signed Barreto for $1.45 million in 2012 and brought him to the United States to play in the rookie leagues.  He hit .276 with four homeruns last year but made 28 errors in just 42 games.  He lacks the outstanding defensive tools to stand out at short, so second base or the outfield may be his ultimate position.  That will all be predicated on his ability to hit.  He does have the tools to become an above average hitter.