Ian Anderson (ATL, #4)
This week (A+): 2 starts, 11 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H,1 BB,18 K
Since being pulled after 2 innings in a start on May 6th, Anderson has gone 32 IP with an ERA of 1.97 and 39 strikeouts. Just 20 years old, the big righty has definitely gotten comfortable at A+, and with the Braves’ record of aggressive promotions in recent years, it would surprise me if Anderson got a little taste of AA by the end of the season. Anderson now sports a sub-3.00 ERA on the season with an 11.1 K/9 and a 3.8 BB/9, the latter down nearly a hitter per 9 from the year before. Oh, and he’s only allowed 3 HR in his career 200 career professional IP.
Bobby Dalbec (BOS, #12)
Last 10 days (A+): 15 for 38, 5 HR, 12 XBH
It’s been a roller coaster professional career for Bobby Dalbec thus far. Drafted in the 4th round in 2016 as a two-way player from Arizona, the Sox elected to keep Dalbec as a 3B and give his plus or better power and strong arm a chance to mash at the hot corner. Early signs were decent, as Dalbec tore up short season post draft in 2016, but injuries got the better of Dalbec in ‘17, lead by a wrist injury that not only cost him time, but bothered him most of the year and theoretically sapped his power. Dalbec is once again healthy this season, and mashing like the Red Sox expected him to when they drafted him, hitting .249/.362/.548 this season at A+ including nearly 20 HR. There’s some swing and miss here due to poor bat control (30% K rate), but it doesn’t hinder Dalbec’s ability to get to his massive raw in game, as over half his ball in play last season, despite the injury, had 100+ mph exit velocities, according to Fangraphs, and his ISO currently sits at .300. It’s going to be a slow burn for Dalbec, and the real test will be AA, but the arrow is pointing up.
Eli Morgan (CLE, #29)
This week (A+): 2 starts, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 7 H, 1 BB, 14 K
For an Indians’ pitcher who is having a Shane Bieber-esque breakout this year, I don’t hear nearly enough about Elijah Morgan, the team’s 8th round pick in last year’s draft. Through 17 starts this season between A and A+, Morgan has a miniscule 1.96 ERA, 0.828 WHIP, 10.6 K/9 and just a 1.7 BB/9. In all fairness, Morgan has an arsenal that should be tearing up the lower minors, as a truly advanced college pitcher with deception, above average command, and a potential 70 changeup. The size, modest velocity, and lack of a swing-and-miss breaker could ultimately give him some troubles at AA or above, but Morgan looks the part of a potential future rotation piece, which for an 8th rounder, is an incredible find.
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) May 27, 2018
Wander Franco (TB, #7)
Last 10 days (Rk): 18 for 44, 3 triples, 7 XBH, 2 SB, just 2 K
After gaining a little good weight and mashing in Extended Spring Training, the Rays aggressively pushed last year’s top international free agent to the Appalachian League, where in his first 17 games, he has continued to do much of the same, hitting .352/.403/.592 with a handful of XBH and SB. Franco has also struck out just 6 times in 77 PA. With every young, teenage IFA, there are roughly a million way a profile could thrive or sour, but early signs have Franco’s profile pointing way up. He should get a shot to open up next season in full season ball at 18 years old should he not fall into a devastating slump.
— TobiasWoo (@TobiasWooX) July 6, 2018
Matt Hall (DET, #23)
This week (AA):2 starts, 12.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 H, 2 BB, 18 K
Very interesting starts from Hall this week, who after moving to the bullpen to begin the year despite pitching 3 straight seasons as a starter with a sub-3.00 ERA, is now back in the rotation and thriving. Including these starts, Hall hasn’t allowed a run in 4 starts with a 26:2 K:BB in 21.2 IP. Hall typically pitches in the high-80’s with his fastball, but has a very funky, deceptive delivery from the left side and a plus curveball, helping the profile a bit. There’s a good chance he’s just a mid reliever long term, but someone to keep an eye on.
Nolan Gorman (STL, 1st round)
Last 10 days (Rk): 12 for 36, 5 HR
After a bad spring in which Gorman put on some bad weight and had some noteworthy trouble with breaking balls, the young third baseman slid all the way to the Cardinals’ pick at #19 overall, where they must have been thrilled to get him. He has his warts, notably the two aforementioned issues that caused him to slide, and he may require a move to 1B some time in the future, but at the 19th overall pick, there is rarely a player with his upside still available. Gorman had arguably the best raw power in the entire draft class, and it has been shining through so far in the Appy, where he has hit 6 HR in just 53 PA.
Bryse Wilson (ATL, #12)
This week (AA): 2 starts, 13.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 9 H, 1 BB, 16 K
Finally a couple of good outings from Wilson, who after dominating A+ for 5 starts, had some trouble adjusting to AA. Through his first 10 outings at AA, Wilson allowed 37 runs and wasn’t even averaging 4.5 IP per start. He did a great job limiting the free passes this week, however, something that has gotten him into trouble at the level. Wilson sits 93-95 (top 96) with his fastball which includes good arm side run and good command. The rest of the profile needs some work, with a fringe changeup and a breaker that draws mixed reviews, the latter of which could be limited by a questionable arm action. Still, Wilson is very young for the level so any glimpses of success are positive.
Akil Baddoo (MIN, #10)
Last 10 days (A): 18 for 41, 6 doubles, 9 XBH, 2 SB, just 2 K
It’s been an interesting year at the plate for Baddoo, who holds an intriguing .251/.373/.445 slash line as a teen in full season ball, but has also struck out 10% more than last year, something Eric Longenhagen sources as trouble with good breaking balls, something he has obviously seen more of at a more advanced level than last year. However with that, Baddoo has a very, very good idea of the strike zone, and his walk rate pushes 16%, giving him extremely good on-base skills. The power, speed, and on-base gives him a profile similar to Royals’ OF Khalil Lee.
Taylor Widener (ARI, #4)
This week (AA): 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB,13 K
Widener’s breakout with his new team continues, down to a 2.60 ERA on the season through 16 starts with a 114:26 K:BB ratio. The Diamondbacks have done a great job fine tuning his mechanics since being acquired, and Widener now has the potential to be a starter with a plus fastball and 2 average or better secondaries with average command of it all. He has surpassed Taylor Clarke as the #2 pitching prospect in the system to me. Here’s a quick little clip of the breaker, which flashes above average frequently:
The @SLeagueBaseball strikeout leader was at it again. #Dbacks No 4 prospect Taylor Widener recorded a career-best 13 strikeouts in a complete game for @jacksongenerals. https://t.co/dXOpiz8Eyl pic.twitter.com/GxEncmK9B4
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) July 8, 2018
Gilberto Celestino (HOU, #22)
Last 10 days (A-): 16 for 44, 4 doubles, 3 HR, 9/9 SB
In terms of pure upside, Celestino may be near the top of the Astros’ farm system with a couple of other more well known guys. Defensively, Celestino has a very advanced feel for CF and figures to be a plus or better CF with an above average arm at his peak. Because of that, he won’t need to hit too, too much to be a potential Major Leaguer, but he has a precocious feel to hit and a decent frame, suggesting he could be an above average hitter with some power in due time. After a lackluster year in Rookie ball last year, there were more 4th OF projections than in years prior, but Celestino’s frist 87 PA in short season have been great and that outlook could rebound with a strong finish to the year at the plate.
— Mark Singelais (@MarkSingelais) July 9, 2018
Justus Sheffield (NYY, #2)
This week (AAA): 2 starts, 12.1 IP, 1.46 ERA, 8 H, 5 BB,13 K
Sheffield was one of the bigger discrepancies between Rhys and I in our Midseason Top 150, but I’m all in on Sheffield, despite my past concerns with his height and injury history. The stuff is just so good, and these 2 starts pushed his ERA down to 2.44 on the year in 16 outings between AA and AAA. I think a future #2 starting pitcher is well within his range of outcomes.
— Scott Greene (@Scotty_Ballgame) July 8, 2018
Brandon Lowe (TB, #9)
Last 10 days (AAA): 16 for 41, 5 doubles, 3 HR
Lowe’s breakout for the Rays continues at the upper levels. Lowe has hit .333/.438/.610 between AA and AAA since the end of April, doing everything at an elite level at the plate. There is a chance that Lowe, whose triple slash is a tad inflated because of a .404 BABIP over that time and is still below average defensively, is still more of a solid bench piece than a regular, but he has undoubtedly hit a ton, and now looks like a potential, bat-first everyday second baseman.
Darwinzon Hernandez (BOS, #7)
This week (A+): 2 starts, 11.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 7 BB, 17 K
The Sox system has had very few bright spots in 2018, so any good weeks from a prospect is a welcome one. Signed out of Venezuela in 2013 for just $7,500, the lefty has some very good stuff, with a mid-90’s or higher fastball, a breaker that has shown plus, swing-and-miss potential, and a changeup that isn’t shabby either, all coming from a deceptive, low arm slot with extension. The control and command, as seen by the 7 walks this week, is his major wart. Hernandez has a 6 BB/9 this season to accompany his 4.33 ERA, throwing just 60% of his pitches for strikes. There’s a high probability he’s a reliever long term because of this, but Hernandez is still plenty young and there’s some decent upside in the profile if he can learn to throw strikes.
Griffin Conine (TOR, 2nd round)
Last 10 days (A-): 14 for 38, 4 HR, 9 XBH
After mashing at Duke in his junior year (.298/.410/.608), the son of Jeff Conine was selected with the 52nd overall pick by the Blue Jays. Like many college bats, he has skipped right to short season ball and has continued to hit well there with an OPS north of 1.000 in his first taste of pro baseball.He hits the ball extremely hard. Rhys ranked Conine as the 47th best draft prospect for 2018 in his Top 150 Draft Prospects list here.
— Vancouver Canadians (@vancanadians) July 8, 2018
Cionel Perez (HOU, #6)
This week (AA): 2 appearances, 11 IP, 0.82 ERA, 7 H, 1 BB, 12 K
After a quick promotion to big, Perez was sent back down to AA where he continued to impress as the Astros continue to work him as both a starter and long reliever. I’ve made this claim before, but this feels like the Astros’ way of developing Perez into a 2-3 IP stud reliever in the future, where his stuff could play up. He’s found more success in that role this season, with an OPS allowed of nearly 200 points lower as a reliever (.430 OPS as RP, .628 OPS as SP). Nonetheless, Perez’ developments this season have been significant, and the Astros have another very legit prospect on their hands.
Elehuris Montero (STL, #27)
Last 10 days (A): 14 for 32, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 1 SB, 5:5 BB:K
Montero is a big-bodied 3B with a natural feel to hit for a teenager and very good raw power who has been a quiet breakout in the Card’s system this season, hitting .323/.379/.522 with 11 HR in full season A-ball. Is this good?
Interesting stat on Elehuris Montero. He pushed his wRC+ over 150 this weekend, joining an impressive group of teenagers to post 150 wRC+ in the MWL this decade (min. 200 PA’s). Vlad Guerrero Jr, Corey Seager, Byron Buxton, Oscar Taveras, and Mike Trout are a few examples.
— Derek Shore (@D_Shore23) July 9, 2018
Eric Pardinho (TOR, #7)
This week (Rk): (5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K
The recipient of the highest signing bonus ever for a Brazilian arm, Pardinho got a whopping $1.4M bonus from the Jays in 2017 and was one of 3 players from that class to skip the GCL and go right to the Appalachian League (Franco, Pereira). A short righty, Pardinho is atypically advanced for an international signing, with control and repeatability beyond his years. He sits around 94 with the heater, pairs it with a curveball that flashes and a new changeup that the Jays have begun teaching him. The upside here is of course limited by his size, as he could have serious fastball plane issues down the road, and his fastball may not have much more velocity than what he’s already shown. Still, there’s the initial ingredients of a smart, command oriented arm with two or more above average pitches. Pardinho has allowed just 2 runs while posting a 19:2 K:BB ratio in his first 3 pro starts.
Eric Haase (CLE, #20)
Last 10 days (AAA): 13 for 37, 5 doubles, 4 HR, 1 SB
Francisco Mejia has been all over the place defensively over the last calendar year. He continues to try his hand at catcher, something he has said he wants to do, but he also tried out 3B in the Arizona Fall League this past fall and he has played 27 games in the outfield this season for Columbus. Some believe that the reason the Indians continue to move him around and not develop him into a full-time catcher is because of this man right here. Haase, who was drafted in the 7th round all the way back in 2011, has developed into a pretty decent catching prospect over the years, one whose power is now extremely legitimate and his glove has the ability to be good enough to catch a full season. He has some strikeout issues, and is having a down year offensively, but there’s a safe backup here with the potential of an everyday catcher.
Brenan Hanifee (BAL, #7)
This week (A): 2 starts, 15 IP, 1.20 ERA, 15 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Hanifee is having himself quite a season at Low-A Delmarva with a 2.41 ERA through 16 starts, so much so that it may be time for a promotion for the big righty. If you haven’t already read it, here is Orioles writer James Neary’s piece on Hanifee from last month that covers everything you need to know about the Baltimore 2016 4th round pick.
Jordy Barley (SD, #30)
Last 10 days (Rk): 11 for 32, 2 HR, 8 XBH, 3 SB
Frequently overshadowed by the copious amount of other toolsy prospects the Padres have acquired in IFA in recent years, Barley could be one of the best given proper time and development; his tools are that good. Barley’s profile includes plus speed, great raw power, and quick twitch athleticism that should allow him to play up the middle. Barley is hitting .219/.329/.500 in his first 16 games in Rookie ball this year.
Daniel Lynch (KC, 1st round)
This week (Rk): 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 BB, 5 K
One of the more underrated draft prospects this season, the Royals took Lynch with the 34th overall pick right after selecting Florida righty Jackson Kowar with the 33rd. Lynch was pitching at 92-94 mph in the spring with a slider, curve, cutter, and changeup that could all flash above average on their best day, the slider being the best of the bunch. Lynch has now pitched in 3 starts in Rookie ball and allowed only 2 runs, which shouldn’t be surprising, but is a good sign nonetheless. Rhys ranked the UVA product the 24th best draft prospect.
Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT, #3, #1 in my heart)
Last 10 days (AA): 18 for 46, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4/4 SB
I’ve long been a fan of Hayes, thanks to my strange infatuation with plus or better defensive third baseman, ranking him the #65 prospect in baseball in the preseason and then at #52 in our most recent midseason list. Hayes is hitting extremely well this year also, something it was evident he could do last season but was somewhat masked by a lackluster statline. He has hit, gotten on base, walked more, struck out and hit for a little more power, upping his ISO by 15 points from last season. The power potential will always be capped by his relatively flat swing plane, but Hayes hits the ball hard. He’s going to be a very good Major Leaguer.
Scott Moss (CIN, #21)
This week (A+): 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
Moss was flat out dominant in his Friday outing, allowing just 3 baserunners and inducing 20 whiffs over 7 innings. Very quietly, the 2016 4th round pick has found his groove in High-A, allowing just 5 ER in his last 7 starts, good for a 1.16 ERA, lowering his season number to 3.61 after a rough start to the year. “The execution of my pitches has been much better,” Moss told MiLB.com on Friday. “Day to day, your stuff changes, but the execution and knowing what you have working that particular start are key. I’m growing into being a pitcher instead of a thrower and not thinking back to what worked last year but instead focusing on what is working [today].”
Jarren Duran (BOS, 7th round)
Last 10 days (A-): 16 for 41, 4 triples, 6 XBH, 2 SB
Duran, signed by the Sox for $189K out of Cal State Long Beach, has hit the ground running for Lowell post draft. Fitting for Duran, who is a 70 runner and stole bases at a high clip in college. He’s a decent hitter with good on base, but the power is limited. The sample size here is far too small to make any realistic conclusions, but the 10 XBH early in his career is a better sign than nothing. If he hits and the power can shy away from the bottom of the scale, he could profile as bench player in the future. He’s an average 2B at best, so the Sox have tried him out in CF twice so far at Lowell since drafting him, presumably to better utilize his speed on defense.
Jackson Tetreault (WAS, #11)
This week (A): 2 starts, 14 IP, 1.29 ERA, 4 H, 2 BB, 15 K
Tetreault, who was drafted in the 7th round in last year’s draft out of a Florida state college, got a bonus worth nearly 70% higher than slot value from the Nats. In the spring of 2017, Tetreault had gotten up to 95 with his fastball with athleticism and secondary pitches worth dreaming on. The downfall, however, was his control and command, as he walked over 4.5 hitters per 9 in his college career. That hasn’t been much better so far in the pros, throwing just 63% strikes in his first 13 starts this season. Over these 2 starts though, Tetreault threw 70% strikes on his way to domination. There’s rotation potential down the line if he continues to do just that.
Ronaldo Hernandez (TB, #19)
Last 10 days (A): 14 for 34, 3 doubles, 2 HR, just 2 K, 1 SB
Hernandez has been hitting in the Midwest League all year to the tune of .319/.365/.564 with 14 Hr and just a 14.4% strikeout rate. Hernandez also comes equipped with a plus-plus arm and consistently improving defensive ingredients that give him a good chance to be good behind the dish in due time as well. The sky’s the limit for the young catcher, who I had ranked well inside my top 150 prospects.
Myles Straw Stolen Base Counter: 48/55 SB in 87 games
Photo credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire