Corey Ray (MIL, #6)

Last 10 days (AA): 14 for 39, 5 HR, 4 doubles, 9/9 SB

Ray has been on absolute fire for about 2 weeks not, hitting .377/.441/.925 over his last 13 games, including 7 HR and 14 total XBH to go along with those 9 SB. Ray is having quite the turnaround season this year after an extremely disappointing 2017, thanks to a swing change to begin the year in which he raised his hands above his shoulder and ditched his toe tap. Biloxi is a relatively easy place to hit, Ray is a bit old for the level, and from a scout, Keith Law has heard that Ray could perhaps be trying to sell out too much for power in recent weeks and that it could be affecting his hit tool. All these things will be worth monitoring going forward, but Ray’s season is a positive one in almost every sense, and he projects as an everyday player. His OPS sits north of .850 and he has 19 HR and 30 SB.

Bryse Wilson (ATL, #12)

This week (AA): 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K

With this start, Wilson lowered his season ERA to 3.10 (3.92 RA9) between A+ and AA. Since he was in high school, Wilson has always thrown a 2-seam style fastball and went as far as saying he “lived off it” last season in Low-A. Then, in early July, the Braves made a suggestion based on Trackman readings: ditch the 2-seamer in favor of a more traditional 4-seamer. Wilson, of course, was a but skeptical, but decided to try it out for the first time on July 3rd. Since that outing, Wilson has thrown 27.1 IP in 4 starts, striking out 34 and walking just 4, throwing almost 70% strikes. Many who have seen him since the switch say he’s just generally more confident pounding the strike zone with it, instead of trying to paint the corners like he did with the 2-seamer, which could be the source of the decreased walks. Wilson also has a good breaker and a developing change that will make him an interesting watch for the final stretch run.

 

Wander Samuel Franco (TB, #6)

Last 10 days (Rk): 16 for 37, 3 HR, 7 XBH, just 1 K

At just 17 years old, the Rays skipped franco to the most advanced rookie league, where he has proceeded to hit .379/.417/.647 across his first 28 games. In 116 ABs, he’s struck out just 8 times. There’s a lot to love here with Franco from an offensive standpoint, as he has remarkable power for his age and size, and his idea of the strike zone is top notch as well. Defensively, he figures to outgrow shortstop, but his glove is good enough to stick on the dirt somewhere, giving him quite the profile. Recent prospect lists have been aggressive in ranking the kid, as high as #26 on Baseball America.

 

Adonis Medina (PHI, #2)

This week (A+): 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 BB, 12

Oh baby. What a way to rebound after a bad start.

Jesus Luzardo (OAK, #1)

This week (AA): 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K

After “struggling” in his first 7 starts at AA, Luzardo has turned it on and pitched flawlessly for his last 7 starts since, with just one earned run in that span (0.25 ERA) and 5 straight scoreless starts. He has 43 K to just 5 BB in those 7 starts. At just 20 years old, Luzardo has a 2.36 ERA at AA and a 2.16 across 2 levels this season. He’s making a case for the top LHP prospect in baseball (though I’d personally still rather MacKenzie Gore).

 

Mason Martin (PIT, #23)

Last 10 days (Rk): 16 for 36, 5 doubles, 1 SB, 8:9 BB:K

Martin, who was drafted in the 17th round in 2017, has had a decent pro career so far, especially for where he was drafted. At a stocky 6’0”, 210 lbs, Martin has good power from the left side, getting some plus grades and has shown a good power/patience combo at the lower levels so far in his career. He struggled in a short Low-A stint this season, but since being demoted back to rookie ball, the newly-19 year old has started hitting well again. He’s limited defensively to 1B or a well below average LF, so he’s really going to need to mash, but there are some intriguing initial ingredients here, especially for a late round pick.

 

Cameron Bishop (BAL, #14)

This week (A): 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K

Bishop signed an over slot deal in the 26th round in 2017 after missing his entire junior year at UC Irvine with an oblique issue. Having only pitched since his senior year of high school, Bishop has a lot of raw ingredients, including a fastball that can get to 95 and 3 secondary offerings, but his lack of experience is evident in the inconsistencies of his secondaries as well as his below average control and command. Bishop has had success in Low-A so far tough. There’s a chance he’s using his big 6’4” frame and 95 mph gas from the left side to simply overpower Low-A hitters that are on average younger and less developed, but his BB rate is also 1.6 per 9, a sign that his control, at the very least, is better than in years’ past. Bishop has a 1.51 ERA in his last 7 starts and hasn’t walked more than 2 and allowed more than 2 runs in any of them. He’s an interesting story and a player worth keeping an eye on.

 

Jose Siri (CIN, #7)

Last 10 days (AA): 10 for 35, 4 HR, 6 XBH, 2/4 SB

After a 2017 season in which he hit 59 XBH and 46 SB, you probably haven’t heard much about Jose Siri this season (from me, at least), because as a whole, it has been a rather disappointing season. There was speculation that last season’s breakout was because he was 21 years old beating up on Low-A pitchers, and while that doesn’t seem to be the entire reason, it was definitely a factor. So far against more age-appropriate competition, Siri’s OBP has plummeted to almost .290 and his K% has risen to about 30%. AA has been a step in the right direction, however, as he’s hit much better there than he did in A+. He’ll be one to monitor in the second half.

 

Taylor Hearn (PIT, #9)

This week (AA): 2 starts, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 8 H, 4 BB, 11 K

Hearn comes at hitters with a mid-90’s fastball that can sometimes sniff triple digits and a good slider that can flash plus when it’s on. Those 2 ingredients coming from the left side and a 6’5” give him enough to be a bullpen piece – perhaps a late-inning one – and that’s where his projection remains with no real hope for his changeup to become a viable 3rd pitch. Hearn has a 3.03 ERA in 18 starts this season at AA.

 

Alex Kiriloff (MIN, #3)

Last 10 days (A+): 15 for 33, 7 XBH, just 2 K

After a brief cold stretch to begin his Florida State League stint, Kirilloff has turned on the jets at A+ with 12 hits and 5 XBH in 5 games this week. After missing all of last season recovering from TJ surgery, the 20 year old has hit .335/.382/.574 across 2 levels. He’s one of the very few hitters in the minors with a true shot at developing a 60 hit tool and 60 power.

 

Vlad Gutierrez (CIN, #9)

This week (AA): 7 IP 1.29 ERA, 5 H, 0 BB, 10 K

Gutierrez has put together a nice string of outings in the past 6 weeks after posting a 6.75 ERA through 11 starts to begin the year. Signed for nearly $5M in 2016, Gutierrez has yet to do anything to overly impress, but that sort of high investment player may now be shining through with a 1.26 ERA, 53 K, and over ⅔ of his pitches for strikes in his last 8 starts. He’s not a big guy at 6’0”, but he comes with a big fastball and an above average to plus breaker. The arrow is pointing up.

 

Eloy Jimenez (CHW, #1)

Last 10 days (AAA): 13 for 32, 3 HR, 4 doubles, just 2 K

If you had asked me when the season started if Eloy Jimenez would get a September call up, I would have said 5% chance, maybe less. I still think that is probably the case, but man, Eloy sure is making a strong case for it. In between a torn pectoral muscle that caused him to miss the first 2 weeks plus strained left adductor muscle that caused him to miss the two weeks prior to the Future’s Game, Eloy has hit .326/.377/.573 with 15 HR and 37 XBH in just 280 ABs across AA and AAA. His K% on the year is below 15% and his current AAA K% is below 9%. After Vlad Jr., Eloy has the biggest offensive upside of any player in the Minor Leagues.

 

Brandon Bailey (HOU, #29)

This week (A+): 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Nice little hot stretch for the Astros right-hander. After throwing just 60% strikes in his first 14 starts this season (3.67 ERA), Bailey has found the zone in his past 4, throwing 68% strikes including a 20% whiff rate and leading to a 0.81 ERA in those starts. Bailey, who drafted by Oakland in 2016, was swapped in November for Ramon Laureano prior to the Rule 5 draft, figuring Laureano would be selected. Bailey is a smaller guy at 5’10” and he lacks truly overpowering stuff, so the bullpen could be his final resting place, but he has a good fastball with good movement, a slider that flashes plus, and an ability to miss bats, so that should be plenty to make a usable RP.

 

Mike Siani (CIN, 4th round)

Last 10 days (Rk): 11 for 32, 2 HR, 3 doubles, 7:3 BB:K

One of my favorite players in the 2018 draft has been doing nothing but hit in his first handful of pro games, now with a .314/.426/.490 line in his first 13 games. His calling card is his fit in CF, where he’s a 60 to 70 runner, got a plus glove and a plus arm. The spring leading up to the draft caused some questions about Siani’s future power projection, and his swing plane lacks loft, but there’s a decent chance he hits. As a surefire, plus or better future CF, he won’t need to hit much to be a Major Leaguer though.

 

Juan Then (NYY, #22)

This week (Rk): 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

The Yankees traded Nick Rumbelow for J.P. Sears and Juan Then in November, and as one scout said at the time of the trade, it’s a trade that has the potential to be one of the worst in recent memory [for the Mariners, obviously]. So far, Rumbelow has a 7.84 ERA in 8 appearances with the Mariners and now pitches in AAA. Sears has pitched pretty well considering NYY is now attempting to convert him to a starter. The real reason for the lopsidedness of the trade, at least in that one scouts mind, was Then. The 18 year old currently stands at 6’1”, pitches at 88-92 t94 with an advanced feel for his secondaries. There’s most likely a future as a backend starter here, but if it all comes together, Then could have a plus change and an above average breaker, giving him the potential for more.

 

Stephen Alemias (PIT, #17)

Last 10 days (AA): 14 for 32, 2 doubles, 4/5 SB, 10:7 BB:K

Alemias is one of my favorite under the radar prospects. Offensively, Alemias is far from special; at best, he has 30 grade power and the hit tool is going to be hard pressed to be anything better than fringe- average. Defensively, however, Alemias is one of the best shortstops in the minors, the reason Pittsburgh selected him in the 3rd round in 2016. He’s a plus runner, with a plus arm, and a potentially 70 glove. The real question is if he hits and gets on base enough, which could be tough as pitchers begin to attack his strike zone more and more. So far, so good at AA, however, as Alemias holds onto a .350 OBP and is striking out at just a 16% clip. If he can continue to get on base, there’s a chance he could be a future regular. Here’s a couple of crazy plays by Alemias: [ Play 1, Play 2 ]

 

Justin Dunn (NYM, #4)

This week (AA): 2 starts, 12 IP, 1.50 ERA, 15 H, 2 BB, 13 K

The Boston College product continued his strong season this week with 2 strong, 6 inning outings. Dunn’s 2017 season was one highlighted by an inability to retire LH hitters (.926 OPS allowed to LHB). Lefties have had a much tougher time this season (just .683 OPS) and Dunn now throws a splitter, according to Ralph Lifshitz at Razzball, confirmed by a scout. The introduction of the third pitch could be crucial for Dunn, whose changeup has yet to develop as hoped. Dunn now has a 2.66 ERA and 56 K in 8 starts at AA.

 

Jose Miranda (MIN, #26)

Last 10 days (A): 16 for 40, 2 HR, 3 doubles, just 2 K

The 2016 second rounder was seen as the best Puerto Rican high schooler in the entire draft class after Delvin Perez, but has so far had a much better career in pro ball. Miranda’s calling card was his offense, as a kid with advanced bat control and a feel to hit. That is still more or less the same now, only Miranda has moved off shortstop full time and has split time at 2B/3B, where he figures to end up. Miranda has raked over his last 13 games, hitting .429/.467/.661 with a handful of XBH and only 4 K, raising his season OPS by 70 points in the process. There’s a chance the bat can develop to an above average one ,but with current defensive shortcomings, he could end up as a bat first utility piece also. Either way, he’s just another low minors Twins prospect with potential.

 

Wyatt Marks (OAK, #23)

This week (A): 2 starts, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 12 H, 3 BB, 15 K

Marks was a reliever in his junior year, leading all of Division I in strikeout rate (100 K in 59 IP) and hit rate (4.4 H9). Oakland is now trying him as a starter, and he’s actually had decent luck, but as of now he only throws 2 pitches in his fastball and curveball, which should push him to the bullpen long term assuming a decent changeup doesn’t appear out of thin air. His FB/curve combo can be a great one though, as both are hard to swing up and the curve is a strong one that gets constant whiffs. As soon as the shift back to the bullpen occurs, Marks could move quickly, and figures to be a decent piece there.

 

Jazz Chisholm (ARI, #3)

Last 10 days (A+): 10 for 38, 4 HR, 7 XBH

After a 5 for 6 game last Monday at Low-A which included a triple and 2 home runs, the D’Backs had seen all they needed to from Jazz and promoted him to High-A the next day. He responded with 4 hits including a triple and HR in the games to follow, boosting his season line to .245/.310/.477. He’s an aggressive hitter and now has over 100 strikeouts on the year, something he may have to tone down a bit so that his AVG/OBP don’t continue to suffer, but there is power in the profile (16 HR) and he figures to play on the dirt up the middle. There’s a decent potential regular here.

Sean Reid-Foley (TOR, #10)

This week (AAA): 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K

Reid-Foley’s rebound season continues. Since his first start at AAA in which he was roughed up for 8 runs over 2.1 IP, SRF has just a 2.56 ERA in 11 starts at the level and has dropped his ERA to 2.95 on the season across 2 levels. His stuff (and most importantly his FB sink) is much better than it was last season, much closer to the stuff that made him a top 100 prospect before 2017, and that is reflected in his home run rate this year. But his command still lags behind his control, which can get him into trouble. He’s projected as a bullpen piece for some, but I think he fits in a rotation, albeit the back of one.

 

Photo credit: Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com

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