The Rundown is a day late this week, thanks to an impromptu invite to the Red Sox, which can never be turned down. In order to get this out, I needed a little help from 80 Grade Podcast co-host Rhys White, who filled in a dozen or so blurbs for me, so thanks to Rhys. His write-ups are noted.
Carter Kieboom (WAS, #3)
Last 10 days (A+): 19 for 39, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 3 SB
Juan Soto has (rightfully) received most of the attention from the Nationals’ farm system so far this year, but there is another Potomac stud that has quietly been hitting like crazy and his name is Carter Kieboom. The 2016 1st round pick racked up 5 multi-hit games this week with 5 XBH, raising his seaon line to .268/.381/.443 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. There are some questions about whether or not Kieboom can stick at SS, but he looked more than capable in my one look, and with teams less and less reluctant to throw fringe defenders at SS, I’m bullish on Kieboom’s ability to stick there. SMR had Kieboom ranked 82nd in the Top 150 Prospects heading into this season.
Chris Paddack (SD, #22)
This week (A+): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K
Paddack continued to mowed down High-A hitters in his 3rd start of the season as he continues to make his way back from the Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the past 1.5 seasons. Paddack is putting up video game numbers in his first 3 starts, with a 0.00 ERA, 14.6 K/9, and 0.6 BB/9. Though he has done nothing but dominate since being drafted in the 8th round in 2015, I fully expect the Padres to take it somewhat slow with Paddack; he’s pitched only 100 innings in the past 3 seasons and his arsenal of a mid-90’s FB and a borderline 70 grade changeup is exactly the type that could dominate the lower minors (and alas, it is). Paddack’s breaking ball still needs some work, though it looks extremely promising, and they won’t want to push him too hard as he strengthens. A move to Double-A could be not far away, but that is where he’ll face his first challenge.
Kevin Smith (TOR, #19)
Last 10 days (A): 18 for 39, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 3 SB
Smith has now made 3 straight Rundowns, thanks to a torrid start to the season at Low-A, a level which may be not challenging enough for him. A sure-handed college shortstop with power, Smith’s 5 doubles this week now give him 19 on the year to go along with 4 HR and a couple of triples. We should wait until he’s out of Low-A to put much stock in his statistical performance, but the arrow is pointing in the right direction.
Dan Vogelbach (SEA, #11)
Last 10 days (AAA): 17 for 41, 4 doubles, 6 HR, 12:2 K:BB
Big Boy Dan the Man Vogelbach went on a hitting spree this week, collecting 4 doubles and 5 HR. In fact, in only 1 game this week did Vogelbach not hit an XBH. Vogelbach modified his swing path a bit this offseason to better tap into his huge power and it’s showing so far, as he now has 10 HR between the Majors and PCL play, which given that it’s his 3rd go at the league, could be rather unimpressive. Still, Vogelbach has always had terrific plate discipline and on-base skills. The power, if it sticks around, could be exactly what Vogelbach needs to carve out a role as a below average defensive 1B.
Dustin May (LAD, #11)
This week (A+): 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
I am a big, big fan of Dustin May, and I tried to sneak him on to our Top 150, but my co-writer wasn’t having it and May had to settle for the ‘Next 10’. May signed with the Dodgers after being selected in the 3rd round in 2016, signing for $1 million, roughly $400K over slot value for the 101 pick. May gained 20 lbs this offseason and is now sitting comfortably 92-95 with his fastball but was touching 97 in mid April. The Dodgers loved the spin rate on the FB at the time of the draft, clocking 2650 rpm and giving the pitch devastating late life. It combines it with a 2-seamer, a hard slider, and a changeup in which he has shown the feel and arm speed to develop. The arrow is point up for Gingergaard.
Adrian Morejon (SD, #6)
This week (A+): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Pitching across from May last Wednesday was Morejon, who made the Preseason SMR Top 150 comfortably at #59. Morejon was equally impressive, as he cruised through a career high 7 innings, while allowing very few baserunners. Morejon’s year has impressive so far, especially when you consider that he is barely 19 and pitching in High-A, striking out over a hitter per inning and keeping the quality of contact poor; he has forced more pop-ups than he has allowed line drives and his GB% is above 50%. It’s all about clocking innings and continuing to develop at this point for the small lefty, who at his peak could have 3 above above to plus pitches and plus (or better) command.
Eloy Jimenez (CHW, #11)
Last 10 days(AA): 20 for 47, 7 doubles, 3 HR
Hi, I’m Eloy Jimenez and you’re watching Disney Channel *hits a baseball to the moon*
Kolby Allard (ATL, #6)
This week (AAA): 2 starts, 14 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 10 K
With these 2 starts this week, Allard has now has pitched 6 consecutive starts in which he’s allowed 2 ER or fewer. The later of the 2 starts on Sunday was Allard’s more dominant outing, as he went 8 strong innings, allowed just 4 baserunners and struck out 8. He threw a season high 105 pitches and got a season high 15 swinging strikes. Although his fastball velocity has dropped over the last calendar year, Allard is succeeding this season as a 20 year old in AAA thanks to a new changeup, according to Baseball America, which he has “come up with”. This new change could be key for him going forward, especially with the decreased FB velo, and MLB Pipeline bumped it’s grade from a 55 to a 60 in their most recent LHP update. I was a bit worried about the velocity loss preseason, but if this new changeup is the real deal, Allard becomes just as sexy of a prospect as he was a year ago.
Christin Stewart (DET, #10)
Last 10 days (AAA): 13 for 44, 2 doubles, 6 HR
The supplemental pick the Tigers got when Max Scherzer left for D.C. has been off to a hot start in 2018 and in his last 10 days has mashed 6 homers hit .295/.326/.750 in AAA Toledo. He provides no value defensively, so his bat is what is going to carry him, and that has been scorching with 11 homers in AAA to start 2018. Not only is he driving the ball out of the ballpark but he has significantly cut down his K% from his 24.9% in 2017 to 15.0% in 2018%. With the way he has swung the bat he should get some time with the big league club and potentially mash big league pitching. – RW
Pablo Lopez (MIA, #21)
This week (AA): 2 starts, 12 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 13 K
One of the most underrated arms in a much improved system Pablo Lopez has done a great job of developing himself as a pitcher. He went from a flier in a trade to a potential major leaguer thanks to his bump in strikeouts this season, sitting at 6.4 K/9 when he got traded to the Marlins system but now he is sitting at a 9.3 K/9 in AA. His development gets overlooked because of the shenanigans going on with the Major League squad. This is someone who has added velocity to his fastball, which helps add to the profile as he went from low 90’s to being able to touch 97 when he needs it. He lives in the strike zone and barely walks people, only allowing 4 free base runners in 2018. Lopez has done a great job at AA and his arrow is pointing up. – RW
Dennis Santana (LAD, #10)
This week(AA): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 11 K
Quietly… very, very quietly, Santana has seriously changed his future outlook. A year ago, maybe not even that long, Santana was a surefire future relief pitcher; he mainly worked with 2 pitches and had an extremely low arm slot, which created issues vs LHB, and his command needed work. Not even 1 year later, his changeup has developed to a usable pitch seemingly out of thin air, his sequencing of it, along with his other pitches, has been notable good, and his command has improved. The result has been not only level platoon splits, but he’s actually been better this season against lefties in the small sample. His fastball is a plus pitch with wicked arm side movement and his slider is plus as well, which set him up to be a good RP, but with increase in command and changeup usefulness, Santana is headed in the right direction and looks to be able to start long term. He now has a 2.12 ERA and a 12.7 K/9 in 7 Double-A starts.
Alex Kiriloff (MIN, #6)
Last 10 days(A): 13 for 36, 2 HR, 9 XBH
The former 15th overall pick is coming back from the Tommy John surgery in 2017 and is hitting the ground running. He is being challenged at A-ball and is more than handling himself over the past 10 days hitting .361/.425/.778 with the 9 extra base knocks. Kirilloff is showcasing the plus hit tool and above average power that he flashed in his prep career and seems to be all the way back from TJ. He has a beautiful swing and has shown the ability to play an above average right field in his prep career and almost 2 years removed from his draft date nothing has changed for the advanced prep product. – RW
Enyel De Los Santos (PHI, #13)
This week (AAA): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
This scoreless outing made 3 in a row for De Los Santos, who is pitching out of his mind for Lehigh Valley. Acquired in the offseason for Freddy Galvis, the Phillies immediately made minor mechanical adjustments to Enyel’s delivery, and so far, it seems to be paying dividends. He also added a slider sometime over the last year, and although it’s as inconsistent as you’d expect for a brand new pitch, he’s been able to use it as a swing and miss pitch at times. De Los Santos has a potential plus changeup and the fastball can get to 98 mph, although he commands the 94-96 range better. As Fangraphs notes, De Los Santos has fringe average command and poor extension, which on their own, are workable, but together may cause issues down the road. Regardless, De Los Santos stuff is definitely a tick better than it was in years past, and his 29% K% is a career high. He hasn’t let up more than 1 run in a single outing this year and has a 0.84 ERA on the season. I’m not sure how soon the call up to the Phillies’ rotation will be, but he looks big league ready.
Enyel De Los Santos changeup (5/9/18) pic.twitter.com/AKnyr5d7DB
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) May 10, 2018
Zack Short (CHC, #22)
Last 10 days (AA): 13 for 40, 5 doubles, 4 HR, 1 SB
If you like guys that play shortstop and walk a lot Zach Short is your guy. Over the past 10 days Short is rocking a .325/.471/.750 triple slash showcasing his elite on base ability as well as hitting the ball with some huevos. He is one pace to shatter his career high of 13 homers and if this power he has showcased stays he has a chance to become more than a utility guy and maybe become an everyday player for a team at a premium position. – RW
Cole Irvin (PHI, #23)
This week (AAA): 2 starts, 14 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 13 K
Cole Irvin is not a sexy pitcher, however he has the type of profile to become a backend of the rotation starter in the very near future. Over his past 2 outings he has pitched 7 innings in each of the 2 outings, a skill set that is becoming rarer and rarer these days, and has done a great job of leaving runners on base as his only run came on a solo home run. His 4 above average pitches from the left side play up because of his plus command, and his smooth repeatable delivery. He will never be known as a big strikeout guy, but with the way he pitches he could carve out a long big league career. – RW
Vince Fernandez (COL, #22)
Last 10 days (A+): 11 for 27, 2 HR, 5 XBH, 2 SB, 9:11 BB:K
So how about that Lancaster inflation though? Good on Vince for taking advantage of the hitter friendly confines of Lancaster. – RW
Dario Agrazal (PIT, #28)
This week (AA): 2 starts, 11 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 9 K
Two more interesting starts for Agrazal who now has a 1.30 ERA through 7 appearances this season. A control command artist, Agrazal works with a low-90’s FB with insane movement that has touched 96 in the past. His secondaries (slider/change) are nothing special, but look like usable pitches and have downward movement to them as well, keeping his ground ball rate consistently around 55%. The slider will flash a bit better at times. This offseason, the Pirates added Agrazal to the 40-man roster, so it is clear they anticipate him having some sort of role on the team in the future. Here’s a look at the fastball:
Whiffle ball fastball from Dario Agrazal. Unfair. pic.twitter.com/483Ld5PZo9
— Trey Wilson (@treywilson757) May 13, 2018
Austin Riley (ATL, #5)
Last 10 days(AA-AAA):15 for 40, 3 doubles, 4 HR, 1 SB
Riley was hitting ok but not great in his first taste of AAA until Sunday, in which he hit 3 HR including a grand slam. Riley has made strides since last season, when he was a bad-bodied, fringe defensive 3B with bat speed or loading issues. He looks to be in much better shape this season, his defense has come along, and have yet to see reinforced worry about bat speed or vulnerability to high velocity. In any organization, I would say Riley is safe to spend a bit more time in AAA, but with the Braves’ recent history of aggressive promotions, a call could be right around the corner, especially with Jose Bautista look as bad as expected.
Mike Shawaryn (BOS, #9)
This week (AA): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
This start lowered Shawaryn’s ERA to 2.88 on the year and lowered his walk rate in the early going to just 2.1 per 9 innings, down from about 3.0 last season last season. Shawaryn was up to 95 mph with his FB in the spring, and the slider is a fantastic pitch thanks to his low arm slot. That low arm slot surprisingly hasn’t come with any platoon issues yet, as the changeup is good enough to keep lefties on their toes. It isn’t all peaches for the righty, however, as his cross body delivery can create a lack of downward move on his fastball and it has led to a terrible 39% GB% on the year. He has allowed almost 30 fly balls in under 30 IP and only one has left the yard; the 2.3% HR/FB is surely going to correct itself at some point, and Shawaryn’s ERA will most likely follow. Nonetheless, he has been a rare bright spot in an already lacking farm system that has now lost it’s top 2 prospects to suspension and surgery.
David Peterson (NYM, #2)
This week (A): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
The Mets first round pick in 2017 is known for his mix of command and stuff and the former Oregon Duck has the makings of a mid rotation starter. His last start was a gem as he managed to make it through 7 innings, not giving up a run, and punching out 8. He mixes in a plus fastball and changeup with 2 breaking pitches that flash above average, and he pairs his arsenal with plus command. His most recent start was his longest and he has showcased why the Mets drafted him so early in the draft with the 1 walk. – RW
Brandon Lowe (TB, #10)
Last 10 days (AA):11 for 34, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 3 SB
An experienced college player coming from the Big 10, Brandon is showcasing the speed and emerging power that made him a top 5 round pick in 2015. He has begun to unlock more raw power as he already has 6 homers this season and has shown the ability to swipe a bag. His .366 OBP this season only adds to his offensive profile as he can get on base and then steal second. If the power is legitimate he becomes a very intriguing center field prospect. – RW
Brandon Waddell (PIT, #26)
This week (AA): 8.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K
The Pirates farmhand has had one sneaky season and he might be one of the biggest risers in the Pirates system. He mixes in 3 above average pitches and relies on his polished command walking only 6.4% of the batters he has faced. He has faces injury issues throughout his minor league career but if he can stay healthy he has the makings of a back end of the rotation starter. He isn’t the biggest strikeout guy however with his ability to limit hard contact he has the stuff to be a big leaguer for a long time. – RW
Spencer Turnbull (DET, #30)
This week (AA): 2 starts, 11 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 12 K
If the classic sinker-slider combo pitcher is your thing Spencer Turnbull is definitely your pitcher. He’s probably a reliever in the big leagues thanks to the previously mentioned sinker slider combo as the rest of the arsenal is average. Over his past 11 innings he has limited the walks and stopped the opposing team from scoring as well as striking out over a batter an inning. He very well could be thrown in the bullpen and be fast tracked to the majors because of his two plus pitches. – RW
Myles Straw stolen base counter: 21 SB on the season in 34 games
Jay Groome (BOS, #1) – Groome received bad news on Wednesday and will need Tommy John surgery to repair his UCL, which will not only end his season, but keep him out a good chunk of 2019 as well. For Groome, a young pitcher who has dealt with injuries in the last year and really needed the development time, this is a tough blow. It’s a blow that will most likely remove him from most top prospect lists for the foreseeable future.
Wander Javier (MIN, #5) – Javier is also out for the season with a torn labrum.
Justus Sheffield (NYY, #3) – Sheffield left after 3.2 IP with trainer during his last start. The good news is that Sheffield should be ok, and he was only placed on the 7-day DL with shoulder soreness as a precaution.
Nick Senzel (CIN, #1) – Placed on the 7-day DL with vertigo
Peter Lambert (COL, #) – Lambert got pulled after 3 near-perfect innings and just 31 pitches on Saturday. No news as to why.
Freddy Peralta (MIL, #9) – Peralta was called up to the big on Sunday to make a start after a 5 IP, 0 R, 8 K start on Monday at AAA. Peralta was dominant with his fastball in his debut, throwing 91% FB and generating 19 swinging strikes on his way to 5.2 IP, 0 R, and 13 K. Peralta’s delivery is wildly deceptive and the release point makes it extremely hard for hitters to pick up on.
Juan Soto (WAS, #2) – Soto was promoted to AA Harrisburg on Thursday afternoon after just 16 games in High-A Potomac. The rise that Soto has seen this year has been tremendous, hitting .372/.476/.802 across 2 levels. He homered and doubled in his AA debut. I’ve said since September that Soto was the type of prospect who could catapult himself into the top 10 this season, and he looks like he’ll make that jump easily (if he hasn’t already).
Brendan McKay (TB, #) – McKay was promoted to A+ on Saturday, effective Monday, after a Thursday start in which he went 6 scoreless innings, struck out 7, and allowed only 1 baserunner. McKay’s performance at High-A will mean a bit more than it did at Low-A, where he was most likely th best player in every single game he played by a wide margin.
Franmil Reyes (SD, N/A) – Reyes has been on a tear this year, already hitting 14 HR in just 154 PA. I am extremely skeptical that he’s is anything more than a power bench bat, and nearly every single one of his HR have come in massive hitter’s parks, but there’s some tantalizing power upside here if he can make enough contact. Word is his exit velocities have been higher than that of Franchy Cordero so far this season
T.J. Zeuch (TOR, #9) – Promoted to AA Manchester on Tuesday afternoon. He let up 5 runs (4 earned) in just 4 innings and was sitting 93-95 during his debut.
(Photo by /Icon Sportswire)