Author Topic: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019  (Read 18484 times)

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #60 on: September 09, 2018, 06:44:18 pm »
Apologies, but my anal side just couldn't stand the damn uneven formatting...

4 or More Prospect Lists (21)
OF Kyle Tucker.......................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels   
RHP Forrest Whitley..............FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF Yordan Alvarez.................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
LHP Cionel Perez...................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Corbin Martin................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
SS Freudis Nova.....................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP J.B. Bukauskas................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
C Garrett Stubbs....................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Rogelio Armenteros......FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Jairo Solis........................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF J.J. Matijevic.......................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF Seth Beer..........................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Josh James......................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Brandon Bielak..............FG/BA/MP/Sickels
SS Jonathan Arauz.................FG/BA/BP/MP
RHP Riley Ferrell....................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
3B Joe Perez...........................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Dean Deetz....................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
LHP Framber Valdez.............FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Cristian Javier................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
OF Myles Straw......................BA/BP/MP/Sickels

3 Prospect Lists (3)
3B Abraham Toro..................FG/MP/Sickels
RHP Brandon Bailey..............FG/MP/Sickels
RHP Tyler Ivey........................FG/MP/Sickels

2 Prospect Lists (12)
RHP Jayson Schroeder..........FG/MP
SS Jeremy Pena......................FG/MP
RHP Jandel Gustave...............FG/BA
OF Alex McKenna...................FG/MP
RHP Trent Thornton..............MP/Sickels
RHP Peter Solomon...............FG/Sickels
OF Ronnie Dawson................BA/Sickels
RHP Elian Rodriguez..............BA/Sickels
SS Miguelangel Sierra...........BA/Sickels
OF Carlos Machado...............BP/Sickels
C Nathan Perry......................BP/Sickels
LHP Brett Adcock...................MP/Sickels

1 Prospect List (18)
LHP Reymin Guduan.............FG
RHP Manny Ramirez.............FG
UTIL Osvaldo Duarte.............FG   
RHP Bryan Abreu...................FG
RHP Carlos Sanabria.............FG
SS Deury Carrasco.................FG
RHP Cody Deason..................FG   
LHP Kit Scheetz......................FG
RHP Enoli Paredes.................FG
RHP Johanse Torres...............BA
1B Randy Cesar......................MP
C Michael Papierski................Sickels
C Lorenzo Quintana...............Sickels
C Chuckie Robinson...............Sickels
RHP Yoanys Quiala.................Sickels
RHP Leovanny Rodriguez......Sickels
RHP Carlos Sierra...................Sickels
LHP Alex Winkelman..............Sickels

Positional Breakdown:
RHP--26
LHP--6
C--5
1B--1
3B--2
SS--5
UTIL--1
OF--8


FG = Fangraph's "The Board" (37 players)
BA = Baseball America's Preseason Top 30 Prospects (as adjusted by their midseason update for the Top 10 prospects) + three "rising prospects" from that update
BP = Baseball Prospectus' Preseason Top 21 Prospects
MP = MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Prospects
Sickels = Minor League Ball's Preseason Top 20 Prospects + nineteen "other C+ prospects" from that preseason list + future additions noted in his midseason review article

VirtualBob

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2018, 10:13:01 pm »
Apologies, but my anal side just couldn't stand the damn uneven formatting...

Thanks for the info (and formatting).

By the way, do you know how to diagnose OCD?  One simple question:

"Does anal retentive have a hyphen?"
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Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #62 on: September 09, 2018, 10:35:55 pm »
Came across this quote today re Cristian Javier who finished the year with 146 Ks in 110 IP:

“What Javier has going for him is one of the top five swing-and-miss fastballs in minor league baseball,″ Buies Creek manager Morgan Ensberg said. “He was able to locate that today. Obviously, he was able to locate his offspeed – his slider and his changeup. And anytime somebody is commanding three pitches in the zone it’s virtually impossible to get hits at any level, including the big leagues.″

http://www.fayobserver.com/sports/20180613/javier-makes-buies-creek-debut-one-to-remember

The following was posted previously but I'm including it here as a nice complement to the above:

"He has a really unique fastball," [pitching coach Drew] French said. "The way he uses it and is able to pitch at the top of the zone, it's really unique to A-ball. His fastball plays well. The deception along with the shape of it really gives him the opportunity to miss barrels and get over bats for swings and misses and strikeouts." Javier added a changeup to his repertoire, and the results have been evident. "It's more or less not what he doesn't do but what he does well," French said. "He locates his fastball and his off-speed pitches are for strikes. He manages the game like a big leaguer. The only thing that's different this year is his physicality. He's stronger and his velocity is better. The use of his changeup though is the difference-maker."

https://www.milb.com/milb/news/houston-astros-cristian-javier-hurls-six-hitless-innings-in-carolina-league-season-debut/c-281149104


Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #63 on: September 10, 2018, 02:07:27 am »
Josh Norris @jnorris427 5 hours ago
There were 14 players in MiLB this year with 30+ SBs and double-digit HRs
C. Ray (MIL)
B. Hicklen (KC)
R. Dawson (HOU)
A. Velazquez (TB)
B. Reed (SD)
J. Downs (CIN)
E. Ruiz (SD)
J. Kendall (LAD)
M. O'Neill (TEX)
B. Bichette (TOR)
F. Wall (TOR)
C. Julks (HOU)
G. Hampson (COL)

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2018, 03:02:20 pm »
From BA's chat today regarding a question asking whether Ryan Hartman should be considered a prospect:

Quote
Kyle Glaser: Let me put it this way...in both our Astros organizational calls and Texas League calls, no one inside or outside the organization brought up Hartman as a guy who should rank for them. Of course, it's always possible the Astros are trying to hide him, and lefties tend to have a long shelf life, but right now he's not someone seen as a long-term ML prospect in the Astros system

jbm

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2018, 03:16:36 pm »
In general, I get how guys who are marginal to the eyes but impressive in the box scores get ignored.  Specifically, I've seen some marginal arms in action, who I don't even note, come up with some impressive lines.  However, I'd prefer to hear some rebel evaluator step out on a limb and say something positive before I get excited.

juliogotay

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2018, 03:31:49 pm »
From BA's chat today regarding a question asking whether Ryan Hartman should be considered a prospect:

Was Keuchel highly rated? I don't remember much buzz about him.

Jacksonian

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2018, 03:34:19 pm »
Was Keuchel highly rated? I don't remember much buzz about him.

He was considered a #4-5 starter or swingman out of the bullpen when he was at AA.
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Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2018, 03:55:42 pm »
Was Keuchel highly rated? I don't remember much buzz about him.

BA Top 30 Astros Prospects:

2010 #24
2011 #23
2012 #21

Lefty

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2018, 05:12:39 pm »
He was considered a #4-5 starter or swingman out of the bullpen when he was at AA.

I don't know how it was rated then, but I doubt Hartman has an MLB-level pitch anywhere near Keuchel's cutter.  Or that he'll get several years with the Astros to figure it out.
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mrpink

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2018, 08:18:03 pm »
BA Top 30 Astros Prospects:

2010 #24
2011 #23
2012 #21
And that was in the dark ages.

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #71 on: September 14, 2018, 04:14:43 am »
THE YET TO MAKE A PROSPECT LIST BUT STILL INTERESTING GUYS (1 OF 2)

Note that I'm limiting the following discussion to players 24 or younger with the caveat that in some cases (primarily 2018 draftees) we're talking about extremely, extremely small sample sizes. Let's talk about some of the more interesting names in the system who have NOT shown up on a prospect list in the past year while  (as least in some cases) highlighting certain flaws that suggest perhaps why an extended MLB career might not be in their future:

RHP Akeem Bostick
Finally made AAA after 4 years in the system and 6 years in the minors overall after being a 2nd round pick (62nd overall) of the Rangers back in 2013. For a guy with a fastball topping out at 95, his K numbers have always been surprisingly low. Entering 2018, his K rate for his career was on the order of 17.3%. This year it jumped to 25.6%. Very nice to see, although it should be noted that his BB rate also jumped up to 9.0%. The higher punchouts make you wonder if there would be an even further tick up in K rate if he were to be put into a relief role (saying that after seeing him strike out the side the other day in the PCL playoffs in one of the first true relief appearances of his career). Still just 23, he's listed at a rangy 6'6" 215 lbs.

RHP Brock Dyxkhoorn
Like Bostick, somewhat of a breakthrough season for a guy who's been in the system for a number of years (5, in Dyxkhoorn's case). A substantial move upward in his strikeout rate this season (23.9%) versus his previous 4-year average (19.6%). And he did it without much increase in his BB rate (7.5% vs pre-2018 6.8%). Big boy at 6'8" 250 lbs who recently turned 24.

UTIL Alex De Goti
The 15th rounder from the 2016 draft posted career-best numbers in his 3rd season in the organization after moving up to AA/AAA this year (a combined .283/.335/.440). You'd like to see a higher walk rate from him but it did increase when he moved from the Hooks to the Grizzlies (9.3% vs 4.7%). He did a really nice job of making more contact in 2018, lowering his K rate to 16.2% from the 21.9% rate in 2016-2017 despite the jump(s) in level. The 24-year old has played a significant amount of SS (along with 2B and 3B) thus far in his three seasons and if he can credibly play the position at the next level then that certainly gives him a possible leg up as a future utility guy in the bigs. To further enhance that possibility, I'd like to see him getting some turns in the outfield next year at Fresno that place north of Austin.

LHP Ryan Hartman
If nothing else, the soft-tosser is listed here as Exhibit A on the perils of scouting the stat line (not that folks on this board are guilty of falling into that particular trap). 143 Ks vs 26 BBs in 121 IP with a .235 BAA and led the Texas League in just about every pitching category. The 24-year old kept getting better as the season went along--an 0.91 WHIP and 1.98 ERA in the second half versus 1.26 and 3.47 respectively in the first half. And even better down the stretch, with 47 Ks and a measly 2 walks in 38 IP and only 21 hits allowed over his final 7 outings (that includes the 1st game of the playoffs). Good size at a listed 6'3" 205 lbs.

RHP Justin Ferrell
The 24-year old's numbers bumped up this year as the Astros transitioned him from a tandem guy to full-time reliever. Started the year in A-ball and by year-end had made it to AAA. 82/25 K to W in 65 innings this year with a .193 BAA. A big guy at a listed 6'7" and (I'm guessing out-of-date) 205 lbs. Jim Stevenson signee.

RHP Erasmo Pinales
A reliever for the Hooks, the Astros thought enough of him to send him in October to the Arizona Fall League after posting 72 whiffs vs (yikes) 31 walks in 56 IP this year. If you like a nice downward plane on your fastballs, probably won't see it from Pinales as he's listed at just 5'11". Was reported to touch 98 with his fastball a couple of years ago but haven't seem anything more recent to confirm that. As you can see from that walk total, control remains a continuing problem for him.

1B Taylor Jones
The 24-year old's .314/.409/.528 slash line for CC was a breakthrough for him and represents an interesting combo of patience and power. Several caveats, though. First is that he struggled in his 39 games for Fresno. You might be tempted to shrug that off as SSS but then there's the second concern: his numbers with the Hooks might have been inflated as a result of a .377 BABIP. 2019 will tell us more about how much offense the 6'7" Mr. Jones actually brings to the party. TL managers did name him best defensive 1B.

OF Carmen Benedetti
Not quite sure what to make of the 23 year old rightfielder's year for the Hooks. He missed about a quarter of the season after being put on the DL on 2 separate occasions and after returning the second time (in mid-July) it's not entirely clear to me if he was fully healthy. His final numbers weren't horrible (.277/.365/.443) and showed a tad more power than his previous two seasons. As with any corner guy, that pop will be key to his future progression and his (relatively) lackluster numbers in that regard likely explain his absence from any recent prospect list. He also missed some time in 2017 so staying healthy may also also have some impact on his prospect status.

UTIL Josh Rojas
He and Corbin Martin were the first Astros' picks from the 2017 draft to reach AA (both joined Corpus on May 1). But the Aggie was a 2nd rounder while the ex-Rainbow Warrior was a 26th rounder so I'll go with the latter as the greater accomplishment. Has shown tremendous positional versatility over his first 2 pro seasons, playing 6 different positions (LF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS). The 24-year old has shown flashes of power (.217 ISO last year) and speed (38 SBs this year). Also showed nice ability this year to draw walks (12.2% BB rate) and keep the strikeouts relatively low (16% K rate). As with De Goti, players whose ceiling is utility guy aren't necessarily the most likely candidates for prospect lists.

OF Chas McCormick
So who was next fastest to AA from the 2017 draft behind Rojas and Martin? That would be this guy, a 21st-rounder who made it to Corpus a month after Rojas and Martin did. The 23-year old out of D2 Millersville U appears to have some defensive versatility by being able to play all 3 outfield positions. He also has some speed, stealing 19 of 23 bases this year. But he didn't put up eye-popping offensive numbers this season with a .273/.339/.373 slash line between BC and CC. However, there may be a hint that good things are coming next year. He decreased his K rate from 16.3% at BC (already one of the lower whiff rates in the system) to 11.3% when he made the jump to AA. Good things could happen in 2019 if he can keep that K rate low and drive the ball a bit more. Speaking of, he went off in the Texas League playoffs with a number of hard-hit balls: 3 homers and a double in just 5 games.

RHP Jose Hernandez
Good numbers this year (48 K/10 BB in 57 IP with 55 hits allowed) particularly considering he missed all of 2017 due to TJS. He was especially strong over his last 5 starts (includes one playoff game): 32.2 IP, 27 H, 0 BB, 32 K, 1.65 ERA. Size an issue at a listed 6'0". The previously linked 2080baseball.com report on him noted a low 90s fastball and above average curveball with the upshot: "Profiles as long reliever or low-leverage middleman able to pitch numerous innings. Older and more polished arm dominating younger hitters in A-Ball, looks ready for next level."

RHP Abdiel Saldana
The smallish (he's listed at 5'11") Panamanian has spent 5 years with the Astros but is still just 22. Excellent numbers this year for BC with 100 punchouts and just 26 free passes in 108 innings. And he allowed just 1 HR all season. Not surprising then that he led the minor leagues with a 2.38 FIP (minimum: 100 IP). Don't know what his entire repetoire is but apparently his changeup is quite the killer--teammate Carson LaRue called it "absolutely unbelievable" in a WTHB interview last year.

RHP Yohan Ramirez
23-year old Dominican pitcher who's listed at 6'4 190 lbs. Started the year at QC where as part of the tandem he K'd 62 in 58 IP but also walked 28. The latter has been an issue for him during his 3 years in the organization evidenced by the career BB rate of 12.7%. Midseason he was moved up to BC where he was moved to the bullpen--we'll have to wait until 2019 to find out if that was just a temporary move or a more permanent one due to his lack of control (besides all the walks, he also led the system this year in plunks with 12). But the velocity noted previously for him (sitting 95-96, topping 98-99) makes him interesting. At least for now. If you read the 2080baseball.com summary on him you saw this: "Middle relief ceiling--despite power fastball, lacks the control or secondary pitches for true leverage situations. Risk to profile, will fall short of ceiling if he can't improve delivery or throw more strikes."

OF Jake Meyers
Defensively, the Omaha native whose parents gave him the middle name "Berkshire" is solid in CF. On the bat side, he didn't show much pop in college (he hit just 3 longballs in 2+ seasons) and while he's shown a bit more power as a pro it's questionable whether that's ever going to be one of his strengths. But if you're an optimist and believe the former 13th round pick can develop into a 10+ homers a season player, then combined with his on-base skills (had a 10.4% walk rate this season which increased to 12.0% after being promoted to BC) and defensive value he could be a very interesting guy. Reports say the former Husker is a 70 runner so his 53% success rate in 30 steal attempts this season indicates work is needed on his baserunning skills (he confirmed that in an interview with the QC Times back in June).

OF Corey Julks
More "what if" time. As previously noted, the former Coog has retooled his swing to get a better launch angle. That's not exactly unique for players these days though I sense his might have been more radical than most (or at least a more difficult transition). It seems it might finally be producing results, going from .259/.341/.379 in the season's first half to .282/.362/.458 in the second half. That's particularly impressive given the second half was spent at BC after the promotion from QC. Things seemed to particularly click in August when he posted a .305/.373/.543 line over his last 27 regular season games with 10 doubles and 5 homers. He added another HR in the 1st round of the CL playoffs. His batted ball data also seems to support a better swing approach, with his GB% declining from 45.5% in 2017 at TRC to 42.1% at QC and 39.2% at BC. And there was a particularly dramatic decline in his popups (31.3% to 23.2% to 16.9%). If you believe the swing change improvements are permanent, then his blend of power + speed (see above: one of only 11 minor leaguers this year with 30 steals and 10+ HRs) coupled with his selective approach at the plate (10.8% BB rate at BC, 10.5% overall this season) make for a very attractive offensive performer. Defensively, the 22-year old Julks has only started 4 games in CF over his first 2 seasons in the organization. Somewhat puzzling as rotating minor league OFs through all 3 positions in the grass tends to be more the organizational norm so as to give players as much experience as possible and better evaluate them in game situations. Or maybe not so puzzling: after a game last year at TRC in which Julks dropped a FB while playing RF, Morgan Ensberg described him as "more of a left fielder". Ugh.

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #72 on: September 14, 2018, 07:39:53 am »
Added pitcher Luis Garcia to this list (he was the bonus supplement prospect sent out with the BA Prospect Handbook)...

4 or More Prospect Lists (21)
OF Kyle Tucker.......................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels   
RHP Forrest Whitley..............FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF Yordan Alvarez.................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
LHP Cionel Perez...................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Corbin Martin................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
SS Freudis Nova.....................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP J.B. Bukauskas................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
C Garrett Stubbs....................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Rogelio Armenteros......FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
RHP Jairo Solis........................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF J.J. Matijevic.......................FG/BA/BP/MP/Sickels
OF Seth Beer..........................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Josh James......................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Brandon Bielak..............FG/BA/MP/Sickels
SS Jonathan Arauz.................FG/BA/BP/MP
RHP Riley Ferrell....................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
3B Joe Perez...........................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Dean Deetz....................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
LHP Framber Valdez.............FG/BA/MP/Sickels
RHP Cristian Javier................FG/BA/MP/Sickels
OF Myles Straw......................BA/BP/MP/Sickels

3 Prospect Lists (3)
3B Abraham Toro..................FG/MP/Sickels
RHP Brandon Bailey..............FG/MP/Sickels
RHP Tyler Ivey........................FG/MP/Sickels

2 Prospect Lists (12)
RHP Jayson Schroeder..........FG/MP
SS Jeremy Pena......................FG/MP
RHP Jandel Gustave...............FG/BA
OF Alex McKenna...................FG/MP
RHP Trent Thornton..............MP/Sickels
RHP Peter Solomon...............FG/Sickels
OF Ronnie Dawson................BA/Sickels
RHP Elian Rodriguez..............BA/Sickels
SS Miguelangel Sierra...........BA/Sickels
OF Carlos Machado...............BP/Sickels
C Nathan Perry......................BP/Sickels
LHP Brett Adcock...................MP/Sickels

1 Prospect List (19)
LHP Reymin Guduan.............FG
RHP Manny Ramirez.............FG
UTIL Osvaldo Duarte.............FG   
RHP Bryan Abreu...................FG
RHP Carlos Sanabria.............FG
SS Deury Carrasco.................FG
RHP Cody Deason..................FG   
LHP Kit Scheetz......................FG
RHP Enoli Paredes.................FG
RHP Luis Garcia......................BA
RHP Johanse Torres...............BA
1B Randy Cesar......................MP
C Michael Papierski................Sickels
C Lorenzo Quintana...............Sickels
C Chuckie Robinson...............Sickels
RHP Yoanys Quiala.................Sickels
RHP Leovanny Rodriguez......Sickels
RHP Carlos Sierra...................Sickels
LHP Alex Winkelman..............Sickels

Positional Breakdown:
RHP--27
LHP--6
C--5
1B--1
3B--2
SS--5
UTIL--1
OF--8


FG = Fangraph's "The Board" (37 players)
BA = Baseball America's Preseason Top 30 Prospects (as adjusted by their midseason update for the Top 10 prospects) + one bonus supplemental prospect (sent with prospect handbook) + three "rising prospects" from the midseason update
BP = Baseball Prospectus' Preseason Top 21 Prospects
MP = MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Prospects
Sickels = Minor League Ball's Preseason Top 20 Prospects + nineteen "other C+ prospects" from that preseason list + future additions noted in his midseason review article

Mike S.

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #73 on: September 15, 2018, 12:51:11 pm »
THE YET TO MAKE A PROSPECT LIST BUT STILL INTERESTING GUYS (1 OF 2)

Note that I'm limiting the following discussion to players 24 or younger with the caveat that in some cases (primarily 2018 draftees) we're talking about extremely, extremely small sample sizes. Let's talk about some of the more interesting names in the system who have NOT shown up on a prospect list in the past year while  (as least in some cases) highlighting certain flaws that suggest perhaps why an extended MLB career might not be in their future:

RHP Akeem Bostick
Finally made AAA after 4 years in the system and 6 years in the minors overall after being a 2nd round pick (62nd overall) of the Rangers back in 2013. For a guy with a fastball topping out at 95, his K numbers have always been surprisingly low. Entering 2018, his K rate for his career was on the order of 17.3%. This year it jumped to 25.6%. Very nice to see, although it should be noted that his BB rate also jumped up to 9.0%. The higher punchouts make you wonder if there would be an even further tick up in K rate if he were to be put into a relief role (saying that after seeing him strike out the side the other day in the PCL playoffs in one of the first true relief appearances of his career). Still just 23, he's listed at a rangy 6'6" 215 lbs.

RHP Brock Dyxkhoorn
Like Bostick, somewhat of a breakthrough season for a guy who's been in the system for a number of years (5, in Dyxkhoorn's case). A substantial move upward in his strikeout rate this season (23.9%) versus his previous 4-year average (19.6%). And he did it without much increase in his BB rate (7.5% vs pre-2018 6.8%). Big boy at 6'8" 250 lbs who recently turned 24.

UTIL Alex De Goti
The 15th rounder from the 2016 draft posted career-best numbers in his 3rd season in the organization after moving up to AA/AAA this year (a combined .283/.335/.440). You'd like to see a higher walk rate from him but it did increase when he moved from the Hooks to the Grizzlies (9.3% vs 4.7%). He did a really nice job of making more contact in 2018, lowering his K rate to 16.2% from the 21.9% rate in 2016-2017 despite the jump(s) in level. The 24-year old has played a significant amount of SS (along with 2B and 3B) thus far in his three seasons and if he can credibly play the position at the next level then that certainly gives him a possible leg up as a future utility guy in the bigs. To further enhance that possibility, I'd like to see him getting some turns in the outfield next year at Fresno that place north of Austin.

LHP Ryan Hartman
If nothing else, the soft-tosser is listed here as Exhibit A on the perils of scouting the stat line (not that folks on this board are guilty of falling into that particular trap). 143 Ks vs 26 BBs in 121 IP with a .235 BAA and led the Texas League in just about every pitching category. The 24-year old kept getting better as the season went along--an 0.91 WHIP and 1.98 ERA in the second half versus 1.26 and 3.47 respectively in the first half. And even better down the stretch, with 47 Ks and a measly 2 walks in 38 IP and only 21 hits allowed over his final 7 outings (that includes the 1st game of the playoffs). Good size at a listed 6'3" 205 lbs.

RHP Justin Ferrell
The 24-year old's numbers bumped up this year as the Astros transitioned him from a tandem guy to full-time reliever. Started the year in A-ball and by year-end had made it to AAA. 82/25 K to W in 65 innings this year with a .193 BAA. A big guy at a listed 6'7" and (I'm guessing out-of-date) 205 lbs. Jim Stevenson signee.

RHP Erasmo Pinales
A reliever for the Hooks, the Astros thought enough of him to send him in October to the Arizona Fall League after posting 72 whiffs vs (yikes) 31 walks in 56 IP this year. If you like a nice downward plane on your fastballs, probably won't see it from Pinales as he's listed at just 5'11". Was reported to touch 98 with his fastball a couple of years ago but haven't seem anything more recent to confirm that. As you can see from that walk total, control remains a continuing problem for him.

1B Taylor Jones
The 24-year old's .314/.409/.528 slash line for CC was a breakthrough for him and represents an interesting combo of patience and power. Several caveats, though. First is that he struggled in his 39 games for Fresno. You might be tempted to shrug that off as SSS but then there's the second concern: his numbers with the Hooks might have been inflated as a result of a .377 BABIP. 2019 will tell us more about how much offense the 6'7" Mr. Jones actually brings to the party. TL managers did name him best defensive 1B.

OF Carmen Benedetti
Not quite sure what to make of the 23 year old rightfielder's year for the Hooks. He missed about a quarter of the season after being put on the DL on 2 separate occasions and after returning the second time (in mid-July) it's not entirely clear to me if he was fully healthy. His final numbers weren't horrible (.277/.365/.443) and showed a tad more power than his previous two seasons. As with any corner guy, that pop will be key to his future progression and his (relatively) lackluster numbers in that regard likely explain his absence from any recent prospect list. He also missed some time in 2017 so staying healthy may also also have some impact on his prospect status.

UTIL Josh Rojas
He and Corbin Martin were the first Astros' picks from the 2017 draft to reach AA (both joined Corpus on May 1). But the Aggie was a 2nd rounder while the ex-Rainbow Warrior was a 26th rounder so I'll go with the latter as the greater accomplishment. Has shown tremendous positional versatility over his first 2 pro seasons, playing 6 different positions (LF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS). The 24-year old has shown flashes of power (.217 ISO last year) and speed (38 SBs this year). Also showed nice ability this year to draw walks (12.2% BB rate) and keep the strikeouts relatively low (16% K rate). As with De Goti, players whose ceiling is utility guy aren't necessarily the most likely candidates for prospect lists.

OF Chas McCormick
So who was next fastest to AA from the 2017 draft behind Rojas and Martin? That would be this guy, a 21st-rounder who made it to Corpus a month after Rojas and Martin did. The 23-year old out of D2 Millersville U appears to have some defensive versatility by being able to play all 3 outfield positions. He also has some speed, stealing 19 of 23 bases this year. But he didn't put up eye-popping offensive numbers this season with a .273/.339/.373 slash line between BC and CC. However, there may be a hint that good things are coming next year. He decreased his K rate from 16.3% at BC (already one of the lower whiff rates in the system) to 11.3% when he made the jump to AA. Good things could happen in 2019 if he can keep that K rate low and drive the ball a bit more. Speaking of, he went off in the Texas League playoffs with a number of hard-hit balls: 3 homers and a double in just 5 games.

RHP Jose Hernandez
Good numbers this year (48 K/10 BB in 57 IP with 55 hits allowed) particularly considering he missed all of 2017 due to TJS. He was especially strong over his last 5 starts (includes one playoff game): 32.2 IP, 27 H, 0 BB, 32 K, 1.65 ERA. Size an issue at a listed 6'0". The previously linked 2080baseball.com report on him noted a low 90s fastball and above average curveball with the upshot: "Profiles as long reliever or low-leverage middleman able to pitch numerous innings. Older and more polished arm dominating younger hitters in A-Ball, looks ready for next level."

RHP Abdiel Saldana
The smallish (he's listed at 5'11") Panamanian has spent 5 years with the Astros but is still just 22. Excellent numbers this year for BC with 100 punchouts and just 26 free passes in 108 innings. And he allowed just 1 HR all season. Not surprising then that he led the minor leagues with a 2.38 FIP (minimum: 100 IP). Don't know what his entire repetoire is but apparently his changeup is quite the killer--teammate Carson LaRue called it "absolutely unbelievable" in a WTHB interview last year.

RHP Yohan Ramirez
23-year old Dominican pitcher who's listed at 6'4 190 lbs. Started the year at QC where as part of the tandem he K'd 62 in 58 IP but also walked 28. The latter has been an issue for him during his 3 years in the organization evidenced by the career BB rate of 12.7%. Midseason he was moved up to BC where he was moved to the bullpen--we'll have to wait until 2019 to find out if that was just a temporary move or a more permanent one due to his lack of control (besides all the walks, he also led the system this year in plunks with 12). But the velocity noted previously for him (sitting 95-96, topping 98-99) makes him interesting. At least for now. If you read the 2080baseball.com summary on him you saw this: "Middle relief ceiling--despite power fastball, lacks the control or secondary pitches for true leverage situations. Risk to profile, will fall short of ceiling if he can't improve delivery or throw more strikes."

OF Jake Meyers
Defensively, the Omaha native whose parents gave him the middle name "Berkshire" is solid in CF. On the bat side, he didn't show much pop in college (he hit just 3 longballs in 2+ seasons) and while he's shown a bit more power as a pro it's questionable whether that's ever going to be one of his strengths. But if you're an optimist and believe the former 13th round pick can develop into a 10+ homers a season player, then combined with his on-base skills (had a 10.4% walk rate this season which increased to 12.0% after being promoted to BC) and defensive value he could be a very interesting guy. Reports say the former Husker is a 70 runner so his 53% success rate in 30 steal attempts this season indicates work is needed on his baserunning skills (he confirmed that in an interview with the QC Times back in June).

OF Corey Julks
More "what if" time. As previously noted, the former Coog has retooled his swing to get a better launch angle. That's not exactly unique for players these days though I sense his might have been more radical than most (or at least a more difficult transition). It seems it might finally be producing results, going from .259/.341/.379 in the season's first half to .282/.362/.458 in the second half. That's particularly impressive given the second half was spent at BC after the promotion from QC. Things seemed to particularly click in August when he posted a .305/.373/.543 line over his last 27 regular season games with 10 doubles and 5 homers. He added another HR in the 1st round of the CL playoffs. His batted ball data also seems to support a better swing approach, with his GB% declining from 45.5% in 2017 at TRC to 42.1% at QC and 39.2% at BC. And there was a particularly dramatic decline in his popups (31.3% to 23.2% to 16.9%). If you believe the swing change improvements are permanent, then his blend of power + speed (see above: one of only 11 minor leaguers this year with 30 steals and 10+ HRs) coupled with his selective approach at the plate (10.8% BB rate at BC, 10.5% overall this season) make for a very attractive offensive performer. Defensively, the 22-year old Julks has only started 4 games in CF over his first 2 seasons in the organization. Somewhat puzzling as rotating minor league OFs through all 3 positions in the grass tends to be more the organizational norm so as to give players as much experience as possible and better evaluate them in game situations. Or maybe not so puzzling: after a game last year at TRC in which Julks dropped a FB while playing RF, Morgan Ensberg described him as "more of a left fielder". Ugh.

Perhaps the jumping the gun on list 2 of 2, but any consideration given to Stephen Wrenn?
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Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #74 on: September 15, 2018, 01:16:33 pm »
Perhaps the jumping the gun on list 2 of 2, but any consideration given to Stephen Wrenn?

Definite consideration because of the speed and defense. But it's hard for me to get past that 25.9% K rate particularly when there's not a huge level of power to go along with it.

He's not going to be on the second list because that's lower level guys but I may yet go back and add him to list #1.

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #75 on: September 15, 2018, 08:12:46 pm »
THE YET TO MAKE A PROSPECT LIST BUT STILL INTERESTING GUYS (2 OF 2)

This part of the list covers guys in the lower levels of the system who finished the year in either QC (9), TRC (6) or the GCL (1). Same criteria/caveats as the first list: (1) limited to players 24 or younger (2) particularly with regards to 2018 draftees, some extremely, extremely small sample sizes may be used (3) player has NOT shown up on a prospect list in the past year and (4) at least in some cases, certain flaws are highlighted which suggest why an extended MLB career might not be in the offing.

RHP Humberto Castellanos
The 20-year old J2 signee out of Mexico back in 2015 (when he was 17) was used exclusively for the first time this season as a reliever and as you might guess that caused a spike upwards in his K rate (26% in 2018 vs 17.3% in 2016-2017). Was particularly strong over the last month or so of the regular season (21.1 IP / 17 H / 5 BB / 29 K / 1.27 ERA) though he did have a bit of blowup in a game during the playoffs. We'll have to see whether the excellent work out of the pen this season gets rewarded by a move back to the tandem next year. If that doesn't happen, then being moved into relief at such a young age probably is not a good sign. As with Hernandez, Saldana and others, size for the righty (he's listed at 5'11") may be problematic.

RHP Willy Collado
A number of similarities with Castellanos--righty, age 20, used exclusively out of the QC bullpen this year, breakthrough season in his 3rd year in the organization, low walk rate (Castellanos at just 6%, Collado at 6.3%), finished the year strong (27 IP / 14 H / 4 BB / 40 K / 1.00 ERA). But Collado seems the superior prospect given that he's taller (6'2"), had an overall better season than Humberto (K rate higher at 34.4%, lower WHIP at 0.94, etc.) and especially this in a tweet from Oz Ocampo: "Devastating SL when on, one of the best in our system. Plus with solid CH now". Should be a tandem job in the offing next season.

RHP Chad Donato
In his 2nd season after the TJS, the ex-11th rounder (2016) and Cypress native was outstanding in his stops at TRC and QC. Had the lowest WHIP in the system at 0.88 among pitchers who threw at least 75 innings. Among similar qualifiers, his 32.8% K rate was also among the org leaders. An above average curve and low 90's fastball were the reports on him (at least prior to the surgery). He added a slider to the repetoire last month and over his last 3 regular season outings K'd 32 in 18.2 IP. That was all part of a glistening final six weeks of the season. Over his last 8 outings (including 1 playoff start): 45.2 IP, 24 H, 10 BB, 56 K, 1.18 ERA, .155 BAA. It'll be interesting to see next year whether the powers that be skip him over Fayetteville and have him start the year at Corpus. At a listed 6'0", the 23-year old's size may work against him.

LHP Parker Mushinski
The Red Raider ex had shaky control while pitching in Lubbock and that has continued into the pros. This season for QC the 22-year old out of the Metroplex had a 11.9% BB rate, one of the highest of any starter (min: 80 IP) in the system. But there were significant positives as well--a BAA of just .189 and a K rate topping 30%. Given his wildness issues, org brass may have realized his future was not as a starter and on Aug 3 he was moved to the River Bandits bullpen. Alternatively, the move was made to simply limit his innings for the year. Whichever the reason, the results were pretty slick: 14.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 28 K. He also ended the regular season not having given up an ER over his last 21.1 innings. Low 90s FB (T94) and above avg curve was the scouting report from 2017. They've got him listed at 6'0" 225 lbs. A Jim Stevenson signee.

LHP Tim Hardy
The 6'7" 250 lb pitcher out of Tusculum has been used exclusively as a bullpen piece since being drafted in the 18th round last year so the upside here is probably fairly limited. The 49 Ks in 30.2 innings this season for TRC and QC definitely is intriguing. The BB rate of 10.5% over his first 2 seasons not so much. Almost guaranteed that the 22-year old has a return ticket to Davenport to start next season. A clue to his future there will be if his control improves enough that he's inserted into a tandem role.

RHP Hansel Paulino
After being a starter at Greeneville last year, the 22-year old from the Dominican moved to the pen this year and predictably saw an uptick in his K rate (27.3% vs 23.3% last year). His walk rate was low at 6.6% and consistent with his two prior seasons. Hitters don't seem to get very good contact against him, generating lots of popups and relatively few line drives per the batted ball data. Consequently, they hit just .209 off him. Absent any type of scouting report on him, really hard to get a sense of his future in the organization. Listed at 6'2" 170 lbs.

RHP Edgardo Sandoval
Very similar profile to Jose Hernandez above. Both put up very solid numbers in return from TJS after missing all or most of 2017. In the case of Sandoval, the 22-year old from Panama posted 59/14 strikeouts to walks in 45.2 innings with 46 hits allowed. Sandoval also mirrored Hernandez in getting stronger as the season wore on--over his last 10 games (including 1 playoff start), he had a K/9 of 13.3 in 40 innings. And like Hernandez, he's not particularly tall (listed at 6'0").

C Ruben Castro
Having a nice season at the plate until missing the last 3 weeks due to a knee infection. He lacked pop but otherwise a solid .299/.395/.381 slash line (albeit in just 38 games). Having his season cut short was especially frustrating as he was on a 10-game hitting streak at the time and over his last 22 games (since June 16) was batting .333/.421/.407 with 11 walks vs 14 strikeouts in 95 PAs. Yet to see a scouting report evaluating his skills behind the plate.

RHP R.J. Freure
The Burlington, Ontario native led the nation this spring with a 14.6 K/9 for the Pitt Panthers and K'd 29 in 27.2 IP for the ValleyCats after being taken in the 6th round by the Astros. 92-95 on the FB with a plus curveball. The scouting report says 30 grade command, however, and we saw that with TRC as he walked 13 and plunked 3. Lack of a 3rd pitch points to a future in relief but I would expect in the near term he'll work in the tandem to try and develop a change and maximize the opportunities to try and refine that command. 20-years old at the time of the draft, he's listed at 6'1" 205 lbs.

RHP Austin Hansen
In some ways not all that dissimilar from Freure. College reliever, 93-95 FB, good CB, command issues, lots of punchouts this spring for the Sooners (52 in 38 IP) and the K party continued in the NYPL with 45 in 30.2 innings. Not quite as tall as the Canadian at 6'0" and that may be an issue. Does have a decent change for a 3rd pitch. A Jim Stevenson signee.

RHP Brett Conine
One of five former college relievers taken in the 2018 draft on this list. Like Freure with Pitt and Hansen with OU, Conine performed closing duties for Cal State Fullerton using a decent FB (touching mid 90s but lacking movement) and curve. 37/11 K to BB in 31.2 IP for the V-Cats after being drafted with just 23 hits allowed (including zero HRs). Nice sized frame at a listed 6'3" 210 lbs.

RHP J.P. France
Older kid (23) and a bit undersized (6'0") who was a starter at Tulane before transferring to Miss State for his senior year and used as a starter. More than decent results in limited action for TRC/QC: 18 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 28 K, 0.50 ERA.

RHP Brett Daniels
Career reliever in his 4 seasons for the Tarheels who sometimes experienced wildness issues. But that wasn't evident in his first pro season as he posted really smooth numbers in the NYPL: 33.1 IP, 21 H, 7 BB, 36 K, 1.62 ERA (although he did allow 5 gopher balls). And yes I know this is sounding redundant, but at 6'0" size might be an issue.

RHP Ernesto Jaquez
19-year old out of the Dominican who eaned two promotions this year, going from the DSL to the GCL and then on to the NYPL. The results were impressive: 56.2 IP, 25 H, 17 BB, 74 K, 1.75 ERA. Signed for $95K last year at age 18. Listed at 6'2" 190 lbs.

RHP Felipe Tejada
66/16 K to BB in 54 innings with 51 hits allowed as a 20-year old this season in the NY-P. Signed at 16 out of the DR back in 2014. Listed at 6'1" 190 lbs.

RHP Alfredi Jimenez
J2 signee in 2017 from the Dominican and was an in-season promotion this year from the DSL to the GCL. The 18-year old racked up 63 punchouts vs just 13 walks and 35 hits in 55 IP (all but 12 of those innings came in the DSL). His batted ball data this season shows an extreme really, really extreme GB rate of 68%. Listed at 6'1" 175 lbs.


Positional Breakdown (both parts):
RHP--20
LHP--3
C--1
1B--1
UTIL--2
OF--5
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 08:42:44 pm by Nate Colbert »

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #76 on: September 16, 2018, 12:32:20 pm »
Amending this to add Stephen Wrenn...

THE YET TO MAKE A PROSPECT LIST BUT STILL INTERESTING GUYS (1 OF 2)

Note that I'm limiting the following discussion to players 24 or younger with the caveat that in some cases (primarily 2018 draftees) we're talking about extremely, extremely small sample sizes. Let's talk about some of the more interesting names in the system who have NOT shown up on a prospect list in the past year while  (as least in some cases) highlighting certain flaws that suggest perhaps why an extended MLB career might not be in their future:

RHP Akeem Bostick
Finally made AAA after 4 years in the system and 6 years in the minors overall after being a 2nd round pick (62nd overall) of the Rangers back in 2013. For a guy with a fastball topping out at 95, his K numbers have always been surprisingly low. Entering 2018, his K rate for his career was on the order of 17.3%. This year it jumped to 25.6%. Very nice to see, although it should be noted that his BB rate also jumped up to 9.0%. The higher punchouts make you wonder if there would be an even further tick up in K rate if he were to be put into a relief role (saying that after seeing him strike out the side the other day in the PCL playoffs in one of the first true relief appearances of his career). Still just 23, he's listed at a rangy 6'6" 215 lbs.

RHP Brock Dyxkhoorn
Like Bostick, somewhat of a breakthrough season for a guy who's been in the system for a number of years (5, in Dyxkhoorn's case). A substantial move upward in his strikeout rate this season (23.9%) versus his previous 4-year average (19.6%). And he did it without much increase in his BB rate (7.5% vs pre-2018 6.8%). Big boy at 6'8" 250 lbs who recently turned 24.

UTIL Alex De Goti
The 15th rounder from the 2016 draft posted career-best numbers in his 3rd season in the organization after moving up to AA/AAA this year (a combined .283/.335/.440). You'd like to see a higher walk rate from him but it did increase when he moved from the Hooks to the Grizzlies (9.3% vs 4.7%). He did a really nice job of making more contact in 2018, lowering his K rate to 16.2% from the 21.9% rate in 2016-2017 despite the jump(s) in level. The 24-year old has played a significant amount of SS (along with 2B and 3B) thus far in his three seasons and if he can credibly play the position at the next level then that certainly gives him a possible leg up as a future utility guy in the bigs. To further enhance that possibility, I'd like to see him getting some turns in the outfield next year at Fresno that place north of Austin.

LHP Ryan Hartman
If nothing else, the soft-tosser is listed here as Exhibit A on the perils of scouting the stat line (not that folks on this board are guilty of falling into that particular trap). 143 Ks vs 26 BBs in 121 IP with a .235 BAA and led the Texas League in just about every pitching category. The 24-year old kept getting better as the season went along--an 0.91 WHIP and 1.98 ERA in the second half versus 1.26 and 3.47 respectively in the first half. And even better down the stretch, with 47 Ks and a measly 2 walks in 38 IP and only 21 hits allowed over his final 7 outings (that includes the 1st game of the playoffs). Good size at a listed 6'3" 205 lbs.

RHP Justin Ferrell
The 24-year old's numbers bumped up this year as the Astros transitioned him from a tandem guy to full-time reliever. Started the year in A-ball and by year-end had made it to AAA. 82/25 K to W in 65 innings this year with a .193 BAA. A big guy at a listed 6'7" and (I'm guessing out-of-date) 205 lbs. Jim Stevenson signee.

RHP Erasmo Pinales
A reliever for the Hooks, the Astros thought enough of him to send him in October to the Arizona Fall League after posting 72 whiffs vs (yikes) 31 walks in 56 IP this year. If you like a nice downward plane on your fastballs, probably won't see it from Pinales as he's listed at just 5'11". Was reported to touch 98 with his fastball a couple of years ago but haven't seem anything more recent to confirm that. As you can see from that walk total, control remains a continuing problem for him.

1B Taylor Jones
The 24-year old's .314/.409/.528 slash line for CC was a breakthrough for him and represents an interesting combo of patience and power. Several caveats, though. First is that he struggled in his 39 games for Fresno. You might be tempted to shrug that off as SSS but then there's the second concern: his numbers with the Hooks might have been inflated as a result of a .377 BABIP. 2019 will tell us more about how much offense the 6'7" Mr. Jones actually brings to the party. TL managers did name him best defensive 1B.

OF Carmen Benedetti
Not quite sure what to make of the 23 year old rightfielder's year for the Hooks. He missed about a quarter of the season after being put on the DL on 2 separate occasions and after returning the second time (in mid-July) it's not entirely clear to me if he was fully healthy. His final numbers weren't horrible (.277/.365/.443) and showed a tad more power than his previous two seasons. As with any corner guy, that pop will be key to his future progression and his (relatively) lackluster numbers in that regard likely explain his absence from any recent prospect list. He also missed some time in 2017 so staying healthy may also also have some impact on his prospect status.

UTIL Josh Rojas
He and Corbin Martin were the first Astros' picks from the 2017 draft to reach AA (both joined Corpus on May 1). But the Aggie was a 2nd rounder while the ex-Rainbow Warrior was a 26th rounder so I'll go with the latter as the greater accomplishment. Has shown tremendous positional versatility over his first 2 pro seasons, playing 6 different positions (LF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS). The 24-year old has shown flashes of power (.217 ISO last year) and speed (38 SBs this year). Also showed nice ability this year to draw walks (12.2% BB rate) and keep the strikeouts relatively low (16% K rate). As with De Goti, players whose ceiling is utility guy aren't necessarily the most likely candidates for prospect lists.

OF Chas McCormick
So who was next fastest to AA from the 2017 draft behind Rojas and Martin? That would be this guy, a 21st-rounder who made it to Corpus a month after Rojas and Martin did. The 23-year old out of D2 Millersville U appears to have some defensive versatility by being able to play all 3 outfield positions. He also has some speed, stealing 19 of 23 bases this year. But he didn't put up eye-popping offensive numbers this season with a .273/.339/.373 slash line between BC and CC. However, there may be a hint that good things are coming next year. He decreased his K rate from 16.3% at BC (already one of the lower whiff rates in the system) to 11.3% when he made the jump to AA. Good things could happen in 2019 if he can keep that K rate low and drive the ball a bit more. Speaking of, he went off in the Texas League playoffs with a number of hard-hit balls: 3 homers and a double in just 5 games.

OF Stephen Wrenn
Reports on his ability to play CF have always been positive from the time he he was drafted in the 6th round in 2016 so really the only question from the beginning was: could he hit? And the answer after 3 pro seasons: dunno. His high K rate of 25.9% for the Hooks this season was actually worse than his career average of 22.2% entering the year. At the same time, his power numbers in 2018 represented by a .123 ISO isn't gonna get anyone excited. There is one aspect on the offensive side that he did make major strides in this season and that was the running game. He was finally able to translate the terrific speed he has into a bunch of steals. After averaging 16 steals a year in 2016-2017, the former Georgia Bulldog exploded with 44 swipes this year to lead the Texas League. And he was caught just 10 times for a 81.5% success rate.

RHP Jose Hernandez
Good numbers this year (48 K/10 BB in 57 IP with 55 hits allowed) particularly considering he missed all of 2017 due to TJS. He was especially strong over his last 5 starts (includes one playoff game): 32.2 IP, 27 H, 0 BB, 32 K, 1.65 ERA. Size an issue at a listed 6'0". The previously linked 2080baseball.com report on him noted a low 90s fastball and above average curveball with the upshot: "Profiles as long reliever or low-leverage middleman able to pitch numerous innings. Older and more polished arm dominating younger hitters in A-Ball, looks ready for next level."

RHP Abdiel Saldana
The smallish (he's listed at 5'11") Panamanian has spent 5 years with the Astros but is still just 22. Excellent numbers this year for BC with 100 punchouts and just 26 free passes in 108 innings. And he allowed just 1 HR all season. Not surprising then that he led the minor leagues with a 2.38 FIP (minimum: 100 IP). Don't know what his entire repetoire is but apparently his changeup is quite the killer--teammate Carson LaRue called it "absolutely unbelievable" in a WTHB interview last year.

RHP Yohan Ramirez
23-year old Dominican pitcher who's listed at 6'4 190 lbs. Started the year at QC where as part of the tandem he K'd 62 in 58 IP but also walked 28. The latter has been an issue for him during his 3 years in the organization evidenced by the career BB rate of 12.7%. Midseason he was moved up to BC where he was moved to the bullpen--we'll have to wait until 2019 to find out if that was just a temporary move or a more permanent one due to his lack of control (besides all the walks, he also led the system this year in plunks with 12). But the velocity noted previously for him (sitting 95-96, topping 98-99) makes him interesting. At least for now. If you read the 2080baseball.com summary on him you saw this: "Middle relief ceiling--despite power fastball, lacks the control or secondary pitches for true leverage situations. Risk to profile, will fall short of ceiling if he can't improve delivery or throw more strikes."

OF Jake Meyers
Defensively, the Omaha native whose parents gave him the middle name "Berkshire" is solid in CF. On the bat side, he didn't show much pop in college (he hit just 3 longballs in 2+ seasons) and while he's shown a bit more power as a pro it's questionable whether that's ever going to be one of his strengths. But if you're an optimist and believe the former 13th round pick can develop into a 10+ homers a season player, then combined with his on-base skills (had a 10.4% walk rate this season which increased to 12.0% after being promoted to BC) and defensive value he could be a very interesting guy. Reports say the former Husker is a 70 runner so his 53% success rate in 30 steal attempts this season indicates work is needed on his baserunning skills (he confirmed that in an interview with the QC Times back in June).

OF Corey Julks
More "what if" time. As previously noted, the former Coog has retooled his swing to get a better launch angle. That's not exactly unique for players these days though I sense his might have been more radical than most (or at least a more difficult transition). It seems it might finally be producing results, going from .259/.341/.379 in the season's first half to .282/.362/.458 in the second half. That's particularly impressive given the second half was spent at BC after the promotion from QC. Things seemed to particularly click in August when he posted a .305/.373/.543 line over his last 27 regular season games with 10 doubles and 5 homers. He added another HR in the 1st round of the CL playoffs. His batted ball data also seems to support a better swing approach, with his GB% declining from 45.5% in 2017 at TRC to 42.1% at QC and 39.2% at BC. And there was a particularly dramatic decline in his popups (31.3% to 23.2% to 16.9%). If you believe the swing change improvements are permanent, then his blend of power + speed (see above: one of only 11 minor leaguers this year with 30 steals and 10+ HRs) coupled with his selective approach at the plate (10.8% BB rate at BC, 10.5% overall this season) make for a very attractive offensive performer. Defensively, the 22-year old Julks has only started 4 games in CF over his first 2 seasons in the organization. Somewhat puzzling as rotating minor league OFs through all 3 positions in the grass tends to be more the organizational norm so as to give players as much experience as possible and better evaluate them in game situations. Or maybe not so puzzling: after a game last year at TRC in which Julks dropped a FB while playing RF, Morgan Ensberg described him as "more of a left fielder". Ugh.

Nate Colbert

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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #77 on: September 20, 2018, 09:59:59 am »
BA doing their Top 20 Prospects by League, starting off today with the PCL.

Kyle Tucker at #1, Yordan Alvarez at #6 and Josh James at #16.

Exes: Ramon Laureano at #12 (calling the trade for Brandon Bailey the "steal of the offseason").
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 10:09:12 am by Nate Colbert »

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Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #78 on: September 20, 2018, 01:28:16 pm »
That list is already superannuated, at least as far as James is concerned.
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Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« Reply #79 on: September 20, 2018, 01:48:34 pm »
BA Top 30 Astros Prospects:

2010 #24
2011 #23
2012 #21

so he didn't exactly shoot up the charts with a bullet.