Plum Prospects: Volume 4 (31-40)

We put together our ‘Plum Prospect’ ranks by aggregating the rankings of the top prospects across several major, publicly available top-100 prospect lists. These are not our personal prospect picks. Rather, think of these rankings as measuring the ‘pulse’ of the current thinking among experts on prospect rankings. Use them as you would use ADP rankings in your fantasy league, to identify potential bargains on draft day or in trades. Additionally, you can use these rankings to double check your own rankings to figure out if you are too high or too low on a certain prospect.

Included for each prospect is a ‘player card’ summarizing his 2018 performance to date and some brief notes from the Baseball Farm Staff.

Check out Plum Prospects: Volume 1 (#1-10) here.

Check out Plum Prospects: Volume 2 (#11-20) here.

Check out Plum Prospects: Volume 3 (#21-30) here.

#31 – Brendan McKay – 1B/LHP – Tampa Bay Rays

PG: Another dual-threat prospect in a year that seemed to be full of them. McKay started right in Low-A ball, and looked both like one of the best hitters and pitchers at that level. Know your league’s Ohtani rule, because McKay might wind up as a pitcher and a DH for the Rays in the not too distant future.

IJR: What the hell are they gonna do with this guy? He’s big – simple swing – quiet hands and confidence of a big man used to hitting – generates easy power. He reminds me of Jim Thome, but even his floor could be Adam Dunn.

#32 – Kyle Wright – RHP – Atlanta Braves

PG: 2017’s #5 overall pick earned a spring-training invitation with the Braves this year. Good-sized (6’4″ 220 lbs.) college arm out of Vanderbilt. Has good downwhill action on a 4-seam fastball which can touch 97 mph. Also throws a curve and a slider, each of which he could develop into a true out pitch.

IJR: Good leg lift, hold weight back well, but seems to use more arm than necessary to generate speed. SP2?

#33 – Luis Urias – SS/2B – San Diego Padres

PG: Spent a full year last summer at AA with the San Antonio Missions as a 20-year old, where he stood out as a top performer. Walked (68) more than he struck out (65) over the course of 526 PAs. Has the skills to be an OBP monster and legitimate leadoff hitter for the Padres in the future.

#34 – Luis Robert – OF – Chicago White Sox

PG: The White Sox paid an uncharacteristically large ($26 million) signing bonus to acquire this 20 year-old Cuban OF prospect. Robert looks to have true 5-tool potential, with legitimate 70-grade speed (6.2 60-yard dash!). He’s got some swing-and-miss in his game, but also advanced patience for his age (19.3% BB-rate in the DSL last summer).

#35 – Leody Taveras – OF – Texas Rangers

PG: Electric 19-year old outfielder, who has the upside of 5 60 grade tools in the future. Taveras spent all of 2017 at A-Full Season Hickory, where he posted average statistics (.310 wOBA, 96 wRC+) and stole 20 bags. Right now his speed is his calling card, but if he can build a hit-tool around his fairly good plate discipline (8% BB rate, 15% K rate in 2017), he could be a star.

#36 – Mike Soroka – RHP – Atlanta Braves

PG: Burly (6-5, 225) pitcher from the Canadian prairies was a 1st-round pick of the Braves in 2015. Soroka spent the entire season at AA last year as a 20-year old, posting an 11-8 record with a 2.75 ERA. Relies on elite command (sub 2.0 BB/9 rate in his minor league career thus far).

#37 – Luiz Gohara – LHP – Atlanta Braves

PG: 21 year-old Brazilian lefty has dazzled in his climb up the prospect ranks last year. Split time between AA and AAA, posting an outstanding combined line of 7-4 with a 2.62 ERA and 147:44 K:BB ratio. Earned September call-up to the Show. 1-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

#38 – Keston Hiura – 2B – Milwaukee Brewers

PG: Hiura, a first-round pick out of UC-Irvine, possessed one of the best hit tools in the 2017 draft class. Hiura is now pushing for a spot on the Brewers opening day roster.

IJR: Issue here is his arm and his defensive home. Elbow surgery rumored for his near future, and unclear if he’s future 2B, OF or DH.

#39 – Willie Calhoun – 2B/OF – Texas Rangers

PG: Short (5’8″) but powerful prospect who had a very productive season in the Pacific Coast League. Slashed .291/.348/.557 while launching 29 home runs for Oklahoma City and Round Rock of the PCL. Was voted both a PCL Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. Traded to the Rangers from the Dodgers in the Yu Darvish deal. 1-time Prospect of the Week winner.

#40 – Taylor Trammell – OF – Cincinnati Reds

CW: Red Rain was drafted 35th overall by Cincinnati in the 2016 draft and signed for $3.2 million (~$1.4 million over slot) forgoing his scholarship to Georgia Tech. Unlike most high school athletes of his ilk, Trammell was a baseball player first and football player second during high school. This uncommon distinction allowed him to hit the ground running to start his professional baseball career aided by his superior bat control/coordination, patient-all-fields approach and wonderful pitch recognition skills. Trammell’s game is geared toward making contact to utilize his 70-grade speed and steal bases to get into scoring position for his teammates (41 swipes in 2017!).

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