Minor league baseball weekly cultivation for week ending June 5, 2021
The past week saw a few rosters across minor league baseball depleted with teams losing players to their home country’s qualifying team for the upcoming Olympics, but plenty is still happening down on the farm!
Statistical Leaders (stats through June 5)
AVG – Rangel Ravelo, Oklahoma City (LAD), .413
OBP – Abraham Almonte, Gwinnett (Atl), .538
SLG – Rangel Ravelo, Oklahoma City (LAD), .775
HR – Jo Adell, Salt Lake (LAA), 15
SB – Vidal Brujan, Durham (TB), 13
IP – Jerad Eickhoff, Syracuse (NYM), 39
ERA – Jackson Kowar, Omaha (KC), 0.85
WHIP – Matt Tomshaw, Charlotte (ChW), 0.86
SV – Luis Garcia, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY), 7
K – Tony Santillan, Louisville (Cin), 45
AVG – Jacob Robson, Erie (Det), .424
OBP – Jacob Robson, Erie (Det), .531
SLG – Johan Mieses, Portland (Bos), .714
HR – Johan Mieses, Portland (Bos), 11
SB – Samad Taylor, New Hampshire (Tor), Dairon Blanco, Northwest Arkansas (KC), and Jake McCarthy, Amarillo (Ari), 11
IP – Hunter Greene, Chattanooga (Cin), 35
ERA – Jake Eder, Pensacola (Mia), 0.73
WHIP – Matt Frisbee, Richmond (SF), 0.41
SV – Colton Hock, Pensacola (Mia), Ivan Pelaez, Montgomery (TB), and Jose Adames, Portland (Bos), 7
K – Hunter Greene, Chattanooga (Cin), 51
AVG – Brett Baty, Brooklyn (NYM, .370
OBP – Brett Baty, Brooklyn (NYM), .469
SLG – Tyreque Reed, Greenville (Bos), .691
HR – Vinnie Pasquantino, Quad Cities (KC), 10
SB – Delvin Zinn, South Bend (ChC) and David Hamilton, Wisconsin (Mil), 18
IP – Chris McMahon, Spokane (Col), 33
ERA – Ken Waldichuk, Hudson Valley (NYY), 0.00
WHIP – Grayson Rodriguez, Aberdeen (Bal), 0.69
SV – Ruben Garcia, West Michigan (Det), Tyler Mitzel, Beloit (Mia), and Shelby Lackey, Spokane (Col), 5
K – Ethan Elliott, Fort Wayne (SD), 47
AVG – Lazaro Armenteros, Stockton (Oak), .431
OBP – Francisco Alvarez, St. Lucie (NYM), .567
SLG – Joe Gray, Jr, Carolina (Mil), .660
HR – Joe Gray, Jr, Carolina (Mil), 9
SB – Braulio Vasquez, Augusta (Atl), 20
IP – Breiling Eusebio, Fresno (Col), 31 1/3
ERA – Breiling Eusebio, Fresno (Col), 2.30
WHIP – Breiling Eusebio, Fresno (Col), 1.15
SV – Juan Mejia, Fresno (Col), 8
K – Mitchell Parker, Fredericksburg (Was), 50
Sorting through the weeds:
Jo Adell, OF – After a tough showing in the majors in 2020, Adell struggled out of the gate in 2021. He’s come on strong to finish the first month of the season – and that’s an understatement. Over his last 14 games, Adell has been incredibly hot, nailing 11 home runs in 68 plate appearances with a .313/.353/.906 line. Granted, he’s still striking out at a 25% clip during his recent streak, but that’s down from over 30% on the season. Adell’s plate discipline will be the final piece to his eventual major league success, but the raw power and raw tools are absolutely there for him to find his way into the Angel lineup soon. Season line: .276/.328/.733, 116 AB, 15 HR, 3 SB, 6/38 BB/K.
Vidal Brujan, IF/OF – After playing primarily the middle infield his entire minor league career outside of seven games at third in the DSL in 2015, Brujan has become the symbol of Tampa Bay development in 2021, and he’s still thriving at the plate while doing so. Brujan has played 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, and RF this season. Brujan’s a tremendous athlete, using his double plus speed since he was originally signed, but he’s definitely barreling up more balls now and showing consistent power to all fields. Now that he’s on the 40-man roster and showing this level of defensive flexibility, it’s only a matter of time until Brujan is finding his way to the Rays rotation of characters. Season line: .305/.402/.543, 105 AB, 7 HR, 13 SB, 17/20 BB/K.
Is it Groundhog Day? Because Jo Adell just hit another one. pic.twitter.com/D9wsKceMfI
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) June 6, 2021
Charlie Barnes, LHP – Last week’s St. Paul Saint is now with the Twins, and it would not surprise at all if Barnes follows that path and spends time with the big league club very soon. Barnes is not going to intimidate anyone on the mound, not with his size, not with his raw stuff, but he gets the job done. He uses a low-90s fastball and a mix of offspeed offerings to keep hitters off balance along with moving quickly on the mound. Barnes may never be an ace in the big leagues, but he is the type of guy who could find his way into the back of a rotation for many years by simply being a league-average pitcher in that role consistently from the left side. Season line: 26 2/3 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 7/21 BB/K.
Ryan Hartman, LHP – Hartman was drafted in the 9th round in 2016 as a senior sign pick. Hartman was drafted with an upper-80s fastball and average change with a breaker that was significantly below average. He’s worked in the Astros system and developed his fastball into a strong pitch that he can locate throughout the zone along with the development of an average curve that he works from a high 3/4 arm slot, giving hitters a tough look from the left side. Season line: 22 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 7/27 BB/K.
Nick Pratto, 1B – Coming out of high schoool, Pratto was considered a tremendous athlete, with teams interested in him as a pitcher or a hitter. Though he stayed at first base, it wasn’t due to a lack of athletic ability to potentially play other positions as his arm would play elsewhere for sure and his fielding has often graded at plus or better. The work Pratto did after a lost 2019 season has been evident this year. He’s the disciplined hitter that many saw coming out of high school with the ability to spray the ball to all fields while also cutting down significantly on strikeouts. He could push his way into the Royals lineup for at least a September audition this year. Season line: .304/.459/674, 92 AB, 9 HR, 5 SB, 26/28 BB/K.
Gabriel Moreno, C – The Blue Jays signed Moreno for just $25,000 out of Venezuela, and it might be the smartest money spent when the organization looks back very soon. Moreno was the talk of the alternate site in 2020, and while he’s more of a contact profile than a power profile, with above average defense, that offensive profile will definitely play. The Blue Jays have young catchers at the big league level currently, so there is no rush for Moreno to shove his way to the major leagues, but he might force their hand if he keeps up the work on both sides of the plate. Season line: .367/.429/.608, 79 AB, 4 HR, 7/18 BB/K.
Shea Langeliers, C – Considered an elite defensive catcher throughout his collegiate career at Baylor, Langeliers was showing out as a potential power hitter before breaking his hamate bone in 2019 before the Braves drafted him ninth overall. Langeliers has continued showing that elite defensive ability as he’s moved up the Braves farm system, and in one of the more depressed offensive offensive environments in the minor leagues this season, Langeliers is thriving, leading the league in home runs and slugging while posting an impressive eye at the plate. Season line: .284/.411/.622, 74 AB, 7 HR, 14/23 BB/K.
Cole Winn, RHP – Winn was absolutely dominant in high school, recruited to a high school in California for his senior year after winning the Gatorade player of the year award in Colorado as a junior. The Rangers worked with Winn on his delivery, which is why he didn’t pitch in his draft season in 2018 and was limited to less than 70 innings in 2019. Winn was pushed all the way to Double-A to open 2021, and he’s shown very well. The fastball is working into the upper-90s with both breaking balls showing plus. Consistency in his delivery is the final hurdle to Winn becoming a potential future top of the rotation arm. Season line: 27 2/3 IP, 1.63 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 10/32 BB/K.
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) June 3, 2021
Roansy Contreras, RHP – Part of the return that the Pirates received for Jameson Taillon, Contreras had made big strides in 2019 at the low-A level, but no one could have foreseen the success he’s had skipping a level to Double-A in 2021. Contreras has sharpened his mid-90s fastball, giving it more consistent action and high spin while using a plus change with heavy sinking action. His curve can take both a spike curve and loop curve shape based on him taking away or adding velocity to the pitch, allowing him to give batters plenty of different looks. Season line: 27 2/3 IP, 1.63 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 6/42 BB/K.
Nick Lodolo, LHP – Widely considered the top college pitcher in the 2019 draft, Lodolo was considered a sure mid-rotation arm who may be more floor than ceiling when he was drafted in 2019. The Reds went to work on Lodolo at the alt site and in instructional time, and the results have been incredible. He’s going to be in the discussion for the top pitching prospect in the game by the end of the season if he doesn’t work his way to the major leagues by the end of 2021. Season line: 26 2/3 IP, 1.01 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 6/38 BB/K.
Dillon Dingler, C – Considered an elite athlete for a catcher, Dingler was selected in the second round by the Tigers, and he was highly regarded entering the draft. He’s shown that athleticism behind the plate while also showing off his ability at the plate early in the season. Dingler’s raw power has already been translating to games, and if he can continue that as he works on his defense behind the plate, the Tigers could have a jewel. Season line: .298/.402/.596, 94 AB, 7 HR, 12/32 BB/K.
Brett Baty, 3B – The Mets took Baty with the 12th overall selection in the 2019 draft based on the Texas prep’s big power bat, but he’s developed more of a line drive swing and really worked hard to become a passable third baseman. Baty was a multisport athlete in high school, and he’s shown that athleticism as he’s worked to improve at the plate and in the field. That hard work could lead him notably high in the Mets system and top 100 lists by the end of the season. Season line: .370/.469/.568, 81 AB, 3 HR, 2 SB, 15/23 BB/K.
Another home run from Brett Baty.
For the month of June, Brett Baty is batting .524 (11-21) with seven runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI. He has also walked five times and has a .615 on-base percentage. #amazinstartshere pic.twitter.com/mbcRJ3nglI
— Brooklyn Cyclones (@BKCyclones) June 6, 2021
Will Wilson, SS – The Angels drafted Wilson 15th overall in 2019, but then traded him to the Giants to get the Giants to take on the dead salary of Zack Cozart. Wilson was projected as a mature hitter coming out of North Carolina State that likely didn’t have a ton of ceiling to his profile. He’s shown well handling short in 2021 and at the plate, with the ability to potentially work well as a multi-positional player at the least and a future passable starter up the middle if he continues as he’s begun his career. Season line: .292/.381/.563, 96 AB, 5 HR, 4 SB, 14/31 BB/K.
Logan Allen, LHP – In a farm system with two lefties with the same name, some explanation is needed. This is the Indians lefty named Logan Allen that was drafted out of Florida International in the second round last summer. He’s very mature on the mound, mixing a low-90s fastball, a curve, and a plus change very well to keep hitters off-balance. While his lack of premium raw stuff likely has his future role as more of a backend starter, he’s got the maturity and composure on the mound to allow the raw tools to play up as he moves into the upper minors and further – as long as people can remember which Logan Allen he is. Season line: 27 2/3 IP, 1.63 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 5/35 BB/K.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP – Some players made steps forward during the 2020 season due to having experience pitching against “advanced” hitters at the alternate site. He’s sharpened his approach on the mound, he’s added both velocity and movement to his fastball, and he is able to manipulate his secondary offerings in such a way that he could legitimately be said to have six or seven looks to give a hitter in a given game. Those strides made short work of High-A and earned Grayson a promotion to Double-A already. He’s quickly showing himself to be one of the, if not #1, top pitching prospects in all of baseball. Season line: 28 1/3 IP, 1.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 7/48 BB/K.
Ryne Nelson, RHP – With just one season of full-time pitching in college before the Diamondbacks plucked him in the second round in 2019, many assumed Nelson was a fast-track reliever. Instead, Arizona has shown the patience to develop Nelson as a starter, using a fastball that can hold mid-90s deep into games with excellent carry through the zone as well as a pair of breaking pitches that sit above-average and flash plus. He should be headed to the upper minors by season’s end. Season line: 27 2/3 IP, 2.60 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 9/38 BB/K.
Joe Gray, Jr, OF – An incredible raw athlete when he was drafted out of high school by the Brewers in 2018, Gray was considered by many to have the most raw power in that year’s draft – a draft that included college power bats like Alec Bohm and Trevor Larnach and a host of big high school bats. Gray is still raw, but he’s worked at his approach, seemingly hunting for “his pitch” during an at-bat rather than a more passive approach that seemed to be his downfall in his first two pro seasons in short-season ball. The power/speed combination could be something special if he can develop it. Season line: .291/.362/.660, 103 AB, 9 HR, 6 SB, 12/34 BB/K.
Tyler Soderstrom, C – Soderstrom was the A’s first-round pick in 2020, 26th overall, but that meant he was selected 20 picks later than his own father was when his father was picked in the 1993 draft. Soderstrom is an offensive talent that is a catcher at this point, but his bat could move him to another position, and he’s got the raw athleticism to do such, but to this point, he’s played the significant majority of his games behind the plate for Stockton, though his bat has been obvious. Season line: .296/.394/.491, 108 AB, 3 HR, 2 SB, 15/31 BB/K.
Josh Smith, SS – After missing the opening of the 2021 season due to a hand injury, Smith hit the ground running once he showed up to Tampa for his first full-season assignment. He’s played short thus far, but he has the arm to play around the infield and could be a better long-term fit at second base or even in center field. Offensively, he’s a guy who does a lot of things well, but nothing at an “elite” level. He’ll likely make short work of low-level pitching and face more of a challenge once he advances up the Yankees system. Season line: .333/.467/.833, 36 AB, 6 HR, 5 SB, 5/5 BB/K.
DJ Herz, LHP – A lefty with a quickly developing fastball and dynamic slider out of high school, Herz slipped to the Cubs in the eighth round of the 2019 draft due to potential signability. He’s a work in progress on the mound, but he’s flashed mid-90s stuff this season and his slider has made plenty of hitters look foolish. Herz is very athletic on the mound and that allows him to work with a less-than-ideal delivery, but how that will work for his command/control as he develops remains to be seen. Season line: 16 IP, 0.56 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 7/29 BB/K.
— Gabe McDonald (@GabeMcDonald_) June 4, 2021
Levi Prater, LHP – The Cardinals snagged Prater from Oklahoma in the third round last summer. He’s not a guy with an overpowering fastball, but he works across his body with his delivery, and it allows his stuff to play up from the left side. His slider has shown to be a strikeout pitch at low levels. His ability to command and control his pitch mix and get swing and miss with the slider will determine his future role as he advances up the Cardinals system. Season line: 24 2/3 IP, 1.46 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 23/41 BB/K.
Sam Carlson, RHP – The big righty out of high school in Minnesota was a second-round selection in 2017, but injuries have derailed his development since. Carlson is finally healthy and back on the mound. His feel for the zone is a work in progress, but the raw stuff has shown well, working into the mid-90s with his fastball and showing excellent bite with his breaking pitches. As the command and control come, Carlson could rocket up the system. Season line: 23 2/3 IP, 3.04 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 15/34 BB/K.