40 Man AdditionsList View
Keegan Akin – P
Orioles 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Western Michigan
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 54
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-112.14.742612.133.846.513.248
A short and stout lefty with flashes of brilliance but inconsistent stuff and performance. At his best Akin sits 93-95 touching 96 on occasion mixing in a changeup that neutralizes righthanded batters, as well as a slider. His fastball velocity was inconsistent however, sometimes sitting in the 89-91 mph band. It plays down the quality of his secondaries and ultimately makes him less effective. The Orioles tasked him with throwing his secondaries with more frequency and later in counts.. All things considered a back end of the rotation profile with a shot to crack the roster early in 2020.
Dean Kremer – P
Orioles 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Nevada-Las Vegas
MLB Draft: Round 14, Overall: 431
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-107.53.6825.98.240.342.711.3.248
One of the players the Orioles received in the Manny Machado trade, Kremer performed well statistically on 2018, but came down to earth in 2019. Kremer mixes four pitches none above average and is heavily reliant on a fastball-curveball mix. He struggled as he moved up the ladder and likely profiles best as a swingman or long guy out of the pen. The quality of his curveball flashes above average, but it’s slow, leading to some questions as to how it will play against the baseball’s elite. His fastball has decent velocity but it’s just an average offering.
Ryan Mountcastle – 3B/SS
Orioles 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Hagerty, Oviedo, FL
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 36
Current Level: MLB
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.310.343.5252521.21523.54.415.6306.8
The Prospects Live group me is good for a spirited debate every now and again. Not too long ago Mountcastle came up and the opinions were split about his potential impact and proper ranking on a Top 100 list or deeper. Mountcastle is what he is, a bat first prospect with little defensive value and a contact focused approach. His raw power has started to translate to games, and late in the season he began to display more patience at the plate. It’s important to have perspective on the 22-year-old slugger, as he’s likely to get his shot in Baltimore early in 2020. Always young for each level of competition he’s faced, Mountcastle was nearly five years younger than the International League’s average age. If the former first rounder can tap into more pull side power he should be able to take advantage of all that Camden has to offer in 2020 and beyond.
Ryan McKenna – OF
Orioles 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Saint Thomas Aquinas (NH) HS
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 133
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.233.323.36792511.13421.310.512.5302.6
The centerfielder burst onto the radar in 2018 but failed to follow up the strong performance in 2019. Since turning pro from the New Hampshire prep ranks, McKenna has tweaked his swing several times, adopting a more power focused stroke of late versus his early career gap to gap line drive approach. A plus to double plus runner, McKenna can burn but he doesn’t translate it to big stolen base totals. He’s likely a late season add to the 25-man roster, with his above average centerfield defense earning him regular playing time the last month or so in a weak Orioles lineup. Likely a fourth outfielder at the moment but if the power starts to click there’s some hope for more.
Bobby Dalbec – 3B
Red Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Arizona
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 118
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.240.356.4602766.22024.712.913.9310.6
There’s a real shot Bobby Dalbec plays a big role in Boston’s plans for 2020, and his addition to the 40-man roster was the first step. With the ability to play an above average third base, Dalbec has seen time at first base more regularly of late signaling he might be an answer there in 2020 if the Sox decide to refrain from the free agent market. There’s an outside shot he sees some time at left field or second base.
C.J. Chatham – SS
Red Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Florida Atlantic
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 51
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.298.333.407571.10918.84.814.3280.7
A strong infield defender with a contact focused approach and some untapped raw power in the bat. Chatham can potentially fill the role of the outgoing Brock Holt. He’s not a standout in any one area offensively but the sum of his parts provide at least average production. His defense at short is unusual for a player of his height, but he displays strong infield motions, clean hands, and good reads off the bat. Effortlessly turns double plays and makes strong plays coming in on the ball and throwing across the diamond. There’s some untapped raw power hinting there could be an everyday regular if everything clicks.
Marcus Wilson – OF
Red Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Junipero Serra (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round CBBs, Overall: 69
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.269.357.48918134.22031.911.513.2303.6
Acquired for Blake Swihart and international bonus pool money, Wilson had a bit of a renaissance with the Red Sox in 2019, doing two tours in High-A and Double-A, settling in with Portland the second time around. Wilson provides average defense, average power as well as plus speed on the bases. He fits in as a fourth outfielder profile, and might see some time with the big club should some rumored shake ups in the Boston outfield come to fruition.
Kyle Hart – P
Red Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 26 yr, Weight: 170 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Indiana
MLB Draft: Round 19, Overall: 568
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-155.33.5422.18.44239.410.4.228
A feel good story as a late-round senior sign who’s made the 40-man roster. Hart overcame Tommy John surgery his junior year at Indiana and didn’t turn pro until he was 24. He now finds himself on the cusp of the majors via a meteoric rise through the Sox system, reaching Triple-A for a good chunk of 2019. I included Hart on my top 30 due to a sneaking suspicion he would be added to the 40 man this offseason due to a lack of starters in the upper minors. Hart mixes a variety of offerings led by a slider and a cutter with different shapes. He shows an advanced feel for his secondaries, which masks the low velocity of his four-seam fastball. Up and down profile with the opportunity to provide needed innings in a pinch at the back of the Sox rotation in 2020.
Yoan Aybar – P
Red Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 165 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: L/L
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-56.24.6427.816.348.632.515.7.172
Former position prospect that made the switch to the mound in 2018 and has cemented himself as a somewhat legitimate relief prospect. The tall lefty is super athletic, with projection for good weight in his frame. His arsenal is centered around a mid-upper 90s fastball with a pair of below average secondaries. The improvement in Aybar’s slider or changeup will determine his path over the next few seasons. His addition to the 40 man signals some optimism within the Red Sox front office about the raw lefty’s future.
Yermin Mercedes – C
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 26 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 2
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.312.384.5662220.25417.510.711305
It was a bit of a shock to see Mercedes added to the 40-man. It became even more unusual when the Southsiders dropped $73 million on Yasmani Grandal a day later. Mercedes has always shown the ability to hit, but his subpar defense behind the plate has kept him toiling in the minor leagues for eight seasons. I caught Mercedes this summer with Charlotte, and he certainly makes loads of hard contact, even if the receiving is at best just adequate. Backup catcher profile that can provide some pop in a pinch.
Blake Rutherford – OF
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 210 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: Chaminade Prep (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 18
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.264.319.364792.10024.47.817.5289.4
Not too long ago Rutherford was a top prep name alongside Mickey Moniak in the 2015 draft. Since that point Rutherford has been traded and seen his prospect stock plummet over the last two seasons as he’s struggled to hit the ball with authority. He’s on the 40 man due to the upside he still flashes from time to time. Showing a bag of potential 50 tools across the board, I wouldn’t yet write Rutherford off as an everyday regular at some point, but the potential to be an all-star level performer looks slim.
Bernardo Flores – P
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Southern California
MLB Draft: Round 7, Overall: 206
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-93.13.5822.24.656.428.711.7.264
Lefty with a three pitch mix led by a curveball that flashes plus. A lower velocity fastball in the 88-92 range, Flores will have to get by on the quality of his breaking ball and the development of his changeup to survive at the MLB level. Up and down starter profile that doesn’t have the stuff that will play in the pen.
Zack Burdi – P
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Louisville
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 26
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-22.26.8927.312.731.15413.2.288
Once upon a time not long ago, Burdi was considered a fast to the majors relief arm. Armed with an electric high spin fastball that touched triple digits and a swing and miss slider with spin rates in the 2700 range, Burdi was nasty. Unfortunately he’s struggled to stay healthy, undergoing Tommy John during the summer of 2017, and a patellar ligament tear that cut his 2019 short. Needs to recover the stuff he showed as an amateur to return to form. Upside pen arm if his body doesn’t betray him.
Dane Dunning – P
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
Current Level: AA
Everybody loves Dane Dunning. The former Florida Gator reliever made a successful transition to a starting role over his first two and a half seasons of professional ball. Amassing a 17-13 record with a 2.73 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 27.2 K%, 6.4 BB%, and a .227 BAA over 266 innings spanning 49 starts. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March and is unlikely to see any time until July or August. At some point in 2021 Dunning should make his major league debut.
Matt Foster – P
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Alabama
MLB Draft: Round 20, Overall: 596
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-63.22.8529.37.637.848.612.6.207
A relief only prospect on the cusp of the Bigs, we ranked Foster 26th in our White Sox Top 30 for 2020. Here’s what the team wrote “Foster was a 20th round selection out of the University of Alabama in the 2016 draft. Foster has been used exclusively in a relief role throughout his professional career. He’s turned in very good statistical lines at every stop in his development. This includes last season, when he survived a 55 inning stint in the hitter-friendly confines of Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark, where he even served as the Knights closer for a time. Look for him to ride the Triple-A shuttle in 2020.”
Jimmy Lambert – P
White Sox 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Fresno State
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 146
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-59.14.572710.440.441.112.3.267
The older brother of Rockies prospect Peter Lambert, Jimmy suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John and should miss most, if not all, of 2020. Prior to that he was a player who had significantly improved his profile adding a curveball to his repertoire of pitches, and seeing an increase in his ability to miss bats. Four pitch mix with two breaking balls, a low-90s fastball, and changeup.
Daniel Johnson – OF
Indians 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 5-10
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: New Mexico State
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 154
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.290.362.502181210.21221.49.213.8291.2
Here’s a bone for the dynasty managers this off-season, the addition of Johnson to the 40 man puts him squarely in the mix for regular playing time in Cleveland this season. With 70 speed, an 80 arm, and a solid glove he has the ability to play all three outfield positions. At the plate Johnson possesses an exciting skillset, it’s a potential 50 hit tool, 50 game power combination with the speed to leg out singles and stretch gap shots. A double plus runner with the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball can be an incredibly valuable player. Johnson hints at a first division regular ceiling with a fourth outfielder floor.
Triston McKenzie – P
Indians 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 165 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Royal Palm Beach, FL
MLB Draft: Round CBA, Overall: -
Current Level: AA
A back injury sustained in spring training sidelined McKenzie for the entirety of the 2019 season. Prior to that McKenzie had long been viewed as the top pitching prospect in the Cleveland organization. How he rebounds in 2020 remains to be seen, but at just 22 with 90 Double-A innings under his belt, “Sticks” might just see the majors this season. His three-pitch repertoire’s success was largely predicated on strong command of a fastball-curveball combo supplementing the changeup here and there. Sporting a tall “Chris Sale-like” build, how McKenzie handles the rigors of starting is an even bigger question now than it has ever been.
Scott Moss – P
Indians 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-6
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Florida
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 108
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-130.22.972912.83648.315.2.207
A former Florida Gator that barely pitched in college after missing nearly two years recovering from Tommy John surgery. Moss pitched sparingly in 2016, but showed well in the SEC tourney before going to the Reds in the fourth round. Acquired at the deadline for Trevor Bauer, Moss is a 6-foot-6 lefty with a three pitch mix, big stuff, but little command, particularly of his live fastball.
Isaac Paredes – 3B/SS
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.282.367.4161353.13411.110.34.6276.3
A consummate ball player, Paredes is a steady performer at the plate and in the field. He’s unlikely to play shortstop at the next level, but the Tigers willingness to give him reps there are a testament to his hands. At the plate, Paredes works counts and drives balls to the gap with authority. His in-game power is only average at the moment, but his contact skills are elite. His hand eye coordination and bat control are some of the best I’ve witnessed at the Double-A level over the last two seasons and the metrics back this. His 4.6 SwStr% and 87.2 Contact% are indicative of his innate bat to ball skills. With good hands and a solid enough arm, Paredes should see a solid career at third base with a potential above-average regular ceiling due to his bat.
Daz Cameron – OF
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy
MLB Draft: Round CBAs, Overall: 37
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.213.330.37613178.1632911.811.5295.9
Daz, son of Mike, Disappointer of 2019 fantasy baseball players. Added to the 40 man, but a rough 2019 campaign despite the benefit of the juicy ball in Triple-A has really taken some shine off. Cameron is starting to look more like fourth outfielder than the all-around performer in centerfielder many envisioned. Cameron is an above average fielder and runner, and his hard hit percent was a respectable 28.3% according to Rotowire. With limited options and a dearth of talent in Detroit, Cameron should get some time with the big club.
Derek Hill – OF
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Elk Grove (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 23
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.241.309.391142013.15027.87.314.1286
Coming off his best statistical season in the minors, Hill, a former first rounder from the 2014 prep class, showed the ability to find his power with more consistency. Great bat speed and above average strength give Hill the ability to flash at least average power, but his swing mechanics are inconsistent, and he’s overly aggressive too often, expanding the zone with big chase swings. Overall has a fourth outfield profile with an outside shot to be a second division regular in center due to his speed, defense, and athleticism.
Beau Burrows – P
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Weatherford (TX) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 22
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-74.14.8621.211.137.144.58.6.248
Former first rounder out of the Texas prep ranks with the type of profile that should thrive out of the pen. A fastball that sits 93-95, touching 96-97 on occasion, with a heavy reliance on his curveball as his main secondary. It’s a tight 11-5 breaker in the 79-80 range and will show above average at its best. Another player with some potential innings for him in Detroit this summer. Could cut it as a back end starter should his changeup or slider improve, allowing him to be less reliant on his FB-CB combo.
Kyle Funkhouser – P
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 230 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Louisville
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 115
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-91.36.4123.213.751.430.69.8.270
A former college stud that scorned the Dodgers at the end of the first round in 2015 only to fall to the Tigers in the fourth the following year. A streaky arm with a history of hot and cold runs, his fastball-slider lead his four-pitch mix, with his curveball and changeup grading out as average or below offerings. His FB/SL combination can play up in the pen over short stints, giving Funkhouser a relief floor. Likely to see some innings on the big league level, health and command permitting.
Anthony Castro – P
Tigers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-102.14.4126.514.945.136.711.7.204
The athletic lefty’s stuff has always intrigued me as he can run his fastball up to 98 and locate it effectively high and low in the zone. He’s added a slider to his arsenal with big horizontal movement to pair with a changeup that’s a work in progress. Has used a curveball in the past as well as a splitter, the latter of which showed big swing and miss ability. All this to say there’s a lot of upside in Castro’s profile if he learns to harness all of his stuff and throw strikes with consistency.
Taylor Jones – 1B
Astros 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-7
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Gonzaga
MLB Draft: Round 19, Overall: 577
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.290.387.5002201.21021.112.710.1312.1
A former 19th rounder out of Gonzaga, Jones mashed in Triple-A Round Rock this year slashing .291/.388/.501 with 22 home runs and a 12.8 BB%. These numbers are backed by an elite 35.7 Hard% and solid 75% contact rate per Rotowire. Likely a role 30 type with a role 40 ceiling. Unfortunately Jones will need a rash of injuries or a trade out of the organization to find a shot at everyday at bats. Late round pick made good, but unlikely to be an everyday regular at the moment.
Cristian Javier – P
Astros 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 204 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-113.21.7537.41329.353.316.9.130
The right-hander from the Dominican Republic popped onto the scene in 2018, climbing two levels of A ball and finding himself on the prospect radar due to his ability to miss bats. He followed up his strong 2018 performance with one of the best statistical seasons in the minors in 2019. Over 113.2 innings Javier struck out 37 percent of the batters he faced on his way to a 1.74 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and a .130 BAA. He still struggles with control, as an ugly 12.9 percent walk rate is masked by all his dominance. The fastball sits low-90s but features high spin and fools hitters high in the zone making it lethal when paired with his downer curveball or sweepy slider. It’s a four-pitch mix that plays up due to his ability to manipulate the shape of his pitches, hinting that there could be more command possibly to come. His mechanics are a little wild, which adds to the deception of his pitches but really impedes on his ability to command his fastball. The righty reached Triple-A in 2019, and should return there in 2020 to work on his control. If he’s able to harness his big stuff without losing any of his edge he could find a future in the rotation. If not, a solid middle relief floor awaits.
Enoli Paredes – P
Astros 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 168 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-942.7834.211.241.63716.1.153
“Leave the gun, take the Enoli” cracked Phil Goyette when the Astros’ 40 man adds came across the Prospects Live Group chat. Made me giggle a little wanted to share. As for the player, Enoli is a smaller right-hander with big arm speed and a fastball that sits 93-96 topping out at 98. His slider in the low-80s will flash plus at times, but his changeup is a work in progress, as it will get firm and show inconsistent shape. He struck out 128 batters over 94 innings limiting opponents to a .155 batting average against. Looks like a middle reliever long term, but has some starter upside.
Nivaldo Rodriguez – P
Astros 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 170 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1052.427.48.445.941.114.5.181
A strike-throwing righthander out of Venezuela who’s arsenal is charged by a plus curveball. He pairs his fastball-curveball well, fitting into the Astros Modus Operandi of working up in the zone with the fastball, and attacking low with the curveball. He performed well across two levels of A ball, and looks likely a year away from any major league time with the depth of arms in the Astros system. Not the type to blow it by someone, but crafty with his pitch mix. Backend starter unless his fastball velocity jumps a few ticks.
Foster Griffin – P
Royals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 220 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/L
School: The First Academy (FL) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 28
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-130.25.2518.810.851.739.99.8.259
Left-hander from the 2014 prep class, Griffin’s stuff has never jumped the way the Royals hoped it would. He’s a pitchability lefty, but his command has come and gone throughout his minor league career. He got beat up in the treacherous PCL in 2019, but still has some major league upside as an up and down emergency starter. Below average fastball with a pair of secondaries that flash above average projection.
Carlos Hernandez – P
Royals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-51.25.6326.510.241.638.713.7.274
A tall under the radar right-hander coming off a strong showing in his first taste of full season ball. He mixes three pitches led by a high 90s heater with ride and life. His inconsistent curveball will show plus from time to time, and a changeup he shows advanced feel for. If he can tighten his breaking ball consistency, improve his mechanics, and work in the zone with more regularity, Hernandez has a chance to breakout in 2020. A mid-rotation ceiling with a high-leverage pen floor.
Jeison Guzman – SS
Royals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.255.297.37571513.12019.95.114.5288.6
The bat progressed for Guzman this season as he overcame a rough April with a strong May. He showed more pop than he had in previous years but overall his game remains inconsistent. He has all the makings of a solid everyday shortstop but he’s backed up in the field struggling to make some routine plays. There’s a major league utility ceiling but he’ll need to progress on both sides of the ball to reach it.
Nick Heath – OF
Royals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 187 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Northwestern State
MLB Draft: Round 16, Overall: 493
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.254.344.38486013.13030.311.912.8282.2
A speedster that found notoriety in some circles after swiping 60 bags across two levels in 2019. Heath looks like a pinch runner, fifth outfielder with some on base ability but poor contact skills for his particular profile.
Jahmai Jones – 2B/OF
Angels 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Wesleyan (GA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 70
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.234.307.3225910.088209.312.2296.3
Smada should create a graph for the valleys and peaks of Jones’ prospect stock. The second baseman possesses good speed and a hit tool that projects to at least average. He shows raw power but has yet to fully tap into it in games. He’s tweaked his setup frequently which explains his inconsistency but also is some cause for alarm this far along into his professional career.
Hector Yan – P
Angels 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: L/L
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1093.3932.311.440.244.113.1.189
A lefty with a three-pitch mix led by a low-90s fastball, and a curveball that flashes. His changeup is poor, and likely a non-pitch once he reaches maturation. Really funky mechanics, as he closes off his front side via a horizontal movement with his front leg.
Jhoan Duran – P
Twins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 230 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1153.76298.557.925.516.4.228
Benjamin Chase did an excellent job of breaking down Duran’s pitch mix and the two variations of his fastball. Here’s an excerpt from that writeup, “He runs his four-seam in the upper-90s with excellent rise in the top quadrants of the zone while his two-seam fastball behaves more like a split-finger with a sharp, distinct drop and sits more in the low-90s. Duran really began to see success with his curve, getting consistent break and release on the pitch. While his change is still below-average, it’s usable as a fourth pitch, with sink action to work alongside his two-seamer.” Should see a little time toward the end of the summer with the big league club, sliding in as an emergency starter and long guy.
Dakota Chalmers – P
Twins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: North Forsyth (GA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 97
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-34.23.6834.316.458.335.817.170
A few years back Chalmers was considered one of the better prospects in the Oakland system flashing plus stuff with three pitches. Since his salad days his career has hit some snags due to injury. Chalmers’ fastball velocity flashed its old mid-to-upper 90s at times late this season and during his stint in the Arizona Fall League. A good sign he’s back to full health. If he can get back to where he was a few years ago and hone his command, Chalmers has the opportunity to breakout as a back end of the rotation arm with some upside. If not, he has the stuff to find a home as a solid middle relief arm.
Gilberto Celestino – OF
Twins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 170 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/L
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.277.348.40810148.13115.99.39.1282.2
Acquired for Ryan Pressly in 2018, Celestino was a big bonus kid for the Astros with a toolsy centerfield profile. Since those days his centerfield defense has matured to the extent that it’s likely a 60. He has a plus arm and makes the best of his above average foot speed, making good reads off the bat and getting good jumps. At the plate he’s contact over power, looking to put the ball in play and showing strong bat to ball skills. His 82% contact rate per Rotowire, and 9.3% swinging strike rate were two of the better marks in A ball this year. He puts the ball on the ground a fair amount but there’s enough promise in his build, bat speed, and barrel control to dream on more power.
Luke Raley – OF
Twins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 235 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: Lake Erie (OH)
MLB Draft: Round 7, Overall: 221
Current Level: R
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.310.360.510840.20027.84.418.4302
A corner outfielder with 60 raw power that’s yet to fully translate to games. Raley missed the remainder of the Triple-A after he dislocated a tendon in his left ankle and required surgery in late May. He returned for a few late August games in the GCL before shutting it down for the 2019 season. Over the first month of the season Raley looked capable in the outfield, showing an aggressive plate approach geared toward hard contact. His contact skills are below average but there’s a fair amount of thunder at the point of contact. A Randal Grichuk type ceiling is what you’re hoping for. Could fit in as a fifth outfielder if there’s a run of injuries for the Twins in 2020.
Travis Blankenhorn – 2B/3B
Twins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 228 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: Pottsville Area (PA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 80
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.276.320.46519110.18922.65.815.6314.9
A good athlete with some offensive promise, that finally translated his skills into good production this season. He has a blend of power and speed, good hard contact and contact numbers, but his approach is still raw. He mashed right-handers but is a net zero versus lefties making him a possible platoon bat. There’s an off chance that Blankenhorn reaches the show this year, but more than likely he spends an extended period at Rochester.
Estevan Florial – OF
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: L/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.237.296.379895.14232.6817.5298.3
The enigmatic Hatian prospect has tools that tantalize, but his hit tool questions and inability to stay on the field have stalled his progression as a player. There’s still more upside here than just about anywhere outside Jasson Dominguez in the Yankees system, but he has a lot of refinement to add to his overall skillset. Protected by the Yankees for the upside, shouldn’t be on the major league radars until 2021. Likely to spend a majority of his season with Double-A Trenton.
Deivi Garcia – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 163 lbs, Height: 5-9
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-107.44.4434.211.342.739.715.2.230
Small 20-year-old righthander that’s dominated the lower levels of the minor leagues, Garcia hit his first speed bump in Triple-A. He mixes a four-seamer with good spin rates in the 92-95 range with a plus curveball, and a changeup that flashes at its best. Triple-A hitters showed the ability to barrel his fastball and his stuff didn’t quite play the same with the altered ball there. Something to monitor depending on A) If the ball returns to the majors in 2020 and B) the ball returns to the International League (Deivi’s likely home) in 2020. All the makings of a solid mid-rotation arm, but there’s more risk in him reaching that ceiling than his numbers suggest.
Luis Gil – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 176 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-962.7230.311.646.635.315.9.199
One of the more talented arms in the Yankees organization, Gil flashes big velocity on his fastball, playing a dominant role in his three-pitch mix. He’s mostly fastball-slider, mixing in the changeup in sparingly. Our own Eddy Almaguer caught Gil back in August, even taming the beast that is Wander Franco in one look. The nature of his profile being so fastball-slider heavy makes him a pen risk, particularly if he doesn’t add another pitch or improve the feel for his changeup. Likely a year or two off from impact. Might accelerate through the system in a pen role.
Brooks Kriske – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Southern California
MLB Draft: Round 6, Overall: 188
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-59.21.9832.511.834.652.716.4.158
Hard-throwing righty relief only prospect that was all mid-90s fastballs when we caught him earlier in the 2019 season. His success with Double-A Trenton, ability to miss bats, and addition to the 40 man should pave the way to some innings with the Yankees though they may be in the single digits. Not bad for a player that underwent Tommy John just two months after the Yankees took him out of USC. He missed all of 2017, and about half of 2018 before returning to the mound. He added velocity in 2019, and started mixing in a splitter with his fastball, and fringe breaking ball. The development of the splitter gives Kriske a secondary offering that plays up his profile and gives him a legitimate swing and miss pitch to pair with his plus heater. Another pen arm from the Yankees relief factory.
Luis Medina – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-103.25.492714.949.431.813.237
For a few years Medina was a player who’s scouting reports didn’t match his production, as the glowing sentences filled with words of projection didn’t show in his actual line. Those that had seen Medina told us to be patient. In 2019 Medina began to flash some of that promise over his last eight starts. A run of 45.2 innings was the best of Medina’s career as he posted a 1.77 ERA, 2.02 FIP, 35.2 K%, 8.4 BB%, and .178 BAA. He mixes a nasty four-seamer in the 96-99 range with a hammer curveball that drops down to the low 80s. His changeup is a work in progress but flashes fade at its best. A true talent with massive upside that had to be protected. He’s still years away from the majors with a ton of variance in the profile as he navigates the waters of learning to pitch.
Nick Nelson – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Gulf Coast State
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 128
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-89.22.8330.411.537.144.513.218
Another right-handed power arm not too different from Brooks Kriske. Nelson features a mid-to-high 90s fastball, a curveball, cutter/slider, and a split-change. Has shown the ability to miss bats and produced solid results in the Trenton rotation this season. Needs to refine his mechanics and his command woes should smooth out as a result. Has multiple viable paths to the majors as a starter if the command comes along, or a high leverage pen role where his stuff might play up.
Miguel Yajure – P
Yankees 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-138.22.1523.95.453.831.212.229
One of six right-handed pitching prospects added to the 40 man, Yajure was featured in our Florida State League All-Star Post back in September, and here’s what our own Kyler Peterson said about the righty, “He operates in the low-90s, reaching back for 95 at times. He also throws a cutter in the high-80s and a changeup that are both solid offerings. Whether in the pen or in the back of a rotation, Yajure should offer a team some value at the big league level.” Some backend of the rotation upside, with a relief floor, still a year away from impact.
Daulton Jefferies – P
Athletics 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 182 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: California
MLB Draft: Round CBAs, Overall: 37
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-793.4229.22.842.739.615.8.239
After missing a majority of his first three professional seasons, Jefferies returned and was dominant in short stints in Double-A, amassing an impressive 24.8% K-BB, and a 3.19 FIP. Jefferies can run his fastball up to 96 and pairs it with a plus changeup. He throws a cutter and a curveball with the former flashing the better of the two. Alex Jensen featured him in his Data Sets That Matter piece earlier this off-season, due to his combination of control and bat missing skills. Jefferies is a name on the rise that could contribute in Oakland this season as a multi-inning reliever or as an opener.
Vidal Brujan – 2B
Rays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 155 lbs, Height: 5-9
Hits/Throws: S/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.277.346.38244713.10514.18.76.9278.7
At one point Matt Thompson dubbed Prospects Live as the Vidal Brujan Hype Train creator. I’m not sure if he’s right but I’ll shovel a couple of coals in the fire. There’s some argument as to who the best second base prospect in baseball is, but there’s no doubt who’s my favorite. Just watch the interview he did with our own Jacob Zweiback. Brujan is a double plus runner, instinctual base stealer, with excellent plate approach and bat to ball skills. He has the bat speed and quick hands to hit for more power, but he’s smaller and lacks significant strength as of yet. Some rumors have circulated that he could move off of second and into to center where his speed would be better utilized.
Jake Cronenworth – SS
Rays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: Michigan
MLB Draft: Round 7, Overall: 208
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.333.427.51510125.18215.512.16.2285.5
Coming off one of the best statistical seasons in the minors this year with Triple-A Durham, the two-way talent took his talents to the Premier 12 with Team USA. Cronenworth seems like the perfect Rays player, a versatile talent that can fill a variety of roles. He put up a 147 wRC+ this year and seems poised for a shot with the Rays. Excellent plate approach and bat to ball skills are Cronenworth’s calling cards at the dish. Likely doesn’t get the attention he deserves despite a unique and valuable set of skills.
Kevin Padlo – 3B
Rays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Murrieta Valley (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 143
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.264.388.53521124.27126.915.711.5300
Everything broke right for Padlo this year as he went from non-prospect after some early bright spots during his time with the Rockies. In 2019 however he found his power stroke and paired it with his on base ability for a monster of a three outcome season, slashing .265/.389/.538 across Double-A and Triple-A. His strong campaign earned him a spot on the 40-man roster, and he has an outside shot to see some late season games with the Rays in 2020. He’s heavy pull side-flyball contact which has its benefits and drawbacks. He has some real contact concerns shown by his sub-70% contact rate this year, and that throws a big question mark on the profile. A role 40 type with some fantasy baseball upside.
Lucius Fox – SS
Rays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: S/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.222.332.32433911.10221.412.48.8283.5
The highly touted signing by the Giants back in 2015 is yet to click at the plate despite showing defensive tools and plus speed. He knows his way around the strike zone  and will work deep into counts and take walks. He has solid contact skills and doesn’t swing and miss often, shown by his 8.9 SwStr%. He rarely contacts the ball with much impact, leading to lots of his hard contact coming in the form of line drives and groundballs. It’s a utility profile unless he adds a little power. There’s an outcome where his hit tool develops to the point that he becomes a viable on base and average hitter with 30+ steal speed.
Ronaldo Hernandez – C
Rays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.264.298.396970.13215.2411277.2
The Florida State League is a tough place for any player, particularly a bat first catcher dependent on his power. The catcher ended the season with 31 extra base hits, and a .696 OPS. He continued to hit the ball hard in the air to his pull side, leaving hopes that his poor showing was the product of the environments. He has contact rates in the low 80s and good power, and it might be enough to earn him a shot at a first base or DH role should catching not work out. There’s certainly some questions about his ability to stick at catcher long term because despite a cannon for an arm his reviving can be poor. Likely a year away from Tampa but a prospect too valuable and close enough to the majors that he had to be protected.
Sherten Apostel – 3B
Rangers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.253.341.4421921.18924.710.812.1310.3
One of Eddy’s boys! Apostel is a favorite in the fantasy baseball community due to his double plus raw power and above average hit tool. Not nearly ready for the big leagues but another prospect too valuable to leave exposed. Apostel came over for Keone Kela at the 2018 deadline and has developed nicely over the last two years. There’s still some swing and miss in the profile, that was exposed during his stint in High-A. He was just 20 years old and had zero full-season experience coming into 2019. I’m willing to chalk his struggles up to growth but will continue to monitor his progress.
Leody Taveras – OF
Rangers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 171 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: S/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.279.344.37453213.09520.99.310.6278.5
It feels like I’ve been writing about Tavares for five years now saying the same things. A toolsy centerfielder with plus speed, an above average hit tool, and promising raw power. Little by little Leody has progressed through the minors, he’s yet to show much power, but it’s improved over the last 12 months as have his bat to ball skills. In some ways he’s like Victor Robles light, with some similarities in the profile. If Taveras ever adds that power he could immediately jump to the top of prospect ranks. Still likely a year away from reaching the big leagues.
Demarcus Evans – P
Rangers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 270 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Petal (MS) HS
MLB Draft: Round 25, Overall: 738
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-58.30.9342.416.942.841.418.4.119
A gigantic 6-foot-4 270 pound monster Evans that misses bats in bunches as exhibited by his 18.4 SwStr% across 60 innings between High-A and Double-A. He’s a two-pitch relief guy with a mid-90s fastball and a power breaking ball. There’s a chance Evans fits into a pen role with the Rangers this year and he already has the big league stuff, it’s just a matter of throwing enough strikes to fool major league hitters with his powerful one-two punch.
Tyler Phillips – P
Rangers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 191 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Bishop Eustace Prep School (NJ) HS
MLB Draft: Round 16, Overall: 468
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-130.33.7319.44.954.929.511.248
A tall right-hander from the New Jersey prep ranks Phillips shows advanced pitchability despite mediocre stuff. He mixes a fastball in the 90-93 range with a plus changeup and average to fringe breaking ball. He likes the zone and hits his spots, working away with his breaking ball, using his changeup to induce grounders. Phillips is the type of pitcher tough to nail down a ceiling grade. On one hand he’s got backend stuff, while on the other he has advanced pitchability. Possible innings eater with a shot to see some starts in Texas this year.
Santiago Espinal – 2B/SS
Blue Jays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 5-10
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Miami Dade JC (FL)
MLB Draft: Round 10, Overall: 298
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.286.347.38971213.10313.58.17.4278.8
The player acquired by the Blue Jays in the Steve Pearce trade with Boston. Espinal is a utility infielder/fourth outfielder ceiling type with a versatile skill set in the field. There’s a little more raw in the bat than he’s shown in-game, and he exhibits good plate discipline against advanced arms. Espinal is a major leaguer in my opinion, but likely a backup, unless he adds power to his in game skills. Does hit a good amount of line drives and flyballs for a player of his style and stature. Is there perhaps a little more power in the profile? Probably not due to his smaller stature, but strange things happen in the bigs sometimes. Likely to see some time with Toronto this year in a reserve capacity.
Thomas Hatch – P
Blue Jays 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Oklahoma State
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 104
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-135.14.1322.7740.842.513.7.251
A former Cubs third rounder out of Oklahoma State, that’s slowly progressed through the minors producing solid but unspectacular results. He sits 92-94 with his fastball topping out at 95-96, with a slider, and newly added cutter as well as a changeup in his arsenal. Hatch added the cutter a few starts before his trade and posted a fairly robust statline following. Over 49.2 innings Hatch struck out 23 percent of the batter he faced while holding opponents to a 6.5 BB% and .204 BAA. Will the cutter be the key to unlocking a long term future in the rotation? Time will tell and the Blue Jays might just have the perfect mix of room on the roster and the lack of desire to win ball games to test it out.
Wyatt Mathisen – 3B
Diamondbacks 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Calallen HS (TX)
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 69
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.287.412.5882320.30123.11212.1324
Former second rounder by the Pirates in 2012, Mathisen had a breakout season in 2019 with Reno while posting a .283/.403/.601 line. Drafted out of high school as a catcher, he moved off the position after tearing his labrum in 2013. Mathisen primarily played third while also playing second and first base last season after coming over on a minor league deal. He’s posted above-average offensive numbers at every stop since 2014, with strong walk rates. With the 26th man a permanent fixture beginning in 2020, all bat players like this are more likely to have a big league future.
Riley Smith – P
Diamondbacks 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: LSU
MLB Draft: Round 24, Overall: 719
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-133.34.4619.26.348.835.89.279
Smith was a 24th rounder out of LSU in 2016. He slipped down draft boards due to an arm injury and the decrease in velocity that came with it. His fastball has since crept back up to his days in Baton Rouge, and he can now hit 96 in short stints. Despite the return of the heat it’s a pitch-to-contact approach here with his change and slider. He was bit by the long ball in Reno but his command didn’t waver.
Taylor Widener – P
Diamondbacks 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: South Carolina
MLB Draft: Round 12, Overall: 368
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-998.1823.48.934.344.59.5.318
The former South Carolina reliever and Yankees farmhand is an enigma. Our 21st ranked Diamondbacks farmhand, Widener had severe home run issues in 2019. The new ball and mechanical issues were to blame, but his fastball also lacks movement. The task for the Diamondbacks this winter is to add some wiggle to the heater which will prevent hitters from keying on the plus slider.
Andy Young – 2B
Diamondbacks 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Indiana St U
MLB Draft: Round 37, Overall: 1126
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.269.367.5292833.26022.47.913.4318.3
The 37th rounder out of Indiana State came to the Diamondbacks from the Cardinals in the Paul Goldschmidt deal. Ranked 18th on our 2020 Diamondbacks prospect list, Young has a power over hit profile, which is rare for an up the middle player. He’s a below average defender at second and third base, but has the bat to be a second-division regular at either spot.
Cristian Pache – OF
Braves 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.272.334.45212811.18022.97.914.7306.5
The 21-year-old defensive star was a no-brainer addition to the 40-man. The Braves’ top prospect, Pache is a plus defender in center with ever-growing offensive skills. It’s a gap-to-gap offensive profile presently, but 20-homer power is coming. He should start the season in Gwinnett, but will make an impact in the second half for the Braves playoff run.
William Contreras – C
Braves 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.254.314.349600.09520.2714.5299.3
The Braves sixth-ranked prospect, the Venezuelan backstop has plus raw power and a rocket for an arm. Despite a down year offensively the 21-year-old still made it Double-A, and made significant defensive improvements. He’s got the most glamorous defensive tool (arm strength) but the rest of the package needs to continue to improve, footwork and blocking are the most glaring issues. All that being said, you’ll be hard pressed to find many catchers with as much athleticism as Contreras.
Tucker Davidson – P
Braves 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Midland JC (TX)
MLB Draft: Round 19, Overall: 559
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-129.22.1625.310.250.830.210.229
The 2016 19th rounder put in the work and added velocity which led to a breakout 2019 with Double-A Mississippi. His fastball/curveball combo is strong and works extremely well in tandem with the vertical break of his curve, and he also throws a slider/cutter to go with a changeup. His ability to miss bats didn’t stay with him during his promotion to Gwinnett, but he will get another shot there as he will start the season in Triple-A. Davidson is our 12th ranked Braves prospect for 2020.
Jasseel De La Cruz – P
Braves 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1333.2522.2948.538.212.4.208
Despite the young righty being a year or so away from being big league ready, the Braves had to protect De La Cruz because his profile is exactly the type that doesn’t slip through the cracks in the Rule 5 draft. Our 10th overall Braves prospect, the righty can hit the upper 90s with the heater and can pair it with a plus slider with two-plane depth. As a starter he also throws a changeup, but if he ends up being a reliever I wouldn’t be surprised if he put that pitch on the shelf. He made significant command improvements in 2019 though and will continue to be groomed as a starter until proven otherwise.
Philip Pfeifer – P
Braves 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 27 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Vanderbilt
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 101
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-133.12.9828.87.642.340.713.8.221
Taken in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Dodgers, the Vanderbilt lefty was sent to the Braves in the Bud Norris trade. Pfeifer split time between the rotation and the bullpen in 2019, and ended the season in the pen for Gwinnett. Pfeifer sits in the low 90s with the heater and can bump it up to 95. His best secondary is a changeup with depth and he also will throw a curveball. Controlling the zone and keeping the walks down led to a career best season and now he’s knocking on the door to the big leagues.
Miguel Amaya – C
Cubs 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 20 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.234.351.4011120.16716.813.29.9291.9
Adding Amaya was an easy 40-man decision for the Cubs as he may be the most well-rounded catching prospect in the minor leagues not named Adley Rutschman. He has strong, quick wrists and generates loft with ease with advanced plate skills. Defensively he has quick feet and displays good lateral quickness. His footwork is sound and he has a quick release and strong arm. On top of all that, he’s a natural leader and can handle a pitching staff. The offensive numbers don’t pop as Myrtle Beach is a tough environment, but I expect him to have a strong year in Tennessee and could see the big leagues in the second half if the Cubs want to push it. It would be aggressive but I have no doubt he can handle it.
Tyson Miller – P
Cubs 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: California Baptist
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 134
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-136.24.3621.57.535.849.812.1.251
For what Miller lacks in stuff he makes up for with command. He lives on the edges and excels at generating weak contact. He was a pure three-pitch guy entering 2019 but has since added a cutter, re-worked his changeup grip and bumped himself up to a possible mid-rotation profile. The cutter is his new primary weapon against left-handers. He was roughed up in his small taste of Triple-A, but who wasn’t in 2019? Miller will begin 2020 in Iowa but could be one of the first few up to Chicago in 2020.
Manuel Rodriguez – P
Cubs 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-473.4533.28.75530.316.239
The most surprising of the quartet the Cubs added to the 40-man, the 23-year-old Rodriguez had a strong campaign in High-A with Myrtle Beach with 65 strikeouts in 47 innings. He throws a high-90s sinker and a four-seamer that touches a tad higher and a big breaking ball. His near 55 percent ground ball rate sticks out as well. The undersized righty was signed out of Mexico in 2016.
Zack Short – SS
Cubs 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 5-10
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Sacred Heart
MLB Draft: Round 17, Overall: 524
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.238.362.400622.16227.214.210.8298
Short is most notable due to his approach and batted ball profile and specifically the large percentage of batted balls he hits in the air. Well that changed some in 2019, as he lost 13 ticks on his fly ball percent and couldn’t come close to repeating his 2018 breakout. He does have above-average raw power with strong walk rates, but the strikeouts crept up as well. He’s an above-average defender up the middle and is a nice future bench piece.
Tejay Antone – P
Reds 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Legacy HS
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 155
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-145.44.02218.456.825.710.2.272
The 2014 fifth rounder climbed all the way to Triple-A due to his worm-burner sinker. The pitch sits 90-93 and it has tremendous arm-side sink and run. He’s one of the toughest players to take deep, which is a good quality in this homer filled era. Antone projects as a set up man and can help out early in 2020.
Ryan Hendrix – P
Reds 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Texas A&M
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 138
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-24.11.8732.38.342.631.518.1.170
The 2016 fifth rounder out of Texas A&M is a two-pitch reliever with a fastball that has touched 100 and a big power curveball that gets plus grades. He needs to tighten the command to work in the late innings but he is a good bridge guy presently.
Tony Santillan – P
Reds 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 240 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Seguin (TX) HS
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 49
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-102.14.8519.811.635.646.411.3.271
The 2015 second rounder had a tough 2019 in Triple-A and saw his command take a step back and his ERA go just north of 4.80. The big man throws a 92-94 mph heater that nudges 95, and he supplements it with an above-average slider and a fringy changeup. He’s a future innings eating mid-rotation arm if the changeup and/or command improves.
Tyler Stephenson – C
Reds 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Kennesaw Mountain (GA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 11
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.281.369.407600.12616.710.38.1290.8
The 2015 first rounder has advanced slowly through the Reds system since getting drafted out of the Georgia prep ranks. He battled some injuries early on in his career, but has posted well above-average offensive numbers over the last three seasons. His primary offensive skills are his ability to get on base and his plus raw power. In speaking with other evaluators this year the thought was he’d be a nice offensive minded backup due to his sub-par receiving abilities.
Ben Bowden – P
Rockies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 235 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Vanderbilt
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 45
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-51.23.5236.911.236.251.415.9.193
The 2016 second rounder out of Vanderbilt is a two-pitch reliever that can miss bats. The lefty throws a 92-95 mph sinker with a plus changeup with fade. He missed all of 2017 due to a bulging disc in his back. He was dominant early in 2019 while at Double-A Hartford and earned an invitation to the Future’s Game. He was then promoted to Triple-A and doubled his walk rate and saw his homers allowed spike considerably. He will start 2020 in Triple-A.
Ashton Goudeau – P
Rockies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 27 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-6
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Maplewoods CC
MLB Draft: Round 27, Overall: 823
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-78.12.0730.1444.936.514.208
Goudeau spun the best and most consistent curveball in the AFL and the pitch played a large role in his 13 scoreless innings. A 27th-round pick of the Royals, he was famously traded to the Mariners for $1 before signing with the Rockies as a minor league free agent prior to 2019. Goudeau missed six weeks due to a broken bone in his hand but was dominant in Hartford prior to the injury. I think he profiles best in relief and despite his success I’m always concerned with breaking ball heavy profiles in that ball park.
Tyler Nevin – 1B/3B
Rockies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Poway (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round CBAs, Overall: 38
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.249.344.3961362.14716.812.110.1307.3
Nevin popped after a loud 2018 season in the Cal League and followed it up with a strong AFL stint in which he led the league in hitting with a .426/.535/.593 line. Nobody expected Nevin to repeat that strong season, but he did hit well in a tough Hartford environment. It’s a hit over power profile at first base and the success of hitters of that profile, especially from the right side, is limited. It’s a bat first profile, but is there enough power for first base?
Antonio Santos – P
Rockies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-144.34.5522.54.540.641.813.4.276
Santos has a hard fastball that sits in the upper 90s and can touch 100. He backs it up with a high 80s slider, and a mid-80s change. Despite the high octane stuff, Santos doesn’t miss bats at a high rate. He limits walks and relies on weak contact.
Zach McKinstry – 2B/3B
Dodgers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 180 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/R
School: Central Michigan U
MLB Draft: Round 33, Overall: 1001
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.302.369.5181989.21618.99.19.8297.7
McKinstry is yet another player development win by the Dodgers. He was their 33rd round pick out of Central Michigan in 2016. He was a light hitting college shortstop that found his power stroke by hitting a career high 19 homers and slugging .516 in 2019. The previous two seasons combined McKinstry only hit 11 homers. His new found power and ability to play all over the diamond checked off too many boxes on the rule five bingo card and there was a high probability of him being selected.
DJ Peters – OF
Dodgers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-6
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Western Nevada CC
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 131
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.251.360.4562321.20530.411.316.7295.9
Armed with mouth-watering tools, Peters likely would’ve been selected if the Dodgers left him available in the rule five draft. His plus power and ability to take a walk are what you dream of, but his strikeout rate is a thing of nightmares. He’s posted strikeout rates of above 32 percent for three straight seasons now, but he’s also a plus runner. Sucks you right back in!
Mitchell White – P
Dodgers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 24 yr, Weight: 210 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Santa Clara
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 65
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-93.25.1226.67.944.841.812.7.251
White had a poor statistical season in Triple-A with Oklahoma City, but with the state of Triple-A baseball you have to take every stat with a grain of salt. He began the season dominating in Double-A, but it was his third stint there, so take that with a grain of salt. White throws a fastball that at times is 90-93 and other times sits 94-96. He has average command of the pitch but when its on he peppers the top of the zone with it which sets up his big 12-6 breaking ball. He also throws a cutter. White is a backend starter sharpening of his command or a more consistent changeup can raise the ceiling.
Edward Cabrera – P
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-96.22.2530.48.149.233.313.3.188
Cabrera put it all together in 2019 to the tune of 116 strikeouts to only 31 walks in 96 innings. His fastball is big and loud, and sits in the mid 90s with sink and touches 100 mph. The changeup can come in at 90 and the curve is in the low 80s. Cabrera has vaulted himself on to top 100 lists due to his filthy arsenal, command/control and the ability to miss bats. It’s an ideal frame, lean and projectable as well as athletic. There’s an outside chance Cabrera is the number two starter.
Jazz Chisholm – SS
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 165 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: L/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.220.320.44021164.22032.111.415.9312
An athletic shortstop with flashy offensive and defensive tools, Jazz was acquired in a rare prospect-for-prospect trade that sent Zac Gallen to the Diamondbacks. Offensively he combines plus raw power and above-average speed with a hyper-aggressive approach. His swing is loose with quick wrists and an uppercut bat path which generates easy loft but inflates his swing-and-miss tendencies. He’s above-average defensively with smooth hands and enough range and arm to stay at the six. Keeping him focused and motivated everyday can be a challenge at times, but Jazz has all-star upside.
Lewin Diaz – 1B
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 225 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: L/L
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.270.321.5292701.25918.26.611.2311.5
Diaz got in better shape entering 2019 and added strength. The results showed right away as he busted out with a career high 27 homers in two tough offensive leagues. Diaz is the rare bopper that doesn’t have swing and miss issues which adds to his appeal. Diaz also brings defensive value to the table, and is the Marlins first baseman of the future.
Humberto Mejia – P
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-89.42.1125.66.93748.213.1.176
Mejia is an under-the-radar arm the Marlins signed out of Panama in 2013. The right-hander has an upright delivery with a short, deceptive arm action. He takes a long stride towards the plate and gets good extension, which makes his 90-94 mph fastball play up. His best off speed pitch is a sweeping curveball. He was dominant in the Midwest League this season, with an ERA of 2.02 with over a K per inning before his promotion to High-A. Mejia fills up the zone and projects as a high floor backend starter.
Nick Neidert – P
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 202 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Peachtree Ridge (GA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 60
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-53.34.7319.111.226.453.410.9.267
The Marlins acquired Neidert as part of the return for Dee Gordon. The 6-foot-1 righty throws a sinking fastball in the low-90s and a plus changeup. He also has an average breaking ball that plays up due to sequencing. He relies on getting weak contact and ground balls more than strikeouts. He was the starting pitcher in the Fall Stars Game and is major league ready.
Sixto Sanchez – P
Marlins 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 185 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1142.7622.54.650.33111.3.233
The prize in the J.T. Realmuto trade, Sanchez was a no brainer to get added to the 40-man roster this fall. Despite the small frame, Sanchez sits in the upper 90s with the fastball and can touch as high as 101. He has two plus secondaries in his change and two-plane slider. The command and control are plus, and when Sixto is going right he’s getting more grounders and weak contact than strikeouts. Sanchez could get to Miami in the second half.
J.P. Feyereisen – P
Brewers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 26 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Wisconsin Stevens Point
MLB Draft: Round 16, Overall: 488
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-61.12.538.212.638.647.317.4.171
Originally with the Indians and traded to the Yankees for Andrew Miller, the righty was dealt this offseason from the Yankees to the Brewers for international slot money used to sign phenom Jasson Dominguez. Feyereisen’s strikeout rate popped this year in Triple-A to 38 percent from career norms of 25 percent. He’s been in Triple-A the last three seasons and should make his big league debut in 2020.
Mark Mathias – 2B
Brewers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 93
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.270.356.43411132.16418.810.89.4297.1
With the deadline deal that sent Mauricio Dubon to the Giants, the Brewers 40-man lacked infielders that could play multiple positions and had minor league options remaining. In comes Mark Mathias in a trade with the Cleveland Indians. Mathis is an offensive minded utility option whose best skill is making contact. He’s primarily played second base in the minors but has played third and has also seen limited playing time at short.
Corey Ray – OF
Brewers 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 195 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Louisville
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 5
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.222.297.363863.14136.79.421.5307.9
The former first round pick dealt with a finger injury that wrecked his 2019 season. When healthy in 2018 he had a power explosion, hitting a career high 27 homers for Double-A Biloxi. Ray has severe strikeout issues that have plagued him since entering pro ball. His strikeout rate has hovered around 30 percent the last three seasons. I expect him to begin next season in Triple-A San Antonio and I don’t expect to see Ray in Milwaukee this year without some mechanical adjustments.
Andrés Giménez – SS
Mets 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 161 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: L/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.247.307.37882816.13121.15.111.5282.5
It was an easy call to add GimEEnez to the 40-man. He brings plus defensive skills to the table and will be a shortstop long term. The question marks surround his offensive output, and specifically his power numbers. It’s a very small frame and Gimenez doesn’t have a swing made for driving the ball. He did end his season on a good note with six of his nine homers being hit in the second half and he was the AFL batting champ. Hopefully he can carry that momentum into 2020.
Jordan Humphreys – P
Mets 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 223 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Crystal River (FL) HS
MLB Draft: Round 18, Overall: 539
Current Level: R
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-24.52512.56006.7.286
The 2015 18th rounder missed the second half of 2017 and all of 2018 with Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound at the end of the 2019 season, making two appearances before appearing in the Arizona Fall League. During my view in Arizona, Humphreys delivery was out of sync, but he still put up good results despite not having is traditional plus fastball command. Humphreys likely won’t hit the big leagues until 2021.
Ali Sanchez – C
Mets 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 196 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.262.324.321111.05917.77.79.4268.5
The story with Sanchez is simple. Plus defensive skills behind the plate will lead to a long career even if he doesn’t hit. That last part is especially relevant here because he struggles at the plate. He makes contact but doesn’t drive the ball or run well.
Thomas Szapucki – P
Mets 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 181 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: R/L
School: William T Dwyer (FL) HS
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 149
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-61.22.6527.59.94336.812.2.211
Szapucki popped up early on the prospect radar with big strikeout numbers in the lower minors. Unfortunately injuries have taken their toll, and Tommy John knocked him out for most of 2017 and all of 2018. He returned to the mound in 2019 on strict pitch counts, but the numbers were solid and the stuff has returned by all accounts.
Garrett Cleavinger – P
Phillies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 210 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/L
School: Oregon
MLB Draft: Round 3, Overall: 102
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-51.13.5237.214.847.439.216.4.161
Cleavinger is a left-handed reliever that misses bats. The former Orioles draft pick has a low-to-mid 90s heater and also throws a slower, loopy curveball. His overall command is below average though, and will prohibit him from higher leverage late inning roles.
Mauricio Llovera – P
Phillies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 200 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-65.14.5625.49.944.145.312.7.238
Llovera is a short, compact right-hander with three above-average pitches and average command. His fastball sits 93-95 and can bump up higher. His slider has plus horizontal movement and is an above-average pitch. He also has an above-average splitter. Llovera has been an under the radar pitching prospect and is on the doorstep to the big leagues. He will start 2020 in Triple-A.
JoJo Romero – P
Phillies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 5-11
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Yavapai JC
MLB Draft: Round 4, Overall: 107
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-110.45.8718.59.450.934.710.8.282
The lefty profiles as a future backend starter and predictably struggled some when he hit Triple-A. He has a deep arsenal: a sinker, four-seam fastball, change, cutter and curveball. The fastball sits 90-95 and his changeup has depth and fade making it his best secondary. It’s an athletic delivery and one that he repeats well. Pounds the zone but can become too hittable at times.
Cristopher Sanchez – P
Phillies 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 165 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: L/L
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-74.11.9424.3855.228.914.7.206
The hard throwing lefty was acquired on a 40-man deadline day deal sending Australian infielder Curtis Mead to Tampa. Sanchez brings some velocity to the Phillies 40-man, which they lacked.
Blake Cederlind – P
Pirates 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 190 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Merced JC (CA)
MLB Draft: Round 5, Overall: 165
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-58.42.3121.99.64934.812.3.208
The 2016 fifth rounder out of Merced Junior College in California was an easy add to the 40-man because of his elite arm strength. Cederlind has one of the loudest fastballs in the minors, sitting 98-100 with the fastball and topping out at 101. He supplements it with a slider with good depth and a fringy changeup. It’s a max effort delivery and his command will waver because of it. His slider can be a put a way pitch against right-handed bats. I expect him to get hit against lefties due to his below average change and long arm action that gives lefties a long look at the ball. At present I see him maxing out as a setup man, but a shorter arm action or a breakthrough with the changeup can put him in the late innings.
Will Craig – 1B
Pirates 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 212 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Wake Forest
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 22
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.247.324.4332323.18626.5812.7303.7
Craig was a bit of a surprise addition to the 40-man for the Pirates. He’s a first base only bat that had a below average offensive season in Triple-A, but still has that first round pedigree which likely saved him here. The emergence of Josh Bell as the Pirates new franchise player also adds another layer of fog when trying to see where Craig fits. He would likely get claimed if he wasn’t protected, and is likely moved in a trade soon, but at this point it seems more than likely his future is as a reserve.
Oneil Cruz – 3B/SS
Pirates 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-7
Hits/Throws: L/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.297.354.4698114.17225.7816.8297.2
Cruz is a unicorn, one of the most unique players in all of minor league baseball. At six-foot-seven he’s still playing shortstop. Tall and skinny, listed at 175 pounds, he’s pure projection. As he fills out I expect him to move off of shortstop, with the most likely place being first base. I hope they move him to right field in order to still take advantage of athleticism and top of the scale throwing arm. A move to first almost seems like a waste of his skills. His raw power is top of the scale, but the hit tool is immature and the swing and miss aspect of his game is strong enough to potential limit his offensive game. He’s the rare 40-man addition that’s still two years away from the big leagues.
Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B
Pirates 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 210 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Concordia Lutheran (TX) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 32
Current Level: AAA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.261.333.40710131.14618.797.6293.9
Hayes is essentially the antithesis of Cruz. He hit Triple-A this season and saw disappointing results, but Triple-A Indianapolis is a tough place for right-handed power and a poor fit for Hayes whose biggest concern is the power. Hayes was young for the level and did pop 30 doubles, so I anticipate the home run breakout coming. I’ll make a prediction now actually: Hayes will hit 25 homers next season. Defensively there’s a lot to love here. The arm and glove are plus, and his footwork is fantastic at the hot corner and he adds value with his speed.
Cody Ponce – P
Pirates 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 240 lbs, Height: 6-5
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: Cal Poly Pomona
MLB Draft: Round 2, Overall: 55
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-62.34.1926.67.655.232.812.2.224
Once one of my prospect crushes, Ponce was moved from the Brewers to the Pirates at the trade deadline for Jordan Lyles. The former starter struggled to miss bats in the rotation and was moved to the bullpen full time in 2019. It’s now a fastball, cutter, curveball arsenal which works well in his current role. Ponce had a brief taste of Triple-A last year, and that’s where he will start 2020.
Jorge Oña – OF
Padres 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 22 yr, Weight: 220 lbs, Height: 6-0
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.348.417.528521.18025.210.715.2328.5
Oña is a right-handed corner outfielder with a collection of average or better tools. His power was the biggest tool at the time of his signing, but with only 24 homers since turning pro and a 43 percent ground ball rate there are some issues there. At present his offensive game isn’t strong enough to support his corner only profile, and he will need to turn those groundballs into flyballs and line drives and cut down on his 25 K%.
Elehuris Montero – 3B
Cardinals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: AA
2019AVGOBPSLGHRSBCSISOK%BB%SwStr%Est FB (ft)
-.197.248.321701.12430.5619.4298.5
Montero won the Midwest League MVP award in 2018 but had his 2019 season derailed by injury. The Cardinals aggressively started Montero in the Texas League despite only being 20 years old with 24 games at High-A under his belt. It’s a an above-average hit tool paired with plus raw power, but his over aggressiveness in the box works against him. He doesn’t walk much, but will use all fields with plus power to the pull side. There are some defensive concerns, and some with the body as well. He has a plus arm, but his hands are below average and he lacks the range required to stick at third full time. The issues with the soft body may come from the amount of time he spent on the shelf this year, so I’ll give him a pass there. He did not look great in my AFL looks. He’s a prospect to watch in 2020, and likely starts in Double-A.
Alvaro Seijas – P
Cardinals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-1
Hits/Throws: R/R
Acquired: J2
Current Level: A+
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-134.12.8219.99.446.536.711.1.248
Signed out of Venezuela as part of the Cardinals 2015 international class, Seijas put together the best season of his career splitting time between Peoria and Palm Beach. The small righty throws a 91-95 mph heater and his best secondary offering is a swing and miss slider that he uses primarily against right-handed bats. He will begin 2020 in Double-A.
Jake Woodford – P
Cardinals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 23 yr, Weight: 220 lbs, Height: 6-4
Hits/Throws: R/R
School: H.B. Plant (FL) HS
MLB Draft: Round CBAs, Overall: 39
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-151.24.1720.411.738.146.610.5.220
Woodford was a first round pick by the Cardinals in 2015, and was teammates with Kyle Tucker out of Plant HS. He has had relative success the last two seasons in Triple-A despite not missing bats. He relies on weak contact. The heater sits 92-94 and can touch 95 and his best secondary is his cutter. He also throws a curveball and change. It’s a durable backend starter for me due to the lack of swing and miss stuff. I’d like to see him challenge hitters more with the heater, but hitters know he’s going to try and get them out that way.
Ben Braymer – P
Nationals 40-Man
Bio:
Age: 25 yr, Weight: 215 lbs, Height: 6-2
Hits/Throws: L/L
School: Auburn
MLB Draft: Round 18, Overall: 544
Current Level: AAA
2019IPERAK%BB%GB%FB%SwStr%BAA
-1394.5319.49.433.946.48.5.253
The left-handed Braymer was the lone addition to the 40-man for the Nationals. The lefty sits 90-93 with the fastball and backs it up with a tight curveball and will occasionally mix in a change as well. He’s primarily fastball-curveball though, and projects as a reliever for me, and one that crushes left-handed bats.