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Week 3 Prospect Rundown (4/17 – 4/23)

Week 3 in the books. Here’s what I’m interested in:

Lewis Brinson – 13 for 29, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 1 SB. Another A+ offensive week from Brinson, who is now hitting .370/.400/.652 through 46 AB for the Sky Sox. Brinson is ready to go and could contribute in Milwaukee right now. He should be one of the first players promoted following the Super Two cutoff date.

Anthony Alford – 10 for 21, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 3 SB. Insanely hot start for Alford, who is now hitting .469/.544/.653 with 7 SB on the year. A freak athlete, Alford has always held crazy potential. When Hall of Famer and current Jays roving instructor Tim Raines was asked about Alfords ceiling as a player, he replied with, ““Gold glove. Stolen-base title. MVP. The sky really is the limit.” This may finally be the year that Alford is putting the pieces together.

Amed Rosario – 13 for 28, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 SB. The #3 overall prospect had another good week at the plate and is now up to .364 with 3 SB on the year. Rosario is still waiting on his first HR on the season, and his SLG is below .400, but he continues to be locked in and find his way on base. Rosario got a start at 3B this week, but it was seemingly only for versatility purposes.

Jack Flaherty – 2 starts, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 14 K. 2 scoreless starts for Flaherty this week, giving him just 1 run allowed all season through 4 starts. Flaherty is a big boy and I try to find things not to like about the 2014 Cards first rounder, but I legitimately cannot. He has a 91-94 sinking FB, lots of secondary pitches including a nasty changeup, and his command is great. He’s now got a 0.33 ERA and 24:3 K:BB in his first 27.1 innings at AA.

Tyler Mahle – 2 starts, 14 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 15 K. More importantly than his combined stats from the last week was his start on Saturday, in which he pitched the first perfect game in the Southern League since 1970. Even more impressively than that, he did it in 88 pitches. Only one PG in MLB history had fewer pitches, and it happened in 1908. Mahle’s game score was a 102, which, for reference, was only 3 lower than the highest game score of all time (Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game). Needless to say, Mahle was as dominant as humanly possible. He also threw a no-hitter in Daytona just last season, so this isn’t Mahle’s first rodeo. Mahle now has a 0.68 ERA with 27 Ks in 26.2 IP to start the season.

Luis Urias – 14 for 26, 4 doubles, 2 triples. Back to back 4 hits games on Thursday and Friday, including 3 XBH effort on Friday in which he fell a HR shy of the cycle. Urias has some of the best bat to ball skills in the minor leagues and is a personal favorite of mine. He’s now up to .350 with a 9:7 K:BB on the season.

Kolby Allard – 2 starts, 11 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. The Braves top pitching prospect is off to a great start at Mississippi , as he’s now gone 5+ innings and allowed 2 or fewer runs in all 4 of his starts. The short outings and low K totals are absolutely nothing to worry about, as Allard is still only a 19 year old at AA. Both will come as the year progresses. His low ERA and walk totals early on are good enough to get excited about his bright future.

Francis Martes – 12 BB in 12.1 IP this season. Is that bad?

Rowdy Tellez – 1 for 20, 6 BB, 6 K. Tellez is now hitting .160 on the season. Seems like a good portion of this can be attributed to bad luck, as his BABIP is .171 and Tellez is seeing the ball pretty well (13:9 K:BB). Tellez has a pretty flat bat path and doesn’t seem very conducive to big HR numbers, but Tellez is a big boy and still managed 21 HR last season. Expect Tellez to bounce back soon, although I’m still a Rowdy doubter.

Max Povse – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Acquired by Seattle from ATL in a swap for Alex Jackson. Povse is massive, standing a 6’8” and he has exactly the kind of fastball you’d expect from someone that size. Great start with his new team, as he now has 0.48 ERA and a 18:5 K:BB in the early going. Povse is already 23 years old and spent 70+ innings at AA last season, so a push to AAA may be coming in the next couple weeks should he keep dominating.

Alex Jackson – 11 for 30, 3 HR. Speaking of Alex Jackson, he continued to mash and is now up to 6 HR on the year with a K% ever so slightly below his career average. The Braves are currently trying him out at catcher again, but the 12 stolen bases allowed on 14 attempts, 3 errors and 1 passed ball in 7 games tells me he won’t be behind the plate for long. Luckily for them, the change of scenery seemed to have the former top 10 pick a little spark offensively and he could slide back into a corner OF spot just fine with the bat he’s been swinging.

Yadier Alvarez – 6 IP, 13 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Not exactly what you’d hope for Alvarez’ first two starts out of extended ST. Still, Yadi is raw, has an easy 100+ FB and a devastating slider that leaves his ceiling astronomically high. Wait for him to get settled in and he’ll start mowing people down again.

Bradley Zimmer – 4 for 23, 10 K. A not-so-great week for Zimmer, to say the least. The power and speed have been very apparent early on (3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 5 SB), but the OBP is sitting under .300 and K% just under 30% (which admittedly isn’t wildly different than his career numbers average).

Triston McKenzie – 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Another strong start for McKenzie. His fastball, however, dropped pretty significantly in the later innings after sitting 92-94 T95 earlier in the game. As with Allard, I don’t think this is that big of a concern with McKenzie, who is also just a teenager. Just something to keep an eye on.

Andrew Stevenson – 11 for 26, 3 doubles. The Nationals outfielder had back to back 5 hit games on Monday and Tuesday and is now up to .361 on the year. Stevenson is a career .350 OBP hitter in the minors but will never be able to tap into any HR power without a drastic change to his current swing path. I would expect Stevenson to be a talked about quite a lot at the trade deadline should the Nationals need to make a move.

Shaun Anderson – 2 starts, 11 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 10 K. Two more great starts for Anderson, who was a bullpen piece for the Florida Gators last season, but primarily because their rotation was incredibly stacked (Puk, Dunning, Faedo, Shore). The Red Sox drafted Anderson and his large arsenal of pitches in the 3rd round and decided to convert him back into a starter. So far so good, as Anderson now has a 0.83 ERA and 23:7 K:BB in 21.2 IP in Greenville this season.

Michael Chavis – 10 for 21, 5 HR, 3 doubles. One week off the DL and the Red Sox 2014 1st rounder is already making serious noise. All of Chavis’ HR were pulled to roughly the same exact area down the LF line, so he should expect for pitchers to begin throwing more outside very soon. Teammate Josh Ockimey also had a good week hitting, including a 2 HR game on Friday and is now hitting .356 on the season.

Jon Duplantier – 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Note the 0 hits, if you hadn’t already. The Diamondbacks #8 prospect has now started 2017 with 15.1 scoreless innings and 20 strikeouts. He’s got 3 good/great pitches, including a 92-95 sinking fastball and a power curveball that flashes plus. Durability is a MASSIVE concern with Duplantier, however, as he missed all of 2015 with a shoulder injury and was shut down with elbow soreness after being drafted in 2016 after one measly inning. Duplantier could have been a first round pick had he not gotten hurt in 2015, so the potential to become a big league starter is definitely there; he just needs to stay healthy. Did I mention he pitched for Rice?

Ryan O’Hearn – 11 for 26, 2 doubles, 3 HR. The Royals #8 prospect now has 5 HR to go along with his .317 on the year. He’s only drawn 4 walks so far, but he his walk rate has stayed above 10% very consistently over the course of his career. Eric Hosmer’s contract is up at the end of this season, and so far, Hosmer has not hit very well. If O’Hearn can get his footwork together defensively at first, and it doesn’t make sense to resign Hosmer come seasons end, you could be looking at the Royals starter at first base in 2018.

Ryan McMahon – 11 for 25, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 1 SB, 4 BB, 3 K. There was literally nothing McMahon didn’t do this week at the plate. He has always had sneaky power/speed in the minors and he now has 11 XBH, a .391 average, and 2 SB on the season. McMahon plays primarily 1B/3B, but has gotten 4 starts at 2B this season, which seems extremely start given their current situation at 3B.

Brett Phillips – 8 for 22, 1 double, 3 HR. Brett, is that you? After a 2016 campaign in which he hit just .229, Phillips is showing signs of life early on. He has yet to steal a base, which is a little concerning, seeing as he stole 6 in the AFL. His K% is up also, so Phillips remains only a name to watch, not someone you should be shooting up prospect rankings because of the early power surge.

Dylan Cease – 6IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Another outing with no hits allowed. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t buy into the Cease hype at the beginning of the year, but now I’m starting to come to my senses. Oh my heavens that curveball is nice.  I’m still concerned with the walk rate (8 in 15 IP), but it’s extremely early and there’s plenty of time to improve. The ceiling is crazy high for Cease.

Mario Feliciano – 11 for 27, 2 doubles, 1 SB. Sleeper alert. I think there is sneaky high upside here with Feliciano. Drafted out of high school, Feliciano had two things going for him: his cannon of an arm and his power from the right side. Biggest knocks were the ability to make contact and fielding. So far, the contact/power has been there for him, hitting .353 with 7:5 K:BB while maintaining a .176 ISO. The fielding is still very rough, including his ability to throw guys out. He has a 55 grade arm, but he’s allowed 10 of 13 SB (pops up and releases very slowly, but coaching may be able to fix that). The Brewers #23 prospect is still 18 and has lots of time to develop behind the dish.

Adonis Medina – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. Great start from the Phillies #16 prospect on Friday.

Merandy Gonzalez – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. The Mets #14 prospect now has 20.2 scoreless innings with a 18:1 K:BB to begin the year.

Graduation Notes:

Aaron Judge is no longer a prospect after his 130th AB. Braves’ Max Fried replaces him on MLB’s Top 100 list at #100. Fried is off to a rough start at AA, where he has a 7.59 ERA and has walked more batters than he’s struck out. His fastball has been sitting 93-94 like it was at the end of last season, however, which is a great sign. Fried also has a 60 grade curve.

Dan Vogelbach – Promoted on Sunday after a .309/.402/.473 start to the year at AAA and went 1-4 with an RBI. Leonys Martin was DFA.

Injury Notes:

Daulton Jeffries – Athletics #8 prospect will undergo Tommy John Surgery. Jeffries is out for the season.

Gleyber Torres – Placed on the 7-day minor league DL Tuesday with mild right rotator cuff tendinitis. Torres was just 4 for his last 24 before the injury.

Victor Robles – Placed on the 7-day DL with hamstring tightness, retroactive to April 19. It’s the second time Robles has been sidelined with hammy tightness already this season.

Matt Chapman – Activated from the DL. Went 1-3 with a SB in his return.

 

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Photo: Norm Hall/Getty Images

Connor Kurcon
Boston, MA. Lifelong Sox fan. Twitter: @ckurcon
http://mlbmayhem.com

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