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Top 36 Prospects: Boston Red Sox

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Boston Red Sox. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

Editor’s Note: Jonathan Arauz was added to this list following his selection by Boston in the Rule 5 Draft.

Jeter Downs and Connor Wong were added to this list after they were traded from the Dodgers to the Red Sox as part of the Mookie Betts deal.

Brusdar Graterol was removed from this list following the restructuring of the Betts trade that would have sent him to Boston from the Twins. He will appear on the forthcoming Dodgers list.

Jhonny Pereda was added to the Others of Note section after he was acquired as the Player To Be Named Later in the Travis Lakins deal.

Red Sox Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Jeter Downs 21.5 AA 2B 2022 50
2 Triston Casas 20.1 A+ 1B 2023 50
3 Bryan Mata 20.8 AA RHP 2021 45+
4 Bobby Dalbec 24.6 AAA 3B 2020 45
5 Noah Song 22.7 A- RHP 2021 45
6 Gilberto Jimenez 19.6 A- CF 2022 45
7 Matthew Lugo 18.8 A- SS 2024 40+
8 Cameron Cannon 22.3 A- 3B 2023 40
9 Tanner Houck 23.6 AAA RHP 2020 40
10 Jarren Duran 23.4 AA CF 2022 40
11 Thad Ward 23.1 A+ RHP 2022 40
12 Brayan Bello 20.7 A RHP 2022 40
13 Chih-Jung Liu 20.8 R RHP 2023 40
14 Nick Decker 20.4 A- RF 2023 40
15 Jay Groome 21.5 A LHP 2021 40
16 Connor Wong 23.7 AA C 2021 40
17 Antoni Flores 19.3 A- SS 2023 40
18 Brainer Bonaci 17.6 R SS 2024 40
19 Bryan Gonzalez 18.4 R RF 2024 40
20 Brandon Howlett 20.4 A 3B 2023 40
21 C.J. Chatham 25.1 AAA SS 2020 40
22 Jonathan Arauz 21.5 AA 2B 2020 40
23 Chris Murphy 21.7 A- LHP 2023 35+
24 Eduardo Lopez 17.8 R CF 2024 35+
25 Marcus Wilson 23.5 AA CF 2021 35+
26 Juan Chacon 17.2 R CF 2024 35+
27 Andrew Politi 23.7 A+ RHP 2022 35+
28 Durbin Feltman 22.8 AA RHP 2020 35+
29 Ryan Zeferjahn 21.9 A- RHP 2022 35+
30 Naysbel Marcano 17.7 R C 2024 35+
31 Aldo Ramirez 18.8 AAA RHP 2023 35+
32 Albert Feliz 17.8 R LF 2024 35+
33 Jorge Rodriguez 19.5 A- LHP 2023 35+
34 Yoan Aybar 22.6 A+ LHP 2021 35+
35 Eduardo Vaughan 18.1 R RF 2024 35+
36 Luis Perales 16.8 R RHP 2025 35+
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50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Monsignor Pace HS (FL) (CIN)
Age 21.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 50/50 40/50 45/40 40/45 50/50

Downs has been a polished, advanced hitter for his age dating way back to high school. He’s not a shortstop for me and, in my opinion, his thicker lower half means his likely future home is as a shift-aided second baseman at maturity. He’s short back to the ball with some pop, his swing is bottom-hand heavy, which leaves him somewhat vulnerable to velo in on his hands, but he’s selective enough to swing at pitches he can damage. Despite the patience and bat control, I think he ends up with closer to average contact ability but fully actualized power production, a well-rounded offensive package that cleanly profiles at second base. His average exit velo was 88 mph last year, and there’s not a lot of room on the body, so that might be all.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from American Heritage HS (FL) (BOS)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 238 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 65/70 35/60 30/20 45/55 60/60

Casas was one of the more heavily scouted underclassman high school prospects in recent memory, and stood out while hitting in the heart of the lineup for South Florida-powerhouse American Heritage, various Team USA squads, and at travel showcases and tournaments. Some of that success was probably because he was one of the oldest prospects in the 2019 graduating class, which prompted him to accelerate his schooling in 2017 and reclassify for the 2018 draft. Moving up a year made him age-appropriate for a high schooler in their draft year; at 18.4, he was basically average for a prep player. With that early-career acclaim came a change in the way opposing pitchers approached Casas. They began to pitch around him, and scouts often left his games having seen him swing just once or twice because he walked constantly. Luckily Casas had a long track record of hitting in games, had participated in multiple home run derbies during his amateur summers, and posted gaudy exit velocities during team pre-draft workouts, so clubs knew what his offensive potential was.

He has good hands and a plus arm that helped him pitch into the low-90’s on the mound, but is a well-below average runner with poor lateral mobility. He played third base after signing, though mostly during instructs, as Casas injured his thumb sliding for a ground ball in June, needed surgery, and barely played during the summer. But expectations are that he’ll move across the diamond to first base in 2019 or 2020, where we think he’ll be quite good. Casas’ calling card is his bat and there’s potential for a 60 hit, 70 game power, 80 raw power kind of package. The margin for error for teenage, first base-only types is very small, but we’re also very high on Casas’ bat.

45+ FV Prospects

3. Bryan Mata, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/55 50/55 40/50 93-96 / 98

It’s fairly important to view Mata’s performance through an age-appropriate lens. The Red Sox hit the accelerator on his development early (a common occurrence in this system) and sent Mata right to full season ball in 2017 when he was just 18-years old. That gives context to Mata’s 2018 struggles; he couldn’t throw strikes (he had a 17% walk rate), his stuff was up and down throughout the year, and he dealt with a back injury. Several of those things improved in 2019. More purposeful deployment of a robust, four-pitch mix dropped Mata’s walk rate to an acceptable 9%, and his stuff was more consistent even though he missed a month with a shoulder strain. And that stuff? A sinker up to 99 (it won’t miss bats, but it’s tough to square up), a two-plane breaking ball that he’ll throw for strike one or as a putaway pitch, a changeup with movement that mirrors the sinker, and a cutter/slider that Mata is still in the early stages of harnessing.

Because the fastball is more of a sinker, secondary execution and command will be necessary for him to miss as many bats as possible, and there are forces opposing one another when it comes to projecting his command. On the one hand, he’s only 20 and has huge stuff. On the other, he’s at best a fringe athlete, and has a relieverish delivery. This could break in a number of different ways, but unless Mata keeps getting hurt or his control totally unravels like it did two seasons ago, he’s going to be a core part of a big league staff. For now, we expect that to be in a 120ish inning capacity.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 4th Round, 2016 from Arizona (BOS)
Age 24.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/35 70/70 50/55 40/40 50/55 70/70

If we agree that strikeout rates in excess of 33% are a hinderance sufficient to at least limit playing time, if not a roster spot altogether, looking back at how big leaguers hit in the minors can help us sift through current prospects. Here is the list of qualified 2019 big league hitters with the highest strikeout rates in the majors (all between 27% and 32%), along with their strikeout rates at Double-A: Rougie Odor (16%), Domingo Santana (29%), Ryan McMahon (27%), Eugenio Suarez (20%), Franmil Reyes (23%), Luke Voit (15%), Javy Baez (28%), Yoan Moncada (30%), Jackie Bradley (18%), Khris Davis (19%). Most of these players saw a dramatic increase in strikeouts once they got to the big leagues. Those with sky-high Double-A strikeout rates who have gone on to become star big leaguers are all physical freaks, super-human talents; you can include Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo, who were hurt in 2019 and did not qualify for the list, among them.

Dalbec, whose struggles with whiffs date back to his days in college, struck out 28% of the time at Double-A. That is a strong indication he will probably strike out a ton, probably too much to be an everyday player. But he does have thunderous, all-fields power and he’s athletic enough to handle third base despite his considerable size. He’s also shown improved patience at the plate. We think all of this will combine to create a viable role player or low-end regular at third base, but we acknowledge there’s risk that the hit tool bottoms out.

5. Noah Song, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Navy (BOS)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/55 50/55 40/45 40/50 93-95 / 99

It’s fairly common for a prospect’s trade value to be affected by something circumstantial, but Song’s situation is unique. He was clearly a first round talent ahead of last year’s draft, but it was unclear where he’d be picked because of his military commitment. Currently, service academy policy states Song must complete two years of Naval service. The Trump administration repealed an Obama-era rule that allowed athletes to petition for an exemption in order to pursue pro sports or some other activity that might bolster recruitment or the image of the military in general. Whether this rule is reinstated via executive action will have a significant impact on Song’s future. He’ll either enter pro ball full-time soon, and perhaps move quickly thanks to the quality of his stuff, or he’ll be away from baseball for two years and return when he’s nearly 25.

Song works fast and throws hard. He was up to 99 during Team USA’s Premier12 scrimmages in Arizona, his slider is plus, and he will mix in the occasional knee-buckling rainbow curveball. He at least profiles in a high-leverage relief role given the current composition of his stuff and control, and perhaps more than that if he’s put into the development pipeline quickly. If not, we can’t anticipate what’ll happen to his stuff because of the layoff. It’s tough to wrangle just how that impacts Song’s standing as a prospect even if it doesn’t impact his talent as currently constituted.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/45 20/30 80/80 50/60 60/60

Jimenez is a unique prospect, and the one we had the most trouble nailing down throughout this process. He is a true 80 runner and has a running back build at a physical 5-foot-11, but has little power to his game due to a very simple, opposite-field, slap-oriented approach, especially from the left side. While both swings are concerning for several reasons (bat path, balance, varied lower half use), there is unmistakable feel for contact and impressive hand-eye coordination. Due to the approach and swing, Jimenez’s exit velos are low enough to be in a sort of danger zone, and he’s not physically projectable. Any hope for impact contact has to come from projection on the swing itself, and Jimenez shows more pop in BP and he hasn’t been switch-hitting for very long, so it’s possible.

We don’t want to overthink this one, and even though the swing needs polish, this is a plus-plus athlete with what the org thinks is plus-plus makeup, elite speed, and impact defense and arm strength. On top of all this, Jimenez led the college-heavy New York-Penn League in hitting as a 19 year-old primarily hitting left-handed, something he started doing just two years ago in instructional league. He’s also the type of player who we don’t mind projecting on a bit as a premium athlete with premium makeup and adjustability, since he’s more likely to handle failure and change in pro ball better than most.

40+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Beltran Academy HS (PR) (BOS)
Age 18.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/50 20/45 55/55 45/50 55/55

Teams were divided on Lugo before the draft, perhaps because he had a slow start to his spring and was a little tougher to see than the typical prospect in the Southeast — scouts had to fly to Puerto Rico the day before and could only get in one game a day while they were there, whereas they could easily have seen five to six quality games if they hung around major metro areas for the same period. As such, if higher ups got a bad look at Lugo early, they likely didn’t go back in. That seems to be what happened here, and explains why Lugo fell past where we anticipated given his skillset and physical projection.

Lugo isn’t especially toolsy, but we think he’s likely to stick at short and develop something close to average offensive tools, which gives him a shot to be an everyday player.

40 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Arizona (BOS)
Age 22.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 196 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 50/50 30/45 45/40 45/50 50/50

Cannon’s amateur stock was founded on two years of elite statistical performance, including a .390/.480/.640 line as a junior and more walks than strikeouts during the course of his career. He has a surprising amount of power, both for a hitter who played half his games at cavernous Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, and one who has such a conservative-looking swing that lacks explosive involvement of the lower half.

Cannon can’t play shortstop, but has a shot to play second or third (some scouts have him in left field). A move will make it more important for the power to play in pro ball, which may require a relatively simple swing change. That didn’t happen immediately after Cannon signed, but it doesn’t have to unless poor performance makes it necessary.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Missouri (BOS)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/60 45/50 55/60 40/45 91-94 / 96

Houck became famous pretty early in his college career because he was the ace of Team USA as an underclassman, slinging in a sinkering 96 and a plus slider. Scouts who weren’t as enthusiastic about his changeup, or arm slot, or the length of his arm action, or the way his stuff would flatten out and his command would back up later in starts thought he was surely a reliever. The Red Sox had Houck change his delivery and arm action for the first half-dozen or so starts in 2018, focusing on a more traditional four-seam fastball approach. It didn’t work, and Boston let him go back to what he had been doing later in the year; his dominant final two months of 2018 reflect his comfort with this approach.

We think Houck’s likely outcome is as a multi-inning power reliever who dominates righties with strikeouts and groundballs, though some see a starter in the mold of Justin Masterson. He can sink it, cut it, his slider is death to righties, and he’ll bully lefties with the fastball enough to get by, just not if they get multiple looks at him.

Drafted: 7th Round, 2018 from Long Beach State (BOS)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 45/45 30/40 70/70 35/45 40/40

The trajectory of Duran’s rise is unique. During collegiate scrimmages in the fall of 2017, scouts saw a big, athletic second baseman who was just okay defensively, had an all-fields line drive approach without much pop, and plus to plus-plus speed. Duran had a fine junior spring, but hit for almost no power (which perhaps should be expected in a pitcher-friendly home park like Blair Field in Long Beach), and slipped to the seventh round as a nearly-22-year-old with a modest statistical track record.

After signing, the Red Sox had Duran change his swing a bit in BP to see if they could tap into something more, and he started raking at Low-A. Duran had 13 extra base hits in 253 PA in 2018 for Long Beach State; across two pro levels, he had 28 extra base hits in 302 PA, including 11 triples. Once we got a look at Duran up against elite peers at the Futures Game, and for an extended stretch of the Fall League, it became clear he has poor outfield instincts and likely won’t have the in-game pop he showed early in the year. He can fly and he has relevant contact skills, but no clear position and not enough power to overcome that. His outfield defense has to improve, and even then he’s likely a fourth outfielder or low-end regular.

11. Thad Ward, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from UCF (BOS)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/55 45/45 40/45 50/55 40/50 90-94 / 96

A heavily-used college reliever, Ward was moved to the rotation in pro ball, added a cutter, and raced to Hi-A in his first full season. He may still end up as a reliever, but his athleticism and repertoire depth make it likely to be in a multi-inning role if he can’t be a fourth or fifth starter.

12. Brayan Bello, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 20.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 50/50 50/55 40/50 92-95 / 98

It’s pronounced “bey-o” like mayo, not “bell-o” like jello, so we can’t require that you read this blurb with Tracy Morgan’s voice in your head. Bello spent 2018 as a 19-year-old in the DSL, then was skipped over two levels and sent right to full-season ball last year. He ended up throwing nearly twice as many innings as he had the year before, but rather than show fatigue toward the end of the season, Bello actually had his better starts during the second half of the summer. During those he’s bump 98, miss both right- and left-handed bats with his changeup, and flash an occasionally nasty slider.

The movement profile on Bello’s fastball is mediocre, but he’s a loose, semi-projectable 20-year-old so more velo might be coming to offset the lack of action. Realistically, this is a backend starter, but there’s more variance because of the chance of a velo uptick.

13. Chih-Jung Liu, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Taiwan (BOS)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 40/45 45/55 40/50 93-96 / 98

Liu was one of the surprise prospects to emerge from this year’s J2 class, receiving the Red Sox’s second-highest bonus of this year’s crop ($750,000) after the team saw a handful of shorter relief outings before this fall’s Premier12 tournament. He signed as a 20-year-old out of college in Taiwan; most top Taiwanese talents sign at age 18 out of high school. The Red Sox were on Liu at that age as an infielder, but he took a step forward as a reliever recently, hitting anywhere from 98 to 101 mph depending on whose radar gun you were looking at.

Liu is small but very athletic. His slider is above average to plus pretty consistently, while his splitter flashes similarly. He also mixed in a curveball as a fourth pitch. Already 20, and with almost zero track record on the mound other than a handful of innings, Liu is obviously risky but might also just be scratching the surface of something. Boston felt better about his makeup than many teams could have due to their history with him as an infielder, and because they had first-hand locker room dope from Premier12 teammate, and Red Sox infielder, Tzu-Wei Lin. Liu will likely see action in extended spring training and Low-A in 2020.

14. Nick Decker, RF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Seneca HS (NJ) (BOS)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 55/60 35/55 50/45 40/50 55/55

It was somewhat important for Decker to come out of the gate fast as a pro because of industry concern over the leap Northeast high school hitters need to make, and Decker was old for his high school class. A wrist injury meant he sat for most of his first pro summer when he would have first been able to get his feet wet against pro pitching, and the leap to the Penn League the next summer proved to be too much; he struck out 30% of the time for Lowell. We’re still on the power, lift in the swing, size, speed underway, and physicality, but Decker needs to hit because he’s a corner-only guy, and he hasn’t done that yet.

15. Jay Groome, LHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Barnegat HS (NJ) (BOS)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 55/65 45/55 40/50 92-94 / 95

As early as his freshman year of high school, Groome was pegged by those who scouted him as a potential high first-round pick. He was graceful, projectable, and already had average big league stuff almost two years before he was even eligible to be drafted. That stuff just kept improving, peaking the summer before his draft year when Groome would work 92-96 mph in short stints with an easy, plus curveball while folding in an average to above changeup, doing so with a big, athletic frame and starter’s delivery, all of which led to him being mentioned as a possible No. 1 overall pick. But a myriad of concerns unrelated to Groome’s talent dogged him more than most prep prospects, most of them stemming from an unstable living situation that involved drugs and guns, for which his father was later arrested. That, combined with a quickly thickening frame and issues with his commitment to Vanderbilt, contributed to his fall out of the top 10 picks of the 2016 draft.

Since signing, Groome hasn’t been on the mound much, making just 20 total pro starts due to a back injury and, eventually, Tommy John surgery. He came back from TJ late last August and got four innings of work before instructional league, where he got another eight to 10 frames, working 93-95 two innings at a time. Groome is Rule 5 eligible next winter and he’s never thrown more than 55 innings in any of his four pro seasons. Those two things create some pressure and make it likely that the Red Sox either really need to push him next year, creating more risk that he’ll get hurt yet again, or that he’ll just be bullpen’d to give him a better shot at contributing in 2021. Does he arguably have more upside than all but a handful of others in this org? Sure, but circumstances impacting his development make it highly unlikely he gets there.

16. Connor Wong, C
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Houston (LAD)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 50/50 40/45 50/50 45/50 50/50

An athletic, multi-positional player who spent his early college career at shortstop, Wong now sees time behind the plate, as he did throughout most of college, and at second and third base. Like most of the hitters who grew up in the Dodgers org, he hits the ball in the air a lot and strikes out at a concerning rate. That, along with a few defensive flaws that may still be corrected with time, especially as he learns to handle upper-level stuff in the dirt, probably limits Wong to a unique kind of utility role or a backup catcher and infielder role similar to Austin Barnes‘, which is a bit better than just a flat 40 FV prospect.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 19.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 45/55 20/50 50/45 45/55 60/60

Flores was the star of last fall’s instructional league in Florida and looked like a potential everyday player in the Willy Adames mold. He skipped the GCL last year and flopped in the Penn League, his body backed up a little bit, and he generally looked less explosive and twitchy. We shaded his FV down a half grade, and consider it more of a developmental bump than the start of a trend right now.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 17.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 140 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 45/50 20/40 55/50 40/50 70/70

Bonaci is the big emerging sleeper on this year’s list. He signed for $290,000 in the 2018 J2 class but has taken a significant step forward since then; team asked the Red Sox for him at the 2019 deadline, as many are covering the DSL with pro scouts now. Bonaci isn’t huge at 5-foot-10 but has some raw power from both sides, including surprisingly high in-game exit velos. He figures to stick at shortstop because of premium arm strength and suitable lateral range. Boston didn’t do traditional instructs during the fall, so Bonaci has still largely only been seen by scouts in the DR, making him a high-priority extended spring training evaluation in 2020.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 50/60 25/55 40/30 35/45 45/45

This is a traditional right field profile, with big power, and a big frame. But Gonzalez also has advanced acumen as a hitter, more than the rest of the deep DSL/GCL group, so he’s currently at the head of that class. He has a long-term shot to be a regular.

Drafted: 21th Round, 2018 from George Jenkins HS (FL) (BOS)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 55/60 35/50 40/40 40/50 50/50

Howlett was a known prospect in Florida for years and was on a trajectory to go in the top five rounds after a strong start to his spring, but he finished poorly, including a brutal NHSI tournament where all 30 teams had multiple scouts on hand. He swung and missed a ton in front of dozens of high level evaluators, when many had pegged him as the sleeper prospect to break out at the event. The Red Sox found out after signing him that he had an issue with his contacts, giving him particular trouble in day games (which all of the games at NHSI were), and got him squared away before his pro career began.

Howlett hit six homers in 43 pro games with a manageable strikeout rate that surprised many amateur scouts who had discounted his hitting ability earlier that year. The bird’s eye view of Howlett is that he’s a stiff righty bat with power, but he’s short to the ball and has a little better feel to hit than most strength-driven mashers.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Florida Atlantic (BOS)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 45/45 30/40 50/50 50/55 60/60

Chatham’s rather lengthy injury history becomes less problematic when you accept that his likely future role is of a part-time, bench variety. He’s a bunch of 45s on offense, he plays a fine shortstop, and last season he started seeing more time at other positions, mostly second base. He played some left field and third base out of necessity in the fall because some of his teammates went home early. He has an outside shot to be Boston’s starting second baseman next year, but we have him projected as a utility man long-term.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Panama (PHI)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 40/45 20/30 45/45 50/55 55/55

This is the only draft-and-stash guy selected in this year’s Rule 5. If Arauz sticks on Boston’s roster it’ll be because he plays a capable middle infield utility role during his first year with the org. The profile for such a role would seem to be here. Arauz’s arm, hands, and actions are all good enough for shortstop, he’s a switch-hitter with good feel for contact, he just lacks typical big league strength and physicality right now. If the bat isn’t getting knocked out of his hands in big league spring training, maybe he’ll stick, but to me the probability is low here.

35+ FV Prospects

23. Chris Murphy, LHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from San Diego (BOS)
Age 21.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 45/50 50/55 35/40 89-93 / 95

Murphy is a lefty with a changeup up to 96, which might be enough to get him to the big leagues in some capacity. San Diego’s track record of developing pitching isn’t great (a lot of high profile high schoolers have gone there and gotten worse lately), so maybe pro development will unlock something more than the relief projection we currently have on him.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 17.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/50 20/40 50/55 45/60 50/55

Lopez was Boston’s top 2018 July 2 signee. He’s well-rounded — he lacks a plus tool at the moment — but has the frame to grow into a couple, and the hit tool might get there as well. Right now, his chief skills are his baserunning, defensive instincts, and feel for the strike zone. This is a high probability teenager, if there is such a thing; Lopez’s ceiling will be dictated by how much he hits.

25. Marcus Wilson, CF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2014 from Junipero Serra HS (CA) (ARI)
Age 23.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/55 40/45 60/60 45/50 50/50

Wilson has some carrying tools. He has grown into power, his swing creates natural lift, which enables it to play in games, and he has plus straightline speed. His feel for contact is very limited, so he exists in that Keon Broxton zone, where clear big league tools often get squeezed off rosters by someone with similar skills who hits left-handed, or boasts some other marginal improvement.

26. Juan Chacon, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 17.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 40/50 20/50 60/55 45/55 50/55

Chacon signed for $900,000 as the top bonus in Boston’s J2 class this summer. He’s a plus runner and center fielder for now, but there’s some expectation that he’ll slide over to right field as he fills out, as his arm is soildly average and may get a bit better. Chacon is a hit-first prospect at this point but there’s projection and some present raw power, so he should be able to profile as an everyday type if he continues developing.

27. Andrew Politi, RHP
Drafted: 15th Round, 2018 from Seton Hall (BOS)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 191 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 45/50 40/45 92-95 / 96

A Day Three pick in 2018, Politi pitched well enough out of the bullpen last year that the Sox stretched him out late in the season and gave him a handful of starts. During that stretch he struck out 61 in 47 innings. Politi is deceptive, his fastball has ride at the top of the zone, and he commands his slider and will flash an occasionally good changeup. It’s an interesting package with the arrow pointing up.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from TCU (BOS)
Age 22.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 40/45 35/40 92-95 / 96

We tabbed Feltman as the player Most Likely to Be First to the Majors from the 2018 draft class. He spent his entire first full pro season at Double-A missing bats but also missing locations — a lot — and his velocity was down a little bit. The fastball still has bat-missing traits, but unless there’s a rebound, Feltman is more likely to be a middle reliever than a late-inning arm.

29. Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Kansas (BOS)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 216 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/60 40/50 35/45 94-96 / 97

Zeferjahn emerged as a Kansas power prep righty in a class with Riley Pint and Joey Wentz, but wasn’t consistent enough in the spring to have his price met. He was mostly the same at Kansas and went in the third round last summer as a power arm with a standout fastball and above average breaker. His delivery and command are still a work in progress, and one Red Sox source called him a ball of clay, with seventh or eighth inning reliever the most likely outcome.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 17.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 45/50 20/40 20/20 45/55 60/60

Thick but athletic, as long as Marcano keeps his body in check he should remain agile enough to catch and perhaps be quite good back there. Offensively, his present skills indicate future viability, but not impact. He’s on the long-term radar.

31. Aldo Ramirez, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Mexico (BOS)
Age 18.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 45/50 45/55 40/50 90-95 / 96

For a long time this system has been lousy with undersized, relatively unprojectable pitchability types, and Ramirez is the strike-thrower du jour. He had a very successful 13-start stretch in the New York-Penn League — 61 innings, 63 punch outs, 16 walks — working off of three pitches. He has a vertical arm slot and hand position that create backspin that will let his fastball play atop the strike zone, though he doesn’t work up there as often as he could. His slider is average but has effective, vertical movement, and he has fairly advanced arm-side changeup feel.

An average athlete with a smaller frame, there’s no overt physical projection that allows us to get excited about Ramirez growing into a monster fastball, so instead we think he’s a developmental fifth starter.

32. Albert Feliz, LF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 17.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 70/80 25/60 30/30 40/45 40/40

Had Feliz been born in the States, he’d probably be playing left tackle on Friday nights. Still relatively crude as a hitter (and we’re always skeptical of physically mature hitters performing in the DSL), Feliz is a leviathan with plus-plus raw power. He’ll likely be limited to left field or first base, especially if he somehow gets bigger, which, combined with relatively raw pitch recognition, makes him a prospect of extreme risk. Ordinarily at this stage, this is just a 35 FV guy for us, but this dude’s size and power at his age is rare, in the Luken Baker/Josh Naylor area.

33. Jorge Rodriguez, LHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Mexico (BOS)
Age 19.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/50 45/50 45/55 40/55 89-91 / 93

Rodriguez carved up the GCL — 58 strikeouts, 9 walks, 47 innings — by virtue of both advanced stuff (he already has a quality changeup and curveball) and pitchability. He is sleight of build and doesn’t throw very hard, so there’s not big fastball projection here, but Rodriguez does spin his heater much more than is usual for someone who only throws in the low-90s, so it might be an impact pitch even if he only ends up with average velo. He’s a candidate to begin 2020 in full season ball based on how Boston handles polished teenage arms.

34. Yoan Aybar, LHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 30/40 93-96 / 98

After four fruitless pro seasons as an outfielder, Aybar moved to the mound in 2018. At times, he is dominant — one source spoke of seeing him strike out four of the six hitters he faced in an outing while breaking the bats of the other two — but he’s not consistent enough to be relied on in a big league bullpen right now. The Red Sox put him on the 40-man, so how he develops during the early part of next year is important. The body, athleticism, arm strength (94-97, up to 100), and fledgling feel for spin are exciting.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Panama (BOS)
Age 18.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

This is a pure athletic/frame projection prospect who has a well-rounded game, including some current feel to hit. Vaughn runs well enough to play center field for now, though his frame is such that we anticipate an eventual move to right.

36. Luis Perales, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (BOS)
Age 16.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 168 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Since signing in July, Perales has added 10 pounds of muscle and several ticks to his fastball. He’s now up to 95 and has nascent curveball feel, enough that his early developmental focus is on finding a changeup grip. Perales’ frame lacks overt projection, so the upside is perhaps limited by that, but a bunch of velo has already come on.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Certain Depth
Oddanier Mosqueda, LHP
Mike Shawaryn, RHP
Bobby Poyner, LHP
Denyi Reyes, RHP
Jhonathan Diaz, LHP
Roniel Raudes, RHP

Every team needs a ton of pitching depth to get through a season, and these guys all profile as either up and down spot starter types or bullpen pieces who have some holes. Eric really likes how Mosqueda’s stuff works (the fastball has big life) but he doesn’t repeat his delivery. Shawaryn and Poyner are older relievers who’ll both get righties out, Shawaryn because of his slot and slider, Poyner because of the changeup. Reyes, Diaz, and Raudes are all emergency starter types.

Chad De La Guerra, 2B
Nick Northcut, 3B
Danny Diaz, 1B
Marino Campana, RF
Tyler Esplin, RF
Joan Martinez, RHP
Alex Scherff, RHP

These are guys with big raw power who we’re not currently optimistic will hit enough to clear the offensive bar at their likely eventual positions. They need to stay on the radar because of the power, though, just in case. Martinez and Scherff are the pitcher versions of this. They have premium arm strength — Martinez is 94-97 touching 99, Scherff is 92-96 with a good changeup — but relief-only projections, and their fastballs don’t play like you’d expect given the velo.

Young Sleepers
Ceddanne Rafaela, SS
Darel Belen, RF
Ricardo Cubillan, SS
Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP
Kelvin Diaz, CF
Jhostynxon Garcia, RF

Any of the guys in this group could have justifiably been included in the main portion of the list. Rafaela has contact skills and can play all over the field. He’s 17, but is only 5-foot-8 and has very little room on the frame. Belen is the opposite. He’s a broad-shouldered power projection bat at 6-foot-4, with average raw, and a plus arm, another right field look. Cubillan was hurt for much of 2019. He’s 21 and plays a good short and has contact skills, but very little power. He might be where Chatham is on the list next year. Gonzalez is 6-foot-3 and has already touched 95 at age 17. Diaz was a shortstop but moved to center field; he’s another wiry frame to keep an eye on in case he grows into impact power. Garcia has similar tools but a slighter build.

Backspin Fastballs
Brock Bell, RHP
Nixson Munoz, LHP
Brendan Nail, LHP
Eduard Bazardo, RHP
Yusniel Padron-Artilles, RHP

All of these guys create carry on their fastball because of some combination of arm slot and spin direction. Bell, age 21 (he’s one of Jay Bell’s kids), sits 91-94, and flashes a 55 curveball. Munoz is 19, from Nicaragua, and had a 62-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio in the DSL last year. He sits 86-88 and touches 90, so we’re watching the velo for now. Nail struck out 14.5 per 9 at Lowell and Greenville even though he only sits 89-92, though he’s 24. Bazardo and Padron-Artilles are both a little old for their level, too. Bazardo was 24 and split his year between the Hi-A and Double-A bullpen, touching 94 with a 55 curveball. Padron-Artilles was born in Cuba and drafted late out of Miami Dade College last year. He’s also up to 94 but from a very deceptive, overhand slot.

Jhonny Pereda
Jhonny Pereda, C

Pereda was acquired in late March to complete a January trade for fringe 25-man reliever Travis Lakins (who was atop the “Certain Depth” group in the Others of Note section). He’s a 23-year-old viable defensive catcher with a good approach, and was discussed by some teams as a Rule 5 possibility in 2018 when he was coming off a career year — .272/.347/.363, 10% BB%, 14% K% — at Hi-A. He profiles as a third catcher. Boston’s motley crew, upper-level catching situation — Kevin Plawecki and Christian Vasquez on the 40-man, five non-roster invitees, including recently-acquired Connor Wong and several older guys — gets a little younger.

System Overview

If you look past the waves cresting near the beach, the ones everyone is availing themselves of right now, and instead gaze out toward the sandbar, you will see them slowly growing, the arches of sea rolling and building toward shore that will soon become the cresting waves everyone can enjoy. That is where this system is right now, after the team successfully traded most of the best guys away in pursuit of a title.

Is the system good? No. Craig Edwards’ valuation of the FV tiers is friendlier to top-heavy systems rather than deep ones, and the Red Sox have one top 100 guy in Casas. But it is kind of exciting. Of the 33 names on the main portion of the list, 19 are too young to drink. The 35+ FV tier and honorable mentions are full of projectable young hitters, and just the sheer volume of them means Boston is likely to yield a few good ones even if, individually, they’re all long-shots by virtue of their age and proximity. Development is not linear; Antoni Flores’ last 12 months should serve as a reminder of that fact. With Eddie Romero and Chris Becerra both around, this will likely remain one of the top international programs, and thus, there will be more waves building near the horizon.

Chief Baseball Officer (rolls eyes) Chaim Bloom was part of a prospect depth-creating machine in Tampa Bay because the club was great at understanding 40-man timelines, and has a pro department that crushed a bunch of their trades. He can’t take the Rays’ pro department with him, and we don’t know much about Boston’s because they’ve been buyers for so long. It’s harrowing to think that Bloom might consider a Mookie Betts trade based on the opinions of a collection of people he barely knows.

Top 31 Prospects: Colorado Rockies

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Colorado Rockies. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

Rockies Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Brendan Rodgers 23.3 MLB 2B 2020 55
2 Ryan Rolison 22.4 A+ LHP 2021 50
3 Ryan Vilade 20.8 A+ 3B 2022 45+
4 Michael Toglia 21.3 A- 1B 2022 45
5 Sam Hilliard 25.8 MLB CF 2020 45
6 Terrin Vavra 22.6 A 2B 2021 45
7 Colton Welker 22.1 AA 3B 2021 45
8 Aaron Schunk 22.4 A- 3B 2022 40+
9 Brenton Doyle 21.6 R CF 2024 40+
10 Riley Pint 22.1 A RHP 2021 40+
11 Adael Amador 16.6 R SS 2025 40+
12 Helcris Olivarez 19.3 R LHP 2023 40+
13 Ashton Goudeau 27.4 AAA RHP 2020 40+
14 Julio Carreras 19.9 R SS 2023 40+
15 Tyler Nevin 22.5 AA 1B 2021 40
16 Grant Lavigne 20.3 A 1B 2022 40
17 Tommy Doyle 23.6 A+ RHP 2020 40
18 Ryan Castellani 23.7 AAA RHP 2020 40
19 Eddy Diaz 19.8 R 2B 2023 40
20 Karl Kauffmann 22.3 R RHP 2023 40
21 Jacob Wallace 21.3 A- RHP 2023 40
22 Antonio Santos 23.2 AA RHP 2020 40
23 Ezequiel Tovar 18.3 A- SS 2024 40
24 Will Ethridge 21.9 A- RHP 2022 40
25 Ryan Feltner 23.3 A RHP 2021 40
26 Ben Bowden 25.1 AAA LHP 2020 40
27 Christian Koss 21.8 R SS 2022 35+
28 Breiling Eusebio 23.1 A LHP 2021 35+
29 Ronaiker Palma 19.9 R C 2023 35+
30 Robert Tyler 24.5 A+ RHP 2020 35+
31 Roberto Ramos 24.9 AAA 1B 2020 35+
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55 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 from Lake Mary HS (FL) (COL)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 55/55 50/60 45/45 45/50 55/55

If you google “Brendan Rodgers,” the first several results are for Leicester City’s soccer coach, who has been managing Premier League teams since 2008. Baseball’s Brendan Rodgers has been known to scouts for about that long, and has been hitting the entire time. Even as an underclassman, Rodgers was often the best player on the field at well-attended showcase events; when he was a high school junior, scouts thought that if you were to drop him in the draft a year early, he’d still go somewhere in the first round. By his pre-draft summer, Rodgers clearly had the best hit and power combination among his peers, and looked likely to stay on the middle infield. He was the early favorite to go first overall in 2015 until Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman, and Andrew Benintendi took a leap the following spring, allowing the Rockies to get him third overall.

One axiom to which we try to adhere is “good hitters hit all the time” and that is indeed what Rodgers has done for the last eight years. He’s a career .293/.348/.491 hitter in the minors, and while most of Colorado’s affiliates play in hitter-friendly parks — this fact has masked some of Rodgers’ mediocre pitch recognition — we anticipate he’ll continue to be a plus hitter in the big leagues. His initial major league trial — a rough 25-game jaunt in the early summer — was not especially encouraging. Rodgers hit .224, swung and missed twice as often as he had in Triple-A (8% swinging strike rate in the minors, 15% in the majors), and generally appeared overwhelmed. But an 80 plate appearance sample doesn’t usurp Rodgers’ lengthy track record of hitting. In November, Rodgers told the Denver Post that he had been dealing with “nagging” shoulder issues since 2018 before deciding to have labrum surgery in June of 2019. As of mid-November, he had yet to begin throwing and hitting. Because he’s only a fringe runner and athlete, Rodgers’ conditioning during rehab is pretty important. A heavy, lumbering Rodgers who needs to play third base is swimming upstream against a 105 wRC+ at the position, while a Rodgers capable of playing second has a 94 wRC+ bar to clear.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Ole Miss (COL)
Age 22.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/55 45/50 89-94 / 96

Whether Rolison’s 2019 ascent was the result of real improvement or simply washed away our recency bias is immaterial. As a draft-eligible sophomore, he came out of the chute blazing hot and had top-10 pick buzz for the first month of the season before his year descended into chaos. He became wild and predictable, and yes, you read that right. Rolison couldn’t throw strikes with his fastball and leaned heavily on his curveball, which opposing hitters anticipated and crushed. It led to some bad outings, including one at South Carolina where he allowed 11 runs.

But 2019 was different. Rolison not only threw a greater percentage of strikes (65%) but he located his four-seam fastball where it plays best — at the top of the zone. After holding his college velo early in the year, it dipped late in the season but still competes for swings and misses because of its ride. There’s also more coherent pitch usage and a better pitch mix now; Rolison has a two-seamer, threw more changeups last year, and was just generally more mechanically consistent. He still throws across his body a bit and it can be hard for him to locate his breaking ball to his glove side, but the raw material for a lefty with three above-average pitches and starter control/command is clearly here and coming fast, so this is a back of the 50 FV tier prospect.

45+ FV Prospects

3. Ryan Vilade, 3B
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Stillwater HS (OK) (COL)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 194 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/50 55/60 30/50 45/40 45/50 55/55

A 2019 swing change — what was an open stance with a leg kick has now been closed off and features none — awakened some of the big, dormant raw power that made Vilade such an enticing amateur prospect. He simply could not time his previous cut and was late on many pitches, pushing them the other way or into the ground. The tweak brought his groundball rate closer to average (50% previously, down to 42% in 2019) and more than doubled his home run output from the prior year.

It’s necessary progress for a player who began a long-anticipated fall down the defensive spectrum, and will likely continue to do so. Vilade began seeing time at third base in 2019, and was taking reps in the outfield during the Rockies’ fall workouts. He looked noticeably bigger and stronger on the Salt River backfields than he did during the summer, and we now anticipate Vilade will branch out and play both outfield and infield corners, which makes sense considering how entrenched Nolan Arenado is at third base. Is the tumble troubling? Somewhat, but it’s counterbalanced by versatility, and it’s encouraging that Vilade has now shown an ability to make relevant swing adjustments to get to his power. This is a rather magmatic prospect currently transitioning in several ways, but they’re generally positive.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from UCLA (COL)
Age 21.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr S / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 55/60 35/55 40/40 55/60 55/55

Toglia had a poor Cape statline and then came out of the gate very slowly during his junior year. He was hitting .207 when PAC-12 play began and his draft stock had taken a plunge but for whatever reason, he started raking during conference play. By the end of the year, he was hitting .315 and had reached base in 29 straight games. Toglia has a rare combination of traits and skills. He’s a switch-hitting first baseman with power who is also a plus defender, which puts him in a small, 21st century team picture with Lance Berkman, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Santana. That’s an intriguing group. We think teams hopped off of Toglia too quickly because of bad early-season looks and that he might be poised for a breakout 2020.

5. Sam Hilliard, CF
Drafted: 15th Round, 2015 from Wichita State (COL)
Age 25.8 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 238 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/40 60/60 50/55 55/55 50/50 60/60

Hilliard was a transient, two-way junior college player who hopped around to a pair of JUCOs before settling at Wichita State as a junior. He was raw, and the relative lack of track record likely contributed to him lasting until the 15th round of his junior season, but for a player with this much physical ability to fall that far is a failure on the part of the amateur side of the industry.

Hilliard is a big, athletic thumper with a rare power/speed combination. He’s flourished in his four years as a full-time hitter, slashing .277/.350/.480 in the minors before reaching the big leagues late last summer. As one might expect for such an under-baked athlete who a) barely played as a junior college freshman and b) also pitched the next two years, Hilliard lacks defensive instincts and feel to hit. His ability to identify pitches he can drive is impressive in context, but well-executed pitches can get him out. Hilliard’s big, gallivanting strides make him a plus runner underway, but his mediocre reads on balls in center detract from his range. It’s still above-average in a corner, closer to fringe in center field. It’s kind of a tweener defensive profile except with way more raw power than is usual for that sort, so Hilliard projects to be a strong big league role player, likely the larger half of a platoon in any of the three outfield positions.

6. Terrin Vavra, 2B
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Minnesota (COL)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 40/45 35/45 50/50 50/55 50/50

Vavra had a statistical breakout during his junior year at Minnesota — .386/.455/.614 with 10 homers, and everything way up from his sophomore year — and ended up going on the high end of the third to fifth round range where teams were considering him. He’s a patient hitter with an athletic swing who gets the most out of his slight build without often compromising his feel for contact. His swing is kind of grooved, but Vavra is a pitch selection savant, adept at picking out pitches he can drive until he has to expand with two strikes. We think he’s going to hit, have doubles power, and reach base at an above-average clip. That could play every day at shortstop, but we think Vavra is much more likely to end up at second base, where his range could make him an above-average defender. There’s not enough power for an impact regular here, but the athleticism and feel for contact should make Vavra either a low-end regular on the middle infield or a valuable, multi-positional role player.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2016 from Stoneman Douglas HS (FL) (COL)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 40/45 35/30 45/45 55/55

From a hands and actions standpoint, Welker is actually fine at third base. It’s his lateral quickness that’s an issue, and why he’s generally considered a first base prospect. But same as we’ve seen Travis Shaw and Max Muncy play elsewhere, it stands to reason someone out there thinks Welker can stay at third, or handle duties around the second base bag in certain situations. Those are the teams most likely to think Welker can play something resembling an everyday role, because while he has excellent feel to hit, he lacks the raw power typical of first base.

40+ FV Prospects

8. Aaron Schunk, 3B
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Georgia (COL)
Age 22.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 203 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/55 30/50 45/45 50/55 60/60

In the mold of Sheldon Neuse or J.D. Davis, Schunk was a burly, two-way college prospect with power and arm strength. After two years of struggling to get to his raw power in games (he hit just four homers combined his freshman and sophomore seasons), Schunk had a breakout junior year and clubbed 15 dingers. We were hoping he’d start pulling and lifting the ball more and he did, both at Georgia and during his first pro summer. He’s an athletic gamer who’s a good defender at third, though because of the arm strength there was some speculative projecting while Schunk was an amateur that he might catch. The power production needs to keep coming, but Schunk has a shot to be a regular.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Shepherd University (COL)
Age 21.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 60/60 30/50 60/60 40/50 55/55

Doyle was tough to learn about before the 2019 draft because while he became difficult to hide in the truest sense, nobody wanted to tip their hand as to where he was on their board, as small school players are placed with quite a bit of variability. The physical tools were obvious and pretty similar to what Dodgers prospect D.J. Peters looked like coming out of junior college. Doyle is built like an old school, run-stopping safety at a physical 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He runs well, has power, and after the draft, against the best pitching he ever faced in his life, Doyle mashed. His ball/strike recognition and ability to spoil pitchers’ pitches were much better than we would have anticipated considering how few quality arms he had seen to that point. He has everyday physical ability and isn’t as raw as we thought he’d be.

10. Riley Pint, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS) (COL)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
70/70 50/55 70/70 50/55 20/30 97-99 / 102

It is not enough to say that Pint is having issues with control. Pitchers who walk guys at even a 10% or worse clip face legitimate questions about their ability to start, and sometimes their ability to pitch in the big leagues at all. Pint walked more than 30% of the hitters he faced last year, and had more wild pitches than innings. Such strike-throwing incompetence forced a move to the bullpen, which siphoned away reps, and injuries (oblique, forearm, shoulder) over the last two years have exacerbated this issue. He simply can’t be a big leaguer with this kind of wildness, but we’re still on Pint because his stuff remains incredible, among the best in the minors.

Through these struggles, Pint has continued to throw in the upper-90s with one of the harder power curveballs on the planet. The chances that he ends up as part of a rotation in any capacity have shrunk considerably, but there’s still a fair shot that he becomes a high-leverage reliever.

11. Adael Amador, SS
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (COL)
Age 16.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 40/50 20/40 60/60 45/55 55/60

Amador has already gotten stronger and twitchier than he appeared to be on the amateur circuit, and he flashed some in-game power in last summer’s Tricky League. For a switch-hitter this young, Amador already has fairly advanced feel to hit in games, even if the swings aren’t always pretty. He’s medium-framed and likely to grow into some more power, but probably not a ton. He’s graceful and athletic enough that we also consider him likely to stay on the middle infield, though we’re not sure if it’ll be at second base or shortstop. There’s everyday ceiling here, but of course, teenagers are quite volatile.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (COL)
Age 19.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 192 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 50/55 30/45 30/45 92-95 / 96

We’ve learned the hard way that graceful deliveries do not always foreshadow improvement to control and command, so we’re not totally sold that Olivarez will develop cogent strike-throwing ability even though his mechanics are silky smooth. He does have tremendous stuff for his age, already sitting in the mid-90s early during his starts and flashing a plus curveball. There’s arguably too much velocity separation between the heater and curveball for the latter to be effective right now, but it has bat-missing depth and shape. Similar to his presently poor feel for location, Olivarez lacks changeup feel. Many things — holding the velo deep into games, mechanical consistency, a sharper curveball, a much better changeup — need to progress for Olivarez to attain what appears to be massive potential when you see his arm strength, frame, and proclivity for spin.

Drafted: 27th Round, 2012 from Maple Woods JC (MO) (KCR)
Age 27.4 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 60/60 45/45 55/55 91-94 / 96

We don’t have many 27-year-olds on prospect lists period, let alone ones above the 40 FV tier. But Goudeau’s 2019 breakout, during which he posted a 30% strikeout rate and 4% walk rate at Double-A and allowed just four baserunners during the AFL season, was remarkable and, as we’ve learned more about the components of pitching, seems real. Goudeau epitomizes fastball spin efficiency, creating near perfect backspin and seam uniformity on his heater, giving it bat-missing carry at the top of the strike zone. His plus curveball is almost indistinguishable from the fastball for most of its flight. Those two pitches together would suffice to make Goudeau an effective middle reliever, but if he retains this abrupt, extreme strike-throwing ability, then perhaps he can go multiple innings. It’s rare for four-seam/curveball guys to succeed in Denver, though.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (COL)
Age 19.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 166 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 40/50 20/50 60/55 45/55 55/60

All of the teenage hitters who began 2019 in Extended Spring Training before moving on to the Pioneer League get compared to one another by scouts, and Carreras is universally considered to have the greatest upside because he has the most realistic chance to grow into impact power. His swing has leverage and real bat speed already, and his wiry frame portends more, and though his bat path and stride are both kind of a mess, Carreras’ hand-eye coordination and bat control enabled him to succeed against mostly college-level pitching last year at age 19. He’s a plus runner and athletic infield defender who will probably only fit at third base once he’s done filling out. Because so much of the offensive competency is still messy, this is a high risk prospect, but unquestionably one of the more exciting talents in the system.

40 FV Prospects

15. Tyler Nevin, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 from Poway HS (CA) (COL)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 50/55 40/45 35/35 40/45 50/50

The list of current first baseman with premium contact skills but middling game power is full of players hovering around replacement level. Overripe Albert Pujols and Daniel Murphy, last year’s Joey Votto. This seems to be Nevin’s fate. We’ve seen him hit oppo homers but it comes from quality, barreled contact rather than raw strength and power. He tracks pitches beautifully and can make quality contact with pitches all over the zone, but it’s very tough for a righty-hitting first baseman without big power to profile. Nevin’s reps at third base have dwindled, and he played a few games in left field last summer. He’s on the 40-man and looks like a corner bench bat.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Bedford HS (NH) (COL)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/55 30/55 40/30 40/50 50/50

After he looked just okay against his elite peers on the summer showcase circuit, Lavigne generated a ton of buzz as a senior the following spring. Northeast popup high schoolers have a dubious track record (there has never been a major-league hitter from New Hampshire) because they spend all spring mashing bad high school pitching, but lots of teams were in on Lavigne’s spike in power and thought he fit in the second tier of high school hitting prospects in the draft behind the likes of Nolan Gorman and Jarred Kelenic.

Lavigne has not shown that kind of power with the wooden bats in pro ball, both because he’s not hitting the ball as hard as we anticipated and because he isn’t lifting it. Were Lavigne as physically projectable as his age suggests, this would be less worrisome, but he’s a broad-shouldered, imposing presence, so the lack of present thump is somewhat troubling. We’re not out on him yet (he’s too young), but first base-only prospects need to mash and that hasn’t happened here yet.

17. Tommy Doyle, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Virginia (COL)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 45/50 95-97 / 98

The Rockies made Doyle their second consecutive second round college reliever pick in 2017 and after his velocity was way down just after his draft, he has since been as advertised, with a mid-90s fastball and plus slider. He probably should have been pushed to Double-A at some point last season but the Rockies have taken things slow. He has the stuff to reach Denver sometime next year, but he doesn’t have to be on the 40-man until next winter, so perhaps 2021 is more likely. He has a shot to be a set-up type.

18. Ryan Castellani, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2014 from Brophy Prep HS (AZ) (COL)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 193 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/55 50/55 40/40 91-94 / 96

It was yet another year of inconsistency and injury for Max Scherzer’s mechanical doppelgänger, Ryan Castellani, who was shelved for much of the summer due to a surgery that cleaned up bone chips in his elbow. Upon returning for the Fall League, Castellani was sitting 90-93 with his usual tailing action while flashing above-average secondary stuff. While he has the stuff to start, he seems much more likely to end up in the bullpen now that he’s on the 40-man, but can’t stay healthy or throw strikes. We expect a quick hook if that’s not remedied early next year.

19. Eddy Diaz, 2B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Cuba (COL)
Age 19.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 171 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/45 20/40 60/60 45/50 50/50

Diaz is the first Cuban amateur ever signed by Colorado. He’s an athletic, instinctive middle infield prospect with modest physical projection and promising bat to ball skills. For now those skills manifest as modest, all-fields line drive contact, and Diaz is likely a hit-only offensive player in the long run. He’s seen action all over the infield but we have him projected to second base, where he has a fair chance to profile because of the bat. It’s more likely he ends up in a utility role.

20. Karl Kauffmann, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Michigan (COL)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 45/50 50/55 40/45 88-93 / 96

Kauffmann is a one-seam sinker/changeup righty with a pretty firm, inconsistent mid-80s slider. A refined slider gives him a good shot to pitch in the back of a rotation. He was used heavily by Michigan during their deep 2019 postseason run, so he didn’t pitch in pro ball last summer.

21. Jacob Wallace, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Connecticut (COL)
Age 21.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 45/50 40/45 92-95 / 97

Wallace has a starter’s mix — mid-90s heat with tail, a changeup with mirroring movement, a sweeping slider — but his arm action is long and low, so he likely projects in relief. There’s clear industry appetite for varied mechanical looks, and Wallace provides one.

22. Antonio Santos, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (COL)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 45/50 50/50 45/45 45/50 90-95 / 97

Santos’ fastball velocity range is rather vast, but when he was coming out of the bullpen during Fall League, he was sitting 94-97 for entire outings. He doesn’t have a bat-missing secondary; rather he has a deep well of average pitches from which to draw. Whether he’s a No. 5/6 starter type or his repertoire gets pared down to what Colorado thinks gives him the best chance of missing bats out of the bullpen, we think Santos is clearly a rosterable arm of some kind.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (COL)
Age 18.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 162 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 30/40 20/30 55/55 50/60 50/55

Tovar is a complete defensive player, both instinctive and fundamentally sound, as well as flashy and acrobatic. He’s already ditched switch-hitting and is severely lacking in strength at the plate, which needs to improve dramatically if he’s going to be a big leaguer at all, let alone some kind of regular. There’s risk that he only develops into a Dixon Machado type of player, but he has a real carrying tool in the defense.

24. Will Ethridge, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Ole Miss (COL)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 45/45 50/55 45/55 91-94 / 96

A prep projection case who finally had the velo show up during his draft spring, Ethridge was working 92-95 with heavy sink last year, his first as a starter since high school. Like Castellani, Ethridge’s delivery is a little Scherzer-y, and his arm slot helps create impact, tailing movement on his changeup. He’s on the fifth starter/reliever line due to stuff quality, not control/command.

25. Ryan Feltner, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Ohio State (COL)
Age 23.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 50/55 35/40 92-95 / 97

Feltner spent a chunk of his college career in the bullpen, and he projects there long term. His arm action is quite long, and while he can bully hitters with his fastball in the zone, he lacks precise command of his stuff. He lives in the mid-90s with tail as a starter and has a diving changeup that we think will miss big league bats. The slider has big sweeping action but is more easily identifiable out of his hand.

26. Ben Bowden, LHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Vanderbilt (COL)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/50 45/55 40/40 92-95 / 96

Bowden has rare lefty velo and we’ve seen a plus changeup from him in the past, but reports on the cambio weren’t as strong this year. He still projects in middle relief.

35+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 12th Round, 2019 from UC Irvine (COL)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 182 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/45 30/45 50/50 40/45 50/50

Toss out Koss’ Pioneer League stat line, as the league’s hitting environment makes that kind of analysis wholly unreliable. Visual evaluation of Koss’ skills as a hitter and serviceable infield defense still merit inclusion on the list. At this point, he projects as a hit-first infielder. We’d like Colorado to push him and stress test the bat, but that’s not their org’s style.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic (COL)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 45/55 40/45 89-94 / 96

Eusebio was flashing three above-average pitches in 2017, then blew out his elbow early in 2018. Due to injury, he’s never thrown more than 72 innings in a single season, and that was back in 2015. Now 23, Eusebio is officially behind, but his stuff was only down a bit beneath it’s usual level when he pitched late last summer, so there’s still a shot this guy breaks out and gets pushed quickly, especially if he just gets ‘penned.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (COL)
Age 19.9 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 30/40 20/30 40/40 45/60 60/60

We like twitchy, athletic, catch-and-throw backstops with contact skills, and Palma has those qualities. He is not very physical and the quality of his contact, even though he makes a lot of it, is troubling; his ceiling might just be a backup because of it.

30. Robert Tyler, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Georgia (COL)
Age 24.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 40/45 55/60 30/40 91-94 / 96

Tyler has had injury issues, both forearm and shoulder, dating back to college, and he’s now a 24-year-old who has only thrown 83 pro innings. At his best, Tyler will show you 96-98 with a plus changeup, but last year he was more 91-94. He needs to show some bounce back early in 2020.

31. Roberto Ramos, 1B
Drafted: 16th Round, 2014 from College of the Canyons (COL)
Age 24.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 70/70 50/55 30/30 40/40 45/45

Ramos has Quad-A hitter written all over him and his Fall League trial and winter ball performance haven’t helped. But he has gigantic raw power, enough that he’s a cut above our honorable mention tier.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Upper-level Power Hitters
Vince Fernandez, OF
Casey Golden, OF
Josh Fuentes, 3B/1B
Brian Mundell, 1B

Take a good long look at this group because this is where both Mike Tauchman and Garrett Cooper would likely have been in a purely heuristic version of this list the last few years. The Rockies have had viable big league bats lurking at Triple-A and the Yankees pilfered both of them. Fernandez was suspended for amphetamine usage last year and he only hit .235 with two dingers after he returned. We’re still on him as a 55 raw power corner guy who walks and hits the ball in the air a lot, but he’s gotta come out of the gate hot in 2020 or he’s falling off the list. Golden has 77 homers in two and a half pro seasons but he’s also striking out a third of the time and is 25 years old. Fuentes might be a corner bench bat, but his power output was down last year and he needs to bounce back. Mundell has plus raw but lacks the positional versatility to be a role player.

Hard-throwing Dudes
Raymells Rosa, RHP
Justin Lawrence, RHP
PJ Poulin, LHP
Alexander Martinez, RHP
Juan Mejia, RHP
Salvador Justo, RHP
Boby Johnson, RHP
Mike Nikorak, RHP

There are lots of these guys in the system. Rosa is on track to be a low 40 FV once he’s at the upper levels since he has middle relief stuff. Lawrence is an upper-90s sidearmer with very poor pitch execution. Poulin is another UConn fireballer with a violent, low-slot delivery. Martinez will touch 97 and has a plus curveball, but he’s arguably a 30 athlete and has been old for his level the last two years. Mejia has a great arm action and has been into the upper-90s as a teenager, but he has 30-grade control. Justo is a fastball-only guy in his mid-20s, but he touches 100. Boby Johnson spent two years at Fort Scott Community College before he ended up at Bradley and was finally seen. He’s a pretty athletic 91-96 and throws a ton of strikes. Nikorak’s velo is back after Tommy John, but it doesn’t really play.

Young Sleepers
Bladimir Restituyo, CF
Walking Cabrera, OF
Yolki Pena, OF
Francisco Palma, OF

These are all frame-based projection lottery tickets, though Restituyo is also a 70 runner who might be an impact defender in center one day. The others are corner guys whose bodies and swing development should be monitored.

Depth Starters
Jared Horn, RHP
Nick Bush, LHP
Mitch Kilkenny, RHP

Horn has had a rough couple of years due to family tragedy and an emergency surgery that derailed the early part of his draft spring. At his best, he’ll touch 95 (he was up to 97 in high school), and flash a plus curveball and serviceable change and slider. Bush is a vertical arm slot lefty whose fringe fastball velocity plays up due to deception, and his curveball has terrific depth. He has a passable change that could help make him a spot starter. Kilkenny is coming off of surgery.

System Overview

This system is very heavy on corner bats because the club seems to be pretty good at picking them. There has to be some amount of consolidation of the infielders in this org, and probably soon. You can clearly see the layers of this farm the way you can in a well-made biscuit. The top is comprised of hitters, the bottom full of recently-acquired arms. Why so few up near the top with the other mature, or potential long-term impact talents? Well, so many of the pitchers Colorado has drafted over the last several years have either gotten hurt, been bad, or both. David Hill, Javier Medina, Nikorak, Kilkenny, Pint, Tyler — it’s a long list of pitchers who either have gotten hurt or fallen short of even modest expectations. Some of the very recent developments (Goudeau, Rolison) and acquisitions indicate improvement, but let’s wait a bit to see what kind of results this farm yields. It’s got to be tough to try to build a talent pipeline meant to fit your big league ballpark’s unique hitting environment, but the vanilla college pitchability guys just aren’t working.

We have to preface this by reminding you that Eric lives in Arizona and is horribly biased because he wants to see more players, but why the heck don’t the Rockies have an AZL team? Their exciting group of teenage hitters spent their summer facing college pitching when they’d probably have been better off against same-aged pupils in Arizona. There’s no evidence to which we can point that justifies this approach, and aside from Raimel Tapia, this org has struggled to develop homegrown players from Latin America who are all asked to jump right from the DSL to Advanced Rookie ball.

Top 37 Prospects: San Francisco Giants

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the San Francisco Giants. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

Editor’s Note: Will Wilson was added to this list following his acquisition from the Los Angeles Angels as part of the Zack Cozart trade.

Dany Jimenez was added to this list following his selection by San Francisco in the Rule 5 Draft.

Jose Siri was added to this list at No. 28 after being claimed off waivers.

Giants Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Joey Bart 22.9 AA C 2021 60
2 Marco Luciano 18.1 A- SS 2023 55
3 Heliot Ramos 20.2 AA RF 2022 50
4 Hunter Bishop 21.4 A- CF 2023 45+
5 Luis Matos 17.8 R CF 2024 45+
6 Logan Webb 23.0 MLB RHP 2020 45
7 Will Wilson 21.4 R 2B 2022 45
8 Luis Toribio 19.2 A- 3B 2024 45
9 Alexander Canario 19.6 A- RF 2023 45
10 Mauricio Dubon 25.4 MLB SS 2020 45
11 Jaylin Davis 25.4 MLB RF 2020 40+
12 Seth Corry 21.1 A LHP 2022 40+
13 Gregory Santos 20.2 A RHP 2021 40+
14 Sean Hjelle 22.6 AA RHP 2022 40+
15 Melvin Adon 25.5 AAA RHP 2020 40+
16 Jairo Pomares 19.3 A- CF 2023 40+
17 Prelander Berroa 19.6 A- RHP 2021 40
18 Blake Rivera 21.9 A RHP 2022 40
19 Kai-Wei Teng 21.0 A RHP 2023 40
20 Camilo Doval 22.4 A+ RHP 2021 40
21 Ricardo Genoves 20.5 A C 2021 40
22 P.J. Hilson 19.3 R CF 2023 40
23 Dilan Rosario 18.4 R SS 2024 40
24 Aeverson Arteaga 16.7 R SS 2025 40
25 Tristan Beck 23.4 A+ RHP 2022 40
26 Jake Wong 23.2 A+ RHP 2022 40
27 Kean Wong 24.6 MLB 2B 2020 40
28 Jose Siri 24.6 AAA CF 2020 40
29 Dany Jimenez 24.2 AA RHP 2020 40
30 Trevor McDonald 18.7 R RHP 2024 35+
31 Grant McCray 19.0 R CF 2024 35+
32 Esmerlin Vinicio 16.8 R LHP 2025 35+
33 Logan Wyatt 22.0 A 1B 2023 35+
34 Raffi Vizcaino 24.0 AA RHP 2020 35+
35 Tyler Fitzgerald 22.2 A SS 2023 35+
36 Garrett Frechette 18.9 R 1B 2024 35+
37 Connor Cannon 21.5 A- DH 2023 35+
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60 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Georgia Tech (SFG)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 60/60 50/60 35/30 65/70 55/55

Bart’s first full pro season was interrupted by a fractured left hand, which sidelined him for about six weeks, and is the likely reason his 2019 power production was unremarkable until a torrid final week of the season buoyed his stat line. Sent to the Arizona Fall League for extra reps, Bart was the league’s star pupil before he was hit by two pitches in the same game, the second of which fractured his right thumb. That ended his season but in that narrow window of health we saw glimpses of Bart’s power with physically fit phalanges. And we had plenty of looks at his power, particularly to his pull side, in college, including a titanic blast that cleared the facade of Georgia Tech’s football complex in left field and was never found.

The defensive tools are the foundation of Bart’s skillset, the cornerstone of a certain big league future. He’s Mike Alstott’s size but with the lateral quickness and ground game of a small-framed catcher. He’s quick out of his crouch and throws accurate lasers to second base. He also has field general qualities: he’s a rousing, vocal leader at times, a calming presence at others. We still have some questions about the hit tool — we posited Bart was just frustrated by being pitched around in college and developed some bad habits, but he was swing-happy again in 2019. Still, we think he’ll get to much or all of his power, play all-world defense, and be an All-Star catcher, a proper heir apparent to Buster Posey.

55 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 18.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 60/70 25/70 50/45 40/45 50/55

The Giants dusty, tightly-confined backfields abut a gym with the sort of athleisure-wearing clientele you’d expect in Scottsdale. Last January, when most baseball facilities across the country were dark, just feet away from oblivious Peloton riders and tennis-playing retirees, a lucky few scouts and media folks had a religious experience watching the sweetest-swinging teenager on Earth absolutely roast balls fed to his barrel by a high-speed pitching machine. Because of how close you can sit next to the field there, you can feel the sonic force of bat-to-ball impact radiate into your body. When Marco Luciano connects, you feel it to your core. He is not normal. To find bat speed comps you need to look toward Javier Baez, Eric Davis, whatever the top of your mental catalog might be. And while he already generates plenty of it, Luciano’s square-shouldered frame indicates more power might be coming. The length created by Luciano’s natural, uppercut swing is offset by the explosiveness in his hands; he’s not particularly strikeout-prone and he doesn’t take out-of-control hacks. Unless something unforeseen about Luciano’s approach is exposed as he moves through the minors, all of this power seems likely to actualize. His AZL walk rate is encouraging early evidence that he’s unlikely to be so exposed.

As an athlete and infielder, Luciano is only fair. He might play a passable shortstop one day because his hands and actions are fine most of the time, but he can’t presently make strong, accurate throws from multiple platforms. It looks increasingly likely that he’ll move to the outfield, enough so that some scouts have him projected there, but it’s too early to cut bait and move him. He has elite hitting talent, he’s produced on paper, and he already has average exit velos and a hard-hit rate that grade as 65 on the scale. If he continues to perform, especially if the Giants send him right to Augusta and he hits his way to San Jose, then this time next year we’ll be talking about Marco Luciano as one of the best prospects in baseball, and if he does so while improving his infield defense, perhaps the best.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Leadership Christian HS (PR) (SFG)
Age 20.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/50 55/55 45/55 55/50 45/50 60/60

Ramos’ feel for opposite field contact developed out of necessity when his physical tools dipped in 2018. That turned out to be valuable when they returned last year, and half of his 16 homers were hit to the right of center field. Ramos’ bat head drags into the zone, which would cause most hitters to be late, but Ramos’ swing just scoops fly balls to right field, and his strength pushes them toward the heavens. Some of the strikeout issues (25% at Hi-A, 30% at Double-A) become less concerning when you remember Ramos was 19-years-old all year, but they become a bit troubling again when you realize he’s destined for a corner.

Built like a boulder stacked on two Iberico hams, Ramos is already slowing down, and he was an average runner in the Fall League. It’s not great if he is suddenly a corner guy with whiff/discipline issues, though his plate discipline was much more palatable last year. Retaining that will be important or we’re just talking about a Randal Grichuk sequel.

45+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Arizona State (SFG)
Age 21.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 65/65 35/60 60/55 45/50 35/40

Bishop changed his college commitment late (he was originally going to play two sports at Washington), and headed to ASU. After struggling as an underclassman, he arrived for his junior season with a better body and quieter swing, and broke out. He sent many non-conference pitches rocketing into Phoenix’s midnight sky before he started seeing — and swinging over the top of — Pac-12 breaking balls. Whether this is fixable was the subject of many draft room debates, as was Bishop’s relatively short track record of performance.

Bishop has rare physical tools. He’s a plus runner and will post 70 run times to first on occasion, has solid feel for center field and huge, playable power. It’s unclear why his arm strength dipped last year when it was an asset earlier in his career, but it’s not a significant part of the skillset and we heard nothing odd about his pre-draft medical, so we’re looking the other way. He’ll be a top 100 prospect as soon as we’re more confident in the hit tool.

5. Luis Matos, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 17.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 50/60 20/50 60/60 45/50 50/50

International Director Joe Salermo and his staff have an eye for bat speed, as Matos is one of several youngsters with lightning-fast wood. He was a DSL All-Star before coming stateside for the homestretch of the AZL, and the Orange Giants dropped him right in the top of their playoff lineup. An outfield collision soon ended his season, though he left the field under his own power holding a towel to his face.

Matos isn’t a huge-framed outfielder but he projects for plus raw power at peak anyway, because of his ability to rotate. He also has plus speed and he was selectively aggressive during his brief AZL trial, taking big hacks in hitters counts rather than all the time. It’s possible he has underlying issues (breaking ball recognition, expansive approach, any number of things) that we just don’t know about yet because rookie-level pitching isn’t capable of shedding light on them. But just on tools, Matos belongs in the same general area as most of the top high schoolers from the 2019 draft, which puts him a shade beneath the tier of prospect who’ll be on our top 100 list this offseason.

45 FV Prospects

6. Logan Webb, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2014 from Rocklin HS (CA) (SFG)
Age 23.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 50/55 45/50 91-94 / 96

Webb’s career has been Chutes and Ladders for the last several years. He had Tommy John midway through 2016, and the little bit of 2017 for which he was healthy he spent in a strictly-regimented relief role. Finally back in a rotation the following year, Webb blew up. He was holding 92-95 deep into starts, topping out at 97, and spinning in a dastardly slider. Unrefined fastball control indicated relief risk at the time, but the injury and timing of Webb’s surgery robbed him of reps, so it was fair to project slightly better control.

Early in 2019, Webb was popped for PEDs and suspended for 80 games. Upon return, the fastball was down, more 91-94, and it settled there throughout 2019. But Webb’s changeup has improved and a clearly demarcated two-seamer will help it play. The command piece is still not always there, particularly early in games, but at other times Webb has arm-side feel for the change, glove-side feel for his slider, and and he’ll show east/west command of the heater. It’s No. 4/5 stuff, shaded on either side of the slash depending on how the command and changeup progress.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from North Carolina State (LAA)
Age 21.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 184 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/50 30/45 50/50 45/50 50/50

Wilson was an Angel for half a year before he was tethered to Zack Cozart’s contract and traded to the Giants, a prospect burp to make budgetary room at the big league level. Wilson was not a traditional first round talent based on visual evalauations. He’s a relatively projectionless, medium-framed infielder without a clear plus tool, and he lacked the strikeout-to-walk ratios first round collegiate players usually exhibit. But, his hands work great in the box, his swing is as compact as his frame (making it possible for him to get on top of high fastballs), he tracks breaking balls very well, and he was very young for a college player, still just 20 on draft day. Some scouts on the amateur side wanted him to catch in pro ball and thought he had the toughness to do it. Others think he’ll be a fine 2B or 3B defender with a balanced, stable offensive profile. There is very likely limited ceiling here, probably something close to an average regular, but Wilson is also a fairly high probability contributor because of his bat-to-ball skills and defensive profile.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 60/65 25/60 40/30 40/45 55/55

More than any of the other teenagers on this list, Toribio is a fully formed physical entity, a brawny, heavy-footed thumper who looks like Aramis Ramirez did in his prime. That sort of physicality at this age creates risk that he’ll outgrow third base, and it’s very likely that, even if he stays there, he’ll only be passable at the position.

Toribio’s power and feel to hit — he has some head violence when he takes big cuts, but still generates a loud, heavy thwack when his swing is more controlled and precise — means he might profile at first base should he have to move. We don’t expect much more raw power to come because he is already so physically mature. We’re going to monitor his platoon splits over the next year because, to the eye, he’s much less adept at picking up lefty stuff, perhaps concerningly so, but there’s not nearly enough data to support that yet. If he stays at third and the bat-to-ball skills hold, he could be an above-average regular. The low-end of the potential outcomes is a platoon first baseman.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 19.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 55/60 25/60 50/45 40/50 60/60

Canario is still not a polished, skillful hitter — he has mediocre natural timing and feel to hit and his front side often leaks, which leaves him vulnerable against breaking balls away — so last summer’s batting average was higher than what we expect moving forward. But he does have ridiculous power and bat speed, which enables him to make impact, all-fields contact even when he mis-hits balls. This is a risky corner bat, but Canario has potential middle-of-the-order talent because of the raw power and a good chance to get to it in games because his swing has natural lift. There’s huge ceiling if the hit/approach component improves.

Drafted: 26th Round, 2013 from Capital Christian HS (CA) (BOS)
Age 25.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 40/40 30/35 50/50 45/50 55/55

The first native Honduran to play in the majors, Dubon reached Double-A back in 2016. He seemed to be on the big league fast track when the Red Sox asked him to play center field that fall, but it took two trades and year of rehab from a torn ACL before he finally cracked a big league lineup. First sent from Boston (which signed him) to Milwaukee along with Travis Shaw as part of a lopsided package for Tyler Thornburg, Dubon was traded to San Francisco last summer in exchange for Drew Pomeranz.

Most of Dubon’s role is tied to his ability to make contact, a skill derived from strong hand-eye coordination and bat control. His formerly slender, willowy frame has filled out some, and in 2018 Dubon stopped scrubbing his leg kick with two strikes, but he’s still not getting much out of his lower half and his contact quality is entirely dependent on barrel accuracy, which will limit him to doubles power. Defensively, Dubon is passable at shortstop and second base. Ideally, in a reserve role, he’d be able to play center field as well, but aside from the five games he played there in 2016, he’s only ever played the middle infield. His home-to-first times were down a bit last year coming off the ACL injury, so either the top-end speed he once had (we’ve had a 6 on Dubon’s wheels each of the last several years, until now) will return, or he’ll need to show immediate feel for center for him to see big league reps there. We have him in as a contact-oriented utility player.

40+ FV Prospects

11. Jaylin Davis, RF
Drafted: 24th Round, 2015 from Appalachian State (MIN)
Age 25.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/40 65/65 50/55 60/60 55/55 50/50

Davis began incorporating an open stance and bigger leg kick into his swing during the 2018 Arizona Fall League. That adjustment helped him improve his timing at the plate and create a bigger move forward, unlocking previously dormant power. He still has a bottom-hand heavy swing and flat bat path, and thus is unlikely to reach all that the power, but he might be a low-end regular anyway.

12. Seth Corry, LHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Lone Peak HS (UT) (SFG)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 50/55 50/55 40/45 90-94 / 95

Corry was a pretty raw fastball/curveball high school prospect whose changeup improved throughout the last two seasons, which is especially relevant because that pitch’s movement pairs better with his fastball than the curve. Armed with that change, he dominated Low-A, striking out 172 hitters in 122 innings. He’s a fairly stiff, short strider and often has scattershot fastball control — he walked a batter every other inning last year — so there’s significant relief risk here. We’re not inclined to project on Corry’s control enough to consider him a starter, but we like him as a bat-missing, multi-inning reliever who ends up throwing 90 or so innings.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (BOS)
Age 20.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 55/60 45/50 35/45 92-96 / 98

Two IL stints, including one for a shoulder injury, derailed what could have been a breakout year for Santos. As a teenager, he bullied hitters with his sinking, sometimes cutting, mid-90s fastball and nasty slider, but he arrived for 2019 camp with a much better changeup and looked like a potential mid-rotation arm during the spring. Then he was shut down because of the shoulder and wound up throwing only 34 innings all year. He’s officially behind on both the work load and command fronts, increasing the odds that he’s a reliever, and forcing us to shade down his FV due to the early-career injury stuff.

14. Sean Hjelle, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Kentucky (SFG)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 11″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 45/50 45/50 45/55 91-94 / 96

Hjelle body comps to a young Pau Gasol and he’s remarkably athletic for his size. His delivery is graceful and fluid, and he has no trouble repeating it nor fielding his position, as he’s quick off the mound to corral bunts and cover first base, both of which can be challenging for XXL pitchers. Hjelle’s (it’s pronounced like peanut butter and _____ ) fastball only sits in the low-90s but plays up because of extension, life, and the angle created by his height. Those traits in concert with one another make for a heater that competes for whiffs in the zone. The secondaries are closer to average, often below, though Hjelle can locate them. He’s a pretty safe No. 4/5 starter candidate, though we might be underrating how uncomfortable he is to hit against.

15. Melvin Adon, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
80/80 60/60 40/40 30/35 96-101 / 102

Adon is the hardest-throwing pitcher in the minors and, because he finally found some slider feel late in 2018, he struck out more than a batter per inning for the first time last year. He had been a raw, arm strength goon for what seemed like forever, and he remains concerningly wild; he may be better off dumping his slider in to get ahead of hitters and then chucking the fastball by them, rather than the other way around. Ultimately, he has late-inning, elite closer stuff but a fairly low chance of actualizing. We put a 45 FV on the top tier of pure, two-pitch relievers (most elite closers are failed starters) and Adon deserves that sort of consideration, but his track record of wildness and advanced age have him just shy of that.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (SFG)
Age 19.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 45/50 20/40 55/50 45/50 45/45

Pomares’ nutty triple slash line in the AZL is a caricature of his true ability, especially the power, but we were still pretty surprised when we sourced his exit velo data and found it was already above big league average. Pomares only makes impact contact to his pull side but he does have the ability to slash balls the other way. He punishes pitchers who try to double up on breaking balls against him, and he has several other hitterish traits. He’s not a speedster and has more of a tweener defensive profile, so he probably needs more game power to profile in a corner. Our visual evaluation is fairly demure, but you can frame discussion around Pomares in such a way that he’s considered a polished hitter with sneaky juice who also has a shot to play center field, which sounds great.

40 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (MIN)
Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 45/55 35/45 92-96 / 98

Tilt Berroa’s cap another 15 degrees and he’s a dead on-mound ringer for Fernando Rodney, both physically and mechanically. Right now, he’s mostly a teenager with premium arm strength and somewhat inconsistent secondaries, both of which flash at least average. Both secondaries will likely depend on location to work, and Berroa doesn’t currently repeat consistently enough for that. But he has a chance to, which means he could end up with several bat-missing offerings and profile comfortably in a rotation. If only one secondary comes along, he’s still a good reliever.

18. Blake Rivera, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Wallace State JC (AL) (SFG)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 55/60 40/45 40/45 92-96 / 97

Rivera has an Emilio Pagan body and delivery comp, and he has natural proclivity for spin. His power stuff — 92-96 with cut action and a plus curveball — might tick up in single-inning stints, so while his command likely pushes him to the bullpen, he might be dominant there.

19. Kai-Wei Teng, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Taiwan (MIN)
Age 21.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 260 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 45/50 50/50 45/50 45/60 91-94 / 96

Teng was one of two players, along with Yunior Severino, who the Twins signed after voiding amateur shortstop Jelfy Marte’s $3 million deal due to vision issues. It didn’t take long for them to flip Teng to San Francisco as part of the package that netted Sam Dyson. He has a thick lower half and is a middling athlete, but he’s very well balanced over his blocking leg and otherwise has a smooth delivery that should not only enable him to throw enough strikes to remain a starter, but perhaps develop plus command, as well.

There’s already strong breaking ball utility here, the ability to vary shape based on location, and competitive, arm-side changeup feel, too. Teng’s frame is maxed out, so he probably won’t add velo, but that’s still a No. 4/5 skillset.

20. Camilo Doval, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 22.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Cutter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 45/50 60/70 20/35 93-98 / 99

Doval is one of the weirder pitchers in all of the minors, as his delivery and stuff are each as odd as they are inconsistent. When he’s right, the long-armed, side-winding right-hander chucks upper-90s stuff with either heavy sink, or rising cut action caused by his arm angle. He also throws a hard, horizontal slider. The Trackman readout for Doval is shocking. His primary fastball/cutter spins in at about 2700 rpm, which is incredible considering how hard he throws. He also generates nearly seven feet of extension, and the effective velocity of his fastball is about 2 mph harder than its actual velo. There are outings where he’s untouchable for several innings. He also has nuclear outings where he walks everyone and gives up a bunch of runs before registering an out.

We’re dying to capture Doval on the high speed camera and see how the hell this works and what could be done to improve his consistency. We’re not even all that confident that he’ll figure it out, but we’re bewitched by his stuff and think he has a chance to be an elite bullpen weapon if he ever does.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 55/60 30/45 20/20 45/50 60/60

Genoves is Rule 5 eligible but probably too undercooked to be selected. Built like one of the Moai sculptures on Easter Island, Genoves may not have the mobility to catch long term. But he has a plus arm, he’s procedurally advanced for a 20-year-old, and he has the leadership qualities and intangibles that have an outsized impact at catcher. Plus, some of his mobility issues might soon be rendered moot by the existence of electronic strike zones. He also has plus power, enough to put balls out to right center, though Genoves’ current pull-happy approach doesn’t facilitate many homers out there.

This is a somewhat speculative ranking based on what the future of the position may hold. On tools Genoves has a shot to be a regular, though a backup role is probably more likely.

22. P.J. Hilson, CF
Drafted: 6th Round, 2018 from Nettleton HS (AR) (SFG)
Age 19.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/35 50/55 25/45 70/70 45/55 70/70

The gap between what Hilson is now and what he might be is perhaps the widest in pro baseball, a yawning chasm that the Giants player development staff will try to close. A complete lack of bat control undermines his scintillating physical ability, and his grooved swing leads to a lot of whiffs on pitches in the zone. Hilson’s chances of becoming a big leaguer are fairly low, but because of his physical talent, he also has a chance to be a David Dahl sort of player if he develops even a 40 hit tool.

Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Leadership Christian HS (PR) (SFG)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 50/55 25/50 60/55 40/50 40/50

Rosario had defensive issues (both hands and arm accuracy, perhaps as a result of him needing to rush after booting balls) throughout the summer after he signed and his future position is unclear. He does have serious pop, though, and even if the defensive problems linger there’s a shot Rosario hits for enough power to profile anywhere.

24. Aeverson Arteaga, SS
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 16.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 30/45 20/40 60/55 45/60 55/60

The timing of Arteaga’s deal, combined with scouts’ general reticence to work in Venezuela, made him tough to evaluate ahead of signing day. He’s been a bit more visible since then, and the carrying tool is going to be the glove. Arteaga’s range, footwork, actions, and athleticism are all terrific. He doesn’t have a clear path to an impact bat based on what teams have seen so far, but his frame is projectable. He may be stateside in January.

25. Tristan Beck, RHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Stanford (ATL)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/60 45/50 40/45 89-94 / 95

Beck has a dandy 12-6 curveball and he was throwing quite a bit harder in the AFL than he was when Eric saw him right after Atlanta traded him to San Francisco. Those two pitches suggest a big league bullpen/No. 5 starter.

26. Jake Wong, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Grand Canyon (SFG)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 45/50 45/50 45/55 91-94 / 96

Wong was holding 93-96 with sink deep into games as a junior at Grand Canyon and his strike-throwing ability carried over to pro ball. Even though he doesn’t spin the ball exceptionally well, he does create some life on his heater and his changeup has improved a bit already. He projects as a No. 5 starter or inning-eating bulk reliever.

27. Kean Wong, 2B
Drafted: 4th Round, 2013 from Waiakea HS (HI) (TBR)
Age 24.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/50 35/35 30/30 50/50 50/50 50/50

Wong was kept at Triple-A for the third straight year and posted his second consecutive season with an above-average statline. He’s bounced around waivers, a 40-man casualty of Tampa Bay and the Angels before landing in San Francisco. His versatility, speed, and above-average contact ability from the left side fit like a glove in a bench role.

28. Jose Siri, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (CIN)
Age 24.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/55 45/50 60/60 45/50 60/60

The enigmatic Siri has premium physical ability but lacks any kind of plan at the plate, and it’s undercut his offensive performance for much of his career. He’s a volatile talent and person who has begun to be passed around on the waiver wire. The right clubhouse and opportunity to play might enable him to be a real everyday player. He has that kind of power, speed and natural feel for hitting the ball in the air, but it’s not a great sign when teams are still waiting for a 25-year-old to mature as a ballplayer.

29. Dany Jimenez, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (TOR)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 40/40 93-96 / 97

Jimenez was picked by San Francisco in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. Like Ramirez, Jimenez also signed late, agreeing to his first pro contract just before he turned 22. He also missed most of 2017 due to injury, and those sorts of factors combined to limit him to just 33 innings above A-ball even though he is about to turn 26. He sits 93-95, touches 97, the heater spins at about 2450 rpm, and Jimenez’s vertical arm slot makes it hard for hitters to discern the fastball and his power breaking ball from one another. I think he’s pretty likely to stick in a relief role.

35+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 11th Round, 2019 from George County HS (MS) (SFG)
Age 18.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
40/50 45/55 35/50 90-94 / 96

McDonald was a pop-up prep arm from rural Mississippi, almost smack in the middle of the triangle created by the highways that connect Biloxi, Hattiesburg, and Mobile. Every team saw him up to 96 with a good, two-plane breaking ball but had very different projections on how the stuff and body would mature. Those who like him thought his feel for spin could be parlayed into multiple weapons, while others saw a likely reliever with just fair physical projection.

31. Grant McCray, CF
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Lakewood Ranch HS (FL) (SFG)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 45/50 20/40 60/60 45/50 50/55

McCray still has work to do from a stride length and swing timing perspective, but he got much stronger in the last year, and did so while retaining his plus speed. Perhaps most surprisingly, he tracked pitches very well over his pro debut and he has promising feel for contact. Again though, the swing needs refinement for the physical tools to actualize.

32. Esmerlin Vinicio, LHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 16.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
20/50 40/55 50/60 35/55 83-85 / 86

You need to dream to see Vinicio as a future big leaguer but he gives you plenty of reasons to hope. He is athletic and well-made, graceful, balanced, and loose. His curveball has shape but not power, something that will need to come as his body matures, just like his velocity generally. In his changeup, Vinicio has an out pitch, something that will entice swings and misses as soon as he steps on a pro field.

33. Logan Wyatt, 1B
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Louisville (SFG)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 217 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/55 35/50 30/30 45/50 45/45

Advanced plate discipline and enough hitting tools (big strength and a low load that creates lift) made Wyatt attractive in the draft, but he’s a maxed-out first base-only prospect with 50 raw power.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2011 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 24.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 50/50 30/30 94-97 / 98

After missing long stretches with injuries over the last several years, the Giants moved Vizcaino to the bullpen in 2019 and he dominated Hi-A for a month before settling in at the upper levels, where he was just okay. He has no-doubt, big league middle relief stuff but he’s is a 30 athlete with 30 control, so everything plays down because too many pitches end up in non-competitive locations.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Louisville (SFG)
Age 22.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 45/50 30/40 55/50 45/50 55/55

FItzgerald has everyday tools and he was a big name in high school, but apart from some spurts, he never quite performed up to his physical potential at Louisville. He has a solid shot to stick at shortstop and develop at least average power, especially if San Francisco can help him better incorporate his lower half into his swing.

Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Cathedral Catholic HS (CA) (SFG)
Age 18.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 50/60 20/55 30/30 40/55 50/55

Marred by multiple injuries and a serious illness during his senior year of high school, Frechette went from intriguing power projection prospect to relative afterthought during his predraft spring. Once he signed and got going in the AZL, some of the explosion that made him interesting the summer before had returned. He’s athletic enough to give it a try in a corner outfield spot, and for now, we like his frame and present raw power more than some of the guys drafted ahead of him.

Drafted: 17th Round, 2019 from UC Riverside (SFG)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 80/80 35/60 20/20 40/45 55/55

Cannon has serious juice, legitimate 80-grade raw power. He’s enormous and has mobility issues created by his size and exacerbated by multiple knee surgeries. There’s extreme risk here due to the R/R first base profile and the medical, which goes beyond the knee stuff, but he has to be on here because of how loud the power is.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

They Might Be Giants
Joe McCarthy, OF/1B
Sam Wolff, RHP
Abiatal Avelino, INF
Chris Shaw, 1B
Rico Garcia, RHP
Rodolfo Martinez, RHP
Jose Marte, RHP
Carlos Sano, RHP

This group is full of Quad-A types who might get an opportunity to prove something in the big leagues next year considering where the Giants are in their rebuild. Most of these guys are in their mid-20s. We liked McCarthy as a high-OBP corner platoon guy for the last several years, but he had yet another back issue in 2019 and needs to prove he can stay healthy now. The same goes for Wolff, who has 40 FV stuff but a long injury history. You could argue Avelino belongs where Kean Wong is on the main section of the list, but give us the lefty bat. Shaw has huge power but we don’t think he’ll hit. Eric has seen Garcia sit 93-96 for spurts, with about average secondaries. He was claimed off waivers. Martinez is one of several hard-throwing arms in the system who have had injury or consistency issues. Rodolfo will show you 91-97 and touch 100, a wider range than usual. Marte also throws hard, up to 99, but it doesn’t play like an elite fastball. Sano was hurt most of last year. He’s up to 96 with plus vertical movement. One of these arms should end up sticking.

Body Beautiful with Power
Carter Aldrete, RF
George Bell Jr., LF
Jacob Heyward, RF
Jacob Gonzalez, 1B
Armani Smith, OF

All of these guys have big raw, but play a corner and don’t have the hit tool to be on the main section of the list. Aldrete was an infielder as an underclassman at ASU but moved to the outfield as a junior. Bell was on last year’s list but didn’t take a step forward. Heyward has performed at every level and he walks a ton, but he’s always been quite old for the level. Scouts love Gonzalez’s makeup, but he hit for shockingly little power this year and still projects as a first baseman rather than his current third. Smith, like Bell last year, hit during his first pro summer and he looks the part in the uniform, so we’re monitoring him.

Two Long-Term Projects
Victor Bericoto, 1B
Anthony Rodriguez, SS

Bericoto was promoted from the DSL late in the summer, along with Luis Matos. He’s an advanced hitter but first base is a tough profile and Bericoto’s tools don’t pop. Rodriguez is another 2019 J2 signee, inked for $800,000 out of Venezuela. He’s a projectable switch-hitter with some twitch and bat speed, but the swing is pretty rough.

Sneaky Sneaky
Matt Frisbee, RHP
Kervin Castro, RHP
Luis Amaya, LHP
Izzy Munguia, OF
Jesus Tona, RHP

Frisbee has carved the lower levels with 90-94, plus vertical movement, and plus slider command. He’s 23. If he does it at Double-A next year, he’ll be a 40 FV. Castro is up to 95, he backspins his fastball, and flashes a plus changeup. He’s 20, but is built like a catcher. Speaking of catchers, there’s a full Tona writeup here. Amaya also has a sneaky fastball. It’s only about 91-92 but he hides the ball well and it sneaks past hitters. His 11-to-5 curveball is average. Munguia is tiny but he plays his ass off and puts the bat on the ball at an abnormal rate.

System Overview

We still have much to learn about how the talent acquisition under new Baseball Ops President Farhan Zaidi will go. Not only can we look back at his time with Oakland and the Dodgers for clues, but we can do the same for the relatively new heads of the pro and amateur staffs, as well as fresh-faced General Manager Scott Harris.

Harris has roots in the Commissioner’s office and, more recently, with the Cubs, where he earned his MBA at Northwestern while simultaneously serving as the team’s baseball ops director. He’ll probably be less involved in what we’re interested in than amateur director Michael Holmes, who comes from Oakland, and pro director Zack Minasian, who comes from Milwaukee.

Oakland targeted toolsy, high-upside athletes early in drafts while focusing on college performers on Day Two. Those college performers, some of whom typically came in under slot, enabled Oakland to scoop up an over-slot high schooler or two on Day Two or early on Day Three. The Giants took this exact approach last year, saving about $1 million early on, then spreading that to a few high schoolers as the draft progressed. They pick 13th next year in a draft that’s currently seen as quite deep, so this strategy might yield more talent than normal.

Minasian was with Milwaukee for nearly half of our lifetimes, and over that span, several regimes came and went. Under former Astros Assistant GM David Stearns, the Brewers began to axe scouts this year, after Minasian left. Whether he is bringing that approach with him to San Francisco, we don’t know. The Milwaukee rebuild that yielded most of the current pitching staff and the pieces that were sent to Miami for Christian Yelich were mostly collected by departments helmed by Minasian and Rey Montgomery. Lewis Brinson, Isan Díaz, Josh Hader, Luis Ortiz, Brett Phillips, Zach Davies and Freddy Peralta were all picked up during this stretch. That’s pretty tools-centric on the hitters’ side, and deals often included multiple players sent back to Milwaukee. Last year’s trade deadline adds in San Francisco (Davis/Teng/Berroa, Dubon) have a similar feel.

Let’s see which Quad-A hitters (Tyler Austin, Connor Joe, Jaylin Davis, Aaron Altherr, etc.) end up sticking; the club is cycling through a ton. We’ve thrown our dart at Davis.

Top 45 Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.

Editor’s Note: Brennan Malone and Liover Peguero were removed from this list following the Starling Marte deal.

Diamondbacks Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Kristian Robinson 19.2 A CF 2022 55
2 Daulton Varsho 23.6 AA C 2021 50
3 Alek Thomas 19.8 A+ CF 2022 50
4 Geraldo Perdomo 20.3 A+ SS 2021 50
5 Corbin Carroll 19.5 A- CF 2023 50
6 Corbin Martin 24.2 MLB RHP 2021 45+
7 J.B. Bukauskas 23.4 AA RHP 2020 45+
8 Blake Walston 18.7 A- LHP 2024 45+
9 Wilderd Patino 18.6 R CF 2023 45+
10 Jon Duplantier 25.6 MLB RHP 2020 45
11 Matt Tabor 21.6 A RHP 2022 45
12 Levi Kelly 20.8 A RHP 2022 40+
13 Drey Jameson 22.5 A- RHP 2022 40+
14 Luis Frias 21.8 A RHP 2021 40+
15 Andy Young 25.8 AAA 2B 2020 40+
16 Seth Beer 23.4 AA 1B 2021 40+
17 Justin Martinez 18.6 R RHP 2023 40+
18 Blaze Alexander 20.7 A SS 2023 40+
19 Tommy Henry 22.6 A- LHP 2023 40
20 Dominic Fletcher 22.5 A RF 2023 40
21 Jeferson Espinal 17.7 R CF 2025 40
22 Josh Green 24.5 AA RHP 2021 40
23 Taylor Widener 25.3 AAA RHP 2020 40
24 Ryne Nelson 22.1 A- RHP 2021 40
25 Pavin Smith 24.1 AA 1B 2021 40
26 Domingo Leyba 24.5 MLB 2B 2020 40
27 Jorge Barrosa 19.0 A- CF 2022 40
28 Buddy Kennedy 21.4 A 3B 2022 40
29 Alvin Guzman 18.3 R CF 2024 40
30 Jhosmer Alvarez 18.7 R RHP 2022 40
31 Drew Ellis 24.2 AA 3B 2021 40
32 Neyfy Castillo 19.0 R 1B 2022 40
33 Glenallen Hill Jr. 19.4 R 2B 2024 35+
34 Kevin Ginkel 25.9 MLB RHP 2020 35+
35 Junior Mieses 20.4 R RHP 2022 35+
36 Matt Peacock 26.0 AA RHP 2020 35+
37 Matt Mercer 23.5 A+ RHP 2022 35+
38 Conor Grammes 22.6 A- RHP 2023 35+
39 Eduardo Herrera 20.1 A- RHP 2023 35+
40 Jake McCarthy 22.6 A+ LF 2021 35+
41 Bobby Ay 22.7 R RHP 2023 35+
42 West Tunnell 26.3 AA RHP 2020 35+
43 Eduardo Diaz 22.6 A+ CF 2022 35+
44 Avery Short 18.9 A- LHP 2023 35+
45 Edinson Soto 23.4 R RHP 2022 35+
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55 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Bahamas (ARI)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 60/70 45/60 60/55 45/50 60/60

Robinson’s physical composition and athleticism drove club interest and netted him the fourth largest bonus in the 2017 international free agent class. Even as a 17-year-old on Arizona’s backfields, he stood apart physically from rehabbing big leaguers several years his senior, and instantly attracted evaluators’ attention, like the gravitational pull of a very dense star. And star is apt because that’s the kind of projection Robinson’s tools allow for. Big, fast, and prone to generating thunderous contact, he’s more physically alike to young SEC pass catchers than most of the baseball-playing universe. But the background — a giant, Bahamian man-child without the showcase track record of most of his Dominican peers — meant the industry knew even less about how Robinson would handle pro pitching than it did the average J2 prospect. After some initial inconsistencies, Robinson has not only quelled those concerns but also surpassed expectations, and in 2019 he clubbed his way from the Northwest League to full-season ball as an 18-year-old.

Robinson’s bat path lacks the lift necessary to produce in-game power on par with his raw, but the foundation of his swing is sound, with nothing too complicated despite Robinson’s size. He’s already hitting 50% of his balls in play with an exit velo of 95 mph or more, which is up in Joey Gallo/Nelson Cruz territory, it’s just often low-lying contact. Robinson’s fast enough to continue being developed in center field, but there’s a good chance he ends up on a big league roster with a superior defender who kicks him to right. His ceiling, that of a 35 homer force who can play a passable center, hasn’t changed since he first began appearing on the electronic pages of FanGraphs; his progress is just evidence that such a future is becoming more likely.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Wisconsin-Milwaukee (ARI)
Age 23.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 40/45 60/60 40/45 45/45

Varsho presents us, and other evaluators with anticipatory tendencies, with a bit of a conundrum. While we expect that future changes to the way balls and strikes are called (i.e. an electronic strike zones) will make it so below-average receivers like Varsho can catch quite comfortably, it’s also going to raise the offensive bar at the position in a way that alters how we think about catchers generally. Once framing became quantifiable, the average wRC+ at catcher went from about 93 down into the mid-80s. If that skill becomes moot, catcher offense will certainly rise.

Varsho’s case is unique, as is his skillset for the position. He’s a plus runner who might steal 30 bases at peak, a contact-oriented, gap-to-gap hitter with catalytic qualities found in old school one and two-hole hitters. How much of that spark erodes if Varsho is asked to take a beating behind the dish one hundred times a summer? Probably some, and when paired with his defensive shortcomings — he has a fringe arm, trouble catching balls cleanly, especially toward the bottom of the zone, and at times struggles to block breaking stuff in the dirt — there are suddenly several reasons to limit his catching reps and deploy him in left field, or perhaps try to hide him at second base. Varsho seems motivated to catch and he’s both quite athletic and highly competitive, two things that often help prospects carve paths to unlikely big league outcomes. So while we think it’s becoming less likely that he will be an everyday catcher, we’re still in on his offensive ability, makeup, and rare collection of skills, and remain intrigued by the proposition (and growing likelihood) that he’ll be a dynamic, multi-positional player who catches once in a while.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Mount Carmel HS (IL) (ARI)
Age 19.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 50/50 40/50 60/60 50/55 40/40

All of the left-handed hitters at the 2019 Futures Game had some help from the wind blowing out toward Progressive Field’s right field bleachers, but even with that aid, Thomas’ batting practice in Cleveland was surprising. He was about a year removed from falling to the 2018 draft’s second round in part because his stature didn’t allow for traditional, frame-based power projection, but he’s very strong for his size (Thomas’ dad is the White Sox strength and conditioning coach) and already has average raw at age 19. He’s well-conditioned, but short, built narrowly, and likely to max out with a frame (and skill set) similar to Brett Gardner‘s.

He lets balls travel deep into the hitting zone and sprays hard contact all over the field — about half of his extra-base hits were stuck to the opposite field last year, many of them doubles sliced into the left field corner. An unchanged approach to contact would likely result in limited over-the-fence power, but Thomas is fleet of foot and either projects in center field or, due to arm strength, as a plus-plus left fielder, which takes some pressure off the offense. There’s some tweener/fourth outfielder risk here but Thomas now has a four-year track record of hitting against pitching that is often older than he is, beginning with his performance on the showcase circuit as an underclassman and ending with an aggressive promotion to Hi-A toward the end of 2019. It’s pretty amazing that an undersized, young-for-the-class hitter from a cold-weather location has moved this quickly without a hiccup, and we’re inclined to believe Thomas will keep hitting and eventually become an everyday big leaguer.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 184 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/50 30/45 55/55 45/55 55/55

At the lowest levels of the minors, it’s hard to tell if a ball/strike recognition prodigy is real or not because the opposing pitchers are often just incompetent strike-throwers. Perdomo’s 2019 exposure to full-season pitching put to rest concerns that we were previously overrating his diagnostic abilities, as he continued to grind out tough at-bats against sentient pitching, and walk at a 14.5% clip at Low-A Kane County before his August promotion to Hi-A. So confident is Perdomo in his notion of the strike zone that, after taking a looking strike three during Fall League, he flipped off the TrackMan unit calling balls at Salt River Fields.

That skill combined with Perdomo’s bat-to-ball ability from the left side (his right-handed swing is bad) and his elegant shortstop defense, gave him a promising foundation of skills as a teenager on the backfields. Then, the juice started to come. Perdomo’s exit velos climbed throughout 2019. He averaged about 80 mph off the bat at Low-A, then about 82 mph after his promotion to Hi-A, and finally averaged 87 mph during a limited Fall League sample. His body has become more mature, and his left-handed swing has become more explosive and now features an overhead, helicopter finish similar to Miguel Andújar’s. There’s still some room for improvement as it relates to the lower half usage in the swing, and it’s possible Perdomo scraps hitting right-handed altogether at some point. The skills/instincts foundation here is solid enough to project Perdomo as a low-end regular, and the burgeoning physical ability means he’s begun to look like quite a bit more than that.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Lakeside HS (WA) (ARI)
Age 19.5 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 45/50 30/50 70/70 50/60 55/55

Carroll was electric during his showcase summer, displaying consistent, high-quality, all-fields contact and, at times, surprising power. From a skills and present baseball acumen standpoint, he was perhaps the most polished high schooler in the whole class, but his sleight, narrow build slid him back behind more traditional-looking athletes, like Bobby Witt and CJ Abrams. Though he doesn’t seem inclined to turn on pitches and lift them with power, Carroll loudly squashed concerns about lacking physicality by hitting lasers all summer, first in the AZL, then later in the Northwest League. In addition to having plus pure speed, which will enable him to stay in center field and perhaps be an impact defender there, Carroll is also a sly, instinctive baserunner who presses action. The two unknown variables at this point are a) how Carroll’s lilliputian frame withstands the rigors of a long, full season and b) if the Diamondbacks will try to tweak his swing or approach to produce more power, since his measurable exit velos indicate he has a chance to hit for some.

45+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Texas A&M (HOU)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 55/55 50/55 45/50 93-95 / 98

TrackMan-focused teams were all on Martin the summer after his sophomore year, as he was showing three data-friendly plus pitches and starter traits while he closed games on Cape Cod. Due to a deep veteran staff at Texas A&M and his own inconsistency, Martin only really pitched for part of one season as a starter while he was in college. A lot of teams thought he was just going to be a reliever. The Astros popped him in the second round of the 2017 draft, hoping to tease out the traits they saw on the Cape, and in the two years he was in the org, they did it. Martin was a top 100 prospect before his elbow blew out late last June.

Healthy Martin sits in the mid-90s, mixes in a hard, upper-80s slider, has an above-average power changeup, a more vertically-oriented curveball, and average command. He made too many mistakes during his short big league look in Houston last year and gave up a bunch of dingers, but we think he’ll get his pitch execution issues ironed out and attack hitters the way most Houston arms do: fastballs at the top of the zone, sliders off the plate to the glove side, and changeups and curveballs down. Martin was part of Arizona’s return for Zack Greinke. We’ve diluted his FV a bit because we worry the timing of his surgery will mean he misses most of 2020, though Martin is a premium athlete and animalistic competitor, and people in his current and former org expect him to crush his rehab and be back as soon as possible. If his stuff comes back, we’ll 50 him again.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from North Carolina (HOU)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 196 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/70 60/60 35/40 93-96 / 98

Bukauskas took time off from pitching and got in the weight room as a high school underclassman, and emerged the following spring with four or five more ticks on his fastball. He then reclassified and was suddenly on track to graduate and be draft eligible a year early, meaning every decision-making amateur evaluator in the country had to get in quickly to see a pitcher who had all this new velocity but with whom scouts had very little history. Then Bukauskas asked not to be drafted (he was, but late, and didn’t sign) so he could go to North Carolina. After a middling freshman year, he was dominant as a sophomore and in the early part of his junior year before his stuff was depressed during North Carolina’s postseason games. That dip inflamed perviously held concerns that durability issues resulting from his size and a violent delivery might push Bukauskas to the bullpen.

A 2018 car accident, which caused a slipped disk in his thoracic spine, limited Bukauskas to about 60 innings in 2018, which left questions about his ability to start unanswered. He was electric when he returned, though, and became increasingly dominant towards the end of the summer before his stuff was seen by the entire industry in the Arizona Fall League. He flashed 70-grade changeups and sliders on occasion, bumped 98, and has added a cutter, which it appears he has since scrapped. He was wild in 2019 and it’s becoming more likely that he winds up in the bullpen, though we think he could be positively dominant in that role.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from New Hanover HS (NC) (ARI)
Age 18.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 55/65 45/55 40/55 88-92 / 93

Walston popped up pretty late, at a point in March when multiple clubs were sending in heat week after week to get some history. Some teams were out when they got multiple outings where he was mostly 84-89, while others are still hot on his trail. We saw him late when he was opening 90-93, cruising 88-91, and reaching back for 93 when he needed it. Walston was young for the class, ultra projectable, an above average athlete, and throws two versions of his curveball with the harder slurve flashing 65- or 70-grade when it’s on, while the slow one is a consistent 60. There’s feel for a changeup and command, and his fastball has life that enables it to compete for swings and misses in the zone even though it isn’t all that hard. Yet. He was up to 94 for Eric in the AZL after he signed. It will depend on how Walston develops physically, and how those gains counterbalance the coming full-season workload, but he has a chance to end up with three plus pitches and impact command. He’s as risky as any teenage pitching prospect, perhaps riskier when you consider those velocity fluctuations. One scout’s upward trajectory is another’s recency bias.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 18.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 45/55 30/50 60/60 45/55 60/60

Patino had originally agreed to a deal with Texas, but it was voided due to an elbow injury and he eventually landed with Arizona. Toolsy, physical, and built like Trevor Story, Patino has an exciting combination of speed and power, as well as promising ball/strike recognition. What he lacks at this point is barrel control and a bat path that enables the power. Those are important components and may not be easy to fix, especially the bat control issue. But Patino’s ball/strike and breaking ball recognition could help mitigate those issues, and his ceiling (a high OBP center fielder with power) is lofty if they’re overcome.

Amateur scouts who picked up pro coverage the summer after the draft were in awe of Patino, who was the age of most of the players they had just spent a week discussing in the draft room but more physically gifted than all but a select few of them. A max-effort player with a fairly mature build, Patino may skip over short-season ball next year and head right to the Midwest League to be among athletes with more comparable physical ability, though that may mean he gets fewer reps in center because of Corbin Carroll’s presence there.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Rice (ARI)
Age 25.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 50/50 45/55 50/55 91-94 / 96

Duplantier had been injury-free since college (where he dealt with shoulder problems) until 2018, when he had hamstring issues in the spring, and biceps tendinitis later in the summer. The lost innings resulted in an Arizona Fall League stint, during which Duplantier was one of the better pitching prospects in the league. Despite the biceps issue, his velocity was fine in the fall, when he sat 93-96 and showed three good, clearly demarcated secondary pitches. Then 2019 came. Dup’s stuff was not as crisp during the spring, and he was shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues several times; he had a shoulder issue in the middle of the summer and his stuff was down again later in the year. There’s a chance his stuff bounces back and he pitches like the 50 FV we thought he’d be last year, and there’s a chance those two-ish healthy years sandwiched by all the injuries are, in fact, the outliers.

11. Matt Tabor, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Milton Academy HS (MA) (ARI)
Age 21.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 55/60 35/50 90-93 / 94

We love how athletic Tabor is and how quickly each of his secondaries became good considering his Northeastern prep school background, but while some of our sources are inclined to continue projecting on his velocity because his build is still young-looking, we think two straight years of 90-93 (Tabor’s velo popped late in high school) makes it more likely the fastball settles here. He’s athletic, his arm slot creates rise on his fastball and bat-missing, vertical action on his breaking stuff, and Tabor has good changeup. We have him projected as a No. 4/5 starter.

40+ FV Prospects

12. Levi Kelly, RHP
Drafted: 8th Round, 2018 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
45/50 60/70 45/55 35/45 90-94 / 96

Even though we saw him up to 96, we were not big fans of Kelly while he was in high school because he had a softer, maxed out frame and a stiff, violent delivery we believed would limit him to a relief role if his arm didn’t fall off first. Now, he has arguably the best physique in this system at a svelte 205, and was so dominant during minor league spring training that the org was compelled to send him to full season ball even though he was initially slated to hang back in Extended until short season leagues began after the draft. And Kelly delivered, striking out 126 hitters in 100 Low-A innings.

Often, a pitcher who remakes their physique will be rewarded with a jump in velocity. This is not the case with Kelly, who we still have averaging about 92 with his heater. What Kelly does have, is one of the better sliders in the minors, with a shape and bite similar to Brad Lidge’s diving bastard of a slider. Sometimes it comes out of Kelly’s hand high and arcs into the strike zone like a curveball; hitters still can’t touch it. Sometimes it backs up on Kelly and has changeup movement; doesn’t matter. When executed, it’s a big league out pitch right now. Kelly needs to refine his fastball command because it isn’t hard enough to live in the zone, and needs to live at the top of it. We think he’ll have to nibble with the heater and end up working too inefficiently to start, but we think he’ll be an excellent, multi-inning reliever.

13. Drey Jameson, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Ball State (ARI)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/65 50/55 55/60 50/60 35/40 93-96 / 98

In front of a huge contingent of scouts, Jameson carved up Stanford in his first start of the 2019 season and was immediately on the map as a draft-eligible sophomore. His high-maintenance delivery is hard to repeat, but it also makes things awkward for hitters, who don’t typically see this kind of arm slot/release point. And from that release point emerges nasty stuff. Jameson will touch 98, manipulates the shape of two good breaking balls, and flashes an occasional plus changeup. The delivery may make it hard for him to start, and Jameson has a skinny, atypical frame. Some teams think he ends up in relief, but it may be in a multi-inning or high-leverage role, and he’s held velo deep into games as a starter so he may have a shot to stick.

14. Luis Frias, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
60/65 45/50 45/50 50/55 40/45 93-97 / 99

At times, Frias looks like a stiff, velo-only bullpen prospect. At others, he’s competing in or near the zone with four pitches, including a splitter that was much better in 2019. All four pitches give hitters a vastly different look. Frias’ mid-90s fastball has tailing action and his curveball has vertical depth and eats up hitters who are cheating on velo, while the split has late bottom when it’s on, and the slider has horizontal, cutting action. The movement profile of his fastball may not be the best for missing bats, but it’s likely to be an impact pitch because of the velocity. He could end up with three average secondaries (there’s a chance the split becomes better than that) and enough strikes to start, making him a potential No. 4/5 starter or late-inning reliever.

15. Andy Young, 2B
Drafted: 37th Round, 2016 from Indiana State (STL)
Age 25.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 55/55 45/55 40/40 40/40 50/50

Middle infielders with power are rare and yet Young, who is exactly that, somehow lasted until the 37th round of his draft and signed for just $3,000. This is the Cardinals’ archetypical draftee — a power-first prospect with questionable mobility. Collect enough of those and through a combination of luck and good player development, some of them will turn into passable defenders and become solid big leaguers or tradable assets like Young, who was sent to Arizona in the Paul Goldschmidt deal.

This is our odds-on favorite to take up Wilmer Flores‘ mantle as the heavy-footed middle infield masher the D-backs turn to when they need runs late in games, or who they replace with a better defender when they need to prevent runs late. Though he does most of his damage on pitches on the inner half, Young has enough barrel control to spoil pitches away from him until he gets something he can square up. When Young connects, he does so with power. Buff and square-shouldered, Young’s physicality is a driving component of his power but it’s also why he’s somewhat limited defensively. Since being traded, he has seen time at shortstop, third base, and second; he projects as a 40 defender at all three spots.

16. Seth Beer, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Clemson (HOU)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 60/60 40/55 20/20 30/40 45/45

We have a source who indicated to us that Beer’s exit velos have been slowly declining since his freshman year at Clemson, and that jives with reports of his overall athleticism and mobility, which have also been in decline since his historic freshman season. It’s an odd athletic trend for someone who was once a decorated amateur swimmer, since swimmers are always ultra sinewy and lean. It is common for baseball players whose bodies mature early to also start to decline early, at least in our anecdotal experience, and this is true of Beer, who was on the scouting radar very early as an old-for-his-grad-year (we really need a word for this) underclassman. Instead of reclassifying and entering the 2015 draft as an 18-year-old, Beer skipped his high school senior year completely and early-enrolled at Clemson. He went on to have one of the best freshman years in college baseball history: .369/.535/.700 with 18 homers, 62 walks, and 27 strikeouts.

In the few intervening years, Beer has continued to perform, his numbers slowly trending down as he reached his draft year at Clemson, then pro ball for a year with Houston before they shipped him to Arizona as part of the Zack Greinke trade. He’s now 23 and has a .294/.388/.508 career line in the minors. He reached Double-A in his first pro season. These are all good signs, and we’re almost certain Beer will be a solid big league role player relatively soon — we just can’t speak to what his shelf life will be and don’t think his ceiling is in the Rhys Hoskins/Pete Alonso realm at all.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 40/50 30/50 92-96 / 98

There was late-Spring backfield gossip that the D-backs had a hard-throwing righty in the DSL who we might see in Arizona before the summer was through. On the day before his 18th birthday, Martinez threw an inning of AZL ball and bumped 98 on the Chase Field gun. Perhaps more surprising than the velocity, which we had been primed to see, was how well Martinez executed his breaking ball over his next couple of outings. It’s only an average tweener breaking ball right now, but he consistently located it down and away from righties, enticing them to flail at it as it disappeared in the dirt. Eric saw some average changeups, as well. His fastball control is certainly raw, and while Martinez has a strong, projectable frame, his arm action is somewhat odd, with less external rotation going on than with most elite velo guys.

The D-backs need to work on getting Martinez behind the baseball so his fastball doesn’t have cut action (it’s not enough cut to be impactful, it’s just running into barrels, as you can see on our high speed video of Martinez) and instead has ride. That should come with time. Were Martinez draft-eligible, he’d go somewhere in the second round.

Drafted: 11th Round, 2018 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI)
Age 20.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/55 20/45 45/40 45/50 80/80

Alexander fell out of the top 10 rounds of the 2018 draft due to questions about his signability, hit tool, and age relative to his peers. He was almost 19 on draft day, which, combined with the strikeout issues, moved him way down the boards of teams who care about those variables, especially together. He ended up signing for a very reasonable $500,000. At the time he was seen as an advanced defender with an 80 arm (the teams most bearish on his bat in high school wanted to see him on the mound) and above-average raw power, which Alexander’s pre-daft proponents insisted he’d get to despite the strikeouts. Pro scouts who saw Blaze in 2019 did not quite drop a 55 on the power (which is supported by his TrackMan data) and called him “streaky,” which they perceived to be caused by lapses in focus. He had a strong statistical season, played several positions well and showed an encouraging idea of the strike zone, so we’ve held over his FV from last year despite the dip in reports on the power.

40 FV Prospects

19. Tommy Henry, LHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Michigan (ARI)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 50/55 45/55 88-92 / 93

Henry was a strong follow for the 2019 draft, sitting 87-90 in 2018, but took a big step forward in his draft year, coming out of the gate at 89-92, touching 93 mph. Later in the spring, his velo tailed off and some teams moved on, but it came back right before the draft with a strong postseason look for the National Champion Wolverines. Henry was nearly 22 on draft day, so his velo dip was more concerning, but we’re told an injury was to blame. His style of pitching, with deception, great body control, and a high arm slot, fits what progressive clubs generally, and Arizona specifically, are looking for, with vertical movement on the four-seamer and 12-6 action on his curveball, which flashes above average when his arm speed is there. His changeup also flashed above average at times and one scout we spoke with thinks there’s room for another 10-15 pounds of muscle even at age 22, giving him a No. 3/4 starter workhorse profile if things work out.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Arkansas (ARI)
Age 22.5 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 188 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 55/55 40/50 45/40 50/55 55/55

Fletcher was a tweener outfielder as a SoCal high school prospect. He matriculated to Arkansas, where he slowed down a bit but grew into more power than expected. He still has a slasher-style swing and he has some strikeout issues driven by a rather indiscriminate approach, but he has a chance to be the larger half of a corner outfield platoon.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 17.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 40/50 20/45 60/60 45/60 45/45

Espinal is built like a human sports car, chiseled and square-shouldered. He runs like one, too, and may be a plus defender in center field at peak. He has crude feel for slasher-style contact right now, and the way his style and quality of contact develop will dictate what kind of role he’s capable of playing. Right now, he swings and hits like a tweener, but he’s so young that his physical abilities, which are loud, matter much more at this stage. He’s a talented, long-term developmental piece.

22. Josh Green, RHP
Drafted: 14th Round, 2018 from Southeastern Louisiana (ARI)
Age 24.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 50/50 45/50 45/55 45/50 92-95 / 96

Green was a 14th-round senior sign last year and like most senior signs, had 45/50 stuff in college. He was 90-94 with two average breaking balls and had little college experience because he didn’t move into the rotation until his senior season. Last spring, Green’s stuff was up — touching 96 with big sink (he had a 67% GB%), and flashing plus secondaries — for a while before coming back to Earth during the summer after he returned from biceps tendinitis. He projects as a sinkerballing fifth starter.

Drafted: 12th Round, 2016 from South Carolina (NYY)
Age 25.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
40/40 45/45 55/55 50/50 50/55 89-94 / 96

Widener’s stuff was down across the board last year. Less velo, less spin. That, plus Reno’s hitting environment, plus the new Triple-A baseball, meant Widener went from being the minor league strikeout leader in 2018 to getting shelled in 2019 (his ERA was 8.10). His fastball has natural cut, which is something teams try to eliminate nowadays. It’s possible his fastball movement will change in a meaningful way, but for now we have him projected as a fifth starter.

24. Ryne Nelson, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Oregon (ARI)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 45/50 40/50 35/45 93-96 / 97

Nelson had injury issues and moved back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen at Oregon. In the ‘pen, he sits upper-90s with life and angle, and his breaking stuff has nasty, vertical action. Reports we have from amateur scouts, when compared to what we have from Nelson’s pro summer, indicate the D-backs are perhaps trying to tweak Nelson’s breaking ball in some way. This is a potential late-inning arm but we wouldn’t anticipate Nelson to come along quickly considering how raw he is due to a lack of reps.

25. Pavin Smith, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Virginia (ARI)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 40/45 40/40 40/40 45/45

Smith has had elite strikeout-to-walk ratios dating back to college, but lacks the raw power and lift necessary to profile as an everyday first baseman. Last year, his body and mobility improved, which made him more playable in both outfield corners, and Smith had a strong offensive season in the Southern League, which is tough on offense. He now projects as a high-probability corner platoon role player.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (DET)
Age 24.5 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 40/40 30/30 45/45 45/50 50/50

There’s a chance Leyba hits enough to become a César Hernández type of low-end regular, and perhaps with his ability to play a passable shortstop, he’ll be something slightly better. But his injury history is lengthy (Arizona was granted a fourth option year on him due to injury), and he has a somewhat concerning lack of power. He’ll either hit enough to play everyday or he’ll need to start playing other positions to carve out a bench role. He’ll compete with Josh Rojas and Andy Young for playing time in the spring.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 19.0 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 35/40 30/40 55/55 45/60 50/50

Barrosa isn’t toolsy but he has good feel to hit from both sides of the plate and terrific defensive instincts in center field. He’s stout and not very projectable, but already looks like a potential bench outfield type who can play all three spots, and it’s possible he develops an impact hit tool and finds a way to start somehow.

Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Millville HS (NJ) (ARI)
Age 21.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 50/55 35/50 35/30 35/40 50/50

He’s not especially athletic and has mobility issues at third base, but Kennedy can hit. He’s tough to beat in the zone and has strength-driven doubles power, which is probably what he’ll max out with since the cement on the body appears dry. He’s got a squatty, catcherly build and some of the industry wants to see him back there. Arizona seems inclined to try at least some defensive variation here, as evidenced by Kennedy’s handful of starts at second base. We couldn’t find anyone who’s seen him play there, but we suspect he’d have a better shot at catching.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 45/55 20/50 60/60 40/55 70/70

Reports from a couple of sources who saw Guzman in the DR during the summer were concerning. They described an elite athlete with an elite frame who had no idea how to hit, both from a swing efficacy and pitch recognition standpoint. That Guzman was passed over for a late-summer promotion to the U.S. is also telling. He’s too physically gifted to come off of entirely, but his first pro summer was erratic.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 18.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
50/55 40/45 55/70 35/40 92-96 / 98

There are some yellow flags here. Alvarez didn’t pitch much during the summer due to minor injury, his build is somewhat soft, and he has a violent delivery that creates significant relief risk. He also has promising arm strength for his age, a dandy splitter (with an average spin rate under 1,000 rpm), and he creates viable shape and depth on his breaking ball, though it’s clearly behind his split. He’s likely a long-term bullpen piece, but he could have two huge out-pitches if the velo ticks up out of the bullpen.

31. Drew Ellis, 3B
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Louisville (ARI)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 60/60 45/55 40/30 40/45 50/50

Ellis has a very quiet, easy swing but somehow still generates plus power. His near-elite walk rate belies what scouts and in-office sources have indicated to be middling pitch recognition, which sometimes causes him to mis-hit crushable pitches. This manifests as lots of awkward or checked swings, but Ellis doesn’t typically flail and whiff, and he’s strong enough that the contact has a chance to be meaningful even if he didn’t take a great cut. It’s a fair, power-over-hit corner profile that takes a hit if Ellis should ever need to move to first base. So far he’s been playable, but not impactful, at third.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 50/60 35/60 45/40 40/50 45/45

This is probably a right-hitting first baseman in the end, and Castillo’s frame is not as projectable as his measurables might indicate, but he’s young, already has sizable raw thump, and is quite athletic for how big he is. He’s also shown all-fields, in-game power and has surprising straight-line speed for his size. He’s clearly a tier below the Luken Baker type of high school hitter (which would be a 40+ or 45 FV type of prospect), but better than the heavy-footed mashers who beat up on their smaller peers in the lower minors.

35+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Santa Cruz HS (CA) (ARI)
Age 19.4 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 45/50 30/50 70/70 30/45 45/45

A tooled-up ball of clay, Hill needs to be sculpted by player development. He is ultra-twitchy, has plus bat speed and surprising opposite-field power, and can absolutely fly, but he’s raw as a hitter and defender. They’ll try him at second base but the outfield is a long-term possibility.

34. Kevin Ginkel, RHP
Drafted: 22th Round, 2016 from Arizona (ARI)
Age 25.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 55/55 40/40 92-96 / 97

Ginkel’s velocity has exploded since college, and he now sits 93-96 with tough angle. He also has two good secondaries, a change and slider that both have late, downward movement. His slider has sharp, vertical action and he’s pretty good at locating it down and to his glove side. He’s a likely long-term bullpen piece and he’d be a 40 FV if he weren’t already 26.

35. Junior Mieses, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr r / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
45/55 45/50 45/55 35/45 90-93 / 95

Mieses displays impressive flexibility and rotation in his shoulder and upper back, which helps enable his fastball to peak in the mid-90s. His delivery has some stop and start elements that can disrupt his timing and release point, which creates reliever risk, but the three-pitch mix has projection commensurate with a No. 4/5 starter.

36. Matt Peacock, RHP
Drafted: 23th Round, 2017 from South Alabama (ARI)
Age 26.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/45 40/45 45/45 89-93 / 94

Peacock has a heavy, low-90s sinker that has enabled him to generate a 68% groundball rate in 2019. His slider has a 2800 rpm spin rate, but visual evaluations of that pitch put it closer to average. His changeup moves and tails, but is often easy to identify out of his hand due to altered release/arm speed. On one level, Peacock is a one-pitch 25-year-old, but on another, he has a dominant, grounder-inducing fastball and his secondaries have some characteristics that may just need to be refined for one or both of them to be effective.

37. Matt Mercer, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Oregon (ARI)
Age 23.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 40/40 45/45 55/55 40/40 88-93 / 96

Mercer was a max-effort 94-97 in college, had scattershot fastball command, and a plus changeup. His velo was down in 2019 (we have him peaking at 96 but average 91-92) and neither of his two breaking balls is especially sharp, though they do have vertical action. We think he’s a Tyler Clippard-style changeup reliever so long as the velocity returns.

38. Conor Grammes, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Xavier (ARI)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
65/70 55/60 40/45 20/30 94-97 / 99

Grammes was a two-way player at Xavier (he has plus raw power) and we hope the focus on pitching will enable him to eventually have usable control. You could argue he has 20 control/command right now, and despite the electric quality of his stuff, he’s a long shot to be a big leaguer. But he was up to 99 in college and would flash an occasional 70-grade slider, so if things come together, he could be a bullpen monster.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 20.1 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Sits/Tops
60/70 45/50 94-96 / 97

In the last year or so the D-backs have tried more former position players on the mound than most all of the orgs we monitor in Arizona, and Herrera is one such player. He signed as a catcher, then quickly moved to third, and finally to the mound in his third pro season. His fastball was 94-97 almost immediately. The D-backs sent him right to the Northwest League despite erratic command and breaking ball quality. He’s a developmental relief prospect with premium arm strength.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Virginia (ARI)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/50 25/40 60/60 50/55 40/40

McCarthy has gone from a player whose pre-draft physical talent may have been masked by injury to someone who appears to be injury-prone. He was running well in the Fall League but the quality of his contact was still limited despite his return from a pair of summer injuries, and we think he lacks the thump to be a real platoon option. It’s possible he has some yet-to-come physicality, which is why he’s still on the list.

41. Bobby Ay, RHP
Drafted: 9th Round, 2019 from Cal Poly (ARI)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops
40/50 50/60 40/45 40/50 90-92 / 93

The physical manifestation of a Henry Winkler catchphrase, Ay is an interesting 2019 sleeper who missed almost all of his 2018 college season due to injury, and generally threw few innings in college. He has a fast, efficient arm action and can spin a breaking ball. He might break out on a pro development program.

42. West Tunnell, RHP
Drafted: 0 Round, 2016 from Baylor (ARI)
Age 26.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 35/40 93-96 / 97

Tunnell played the middle infield at Baylor and didn’t step on a mound until after the D-backs signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2016. As you might expect, he’s raw for a 25-year old, but Tunnell has only recently developed real stuff. He was topping out at 92 mph during some of his 2018 outings, but now sits 93-96 with premium spin and a ball axis that creates vertical movement. He’s older, but might get a look in the big league bullpen sometime in 2020.

43. Eduardo Diaz, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/55 30/50 55/55 40/50 60/60

Diaz has a collection of average tools that are undercut by a haphazard approach at the plate. The power output that made him rather intriguing back in 2017 now seems like a synthetic creation of the Pioneer League hitting environment.

44. Avery Short, LHP
Drafted: 12th Round, 2019 from Southport HS (IN) (ARI)
Age 18.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / L FV 35+

Short is a relatively unprojectable pitchability lefty with a vertical arm slot. Based on some of the other pro and amateur acquisitions the D-backs have made, some combination of this type of arm slot, the spin direction it helps create, and the approach angle of the pitch seem to be important to them. Short got a $922,500 bonus to sign instead of heading to Louisville.

45. Edinson Soto, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Sits/Tops
50/55 45/55 50/55 92-95 / 96

2019 was the first year in pro ball for the 23-year-old Soto, and we don’t know why or where he came from.’s player page doesn’t even have his signing date in their transaction log. This is a pretty wild 23-year-old in the DSL, but Soto’s lean, athletic build, his arm strength, and his ability to spin a breaking ball are such that he needs to be on our radar, especially considering how little he has pitched.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

International Signees
Franyel Baez, OF
Diomede Sierra, LHP
Jose Curpa, CF
Leodany Perez, CF

Arizona’s international department has done a better job since the club’s regime change, and they’re pretty clearly attracted to a couple buckets of players. Baez was the club’s top 2019 signee at a cool million, and he’s the most likely of the Honorable Mentions to appear on the main section of the list if he looks good during extended. He’s a switch hitter with a tall, square-shouldered, wiry frame. Each of the club’s top July 2 prospects the last several years have had this kind of build. Curpa and Perez are tiny, 70 runners (at least, Curpa shows you 80 run times now and then) with some bat-to-ball ability, an archetype seen throughout the system, not just form the international pool (Thomas, Carroll, Barrosa, Espinal if you squint at the hit tool). Sierra is a loose, semi-projectable sinkerballer who we have up to 95, sitting 87-92 with slider feel after our notes on him as an amateur had him 88-90 up to 91. He’s got a traditional, three-quarters delivery, which makes him unlike most of the other arms in the system who are…

Vertical Arm Slot Guys
Junior Garcia, LHP
Emilio Vargas, RHP
Ryan Weiss, RHP
Yaramil Hiraldo, RHP

Based on the pitchers Arizona has acquired in the draft and via trade, it’s clear this org is on the vertical movement/approach angle bandwagon. Guys with more vertical arm slots are naturally a little better at creating something approaching pure backspin on their fastballs, and they often work at a tough angle near the top of the strike zone. Zac Gallen’s not on this list, but he’s another pitcher with a fastball spin axis similar to the ones listed here. There are others in the system, too. Tyler Mark, Jose Almonte, Bo Takahashi, and Mason McCullough are some other guys who’ve been on this section of a Diamondbacks list at some point in the recent past. Garcia now has three consecutive years of missing bats at a 30% clip out of the bullpen. His arm slot wanders a little but when he’s staying north/south, it’s tough to tell his fastball and breaking ball apart. Vargas is a Triple-A depth arm with a 40 fastball based on velo and a 45 fastball based on how it plays at the top of the zone. His secondary stuff is average. Weiss is a four-pitch (maybe five — there may be both a slider and cutter) strike-thrower with a trebuchet delivery. He also projects as an up/down arm. Hiraldo sits 91-94, touches 95, and he’ll flash an occasionally good changeup.

A Carrying Tool (or Weird Trait)
Tyler Holton, LHP
Stefan Crichton, RHP
Harrison Francis, RHP
Tristin English, 3B
Justin Lewis, RHP
Francis Martinez, 1B

Holton blew out his elbow in his first 2018 start at Florida State and needed Tommy John. He was only throwing 87-90 before the injury, but both his changeup and breaking ball were flashing plus. His velo was still 86-90ish when he came back, but the secondaries are good and he can really pitch. Crichton is death to right-handed hitters — his fastball has Maine Coon tail on it. He may be up and down this year but his long-term role is cloudy if specialists go away due to new relief usage rules. Francis was hurt in 2019 but had one of the best changeups in the org before he went down. English was a two-way player at Georgia Tech. He’ll be run out as a third with big arm strength (duh) and some pop. Something may click now that he’s focused solely on hitting. Lewis is built like a construction crane at a long-limbed 6-foot-7, which creates weird angle on his pitches. He also has a good change. Martinez had one of the higher average exit velocities in the minors last year but his development has come at a glacial pace, and we’re skeptical of his 2019 stat line due to the PIO hitting environment.

System Overview

A few big trades and a monster draft class and suddenly, the Diamondbacks have one of the better farm systems in all of baseball. This system is deep and exciting, in part because so many of its key players are fresh faces in pro ball. Not only does Arizona show some clear patterns among the players they’ve acquired, but the Zac Gallen/Jazz Chisholm trade from the summer gives us an obvious indication of how the club thinks about weighing risk and upside on soon-to-be-40-man’d players. This was what looked like a rebuilding club making a buyer’s deal at the deadline, two if you count the Mike Leake trade. Even if Robbie Ray gets moved for players who Arizona can keep around for a while (we’d make the Yankees and the Twins the favorites), the team’s arguably in a position to buy considering how well they played last year, while several potential impact players (Souza, Weaver, Walker) are set to return. That probably won’t be done with prospect capital until next summer, if the D-backs are sure they’re in it.

One Last Top 100 Prospects Shuffle

As we approach the 2019 minor league season’s September epilogue, we’re making our last few changes to THE BOARD before cementing the rankings until offseason lists start rolling out. We focused this week on curating the top 100’s midsection, which resulted in us moving around about 10% of 50 FV and above players, which we’ve found to be typical each time we’ve made a concerted effort to refine the very top of the roughly 1250 pro players on THE BOARD on whom we have thoughts. Note that most of the action is taking place on the seam between the 50 and 55 FV tier, a sort of weigh station for rising potential stars, and players with issues exposed at the upper levels.

Let’s quickly touch on the handful of players in this area who have moved down from the 55 FV tier into the 50s. Recent Marlins RF acquisition Jesus Sanchez continues to have below average discipline and trouble lifting the ball consistently. Perhaps a change of scenery will prove meaningful for one or both of these traits, but they’re relevant issues for a corner outfield prospect.

We also slid Braves pitcher Kyle Wright and Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller down a bit due to our doubts about their fastballs missing bats as currently constituted, despite their respective velocities.

We also dropped some players who we consider higher probability, lower impact types — like New York’s Andres Gimenez, Washington’s Luis Garcia, Philly’s Adonis Medina, Baltimore’s Yusniel Diaz, and Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizner — down below 50 FVs who we think have a wider range of potential outcomes, and more ceiling. Their FVs didn’t change at all, but we prefer players who have more obvious growth potential due to bigger tools, more projectable frames, and other physical traits almost always present in top big leaguers. Read the rest of this entry »

Here Are Some Recent Prospect Movers

We have a sizable collection of players to talk about this week because the two of us have been busy wrapping up our summer looks at the 2020 Draft class over the last couple weeks. This equates to every prospect added to or moved on THE BOARD since the Trade Deadline.

Top 100 Changes
We had two players enter the 50 FV tier in Diamondbacks SS Geraldo Perdomo and Padres C Luis Campusano. Perdomo is in the “Advanced Baseball Skills” player bucket with players like Vidal Brujan, Brayan Rocchio and Xavier Edwards. He’s added visible power since first arriving in the States and had as many walks as strikeouts at Low-A before he was promoted to the Cal League, which has been Campusano’s stomping ground all summer. He’s still not a great catcher but he does have an impact arm, big power, and he’s a good enough athlete that we’re optimistic he’ll both catch and make the necessary adjustments to get to his power in games down the line.

We also moved a D-back and a Padre down in RHP Taylor Widener and 1B Tirso Ornelas. Widener has been very homer prone at Triple-A a year after leading the minors in K’s. His fastball has natural cut rather than ride and while we still like him as a rotation piece, there’s a chance he continues to be very susceptible to the long ball. Ornelas has dealt with injury and swing issues.

On Aristides Aquino
Aristides Aquino was a 50 FV on the 2017 Reds list; at the time, he was a traditional right field profile with big power undermined by the strikeout issues that would eventually cause his performance to tank so badly that he became a minor league free agent. A swing change visually similar to the one Justin Turner made before his breakout (Reds hitting coach Turner Ward comes from the Dodgers) is evident here, so we’re cautiously optimistic Aquino will be a productive role player, but we don’t think he’ll keep up a star’s pace. Read the rest of this entry »

The 40-Man Situations That Could Impact Trades

Tampa Bay’s pre-deadline activity — trading bat-first prospect Nick Solak for electric reliever Peter Fairbanks, then moving recently-DFA’d reliever Ian Gibaut for a Player to be Named, and sending reliever Hunter Wood and injured post-prospect infielder Christian Arroyo to Cleveland for international bonus space and outfielder Ruben Cardenas, a recent late-round pick who was overachieving at Low-A — got us thinking about how teams’ anticipation of the fall 40-man deadline might impact their activity and the way they value individual prospects, especially for contending teams.

In November, teams will need to decide which minor league players to expose to other teams through the Rule 5 Draft, or protect from the Draft by adding them to their 40-man roster. Deciding who to expose means evaluating players, sure, but it also means considering factors like player redundancy (like Tampa seemed to when they moved Solak) and whether a prospect is too raw to be a realistic Rule 5 target, as well as other little variables such as the number of option years a player has left, whether he’s making the league minimum or in arbitration, and if there are other, freely available alternatives to a team’s current talent (which happens a lot to slugging first base types).

Teams with an especially high number of rostered players under contract for 2020 and with many prospects who would need to be added to the 40-man in the offseason have what is often called a “40-man crunch,” “spillover,” or “churn,” meaning that that team has incentive to clear the overflow of players away via trade for something they can keep — pool space, comp picks, or typically younger players whose 40-man clocks are further from midnight — rather than do nothing, and later lose players on waivers or in the Rule 5 draft.

As we sat twiddling our thumbs, waiting for it to rain trades or not, we compiled quick breakdowns of contending teams’ 40-man situations, using the Roster Resource pages to see who has the biggest crunch coming and might behave differently in the trade market because of it. The Rays, in adding Fairbanks and rental second baseman Eric Sogard while trading Solak, Arroyo, etc., filled a short-term need at second with a really good player and upgraded a relief spot while thinning out their 40-man in preparation for injured pitchers Anthony Banda and Tyler Glasnow to come off the 60-day IL and rejoin the roster. These sorts of considerations probably impacted how the Cubs valued Thomas Hatch in today’s acquisition of David Phelps from Toronto, as Hatch will need to be Rule 5 protected this fall.

For this exercise, we used contenders with 40% or higher playoff odds, which gives us the Astros, Yankees, Twins, Indians, Red Sox, and Rays in the AL and the Dodgers, Braves, Nationals, Cubs, and Cardinals in the NL, with the Brewers, Phillies, and A’s as the teams just missing the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

We Adjusted Several Prospects’ Rankings

The two of us recorded a podcast during which we combed through our Futures Game notes. This announced update to THE BOARD is that discussion made real on the site. All of the guys with new FVs are noted below, along with brief notes on why their FVs changed. If a player moved within their FV tier, there is a stock up or stock down arrow on THE BOARD. The updates noted here don’t include players who have been added to our rankings and went from 35 FV to 35+ FV, since that happens pretty often. We’re also fully updated to reflect recent trades. Lastly, if you’d like to see who is set to graduate from the list next, check the right sidebar on the FG Prospects homepage. And remember to follow @FG_prospects on Twitter for live BOARD updates.

Moved Up

Jo Adell, CF, Angels and Bo Bichette, INF, Toronto Blue Jays (60 FV to 65 FV):
Both move up due to increased confidence that they’ll be stars, with the ZiPS updates Kiley received for the Trade Value Series also helping. Adell seems fully recovered from a scary ankle and hamstring injury suffered during spring training, and he’s hitting .376/.442/.673 as a 20-year-old at Double-A. Bichette has a 116 wRC+ as a 21-year-old at Triple-A and Toronto seems inclined to leave him at shortstop.

Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros (50 FV to 55 FV):
Alvarez is generating huge power with ease and comfort. Houston’s handling of his playing time while the team was in Colorado is an indication that he’ll offer no defensive value while his skillset is that of an older player, but his offensive tools are a cut above some of this year’s more productive DHs.

Drew Waters, CF, Braves (50 FV to 55 FV):
Waters continues to rake as a young-for-the-league, up-the-middle prospect, and while the .459 BABIP isn’t sustainable, scouts are split on him vs. Cristian Pache long-term, so they’re a little closer on our list now.

Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (50 FV to 55 FV):
Pearson belongs in the same FV tier as Sixto Sanchez as they each have monster stuff, questionable builds, and no track record of pitching for a full season. Read the rest of this entry »

Draft Odds & Ends

Because we are maniacs, we’re already midway through a clean sweep of all of our rankings. Since the signing deadline for the draft is July 15, we won’t know who is going back to school and who is joining a pro club for sure until then, but we have a way around this. Any player drafted in the top 10 rounds, as well as any college draftees, are assumed to be signing, while any high school player drafted outside the top 10 rounds is assumed to be going to the school to which he’s committed. There will likely be a handful of unsigned top 10 round prospects, who are often impossible to handicap at this point since post-draft physicals are usually the reason, and some college players will head back for their senior season, but we’ll just adjust those as we learn their fates. This means the 2020, 2021, and new 2022 draft boards all have our up-to-the-second rankings, thoughts, and tool grades, and will be updated regularly throughout the summer as prospects sign and we attend amateur showcases, tournaments and summer leagues.

With this in mind, next week we’ll add all of the top 10 round prospects and any 11th round or later with confirmed deals and 35+ or better FVs to team prospect lists. We’ll also take graduated prospects off, and re-do the top 100, likely with about a half dozen more prospects jumping into the 50 FV tier. Just after this, we’ll do a sweep through each team list to update based on what’s happened this spring, and also do a refreshed farm rankings based on all these changes. This will lead into trade deadline season, which will lead to more changes and another farm rankings update. You can find our current minor league prospects rankings and draft prospect rankings on THE BOARD and our pre-draft farm rankings here.

The 2020 Draft Class
We aren’t putting out a 12-months-early mock draft because that’s unnecessary, and if you want to know who the top players are for the 2020 class, we’ve been regularly updating that list for over a year now. The list currently has 188 players and will probably have close to 300 by the end of the summer. Our version of a mock draft would be pointing to the top tier of our list, which goes 34 deep and is essentially what a first round would be, and just assume they go in that exact order. We’ve also included blurbs and tool grades. Read the rest of this entry »

The Untitled McDongenhagen Project: Draft Review Pod

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 17

This is the 17th episode of a sorta weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men.

This episode is focused on Monday’s MLB Draft and our coverage of it, which is featured in the widget above and on THE BOARD. We spent a few minutes on each team, the timestamps for which below so you can get to the part you’d like to hear:

2:20 – Arizona Diamondbacks
5:23 – Atlanta Braves
8:01 – Baltimore Orioles
10:38 – Boston Red Sox
13:00 – Chicago Cubs
15:17 – Chicago White Sox
17:39 – Cincinnati Reds
20:41 – Cleveland Indians
23:18 – Colorado Rockies
25:59 – Detroit Tigers
28:33 – Houston Astros
30:25 – Kansas City Royals
32:28 – Los Angeles Angels
35:09 – Los Angeles Dodgers
37:38 – Miami Marlins
40:36 – Milwaukee Brewers
43:04 – Minnesota Twins
45:45 – New York Mets
48:10 – New York Yankees
51:02 – Oakland A’s
53:20 – Philadelphia Phillies
56:15 – Pittsburgh Pirates
59:05 – San Diego Padres
1:01:40 – San Francisco Giants
1:04:20 – Seattle Mariners
1:06:40 – St. Louis Cardinals
1:08:40 – Tampa Bay Rays
1:12:30 – Texas Rangers
1:15:15 – Toronto Blue Jays
1:17:40 – Washington Nationals

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 85 min play time.)

Read the rest of this entry »