These are notes on prospects from Brendan Gawlowski. Read previous installments of the DPN here.
Across the country and around the world, it’s the Daily Prospect Notes.
Graham Ashcraft, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Level & Affiliate: Double-A Chattanooga Age: 23 Org Rank: 22 FV: 40
A threat to walk everyone in the ballpark in college, Ashcraft seemed like a surefire reliever after the Reds drafted him in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. But a weird thing happened between then and now: He found a way to throw strikes, started going deeper in games, and did both while still missing bats. Read the rest of this entry »
The players selected in the 2021 Draft have now been moved to their teams’ prospect lists on The Board. So if you want to know where Marcelo Mayer or Kumar Rocker falls on the Top 100, or where the Pirates’ picks fall on their team’s list, it’s now easy to do so. More players than were originally ranked on the Draft Board have been added to the pro lists and also now have a presence on the 2021 Draft Board; we ranked about 80 players before the draft, but another 80 or so who were picked felt as though they required immediate inclusion on the pro lists. I assumed anyone picked in the first 11 rounds will sign because, historically, they do. If a player who has been added to the pro side of The Board does not sign, I’ll remove them from the pro side and move them to the appropriate Draft year once the signing deadline passes. At most, that might be a couple of players.
Kevin Goldstein and I also took a “low-hanging fruit” pass at the Top 100 list and I took one, on my own, at most of the team-specific lists. Anyone whose FV on the team lists changed has an “up” or “down” arrow in the trend column. You can filter for those by clicking that column. There are some players within the 50 FV tier whose grades didn’t change but whose ranking did. Jasson Dominguez didn’t look great at Futures Game (he has swing path issues and close to average raw power with zero physical projection) but he’s still a teenage switch-hitter with good power for his age and a chance to stay up the middle. He’s a 50 FV prospect but didn’t look like a fast-rising, transcendent star, so he slid in the rankings though his FV is the same. I’m going to run through why those prospects changed (or were added) now.
Adley Rutschman’s rank didn’t change but he moved from the 65 FV tier to the 70 FV tier on the strength of his Futures Game look. He is not normal. A switch-hitter his size, with his kind of rotational explosion, who has the bat-to-ball feel to switch which side of the cage he’s hitting in mid-batting practice session and just keep hitting bombs is not normal, and this is also an elite defensive catcher and locker room guy. He’s now in the FV tier Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuña Jr., and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were in as prospects. Read the rest of this entry »
These are notes on prospects from Brendan Gawlowski, who will be chipping in on Daily Prospect Notes once a week. Read previous installments of the DPN here.
Today, we have a few notes from a series between Tri-Cities and Everett, the High-A affiliates of the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners, respectively.
Jordyn Adams, CF, Los Angeles Angels
Level & Affiliate: High-A Tri-Cities Age: 22 Org Rank: 2 FV: 50
Line: 2-5, two infield singles, 3 SO
Adams is having a bad season. After a lower-leg injury sidelined for more than a month, the 22-year-old has been ice cold since returning to the lineup. Now more than 100 PAs into his season, he’s hitting .174/.260/.261 with a 35% strikeout rate, good for a 49 wRC+.
At the plate, he looks lost. He’s struggling to identify breaking pitches out of the hand, taking strikes on balls that bend into the zone and flailing early on pitches spinning down and away from him. He also swung and missed at several low-90s fastballs in the zone. When he does make contact, everything’s on the ground, much of it hit weakly the other way. Mechanically, he’s inconsistent as well, alternately lunging at low breaking balls or pulling off the plate on swings against the heat.
He’s also raw in the field: Two nights ago, he fielded a short fly with runners on first and second and despite no intent from the lead runner to advance, Adams came up firing and launched the ball well over the third baseman’s head. His 80-grade speed is also playing down at the moment. At the plate, he’s not quick out of the box, and on one occasion he posted a 4.3 DTL on a grounder to short. There’s more speed in the tank than that, and it’s possible that the leg injury is still bugging him, but at present he’s not consistently impacting the game with his wheels. Read the rest of this entry »
These are notes on prospects from Brendan Gawlowski, who will be chipping on Daily Prospect Notes once a week. Read previous installments of the DPN here.
Today, we’ll review some live looks, watch at a little video, and head off the beaten path for a bit. It should be fun, and apologies in advance for highlighting a few performances from earlier in the week. Onward!
CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Level & Affiliate: High-A Vancouver Age: 22 Org Rank: 10 FV: 40+
Line: ⅔ IP, 4 H, 7R, 1 SO, 3 BB
It was a night he’d like to forget. The line probably oversells how rough he looked — a couple of gork singles extended the inning — but Van Eyk’s primary developmental goal this season is to pound the zone, and only 17 of his 33 pitches were strikes on Tuesday night. He often missed badly to his arm side with his fastball and curve, and a lack of competitive pitches limited him to just one true swing and miss.
Mechanically, Van Eyk has a loose arm, clean arm swing, and still head, all of which should help him throw strikes. His landing spot is very inconsistent though, and that seems to affect his ability to throw strikes. Sometimes he lands in a clean fielding position; on other occasions his left foot lands so awkwardly that he practically falls off the mound toward the first base dugout (you can see footage of that in action in Tess Taruskin’s notes from a few weeks back). Up to 94 with a curve that flashes plus, there’s good stuff here if he can find a delivery that facilitates more strikes. Read the rest of this entry »
These are notes on prospects from Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.
There were lots of notable performances in the minors last night, so I covered more players than usual and shortened up some of the notes. Additionally, the 2021 Futures Game rosters were announced today and they are freaking loaded. You can see the entire rosters and access players’ scouting reports on The Board’s seasonal tab. Thanks to Sean Dolinar for his speedy help in getting that up.
A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland Athletics
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Las Vegas Age: 26 Org Rank: 2 FV: 50
Line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 4 K
Puk has now had two consecutive scoreless outings after he surrendered multiple runs in each of his previous six (!). When I saw him during the spring, his velo was only in the low-90s, well below the 96-99 range a fully healthy Puk would typically be operating in. Per Synergy, that velocity has returned to peak levels during the regular season. Today I noticed a change in Puk’s arm slot. This change occurred earlier this month. I don’t know if that velo rebound occurred in concert with this change, or if this is something Puk was instructed to do, or if it just began happening naturally. Regardless, this is still a lefty with big velo and a deep coffer of impact secondaries. If he can get right at some point this season, he can be an impact relief weapon for a team fighting for its division, and I still like Puk as a multi-inning reliever long-term. Read the rest of this entry »
Juan Corniel, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
Level & Affiliate: Complex Level Age: 18 Org Rank: TBD FV: TBD
Line: 3-for-5, 3 RBI, R
Corniel has been one of the Extended Spring standouts in Arizona. At a projectable 6-foot-1 or so, he’s an amalgam of twitch, athleticism, and body projection right now. He has the athleticism and actions to play shortstop but doesn’t yet have sentient control of his body. Offensively, the switch-hitting Corniel has swings that are fairly short to the ball but still explosive. Read the rest of this entry »
Nolan Jones, 3B, Cleveland
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Columbus Age: 23 Org Rank: 2 (66 over) FV: 50
Line: 2-for-4, HR, SB
Jones got off to a poor start and his overall line hasn’t yet recovered (he’s slugging just .405 on the season, the lowest since his first pro summer back in 2016), but he’s hit .253/.374/.495 over the last month, which is enough to quell overall concerns about him right now. He is a three true outcomes type of player and there may be long stretches where his average is hovering close to the Mendoza line but he’s going to walk a ton and hit for power while playing poor defense at several positions. Jones can be beaten with well-located fastballs at the top of the zone and he’s swung through a lot of them this year, but his swing decisions are typically very good. Per Synergy Sports, he has just a 19% O-Swing% so far this year, which would put him in the top five of qualified big leaguers. There’s real, elite plate discipline here and 70-grade power, but also a clearly exploitable hole in the swing at the top of the strike zone. How those things will interact at the big league level I truly don’t know, though it feels like that hole in the swing is a load-bearing Jenga block against big league pitchers who throw hard and often work at the top of the zone. Read the rest of this entry »
Kevin Goldstein and I have updated the pro portion of the Top 100, which means we quickly reviewed the placement of players in the 50 FV tier and above, and considered who was not yet in those tiers but should be based on how they’ve looked during the first month of the 2021 season. I still have three total org audits to do — Milwaukee, Oakland and the Cubs — before I start peeling graduates off the list. Those will be completed shortly. You can find the updated list here.
Also, if you missed it, Kevin and I updated our draft rankings and posted a Mock Draft on Monday.
The lone change up near the top of the 100 is Riley Greene moving into the top 20; he’s in the mix with several other similarly-aged players with the talent to be consistent All-Stars, like Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodríguez, and Corbin Carroll.
DL Hall moved into the 55 FV tier on the strength of his stuff. He’s still walking a fairly high rate of opposing batters but just on the strength of his three plus pitches, could be a Haderesque relief weapon even if he can’t start. Read the rest of this entry »
These are notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.
From games on June 8
Luis Campusano, C, San Diego Padres
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A El Paso Age: 22 Org Rank: 3 FV: 55
Line: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, BB
Recall that Campusano was thrust straight into the big leagues from High-A during the bizarre 2020 season, then found himself unexpectedly in the big leagues again early this year when Austin Nola was hurt. Even Campusano’s struggles during his first few weeks settling into Triple-A (remember, this is a 22-year-old whose last full season was in A-ball) are, you know, just a couple of weeks and he’s hitting .296/.387/.556 since the calendar flipped over to June. I’m not inclined to move off of him at all based on a couple of weeks of poor surface-level performance, especially when dry periods of surface performance are common for catchers because of the physical beating they take behind the plate. This is one of the more talented hitting catchers in all of pro baseball, a well-rounded offensive player at a position that might be the thinnest in all the big leagues. If you’re a dynasty fantasy baseball player who plays in a league with people who overreact to small samples or who struggle to put performance in proper context, you should pursue Campusano. Read the rest of this entry »
These are notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here. Today’s notes feature thoughts on three college hitters who played in the NCAA Regionals, as well as three pitching prospects currently in the big leagues.
Reed Trimble, CF, Southern Miss
Draft Class: 2021 Age: 21
Regional Line: 14-for-25, 4 HR
When I named Trimble one of Conference USA’s top prospects in a tournament preview post from a couple weeks ago, I made a mistake with respect to his draft eligibility. He’s indeed a (COVID) freshman, but his 21st birthday was Sunday, so he’s a draft-eligible freshman. Trimble hit .345/.414/.638 this year, and the Southern Miss schedule was no cakewalk even though they’re a mid-major. It included 12 games against eventual regional host and top-16 team Louisiana Tech, as well as games against Mississippi State, Alabama, Florida State and Ole Miss, and four against South Alabama, who made a deep regional run. Read the rest of this entry »