Daily Prospect Notes: 5/20

These are notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Games from 5/18

Terrin Vavra, MIF/CF, Baltimore Orioles
Level & Affiliate: Double-A Bowie Age: 24 Org Rank: 9  FV: 45
Line:
3-for-3, 2 BB, HR
Notes
This makes five consecutive multi-hit games for Vavra. Cursory video analysis shows no change in his swing or physicality; he’s just on an epic early-season heater and should probably be at Triple-A. The real development here is his defensive movement: After playing both middle infield spots with Colorado, he’s now also getting reps in center field with Baltimore. Those who miss and appreciate all-fields contact will love Vavra, who is very adept at hitting outside pitches to the opposite field. He projects as a good multi-positional role player.

Noelvi Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners
Level & Affiliate: Low-A Modesto Age: 19 Org Rank: 5  FV: 50 (70 overall)
Line:
3-for-3, 3 BB, HR
Notes
This makes five consecutive multi-hit games for Marte, as well. I randomly spoke with two scouts (and Kiley) who saw Marte within the last week, and all thought the power displays he put on in BP were incredible. It’s much easier to see and feel when certain players have a different, special level of physicality when you’re able to get very near them on the backfields, and Marte absolutely has that sort of presence already, even though he’s only 19.

Ryan Noda, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Level & Affiliate: Double-A Tulsa Age: 25 Org Rank: NR FV: 35
Line:
2-for-4, 2 HR, BB
Notes
Acquired from Toronto to complete the Ross Stripling deal, Noda is a superlative statistical performer. Here is the minor league wOBA leaderboard of hitters with at least 350 PA since 2017. My aging grandparents know many of the names on that list, and Noda is among them. Both his surface-level stats and the 2019 TrackMan data I sourced via team personnel indicate that his bat-to-ball skills are a little light for a corner bat, and it’s perhaps damning that he was not only passed over in the Rule 5 draft but also that the Dodgers assigned him to Double-A even though he’s 25. Los Angeles changed Noda’s swing: He has opened up his stance and now has a bit of a leg kick when there wasn’t one before. He’ll be Rule 5 eligible again this offseason and remains a notable follow due to his performance track record and the new swing.

Owen Miller, SS, Cleveland Baseball Club
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Columbus Age: 24 Org Rank: 14 FV: 45
Line:
2-for-4, 2B, BB
Notes
Cleveland is stuck in a tough spot regarding Miller. The big league club has gotten little offensive production from shortstop and first base, but players on the 40-man who entered the season as candidates to contribute at those spots (Bobby Bradley, Nolan Jones) aren’t hitting either. Miller, who isn’t really a clean fit at shortstop and who has barely played first base, is raking at Triple-A, but he’s not currently on the 40-man and doesn’t have to be added until this offseason, and Cleveland is a very control-conscious club. Meanwhile, fellow former Padre Gabriel Arias is also hitting well early on, plays a slick shortstop, and is already on the 40-man. The 21-year-old Arias’ history of approach issues make him more of a risk than Miller to come up and frustrate in the same way Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez have, whereas Miller’s best skill is his feel for contact; he feels like an ultra-safe role player. (Check out the Cleveland list to read these guys’ full reports; these are my thoughts on the situation more than the player.)

Drew Waters, CF, Atlanta Braves
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Gwinnett Age: 22 Org Rank: 3 (47 overall) FV: 55
Line:
3-for-5, 2 HR
Notes
Of the 715 minor leaguers who have had at least 30 plate appearances so far this year, Waters ranks is in the bottom 10% in terms of pitches per plate appearances (as do lots of other notable prospect names). I’ve had approach-driven concerns about Waters for a while, but he has done nothing but perform as a young-for-the-level hitter during his entire pro career. The performance of gritty veteran Guillermo Heredia has helped the Braves deal with time missed by Ender Inciarte (strained hamstring in April, now on the paternity list) and Cristian Pache (strained hamstring). An Inciarte/Heredia L/R combo feels viable in the short-term with Waters a potential lightning-in-a-bottle candidate if Pache is out for a while and the veterans slow down.

Games from 5/19

Brent Killam, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Level & Affiliate: Low-A Inland Empire Age: 23 Org Rank: TBD  FV: TBD
Line:
4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 R, 11 K
Notes
Killam is one of several older pitchers who shoved in A-ball last night (Spencer Strider, Jason Bilous, Ryan Feltner, etc.), but he’s the only one about whom I’ve never written. The 2019 11th-rounder sat 88–91 mph in college at Georgetown and did not pitch during the summer after he was drafted. He’s now 90–93 with some deception and a fading changeup that at times has cut/slider action, as well as a below-average curveball at present. Killam’s smaller frame and his mechanics have a relief look, but I’d really like to see more velo from a relief prospect. Maybe because he’s a small school guy who has barely pitched in pro ball, there’s more ceiling on the breaking ball via reps and pro dev. Still, given that he’s off to a strong start, he’s likely to be in the “honorable mentions” of the upcoming Angels list.

Gunnar Henderson, 3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles
Level & Affiliate: Low-A Delmarva Age: 19 Org Rank: 6  FV: 45+
Line:
2-for-3, HR, 2 BB
Notes
This was one of the few names both Kevin Goldstein and I put forth as one of our pre-season Picks to Click. Henderson is off the a hot statistical start, and I had a Special Assistant offer his name totally unprompted as an early-season prospect whose reports are coming in really strong. He’s a lefty stick with a hit/power combo we think we play everyday at third.

Miles Mastrobuoni, UTIL, Tampa Bay Rays
Level & Affiliate: Double-A Montgomery Age: 25 Org Rank: NR  FV: 35
Line:
4-for-6, HR
Notes
Did I miss something here? I think it’s more likely that I miss prospects in the deeper systems, especially older guys like Mastrobouni who aren’t toolsy and just slowly develop a long track record of offensive competence and defensive versatility; Mike Brosseau (who never appeared on a Rays prospect list) is a great example of this. So here we have Mastrobuoni, whose numbers should indeed be discounted because he’s a 25-year-old at Double-A, but the reason he’s at Double-A is because the Rays are so flush with guys who can play shortstop and elsewhere. He’s a .284/.365/.372 career hitter — not the kind of power typical of an everyday player, but certainly the contact and OBP pieces when combined with a Ryan Freel-like defensive versatility give a good big league utility vibe. Part of Mastrobuoni’s problem is that, while he plays all over the place, he’s not a very good defensive player. He strikes me as the sort who will get an opportunity to play a utility role for a rebuilding club.





Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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bluerum29
3 years ago

Owen Miller plays for the Cleveland Indians organization.

dannyrockmember
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

“Luis Guillorme plays for the Syracuse Chiefs” – bluerum29 in 2019

bluerum29
3 years ago
Reply to  dannyrock

Are they still going by the Indians name? As far as I know they haven’t changed it yet, but this site is too afraid to use a perfectly good word/name,

dannyrockmember
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

It isn’t “perfectly good” at all and refusing to acknowledge a culturally insensitive name while getting ahead of the curve is the opposite of “afraid”

tuna411
3 years ago
Reply to  dannyrock

the problem with today’s society is those who haven’t been told “no” are irrationally sensitive.

Ashburn Alley
3 years ago
Reply to  tuna411

It appears it is the pot calling the kettle black Mr republican

SenorGato
3 years ago
Reply to  tuna411

Exactly bro, snowflakes up in arms over a word

bluerum29
3 years ago
Reply to  dannyrock

The definition of the word Indian: relating to or denoting indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, especially those of North America. It simply refers to a group of people who are from a specific place. That would be like me being upset to the name Arizonian, well I am from there, so I am one.

tuna411
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

@ blue…respect to free thought

Ashburn Alley
3 years ago
Reply to  tuna411

Sad for you.

Ashburn Alley
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

Racist much?

Vash
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

Agreed. Fangraph s has long chosen a side. The rule of thumb is, whatever side the communists are on, it’s the wrong side.

SenorGato
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

Pretty edgy, bro, pretty pretty edgy

Vash
3 years ago
Reply to  dannyrock

Without a belief system, 20-30% of the population will simply side with perceived trends

Vash
3 years ago
Reply to  bluerum29

Excellent spot. I seemingly have stopped caring about Fangraphs and come by once in a while accidentally for reasons like this.

When you have Google policing language in the guise of an “ism” and changing speech for reasons, you know where we are headed.

Imagine how people are accusing others of racism, simply because of language and someone MIGHT be offended.

Fangraph s has long chosen a side. The rule of thumb is, whatever side the communists are on, it’s the wrong side.

And we have the Commies, the MSM, the elites, the corporations, the big tech, all on the same side, it tells you all you need to know about the wrong side.

What is quite fascinating is, you see who cannot think for themselves and simply follow with those above them, tell them to think. The Germans and others groups did studies on human psychology in the early 1900’s, and well, you see first hand how manipulation works.

Without a belief system, 20-30% of the population will simply side with perceived trends.

drewsylvaniamember
3 years ago
Reply to  Vash

I lost a point of IQ reading this.

Scott Moorhousemember
3 years ago
Reply to  Vash

Who could argue with these well-thought points:
– “I don’t care about this site so here is a multi-paragraph screed about politics.”
– “If you disagree with me, you are a commie.”
– “I mentioned Germany in the early-1900s so I am smart and definitely not a fascist.”

gettwobrute79member
3 years ago

Have you ever noticed that people who throw around commie and socialist really don’t know how to define it or explain it? So they’ve settled on if someone thinks differently or disagrees, it’s a commie/socialist.

MikeSmember
3 years ago
Reply to  Vash

“Commies?” Did it become 1980 again and nobody told me?

SenorGato
3 years ago
Reply to  Vash

Lol:

“Without a belief system, 20-30% of the population will simply side with perceived trends.”

Where do you think you fall?