Daily Prospect Notes: 7/24/18

Notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Starling Joseph, OF, Texas Rangers (Profile)
Level: Short-Season   Age: 19   Org Rank: NR   FV: 35+
Line: 3-for-4, HR

Notes
Joseph is a physical 6-foot-3 outfielder with plus raw power. He’s raw from a bat-to-ball standpoint due to length and a lack of bat control, but the power/frame combination here is interesting for a 19-year-old. Joseph has a 67:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in domestic pro ball and is as high-risk of a prospect as you’ll find, but he has the power to carry the profile if he ever becomes sentient in the batter’s box.

Ryan Vilade, SS, Colorado Rockies (Profile)
Level: Low-A   Age: 19   Org Rank: 4   FV: 45
Line: 3-for-5, 2B

Notes
Vilade is slashing .310/.356/.460 since he hit his first homer of the season on May 24, but his season-long line is still unimpressive because his first six weeks of the year were so ugly (.210/.340/.250). In high school, he looked like a well-rounded offensive threat who had a small chance to stay at short and, if not, be an above-average defensive third baseman. Vilade’s body composition was noticeably different this spring. Pro scouts who have seen him this year have lukewarm evaluations of his offensive capabilities and think his lower half needs an overhaul despite the way he’s performed the past two months.

Andrew Knizner, C, St. Louis Cardinals (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   FV: 45
Line: 3-for-5, 2 HR

Notes
Knizner’s offensive abilities are such that I consider him the Cardinals’ catcher of the future moreso than Carson Kelly, who is a better defender but lacks the ability to make an offensive impact.

Nick Burdi, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Profile)
Level: Double-A   Age: 25   FV: 40
Line: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Notes
Just a note that Burdi is back and that healthy Burdi has two plus-plus pitches and the stuff to close games. Also note that because Burdi was a Rule 5 pick, his call-up is imminent.

Notes from the Field
I saw Indians Bahamian righty Tahnaj Thomas throw his first inning of the year last night, and it was very good. He pounded the zone with a 92-95-mph fastball and flashed a 55 curveball in the upper 70s which he located just off the plate, to his glove side, several times. He has a well-constructed 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame and pitches with mechanical ease. Cleveland has a collection of well-built athletes in their system and this is yet another. He faces Angels prospects Jeremiah Jackson, Jordyn Adams, Trent Deveaux, and D’Shawn Knowles in this video:

Speaking of Cleveland, I reported on Twitter this morning that OF George Valera hasn’t played in a month due to a broken hamate. He has had surgery and does not yet have a return date. He was clearly one of the most polished hitters in Arizona throughout extended spring training.

Also of note in Arizona last night was the rehab appearance of Padres lefty Adrian Morejon. Morejon threw strikes for 2.2 innings with 90-95 mph velocity while flashing a plus breaking ball and above-average changeup. His secondaries were inconsistent, but that’s fairly common for rehabbers in the first appearance back from injury. Morejon was placed on the DL with muscular soreness in his hip late in June. His two-year pro career has been checkered with various minor injuries which have caused cautionary shutdowns, but this was his first DL stint.

We hoped you liked reading Daily Prospect Notes: 7/24/18 by Eric Longenhagen!

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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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AdamPiatt
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AdamPiatt

Zack Burdi vs. Nick Burdi… I thought Zack was the one with the better skillset? Now I’m confused.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles

I think you are correct, they have Zach with better command, but both are pretty similar in their eventual ceilings.

Rational Fan
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Rational Fan

Huh? One is arguably the best relief prospect in baseball despite his injury. The other was a rule 5 pick. Their ceilings are not similar.

dbminn
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Member
dbminn

Nick pitched 20 innings from the end of 2015 until now. From Longenhagen: “Burdi sits 96-99 and will touch 101, complementing that elite velocity with a plus-plus slider. ” He has the same ceiling as his little brother, he just comes with more risk.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles

He was exposed in rule 5 due to just having TJ surgery. EL gives Nick’s two pitches 80/70 and Zach 80/65.

Rational Fan
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Rational Fan

You guys are being incredibly misleading.

Zack has a FV of 50 and was the only reliever on the top 100 list.

Nick has a FV of 40.

They’re no where close in terms of ceiling. Zack has top 5 RP in baseball ceiling – according to his write up here. Nick does not.

Rational Fan
Member
Rational Fan

I love that this is getting down voted. People cite their pitch grades and say they have the same ceiling, yet one guy has a 50 FV given by the same guy that gave the pitch grades, and the other has a 40FV which means they’re no where near each other as prospects in both ceiling and floor.