Daily Prospect Notes: 8/22/2018

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

Bubba Thompson, CF, Texas Rangers
Level: Low-A   Age: 20   Org Rank: 5   FV: 45
Line: 4-for-6, HR

Were Bubba Thompson wrapping up his season with poor numbers, I’d be excusing it based on context. A multi-sport high-school athlete who had focused solely on baseball for just one year, Thompson also had his reps limited, after he signed last summer, due to nagging lower-body issues. I expected him to hang back in extended spring training and then head to Spokane in June. Instead, after a month in extended, Thompson was pushed by Texas to a full-season affiliate as a 19-year-old. He’s hitting .295/.350/.460 with 28 extra-base hits in 323 PAz and 28 steals in 35 attempts. He’s projects as a center fielder with power.

Estevan Florial, CF, New York Yankees
Level: Hi-A   Age: 20   Org Rank: 2   FV: 50
Line: 3-for-5, 2B, HR, BB

Estevan Florial is hitting .275/.375/.402 since returning a month ago from hamate surgery, a procedure that often saps in-game power for a long period of time. Even before the injury, Florial wasn’t hitting for power, but his plus raw power remains intact and he’s hit the ball hard to all fields in recent weeks. We’re concerned about Florial’s bat because he has issues squaring breaking balls and his swing path leaves him vulnerable down and away. If he ever hits, though, he’ll be a monster, as he’s a center fielder with big power and above-average ball/strike recognition. He could pick up reps in the Fall League for a second straight year.

Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   Org Rank: 16   FV: 40
Line: 4-for-5, 2B, HR

Bryan Reynolds is hitting .290/.375/.433 since returning from a sprained left wrist in late May. Reynolds has ditched the leg kick he had with San Francisco and is now getting his front foot down earlier, allowing the strength in his hands drive the quality of his contact. It seems to be working for him. He hit a ball to the warning track the opposite way last night and homered to dead center field. Much of how teams view Reynolds is colored by where they think he fits defensively. If you think he stays in cetner field, he has a pretty good chance to be an everyday player. If you don’t, you have to buy into his uptick in walk rate (which is twice what it was last year) to believe that he plays every day in left field.

Robert Dugger, RHP, Miami Marlins
Level: Double-A   Age: 23   Org Rank: 25   FV: 40
Line:7 IP, 3 H. 2 BB, 0 R, 10 K

Robert Dugger is a plus on-mound athlete who is able to maintain a huge cross-bodied stride off the rubber and still exhibit command both of his fastball and breaking ball. He sits in the low 90s and has a plus breaking ball when he gets on top of it and creates vertical action. His changeup flashes above-average, but Dugger’s arm-side fastball command hasn’t been fully realized, so he struggles to set it up and often goes to the breaking ball against lefties instead. There are scouts who fear his fastball is easy to square and lift and that it requires a velo bump out of the bullpen to play, but for now Dugger is tracking like a back-end starter who should debut next year.

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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