Daily Prospect Notes: May 13 & 14 by Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin May 14, 2021 These are notes on prospects from Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin. Read previous installments here. Eric’s Notes (Games from May 12) Cody Poteet, RHP, Miami Marlins Level & Affiliate: MLB Age: 26 Org Rank: 24 FV: 40 Line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K Notes Poteet was a prospect several years ago, last on the Marlins list in 2017 (it was just 13 names long) as a potential backend starter. He had a two-tick velo bump during quarantine, and after sitting 89-93 and topping out at 95 in 2019, he’s sitting 92-95 and touching 96 now. He had a 10-strikeout start in his first 2021 minor league outing then was immediately promoted to the big league team for Wednesday’s start. It’s surprising that Poteet had such a late bump in velocity. His era of UCLA pitcher had already adopted Driveline principals, and I would have guessed he was already maxed out. Of his three secondaries, Poteet most-often deploys his changeup, a heavy, sinking offering in the 85-88 mph range. His slider has more linear movement than two-planed sweeping shape, but it can still miss bats if it’s located away from righty batters. His curveball has plus-plus spin rates but is easy to identify out of his hand since he has a sink/tail-oriented fastball, and Poteet hung a couple of them Wednesday, one of which got put into the seats. The limited utility of his breaking balls and his fastball being more of a grounder-getter than a bat-misser holds Poteet in the low-variance backend starter bucket for me. Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox Level & Affiliate: Double-A Age: 21 Org Rank: 2 (53 overall) FV: 50 Line: 4-for-6, 2 HR, 2B Notes Wednesday’s output helped Casas’ season statline rebound after a slow first week. When Kevin Goldstein and I were discussing where to put Tyler Soderstrom on the Top 100, Casas was the name we couldn’t conceive of him passing, marking where his rise needed to stop. Like Soderstrom, Casas’ value is tethered almost entirely to his bat, but he presents you with literally every aspect of offensive ability that you could want: a sentient approach at the plate, including one with two strikes, power, and feel for the barrel. Plus, Casas is several levels ahead of Soderstrom. Remember that he’s just 21, and even though it feels like lots of hitters were handed aggressive promotions coming off of the cancelled 2020 season, Double-A is still a pushed assignment for a college-aged player. Masyn Winn, SS, St. Louis Carindals Level & Affiliate: Low-A Palm Beach Age: 19 Org Rank: 7 FV: 45 Line:4-for-5, 2B, 3B, BB, 2 SB Notes Through a week of play, Winn has just one fewer walks than strikeouts and is 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts. I wonder how well he’d have to perform with the bat for the Cardinals to decide to abandon developing him as a pitcher, too; he hasn’t thrown yet. It’s too early to consider that sort of thing right now; it’s not as if Winn has been a dominant hitter so far, just a competent one. Wednesday’s extra-base hits were his first of the year. Regardless, this is one of the more exciting talents in the system and we’re lucky to have access to Statcast data from his home park to help monitor his performance in a more precise way, which will be especially meaningful once Winn pitches, since he barely threw in front of a TrackMan unit as an amateur. Lazaro Estrada, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays Level & Affiliate: Low-A Dunedin Age: 22 Org Rank: NR FV: 35 Line: 2.2 IP (relief), 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K Notes I don’t know anything about Estrada except what I was able to glean from Wednesday’s data output. Estrada’s curveball averaged just shy of 3,400 rpm. If that’s what he’s capable of doing consistently, he’d be comfortably atop the major league average curveball spin rate leaderboard. I’ve never had this kind of immediate access to data before, so I’m not sure how spontaneously aggressive to be with putting someone like Estrada on a prospect list after just looking at pitch data without ever having laid eyes on him. But even though he hasn’t performed at an elite level, he’s someone who needs to be monitored because of his talent for spin. Tess’ Notes (Games from May 13) Logan Gilbert, RHP, Seattle Mariners Level & Affiliate: MLB Age: 22 Org Rank: 3 FV: 50 Line: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 5 K Notes Gilbert threw nothing but fastballs to the first four batters he saw in his major league debut, resulting in four fly outs. His first breaking ball of the night was a deceptive curveball for a called strike, but on the next pitch, he left his slider over the heart over the plate and Franmil Reyes tattooed it over the center field wall. Gilbert’s inability to rely on those secondary pitches throughout the second and third innings, especially when pitching from the stretch, allowed Cleveland’s hitters to look for his fastball in hitters’ counts, resulting in several hard hits. In the fourth inning, Gilbert’s fastball velocity dipped down to the 92-94 range, but he proved he hadn’t lost confidence in those secondaries, striking out all three of his final batters of the night by eliciting ugly, third-strike swings on his slider. If the version of Gilbert we saw in the fourth inning shows up earlier in his next start, he’ll be able keep hitters guessing and generate better overall results. Brandon Marsh, CF, Los Angeles Angels Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Salt Lake Age: 23 Org Rank: TBD (14 overall) FV: 60 Line: 2-for-3, HR, 2 BB, SB Notes Brandon Marsh made his Triple-A debut after missing the first few games of the season with a shoulder injury. He quickly made up for lost time, homering in his second at-bat and reminding us why he’s the highest ranked prospect in the Angels’ system. His swing still features his hands loading further away from his body, an adjustment he made following the 2019 season presumably in the hopes of producing more power, and while one game is of course far too little to go on, it’s certainly reassuring to see him get to work so quickly. That he paired the home run with two walks and a stolen base only bolsters enthusiasm for his eventual big league promotion. Matt Frisbee, RHP, San Francisco Giants Level & Affiliate: Double-A Richmond Age: 24 Org Rank: NR FV: 35 Line: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K Notes Frisbee threw six perfect innings on Thursday before handing the game over to the bullpen. Joey Marciano, Matt Seelinger, and Patrick Ruotolo then combined for three more innings of no-hit ball, ultimately recording the first nine-inning no-hitter in Richmond Flying Squirrels history, as well as the team’s eighth consecutive win (another Richmond record). Frisbee has not allowed a run in his last 20.2 innings of work (dating back to August of 2019), and in his first two starts of 2021, he’s allowed only two hits while notching 11 strikeouts and not issuing a walk. He was listed as a Sneaky Sleeper on this year’s Giants prospect list, and if he is able to maintain his early dominance, he could see his FV bump up to 40. Jordan Walker, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals Level & Affiliate: Low-A Palm Beach Age: 18 Org Rank: 5 FV: 50 Line: 2-for-5, 2B, K Notes After impressing as a high schooler on the 2019 summer showcase circuit, Walker wasn’t afforded enough time to make up for a slow start to his 2020 season before it was cut short by the pandemic. Wasting no time this time around, he homered off of Christian Roa in his first professional at-bat, and has maintained a hot start ever since. He’s another Low-A player who plays most of his games at ballparks with Statcast data, so we know the real story is how hard he’s hitting the ball. In the first three games of this week’s series against the Jupiter Hammerheads, Walker is 6-for-12, and only one of those hits came off of his bat with an exit velocity less than 100 mph (his home run on Tuesday clocked in at 111.1), reinforcing confidence in the young infielder’s hard-hitting potential as he continues to develop. Noelvi Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners Level & Affiliate: Low-A Modesto Age: 19 Org Rank: TBD (70 overall) FV: 50 Line: 3-for-4, 2 HR, BB, K Notes Marte recorded his first home run of 2021 on the first pitch of Thursday’s game. He homered again in the sixth, and although the 19-year-old has yet to tap into consistent power this season, he’s recorded at least one hit in all but one of the first nine games of 2021. He has 13 hits on the season (the second most in all of Low-A), which bodes well for his bat-to-ball skills, and may mean his timing has improved since we last saw him play.