We have a sizable collection of players to talk about this week because the two of us have been busy wrapping up our summer looks at the 2020 Draft class over the last couple weeks. This equates to every prospect added to or moved on THE BOARD since the Trade Deadline.
Top 100 Changes
We had two players enter the 50 FV tier in Diamondbacks SS Geraldo Perdomo and Padres C Luis Campusano. Perdomo is in the “Advanced Baseball Skills” player bucket with players like Vidal Brujan, Brayan Rocchio and Xavier Edwards. He’s added visible power since first arriving in the States and had as many walks as strikeouts at Low-A before he was promoted to the Cal League, which has been Campusano’s stomping ground all summer. He’s still not a great catcher but he does have an impact arm, big power, and he’s a good enough athlete that we’re optimistic he’ll both catch and make the necessary adjustments to get to his power in games down the line.
We also moved a D-back and a Padre down in RHP Taylor Widener and 1B Tirso Ornelas. Widener has been very homer prone at Triple-A a year after leading the minors in K’s. His fastball has natural cut rather than ride and while we still like him as a rotation piece, there’s a chance he continues to be very susceptible to the long ball. Ornelas has dealt with injury and swing issues.
On Aristides Aquino
Aristides Aquino was a 50 FV on the 2017 Reds list; at the time, he was a traditional right field profile with big power undermined by the strikeout issues that would eventually cause his performance to tank so badly that he became a minor league free agent. A swing change visually similar to the one Justin Turner made before his breakout (Reds hitting coach Turner Ward comes from the Dodgers) is evident here, so we’re cautiously optimistic Aquino will be a productive role player, but we don’t think he’ll keep up a star’s pace.
Other Notable Adds
Several tooled-up center fielders were added recently. Giants DSL CF Luis Matos is another young San Francisco outfield prospect with big bat speed and a chance to play a premium position. Phillies CF Johan Rojas has a rough swing but he’s a 70 runner with power and is performing in the Penn League at age 19. Both of them are 40+ FV players now. Twins CF Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Oakland CF Marcus Smith are two recent draftees from less talent-dense locations who are performing at their respective affiliates. Garry has power potential but has swing and miss risk while Smith has natural feel to hit, which is why we’re a little higher on Smith right now, though Garry’s pop gives him a bit more upside.
Singling out Pantuso
Oakland RHP Alex Pantuso was a senior sign out of Slippery Rock in the 2018 draft’s 31st round. He’s nearly 24 and was in the AZL a week ago, but he might be pitching at the back of a big league bullpen within a year. After sitting 90-93 in college, Pantuso now has late-inning stuff and will touch 98 with a plus slider. He was recently promoted to Vermont.
Aristides Aquino, RF, CIN, 45
Luis Matos, CF, SFG, 40+
Johan Rojas, CF, PHI, 40+
Marcus Smith, CF, OAK, 40
Mason Martin, 1B, PIT, 40
Cody Morris, RHP, CLE, 40
Jerar Encarnacion, RF, MIA, 40
Riley Adams, C, TOR, 40
Fabian Pertuz, 3B, CHC, 40
Jack Herman, RF, PIT, 35+
Spencer Steer, 2B, MIN, 35+
Austin Shenton, 3B, SEA, 35+
Jose De La Cruz, RF, DET, 35+
Willie Joe Garry Jr., CF, MIN, 35+
Thad Ward, RHP, BOS, 35+
Breidy Encarnacion, RHP, MIA, 35+
Devin Mann, 2B, LAD, 35+
Levi Kelly, RHP, ARI, 35+
Eduardo Vaughan, CF, BOS, 35+
Kyle Finnegan, RHP, OAK, 35+
Alex Pantuso, RHP, OAK, 35+
Isaac Mattson, RHP, LAA, 35+
Yunior Perez, RHP, CHC, 35+
Martin, Jerar Encarnacion, Adams, Steer, Shenton, and Mann all have strength-driven power and are performing. Morris, Ward, Finnegan, and Mattson all project as contributors on the bottom third of a staff, probably on that major league/Triple-A taxi squad early on. Pertuz and Herman are righty bats with power projection. Herman’s comes from his wiry frame, while Pertuz’s comes from his swing, which lets him lift stuff at the top of the zone.
Geraldo Perdomo, SS, ARI, 45 to 50
Luis Campusano, C, SDP, 45 to 50
Shane McClanahan, LHP, TBR, 45 to 45+
Tarik Skubal, LHP, DET, 40 to 45
Kolby Allard, LHP, TEX, 40 to 40+
Hector Yan, LHP, LAA, 35+ to 40
Sadrac Franco, RHP, LAA 35+ to 40
McClanahan has pitched with the kind of stuff he had at his college best, when he seemed like a top-five possibility. Skubal is throwing about 66% fastballs, which would be at the very high end of what we currently see from starters, but it’s an impact pitch. His changeup might be, too, but the breaking stuff — a curve and slider — are just okay. Allard’s velo is up a bit. Franco has power stuff and Yan has kind of a lefty Freddy Peralta vibe.
Taylor Widener, RHP, ARI, 50 to 45+
Tirso Ornelas, LF, SDP, 50 to 45+
Lucius Fox, SS, TBR, 45+ to 45
Franklin Perez, RHP, DET, 45+ to 45
Seuly Matias, RF, KCR, 45+ to 40+
Alvin Guzman, CF, ARI, 45 to 40+
We decided Fox’s lack of power will likely prevent him from performing like a true average regular. Perez has been hurt most of the year, again. Matias had hand surgery and is out for the year. Eric got a bad report on Guzman’s bat from the DSL.