Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.
Gleyber Torres, INF, New York AL (Profile)
Level: Triple-A Age: 20 Org Rank: 1 Top 100: 7
Line: 3-for-3, HR, BB
Even with Ruben Tejada’s recent trade to Baltimore, Torres’s reps are likely to come mostly at second and third base, as Tyler Wade remains entrenched at shortstop in Scranton. I saw him play both positions last week and lots of second base in the Fall League, and he looked like a fish out of water at both spots, especially around the second-base bag. He has the physical tools to play anywhere on the infield and will likely improve with reps, but he’s not ready for the majors right now.
Peter Lambert, RHP, Colorado (Profile)
Level: Hi-A Age: 20 Org Rank: 14 Top 100: NR
Line: 6 IP, 6 H, BB, 3 R, 7 K
Drafted as a polished SoCal righty with advanced command of four pitches, Lambert has grown into his frame and is throwing a bit harder than he did as an amateur, now sitting 90-93 while he was 87-90 when I saw him at San Dimas as a senior. His combination of repertoire depth and command (including a unique ability to run his changeup back onto the outside corner against righties) of four average or better pitches could produce a league-average starter.
I’ve heard Mississippi State 1B Brent Rooker and Missouri State 3B Jake Burger are at or near the top of the Trackman exit-velocity leaderboard among college prospects. Keep in mind not all prospects are measured as frequently (or at all) as other college prospects who have a Trackman at their home park. Rooker’s draft position is still hard to gauge at this point, but Burger’s range for selection seems to be the between picks 11 and 17.
The player in whose stock teams are most curious is Texas prep righty Shane Baz. Baz has monster stuff — a mid-90s fastball and chance for a plus slider and curveball — and is a top-15 talent because of it, but there has been talk about teams picking early in round two trying to move him back there if they can save money with their first pick. I’ve also heard rumors about Baz being a tough sign, and some teams think the rumor is being spread as part of the effort to get him to the second round, but it sounds like his commitment to TCU is actually quite strong. I think he might go as early as fifth overall and that plenty of teams picking in the middle of the first round would draft him were a team to try to get him to slip. This is essentially what happened with Blake Rutherford and Jason Groome last year.
Dodgers rumors not involving Alabama high schooler and two-sport Crimson Tide commit Bubba Thompson have been hard to come by, but it sounds like LA had a large contingent of scouts at the SEC tournament, where they could have been bearing down on any number of players in an obviously talented field.
Ex-Houston Cougars LHP Seth Romero could find his way onto a 40-man roster quickly after signing his post-draft deal.
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.
What’s the reason for Romero quickly making his way onto a 40-man roster? Just being that good? There’s no other reason to be placed on the 40-man early unless you’re going on the 25 man, right?