Thursday Prospect Notes: 4/28/2022

© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

These are notes on prospects from Tess Taruskin. You can read previous installments of our prospect notes here.

Edward Cabrera, SP, Miami Marlins
Level & Affiliate: Single-A Jupiter Age: 24 Overall Rank: 109 FV: 50
4IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 7K

Cabrera was shut down in early April with a biceps issue. This came a few days after throwing three impressive spring training frames against the Nationals, during which he notched three strikeouts, including one to Nelson Cruz. His stint on the IL, though relatively brief, is the latest entry in what has been a long history of injuries since his professional career began in 2016, but he put forth a strong showing in his first start of the season.

On Wednesday, his fastball sat 97-99 mph, but it was his slider that proved to be his most unhittable pitch; he threw it 29% of the time for a CSW% of 71%. The high-80s slide piece is a nasty one, with a sharp dive that averaged 32 inches of vertical break and only three inches of horizontal movement, proving a formidable challenge to opposing batters.

In 2021, Cabrera’s favored secondary was his firm, low-90s changeup, which edged out his slider in overall usage (23.4% and 21.8% respectively). But last night, its use was much more sporadic, with the offspeed combining (roughly evenly) with his curveball to account for 19% of his pitches, most of which missed the zone. He’s also reportedly developed a sinker, which would make for a five-pitch mix, though he did not throw it on Wednesday, nor was it featured in any of his handful of big-league starts last year. As he moves through the system during this current rehab assignment, it’ll be interesting to see if his slider usage remains around the 30% mark, or if he goes back to a more even distribution of offerings as he faces more advanced hitters.

Anthony Garcia, 1B, New York Yankees
Level & Affiliate: Single-A Tampa Age: 21 Team Rank: 23 FV: 40
4-for-4, 2 HR, BB

Judging by his .154 average and bloated strikeout rate, you might assume that Garcia’s early season showing constitutes a step backward, but he brought a 148 wRC+ with him into Wednesday night’s game. Sure, he’d only notched six hits in 14 games, but three of those went for extra bases (two homers and a double), and while his K-rate was an alarming 30.5%, his walk rate was an even higher 32.2%. That kind of cartoonishly lopsided early-season stat line can be difficult to wrap your mind around, but the same can’t be said for Garcia’s performance last night. As if a four-hit, two-dinger game doesn’t speak for itself, both of the balls that left the park did so in a hurry, with exit velocities of 109.9 and 115.5 mph, the latter landing a staggering 464 feet from home. Indeed, all of his home runs this year have exit velos over 100 mph, further reinforcing confidence in his formidable power, especially if he can maintain the patience at the plate he’s shown in the early going.

Peyton Burdick, OF, Miami Marlins
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Jacksonville Age: 25 Team Rank: TBD FV: 45
2-for-4, HR, K

Burdick was responsible for a third of the Jumbo Shrimp’s hits and all of their scoring on Wednesday night, with his solo shot the only response to Charlotte’s 10-run onslaught. With his ability to maintain an athletic swing despite Popeye-level upper body thickness, it’s not exactly a shock to learn that both of his hits came off his bat at over 100 mph. Barreling up the ball has contributed to his hot start, which has been further aided by a patient approach that has resulted in a walk rate in the high teens. Burdick’s bat path is best suited to mid-zone contact; he’s found less success with his swings on the periphery of the zone, in particular on the upper, inner portion of the plate, which has contributed to his bloated strikeout rate. Still, he’s been patient enough to capitalize on the offerings in his preferred zones as he’s embarked on his first full season at Triple-A.

Kendall Simmons, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
Level & Affiliate: Single-A Clearwater Age: 22 Team Rank: 25 FV: 35+
3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, K

Simmons doubled his season totals for both home runs and two-baggers with his first multi-hit game of the year on Wednesday. He produced exit velos over 100 mph on two of his hits, with the other a well-placed soft liner down the right field line. But while performances like that are encouraging, his eighth inning strikeout consisted of four pitches, only one of which was in the zone. Simmons has been entirely too free-swinging, offering at just about everything. His strikeout rate is in the 40% range, and not only has he yet to draw a walk in 2022, he has only reached two three-ball counts so far this year (both at-bats ultimately ended in strikeouts). In the past, he’s shown an ability to make mechanical adjustments to his swing in order to create a shorter, more optimal path to the ball. If he can apply a similar focus and determination to refining his strike recognition, the extra-base hits will be all the more valuable.

Tess is a contributor at FanGraphs. When she's not watching college or professional baseball, she works as a sports video editor, creating highlight reels for high school athletes. She can be found on Twitter at @tesstass.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

I just want to say that I get genuinely excited when I see “… Prospect Notes…” on the FG homepage.

My favorite!

2 years ago
Reply to

Same. I’d love it if we got more of these.