The two of us recorded a podcast during which we combed through our Futures Game notes. This announced update to THE BOARD is that discussion made real on the site. All of the guys with new FVs are noted below, along with brief notes on why their FVs changed. If a player moved within their FV tier, there is a stock up or stock down arrow on THE BOARD. The updates noted here don’t include players who have been added to our rankings and went from 35 FV to 35+ FV, since that happens pretty often. We’re also fully updated to reflect recent trades. Lastly, if you’d like to see who is set to graduate from the list next, check the right sidebar on the FG Prospects homepage. And remember to follow @FG_prospects on Twitter for live BOARD updates.
Jo Adell, CF, Angels and Bo Bichette, INF, Toronto Blue Jays (60 FV to 65 FV):
Both move up due to increased confidence that they’ll be stars, with the ZiPS updates Kiley received for the Trade Value Series also helping. Adell seems fully recovered from a scary ankle and hamstring injury suffered during spring training, and he’s hitting .376/.442/.673 as a 20-year-old at Double-A. Bichette has a 116 wRC+ as a 21-year-old at Triple-A and Toronto seems inclined to leave him at shortstop.
Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros (50 FV to 55 FV):
Alvarez is generating huge power with ease and comfort. Houston’s handling of his playing time while the team was in Colorado is an indication that he’ll offer no defensive value while his skillset is that of an older player, but his offensive tools are a cut above some of this year’s more productive DHs.
Drew Waters, CF, Braves (50 FV to 55 FV):
Waters continues to rake as a young-for-the-league, up-the-middle prospect, and while the .459 BABIP isn’t sustainable, scouts are split on him vs. Cristian Pache long-term, so they’re a little closer on our list now.
Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (50 FV to 55 FV):
Pearson belongs in the same FV tier as Sixto Sanchez as they each have monster stuff, questionable builds, and no track record of pitching for a full season.
Alek Thomas, CF, Diamondbacks 45+ FV to 50 FV):
Thomas is hitting .309/.390/.488 in the Midwest League while being close in age to most of the high schoolers in the 2019 draft. His Futures Game batting practice session cemented our confidence that the unexpected uptick in power is for real.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Orioles (45+ FV to 50 FV):
Rodriguez has developed a changeup pretty quickly and has closed the gap in technical skill and pitchability that caused us to slot him behind fellow 2018 draftees Cole Winn and Matthew Liberatore.
Jhoan Duran, RHP, Twins (45 FV to 50 fV):
Duran’s velo is up, with the right-hander sitting 95-99 now. The secondaries are good, as is the frame. He’s athletic, and strike throwing has improved but is still just okay. He could continue to rise if that aspect turns a corner, which is possible given Duran’s grace and body control.
Josiah Gray, RHP, Dodgers (45+ FV to 50 FV):
Gray’s command has taken a leap. Remember that this is a small college conversion arm who may just be scratching the surface of his talent.
Nate Lowe, 1B, Rays (45+ FV to 50 FV):
He’s 24 and, like Pete Alonso, has a bigger build that often hits the decline phase earlier, but he keeps raking at Triple-A and we’ve seen the power in person and think it’s enough to play every day at first.
Xavier Edwards, 2B, Padres (45+ FV to 50 FV):
Edwards has one of the lowest swinging strike rates in the minors and he’s a high-end athlete and competitor who plays a premium position. We doubt he ever hits for power but he’ll still be a dynamic leadoff man.
Brice Turang, SS, Brewers (45+ FV to 50 FV):
Turang is a slick defensive shortstop with strong on base skills. Those have been a constant for Turang, though his bat has not. The skillset and inconsistencies are very reminiscent of early J.P. Crawford reports.
Brennen Davis, CF, Cubs (45 FV to 45+ FV):
Davis has improved his timing and comfort at the plate, and while his swing still has an awkward, abbreviated finish, he’s shown unexpectedly good bat control and flashes of impact opposite field power.
Tyler Freeman, SS, Indians (45 FV to 45+ FV):
Freeman has second-division physical ability but his contact rates are special and he plays up the middle. Four of the 10 lowest swinging strike rates in the minors belong to Cleveland prospects.
Ryan Rolison, LHP, Rockies (45 FV to 45+ FV):
The fastball command issues that plagued Rolison at Ole Miss seems to have been exorcised, and his changeup has improved.
Alexander Canario, RF, Giants (45 FV to 45+ FV):
Canario mashed his way out of the AZL, finally supporting a toolset we loved (mostly the bat speed, which is plus plus) with some on-field performance.
Kris Bubic, LHP, Royals (40+ FV to 45 FV):
Bubic’s velo is better than it was during his draft year and so is his command. He still has only a 45 breaking ball but lefties with changeups tend to pan out.
Diego Cartaya, C, Dodgers (40+ FV to 45 FV):
Cartaya’s taken to a pro strength and conditioning program and has started to separate himself from other 2018 July 2 signees.
Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays (40 FV to 40+ FV):
We advise that readers take offensive performances at Lansing with a grain of salt, but Moreno is an athletic catcher with plus contact skills and we felt he belonged in the same FV tier as Phillies backstop prospect Rafael Marchan, who has a nearly identical skillset.
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (65 FV to 60 FV):
Purely on stuff, Whitley’s still in a tier of his own among prospects, but injuries and poor performance slid him down a half grade.
Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Marlins (60 FV to 55 FV):
Sanchez belongs in the 60 FV tier on stuff but injuries and the way he’s developed physically and athletically made us think there should be a clear line between him and the McKay/Gore/May/Whitley tier.
Taylor Trammell, LF, Reds (60 FV to 55 FV):
We’re less confident that Trammell can pull balls with power and that’s more essential in a corner outfield spot.
Luiz Gohara, LHP, Braves (50 FV to 45+ FV):
The Braves were conservative with Soroka’s shoulder issues and he’s come out the other side looking great, but Gohara has been down for longer than we initially expected, so he had to drop a bit until we find out the extent of the injury.
Jarren Duran, CF, Red Sox (45+ FV to 45 FV):
We thought Duran might be on a trajectory to end up on the Top 100 by year’s end, but our Futures Game look led to some questions on the offensive upside, so we think he settles in this range.
Seuly Matias, RF, Royals (45+ FV to 45 FV):
The strikeouts are piling up and becoming a problem, so we need to lower expectations a bit.
Shervyen Newton, 3B, Mets (45+ FV to 45 FV):
Contact and timing issues have undermined Newton’s offensive potential all year, but now it has been long enough to adjust him down a bit.
Victor Victor Mesa, CF, Marlins (45+ FV to 40+ FV):
We didn’t go to 50 FV on Mesa as an amateur due to the hit tool concerns some scouts had and it’s been much worse than expected.
Owen White, RHP, Rangers (45 FV to 40+ FV):
Another of the Rangers’ arms to get TJ that we forgot to move when he went under the knife before he played a pro game.
Kevin Smith, SS, Blue Jays (45 FV to 40 FV):
We juiced him up last year from 40 to 45 FV when his power and shortstop ability were joined by some contact skills, but that contact ability has regressed in his first taste of Double-A.