Saturday, March 16, 2019

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2019 Prospect Previews


The Cubs have traded many of their prospects in recent years leaving their farm system mostly empty, but they are beginning to rebuild it.  Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres, Isaac Paredes, Dylan Cease and Jaimer Canderlario were or are top prospects that the Cubs traded, sacrificing some of the future for the present. The Cubs seems to have had a very strong 2018 draft.



Name
Nico Hoerner
Age
5/13/97 (21)
Height and Weight
6'1" 200 lbs
Acquired
1st round in 2018
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
55 overall by prospectslive.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
MLB Org Ranking
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Myrtle Beach or Tennessee.  Even if he initially is assigned to the Pelicans, he likely won't be in the Carolina League for long.  

Hoerner was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Stanford.  He missed a lot of the season after signing with an elbow injury so the Cubs took the unusual step of assigning a player from the current draft class to the Arizona fall league. Instead of being over matched as expected given his lack of pro experience, Hoerner was one of the best players in Arizona and shot up prospect rankings.  Hoerner only hit 3 homers in his career but is projected to have more power as a pro to go along with decent speed.  One question is whether he has the arm strength to play shortstop in the majors or if Hoerner will be a 2nd basemen only.



Name
Miguel Amaya
Age
3/9/99 (20) 
Height and Weight
6'1" 185 lbs 
Acquired
2015 international signing
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
94 overall by MLB
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
2
MLB Org Ranking
1
Chances of being in the Carolina League
99% 

Unlike, Hoerner, Amaya almost certainly will spend the bulk of the season with the Pelicans. The Cubs signed Amaya for 1.25 million in 2015 as a 16 year old.   There is little question that Amaya is good enough defensively to stick at catcher. Amaya held his own as a 19 year old in full season ball for South Bend in the Midwest League, although he did fade in the second half (.865 OPS in the 1st half vs .634 in end 2nd half).   It will be interesting to compare the development of Amaya and MJ Melendez of Wilmington in the Carolina league in 2019.  Amaya and Melendez are similarly rated and only a few months difference in age.



Name
Aramis Ademan
Age
9/13/98 (20)
Height and Weight
5'11" 160 lbs
Acquired
2015 international signing 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
119 overall by fangraphs 
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
MLB Org Ranking
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Almost certainly will repeat the Carolina League in 2019

The Cubs paid $2 million to sign Ademan in 2015 and they have pushed this development.  His defense is ahead of his offense.  He needs to add some strength.  Ademan spent all of 2018 with Myrtle Beach as a 19 year old despite it being apparent that the bat was not ready for the Carolina League.  His hitting did not not improve as the year went on and it seemed like it affected the rest of his game.



 
Name
Brendon Little
Age
8/11/96  (22)
Height and Weight
6'1" 195 lbs 
Acquired
1st round in 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
13
MLB Org Ranking
13 
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Good

The Cubs went pitcher heavy in the 2017 draft beginning with the left handed Little as the 27th overall pick.  However, Little has seemingly been passed by later Cubs pitching picks in that draft such as Alex Lange, Cory Abbott and Keegan Thompson, all of whom project to be in the Tennessee Smokies starting rotation.  Little struggled at South Bend, but at 22, will likely get an opportunity with the Pelicans.  According the MLB.com, Little's stuff declined in 2018.  



Name
Paul Richan
Age
3/26/97 (22)
Height and Weight
6'2" 200 lbs
Acquired
2nd round in 2018 (2C)
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking

MLB Org Ranking
18
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely to start at South Bend, but should be moved up to Myrtle Beach with any success.

Richan is a right-hander out of San Diego University, who was the 78th pick in the draft and signed for below slot.  Richan began his pro career with short starts for Eugene in the Northwest League.  He was very good only walking 5 in 29 innings and holding hitters .183.  Richan is more of a control and command pitcher than a hard thrower.



  
Name
Andy Weber
Age
7/24/97 (21)
Height and Weight
6'1"190 lbs
Acquired
5th round in 2018 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking

MLB Org Ranking
 30
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Good chance according to Tom Usiak, of Prospect 1500 

Weber is a poor man's Jonathan India.  At UVA, Weber had a big Junior season after two unexceptional years. Weber was mostly a 2nd basemen in college, he played mostly shortstop as a pro with some 3rd base as well.  For a player like Weber, he must have immediate success to stay on the prospect radar, so 2019 is a big year.



Name
Erich Uelmen
Age
5/19/96 (22)
Height and Weight
6'3" 185 lbs
Acquired
4th round in 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
23 
MLB Org Ranking

Chances of being in the Carolina League
Will likely begin the year back at Myrtle Beach 

Uelmen is a college right-hander who went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he was a college teammate of Alex McKenna.  In 2018, Uelman had a rough first month in South Bend, then was dominate for a month before getting promoted to Myrtle Beach in late June.  He struggled with his command with the Pelicans and should be back this year.  Uelman has a deceptive delivery that could be effective out of the bullpen if he does not make it as a starter.




Name
 Jimmy Herron 
Age
 7/27/96 (22)
Height and Weight
 6'1" 195 lbs
Acquired
3 round in 2018 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking

MLB Org Ranking

Chances of being in the Carolina League
If healthy, Herron is likely to be on Myrtle Beach

Herron was a very consistent player in college at Duke where he hit over .300, with a OBP over .400 each year and averaged 21 steals a year. Herron walked more than he struck out in college. It is possible he may eventually need Tommy John surgery.  Played mostly center field as a pro after mostly playing right field in college.  


Future Carolina League Prospects

Braiyln Marquez (P) - A 20 year old lefty that pitched two games for South Bend in 2018. He is a hard thrower that has a lot of upside. Marquez could make it up to Myrtle Beach in the second half.

Brennen Davis (CF) -A 2nd round pick out of high school in 2018.  According to Jason Penini of Prospects Live, Davis has added 25 lbs in the off season.  Davis has the potential to be a big time prospect.

Cole Roederer (CF)- Another high school outfielder from the 2018 draft where he was selected 13 picks after Davis.  Roederer has power speed potential.

Reivaj Garcia (2B-  Garcia just just 17 in August and making the switch hitting Garcia the youngest minor league stateside player.  Garcia hit very well in the AZL.  It sounds like while Garcia is a very advanced hitter, he is not a tremendous athlete.

Richard Gallardo  (P) - A prized 2018 international signing, the 17 year old Gallardo has yet to play professionally.  

Nelson Velazquez (OF) - A 2017 high school draftee, Velazquez was not quite ready for South Bend in 2018, but displayed good power in Eugene.  He will try again in South Bend.

Christopher Morel (SS)- A good athlete that needs to add strength. I have never seen anyone listed at 6 feet tall and under 150 pounds before.

Yovanny Cruz (P) - Cruz pitched very well in the AZL and one start in the Northwest League.  He turned 19 years old in August and has a groundball inducing sinker. 

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