Sunday, May 5, 2019

April's Top 50 Prospects in the Carolina League

I plan to update rankings every month.  The ground rule is that they must have played in the Carolina League for the previous month.

1.  Luis Robert CF (Winston Salem-CHW) Easiest player to rank.  Prior to the year, Robert had eye popping physical tools.  In his 19 games with the Dash prior to his promotion to AA, Birmingham had eye popping statistics as well.  Expect Robert to be in Chicago by the middle of 2020.  It may take a while, but he should eventually be an all star.

2.  Nick Madrigal 2B (Winston Salem-CHW) I heard  a podcast on Prospect Live recently where they were downgrading Madrigal quite a bit.  While Madrigal's adjustment to professional baseball has been a little slower than expected, I still think his floor is an average regular with the potential to be much better. One concern has been that he is only 4 for 10 on stolen bases.

3.  Nolan Jones 3B (Lynchburg-Cle)  has had a strange start to the year.  His on base percentage at .407 is good but after hitting 19 homers in 2018, Jones only has 4 extra base hits and no homers through 27 games. He also has made 8 errors at third base. Jones turns 21 later this week.

4. Leody Taveras CF (Down East-Tex) After struggling in the Carolina League in 2018, Taveras has gotten off to a strong start in 2019.  Excellent defensive outfielder.  Taveras turns 21 in September.

5.  DL Hall SP (Frederick-Bal) On the surface, Hall has only had one good start out of five, as he had struggled with command and consistency.  However, his already elite stuff has gotten even better as he is throwing harder this year and improved his slider.  Would not be a surprise if Hall went on a run like he did in his last 10 starts in 2018.

6.   Anderson Tejeda SS (Down East-Tex) Was good with Down East in 2018 and thought he might be assigned to AA Frisco but he is back with Woodies at least for the first part of the season. Tejeda has been solid in 2019 although he has slumped recently. He just turned 21 on May 1st.

7.  Brady Singer SP (Wilmington-KC) It is difficult to rank the order of the three college Blue Rocks pitchers from the 2018 draft. Singer has been the most consistent after not pitching professionally in 2018.

8.  Daniel Lynch SP (Wilmington-KC) Lynch has improved each outing and seems poised to go on a good streak.

9.  Jackson Kowar SP (Wilmington-KC) Another skilled college pitcher from the 2018 draft.  Kowar has had his ups and downs early in the year.

10.  Tyler Phillips SP (Down East-Tex)  A personal favorite, Phillips is a control pitcher who has excellent size and extension.   Phillips continues to put up strong numbers and is not a soft tosser.  Phillips will be 22 in October.

11.  Miguel Amaya C (Myrtle Beach-CHC) Just turned 20 in March, Amaya is a strong defensive catcher who is only hitting .198 but has 14 walks to 21 strikeouts and has a respectable .762 OPS.

12.  Kyle Isbel OF (Wilmington-KC) Excellent all around skills.  Good defensive outfielder with nice power and speed combination. Isbel got of to a strong start before getting injured when he was hit in the face.   He will be back soon.

13.  Seth Beer LF (Fayetteville-Hou) It is no surprise that Beer is hitting well.  He is splitting time at 1st base and leftfield. Beer has a similar fielding profile to Yonder Alvarez and there may not be room for both on the same team.  

14.  Bryan Abreu SP (Fayetteville-Hou) struck out 25 in 14.2 innings and got promoted to AA Corpus Christi. Abreu emerged out of no where in 2018 and was placed on the Astros 40 man roster.

15.  Bubba Thompson CF (Down East-Tex) out with a broken hamate bone.  Thompson struggled in the 12 games that he played before getting injured.  He is very athletic but a bit green for this level. Thompson will be 21 next month.

16.  MJ Melendez C (Wilmington-KC) had a solid year in Lexington in 2018 but swing and miss issues were exposed. Melendez struck out 30.3% of the time in 2018 and is striking out out 41.9% so far this year.  Good chance he has to repeat Wilmington next year.  Strong defensively.  Melendez will be 21 in November.

17.  Jean Carlos Mejia SP (Lynchburg-Cle) big guy had three impressive starts to open the year and then went on the injured list with an abdominal strain.  Mejia progressed a lot in 2017 and 2018 and the Indians thought enough of him that they added him to the 40 man roster rather than risk losing him.  Mejia will be 23 in August.

18.  Jarren Duran CF (Salem-Bos) a 2018 7th round, Duran was the 2nd best player in the Carolina League in April. A lefthanded leadoff hitter who is leading the Carolina League in stolen bases.  Lack of power may limit Duran to 4th outfielder.

19.  Nick Pratto 1B (Wilmington-KC) has really struggled with the transition from the Sally League to the Carolina League.  Went through a similar struggle in 2018 when he hit .153 in the first half with no homers and was one of the best players in the Sally League the second half of the season.  Pratto will be 21 in October,

20.  Michael Baumann SP (Frederick-Bal) one of the most improved players in the Carolina League.  Baumann's strikeout percentage went from 15.2% in 2018 to 44.2% so far in 2019. Baumann appears to be one of the first players in the Orioles organization that has benefited from the Astros influence.  Baumann will be 24 in September.

21.  Seuly Matias RF (Wilmington-KC) tremendous power, but a lot of swing and miss as well.  In 2019, his strikeout percentage is up to 42.6% from 34.8% in the Sally League in 2018.   The good news is his walk percentage is up to 12% from 6.4% in 2018.  Matias' upside is probably Joey Gallo.  He turns 21 in September.

22.  Mario Feliciano C (Carolina-Mil) finally healthy and at an appropriate level, Feliciano is starting to produce.  He is splitting catching and DH with Payton Henry. Feliciano is a very good athlete that does not turn 21 until November.

23. Tristen Lutz RF (Carolina-Mil) another young player struggling with the transition from full season A to High A.  Lutz is starting to show some signs of improvement.  Good athletic for his size.  Lutz turns 21 in August and will likely need more than a single year in the Carolina League.

24.  Aramis Ademan SS (Myrtle Beach-CHC) after struggling so much with the Pelicans in 2019, Ademan has shown improvement this year.  Will likely always be a defensive first player.  Turns 21 in September.

25. Bryan Mata SP (Salem-Bos) another young player that struggled in the Carolina League in 2018 and shown improvement this year.  Mata walked 58 in 72 innings with Salem in 2018 and has reduced that to 11 in 2019 in 29.1 innings this year.  Mata just turned 20.

26.  Eli Morgan SP (Lynchburg-Cle) just got promoted to AA Akron.

27.  KJ Harrison 1B (Potomac-Was)

28.  Jason Bahr SP (Down East-Tex)

29.  Alec Hansen P (Winston Salem-CHW) just got promoted to AA Birmingham.

30. Payton Henry C (Carolina-Mil)

31. Steven Kwan CF (Lynchburg-Cle)

32. Julio Pablo Martinez CF (Down East-Tex)

33. Diosbel Arias 3B (Down East-Tex)

34. Jaskson Tetreault SP (Potomac-Was) Been promoted to AA Harrisburg.

35.  Drew Rasmussen SP (Carolina-Mil)

36.  Juan Hillman SP (Lynchburg-Cle)

37.  Cristian Javier P (Fayetteville-Hou)

38. Cody Sedlock SP (Frederick-Bal)

39.  Bryan De La Cruz RF (Fayettevile-Hou)

40. Oscar Gonzalez LF (Lynchburg-Cle)

41. Parker Mushinski P (Fayetteville-Hou)

42.  Mason McCoy SS (Frederick-Bal)

43. Enoli Paredes P (Fayetteville-Hou)

44. Joantgel Segovia LF (Carolina-Mil)

45. Jimmy Herron CF (Myrtle Beach-CHC) 

46. Yonny Hernandez 2B (Down East-Tex)

47. Gage Canning CF (Potomac-Was)

48. Telmito Agustin LF (Potomac-Was)

49. Pedro Castellanos 1B (Salem-Bos)

50. Malvin Pena SP (Potomac-Was)

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