Thursday, June 20, 2019

Carolina League Prospects Second Half - Who to Keep An Eye On

Down East Wood Ducks

  • Bubba Thompson (13 in latest top 50 prospect list) missed most of the first half with a broken hamate. 
  • LHP Jake Latz (26) and John King (38) have been terrific as under the radar prospects.  
  • C Sam Huff (14) has continued to hit and throw out a high percentage of stealers, if he continue for the remainder of year, the 21 year old should emerge as a top prospect.
  • Julio Pablo Martinez (33) seems to improving as the season goes on.

Winston Salem Dash

  • 1B Andrew Vaughn was the 3rd pick in the 2019 MLB draft.  As a an advanced college hitter, I would expect Vaughn to follow a similar path this year to Nick Madrigal last year.  Madrigal was the 4th pick in the 2018 draft and the White Sox had Madrigal at Winston Salem for the last month of the 2018 season.  
  • LHP Konnor Pilkington (29) has made 5 starts for Winston Salem since his call up.  He has been inconsistent, but has shown the ability to miss bats. 
Carolina Mudcats

  • RF Tristen Lutz (16) struggled in April and has been much better since.  I believe the improvement is real. 
  • C Mario Feliciano (12)is leading the Carolina League in homers and RBIs and will be looking to keep it up.
  • LHP Aaron Ashby was just called up to the Carolina League and was brilliant in his 1st start.
Fayetteville Woodpeckers

  • SS Jonathan Arauz (25) is a very young switch hitter from Panama who had an excellent May but has slumped to begin June.
  • The Astros new pitching program and its success is fascinating to me.  This is a great article,  which requires a subscription to the The Athletic  Astros pitching.  Pitchers on the Woodpeckers roster to watch include RHP Brett Conine (41), RHP Shawn Dubin, RHP Luis Garcia, RHP Austin Hansen, LHP Parker Mushinski (IL) (45), RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP Peter Solomon (IL) and RHP Jojanse Torres
Myrtle Beach Pelicans

  • RHP Javier Assad (39) had a great stretch earlier this year and looked very sharp in the All Star game.  
  • C Miguel Amaya's (11) season has been a mixed bag. Given his age, this level is a challenge for him, but the defense is strong and the strikeout to walk ratio is impressive.  He wore down in the second half of first first full season in 2018.
Wilmington Blue Rocks

  • The Royals have a number of injured prospects that will hopefully appear in the second half for the Blue Rocks.  These include CF Kyle Isbel (10), LHP Daniel Lynch (5), RF Seuly Matias (24), RHP Carlos Hernandez and RHP Yefri Del Rosario.
  • LHP Marcelo Martinez has looked better his last few appearances.  Is the improvement real?
  • RHP Jackson Kowar (9)and LHP Kris Bubic (20) look dominate at times.  In order to take it to the next level they need to be more consistent.
  • LF Brewer Hicklen (47) will look to build upon a great first half of June.
  • C MJ Melendez (15) and 1B Nick Pratto (17) are highly touted prospects that have struggled mightily offensively in the 1st half.

Lynchburg Hillcats
  • SS Tyler Freeman just promoted from Lake County, becomes the youngest player in the Carolina League (18 days younger than Bryan Mara).  He is 87th on the MLB top 100 list. 
  • RF Will Benson was also just promoted from Lake County.  Unlike Freeman he was repeating the season in the Midwest League.  Benson is an extreme three outcome player with great speed and throwing arm as well.
  • LHP Juan Hillman (18) will be looking to improve his consistency.  He had a great stretch in May.
  • RHP Jean Carlos Mejia's (22) season has been hampered by side issues.  Hopefully he will return soon and will look to regain the form he had at the beginning of the season.

Potomac Nationals

  • CF Gage Canning and 1B KJ Harrison (28) were promoted from Hagerstown early in there year.  Both have showed some skills but have the ability to be better than they have showed so far.
  • LHP Tim Cate was just promoted from Hagerstown.  He was the Nationals 2nd round pick and reportedly has a plus curveball.

Frederick Keys

  • The 1st pick in the 2019 draft C Adley Rutschman will likely sign with the Orioles and the next weeks.  He will likely make several quick stops though the Orioles system in 2019 but I expect he will be in Frederick for the last month or so.  He may DH more he typically would since he already caught a full season.
  • RHP Blaine Knight (27) dominated the Sally League for the 1st month of the season and then had an impressive Carolina  League debut, but has pitched poorly since then.
  • RHP Michael Baumann (21) has struggled lately after looking like he was on the verge of a promotion earlier in the year.
  • RHP Brenan Hanifee has struggled with his command most of the season but had his best start last time out.

Salem Red Sox
  • RHP Bryan Mata (23) missed a month with an injury, but has been consistently very good otherwise. He was made nice improvements in the past year.
  • 1B Pedro Castellanos (48) has the size to hit for more power and will need to in order to make it as a 1st basemen.

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