This week, we examine a mixture of prospects at a variety of ranges.
5 big-hype prospects
Oneil Cruz, 23, SS, Pirates (MLB)
(AAA numbers) 247 PA, 9 HR, 11 SB, .232/.336/.422
When Tim Dierkes urged I run this column, Cruz was his first instance of the kind of participant he needed to see coated. I’d beforehand written a fantasy column about “Peripheral Prospects” on this similar format overlaying lesser-known guys like Ken Waldichuk and Brett Kerry. It’s solely becoming to the touch upon Cruz yet one more time. Whereas his Triple-A numbers don’t bounce off the web page, he ultimately settled in to the extent. Since early Could, he’s batted .280/.374/.520 with an 11.4 p.c stroll price and 17.7 p.c strikeout price. Reportedly, he was disenchanted by his preliminary demotion, and it contributed to his April-long hunch.
Since rejoining the majors, Cruz is 4-for-18 with a stolen base. In 4 video games, he’s already hit 4 balls over 100 mph, together with two lasers over 110 mph. That is constant together with his observe report. Cruz is constructed like a younger Aaron Choose, and he hits the ball almost as exhausting. His typical angle of contact is geared towards ground-ball and line-drive contact, which may restrict his residence run manufacturing. When he does raise the ball, you’ll be able to anticipate to see it soar. Anytime he’s within the lineup, Cruz is without doubt one of the most fascinating gamers within the league.
C.J. Abrams, 21, SS, Padres (MLB)
(AAA numbers) 151 PA, 7 HR, 10 SB, .314/.364/.507
Like Cruz, Abrams had a earlier transient style of the majors and just lately returned for 4 video games. He’s 2-for-15 with one strikeout. In contrast to Cruz, his exit velocities have been outright poor — simply 81.8 mph. Abrams’ choice to the Padres roster adopted on the heels of a very torrid multi-week stretch. He hit .398/.442/.519 over his final 95 Triple-A plate appearances. Included within the enjoyable have been 4 residence runs, a 5.3 p.c stroll price and an 11.6 p.c strikeout price.
Such manufacturing indicated instant readiness, particularly for a prospect of Abrams’ caliber who scouts adore. If there’s a shortcoming in his profile, it’s that he doesn’t stroll. It’s not essentially a difficulty of self-discipline. He expands the zone partially as a result of his velocity has allowed him to nonetheless attain base within the minors. It’s doable he’ll study to put off marginal pitches within the Majors to enhance his outcomes. If he does, he’ll flower right into a high-quality leadoff hitter. There are nonetheless questions on his eventual defensive residence — and never solely as a result of he has to share a area with Fernando Tatis Jr.
The worst-case state of affairs for Abrams is as an over-aggressive, contact-oriented slasher who performs all around the area. Between accidents and his unbelievable expertise, we haven’t seen Abrams make many changes as an expert.
Anthony Volpe, 21, SS, Yankees (AA)
270 PA, 9 HR, 25 SB, .233/.326/.427
Over the offseason, I used to be just about cornered by a number of Yankees followers who not-so-calmly defined that Volpe was the perfect prospect since Mike Trout. To the glee of all people who likes to hate the Yankees, he carried out notably poorly till mid-Could. Via Could 17, he slashed a meager .170/.297/.330. Optimists cited 4 causes he would rebound. First, the expertise remained evident. He was working counts (13.8 p.c stroll price). His .195 BABIP indicated poor luck. Lastly, he wasn’t the primary prospect to wilt in chilly early-season climate.
Because the calendar has heated up, so too has Volpe. He’s slashing .292/.356/.517 since Could 18, a span of 132 plate appearances. He’s additionally placing extra balls in play (6.8 p.c stroll price, 15.9 p.c strikeout price) with a standard .319 BABIP. Volpe is on the shortlist for high prospect remaining within the minors. He’s additionally making a powerful case for promotion to Triple-A — probably by the tip of this month.
Zac Veen, 20, OF, Rockies (A+)
258 PA, 8 HR, 25 SB, .259/.368/.440
The Rockies don’t precisely have an illustrious popularity with prospects. It’s good to see Veen proceed to carry out to his draft pedigree. Scouting studies uniformly categorical concern about his hit software enjoying in opposition to elite competitors. Whereas he possesses appreciable uncooked energy, his swing has qualities that some may describe as grooved. Such hitters can nonetheless succeed within the majors. Billy Wagner as soon as ridiculed Pat Burrell’s one-path swing (after permitting a house run). Joc Pederson is perhaps a extra related groovy comparability as a left-handed hitter with a reasonably, crazy swing.
In any occasion, Veen is on observe to spend a while in Double-A this season and debut both late in 2023 or early 2024. He works counts (14.3 p.c stroll price), however he’s additionally whiff-prone (23.6 p.c strikeout price, 14.3 p.c swinging-strike price). Whereas he’s 25-for-26 on the basepaths this season, it’s not clear if Veen will proceed to run as he strikes up the organizational ladder.
Joey Wiemer, 23, OF, Brewers (AA)
267 PA, 15 HR, 20 SB, .272/.348/.531
A divisive prospect, Wiemer is gaining steam as a kind of guys who may succeed — even perhaps thrive — regardless of evident flaws. He modified his mechanics heading into 2021 and unlocked huge in-game energy. He launched 27 residence runs in 472 plate appearances final season earlier than tearing by the Arizona Fall League — one residence run and a .467/.568/.667 triple-slash in 30 plate appearances.
There’s query if the hit software will play within the majors, however the energy is clear sufficient to simply assist a low-average method. A worst-case state of affairs may look one thing like Adolis Garcia with plate self-discipline. Or Adam Duvall with self-discipline and an eagerness to run. He sells out for pull-side, fly-ball contact. He’s posted excessive BABIPs at each degree, however it is a hitting profile that normally yields low BABIPs as a result of a cacophony of pulled grounders and straightforward fly outs. We should always see him examined in Triple-A earlier than lengthy. Milwaukee may even want his assist in the majors late within the season in the event that they don’t add outfield depth on the commerce deadline.
Having watched him play a number of video games, the vitality he provides off evokes Bryce Harper.
Gunnar Henderson, Orioles (21): Final week’s lead BHP (that’s Massive Hype Prospect), I famous Henderson would quickly bounce from across the fiftieth prospect to someplace within the High 10 as listmakers put together their midseason updates. Since then, Baseball Prospectus’ Jarrett Seidler indicated Henderson is perhaps the highest prospect left within the minors. A extremely positioned supply at one other main trade outlet confirmed Henderson is on a shortlist of about 5 gamers for his or her high prospect. As I perceive it, this excludes all prospect-eligible gamers at the moment within the majors like Michael Harris, Oneil Cruz and C.J. Abrams.
Eury Perez, Marlins (19): At the moment shredding Double-A hitters, Perez is probably probably the most precocious pitching prospect since Julio Urias. Whereas Urias’ growth was ultimately delayed by accidents, Perez stays each wholesome and efficient. Most of what I might say about Perez was gleaned from the Marlins system replace posted to FanGraphs earlier Friday. So, I’ll allow you to learn what Eric Longenhagen has to say instantly.
Jeter Downs, Purple Sox (23): Downs made his debut just lately, struck out thrice in 4 plate appearances and was promptly optioned again to Triple-A. As soon as a reasonably well-regarded prospect, he’s fallen off the map since becoming a member of the Purple Sox within the Mookie Betts commerce. He nonetheless possesses tantalizing energy and velocity together with first rate plate self-discipline. Sadly, there’s a ton of swing-and-miss within the profile; the type that’s readily exploitable by seasoned pitchers. One of the best-case state of affairs today is a type of Dylan Moore-like consequence.
Brett Baty, Mets (22): Baty was, for me, probably the most visibly spectacular prospect within the Arizona Fall League. Like Volpe, he had a cold begin to his Double-A marketing campaign — his second go to to the extent. He at the moment has a 14-game hitting streak over which he’s tamed his strikeout price and pulled his season-long batting line as much as an above-average .282/.372/.450 efficiency. Just like the a lot of the different Double-A bats we’ve profiled right here, he’s seemingly on the cusp of a promotion.
Noelvi Marte, Mariners (20): Two weeks in the past, I famous some within the scouting biz had indicated Marte’s early-career dominance is perhaps linked to bodily traits that gained’t essentially scale as he advances to greater ranges. In plain English, the boy obtained large younger. Final week, I issued one thing of a retraction as a result of I’d misplaced my supply. Since then, I rediscovered the preliminary word, and it comes from a extremely respected supply with entry to dozens of scouts. All of that is to say that Marte doesn’t appear to be the second-coming in the event you purchase into this early-development narrative. Not all people does! This has been probably the most contentious take to look in BHP. I stay up for fomenting extra dialogue about Marte. For what it’s price, his June-long hunch has continued. He hit .214/.241/.250 during the last week and is at .191/.257/.324 for the month.