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Weekly Prospect Review, July 31 – August 6

Photo: Ammon Pond

It was a bit of a slow week at a few of the minor league levels, with Tri-City at the All-Star break and three teams having games shortened or postponed due to smoke from wild fires, rain, and flooding.  San Antonio has to be feeling good, having Jacob Nix promoted from Lake Elsinore and getting Luis Urías back from an injury (he was their DH yesterday in his first game back after a two-week stint on the disabled list).  And Fernando Tatis Jr. had a pair of homers this week for Fort Wayne, as has been the custom for a while now.  There were plenty of noteworthy performances in the minors this week, so let’s get to them. 

 

Franmil Reyes, RF – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)

7 for 22 (.381), 2 HR, 6 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K

After a hot June in which Reyes hit .309/.377/.457, he really struggled in July hitting just .202/.220/.395.  The 6’5” Dominican has had success against right-handers this year, but hasn’t fared as well against lefties (.138/.229/.287).  As mentioned on last week’s podcast, I heard an NL scout say that they weren’t impressed with his movement in the outfield or his ability to hit anything other than hanging curveballs, but (my voice now) he just turned 22, and he just matched his career high in homers (16), which he hit last year in the hitter-friendly Cal League.

 

Enyel De Los Santos, SP – San Antonio Missions (Double-A)

7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K

As mentioned in The Scoop yesterday, De Los Santos’ start against Midland this past week was notable because he had a 9.95 ERA in six starts against them this year.  In his last 13 starts (78 innings) he’s averaging exactly a strikeout per inning and has an even 3.00 ERA.  He’ll be overlooked in a rotation stacked with Quantrill, Lauer, Lucchesi, and Nix, and while he’s not quite on their tier, he’s a top 15 arm in the organization that’s worth keeping tabs on.

 

Rod Boykin, CF – Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

10 for 23 (.435), 2 HR, 2 2B, 7 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K

I would very much like to know what has gotten into Rod Boykin.  He was promoted from Fort Wayne after hitting an unimpressive .249/.329/.415 in 69 games.  In his first 23 games with Lake Elsinore, he’s hitting .326/.417/.681.  He’s still striking out more than you’d like (33.8% with the TinCaps, and 30.4% with the Storm), especially for someone who hits near the top of the order, but the 12th round pick from 2013 is showing that he’s got some pop to go along with his speed.

 

Ruddy Giron, SS/3B – Lake Elsinore (High-A)

8 for 21 (.381), 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SB

With Javier Guerra getting promoted to Double-A, Giron has seen more time at shortstop, after spending most of the season at third base.  It might just be because I remember his first game for Fort Wayne (a 6 for 6 night in 2015), but Giron’s still a guy I think could turn into something.  His ceiling isn’t high, and he’s only hitting .233/.296/.332 on the year, but he’s still only 20 years old (2.6 years younger than the average Cal League player, according to Baseball Reference), and if he can hit more consistently, it wouldn’t be crazy to see him as a major league utility guy down the road.

 

Emmanuel Ramirez, SP – Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)

5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 5 K

Ramirez has been all over the place this year – beginning 2017 in Fort Wayne (3.63 ERA, 12.5 K/9 in 17 innings of relief), then getting sent down to Tri-City and being named to the Northwest League All-Star team (2.48 ERA, 8.8 K/9), and making his most recent stop in Lake Elsinore.  Wherever he goes, he seems to strike out a lot of guys, though he could stand to give up fewer hits (he allowed more than 10 H/9 in Fort Wayne).  This was a promising first start in the Cal League for the 23-year-old Dominican.

 

Hudson Potts, 3B – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

7 for 21 (.300), 1 HR, 3 2B, 6 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K

Yes, his teammates Fernando Tatis Jr. and Brad Zunica each had a pair of home runs this week, but Potts got on base just as many times (10) as each of them, and Fort Wayne will need a big finish by Potts if they want to make some noise in the Midwest League playoffs.  It hasn’t been an easy first year of full season baseball for the comp pick from last year’s draft (hitting .230/.271/.384), but he’s hit 10 of his 12 home runs since the the beginning of June, and is less than three months older than Tatis Jr.  He’s also cut his K rate each month from May to July (34.3%, 27.6%, and 23.6%, respectively).  Potts is still very raw, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him start with the TinCaps next year, but I like what he’s been doing as of late.

 

Hansel Rodriguez, RP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

4 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 10 K

I got to watch Rodriguez pitch on MiLB.tv for the first time a few nights ago, and I was blown away by his stuff.  Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Melvin Upton Jr. trade, he’s got a 1.82 ERA and a 13 K/9 rate since being moved to the bullpen (29.2 innings in 16 games).  From what I saw in his three inning stint against Great Lakes, his slider was almost un-hittable and he had good command of his fastball.  It’s hard to get too excited about relief prospects in the low minors, but he was really fun to watch, and I wonder if there’s a chance they give him a shot at starting again down the road.

 

Michel Baez, SP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)

6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 14 K

Another week, another great start for Baez.  While Padres fans are clamoring for him to get promoted to Lake Elsinore, the fact is the TinCaps and Storm only have 27 games and 26 games left, respectively, and with the Fort Wayne trying to make a playoff run (and Mason Thompson’s injury keeping him out the rest of the year), it’s looking like the dominant 21-year-old is going to keep mowing down Midwest League hitters for the remainder of the season.  The 6’8″ Cuban has a 14.3 K/9 and a 0.9 BB/9 in his first five starts Fort Wayne, which are crazy numbers to see, but you can’t help but wonder how he’d fare against better competition.

 

Tre Carter, CF – Tri-City Dust Devils (Low-A)

6 for 13 (.462), 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB

In a short week for Tri-City, Carter has stayed hot, extending his hit streak to seven games.  Since starting off the season on a nine-game hitting streak, he has hit .197/.280/.359 in 31 games.  He is fast, as his eight triples and 9 for 12 in stolen base attempts can attest, but he’ll need to keep on hitting if he wants to move up in the organization.  His .314 OBP shows that he still has a way to go before becoming something more than a fringe prospect.

 

Esteury Ruiz, 2B – AZL Padres (Rookie)

6 for 21 (.286), 1 3B, 3 2B, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 SB

He’s hit just .225 in his first ten games since joining the Padres organization in the Trevor Cahill trade, but six of his nine hits have been for extra bases.  He’s striking out at a 29.5% rate, which isn’t good, but at 18-years-old, he’s shown some glimpses of what made him so enticing to A.J. Preller.

 

Luis Patino, SP – AZL Padres (Rookie)

5.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Patino is a 17-year-old Columbian that has put up some great numbers for the AZL Padres.  In 21 innings since coming up from the Dominican Summer League, he has an even 3.00 ERA and is striking out more than a batter an inning.  I’d be lying if I said I knew a whole lot about him, but he’s one that I’ll try to dig up some info on this week.

 

MacKenzie Gore, SP – AZL Padres (Rookie)

4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 5 K

The Padres definitely aren’t trying to rush Gore, as he’s thrown just 8.2 innings in his first three starts.  Still, he hasn’t allowed a run yet, and it’s hard to not get excited about his 13:1 strikeout to walk ratio.  It seems like he’s pitching every Monday for the AZL Padres, so even though their games aren’t televised, it’s worth setting a reminder on your phone to check the box score at the end of the night.