These are notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Learn earlier installments here.
Demarcus Evans, RHP, Texas Rangers
Stage & Affiliate: Triple-A Spherical Rock Age: 24 Org Rank: TBD FV: 40+
Line: 2 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 Ok
Evans lives virtually fully off his fastball’s carry and angle, which punishes hitters on the high of the zone. I noticed him sit 94–96 mph through the spring. He may also dump in an inconsistent 12-to-6 curveball, however his really feel for burying it’s nonetheless poor, and it hangs within the zone too usually. In an try and discover a extra impactful second pitch, Evans has added a cutter. The outing I noticed through the spring was his second or third time utilizing it, and it was understandably of blended high quality. We’re nonetheless speaking a few premium fastball right here, although — one which performs in a similar way to James Karinchak‘s and Nick Anderson’s fastballs. However there’s simply no second plus providing to pair with it. I feel it’s extra possible Evans results in a center aid position early on, however he’s a high-leverage lock if a secondary pitch ever materializes.
Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants
Stage & Affiliate: Triple-A Sacramento Age: 24 Org Rank: 2 (54 overall) FV: 50
Line: 2-for-3, 2B, BB
5 of Bart’s first 9 video games got here within the hitter haven that’s Las Vegas, however he’s off to a extremely scorching begin, slashing .382/.432/.735, albeit whereas placing out 33% of the time. Strikeouts are all the time going to be part of Bart’s offensive profile; it’s only a matter of how a lot they hamper his capability to get to his energy in video games. He’s monitoring virtually precisely like Mike Zunino did eight years in the past, and whereas Zunino had some lean years by which he hit under the Mendoza line, he’s nonetheless been a precious on a regular basis catcher with some All-Star–caliber seasons, and that’s what Bart appears to be like like. Hitting like he has to start out the yr isn’t an indication he’s improved, however he’s kicking down the door to massive league taking part in time, particularly with Curt Casali struggling. The longer the Giants keep close to the highest of the standings, the extra it is smart to insert Bart (who is a wonderful defender and discipline normal) to lighten the load on Buster Posey’s legs and enhance his possibilities of staying wholesome all yr.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Seattle Mariners
Stage & Affiliate: Triple-A Tacoma Age: 23 Org Rank: 8 FV: 45
Line: 3-for-4, 2B, HR
Talking of fellows kicking the door down: Since he was demoted, Trammell has had nothing however multi-hit efforts and is batting .636 with six extra-base hits in 5 video games. It’s not trigger to re-evaluate what I wrote on the recent Mariners list, however I do suppose it illustrates the hole between massive league pitching and Triple-A pitching. Trammell was placing out 40% of the time in MLB, double his profession fee and 4 instances the speed since his demotion (although in a tiny pattern).
Tommy Nance, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Stage & Affiliate: MLB Age: 30 Org Rank: TBD FV: 40+
Line: 1 IP, 1 Ok
Nance is one other Indy Ball signee who had a velo spike through the off yr (examine Max Bain here), however in contrast to Bain, whose affiliated profession simply started this yr, he has had an extended runway. He signed out of the impartial Frontier League early in 2016 and pitched within the center ranges of the Cubs’ system for practically half a decade earlier than exhibiting manner greater velocity this yr. He was 91–94 in 2019 however acquired as much as 97–98 throughout his single-inning massive league debut. Nance had three robust aid outings at Triple-A Iowa (mixed: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 10 Ok) earlier than the call-up. There he was extra 94–96 and topping out at 97, actually solely throwing his mid-80s energy slurve other than the fastball. His heater has massive tailing motion and is able to operating off the hips of lefty batters and again over the plate.
As I wrote relating to Julian Merryweather on the Blue Jays record, simply because this man is 30 doesn’t imply he’s not a prospect. He’s rookie-eligible, has roster flexibility, and is below group management the identical as any younger participant. He’s additionally a pitcher who clearly has speedy massive league bullpen utility. The chance of age-related decline throughout his yr of group management does complicate the place he falls on the FV scale, since I care about all six or seven of these years, however groups have to resolve how they worth a man like this versus a extra conventional prospect, so I’ll, too. Would you fairly have Nance or Anderson Espinoza proper now? Or Jay Groome? If both of these youthful arms have been to finish up sitting 97-plus with an upper-80s hammer breaking ball out of the bullpen, we’d suppose it was an incredible end result given what they’ve handled on the way in which there. Properly, Nance is that proper now.
Brock Jones, OF, Stanford Cardinal
Stage & Affiliate: PAC-12 Age: 20 Draft Rank: 16 (2022) FV: 40+
Line: 2-for-2, 3 BB, HR
Jones was a high-profile, two-sport highschool prospect from Northern California who ended up at Stanford due to a robust dedication, the type sometimes related to Stanford. He’s solely performed baseball there and had his freshman season shortended by the pandemic. He acquired off to a scorching begin earlier than cooling because the Cardinal acquired deeper into convention play, falling right into a homerless drought that lasted over a month earlier than he went deep Sunday and Monday in opposition to Cal.
Jones is in unbelievable form and is without doubt one of the extra imposing bodily presences in faculty baseball. With that power comes energy, but in addition some stiffness. The size and form of his swing are usually not typical of an enormous league energy hitter, although athletically he matches the invoice. That is positively a reputation to know for subsequent yr’s draft, and Jones has laid a robust foundational season on paper, however my look throughout Stanford’s go to to Arizona State and his mechanics means I’m nonetheless leaving him ranked the place he was popping out of highschool fairly than transferring him up.
There have been solely six video games throughout the minors final night time, typical of a Monday, with a number of massive league rehabbers taking part in. Astros lefty Framber Valdez threw 47 pitches in three innings. After every week between outings, Rangers lefty Brock Burke struggled by 2.2 innings, his second early-season clunker in a row. Rockies infielder Brendan Rodgers performed his fourth consecutive rehab recreation and went 2-for-4 with a double. Diamondbacks famous person Ketel Marte, getting back from a hamstring pressure, performed his first rehab recreation at Triple-A Reno.