Orange County Devils
Graduates: Ranger Suarez (RP), Dario Agrazal (RP), Austin Wynns (C)
Risers: Abraham Toro (3B), Omar Estevez (2B)
Top Prospects: 1. Andrew Knizner (C), 2. Cionel Perez (SP), 3. Chance Adams (SP), 4. Terrin Vavra (2B), 5. Abraham Toro (3B), 6. Omar Estevez (2B), 7. Francisco Alvarez (C), 8. Jose Trevino (C), 9. Aramis Garcia (C), 10. Owen Miller (SS), 11. Chase Strumpf (2B), 12. Ryan Helsley (SP)
Lower level prospects populate the Devils system as they continue to rebuild their farm. A deep 2019 minor league draft continued to stock the farm at the Rookie and lower A levels with quality talent. 2019 selections, Terrin Vavra, Owen Miller, and Chase Strumpf give quality depth to the middle infield positions along with the rising Omar Estevez. All four boast advanced hit tools, plate awareness and patience leading to .300 batting averages and near or over .400 on-base percentages. If they can hold those levels as they move up the ladder, they could end up top the order type bats in Orange County. Catcher is another position of strength, with Andrew Knizner, Jose Trevino, and Aramis Garcia being joined by 2019 selection Francisco Alvarez. The four are already showing the defensive abilities to stay behind the dish and all have the upside to develop offensively. With another year of development, this is a farm that could easily rise over the next couple seasons.
Graduates: Garrett Cooper (1B), Tyler Wade (SS), Nicky Lopez (IF)
Risers: Alec Bohm (3B), Corbin Carroll (OF)
Top Prospects: 1. Alec Bohm (3B), 2. Corbin Carroll (OF), 3. Ryan Weathers (SP), 4. Daniel Lynch (SP), 5. Cadyn Grenier (SS), 6. Michael Toglia (1B), 7. Ryan Rolison (SP), 8. Kris Bubic (SP), 9. Ryan Merritt (SP), 10. Nick Neidert (SP)
High school outfielder and 2019 1st round selection Corbin Carroll signed soon after being drafted, then promptly showed off his advanced hit tool at two levels. Carroll strike zone judgement and patience forces pitchers to throw strikes, and when he gets a good pitch to hit he rarely misses. Once on base, Carroll is an excellent baserunner with outstanding base stealing instincts and the plus speed to annually threaten for the leagues base stealing crown. Plus hit tool, patience, and speed add up to a legitimate leadoff threat for Seattle. Last seasons #1 selection, Alec Bohm, began to dispel many of the concerns surrounding his game, cutting down on his swing and misses and raising his defensive profile. Making pitchers come to him with more quality strikes allowed Bohm to tap his considerable power and raise his hit tool profile. Defensively he began to alleviate some of the concerns about his ability to stay at the hot corner long term, but he also started working across the diamond at 1B as well. His hands are not bad and his limited range is less an issue at 1B than it is at third. Bohm still has the upside of a power hitting, middle of the order presence, and he could reach that ceiling sooner than later after last years season of development. Starting pitching is another position of depth in the system, led by Ryan Weathers, Daniel Lynch, and Ryan Rolison. Michael Toglia brings an additional corner infield power profile to the system, and Cadyn Grenier has continued to develop in the middle infield. While the talent is largely in the lower levels, there is talent present and the Raniers system should rise with another year of development from the young talent.
Graduates: Will Smith (C), Caleb Ferguson (RP)
Risers: Daulton Varsho (C), Tony Gonsolin (SP)
Top Prospects: 1. Daulton Varsho (C), 2. Tony Gonsolin (SP), 3. Beau Burrows (SP), 4. Alek Manoah (SP), 5. Miles Straw (OF), 6. Randy Arozarena (OF), 7. Kean Wong (2B), 8. Cole Irvin (SP), 9. Michael Busch (2B), 10. Adbert Alzolay (SP)
Ranking in the bottom tier of the rankings for a second year might be cause for some sympathy toward the Blues, until you realize Moonstruck has won 103 games each of the past two seasons and has averaged 98 wins a season over the last six years. Obviously the team is doing an awful lot right. Underappreciated is a word that comes to mind with the Blues system. They may not get the top tier names, but they keep churning out productive major leaguers just the same. Case in point: Will Smith. The since graduated backstop was never touted as a top level prospect, yet he produced a .381/.603./984 slash line and 20 home runs in half a season at AAA before being called up. Who on this years Moonstruck minor league roster might be the next Will Smith? Fellow backstop Dauton Varsho is a good bet. Rising to AA in 2019, Varsho cut his K-rate, raised his BB-rate, hit over .300, produced a 159 wRC+, and, just for good measure, stole 21 bases in 26 attempts. Highly rated for his defense, it seems Varsho is on the brink of joining Smith in Moonstruck as possibly the best young catching tandem in the league. Starter Tony Gonsolin continued to out produce his scouting report, rising to the cusp of the major leagues while honing his four pitch mix. Further refinement next season could see Gonsolin develop into a mid-rotation workhorse for the Blues. 2019 1st round selection, Alek Manoah, is an exciting arm, able to hold his 95-98 mph power late into games. The pitch has natural sink, and coupled with his wipeout slider and mature 6’6”, 250 pound frame makes him the prototype power arm. Development of a changeup will be the next step for the possible front line starter. There is plenty of depth behind the top few, including starters Beau Burrows and Cole Irvin, outfielders Miles Straw and Randy Arozarena, and infielders Kean Wong and Michael Busch. Don’t count out anyone in the Blues pipeline; if history tells us anything, there’s a diamond in the rough in there somewhere.
Graduates: Oscar Mercado (OF), Harold Ramirez (OF)
Risers: Luis Patino (SP), Alek Thomas (OF)
Top Prospects: 1. Sean Murphy (C), 2. Luis Patino (SP), 3. Isaac Paredes (SS), 4. DL Hall (SP), 5. Alek Thomas (OF), 6. Mark Vientos (3B), 7. Joey Wentz (SP), 8. Yu Chang (SS), 9. Luis Oviedo (SP), 10. Bubba Thompson (OF)
Brooklyn drops a few spots in this seasons rankings, but coming off a 105 win season (and averaging 103 wins the past three), there is probably not much sleep being lost over the drop. The system is far from bare though, and is led by catcher Sean Murphy. Murphy is the highest rated defensive backstop in the last 20 years and has the tools to run off multiple Gold Glove seasons once he reaches Brooklyn. His arm is considered 80 grade and his game calling is far advanced for such a young player. Over the last couple seasons, his offense has begun to catch up with the defense and if he holds his production in the majors there will also be a string of All Star appearances to go with the GG. Starter Luis Patino, an unheralded shortstop signing out of Columbia, has blossomed since moving to the mound. He holds his mid-90’s power well, and has one of the best sliders in the minor leagues. Although he could pitch in the big leagues right now with that combination, further refinement of his curveball and change could portend front of the rotation upside once he matures fully. Outfielder Alek Thomas’ combination of pitch recognition, patience and bat control make it easy to forecast a plus hit tool at the major league level, and his plus speed makes him both a threat on the base paths and in centerfield. Isaac Paredes is another plus hitter in the Kraken system, with the bat control and power to produce .380/.500 on base/slugging numbers. He has almost outgrown the shortstop position he has played since being drafted, but a move right or left on the infield will not diminish his defensive potential. He has soft hands, a strong arm, and good instincts and whether he settles at third base or second base, he should be an asset with his well-rounded potential. There are plenty of sleepers populating the Brooklyn system and, like Patino and Thomas before them, any could make the jump toward the top of prospect lists in the next year.