It is fitting that the Brewers #1 prospect is a Pint. Riley Pint is not simply a nice play on words though. He has an overpowering high 90’s fastball that often touches triple digits late in games. The pitch bores in on lefty’s and runs away from righty’s, making it very difficult to square up even if a hitter can CATCH up to it. Pint has both a slider and a curve, but both are still wildly inconsistent. Pint is inconsistent with all his pitches due to a failure in being able to repeat his delivery. The organization has taken a very cautious approach with him, but they are reworking his mechanics to help him gain consistency. He does have a very clean delivery, hinting at the likelihood of continued health, and as soon as he irons out his mechanics, the sky should be the limit. Pint has ace potential. Also in the system are power arms Erick Fedde, Touki Toussaint, Sandy Alcantara; all who are able to dial their fastballs up to the upper 90’s. Control shouthpaw Eric Lauer could be an effective counter to the power arms once they all reach Grants Pass. Lauer may not have elite stuff, but he has a varied four pitch mix, knows how to use them all, has excellent control, and is not afraid to come inside and challenge hitters. Blake Rutherford was seen as one of the most polished high school hitters in some time before the 2016 draft, but he has been unable to deliver on that promise over his first two years. He fell out of favor to the extent that he was made available and drafted during the Rookie Expansion draft. That may have lit a fire under him, as he has been every bit the hitter he was once thought to be so far this season. He has yet to produce the over the fence power many predicted, but he has been hitting screaming liners all over the field in the early going and hitting well over .300 so far. If he regains the luster he once had, he could leap up the prospect rankings in short order. The Brewers also have a bevy of young, talented shortstops in the system; any one of which could deliver on their vast potential and secure shortstop in GP for years to come.
Top Prospects: 1. Riley Pint (SP), 2. Sandy Alcantara (SP), 3. Erick Fedde (SP), 4. Touki Toussaint (SP), 5. Eric Lauer (SP), 6. Rowdy Tellez (1B), 7. Blake Rutherford (OF), 8. Kevin Newman (SS)
One Rookie Expansion draft in, the Robots have built an intriguing base to start their new farm system from. Outfielders Brett Phillips, Daz Cameron, and Dylan Cozens all have potential to be regular producers at the major league level. Phillips is the most advanced, but he must learn to curtail the swing and miss in his game. The same can be said of Cozens who has light tower power. Cameron has the pedigree, but has yet to show the refinement to his game he will need. Up and comers Bryse Wilson and Shane Bieber lead a deep pool of starting prospects. Two sport star Wilson was offered football scholarships to several prominent Division I programs, but he chose baseball instead. The quarterback intelligence has followed him to the mound, where he shows a rather innate ability to work hitters with his 92-94 fastball and change up. He also throws a curve, but the pitch has fallen behind his newly refined change in his arsenal. Bieber, known primarily as a control artist previously, has seen his fastball tick up and his curve tighten considerably and he now throws above average stuff with consistency and command. Yohander Mendez is the rare pitcher who pitches off his change. The pitch is a devastating pitch that continually gets hitters out front for swings and misses or weak contact. Mendez was asked to become a little more aggressive with his low to mid 90’s fastball last year and the adjustment paid immediate dividends. Unable to focus on the change up, hitters became overmatched as Mendez’ fastball became even more reliable with the extra work and he saw his strikeout rate jump. This is a young system, but Roxbury is on the right track to grow it into a quality product.
Top Prospects: 1. Brett Phillips (OF), 2. Dylan Cozens (OF), 3. Bryse Wilson (SP), 4. Shane Bieber (SP), 5. Yohander Mendez (SP), 6. Fernando Romero (SP), 7. Daz Cameron (OF), 8. Domingo Acevedo (SP)
The Rainiers front office chose to focus this winter on assembling a respectable major league team to show the Seattle faithful in their first season in the league. The plan seems to be paying off so far as the Rainiers are not only far outpacing the other three expansion teams on the field and in the standings, but have been sitting at or near the top of their own division. The farm system is not completely empty however. Starting pitchers Max Fried, Nick Neidert, Dillon Peters, and Ryan Merritt all show some promise and are close to contributing at the big league level. Tyler Austin is very close to making his debut as well, and the long time outfielder has added some versatility to his defensive game, spending time at 1B this season. This years Amateur Draft promises to be a busy one for the Seattle front office as they begin to populate their young farm system.
Top Prospects: 1. Max Fried (SP), 2. Nick Neidert (SP), 3. Ryan Merritt (SP), 4. Tyler Austin (OF/1B), 5. Dillon Peters (SP)