Saturday, July 4, 2015

Top 30 Prospects - And One More (Midseason Update)

I posted my midseason Top 30 prospects a few days ago. A couple of names in that report were not on the preseason Top 30, but were included in the "honorable mention" article that came out a week later. I went over a player at each position, with a grade, that could be a name to keep an eye on. Chances are a couple of these guys might be in the mix for the postseason Top 30.

One note...Daniel Winkler would have been on this list as the top graded right-hand pitcher not in the Top 30, but because he was also on the preseason "And One More" list, I'm going to move to the next righty. In addition, I'll shy away from any draftees and/or international prospects. They certainly will be part of the postseason picture.

RHP Jorge Zavala, C-...Newsflash. Zavala's full-season ERA has gone north of 1.00. The righty, who was the organization's pitcher of the year in the Gulf Coast League last year, continues to show some superb pitchability. He just turned 21 last month and has a 3.5 K/BB ratio entering Friday's games. Twitter folks, get your hashtags ready. There has to be something more creative than #ReleaseTheZavala.

LHP Kyle Kinman, C-...Drafted last year in the 25th round out of Bellevue University (it's in Nebraska), Kinman has built on some solid numbers in Danville with very good numbers in Rome. Two problems. He's walked too many batters and he's 24. On the plus side, he's owned lefties and if he can stop walking a small village and get into an age-appropriate league, he could be an interesting name.

C Chris O'Dowd, D+...Catching is pretty weak behind a couple that made the Top 30 so I'm including a guy who was suspended a month ago for PEDs. Before that, O'Dowd was putting up All-Star worthy numbers for Mississippi following his trade from the Rockies in the David Hale trade. His season-slash in 26 games is .304/.429/.468. Unfortunately, that's way better than he has ever performed so the son of the former Rockies GM, Dan O'Dowd, is likely not going to surprise too many people. He's got pretty good speed. For a catcher.

1B Jake Schrader, C-...Drafted out of Tampa University in the 27th round two years ago, Schrader has followed up good numbers in Rome with impressive numbers in Carolina. Typically, back-to-back seasons with .800+ OPSs would get you more fanfare, but Schader is a bit old to be in A-ball and doesn't show much advanced plate discipline at the plate. Still, 24 HRs in his first 701 PA is pretty solid for this organization.

2B Luke Dykstra, D+...Lenny's son just saw his season begin, but there aren't many other options in the system that didn't make the Top 30 list. He's been attached with the characteristics typically handed to guys who don't have many plus tools - "gritty" and "plenty of heart." Early in his career and season, but Dykstra has a long ways to go to make my Top 30.

SS Omar Obregon, D-...Again, there aren't a wealth of attractive options. Obregon is in his fourth year in the Braves system and has yet to homer in his career, In fact, he's only had 18 extra base hits in his entire nearly 750 PA career. Still, he shows some skills at getting on base (career .362 OBP) and has played all over the infield.

3B Juan Yepez, C...Last year's top international prospect signed by the Braves, Yepez skipped a introductory season in the Dominican Summer League by heading to the Gulf Coast League to open this year. He has yet to homer, but his power is expected to be a plus. What's interesting so far with Yepez is that he's shared nearly equal time between the infield corners. His inability to stay at third has been a potential problem for Yepez's value.

OF Joseph Daris, C-...None of the next three outfielders are out of A-ball, but each rank in the Top 15 in organizational total bases. Daris was a 14th rounder out of Azusa Pacific last year. His extra base total is oddly distributed (he has more triples than doubles and homers COMBINED), but he's also added 13 steals. He largely has stuck in left field, though he can swing around to center.

OF Keith Curcio, C-...Not expected to be a big surprise this year, but Curcio raked a one-month run at Rome. He wasn't exactly repeating the level after playing just eight games there last year, but his production at Rome earned him a quick promotion to Carolina. The numbers haven't been nearly as impressive there. The Florida Southern product shows a good idea of the strikezone and is a plus athlete who has always played 22 games at second base.

OF Connor Lien, C-...Each year, the Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida 12th rounder is given a level to solve and he has improved his numbers in each year. He lacks the plate discipline of Curcio, but has profiled as a better base stealer and shown more pop. While he'll need to improve considerably to become a real prospect, the Braves appear to like Lien and he keeps advancing. What more could you ask for?

Thanks for reading and hopefully, a couple of these guys will be on the postseason list.

No comments:

Post a Comment