Welcome to day 6 of our Baseball Instinct 360° series. In today’s stretch, you’ll find 5 Toronto Blue Jays in our Top Prospects 160° to 121°. Make sure to check out the revised logo which is one of 3 variations for Blue Jays in 2012. Thanks to one of our valued readers (Aaron P.) for the tip. And the little kick in the butt to get the update done.
In today’s offering, we will start you out with a pitcher that’s been in the system since 2007 and finish things off with a hitter from the 2011 draft.
160°. Alex Colome, RHP, Rays, 12/31/1988 - Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Alex Colome is the nephew of former Rays reliever Jesus Colome and, like his uncle, he has the stuff to prove it. On stuff alone, Colome rivals anyone in the Rays’ organization not named Matt Moore. He has a mid 90s fastball that features natural sink and arm side run. A tight 11-5 curveball rates as average now but could be a plus pitch. He also throws a changeup but it needs a lot of work. ETA 2013.
159°. Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers, 08/27/1988 - A player that garnered a lot of attention with his 2011 season, Mike Olt is powering his way through the minor league system. After being drafted in the 1st round and 49th overall, Olt spent the 2011 season trying to validate the high selection. He lost time in 2011 due to injury but he did have 307 plate appearances for the season. His batting average comes in at .264 for the 2011 season and this is due to the fact that he strikes out a lot. Olt needs to fix the holes in his swing, as evident by his accumulation of 75 Ks in 240 at-bats across 2 levels of competition, . This is partially mitigated by his ability to draw walks, with 49 free passes in 307 plate appearances, and this helped his OBP to come in at a respectable .381 for the year. His defense is very good and will help him climb through higher levels of professional ball. His swing is powerful and productive. In 2011 he amassed 14 hr’s, 42 rbi’s and .500 slugging percentage in his 254 at-bats. ETA 2014.
158°. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins, 10/23/1987 - Kyle Gibson has been plagued with injuries thus far in his pro career and 2011 was no exception. Gibson got off to a 3-8 start with 4.81 ERA and a 91/27 K/BB rate over 95.1 innings in 2011 before needing Tommy John surgery in late July, ending his season. The former 2009 1st round pick isn’t likely to be back until late 2012. Tom Belmont broke him down in his Prospect Instinct|Kyle Gibson article back in October. ETA 2014.
157°. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Phillies, 1/7/1989 - Aumont was a first round draft pick for the Mariners a few years back. He still holds the same tools that got him that honor but mishandling has limited his ultimate upside. His low 93-95 two-seamer is filthy with hard sink and he can run his four-seam into the mid to high 90s. Matched with an above average curveball and unorthodox delivery for a difficult short stint assignment for hitters. His 78 Ks in 52.2 IP over two levels in 2011 is proof of that. ETA 2012.
156°. Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox, 3/15/1991 - Trayce Thompson slugged his way to this spot on the list, bashing 24 homers and 36 doubles with Low-A Kannapolis. A very athletic player who is just beginning to harness his potential, Thompson also walks at a good clip, with 60 free passes in 136 games. He may slow down too much to be a center fielder, but he should be a very good defender in right field, and he has the power bat to carry that position as well. His Achilles’ heel is the strikeout, as he whiffed 172 times this past year. Thompson probably has the most upside of any position player in the system, between his power and athleticism, but the strikeouts are a serious problem that will need a lot of work. A comparable player is Dodgers outfielder Kyle Russell, who has a similar build, athletic ability, and statistical profile, and the proverbial jury is still out on Russell even as he’s advanced to Triple-A. ETA 2015.
155°. Mikie Mahtook, OF, Rays, 11/30/1989 - Mahtook does a bit of everything and does it well, with average or better tools across the board. He has good bat speed and has a chance to be an above average hitter with average power. His best tool is his plus speed, while his weakest is his arm which is fringe average but accurate. If you want to nitpick, then you could say his swing is a little unorthodox in that it’s somewhat compact, or that he doesn’t have any tools that rate more than a plus. However, he has a strong makeup and his scrappy gritty play allows him to play beyond his tools. ETA 2014.
154°. Tommy Joseph, C, Giants, 7/16/1991 - Having played 2 professional seasons, it is still difficult to gauge the value of Joseph to the organization. He has shown much improvement from his unremarkable 2010 season. He improved his defensive skills by cutting down on his error rate and passed balls, while increasing his percentage of runners caught stealing. The offensive numbers showed nice improvement as well. With 95 rbi’s and 22 hr’s in 514 ab’s there is definitely some potential for power productivity in his bat. However, the 102k/29bb could stand for some improvement. His .317 OBP underscores his need to increase his walk rate. We would like to see an increase his contact rates and lower the number of strikeouts. As we noted in our Touch ‘em all article, he took nicely to being played consistently at the catcher position during the last half of the 2011 season. ETA 2014.
153°. Guillermo Pimentel, OF, Mariners, 10/5/1992 - This is a player that gets a high ranking more on potential than actual results. He is a young player signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. Since playing in professional baseball he has shown decent results; he had 11HR and 46 RBIs in 245 at bats in rookie ball in 2011. With a 27.4% strikeout ratio per at-bat, Pimentel needs to control the strike zone much better. However, he flashes a left-handed power swing that would play nicely in Safeco park. He is so strong that he doesn’t need to hit the ball squarely to drive the ball out of the park. His defense in the outfield seems adequate for playing at higher levels, so his position is not likely to be a problem as he develops. It should be noted that Pimentel’s struggle with strike zone management is quite common for young international players and at 18 years old he has time to work on his approach at the plate. If he can get it together, he has a bat with plus power. ETA 2015.
152°. J.R. Murphy, C, Yankees, 5/13/1991 - Murphy was drafted in 2009 by the Yankees and is another catcher in the system. While he doesn’t have the power of Montero or Sanchez, he is already a more complete hitter than Sanchez. He doesn’t strike out much with just 38 in 256 Sally League at bats. He still needs to learn how to take more walks and work the count into better situations for him to use his average power. But overall he hit .287 over two levels with 7 HR and 29 doubles. Tom Belmont takes note of Murphy in his Touch’em All article. ETA 2015.
151° . Tyler Saladino, SS, White Sox, 7/20/1989 - Tyler Saladino has done nothing but hit in his pro career since being drafted out of Oral Roberts in the seventh round of 2010. He boasts unusual power for a shortstop, slugging 16 home runs in just 102 games in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League, ranking third in the circuit in slugging percentage (.501). He also hit 26 doubles and nine triples, and he brings a solid approach to the plate that allowed him to post a .363 OBP. There are some concerns about his defense at shortstop, but he should at least be able to handle second base at a major league level. Saladino remains underrated; he’s not a flashy player, but he has a very good bat for the middle infield. In a system where most of the position players have serious question marks in at least one area of the game, his well-rounded skill-set is refreshing. ETA 2014.
150°. Edward Salcedo, 1B/3B/OF, Braves, 7/30/1991 - Edward Salcedo signed as an international free agent with the Braves in 2010. He was one of the top prospects coming out of Latin America in 2008 but an MLB investigation (that proved nothing!) delayed his signing and development by two years. After a strong first half (.268/.346/.420 and a June slug of .536), I thought the 2011 season would be a breakout year for him. I expected the Braves to promote Salcedo to AA Lynchburg when they bumped up Bethancourt, but it never materialized. His numbers in the second half took a nosedive and he never gave the Braves’ organization a reason to promote him thereafter. Salcedo is still very raw, but he has one of the highest ceilings in the Braves system. He has quick enough wrists and worked on shortening his swing last year. If he can continue making strides and develop, he can tap into his offensive, power ceiling. Whether Salcedo takes over for Chipper or a move to 1st or OF is necessary, his bat should play well almost anywhere. ETA 2014.
149°. Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Brewers, 12/18/1989 - Taylor Jungmann was the 12th overall pick by Milwaukee in the first year players draft. The Texas Longhorn made a $2.525 Million bonus for signing with The Brewers before the signing deadline. He won Big 12 Pitcher of the Year college baseball’s version of The Heisman, the Dick Howser Trophy. The 21 year old was on the top of many teams list of pitchers in the draft with a 13-3 record, 1.60 ERA and 126 K’s in 141 innings pitched. Taylor will not make his professional debut until 2012. While there’s talk around about Jungmann starting the season in Double-A it’s more likely that he’ll begin in Single-A. He is talented and will probably dominate but with the depth at Miller Park they won’t need to rush him. ETA 2014.
148°. Tony Wolters, SS, Indians, 6/9/1992 - Grabbed in the 3rd round in 2010, Cleveland hopes Wolters may be their shortstop of the future. After hitting .292 with 78 hits and 30 walks against 49 strikeouts over 267 at bats in Short Season New York/Penn League, this youngster hasn’t changed anyone’s opinion. He gets raves from scouts and coaches as being a “baseball rat”. And his speed on the bases with a .385 OBP show he could have the stuff to hit near or at the top of a batting order. ETA 2014.
147°. Joe Benson, OF, Twins, 3/5/1988 - Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft, Benson was a football player first but the Twins were able to get him to sign. He hit .284/.387/.491 with 16 HRs and 14 SB in the Double-A Eastern League in 2011 before playing in 21 games for the Twins. He hit .239/.270/.352 in brief time with the big club. Benson offers a modest power/speed combo. If he can fix the hole in his swing, 15-20 HR/SB a season in the majors isn’t out of the question. I think he can stick in center field. He’s got a great arm and is very athletic. He’s going to get a shot to compete for a roster spot right out of spring training, but a trip to AAA – a place he hasn’t been yet, wouldn’t be a bad idea either. ETA 2013.
146°. Edwar Cabrera, LHP, Rockies, 10/20/1987 - A non-drafted free agent out of Santana, Dominican Republic in 2008, Cabrera dominated two levels in 2011. In Asheville and Modesto combined, the small-framed lefty has a 3.34 ERA giving up 155 hits and 62 earned runs, while walking only 41 and striking out a whopping 217 hitters in 167 innings pitched. He’s put himself on the prospect map, using his low 90s fastball and an outstanding change-up and working on a curveball. We love the strikeouts. And the fact that he’s accomplished this over two levels is super impressive. The top concerns going forward will be the development of a solid third pitch and increasing his ability to keep the ball on the ground because a flyball pitcher in Colorado is a bad combo. Scoring a groundball rate of 48% in a hitter’s park like Asheville is pretty decent, but his still gave up 10 homeruns. And 8 longballs in Modesto. We’re rooting for you Edwar. ETA 2014.
145°. Hudson Boyd, RHP, Twins, 10/18/1992 - The Minnesota Twins selected RHP Hudson Boyd with the 55th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. The 19-year-old has a mid 90s fastball, a pretty good curve, and is developing a change-up. He’s a hard thrower with good control and repeats his pitches well. He didn’t get signed until late, and as of yet has no professional experience. He turned down a commitment to Florida to sign with the Twins. He should be well received by the fans of Fort Myers, Boyd’s hometown. There’s upside here with the velocity and control. He could be a solid #3, approaching #2 territory. There’s a good chance, especially with his size, that he could end up as a 8th inning guy or a lock down closer. ETA 2015.
144°. Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays, 8/10/1990 - Gose has been amongst the fastest players in the minors since he was drafted. However, his inexperience in reading pitchers and getting good leads got him in trouble last year; he got caught 32 times in 77 attempts In A+ ball. His improvements on the base path are evident as he stole 70 bases in 85 attempts playing a full year at AA. In addition to speed, Gose also shows plus tools with his arm and glove, but his hit and power tools might never be more than average, if even that. Of growing concern is his high strike out rates which have increased to 154k in 509ab and 587pa. Though considering the kid is only 20 and playing in AA ball, he has time to cut down on his strikeouts. Gose has always been loaded with tools, but it was only this year that he started translating them to results. His display in the AFL has drawn many favorable reviews from scouts and baseball analysts. His ceiling is enormous if he can develop close to average hit and power tools, and cut down on his strikeout rates. ETA 2013.
143°. John Hellweg, RHP, Angels, 10/29/1988 - John Hellweg walked more batters than he pitched innings in his 2010 season (45 in 43 2/3 innings) playing for Single-A Cedar Rapids. Despite that, Hellweg took his power fastball to Inland Empire where the tall reliever was stretched out into a starter. He smoothed out his control problems walking 59 batters in 89 innings. But wait, you’re thinking that’s not worth praise. Well, it is if you go 6-4 and a 3.73 ERA with 113 Ks in 14 Games as a starter and 14 in relief. It probably goes without saying that Hellweg throws gas in the upper 90s but he also possesses a hard slider and a decent change-up. ETA 2014.
142°. Joe Terdoslavich, 1B, Braves, 9/9/1988 - Terdoslavich was the Braves’ 2011 Minor League Player of the Year after destroying the Carolina League doubles record. Many pessimists/nonbelievers argue that Terdoslavich was simply too old for the league. However, he followed his 2011 season in HiA Lynchburg with another amazing performance in the AFL. Terdoslavich was named to the 2011 AFL Top Prospect team and proved himself well against more advanced competition in the AFL. During the AFL Rising Stars game, he went 3-3 with another double and a home run off #1 draft pick in 2011, Gerritt Cole. I think it’s obvious that he’s definitely ready for heavier competition. ETA 2013.
141°. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP, Phillies, 7/19/1990 – Pettibone is another big bodied starter that saw extended time in the FSL in 2011. His two-seam fastball sits in the low 90s with a four-seam he can get to 94-95 at times. It’s his excellent command that makes the pitch above average. He isn’t a strikeout pitcher, proving to be better at spotting his fastball and working to contact. The breaking pitch is a low 80s slider which he gained better command of in 2011 and he throws a changeup which is above average. ETA 2013.
140°. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres, 9/23/1988 - The biggest question with Gyorko is how much power does his bat have. Since he lacks premium defensive value and is below average in speed and base running, his bat (and more particularly) his power needs to carry him. In 2011 Gyorko has 74 rbi’s and 18 hr’s in 340 ab’s, but the California league is notorious for inflating power numbers. When Gyorko was promoted to AA his numbers regressed to 40 rbi and 7 hr in 236 abs. He is expected start at AA in 2012 and he will have to prove whether his bat has the power needed to succeed at Double AA level. Come to think of it, he will have to prove that at every level he goes, just like he has always done. ETA 2013.
139°. Brody Colvin, RHP, Phillies, 8/14/1990 - Colvin battled injuries in 2011, limiting his ability to work at peak velocity and work low in the zone. It hinders his development in a critical season and he’ll need to make up for lost time in 2012. He’ll probably start back in High-A, he still has a nice ceiling as a potential #3 starter and I think there is some consistent 94-95 velocity hiding in the readings ready to show itself in 2012. If that happens his two average secondaries will allow him to reach that #3 ceiling. ETA 2014.
138°. Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays, 4/25/1993 - The top prep lefthander in the 2011 amateur draft, Norris dropped to second round where the Jays took him with the 74th overall pick for U$2mil. At times Norris has shown three potential plus pitches, but he’s a bit raw- having only started focusing on baseball in the last year. His fastball generally sits in the 89-93mph range, though he can dial it up to 96mph. He has a curveball that he is inconsistent, but he has shown he has the ability to throw a good curveball. His changeup has good arm speed. Like many high school pitches he has inconsistent mechanics, but he’s athletic enough to make the adjustments. ETA 2016.
137°. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Blue Jays, 11/22/1991- The Jays have quite a few pitching prospects in the low minors who all have a legitimate chance to be frontline starters if they continue to develop. Nicolino’s ceiling isn’t as high as Norris’, but he has a greater chance of becoming a major league #3. Here’s yet another Jays’ pitcher worth watching. ETA 2014.
136 . Alex Torres, LHP, Rays 12/8/1987 - Tampa acquired Torres from the Angels in 2009 for Scott Kazmir, a lefty strikeout artist who could not stay healthy and lost his control. Torres appears to be the most valuable return in that trade, but like Kazmir, his command and control need work. He made all his starts (27) in AAA-Durham in 2011 and pitched in line with his career stats: 3.08 ERA, 9.6 K/9 rate and a disappointing 5.1 BB/9 rate. He is equipped with a low 90’s fastball w/ good movement, an effective changeup, a curve and a work-in-progress slider that could be a plus pitch in time. Torres’ command and control issues may stem from his delivery, but if he can hone his craft, he can emerge as a #3/4 starter for the Rays (maybe a #2/3 for other teams).ETA 2012.
135°. Dillon Maples, RHP, Cubs, 5/9/1992 - Maples has 2 pitches that project as plus offerings, but his mechanics need to be ironed out if he’s going to have the type of command a true frontline starter needs. His current mechanics are short and stiff which could add undue stress to his shoulder and that’s a big red flag in my book. He’ll need a few years to develop his changeup and command, but has the upside of a true #1 and the Cubs did very well in signing him away from Carolina. ETA 2016.
134°. Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers, 5/8/1989 - Peralta runs a low to mid 90s fastball as his main offering. While the pitch doesn’t get him many strike outs, when he’s working in the 93-94 range he gets good sink on the pitch which gets him his high ground ball rate. He’s always work around 50% and this season he had an impressive 56%. He pairs the fastball with 2 off-speed pitches, a slider in the low to mid 80s with good tilt. It’s an average pitch at this time and is his best strikeout pitch. He also has a change-up that sits in the mid 80s. It’s an average pitch and he does throw it with a pretty similar arm speed. It’s enough of a pitch to give him a true 3rd pitch and profile him as a starter. ETA 2012.
133°. Drew Vettleson, OF, Rays, 7/19/1991 - While I don’t question his defensive capabilities in the OF, particularly his arm strength, whether he becomes an impact bat (or a starting OF, rather than a 4th OF?) or not depends on how much power he will develop in addition to his ability to hit and take a pitch. He hit well in the Appalachian League and has gap power for now, so signs are positive if he can add on some bulk. It may slow him down, but we’ve seen that he has great instincts both on the bases and in the field. ETA 2015.
132°. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays, 8/29/1992 - First round supplementary pick in 2010, Synderggard is yet another one of the many talented Blue Jays prospects who status soared in 2011. Synderggard has a power pitcher’s frame, and mindset. He has advanced command of a fastball for his age that sits at 92-94mph, touching 97mph. His curveball is promising, while his changeup needs more work. He performed well in 2011, starting in rookie ball and finishing in Low-A. He’s looking like he could have front-line starter stuff. We really want to see what he does at higher levels. Brandon says to temper your expectations for now, but I say get excited about the possibilities now. ETA 2015.
131°. Mason Hope, RHP, Marlins 6/27/1992 - Hope was a Broken Arrow High School teammate of 2011 Diamondbacks’ pick Archie Bradley. Hope, himself should have gone in the second round, so what a tremendous pick for the Marlins. He should hit the South Atlantic League in 2012 and we will get to see what he’s really got to offer. He’s got the potential to be special pitcher, with a solid #3 being a realistic projection right now. Keep an eye on this pitcher. ETA 2015.
130°. Deck McGuire, RHP, Blue Jays, 6/3/1989 – The big work horse doesn’t have over powering stuff, which limits his ceiling. Having said that, his floor isn’t as low as a lot of pitchers. He could be a solid #3 in the majors, with really a worst case of a #4-5. He should bounce around a bit between AA-AAA before landing in Toronto sometime in 2012, probably to stay. ETA 2012.
129°. Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies, 7/24/1990 - Valle should move along with May and Pettibone until they all reach Philadelphia in 2013-14. Unless the Phillies go out and sign a free agent to take over the catcher spot, Valle is the future and there wasn’t much to make me think he can’t handle the challenge. All Star? No. But a professional major league catcher? That, Valle is. ETA 2014.
128°. Stetson Allie, RHP, Pirates, 3/13/1991 - We had no qualms about making Allie a closer straight out of the draft in 2010, and even then we had him high on our draft boards because his fastball is electric and his attitude is bulldog. His mechanics can become a nightmare at times but eventually should be brought under control. Once that happens he has the stuff to be untouchable in short stints. Normally naming somoene a closer so early is because they are failing as a starter, but in Allie’s case it’s just who he is. He’ll head back to Short Season unless he shows exceptional command in Spring Training. ETA 2014.
127°. Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies, 7/1/1986 - Blackmon has the tools to be a 20/20 guy annually, as well as hit near .300. The key will be how well his on base skills hold up against major league pitching. Right now, he should start the season in Colorado as a back-up outfielder. But with the Rockies aggressively trying to trade Seth Smith, Blackmon would be a favorite to take the spot and could hit near the top of the order. ETA 2012.
126°. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels, 12/2/1991 - Lindsey was The Angels first round pick of 2010. In an online fan chat with AngelsWin.com, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said, “Lindsey was the best pure hitter we had in Arizona. He is not bothered by velocity and always has his hands in the right place to hit. Premium kid and premium bat.” After his Arizona Fall League showing Lindsey was named the Pioneer League MVP his 2011 season. His stats with the Orem Owlz was .362 AVE, 9 HR, 46 RBI in 63 games. ETA 2015.
125°. Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies, 5/22/1989 - Sure, Dickerson’s numbers show a definite homefield bias. Remember though, that Dickerson had a decent Rookie League season in 2010 where he hit .348/.412/.634/1.046. That season his ISOP was still a cool .286. And he has some speed as shown by 21 stolen bases in two seasons. Yeah, there are some strikeouts there, but he can take walks too. How much the hitter’s park affected him will be determined when he arrives in Modesto in 2012. If he shows some of the same stuff, look for another promotion to Tulsa in the same season. ETA 2014.
124°. Michael Fulmer, RHP, Mets, 3/15/1993 - Projecting guys like Fulmer can be tricky business. He’s got the polish and the make-up to be a good #3 starter with the upside of a #2 if the Mets can clean up his mechanics a little. He might even add a little more velocity although his body type doesn’t leave room for growth. His floor is probably lock-down 8th inning guy, which theres nothing wrong with that either. Look for him to start 2012 where he left off, in the GCL or get the jump to Brooklyn. ETA 2016.
123°. Addison Reed, RHP, White Sox, 12/27/1988 - Chris Sale part deux? It sure seems that way. Clearly, with the White Sox dealing Santos and pushing Sale to the rotation they feel that they have the real deal in Reed. You fantasy baseball types out there may want to remember this come auction/draft day or make a push for trading for him in those keeper leagues with farm systems. ETA 2012.
122°. Marcell Ozuna,OF, Marlins, 11/12/1990 - He should be joining Yelich and hitting the FSL in 2012, which is fine by us, more videos for everybody! I’m not concerned about the supposed power outage here, what concerns me more is the improvement in plate discipline. Having said that, the number of walks isn’t where it needs to be yet and the FSL will be a perfect challenge for him. Stay away from breaking balls in the dirt my man! If he handles Hi-A well, he could be a premium prospect, offering the Marlins a power hitting outfielder by 2014. ETA 2014.
121°. Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets, 3/27/1993 - Nimmo had been projected as a compensation round pick, but the Mets felt they got a steal. Nimmo is amazingly polished for a kid from Wyoming, where weather simply doesn’t allow for a high school season. He did take advantage of American Legion out of state trips as well as playing in the Perfect Game show case events. He’s likely to get some extra work in extended spring training before heading to Rookie Ball. The Mets should really get to see what they’ve got him at that point. ETA 2015.
Check back soon as we continue with our Top Prospects List and get our baseball geek on. We will also take a look at the top 21 players for each MLB team later this winter. While you’re here, take a look at a recent article from our Prospect Instinct series: Prospect Instinct|Derek Norris and be a step ahead of the game. Also, check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be. So don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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