Ten Prospects Who Have Raised Their Stock Since June





If a player gets off to a terrific start, it's easy to notice.

When a player struggles out of the gate or puts up otherwise pedestrian numbers in April and May, sometimes a strong showing in June and July can get overlooked. With more plate appearances or innings already in the books, it's harder for players to jack up their overall numbers with a strong stretch of performance the way they can in the season's early months.

So today we take a look at 10 prospects who have raised their stock in the last two months, even if they weren't putting up the loudest numbers in April and May.

1. Chris Archer, rhp, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee)

Prior to June 1: 44 1/3 IP, 3.65 ERA, 20 BB, 49 Ks
Since June 1: 56 1/3 IP, 0.80 ERA, 20 BB, 58 Ks

Royals lefty John Lamb ran off a streak of 35 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, but Archer has a nice run of his own. Since the Cubs promoted Archer to Double-A, the 21-year-old hasn't allowed an earned run in five starts, a stretch of 28 1/3 innings. Since giving up a home run to the leadoff batter of the fourth inning on June 22 for high Class A Daytona, Archer has gone 36 2/3 innings—or 110 outs—without an earned run.

How is Archer doing it? With a 93-95 mph fastball that touches 97 with downhill plane and a hard slider that is getting grades of anywhere from 60 to 70 on the 20-80 scale, making it one of the best breaking balls in the minors. Archer doesn't go to his changeup much, but he shows feel for that pitch as well with occasional sink and fade.

2. Jesus Montero, c, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre)

Prior to June 1: .229/.307/.357 in 176 PAs
Since June 1: .309/.385/.545 in 187 PAs

Most 20-year-old catchers are still feeling their way through low or high Class A. Montero, on the other hand, opened the year with an aggressive assignment to Triple-A, where after a tough start he's been one of the best hitters in the International League. A scout who saw Montero this month didn't see the outstanding raw power than Montero has shown in the past, but noted that Montero consistently drove the ball into the gaps even if he did bail on the breaking ball on occasion.

3. Peter Bourjos, cf, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)

Prior to June 1: .272/.332/.402 in 206 PAs
Since June 1: .344/.397/.546 in 249 PAs

Bourjos gets good reads off the bat in center field, which combined with his 70 speed on the 20-80 scale and a 45 to 50 arm makes him one of the best defensive center fielders in the minors. Now his bat is starting to come around, and while he could stand to be a bit more patient, there's more offensive upside with Bourjos than is the case with most speedy outfielders who stand out for their defense.

4. Lucas Duda, lf, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo)

Prior to June 1: .303/.429/.555 in 150 PAs
Since June 1: .293/.368/.608 in 204 PAs PAs

Duda has been an offensive machine since the start, but the surprise is that he hasn't slowed down. Duda probably isn't a star in the making, but while his value is entirely in his bat, it's carried him all the way to Triple-A and impressed at least one scout who saw him this month. Duda doesn't have great bat speed and will get the bat head out late on some pitches, but he has the strength to drive the ball to all fields, while his solid plate discipline is another asset.

5. Chris Carter, 1b, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)

Prior to June 1: .237/.338/.474 in 198 PAs
Since June 1: 267/.374/.559 in 230 PAs

Small variations in Carter's average on balls in play are going to swing his numbers wildly, as he's often either hitting the ball out of the park, drawing his fair share of walks or not making contact at all. That can be a frustrating skill set at times, but as Carter has shown lately, he can be an offensive menace, especially against lefthanded pitchers. Still, despite Carter's plus-plus raw power, some scouts still think he's just a mistake hitter who still struggles against breaking balls. Carter will have to make that adjustment, as scouts generally give him below-average to well-below-average marks for his glove at first base.

6. Charlie Culberson, 2b, Giants (high Class A San Jose)

Prior to June 1: .286/.321/.470 in 196 PAs
Since June 1: .367/.421/.590 in 209 PAs

Since the Giants made him a supplemental first-round pick three years ago, Culberson has bounced from shortstop to third base and now to second base. With a .249/.312/.329 batting line in 249 career games coming into the season, where he played was the least of his concerns. Getting of to a .259/.290/.429 start for high Class A San Jose through mid-May didn't help. Culberson has shown enough since then that some scouts think he could be a major league regular, a solid hitter with fringe-average power and a capable, though not flashy, defender with a strong arm.

7. Carlos Carrasco, rhp, Indians (Triple-A Columbus)

Prior to June 1: 53 2/3 IP, 4.36 ERA, 22 BB, 41 Ks
Since June 1: 63 1/3 IP, 3.69 ERA, 21 BB, 62 Ks

Carrasco has been a prospect for so long that it's easy to forget he's still just 23 and has three quality pitches, including a 90-94 mph fastball, a plus changeup and an inconsistent slider that flashes average or better at times with sharp bite. He'll need to refine his command and tighten his slider to better combat righthanded batters and fix the reverse split he's shown throughout his career, but between Carrasco's stuff, solid delivery and remarkable track record of good health, he has the potential to be a durable mid-rotation starter.

8. David Phelps, rhp, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre)

Prior to June 1: 56 1/3 IP, 2.40 ERA, 16 BB, 45 Ks
Since June 1:  57 IP, 2.52 ERA, 12 BB, 63 Ks

Phelps stands out more for his command than his stuff, though he does have a plus fastball that ranges from 88-94 mph that he'll sink and cut at times. His secondary stuff is fringy, but he mixes a slurvy curveball, a short slider and a change with solid sink and throws them all for strikes, making him an option for the back of the rotation or middle-relief work.

9. J.D. Martinez, lf, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi)

Prior to June 1: .351/.415/.556 in 229 PAs
Since June 1: .354/.425/.590 in 219 PAs

Like Duda, Martinez has been a stellar hitter all year, but it's more of a surprise that he hasn't slowed down yet. As a 22-year-old who spent most of the year with low Class A Lexington, Martinez tore apart the South Atlantic League before jumping straight to Double-A two weeks ago. A lot of scouts still don't see Martinez as a regular, as he's a dead pull hitter who has to cheat on good fastballs in on his hands, but he could be a be a solid backup outfielder in the big leagues, a higher projection than he had at this time last year.

10. Jiwan James, cf, Phillies (low Class A Lakewood)

Prior to June 1: .230/.286/.319 in 234 PAs
Since June 1: .337/.374/.442 in 232 PAs

James stands out more in the field with outstanding speed and an average arm, but his progress at the plate is an encouraging sign for a converted pitcher. James has well-below-average power, but with a skinny 6-foot-4 frame, he should be able to do more damage at the plate, though right now he's mostly a guy who hits the ball on the ground on relies on his speed to take care of the rest.