2017 Eastern League Top 20 Prospects


Rafael Devers (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Championship Series
Altoona (Pirates) 3
Trenton (Yankees) 0
Best Record
Trenton (Yankees), 92-48 (.657)
Most Valuable Player
Garabez Rosa, 3B/OF, Bowie (Orioles)
Pitcher Of The Year
Corey Oswalt, RHP, Binghamton (Mets)

SEE ALSO: Eastern League Top 20 Chat

To qualify for a Minor League Top 20 Prospects list, a position player must have one plate appearance per team game, a starting pitcher must have one-third of an inning per team game and a reliever must have 20 relief appearances.

As always, the Double-A Eastern League featured some of the game's brightest prospects. This year's crop was led by a pair of 20-year-olds, one who leads this list and one who fell one plate appearance short of qualifying. Trenton shortstop Gleyber Torres and Portland third baseman Rafael Devers blitzed the EL and were both gone by early July. Once they reached Triple-A, however, their paths diverged.

Devers played nine games with Pawtucket before getting the call to Boston to fill their gaping hole at third base. Torres played three weeks and looked well on his way to a callup of his own before having season-ending Tommy John surgery.
The league's next wave of star power arrived at midseason when outfielders Austin Hays and Victor Robles arrived from the Carolina League. Both received September callups.

Though this year's EL class is strong, it doesn't feature a whole lot in the way of high-end pitchers. Trenton's Domingo Acevedo and Justus Sheffield each earned high marks, but both face questions about durability and future role.

1. Rafael Devers, 3B, Portland (Red Sox) | 📹
Age: 20 B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 195 Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013

From the beginning of the EL season until the moment he left on July 15, Devers ranked among the very best prospects in the minors. His tools, especially offensively, were obviously impressive, but he also wowed managers with the ease with which he played.

Devers this season developed into an all-fields hitter, a departure from the days when teams had the lefthanded batter shifted heavily to his pull side. He hits a fastball as well as anyone—as demonstrated when he hit an opposite-field home run on a 104 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman in the big leagues— but didn't show particular vulnerability to offspeed stuff, either. Devers projects as an above-average hitter with above-average or better power. He has improved defensively and should stick at third base with decent range as well as soft hands and an above-average arm. The Red Sox, who traded many high-profile prospects last winter, look wise for keeping Devers, a potential cornerstone player who sparked Boston's offense in the second half.

287 48 86 19 3 18 56 31 55 0 3 .300 .369 .575

This Article is a paid feature of the Baseball America website. To continue reading, please sign-in.

Login to Your AccountPurchase Website Access