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PCL Top 20 Prospects

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Kyle Tucker (Photo by Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images)

By Kyle Glaser

Updated on: 9/20/2018
  1. 1
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    Kyle Tucker

    Fresno (Astros) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 21. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190. Drafted: HS—Tampa, 2015 (1)


    Tucker began the year billed as the top prospect in the PCL and lived up to it. He led the league with a .989 OPS, finished third with a .332 batting average, reached the 20-20 plateau and earned his first major league callup on July 7.


    Tucker’s swing is unconventional and gets long in the back at times, but his excellent hand-eye coordination and timing allowed him to consistently barrel the ball to all fields. He showed strong strike-zone discipline, remained poised in unfavorable counts and generated easy power with a smooth swing.


    “He’s got all the talent in the world,” Sacramento manager Dave Brundage said. “Always swung the bat well. Homers to left field, homers to right field…. He’s got a chance to be a good major league player.”


    Defensively Tucker reads the ball off the bat better in right field than left. He is an average defender when he tries, but his poor effort chasing balls in the outfield turned off many observers. The same issues arose on the bases, though Tucker showed above-average speed underway when he turned on the burners, hinting at a true potential five-tool player if he puts in the effort.

    Stats:
    .332/.400/.590 
    407 AB -- 86 R -- 135 H -- 93 RBI -- 48 BB -- 84 SO
    27 2B -- 3 3B -- 24 HR -- 20 SB -- 4 CS

  2. 2
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    Alex Verdugo

    Oklahoma City (Dodgers) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 22. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 205. Drafted: HS—Tucson, 2014 (2)


    The Dodgers’ outfield roster glut forced Verdugo back to Triple-A for a second straight year, and he bettered every part of his game. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home run rate and stolen base rate all rose, and he also performed better in three callups to Los Angeles.


    Increased strength and better pitch selection were two catalysts behind Verdugo’s offensive improvement, and he began showing opposite-field power. He took a patient approach, covered all areas of the plate and drove all types of pitches on a line with a smooth, level swing.


    “I thought he controlled the strike zone better than anyone else and when he put a swing on it, it was always a good swing,” Fresno manager Rodney Linares said. “He was one of the more polished hitters I’ve seen.”


    Verdugo’s plus arm made him a threat on both sides of the ball, with nine outfield assists in 82 games.


    He handled all three outfield spots and showed good enough jumps in center field to overcome his average speed, though he still projects best in a corner. Verdugo’s main issue remains his effort level, which was average at its best and non-existent at its worst.
    Stats:
     .329/.391/.472 
    343  AB -- 44  R -- 113  H -- 44  RBI -- 34  BB -- 47  SO
    19  2B -- 0  3B -- 10  HR -- 8  SB -- 2  CS

  3. 3
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    Luis Urias

    El Paso (Padres) 2B
    Notes:

    Age: 21. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 185. Signed: Mexico, 2013


    The PCL’s youngest everyday player on Opening Day, Urias experienced offensive peaks and valleys but still ranked in the top 10 in the league in runs (fourth), hits (fifth), on-base percentage (sixth) and doubles (ninth) before his Aug. 28 callup.


    Armed with a keen eye and supreme hand-eye coordination, Urias set out to hit for more power this season and set new career highs in doubles, triples and home runs. His search for added pop got him in trouble at times when his leg kick got out of whack mechanically—affecting his timing and balance and resulting in an uptick in strikeouts—but he eventually made the proper adjustments and batted .420 in August.


    “He’s got a nice approach at the plate,” Memphis manager Stubby Clapp said. “Went up with a plan and executed. He’d wait for his pitch to hit. You didn’t see him out front very much and didn’t see him chasing.”


    Urias got a tick faster as well, which improved his range defensively at second base and solidified him as an above-average defender there. He was also reliable in stints at shortstop and grew more comfortable playing third base.
    Stats:
    .296/.398/.447
    450 AB -- 83 R -- 133 H -- 45 RBI -- 67 BB -- 109 SO
    30 2B -- 7 3B -- 8 HR -- 2 SB -- 1 CS

  4. 4
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    Griffin Canning

    Salt Lake (Angels) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. WT: 170. Drafted: UCLA, 2017 (2)


    Canning shot from high Class A all the way to Triple-A in his first pro season and flashed a power arsenal with a 93-97 mph fastball and plus curveball. After initially struggling with the level adjustment he posted a 3.82 ERA in his final eight PCL starts, mostly at elevation.


    Canning isn’t particularly big, but he generates a lot of arm speed and torque with wiry strength and limber athleticism. His plus fastball and high-spin 80-82 mph curveball are his primary weapons, and he flashed an average-to-above 85-88 mph slider to get back into counts when he fell behind.


    Canning’s power stuff allowed him to rack up strikeouts even though his command still needs work. In part due to the effort in his delivery, Canning’s fastball command can be scattered, though he’s effectively wild at times and pushes righthanded hitters back off the plate. His changeup was also below-average, and developing that as a soft offering to counterbalance his arsenal will be important.


    Canning never pitched more than five innings in 13 PCL starts, so building durability will be key to reach his Trevor Bauer-esque potential.
    Stats:
    3-3, 5.49  ERA
    59  IP -- 68  H -- 36  R -- 36  ER -- 22  BB -- 64  SO --
    13  G -- 13  GS -- 0  SV -- 6  HR -- .294AVG

  5. 5
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    Tyler O'Neill

    Memphis (Cardinals) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 23. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 210. Drafted: HS—Maple Ridge, B.C., 2013 (3/Mariners).


    O’Neill always had big power and he got to it more than ever this season. He hit 26 home runs in just 64 games at Triple-A, slugged .693 and was hitting in the middle of the Cardinals order by summer.


    O’Neill matured in his approach and began adjusting to the situation and pitcher within an at-bat, rather than just swinging to one spot. As a result he began striking out less, walking more and picking out better offerings to swing at, sending hittable pitches a mile with his huge bat speed and power.


    “He’s from another planet,” Fresno manager Rodney Linares said. “I’ve seen him hit balls normal human beings can’t hit it to. That’s pretty special power. His balls go further than anybody else I’ve seen.”


    O’Neill also showed himself to be a borderline plus-plus runner and improved defender in right field, rounding him out. He remains extremely aggressive in his approach and prone to strikeouts, limiting his ability to ever hit for average, but he now gets to his power enough to play every day.
    Stats:
    .311/.385/.693 
    238 AB -- 61 R -- 74 H -- 63 RBI -- 29 BB -- 68 SO
    9 2B -- 2 3B -- 26 HR -- 3 SB -- 1 CS

  6. 6
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    Yordan Alvarez

    Fresno (Astros) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 21. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt: 225. Signed: Cuba, 2016 (Dodgers).


    Alvarez got promoted to Triple-A midway through the season and played an integral part in Fresno’s run to the PCL championship series, improving as the year progressed and batting .295/.374/.484 over the final month.


    Lingering knee discomfort often limited Alvarez to DH duty and hampered his outfield play, but he hit and hit for power. He showed some of the best raw power in the league, was the rare lefthanded hitter who could hit same-side pitchers (.349/.384/.543) and showed an impressive feel to hit beyond what many sluggers can claim.


    A big-bodied, natural first baseman trying to play left field, Alvarez still needs a lot of work defensively. He doesn’t cover much ground and often spends his prep time hitting rather than working on his defense. He’s a below-average first baseman as well, and did not see any time there with Fresno.


    How much Alvarez can improve his defense bears watching. Even if he ends up a DH, he has the approach, hitting ability and power potential to be good one.
    Stats:
    .259/.349/.452
    166 AB -- 24 R -- 43 H -- 28 RBI -- 23 BB -- 47 SO
    8 2B -- 0 3B -- 8 HR -- 1 SB -- 0 CS

  7. 7
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    Freddy Peralta

    Colorado Springs (Brewers) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt: 175. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013 (Mariners).


    Peralta conquered the daunting task of pitching at Colorado Springs, posting an impressive 3.10 ERA and pitching his way into Milwaukee’s rotation by June.


    Peralta’s fastball sits just 90-92 mph, but it gets on hitters quick with his easy arm action and rise up in the zone. He further kept batters off balance with a curveball out of the same slot he could both land for a strike or use as a chase pitch, and he effectively mixed in his changeup.
    Even without big stuff, Peralta recorded a strikeout rate of 12.8 per nine innings with his poise and pitch selection.


    “He was really polished, he looked like he was in control,” Fresno manager Rodney Linares said. “Our lineup had a bunch of big leaguers. We were dropping 10 runs on people like crazy and this guy just shoved against us. He moved the ball wherever he wanted to throw it. He never panicked. It was like you were swinging at the pitches he wanted you to swing at.”


    Peralta relies on hitters chasing and his walks spike when they don’t. He may be limited to a back-end starter by that, but he effectively fills that role now.
    Stats:
    6-2, 3.10 ERA
    61 IP -- 49 H -- 23 R -- 21 ER -- 28 BB -- 97 SO --
    13 G -- 13 GS -- 0 SV -- 1 HR -- .218 AVG

  8. 8
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    Willie Calhoun

    Round Rock (Rangers) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 23. B-T: L-R. Ht.:: 5-8. Wt:: 187. Drafted: Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, 2015 (4/Dodgers).


    The Rangers sent Calhoun back to Triple-A to work on his defense and he didn’t take it well. He displayed a poor effort much of the season, performed worse at the plate and left observers disappointed with his overall play.


    The thing is, he still hit. Even with a hyper-aggressive approach and a concerning amount of all-or-nothing swings, Calhoun still posted three hitting streaks of at least 10 games and was the fifth-toughest hitter to strike out in the PCL. He received a big league callup in July and again in September.


    “He’s still a tough out, still a guy who can hit,” New Orleans manager Arnie Beyeler said. “It makes a difference when you see him if he wants to play or if he doesn’t. He’s still one of the more premier hitters in the league, a dangerous guy.”


    Calhoun still has a lot of work to do defensively in left field. He catches what he gets to, but his range is extremely limited and opponents freely take the extra base on his below-average arm.
    Stats:
    .294/.351/.431 
    108  AB -- 66  R -- 127  H -- 47  RBI -- 32  BB -- 47  SO
    32  2B -- 0  3B -- 9  HR -- 4  SB -- 0  CS

  9. 9
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    Corbin Burnes

    Colorado Springs (Brewers) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 23 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt: 205. Drafted: St. Mary’s, 2016 (4).


    Burnes teamed with Freddy Peralta to give Colorado Springs one of the best pitching duos in the PCL. He struggled with a 7.24 ERA at home at elevation but posted a 3.69 ERA with a strikeout rate of 10.5 per nine innings on the road. He was called up to Milwaukee on July 10, where he’s been a dominant fireman out of the Brewers’ bullpen.


    Burnes has big stuff with a fastball that averages 95 mph in relief and a swing-and-miss slider that overtook his curveball as his best secondary. His stuff plays in the strike zone and the Brewers have tasked him with getting it to play out of the zone, too—namely getting swings at pitches on the edges or off the plate.


    The Brewers still view Burnes as a starter and he has the stuff, control and durability for the rotation, but his changeup is a work in progress and his high-spin curveball has not played well in the majors. He’s already an integral part in one of baseball’s best bullpens and has that to fall back on if starting doesn’t pan out.
    Stats:
    3-4, 5.15 ERA
    79 IP -- 83 H -- 48 R -- 45 ER -- 31 BB -- 81 SO --
    19 G -- 13 GS -- 0 SV -- 7 HR -- .275 AVG

  10. 10
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    Ryan McMahon

    Albuquerque (Rockies) 1B/3B
    Notes:

    Age: 23. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt: 185. Drafted: HS—Santa Ana, Calif., 2013 (2).


    McMahon spent much of the season shuttling between the majors and Triple-A but performed when he stayed in one place long enough to gain a rhythm. He hit .305 with a .908 OPS in his final extended stint in the PCL, was called back up to Colorado on July 29 and remained in the majors for the rest of the season.


    McMahon remains an athletic hitter with a smooth lefthanded swing that produces consistent hard contact. He’s adjusted his approach to focus on hitting fastballs and spitting on offspeed pitches, and with that change in approach has come more hard contact and fewer strikeouts.


    Defense was McMahon’s main focus coming into the season, and he rotated between first base, second base and third base all year at Triple-A. He improved to the point the Rockies played him at all three spots as they chased the National League West title.


    McMahon’s bat is strong enough to play every day, especially now that he has improved his versatility. It’s just a matter of opportunity in Colorado’s crowded infield.
    Stats:
    .290/.339/.531
    224 AB -- 40 R -- 65 H -- 48 RBI -- 15 BB -- 61 SO
    15 2B -- 3 3B -- 11 HR -- 3 SB -- 2 CS

  11. 11
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    Sandy Alcantara

    New Orleans (Marlins) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 22 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 6-4 Wt:: 170 Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013 (Cardinals)


    The flamethrowing Alcantara made huge strides going from a thrower to a pitcher this year, finishing sixth in the PCL with a 3.89 ERA and cutting his walk rate by nearly two percent. He made his first major league start on June 29 and returned to the Marlins’ rotation in September.


    Alcantara’s four-seam fastball still sits 95-96 mph and frequently touches 100, and his low 90s two-seamer is a weapon that gets under righthanded bats. Where he’s made strides is with his changeup, making it a competitive pitch batters actually have to consider, and his short slider grew into an effective fourth pitch to give him a more complete arsenal.


    “He showed that he could control the strike zone a little bit better and used his secondaries better,” Memphis manager Stubby Clapp said. “It was all better when we saw him.”


    Alcantara still gets a little wild and doesn’t miss as many bats as his stuff might suggest, but his control and command are moving in the right direction. The improvements Alcantara has made give him a better chance to remain a starter, with late-inning relief still a fallback.
    Stats:
    6-3, 3.89 ERA
    115.2 IP --107 H --51 R --50 ER --38 BB --88 SO --
    19 G --19   GS --0 SV --10 HR -- .246 AVG

  12. 12
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    Ramon Laureano

    Nashville (Athletics) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 24 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 5-11 Wt:: 185 Drafted: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC, 2014 (16/Astros)


    The A’s trade of minor league righthander Brandon Bailey to the Astros for Laureano last winter is looking like the steal of the offseason. Laureano pounded his way through the PCL, earned his first big league callup on Aug. 3 and summarily took over as the A’s leadoff hitter and starting center fielder.


    Laureano’s exceptional arm earned national attention after his 321-foot throw from the center field wall to first base in Anaheim on Aug. 11, and his above-average speed and athletic instincts have made him a plus defender in center field. After a rough offensive season in Double-A that precipitated the trade, Laureano rediscovered his plus bat speed and hit for both average and surprising power.


    Though his early numbers are promising, Laureano is prone to swinging and missing a bit much and evaluators expect his offensive production to come down some once big league pitchers become more familiar with him.


    Even so, Laureano’s defense, efficient basestealing and potential to be at least an average hitter give him the foundation of strong everyday player.
    Stats:
    .297/.380/.524
    246 AB --44 R --73 H --35 RBI --31 BB --70 SO
    12 2B --1 3B --14 HR --11 SB --2 CS

  13. 13
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    Dakota Hudson

    Memphis (Cardinals) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 23 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 6-5 Wt:: 215 Drafted: Mississippi State, 2016 (1)


    Hudson finished tied to the PCL lead with 13 wins despite getting called up to St. Louis on July 28 and was on track for the ERA title (2.50) as well. He won the league’s pitcher of the year award despite spending final six weeks of the minor league season in the Cardinals bullpen.


    Hudson was exceptionally durable in the PCL, pitching into the sixth inning in 15 of his 19 starts. He attacked opponents with 94-97 mph fastballs and finished them with a hard, upper 80s slider that could creep into the low 90s. His didn’t miss an overwhelming amount of bats because of inconsistent command, but he was tough to square up and drew lots of weak contact.


    “He’s a dominant guy,” New Orleans manager Arnie Beyeler said. “He’s not afraid of contact, he works ahead in counts, finishes hitters and he’s got stuff. Durable-looking guy. He just kept winning, and it’s not surprising with what he brings to the table.”


    Hudson’s below-average command showed up with more walks than strikeouts in the majors. He’ll have to fix that to start long-term, but he has the stuff and pedigree for the rotation.
    Stats:
    13-3, 2.50 ERA
    111.1 IP --107 H --34 R --31 ER --38 BB --87 SO --
    19 G --19 GS --0 SV --1 HR -- .254 AVG

  14. 14
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    Peter Alonso

    Las Vegas (Mets) 1B
    Notes:

    Age: 23 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 6-3 Wt:: 245 Drafted: Florida, 2016 (2)


    Alonso hit 21 of his minor league-leading 36 home runs with Las Vegas, including a dramatic walkoff two-run homer on the final day of the season in the last baseball game ever at Cashman Field.


    The burly masher posted eye-popping exit velocities along the way and made a memorable impression on opposing managers, with many claiming he hit the farthest home run of the season off their teams.


    “He hit a ball out of here at like 120 miles an hour,” Fresno manager Rodney Linares said. “Big power. He took pitches against some tough pitchers during our series and he got us a couple times, hit one of the longest balls against us all year.”


    Alonso’s big power came with many caveats, however. He got exposed against breaking balls, swinging and missing by two feet at times, and his subpar bat speed and bat path led observers to question whether he’ll hit major league pitching. Alonso’s defense was also exceedingly poor, with one manager labeling even pickoff throws “a gamble” with him at first base.


    Alonso’s power is carrying tool and gives him middle-of-the-order potential, but his shortcomings have some worried he’s a AAAA slugger.
    Stats:
    .260/.355/.585
    258 AB --50 R --67 H --67 RBI --33 BB --78 SO
    19 2B --1 3B --21 HR --0 SB --1 CS

  15. 15
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    Jose Suarez

    Salt Lake (Angels) LHP
    Notes:

    Age: 20 B-T: L-L Ht.:: 5-10 Wt:: 170 Signed: Venezuela, 2014


    Suarez was one of the breakout prospects of the year, rising from high Class A all the way to Triple-A as a 20-year-old. After understandable early struggles adjusting to Triple-A and the elevation of Salt Lake, Suarez clicked late and posted a 2.70 ERA in his final six starts.


    Suarez works with an incredibly fast tempo to keeps hitters on the defensive. He has advanced command of his 91-94 mph fastball, and it plays up with late tailing movement. His low 80s changeup is a plus swing and miss offering at its best and his mid-70s curveball is an average or better pitch when he lands it in the zone. He mixes them all with a mature feel to pitch and controls the run game with a good pickoff move.


    Suarez commands his fastball but struggles to command his secondaries, which led to an elevated walk rate in Triple-A (4.0 BB/9). His curveball and chanegup were balls right out of his hand at times, allowing batters to sit fastball.


    Gaining command of those secondaries will be key for Suarez to reach his rotation potential. He’s already very advanced and has time to figure it out.
    Stats:
    1-4, 4.48 ERA
    78.1 IP --81 H --43 R --39 ER --35 BB --73 SO --
    17 G --17 GS --0 SV --5 HR -- .268 AVG

  16. 16
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    Josh James

    Fresno (Astros) RHP
    Notes:

    Age: 25 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 6-3 Wt:: 206 Drafted: Western Oklahoma JC, 2014 (34)


    James got treated for sleep apnea and became a different pitcher this year, with his fastball jumping from 89-93 mph to 95-100. With his new power arsenal, James finished fourth in the minors with 171 strikeouts and led the PCL in WHIP (1.09) and opponent average (.187) from the time he joined the league. He earned his first callup in September.


    James’ enhanced fastball sat 95-97 mph and touched 101, making it a plus-plus pitch that blew hitters away. His secondaries sharpened as well, with a mid-80s above-average slider his main offering and a changeup that flashed above-average. Occasionally James tried to throw too hard and lost his delivery and release point, but those moments gradually became fewer and fewer.


    “He’s got a big time arm and he basically can throw any pitch that he wants at any time,” Sacramento manager Dave Brundage said. “We faced him a couple times. There was a night it didn’t matter what he threw, we couldn’t touch him.”


    James is still working on controlling his energy and tempo to keep his delivery consistent, and at times he falls in love with his secondaries too much. Tightening his pitch sequencing and control are next.
    Stats:
    6-4, 3.23 ERA
    114.1 IP --79 H --45 R --41 ER --49 BB --171 SO --
    23 G --21 GS --0 SV --9 HR -- .187 AVG

  17. 17
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    Jeff McNeil

    Las Vegas (Mets) 2B/3B
    Notes:

    Age: 26 B-T: L-R Ht.:: 6-1. Wt:: 195 Drafted: Long Beach State, 2013 (12)


    Injuries sidetracked McNeil in 2016 and 2017, but he returned in 2018 and hit for average like he always has while unlocking newfound power. McNeil hit .327 at Double-A, did even better at Triple-A with a .368 average, and has remained over .330 in the majors since taking over as the Mets’ starting second baseman in late July.


    Though he was old for the minors, McNeil’s showed evaluators all the hitting traits to have sustained success in the big leagues. He stayed within the strike zone, used the whole field, recognized pitches, hit mistakes hard and put a charge into the ball gap-to-gap. He drew particular praise for his bat control and ability to keep the barrel in the zone for a long time.


    Full health and a buy-in to launch angle helped McNeil boost his power numbers to career highs, although observers still see him primarily as a contact hitter long-term. McNeil improved defensively at second base and makes athletic catches in the air, but he still needs work on subtler things like his hands and footwork. He may ultimately bounce between second and third as a semi-regular, but he has enough bat to play every day.
    Stats:
    .368/.427/.600
    125 AB --23 R --46 H --28 RBI --14 BB --19 SO
    10 2B --2 3B --5 HR --3 SB --0 CS

  18. 18
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    Garrett Hampson

    Albuquerque (Rockies) 2B/SS
    Notes:

    Age: 23 B-T: R-R Ht.:: 5-11 Wt:: 185 Drafted: Long Beach State, 2016 (3)


    Hampson started the year in Double-A and was promoted to the PCL a month into the season. As he has everywhere else, Hampson quickly established himself as one of the league’s top hitters, fastest runners and most versatile defenders, and he earned his first big league callup on July 21.


    Improperly labeled a “grinder” due to his 5-foot-11 height, Hampson again showed himself to be an elite athlete in a smaller package. He was a consistent plus runner with occasional plus-plus times at Albuquerque, showed the bat speed and quick-twitch athleticism to barrel velocity and played above-average defense in the middle infield. As a further testament to his athleticism, he played some center field for the first time and took to it like a natural.


    Hampson knows how to use his speed and was an effieicent basestealer, going 36-for-41 on the year. He continued to showcase excellent bat-to-ball skills and rarely struck out, drawing walks and putting the ball in play to wreak havoc on the bases.


    Hampson’s power and arm strength are a bit short for some, but his on-base skills, speed and defensive versatility have him in line to be an oft-used utilityman capable of starting.
    Stats:
    .314 /.377/.459
    296 AB -- 53 R -- 93 H -- 25 RBI -- 30 BB -- 58 SO
    17 2B -- 4 3B --6 HR -- 17 SB -- 4 CS

  19. 19
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    Austin Gomber

    Memphis (Cardinals) LHP
    Notes:

    Age: 24 B-T: L-L Ht.:: 6-5 Wt:: 230 Drafted: Florida Atlantic, 2014 (4)


    Like many of his Memphis teammates, Gomber spent the first part of the year dominating the PCL before getting called up to help save the Cardinals’ season.


    Gomber led the PCL in strikeouts at the time of his first callup. After an solid initial stint in the Cardinals bullpen and quick sojourn back to Triple-A, he became a steady member of Cardinals’ rotation by August as they chased the postseason.


    The 6-foot-5 Gomber is difficult to pick up with his long limbs and a stab in the back to hide the ball. He sits 91-93 mph with his fastball and ramps up to 95 for strikeouts, and his tight-spinning upper 70s curveball is an above-average pitch that generates swings and misses.


    He also began throwing a cutter mid-year that made him more effective against righthanded hitters. Most important, he ironed out his mechanics to be able to use all his pitches for strikes consistently.


    The long limbs and arm action that give Gomber deception also limit his control, and he will have to maintain the mechanical adjustments he made to improve his strike-throwing. As long as he does, he has the arsenal and deception to remain a back-end starter on a competitive team.
    Stats:
    7-3, 3.42 ERA
    68.1 IP -- 65 H -- 26 R -- 26 ER -- 20 BB -- 76 SO
    12 G -- 11 GS -- 0 SV -- 9 HR -- .249 AVG

  20. 20
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    Franmil Reyes

    El Paso (Padres) OF
    Notes:

    Age: 23 B-R: R-R Ht.:: 6-5 Wt:: 275 Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011


    The behemoth Reyes showed off 80-grade raw power in the Arizona Fall League last year and matured enough as a hitter to get to it more this year. Reyes became more patient in his approach and started waiting for better pitches to hit, resulting in a huge uptick in both his walks and power production. He hit 16 homers in just 58 games in El Paso, followed by another 15 long balls in his first 70 games with the Padres as he became their everyday right fielder.


    Reyes is tremendously strong at 6-foot-5, 275-pounds and generates huge leverage and power with his brute strength. His big league home runs included blasts of 442, 455 and 477 feet. He crushes fastballs in particular and can send them out to all fields.


    Reyes’ range in right field is limited because he’s so large, so his value is mostly tied to his bat. Even with his improvements, Reyes still swings and misses a bit much and is prone to whiffing on breaking balls. He’ll have to work hard to manage his body and his strikeout rate, but if he does he has game-changing power.
    Stats:
    .324/.428/.614 
    210 AB -- 50 R -- 68 H -- 52 RBI -- 37 BB -- 59 SO
    11 2B -- 1 3B -- 16 HR -- 0 SB -- 0 CS

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