Prospect Report: Stone Spins Three Scoreless

Gavin Stone, RHP, Dodgers — The Dodgers have a knack for finding gems in the draft, and Stone might be the next to put his name on the list. The righthander out of Central Arkansas, whom Los Angeles popped with its final pick in the shortened 2020 draft, finished the 2022 season with a dazzling 9-6, 1.48 line with 168 strikeouts as he rushed from High-A to Triple-A. He’s been equally excellent this spring. On Sunday, he whiffed eight in three scoreless innings. In all, he’s struck out 14 hitters in 6.2 shutout frames. Stone cold? Yes. But a stunner? Hardly. 

Gavin Cross, OF, Royals — For the first time since 2013, when it chose Hunter Dozier out of Stephen F. Austin, Kansas City spent its first-round pick on a college position player. Cross, an alum of Virginia Tech, was ranked by BA as the No. 10 draft prospect, and the Royals made him the ninth overall pick. He spent his first pro season mostly at Low-A Columbia, where he produced a 1.026 OPS and seven home runs in 26 games. On Sunday, Cross went 2-for-2 with a single and a double in Cactus League action. His hits left the bat at 105.7 and 106.8 mph. He’s 5-for-7 this spring with a double, a triple and a home run. 

Loidel Chapelli, 2B, White Sox — Oscar Colas (who homered) wasn’t the only Cuban White Sox prospect to put his name in the box score on Sunday. Chapelli, who signed in 2022 and beat up on much younger competition in the DSL (.344/.448/.636) went 1-for-1 with a double in his first at-bat of the Cactus League campaign. Chapelli, whom scouts peg as roughly average across the board—with the exception of his 55-grade speed—is ranked as Chicago’s No. 26 prospect and should spend 2023 at either Low-A Kannapolis or High-A Winston-Salem. 

Casey Schmitt, 3B, Giants — After a breakout 2022 season, Schmitt has stayed hot in the Cactus League. The former two-way talent at San Diego State moved from High-A Eugene to Triple-A Sacramento last season, producing 21 home runs and an .854 OPS along the way. Schmitt went 2-for-2 on Sunday and is now 15-for-34 in spring training. Scouts recently highlighted Schmitt as one of the more impressive players they’d seen in the Cactus or Grapefruit Leagues. 

Luis Guerrero, RHP, Red Sox — Guerrero is one of the more under-the-radar prospects in Boston’s system. The flame-throwing righthander was drafted in the 17th round in 2021 out of Chipola (Fla.) JC and spent 2022 moving from the Florida Complex League to High-A Greenville by season’s end. Guerrero is a relief-only prospect, but he was impressive in his outing on Sunday against the Phillies. He went 0.2 innings, recorded two strikeouts, got swings and misses on half of his eight pitches (including a filthy changeup to finish off one) and topped out at 98 with his fastball. 

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