RoboScout Top MLB Prospects At Every Level On July 7, 2024


Hope you all had a great holiday season and safely enjoyed some fireworks this past week.

Let’s see some of the…<pinky touches lower lip> fireworks that took place in the minor leagues. Although RoboScout doesn’t understand the functional utility of pyrotechnics, they understand that humanoids enjoy visual spectacles with loud noises.

Speaking of, this segues perfectly into…

As a reminder, the RoboScore is the value (0 to 100) assigned per level by RoboScout based on 2024 statistical performance and projecting fantasy value (without considering defensive position or ability). The RoboCast number is the RoboScore but with statcast blended in and then transformed to the 0 to 100 scale.

Dominican Summer League Hitters (min 25 PA)

1Juneiker CaceresCLE99100
2Jesus MadeMIL9296
3Jose AndersonMIL10093
4Eduardo BeltreMIN8391
5Elvin GarciaBAL8290
6Luis PenaMIL8689
7Gabriel RodriguezCLE8689
8Yolfran CastilloTEX8488
9Jirvin MorilloCIN8187
10Edward FlorentinoPIT7585
11Jaset MartinezCIN7684
12Justin GonzalesBOS7284
13Emil MoralesLAD8583
14Adriander MejiaBAL7183
15Queni PinedaNYY7082
16Jhonayker UgarteKCR7781
17Diorland ZambranoCIN6680
18Yeiferth CastilloCLE6378
19Rafael FloresTOR6678
20Euri RosaLAD7178

In a reversal of “AI is coming for our jobs”, Ben Badler delivered his latest article of players in the DSL generating buzz, essentially rendering RoboScout irrelevant this week. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor. 

Elvin Garcia (Orioles) has entered into the top tier of targets. Although his performance is already sufficient to have him in the conversation of dynasty targets, when you add in that he plays a solid shortstop with a high baseball IQ and athleticism, he becomes a must-bid. Garcia also has a plus contact rate, plus chase rate and a preternatural knack for barreling all pitch types. This includes five barrels against breaking pitches. This is not clear when merely scouting the statline, but RoboScout folds it into the grade.

Congratulations also to Yolfran Castillo (Rangers). He was brought stateside and is now in the Complex League

Complex League Hitters (min 55 PA)

1Yeremi CabreraTEX100100
2Eduardo TaitPHI9399
3Robert CalazCOL9299
4Eric BitontiMIL8497
5Eduardo QuinteroLAD8194
6Franklin AriasBOS7891
7Edgleen PerezNYY7591
8Starlyn CabaPHI7891
9Yoeilin CespedesBOS8191
10Dameury PenaMIN7787
11Jhonny SeverinoPIT7387
12Brailer GuerreroTBR7386
13Luis ParababireATL7286
14Welbyn FranciscaCLE7185
15Andruw MusettBOS6784
16Felnin CelestenSEA7284
17Miguel RodriguezBAL6983
18Pablo GuerreroTEX8582
19Joshua LiranzoBAL7282
20Aroon EscobarPHI6781
21Carlos TavaresWSN6881
22Franyerber MontillaDET6780
23Jeremy RodriguezNYM7778
24Abrahan RamirezNYY6478
25Alexander AlbertusLAD6378

After missing the first bit of the season, Joshua Liranzo (Orioles) has only recently debuted stateside and only now has qualified for the Complex Level hitting list, debuting in the Top 20. Considering he has already hit two balls over 105 mph in his first week of playing—and is one of the youngest hitters in the Complex League—RoboScout is extremely excited, and that’s without even knowing that he is the younger brother of Thayron Liranzo (Dodgers). Although a growth spurt has pushed him off shortstop, the younger Liranzo’s patient approach, solid bat-to-ball skills, and potential for high end exit velocities should be more than enough to play at a corner. The biggest concern right now is Liranzo’s average launch angle is currently negative, something already evident in the 51% groundball rate, but despite that he still has put up a league average barrel rate. It’s been fewer than 60 plate appearances but RoboScout is extremely excited about the young Oriole infielder’s ceiling – probably making him a Top 250 fantasy prospect already.

In 2022, the Brewers signed Jhonny Severino (Pirates) for $1.25 million but traded him to the Pirates for Carlos Santana a year ago. The report on Severino was that he had a fair bit of chase, but his average contact rate and above average exit velocities should be viable even if he moved off shortstop to the hot corner. So far in 2024, he has improved his contact rate by 7%, essentially raising it from average to plus, and improved his swing decisions from a 35 grade to a 45. Not only has he demonstrated that he has a strong underlying foundation, over his last 130 plate appearances he has a 146 wRC+, with a league leading nine home runs over that time, and seven stolen bases. He will no doubt be pushed to a corner. To my surprise, RoboScout projects him to have the second most home runs at peak of any hitter in the Complex Leagues behind only Yeremi Cabrera (Rangers).

Complex League Pitchers (min 12 IP)

1Trevor HarrisonTBR95100
2Samuel SanchezLAD9696
3Jacob BresnahanCLE10095
4Christian ZazuetaLAD8994
5Sean LinanLAD9293
6Ovis PortesBOS8692
7Hayden RobinsonMIL9592
8Keyner BenitezMIA10091
9Joseph YabbourNYM8491
10Rafael GonzalezHOU8691
11Alix HernandezSFG8689
12Nelfy YnfanteSTL9389
13Yeferson VargasBOS8288
14Adrian HerreraCIN8287
15Jesus PalaciosBAL8687
16Jogly GarciaCLE8287
17Sandy OzunaCOL9086
18Luis ArestiguetaATL8185
19Adam BatesBOS7985
20Jesus CarreraHOU8284
21Juan NunezHOU7784
22Jordarlin MendozaNYY7884
23Zander MuethPIT7683
24Jeremy PilonTBR8883
25Luis GonzalezPHI8983

Moving up to just outside the top 15 is Sandy Ozuna (Rockies), an 18-year-old righthander with a 94 mph four seam fastball, an 83 mph bullet slider that gets above average whiffs and chases, and a show-me changeup. In 2023 in the DSL, Ozuna had a 14% walk rate, demonstrating his lack of command, however so far in his 22 innings at the complex, the 6-foot-3-inch has a 7% walk rate to go along with his 30% strikeout rate. The fastball, despite the velocity, doesn’t have the shape of modern four seamers but he has topped out at 97 mph and won’t turn 19 until next May, suggesting it will still be an effective pitch even if it remains a dead-zone shape.

Low-A Hitters (min 55 PA)

1Lazaro MontesSEA100100
2Colt EmersonSEA8998
3Michael ArroyoSEA9498
4Kevin McGonigleDET8597
5Blake MitchellKCR8696
6Jonny FarmeloSEA7991
7Axiel PlazPIT9089
8Ralphy VelazquezCLE7989
9Demetrio CrisantesARI7388
10Josue De PaulaLAD7388
11Aidan SmithSEA8388
12Jaison ChourioCLE7487
13Jesus BaezNYM7687
14Jeral PerezLAD7486
15Max ClarkDET7385
16Leodalis De VriesSDP9685
17Walker JenkinsMIN6884
18Zyhir HopeLAD6784
19Angel GenaoCLE6681
20Josue BricenoDET6580
21Logan WagnerLAD6380
22Aron EstradaBAL7479
23Yophery RodriguezMIL7479
24Jordan ViarsPHI6978
25Cooper PrattMIL6778

Over the last month, we’ve discussed Leandro Arias and Thomas Sosa (Orioles) as some noteworthy Low-A Delmarva hitters —but the hitter who has filled up the stat sheet the most in the last six weeks is their teammate Aron Estrada who has put up a 170 wRC+ with eight home runs and 14 stolen bases. With his poor chase rate, he doesn’t walk—getting a bit dinged in OBP leagues—and might get exploited as he progresses up the levels, but RoboScout projects him to be a league-average hitter with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases at peak in the major leagues, without being a defensive liability. The statcast data slightly lags the surface stats, but RoboScout views him as a Top 200 fantasy prospect.

Before the season, Geoff identified Jancel Villarroel (Astros) as a prospect with outstanding exit velocities for his age as the then 18-year-old had a 102.8 mph 90th percentile exit velocity with a 108 mph maximum exit velocity. Well, in 2024, the still-teenager has seen his 90th percentile exit velocity rise to 106 mph, having hit already nine tracked balls over 105 mph, setting a new personal high maximum exit velocity of 111 mph in the process. Last week, I mentioned how the Astros target an archetype of hitter of plus or better exit velocities with contact and chase rates average or even slightly lower than average, and Villarroel definitely falls within that taxonomy. Although he is not quite in the Top 30 for the level—and has yet to hit a home run in full season ball—RoboScout has the teenager watch-listed, and will be particularly excited to see his power play in the cozy confines of High-A Asheville.

Low-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Matt WilkinsonCLE100100
2Jonah TongNYM9195
3Quinn MathewsSTL8594
4Alejandro RosarioTEX8493
5Jarlin SusanaWSN8091
6Santiago SuarezTBR7990
7Grant TaylorCHW7689
8Didier FuentesATL8089
9George KlassenPHI7888
10Eliazar DishmeyMIA7386
11Travis SykoraWSN8185
12Yujanyer HerreraMIL8384
13Sean LinanLAD8584
14Thomas WhiteMIA7181
15Kohl DrakeTEX8181
16Mavis GravesPHI8681
17Christian ZazuetaLAD7480
18Gary Gill HillTBR8080
19Welinton HerreraCOL6980
20Ovis PortesBOS7080
21Tyler GoughSEA6478
22Adam SerwinowskiCIN6578
23Noble MeyerMIA6678
24Alimber SantaHOU6677
25Isaiah LoweSDP6777

Last week we talked about the recent “heater” that Jarlin Susana (Nationals) was on and he got promptly promoted to High-A Wilmington where he can continue to hurl his triple-digit heat.

Another Nationals pitcher ascending the rankings is Travis Sykora who has struck out 38% of batters in his last seven starts while putting up the third-highest swinging strike rate in Low-A during that span. Sykora has a mid 90s four seam fastball, an 83 mph bullet slider that gets above average whiffs for the level, and an above average changeup. The command was the concern coming into the season but Sykora has kept the walk rate below 9% all season, never walking more than three in any game, with RoboScout giving him a good shot at becoming a mid-rotation starter.

Two pitchers who we mentioned in these pages when they were at the Complex League have now qualified for the Low-A rankings and both Ovis Portes (Red Sox) and Christian Zazueta (Dodgers) both find themselves in the Top 20. Despite the poor surface stats so far in full season ball, RoboScout still currently projects them to be back-of-the-rotation starters.

High-A Hitters (min 50 PA)

1Luke KeaschallMIN97100
2Xavier IsaacTBR9795
3Luke AdamsMIL9295
4Sal StewartCIN8892
5Carter JensenKCR8992
6Samuel ZavalaCHW8992
7Sebastian WalcottTEX10090
8Alex FreelandLAD8187
9William BergollaPHI8785
10Brayden TaylorTBR8384
11Ricardo OlivarMIN7783
12Yohendrick PinangoCHC7683
13Angel GenaoCLE7681
14Cutter CoffeyBOS8581
15Jefferson RojasCHC7581
16Cam CollierCIN8181
17Jadher AreinamoMIL8380
18Henry BolteOAK8079
19Jesus RodriguezNYY7279
20Charles McAdooPIT7379
21C.J. KayfusCLE7378
22Cooper IngleCLE7178
23Leonardo BernalSTL7677
24Hector RodriguezCIN7077
25Kristian CampbellBOS6877

Jadher Areinamo (Brewers) had some early buzz in 2023 as a name to watch as a 19 year old in Low-A who finished second for the Carolina League batting title. Although this year’s statcast data is very similar to that which he generated last year, the 20-year-old middle infielder is currently on a tear, hitting six of his season’s seven home runs over the last six weeks. With his 27 stolen bases on the season—and his above average defense—Areinamo is showing potential to actualize as a utility infielder who could put up a solid power/speed blend but with slightly below average on base percentages.

In 2023, Cooper Ingle (Guardians) was taken in the fourth round, ultimately signing for $400,000. In his first full season as a professional, the High-A Lake County catcher has a 171 wRC+ with six home runs. With his league average swing decisions and plus contact rate, Ingle is a prototypical Guardian hitting prospect where thump is less of a priority than precocious bat-to-ball ability. Ingle has been particularly productive in the last six weeks, with five of his six home runs coming in his last 134 plate appearances, where he has also put up a scorching 201 wRC+, the second-highest mark by anyone with at least 80 plate appearances over that span.

High-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Noah SchultzCHW88100
2Matt WilkinsonCLE100100
3Quinn MathewsSTL9098
4Luis PeralesBOS8598
5Owen MurphyATL8897
6Chase DollanderCOL8495
7Zebby MatthewsMIN8091
8K.C. HuntMIL8788
9George KlassenPHI7888
10Jonah TongNYM8487
11Jaden HammDET8486
12Thomas WhiteMIA7685
13Jedixson PaezBOS8983
14Winston SantosTEX7383
15Alessandro ErcolaniPIT6982
16Brandyn GarciaSEA6982
17Edgar PortesBAL7081
18Sean SullivanCOL8581
19Lazaro EstradaTOR6780
20Ben ShieldsNYY7279
21Nolan McLeanNYM6678
22Austin PetersonCLE7678
23Yujanyer HerreraMIL7778
24Jake BlossHOU6777
25Jean CabreraPHI7277

The hottest pitcher in High-A over the last six weeks—and who is just outside the Top 15 on the season—is Brandyn Garcia (Mariners).  The 24-year-old southpaw predominantly throws a 94 mph two-seamer which has over a foot and a half of horizontal run—consequently eliciting weak contact and a ton of groundballs—and a plus 85 mph slider that generates plus whiffs and chases. He also throws a changeup but it needs refinement as he gets promoted to the upper levels. For now, the 11th-round draft pick from 2023 doesn’t seem to need a third pitch—but it will remain to be seen whether he will be able to convince RoboScout that he can transcend his destiny as a likely bullpen arm or spot starter, without one.

On May 19, Lucas Braun (Braves) had a 1.45 WHIP and a 6.35 ERA with an uncompelling strikeout minus rate of 15%. Since then, the 22-year right hander has made six starts across 36 innings, striking out 31% of batters while only walking 4% with a 1.08 WHIP and 2.75 ERA. In 2023 his fastball topped out at 94 mph but this year he’s registered velocities as high as 96 mph, playing up even further with his extension, while still maintaining his trademark control, to wit: his four-seam fastball, slider, and curveball each have a plus CSW% for that pitch-type. The 11thround 2023 draft pick has turned his season around after a slow start, going deep into games, looking more and more like a solid back-of-the-rotation starter with a chance for more if he can continue to develop even more velocity.

Congratulations to Jean Cabrera (Phillies) who checks in at No. 25 only to be promptly promoted to Double-A Reading where he can deploy his East/West three-pitch mix of a 94 mph fastball, 82 mph sweeper and effective changeup.

Double-A Hitters (min 55 PA)

1Emmanuel RodriguezMIN100100
2Agustin RamirezNYY8891
3Moises BallesterosCHC8890
4Luke KeaschallMIN8287
5Roman AnthonyBOS7985
6Carson WilliamsTBR8784
7Samuel BasalloBAL8484
8Hao-Yu LeeDET8184
9Matthew LugoBOS7983
10Cole YoungSEA8183
11Alex FreelandLAD7581
12James TriantosCHC7380
13Edgar QueroCHW7579
14Kristian CampbellBOS7178
15Ryan CliffordNYM7977
16Colby ThomasOAK7075
17C.J. KayfusCLE7275
18Charles McAdooPIT7075
19Jacob WilsonOAK6775
20Deyvison De Los SantosARI8374
21Harry FordSEA7173
22Marcelo MayerBOS6873
23Tyler LocklearSEA6672
24Yohendrick PinangoCHC6171
25Dalton RushingLAD5970

Coming into 2024, we had Matt Shaw (Cubs) to be a power/speed blend, likely ending up at third base, but also potentially manning the hot corner for the parent club at some point during the season. Unfortunately, the 13th overall pick in the 2023 draft came out of the gate slowly, potentially putting in jeopardy the chance for him to debut in the major leagues this year. Well, in the last six weeks, the 22 year old has raked with a 154 wRC+, knocking seven bombs and stealing ten bases over his last 141 plate appearances, reinforcing RoboScout’s projection of a better-than-league average bat and potential for 20/20 seasons. There are still some flaws in his game – his defense has not been great in 2024 – and his exit velocities have not been as high as his numbers in 2023 would have predicted. Still, it’s been a solid season for the Cubs future infielder and he is currently just off the list at No. 27.

Congratulations to Edgar Quero (White Sox) who was promoted last week to Triple-A Charlotte. Regular readers of this space know that RoboScout is a big fan of the switch-hitting catcher, and projects him to be an above average bat with above average in-game power. In fantasy, that’s a boon for the catching position, and Quero is easily ranked in the Top 50 for fantasy accordingly.

In 2022, Rainer Nunez (Blue Jays) raised some eyebrows when he had a 140 wRC+ as a 21 year old. Unfortunately, he was unable to follow through on that promise, by being 30% worse than the average Double-A hitter. In 2024, Rainer’s bat has mounted a comeback: improving his 90th percentile exit velocity from 105 mph to 109 mph – the eighth-highest mark in Double-A, paired with a better contact rate than Roman Anthony (Red Sox), Agustin Ramirez (Yankees) and Zach Dezenzo (Astros). He does have a fair bit of chase in his profile, and there’s little defensive value, but it’s been a nice recent bounce back with the bat for the Blue Jay first baseman.

Double-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Noah SchultzCHW100100
2Zebby MatthewsMIN9897
3Logan HendersonMIL9389
4Bubba ChandlerPIT8689
5Braxton AshcraftPIT8784
6Tink HenceSTL9184
7Jackson JobeDET7983
8Jacob MisiorowskiMIL7681
9Chandler ChamplainKCR9281
10Nolan McLeanNYM7679
11Ben CaspariusLAD7679
12Blade TidwellNYM7478
13Thomas HarringtonPIT7777
14Carson PalmquistCOL7877
15Zach PenrodBOS8376
16Emiliano TeodoTEX7876
17Brandon YoungBAL8576
18Yilber DiazARI8076
19Andrew MorrisMIN8275
20Kyle McGowinCHC7775
21Troy MeltonDET7275
22Justin JarvisNYM7475
23Brandon SproatNYM7674
24Justin WrobleskiLAD7274
25Mason AdamsCHW8374

In 85 innings in High-A, Austin Peterson (Guardians) has walked batters at a microscopic 1.9% rate. Although he has been in the back end of the High-A Top 25, RoboScout hasn’t been too enthused because of the fact that he is a bit older at 24-years old and his 91 mph doesn’t light up the internal “stuff” model. This attitude, however, is what led to Matt Wilkinson (Guardians) being initially dismissed this season and Zebby Matthews (Twins) himself was a victim to this robotic snobbism last year. Speaking of Zebby, since being promoted to Double-A Akron, Peterson has followed in Matthews’ footsteps by refusing to issue a free pass in his first 13 innings of work. It would behoove RoboScout to adjust his priors and concede that the ninth-round pick from the 2022 draft may not throw flames, but his ability to command his above average slider, curveball and change up are pointing to another Guardian pitching development success story – and what looks like a back-of-the-rotation innings eater.

Another pitcher who has eschewed walks in the summer, is Justin Jarvis (Mets) who has only allowed 3% of batters over his last 31 innings to reach base by way of a base on balls. With a 30% strikeout rate over that span, it seems that hitters have had trouble with his fastball/cutter mix – which, together, make up over 83% of the pitches he’s thrown. It’s a starter’s mix and he has shown good pitchability – but it might not be enough to get him much further than the back of a rotation.

Triple-A Hitters (min 55 PA)

1James WoodWSN100100
2Coby MayoBAL9092
3Jose FerminSTL8792
4Jackson HollidayBAL9491
5Kyle ManzardoCLE8590
6Agustin RamirezNYY8185
7Miguel VargasLAD7883
8Moises BallesterosCHC7679
9Adrian Del CastilloARI7279
10Andy PagesLAD7478
11Javier SanojaMIA7378
12Angel MartinezCLE7577
13Jacob WilsonOAK7077
14Matthew LugoBOS7075
15Tyler BlackMIL7075
16Jonatan ClaseSEA7375
17Luis MatosSFG6675
18Chase MeidrothBOS6875
19Heston KjerstadBAL6974
20Shay WhitcombHOU7672
21Johnathan RodriguezCLE6572
22Parker MeadowsDET6771
23Heliot RamosSFG6271
24Jhonkensy NoelCLE7871
25Jordan BeckCOL6471

With Orlando Arcia struggling with a sub-60 wRC+, it wouldn’t surprise RoboScout if Nacho Alvarez Jr. (Braves) called up to the parent club. In fewer than 100 plate appearances, the 21 year old has five home runs, three stolen bases and has put up a 162 wRC+. RoboScout loves the swing decisions and contact rate for someone so young and projects 15 to 20 home runs and 10 to 15 stolen bases at peak. He is not only fantasy relevant in re-draft leagues – but sure to be a highly-sought-after commodity in dynasty leagues this off-season.

Triple-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Paul SkenesPIT100100
2Christian ScottNYM9192
3David FestaMIN9184
4Will WarrenNYY7880
5Jack LeiterTEX7679
6Chayce McDermottBAL7979
7Cade PovichBAL8879
8Carson SpiersCIN7577
9Tobias MyersMIL7377
10Slade CecconiARI8276
11Yilber DiazARI8076
12Chad PatrickMIL7575
13Elieser HernandezLAD7375
14Braxton AshcraftPIT7575
15Matt ManningDET7274
16Alek ManoahTOR7573
17Cristian MenaARI8072
18Quinn PriesterPIT8472
19Reid DetmersLAA8671
20Albert SuarezBAL7571
21Brandon YoungBAL7871
22Louie VarlandMIN7170
23AJ Smith-ShawverATL6970
24Jake WoodfordPIT7168
25Osvaldo BidoOAK7168

Throughout the season, he has been a mainstay in the back of the Triple-A pitcher rankings, but Cristian Mena (Diamondbacks) made his major league debut last week before being immediately returned to Reno. The season numbers don’t wow you – 24% strikeout rate and a 10% walk rate with a 1.49 WHIP and 4.90 ERA over 92 innings – but there are a number of things that need to be acknowledged. First of all, he’s only 21 years old. Secondly, Reno is a hitter’s park where runs are created at an 8% higher rate than at other Pacific Coast League parks, leading to inflated surface stats. Thirdly, over his last 37 innings, Mena has been his most effective, striking out 26% of the batters he’s faced while walking fewer than 9%. That 17% strikeout minus walk rate would be the highest mark for a Triple-A Diamondbacks pitcher who is 22 years old or younger since Trevor Bauer and Patrick Corbin both achieved it in 2012. When you consider that Slade Cecconi in 2023 had a 16% strikeout minus walk rate in 2023 but was three years older than Mena is, it shouldn’t surprise you that RoboScout believes Mena to be a mid-rotation starter with a sub 4.00 ERA in his peak years.

After striking out 11 batters in five innings on Saturday, Will Warren (Yankees) skyrockets up the Triple-A rankings to No. 4, more a testament to the volatility inherent to the relative talent level of pitchers at the level. We talked a few weeks ago about the changes to Warren’s slider shape and how there were some hints that he had begun to rebound from his poor start to the season. It definitely seems like he is reclaiming his high pedigree status that he had coming into 2024.

Happy bidding!

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