RoboScout Top MLB Prospects At Every Level On June 9, 2024


There are big changes to RoboScout in this week’s rendition.

The biggest is incorporating Matt Eddy’s two-year park factors. The added granularity impacted the rankings. For example, RoboScout had undervalued some Hudson Valley Yankees such as Jesus Rodriguez and Jared Serna.

The second change occurred for pitchers. In addition to folding in park factors, I also added in some credit to pitchers for their performances at previous levels this year in order for them to overcome the heavy regression of only having a few outings at their new level and crediting them with their accrued innings.

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

Yankees third baseman Richard Matic is shining after signing for $850,000 five months ago. The 16-year-old has a wRC+ above 250. Ben Badler likes his chances at sticking at the hot corner with his potential plus power.

Can you name another 16-year-old who has a wRC+ over 250 in the DSL with at least 10 plate appearances? The Answer is Pirates outfielder Iverson Allen, a Panamanian outfielder who led his U-15 World Cup team in walks and has been clocked with above-average speed. As Badler wrote, he doesn’t “jump out immediately in a workout but is better in games.” We’re talking about practice??

Again, it’s way too early, but D-backs infielder Erick De La Cruz signed for $455,000 and already has three homers in 13 plate appearances. The Rays’ Leonardo Pineda was a high-profile $1.75 million signing who has a homer, two steals and a 248 wRC+ over 25 plate appearances. The Dominican outfielder has the early lead for head of the class after the first week.

Complex League Hitters (min 25 PA)

1Eduardo QuinteroLAD94100
2Brailer GuerreroTBR9299
3Dameury PenaMIN9398
4Yoeilin CespedesBOS9297
5Jeremy RodriguezNYM10096
6Starlyn CabaPHI8893
7Robert CalazCOL9392
8Bryan AcunaMIN7991
9Richard RamirezPIT8591
10Julio ZayasNYM8391
11Larry MartinezTBR8389
12Lisbel DiazSFG8288
13Andruw MusettBOS7587
14Edgleen PerezNYY7687
15Alexander AlbertusLAD7586
16Aroon EscobarPHI7986
17Jhonny SeverinoPIT8186
18Pablo GuerreroTEX8785
19Franyerber MontillaDET7485
20Franklin AriasBOS7585
21Walker JenkinsMIN7084
22Demetrio CrisantesARI7084
23Luis ParababireATL7484
24Leandro AriasBAL7283
25Junior GarciaATL8283

When Aroon Escobar (Phillies) signed in 2021, the cousin of Ronald Acuña Jr. was described as a power-hitting infielder with an above-average arm. He repeated the DSL in 2023 and on the surface did not appear to take a step forward. His wRC+ went down and his ISO clocked in below .100. Stateside in 2024, Escobar has increased his 90th percentile exit velocity by 3 mph and has a walk-to-strikeout ratio of essentially three-to-one. With nine stolen bases in 100 plate appearances, RoboScout sees him as a solid on-base bet with 20 home run power and a dozen steals at peak.

Yoeilin Cespedes (Red Sox) climbs into the top five after hitting two home runs and nabbing a bag. Despite the four home runs–tied for second among hitters in their age-18 season at the Complex–the shortstop has only average 90th percentile exit velocities right now. We put a 55 on his power grade in the last update to the Top 30s as he grows into his power.

For the second week in a row, Trevor Harrison (Rays) is the top arm at the Complex League among pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched. The righthanded has a three-pitch mix but relies on his 94 mph over 75% of the time. He throws it with over a foot of horizontal break. He also has an 82 mph slider and a solid changeup that has over 10 mph of separation, over 10 inches of vertical separation, and has nearly a foot and a half of horizontal fade.

Orioles righty Jesus Palacios is a new entrant into the top five. Palacios has a low-slot release–albeit with low extension–and has generated a 25% swing-and-miss rate and a 64% groundball rate. The 19-year-old righthander’s fastball only sits 91 mph right now–and he has a 14% walk rate–but he is one of only 10 pitchers with a strikeout rate over 40% (minimum 10 innings pitched), and one of only four teenagers. RoboScout is intrigued.

Low-A Hitters (min 50 PA)

1Lazaro MontesSEA100100
2Colt EmersonSEA8592
3Kevin McGonigleDET7689
4Jeral PerezLAD7688
5Jonny FarmeloSEA7688
6Ralphy VelazquezCLE7485
7Blake MitchellKCR7285
8Jaison ChourioCLE7285
9Michael ArroyoSEA8183
10Aidan SmithSEA7782
11Josue De PaulaLAD6581
12Zyhir HopeLAD6379
13Jesus BaezNYM7079
14Angel GenaoCLE6278
15Tai PeeteSEA6677
16Josue BricenoDET6176
17Yophery RodriguezMIL7476
18Aidan MillerPHI5874
19Jordan ViarsPHI6072
20Alfredo DunoCIN7172
21Max ClarkDET5672
22Nazzan ZanetelloBOS5371
23Bryce EldridgeSFG5869
24Devin SaltibanPHI5769
25Juan BaezMIL5869

This is a good update for Phillies prospects. Jordan Viars cracks the top 25 today. The 2021 third-rounder is currently unranked in our Phillies Top 30, although he has ranked as high as No. 13 in 2022. Viars is repeating Low-A for the third time and never posted a slugging percentage over .350 in the Florida State League. Still, he’s finally healthy and has been a revelation so far in 2024. Viars cut his chase rate by 6% from the previous two years while increasing his barrel rate by the same amount.

Viars is one of only eight hitters in Low-A to have a maximum exit velocity measured at 114 mph or higher. He’s really turned in on the last five weeks, hitting five of his seven home runs in his last 86 plate appearances. There is still quite a bit of swing and miss to his game, but he’s been recently showing that he might be able to get to 25+ home run power in games.

Hawaii native Devin Salitban also cracks the top 25. The Phillies shortstop was a popular breakout name prior to the season and has really turned it on as of late with four home runs, six stolen bases, and a 121 wRC+ over his last 105 plate appearances as a teenager in Low-A. Under the hood, Saltiban does look a little susceptible to good secondaries, as his contact rate against non-fastballs, and then subsequent damage-on-contact, is below-average. As a raw prep prospect, this is not out of the ordinary, but something to watch for.

Pirates catcher Axiel Plaz popped on RoboScout as a 16-year old in the Dominican Summer League in 2022, but had a quiet 2023 when he came stateside. He repeated at the complex for eight games before being promoted to full-season ball. At Low-A Bradenton, he already has three home runs in 45 plate appearances. For the year between the two levels, he already has three balls that have left the bat over 109 mph. The only players in their age-18 season that have a higher 90th percentile exit velocity than the Pirates catcher are Robert Calaz (Rockies), George Wolkow (White Sox), and Camilo Diaz (Astros). Plaz has a better contact rate, in-zone contact rate, and chase rate than all of them. He’s another catcher with a potentially big power bat.

Low-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Matt WilkinsonCLE100100
2Jonah TongNYM9196
3Quinn MathewsSTL8596
4Alejandro RosarioTEX8193
5Santiago SuarezTBR8193
6Grant TaylorCHW7690
7George KlassenPHI7890
8Didier FuentesATL7585
9Yujanyer HerreraMIL8385
10Jarlin SusanaWSN7084
11Bishop LetsonMIL6981
12Thomas WhiteMIA7181
13Eliazar DishmeyMIA6479
14Luis SernaNYY7778
15Barrett KentLAA7178
16Welinton HerreraCOL6578
17Jose GonzalezTEX7077
18Travis SykoraWSN7177
19Noble MeyerMIA6577
20Mavis GravesPHI8077
21Gary Gill HillTBR7377
22Jace KaminskaCOL6876
23Manuel RodriguezMIL7376
24Kohl DrakeTEX7376
25Michael ForretBAL7075

Grant Taylor (White Sox) added another four innings to his 2024 campaign and continues to climb the charts as he returns from injury. He’s a top-100 fantasy prospect for me.

Astros righty Ethan Pecko has a 10.5 walk rate and 23% strikeout minus walk rate this year, but that belies the 21-year-old’s effectiveness over his last six starts. Since May 5, the righthander has a 6.7% walk rate, a much more impressive 32% strikeout minus walk rate, a 0.71 WHIP and a 0.75 ERA over his last 24 innings. His six-pitch mix is headlined by a flat 92 mph four seamer, an 86 mph cutter that generates weak contact, and a high-spin 80 mph slider that gets over a foot of horizontal break. It’s a solid starter’s arsenal.

High-A Hitters (min 50 PA)

1Carter JensenKCR100100
2Xavier IsaacTBR100100
3Luke KeaschallMIN9799
4Sal StewartCIN8891
5Samuel ZavalaCHW8586
6Sebastian WalcottTEX9786
7Alex FreelandLAD7984
8Ethan SalasSDP8783
9Jefferson RojasCHC8083
10Yohendrick PinangoCHC7581
11Mike BoeveMIL7581
12Henry BolteOAK8080
13Cam CollierCIN8280
14Luke AdamsMIL7879
15Brayden TaylorTBR7978
16Thayron LiranzoLAD7577
17Jay Allen IICIN8477
18C.J. KayfusCLE7377
19Jesus RodriguezNYY7076
20Jared SernaNYY7276
21Charles McAdooPIT7075
22Hector RodriguezCIN7074
23Daylen LileWSN7074
24Brice MatthewsHOU6774
25Pedro RamirezCHC7173

Astros shortstop Brice Matthews has raked since returning to High-A on June 1 from injury. He has five home runs and four stolen bases in only 20 plate appearances. With a very patient approach–he has a chase rate of only 10%–Matthews unleashes tremendous bat speed, as evidenced by his 107 mph 90gh percentile exit velocity. The tooled-up shortstop is an exciting blend of power and speed.

Rays No. 5 prospect Brayden Taylor benefitted from the park factors update. He jumps into the top 15 in today’s update. He has shown a good power/speed blend with Bowling Green all year, posting a 164 wRC+ with eight homers and 12 steals. He’s kicked the power up a notch recently, hitting six home runs in the last five weeks. Taylor has always made good swing decisions (17% chase rate this year) and has set a new maximum exit velocity this year of 107 mph, adding 4 mph to last year’s best velocity.

Pirates outfielder Charles McAdoo appears on the High-A list this week with a balmy line of .305/.409/.545 with seven home runs and 10 stolen bases as a 22-year-old at High-A. Although it is true that Greensboro has a 150-homer park factor for righthanded batters, his performance is not fully attributable to a generous home field. In 2024, McAdoo has already hit 12 balls harder than his 2023 maximum exit velocity and has a lofty 108 mph 90th percentile exit velocity–good for 13th among all High-A batters with at least 50 plate appearances. He has the highest contact rate amongst the greater than 108 mph 90th percentile exit velocity cohort.  It shouldn’t be too long before he’s roaming the grass of Double-A Altoona.

High-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Matt WilkinsonCLE100100
2Noah SchultzCHW8499
3Luis PeralesBOS8296
4Owen MurphyATL8496
5Quinn MathewsSTL8495
6Zebby MatthewsMIN7690
7Jaden HammDET8489
8Chase DollanderCOL7589
9Jonah TongNYM8085
10Ryan LobusTEX7383
11K.C. HuntMIL7982
12Winston SantosTEX7182
13Moises ChaceBAL6681
14Trevor MartinTBR7580
15Alessandro ErcolaniPIT6479
16Sean SullivanCOL8278
17Nolan McLeanNYM6278
18Yujanyer HerreraMIL7577
19Jake BlossHOU6376
20Edgar PortesBAL6276
21Austin PetersonCLE7276
22Joseph MontalvoTEX6775
23Tanner McDougalCHW6875
24Andry LaraWSN7574
25Rhett LowderCIN6673

Now that he qualifies for the list, Matt Wilkinson (Guardians) continues to defy traditional Stuff+ models and continues to shove, with a 42% strikeout rate and 18% swinging strike rate at High-A Lake County

In the last five weeks, Diamondbacks southpaw Spencer Giesting has thrown over six innings per start and struck out 32% of the batters he’s faced while only walking 3%. Although his four-seam fastball only averages 90 mph, it has nearly 7 feet of extension. It’s also only part piece of his six-pitch arsenal. Giesting’s changeup, slider and high-spin curveball all generate over 50% whiffs. Giesting has been beasting while feasting on High-A hitters.

Trevor Martin (Rays No. 29 prospect) had the big performance of the week, striking out 14 batters as High-A Bowling Green massacred Asheville. The former Oklahoma State closer has used his five-pitch mix as a starter to great success despite mustering pedestrian 92-mph four-seam fastball velocity. Martin has averaged six innings per start since May 5. The potential back-of-the-rotation starter looks ready for Double-A Montgomery.

While he’s older at 23 years old, Brewers nondrafted free agent righty K.C. Hunt has made his mark against High-A hitters. He features a super-flat 93 mph four-seamer, his high-spin 85 mph bullet slider generates plus whiffs, and he has an above-average 79 mph downer curveball. In his four starts for High-A Wisconsin, the Mississippi State alum has a 38% strikeout rate and a Zebby-esque 1.7% walk rate, while also possessing the highest swinging strike rate among any High-A pitcher with 11+ innings. He’s another fascinating Brewer arm.

Double-A Hitters (min 40 PA)

1Emmanuel RodriguezMIN100100
2Agustin RamirezNYY9295
3Luke KeaschallMIN9194
4Moises BallesterosCHC8588
5Cole YoungSEA8486
6Alex FreelandLAD7985
7Matthew LugoBOS8185
8Carson WilliamsTBR8182
9Roman AnthonyBOS7681
10Samuel BasalloBAL8581
11Harry FordSEA7980
12Deyvison De Los SantosARI8578
13Colby ThomasOAK7377
14Jett WilliamsNYM6976
15Hao-Yu LeeDET7576
16Dalton RushingLAD6573
17Yohendrick PinangoCHC6473
18Marcelo MayerBOS6872
19Jacob WilsonOAK6971
20Tyler LocklearSEA6871
21James TriantosCHC6370
22Edgar QueroCHW6670
23Zac VeenCOL7068
24Mike BoeveMIL5768
25Brooks BaldwinCHW6366

We added Luke Keaschall (Twins) to our latest Top 100 update. The infielder has continued showing his excellent contact and approach at Double-A Wichita, with a 120 wRC+ over his first 53 plate appearances. That follows a dominant performance at High-A where he ranked as RoboScout’s No. 3 hitter. He finds himself ranked third now that he qualifies for the Double-A list, too.

Tigers No. 12 prospect Hao-Yu Lee has ranked on the Double-A list for a while. Recently, the second baseman has turned it up a notch. In the last five weeks, he has hit nine home runs with a 173 wRC+ as a 21-year-old in Erie–a very home run suppressive park for righthanded batters and yet is tied for the second-most home runs in the league for someone 21 years old or younger behind Deyvison De Los Santos (Diamondbacks) and Samuel Basallo (Orioles). A polished hitter who makes above-average swing decisions and has good bat speed against all pitch types, Lee is showing 25 home run power and is one of the most underrated hitting prospects in the minor leagues.

Emmanuel Rodriguez (Twins) continues to lead the rest of the pack with his patient approach and power/speed blend that resembles the same peak projection as James Wood (Nationals). In his last 75 plate appearances, Rodriguez had a 192 wRC+, the fourth-highest mark at Double-A since May 5 among hitters with at least 40 plate appearances. Rodriguez is a top-10 fantasy prospect for me. Note that he has been placed on the injured list with a nagging thumb injury. He still leads the Double-A list despite Yankees catcher Agustin Ramirez hitting three bombs on Friday.

Adael Amador (Rockies) continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the minors, after starting off as one of the coldest. The infielder had zero home runs and a 60 wRC+ on May 5. Since then, he has hit seven home runs with a 123 wRC+. RoboScout is happy to see Amador bounce back after the early adversity, and apparently the Rockies are too. Colorado called Amador up to the big leagues this weekend after Brendan Rodgers went on the injured list.

Double-A Pitchers (min 13 IP)

1Zebby MatthewsMIN100100
2Braxton AshcraftPIT9188
3Nolan McLeanNYM8688
4Tink HenceSTL9686
5Chandler ChamplainKCR9685
6Ben CaspariusLAD8183
7Thomas HarringtonPIT8482
8Blade TidwellNYM8082
9Rhett LowderCIN8881
10Yilber DiazARI8481
11Brandon YoungBAL8979
12Jackson JobeDET7679
13Justin WrobleskiLAD7879
14Zach PenrodBOS8878
15Mason BarnettKCR8678
16Carson PalmquistCOL8278
17Spencer SchwellenbachATL8478
18Jacob MisiorowskiMIL7678
19Brandon SproatNYM8178
20Ian SeymourTBR9077
21Jake BlossHOU7777
22Ty MaddenDET8476
23Caden DanaLAA8176
24Kyle McGowinCHC8375
25Sean SullivanPIT7775

With all of the hoopla surrounding Jared Jones and Paul Skenes, it’s easy to forget the Pirates system also has Bubba Chandler, Anthony Solometo, Thomas Harrington and especially, per RoboScout, Braxton Ashcraft. The 2018 prep second-rounder is lurking.

In his last six starts, Ashcraft has a sub 1.00 WHIP and a 1.89 ERA. The 6-foot-5 righthander has always had good command–evidenced by his sub 6% walk rate–but in 2024, he’s added 2 mph to his curveball and slider and both are getting over 45% whiffs. His four-seam fastball has also added half a tick since last year and has been clocked as high as 98 mph, while he’s essentially doubled the usage of his 89 mph cutter. Ashcraft is averaging around five innings per start. With his athletic frame, his chances of reaching his midrotation starter ceiling are increasing.

Reds top prospect Rhett Lowder has had an interesting Southern League experience since his promotion to Double-A Chattanooga. He has a 1.69 WHIP and a 8.02 ERA–but a 2.28 xFIP–over 21+ innings. Looking a bit deeper, we see that despite the excellent 25.5% strikeout minus walk rate and above-average 46% groundball rate, he has a 54% left on base (LOB) rate and a preposterous .492 BABIP. Setting aside the contradictory results, Lowder has been utilizing his two mid-90s fastballs, his 85 mph slider, and firm changeup to good effect, supporting his inclusion at No. 28 in our most recent Top 100 update.

Triple-A Hitters (min 50 PA)

1James WoodWSN100100
2Jose FerminSTL8892
3Jackson HollidayBAL9090
4Coby MayoBAL8186
5Miguel VargasLAD7984
6Kyle ManzardoCLE7784
7Andy PagesLAD7478
8Heston KjerstadBAL7377
9Tyler BlackMIL7076
10Javier SanojaMIA6572
11Heliot RamosSFG6271
12Junior CamineroTBR6971
13Chase MeidrothBOS6371
14Ryan WardLAD6671
15Parker MeadowsDET6570
16Spencer HorwitzTOR6070
17Jordan BeckCOL6470
18Deyvison De Los SantosARI7870
19Adrian Del CastilloARI6069
20Jonah BrideMIA5969
21Jonatan ClaseSEA6669
22Ji Hwan BaePIT6469
23Niko KavadasBOS6068
24Leo JimenezTOR5868
25Orelvis MartinezTOR6968

The Blue Jays called up No. 20 prospect Spencer Horwitz to join the big league club in Oakland this week. The bat-first infielder put up a 157 wRC+ at Triple-A Buffalo with a keen eye and plus bat-to-ball skills. Although he only has four home runs, he has managed to put up a better-than-average 90th percentile exit velocity of 104 mph despite his below-average bat speed.

Tigers outfielder Parker Meadows had a disappointing start to his major league season but has turned it on after being demoted to Triple-A Erie with a 129 wRC+, six home runs and 11 stolen bases in 117 plate appearances. I expect him back in Detroit within weeks, if not days.

Juan Brito (Guardians) is just outside the top 25 but he’s been heating up considerably in the last month or so with five home runs, three stolen bases and a 128 wRC+ in his last 134 plate appearances. Because he’s only 22 years old at Triple-A, his production corresponds to a league-average major league hitter with 20 home run power and double-digit steals. Brito is a prototypical Guardians infielder with plus contact and chase rates with average exit velocities and barrel rates.

Triple-A Pitchers (min 15 IP)

1Paul SkenesPIT100100
2Christian ScottNYM9897
3Chayce McDermottBAL7980
4Cade PovichBAL8879
5David FestaMIN8378
6Carson SpiersCIN7477
7Tobias MyersMIL7377
8Chandler ChamplainKCR8276
9Slade CecconiARI8275
10Jack LeiterTEX7275
11Elieser HernandezLAD7375
12Matt ManningDET7274
13Will WarrenNYY6872
14Louie VarlandMIN7672
15Alek ManoahTOR7571
16Shaun AndersonMIA7271
17Mason BlackSFG6871
18Quinn PriesterPIT8271
19Albert SuarezBAL7470
20Brant HurterDET7070
21Osvaldo BidoOAK7270
22Gerson GarabitoTEX7169
23Cristian MenaARI7869
24AJ Smith-ShawverATL6968
25Ben CaspariusLAD6268

In his first 32 innings at Triple-A, Carlos F. Rodriguez (Brewers No. 13 prospect) had a 1.59 WHIP, 7.16 ERA and an ugly strikeout minus walk rate of 9%. Since then, he has turned his season around with a 19% strikeout minus walk rate and a sub 1.00 WHIP. He averaged six innings over his last five starts and earned a call-up to the big league club this weekend. With a six-pitch repertoire that is basically all average with no wipeout secondaries, the 22-year-old Rodriguez has solid pitchability but until recently has struggled to command his mix, with a reasonably high 38% ball percentage on the season. Especially with his recent success, RoboScout likes his outlook as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Will Warren (Yankees) has disappointed in 2024, putting up a 1.52 WHIP and 7.24 ERA. Luckily, with Luis Gil being a revelation and Carlos Rodon seemingly returning to form, the Yankees haven’t needed him yet whils waiting for Gerrit Cole to return.

Looking into attributions for the poor performance, it seems like his bread-and-butter slider has changed shape from an 85 mph offering with 11 inches of horizontal break to become even more of a sweeper with a hellacious 17 inches of horizontal break, but averaging 3 mph slower at 82 mph. The trade-off has appeared to not be positive as the righthander has struggled with his command all season with only a 60% strike percentage. In his last start, however, he struck out nine while only walking one. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a turnaround. The 24-year-old was earmarked as a fantasy contributor in redraft leagues. So far, he has not looked the part.

Happy bidding!

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