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Straw, Segedin, Adams Among Surprise Leaders

Now that the regular season is over for all full-season leagues, here’s a look at who led the minors in major categories with a quick bio sketch of each minor league leader.
[caption id="attachment_180527" align="alignnone" width="640"]Myles Straw (Photo by Paul Gierhart) Myles Straw hit .374 in low Class A and .358 overall to lead the minors (Photo by Paul Gierhart)[/caption] BATTING HoustonAstros Myles Straw, of, .358 A 12th-round pick in 2015 out of St. John’s River (Fla.) JC, Straw checked the analytics and the scouting boxes the Astros like to fuse together in their later-round picks. He hit .413 at St. John’s River while walking more than he struck out, and he also showed he could fly. Multiple scouts have graded him as a 70 runner on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. After a modest pro debut at Rookie-level Greeneville in 2015, Straw exceeded expectations this season. He didn’t make his 2016 debut until mid-May, but he ended up playing his way out of low Class A Quad Cities by hitting .374/.432/.470 there. He didn’t fare as well at high Class A Lancaster, but he still hit .303/.393/.395. Straw is a righthanded-hitting speedster with very little power. That’s a difficult profile to earn big league at-bats, but his ability to bounce around all three outfield spots gives him a chance to be a fourth outfielder at the big league level.
HRs/RBIs 3ds_phillies83 Dylan Cozens, of, Reading, 40 home runs, 125 RBIs Cozens has just finished a season that is super-sized in almost every way. Coming into the season, Cozens had 38 pro home runs in three seasons. He hit more than that this year as he broke the Reading home run record and finished second in the minors in slugging percentage. He feasted on righthanders, hitting .302/.378/.660 against them with 35 home runs. On other hand, he also struck out 186 times, hit .197/.262/.378 against lefthanders and was a dramatically different hitter at home (.295/.374/.744) and on the road (.259/.325/.441). It’s an amazing season for Cozens, but one that still earns some skepticism from scouts.
HITS 3ds_athletics79 Max Schrock, 2b, Nationals/Athletics, 177 Schrock has always hit. He hit .302 in three years at South Carolina, impressing scouts enough to land a $500,000 signing bonuses as a 13th-round pick. He’s hit ever since as well, posting a .326 career minor league batting average in his first two seasons. Schrock hit .341 at low Class A Hagerstown before he was shipped to the A’s in a late-August trade for Marc Rzepczynski, which earned him a promotion to Double-A Midland to finish the year. Schrock is a fringy but improving defender at second base, so he has to keep hitting.
ON-BASE PERCENTAGE HoustonAstros Ramon Laureano, of, Astros, .428 Laureano is another Astros’ late-round find who will have to keep proving himself level by level to ever reach the big leagues, but he’s impressed with a solid all-around game this year at high Class A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. A 14th-round pick out of Northeast Oklahoma JC in 2014, Laureano lacks a plus tool, but he also doesn’t have a lot of 30s on the scouting card, either. Laureano plays all three outfield spots, and knows how to pick his spots on the bases. He was also helped by his willingness to take a bruise to take a base. He finished the year with 14 hit-by-pitches.
SLUGGING 3ds_dodgers83 Rob Segedin, 3b/1b, Dodgers, .598 Segedin’s 2016 season is a reward for perseverance. A third-round pick of the Yankees in 2010 out of Tulane, Segedin reached Double-A Trenton in 2012 and he proceeded to spend most of the next four seasons there as he battled back and hip injuries. Segedin was dealt to the Dodgers during the offseason and responded by putting together a season that is far and beyond anything he had ever done before. Segedin had never reached double digits in home runs before–this year he had 21 home runs. He’d never slugged .500 in a season before leading all of baseball this year. His reward? A callup to the big leagues for the first time, where he’s served as a pinch hitter/utilityman.
WINS 3ds_phillies83 Ben Lively, rhp, Phillies, 18 Because he succeeds with deception and average stuff, Lively has long been seen as a back-end starter/swingman prospect who will have to survive with guile and his ability to mix pitches. But Lively’s ability to consistently work deep into games gives him a chance to pile up wins on successful teams. Lively worked five innings or more in 27 of his 28 starts this year.
ERA 3ds_mets81 P.J. Conlon, lhp, Mets, 1.65 Conlon was a very reliable starter at San Diego for three years and he’s been even better as a pro. Conlon didn’t allow a run in 2015 with short-season Brooklyn and he dominated two levels this year. The lefty slid to the 13th round because he succeeds more because of a deceptive, funky delivery and a quality changeup rather than velocity.
SAVES 3ds_rockies85 Matt Carasiti, rhp, Rockies, 31. Carasiti was the Friday starter for St. John’s before the Rockies drafted him in the sixth round in 2012. Even at the time, the thought was that he’d eventually move to the bullpen. That came true in 2014 and he became a closer in 2015. Carasiti reached the big leagues for this first time this year, but unfortunately for him, minor league save leaders do not have a long track record of big league success. The saves leaders this decade are Zac Curtis (2015), Oliver Drake and Arik Sikula (2014), Jeff Walters (2013), Heath Hembree (2012) and Danny Barnes (2011).
STRIKEOUTS 3ds_brewers79 Brandon Woodruff, rhp, Brewers, 173 One of the breakout prospects of 2016, Woodruff has long had potential but he’d struggled to reach it because of injuries and control problems. This year he was healthy and he’s found the strike zone. Woodruff walked five batters per nine innings in his junior season at Mississippi State. He cut that to just over two per nine this year, allowing his plus stuff to play to its potential. Woodruff reached double-digits in strikeouts four times, but even more impressively he reached seven strikeouts in more than half of his starts.
WHIP 3ds_dodgers83 Brock Stewart, rhp, Dodgers, 0.88 A closer/third baseman in college, Stewart has quickly developed into a premier strike-thrower as a pro starter. Stewart walks very few batters (1.4 per nine innings) and also does a good job of keeping the ball in the park, which explains his exceptional WHIP. He was a little over his head in his first big league appearances, but for a pitcher who was in high Class A at the start of the year, that’s only a slight hiccup in a meteoric rise.
OPPONENT AVERAGE 3ds_yankees85 Chance Adams
Kyle_Lewis_JohnWilliamson (1).jpg

Baseball America Prospect Report -- June 6, 2019

Chance Adams keeps improving, Kyle Lewis continues his hot streak, and Brady Feigl throws a gem.

, rhp, Yankees, .169 Adams was a dominating reliever at Dallas Baptist who has quickly turned into a dominating starter as a Yankees’ minor leaguer. Adams dominated the Florida State League and then was nearly as good after a jump to Double-A Trenton. Adams still could end up back in the bullpen, but it’s hard to ignore a starter who sits 93-96 mph while proving to be nearly unhittable.

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