Top 10 Power-Speed Prospects
Yoan Moncada changed the color of his socks, but not his fortune in the big leagues. Through 16 games split between the Red Sox last year and White Sox this year, the second baseman had batted just 7-for-46 (.152).
Yet Moncada demonstrated in the minors—both before and after he was traded for Chris Sale last winter—that he is the top power-speed prospect in the game. The 21-year-old, switch-hitting Cuban averaged 18 home runs and 58 stolen bases per 140 games on the farm.
With Moncada in the majors, the next wave of power-speed prospects is working its way through the low levels of the minor leagues—with a few exceptions.
Those exceptions, a trio of Triple-A outfielders who all reached the majors this season, deserve mention*. They are the Astros' Derek Fisher (21 homers, 16 steals at Fresno), the Brewers' Lewis Brinson (10 homers, 11 steals at Colorado Springs) and the Yankees' Dustin Fowler (13 homers, 13 steals at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre).
1. Ronald Acuna, OF Braves • Triple-A Gwinnett
HR: 15. SB: 35. Age: 19.
The speed with which Acuna has adapted to higher levels of play is startling. He spent just 40 games at low Class A last season in an injury-truncated year, but that didn't stop him from rocketing to Triple-A this year in mid-July. Acuna fits the five-tool paradigm and has star potential.
2. Scott Kingery, 2B Phillies • Triple-A Lehigh Valley
HR: 23. SB: 26. Age: 23.
Kingery appeared on the top 10 power-speed ranking last year despite hitting just five home runs in 131 games. This season he has converted a portion of his 36 doubles into home runs, while reminding us of the scouting (and statistical) truism: Home run power tends to develop later.
3. Kyle Tucker, OF Astros • Double-A Corpus Christi
HR: 18. SB: 20. Age: 20.
Tucker already has doubled his home run total from last season (nine) while continuing to run at will. The lean lefthanded batter has continued to produce at Double-A in his third pro season, heightening comparisons with the Marlins' Christian Yelich.
4. Victor Robles, OF Nationals • Double-A Harrisburg
HR: 7. SB: 16. Age: 20.
As he continues to mature physically, Robles keeps improving his flyball rate and power production. He already shows blazing speed, outstanding range and arm strength. If he maximizes his power potential, he is a future five-tool star.
5. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS Padres • low Class A Fort Wayne
HR: 17. SB: 22. Age: 18.
The Padres picked up Tatis from the White Sox in last year's James Shields trade, when they forked over nearly half of the $56 million owed Shields. The teen phenom Tatis has electrified the Midwest League with his power exploits, speed and precocious patience.
6. Estevan Florial, OF Yankees • low Class A Charleston
HR: 11. SB: 17. Age: 19.
The lefthanded-batting Haitian teen has blossomed in the South Atlantic League, showing manifest power and speed. Now, Florial needs to close holes in his swing to make more contact, and if he does, his future looks bright.
7. Jorge Mateo, SS/OF Yankees • Double-A Trenton
HR: 8. SB: 38. Age: 22.
Prospect fatigue has set in with Mateo, a sixth-year pro who reached Double-A for the first time this season, but he is one of the most accomplished basestealers among prospects. He established a career high with eight home runs this season, all while ranking second in the minors with 38 steals and adding center field to his ability to handle shortstop and second base.
8. Taylor Trammell, OF Reds • low Class A Dayton
HR: 8. SB: 28. Age: 19.
The Reds flexed financial muscle in the past two drafts, signing No. 2 overall picks Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene to the highest bonuses in their classes. But don't overlook the athletic Trammell, a Georgia prep outfielder who shows advanced basestealing instincts now but will develop power as he matures.
9. Khalil Lee, OF Royals • low Class A Lexington
HR: 13. SB: 18. Age: 19.
The 2016 third-round pick hasn't hit for average in pro ball (.248 career), but he excels in secondary phases of the game, such as power, speed and patience (South Atlantic League-leading 50 walks). He also leads the league in strikeouts, so he has work to do.
10. Jose Siri, OF Reds • low Class A Dayton
HR: 18. SB: 29. Age: 22.
Siri has a chance to lead the Midwest League in home runs and stolen bases this season, and he would get more play here if he weren't 22 years old and a fifth-year pro. The righthanded-batting Dominican showcases blazing speed and a quick bat, but he must prove his wild hitting approach will work at higher levels.
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* Fowler ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee in his June 29 big league debut and won't return until 2018. Fisher and Brinson have spent most of the season in the Pacific Coast League but are strong candidates for summer callups and larger contributions in 2018.