This is not the number two prospect you expected to see today. That will instead come on Monday (hooray suspense!). Today, I decided to put up a watchlist of twenty guys that I’m keeping tabs on this summer, any of whom could jump in to the top 20 next year depending on how they perform.
It needs to be noted that these guys are listed in no particular order. The only sorting of any kind to this list is who I thought of first. Not all of them are full-on legit prospects, but they could at least be fringe major league talents or useful pieces if things fall right for them.
James Paxton, LHP: Former high-grade draft prospect lost his luster after signing issues. Finally playing pro ball and debuted well, could be on fast track.
Yoervis Medina, RHP: A mini-Felix in more ways than one. Solid repertoire and command, though gets results more through pitching smarts than pure stuff.
Anthony Fernandez, LHP: Essentially a left-handed version of Medina. Has a more determined mound presence, aggressive in attacking batters.
Forrest Snow, RHP: Converting from the bullpen, Snow’s arsenal translates well to the rotation. Command, consistency need to improve to stick and succeed.
Ty Burgoon, RHP: Interesting relief prospect with a closer’s mentality. Uses fastball/slider combination well and generates plenty of swings and misses.
Kevin Rivers, OF: Not a terribly toolsy guy, but has a sound swing and an excellent approach at the plate. Has a good head on his shoulders, too, which will only help his future.
Carlos Peguero, OF: Power is by far Peguero’s primary tool, but his swing may hold that back in the long run. Running out of time to find “it” and get long term success.
Josh Fields, RHP: Fields has done little but disappoint since he was drafted by Seattle in the first round of the 2008 draft. 2011 might be his last chance to prove that he can be a legit reliever.
Erasmo Ramirez, RHP: Relies on command more than stuff, but generates almost ludicrous amounts of ground balls. Won’t strike many out, but won’t walk anyone either.
Daniel Carroll, OF: Well-rounded athlete, but a string of injuries has held his development back. Could finally take a big step forward if he stays healthy.
Steven Hensley, RHP: Hensley has pretty average stuff, but uses it effectively to generate good results. Has to improve durability and stamina, however.
Julio Morban, OF: Athletically gifted outfielder who does a lot of things well. 2010 mostly lost to injuries, now rebuilding his prospect status.
Ramon Morla, 3B: Morla has the gift of power and the physical tools to be a good defender at the corner. Consistency and discipline concerns at plate and in field could hold him back.
Steven Baron, C: There’s little doubt that Baron is a good defender behind the plate. There are major concerns about his bat, however, and some questions about his makeup.
George Mieses, RHP: Mieses has a well-located fastball and a promising splitter. Needs to harness breaking pitch to show more overall promise.
Seon-Gi Kim, RHP: Interesting young Korean righty who gets good fastball velo. There’s a lot of varying reports on his secondary stuff, but there is a consensus that he has two other pitches that could become above-average offerings.
Jordan Shipers, LHP: A good arm with a great story. Shipers had no high school team, and had to join regional tournaments and showcases in order to play and improve his profile. Advanced repertoire and approach for a high school pitcher.
Jabari Blash, OF: Blash has huge athletic talents, but is extremely raw. Has major red flags in his history that need monitoring after getting kicked out of two colleges.
Esteilon Peguero, SS and Phillips Castillo, OF: Two raw young Dominican signings from this past year. We’re short on reliable info on each, but what we do have makes both guys look like potentially great prospects, especially Peguero.