Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

Cream of the Crop: The Stars from the Arizona Fall League

PART II

Due to the overwhelming amount of talent in this years Fall League, I needed to make a part two for equal distribution of exposure for these great prospects. Here’s another list of some of the best prospects from the fall: 

Victor Mesa (Salt River Rafters): This 23-year-old outfielder is the thirteenth best prospect in the Marlins organization. He and his brother Victor Mesa Jr. defected from Cuba in 2018 and they signed for just over $3 million a piece. This fall,Mesa hit .271/.291/.329 with zero home runs a .629 OPS. Now on the surface, his stats aren’t as great as some of the other players mentioned earlier. Mesa has an open stance with his hands held high and a little bit of a bat wiggle and he has a small leg kick for a load. He sometimes has a long swing which causes him to get under the ball — that leads to pop-ups and flyouts. But, speed and defense are his main tools and his offense is what’s holding him back from contributing at the major league level. He doesn’t walk a lot and if/when he changes his approach, with his potential he should turn into a steady major league outfielder. All in all, both the brothers make the Marlins better in the long run and he’s a breakout year away from really getting noticed around the MLB from coaches and scouts alike. 


Geraldo Perdomo (Salt River Rafters): Perdomo, 20, is the seventh best in the Diamondbacks system,  hitting .316/.417/.418 with one home run and an .834 OPS. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop with advanced hitting tools for his age. He has tons of movement in the box with a wider base and a slide step in terms of a load. He has a very quick bat and hits well to all fields, as well as a slick fielding shortstop with a good arm. There’s no way he could beat the Freeze in a race but he’s a smart base runner and that’s how his stolen base totals have blossomed over his first couple years. In 2019, Perdomo stole 26 bases and he has 66 stolen bases over a three-year timeline in the minors. Perdomo has great athleticism and amazing range — with all the tools he possesses he should have no problem taking starting shortstop in the next couple years and running with it.


Conner Capel (Glendale Desert Dogs): Capel, at 22 years of age, is the number 24 prospect in the Cardinals system. Capel hit .266/.330/.418 with three home runs and a .747 OPS this fall. Capel is an outfielder who swings from the left side of the plate. I really like Capel — he’s still fairly young and has a good bat. He has a bit of a power speed combination and has an incredible arm. He has a very closed stance very reminiscent of Wade Boggs. Now, i’m not saying he’s gonna be the next Wade Boggs but their stances are very similar. Capel has had a roller coaster of a career to this point, hitting 22 home runs and with a .795 OPS back in 2017. One main issue is his strikeout totals, as he’s struck out 340 times in 1387 career at-bats, he is also projected as a fourth outfielder by some. However, if he can change his approach and his plate discipline, his power-speed combination should play well at the major league level. 


Griffin Roberts (Glendale Desert Dogs): Roberts is 23 years of age and is the 19th best prospect in the Cardinals system. He was 0-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 14.2 IP while striking out 18 — that’s good for a 11.04 K/9. Roberts touches 97 and has consistency is in the mid-90s with his fastball. He also has a great slider. In fact, it was rated the best slider in the 2018 draft. It’s a high spin-rate slider with tons of movement. He also displays a changeup with about the same velocity as his slider. He throws from a three-quarter arm angle and repeats his mechanics very well. He does have a tendency to lose command of the strike zone. Roberts was way better than his 2019 showed. In 2019, he went 1-7 with a 6.44 ERA after logging only 65.2 innings. There were a few positives like his ability to keep the ball in the yard as he only surrendered three home runs in those 65.2 innings pitched good for a 0.41 HR/9 plus, he had a 47.3 groundball rate. His command is already starting to get better and when he finally figures it out entirely, his stuff is legit and he should go quickly through the minors.  


Daniel Lynch (Surprise Saguaros): Lynch, is a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher, drafted 34th overall in 2018. This fall he pitched to a 1-1 record with a 3.86 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched, good for a 12.21 K/9. Lynch has smooth mechanics and touches 97 and consistently is in the mid 90’s with a fastball that often has late life to it. He also displays an incredible slider,  a changeup and a curveball. His slider is especially deceptive when thrown downward and inward to righties and he can hit that spot pretty well. He does have a tendency of overthrowing and pulling off his pitches — this causes a miss in location and at times a pitch way off the plate. In the end, Lynch should progress through the minors rather quickly and be a good 2-3 in the Royals rotation. With how good the Royals farm is, they could make the playoffs quicker than a majority of fans expected.


Alex Wells (Surprise Saguaros): Wells is a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher that’s currently 20 on the Orioles top 30 list. He was signed out of Australia for $300,000 in 2015. This fall, he pitched to an incredible 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA and had 15 strikeouts in 15.2 innings — that’s a K/9 of 8.62. Wells isn’t a flamethrower whatsoever but he does hide the ball very well and creates tons of deception with his delivery. Plus, he has great command of all his pitches, a fastball that touches 91 and he consistently hits upper 80’s with some late movement. He has a fading changeup in the lower 80’s and a curveball with 12-6 type of movement that’s in the low 70’s. Talking about his command, he only had two walks all fall and in 2019 had a microscopic 1.57 BB/9. He had a 41.6 percent groundball rate at the Double-A level in 2019 and he’s strands runners as well as in 2019 he had a LOB% of 73.7 percent — that’s pretty good. As the growing pains continue for the Orioles, it’s great to see a young pitcher that can contribute in the next few years at the major league level and everyone knows they can certainly use him.


Just a few more…

Alfonso Rivas (Mesa Solar Sox): Rivas is a 23-year old that is a left-handed hitting first baseman andis the 25th best prospect in the Athletics organization. He hit .306/.417/.449 with no home runs and a .866 OPS this fall league. Rivas has a slightly open stance with lots of movement in the box. He has a slide step for a load,a quick bat and a slightly upward swing. He has some pop and not a lot of speed. His strikeout numbers are through the roof — with two teams this year he had a total of 120 strikeouts in 122 games. He makes loud contact and is consistently hitting line drives. Rivas is a terrific defender with a stronger arm than most first baseman. In conclusion, Rivas has all the tools to be a mainstay in the Athletics lineup and with a big year in terms of power he will be getting noticed by multiple people not only in the A’s organization but from other teams wanting a young first baseman that can hit.


Spencer Howard (Scottsdale Scorpions): Howard is 23 years of age and is the number two prospect in the Phillies farm system. He was drafted 45th overall in 2017, this fall Howard pitched to a 1-1 record with a 2.11 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched. Howard touches 98 and is consistently hitting 95 mph. He also has a slider and a curveball, they both need some work in terms of consistency but when right are very quality pitches. He also has a decent changeup and strikeout stuff and it showed with an 11.92 K/9 in 2019. He throws across his body and has good arm action on all his pitches as well as throwing over-hand and repeating his mechanics well. The Phillies have a gem in Howard with his stuff that he possesses — he can really be a one or two just depends on the way the Phillies want to develop this young right hander.  


Logan Warmoth (Scottsdale Scorpions): Warmoth, is a 24-year-old shortstop and is currently not a top 30 prospect in a loaded Toronto system. He was drafted first round in 2017, and has had a very up-and-down career to this point. However, he hit .295/.394/.443 with one home run and a .837 OPS. He has an open stance with a slight bat wiggle. He tracks the ball really well and has a very good swing from the right side. Warmoth is a real contact threat especially when he first broke out in 2017 when he hit .302/.350/.418 with a .768 OPS. He doesn’t have a ton of power but hits really well up the middle. If Warmoth can get back to his 2017 form and build off of that after a couple of bad seasons, he can really open some eyes with the tools he possesses. This is a great start in the fall but his next year is a must to show the Blue Jays that 2017 wasn’t a fluke.


Trey Harris (Scottsdale Scorpions): Harris is a 23-year-old outfielder who was drafted in the 32nd round in 2018. He’s currently number 18 in the Braves top 30 prospect list. This fall, Harris hit .281/.354/.456 with two home runs and an .810 OPS. He is a power speed type of player. He’s a good defender that can hit well to all fields, especially power to his pull side. He’s built like a rock and as mentioned earlier, he has a little bit of speed to go with his contact abilities and gap to gap power. This is shown by his eight stolen bases and 14 home runs in 2019. The Braves might’ve found something in Harris, especially if he exceeds his current projection as a fourth outfielder. I believe with his hot start to his career and his tools, he can really be a danger in that Braves lineup. 

As the Arizona Fall League ends and we so eagerly wait for the next cream of the crop prospects to arrive next fall,  the players listed in part one and two are all players you should keep your eye on no matter what team you support.

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