Prospect Talk: Deep Diving
Miguel Almonte – SP – Kansas City Royals
Almonte has been the recipient of some buzz recently, with Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus reiterating that he’d prefer the 20-year old to former first round pick Kyle Zimmer recently. Almonte goes after hitters with a plus fastball. It arrives in the low to mid 90s but hitters don’t seem to pick it up all that well. The fastball is good, but the change up is Almonte’s bread and butter, with good separation from the fastball, arm speed and movement. He’ll throw both a slider and a curve, but neither pitch has declared itself the go-to breaking ball just yet. He’s got lots of development left in front of him, but he’s an exciting arm.
Arismendy Alcantara – SS – Chicago Cubs
I’ve written and talked about Alcantara a lot. Just after I wrote about him for Fake Teams though, Alcantara’s numbers took a bit of a dive. He’s coming out of that slump a little bit right now, but everything I said about him at the time holds true now. He’s got a good chance to stay at shortstop (though he is playing 2B some of the time at Double-A), and he’s going to be able to hit for enough power to make his stolen bases worthwhile. At 5’10/160 it’s unlikely he becomes a power threat, but he’s learning the strengths of his swing and is already more than halfway to his career high in homers, and showing a much better grasp for the strikezone as well. The slash line doesn’t look great right now, but at 21 years old and in his first taste of Double-A, Alcantara is a guy still believe in.
Stephen Piscotty – OF – St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals mercifully moved Piscotty to the outfield before the season, and it’s shown no ill-effects on his bat. He’s currently sporting a .308/.366/.542 slash line in 120 Hi-A at-bats. The only issue with that? He’s already 22 years old. That means if he keeps this up, we can expect an aggressive push to Double-A before the end of the year. Piscotty has a tough profile as he’s no centerfielder, and while the hit tool could be plus, the power is more gap power than anything else. He’s still a decent guy to have in extremely deep leagues, as I think he’s a probable major leaguer, and can be good trade fodder to guys who scout stat lines.
Off the Chart
Tyler Glasnow – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
I just wrote about Glasnow for Fake Teams earlier this week, and I don’t mean to double up so much if you read me in both spots. However, he’s currently one of my favorite prospects going in the minor leagues. The strikeout potential is enormous, and while the walks are worrisome, I like to gamble on guys who can strike guys out as long as they have a semblance of control, and Glasnow has that. On top of that, Glasnow has a big frame and can throw a lot of innings, so he’s not like my other obsession Yordano Ventura, who just won’t be capable of logging the same amount of innings.
LeVon Washington – OF – Cleveland Indians
TDG’s very own Ben Carsley alerted me to the glory that is #WashTime’s twitter account. Aside from that though, this might be a weird pick for an off the chart selection. After all, Washington was a first round pick who didn’t sign, and then was taken in the second round the next year, so he’s clearly a highly talented dude. However, since signing in 2010, Washington has more than underwhelmed…until this season. He’s currently hitting .327/.444/.481 with an 10/11 K/BB ratio. Now, this is his second go-round (third if you count 6 games last year) at Lo-A, and he’s old for the level. But this is also a guy with a lot of talent who might finally be getting it. His tools started to re-emerge towards the end of 2012, and he’s shown 70 grade speed at times. He’s a high risk player given his previous struggles, but he could hardly cost much in any league, and could be a very nice investment.