Daily Prospect Notes: June 9 & 10

These are notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

From games on June 8

Luis Campusano, C, San Diego Padres
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A El Paso  Age: 22   Org Rank: 3   FV: 55
Line: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, BB

Recall that Campusano was thrust straight into the big leagues from High-A during the bizarre 2020 season, then found himself unexpectedly in the big leagues again early this year when Austin Nola was hurt. Even Campusano’s struggles during his first few weeks settling into Triple-A (remember, this is a 22-year-old whose last full season was in A-ball) are, you know, just a couple of weeks and he’s hitting .296/.387/.556 since the calendar flipped over to June. I’m not inclined to move off of him at all based on a couple of weeks of poor surface-level performance, especially when dry periods of surface performance are common for catchers because of the physical beating they take behind the plate. This is one of the more talented hitting catchers in all of pro baseball, a well-rounded offensive player at a position that might be the thinnest in all the big leagues. If you’re a dynasty fantasy baseball player who plays in a league with people who overreact to small samples or who struggle to put performance in proper context, you should pursue Campusano.

Daulton Jefferies, RHP, Oakland Athletics
Level & Affiliate: Triple-A Las Vegas  Age: 25   Org Rank: TBD   FV: 45
Line: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 R, 6 K

Jefferies spent more time on the IL with biceps tendinitis this year, but when healthy he looks like a big league-ready No. 4/5 starter. He has yet to walk anybody this year. Plus command of a solid four-pitch mix (he sits 92-94, his power, upper-80s changeup is plus, and his cutter and curveball are about average) has enabled Jefferies to walk just 14 hitters in 122 career pro innings, but of course the fact that he only has 122 affiliated innings since 2016 is pretty damning. Given the frequency of injuries across all of baseball this year, it’s likely that Jefferies will factor into yet another A’s postseason race at some point this year and I expect him to perform when called upon. Here is an outing from the spring as well as high speed footage of his pitch mix.

Bryson Stott, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
Level & Affiliate: Double-A Reading  Age: 23   Org Rank: 5   FV: 45
Line: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2B

Stott hit his way to Double-A (he’s 23, so he should be performing in A-ball) and is likely to continue putting up big numbers because Reading is a hitter’s haven, which has helped inflate the stock of many a prospect for as long as I can remember. One interesting statistical check-in here. I wasn’t sure if Stott’s amateur track record of walking would carry over into pro ball. He walked at nearly a 14% clip at UNLV but the times I saw him in person he’d expand the zone pretty often. This is a guy with a low-ball swing, and Stott wasn’t shy about trying to reach down and golf balls off his shoe tops in college, often with success. So far as a pro he’s walking nearly 17% of the time, a signal that this is actually a skill he has and not just something he was doing because Mountain West pitching wasn’t very good. From one point of view, this is a lefty-hitting shortstop with power; from another, Stott’s swing, frame, stiffness and throwing stroke all have atypical looks. The mean outcome here is something like what Brad Miller has done.

Drew Rom, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
Level & Affiliate: Hi-A Aberdeen  Age: 21   Org Rank: 29   FV: 40
Line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 R, 7 K

Rom is a player archetype that’s in vogue. He has good breaking ball feel, command, and his fastball’s non-velocity traits will act like force multipliers if he ever develops more arm strength. Even though Rom continues to perform at a high level — he has 31 strikeouts and three walks in 27.2 IP so far this year — his fastball velocity is still hanging around the 88-92 range right now. Wherever Doug Nikhazy goes in next month’s draft is a fair barometer for where Rom would slot among the college prospects in this, his age-21 season.

Jorbit Vivas, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Level & Affiliate: Low-A Rancho  Age: 20   Org Rank: 23   FV: 40
Line: 6-for-6, HR, SB

Vivas already has more home runs this year (five) than he did in his previous three pro years (two seasons) combined. The old Cal League hitting environment has likely contributed to this early-season surge but Vivas, who is of the compact middle infield phylum that I love so much, has indeed gotten a little thicker and stronger than he was in 2019. His approach is quite aggressive and I think this might create some statistical turbulence down the road, and Vivas is a 2B/3B defender only, not someone who can play shortstop. He’s looking like another versatile Dodgers platoon cog.

From games on June 9

David Hamilton, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Level & Affiliate: Hi-A Wisconsin  Age: 23   Org Rank: TBD   FV: 40+
Line: 2-for-7, HR

Hamilton tore his Achilles tendon and missed not only his junior year at Texas, but his entire post-draft summer as well. His first pro at-bats came during 2020 big league spring training, and he looked pretty good for a guy who hadn’t played minor league baseball yet. He also looked stronger coming out of rehab and played well in my looks during 2020 instructs, against mostly younger competition. His first affiliated at-bats came this year, as a 23-year-old at High-A, and while Hamilton’s performance demands scrutiny because he’s old for the level, he is off to an amazing start. In 28 games he has stolen 21 bases and been caught just once. He hit a homer in his third consecutive game last night, and is among the qualified minor league leaders in SwingingStrike%
at a paltry 6.5%. He’s asserting himself among the several internal candidates to replace Willy Adames a few years from now.

J.T. Ginn, RHP, New York Mets
Level & Affiliate: Low-A St. Lucie  Age: 22   Org Rank: 7   FV: 45
Line: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K

Just a check-in on Ginn, a former high-profile amateur whose draft year was washed out by Tommy John. He made his second pro start last night and sat 91-92, topped out at 93, and dipped into the upper-80s at the end of his outing. That’s a little bit below peak Ginn, who was more 90-94 over the course of a more robust outing, usually topping out around 96. It’s something to monitor considering velo is typically the first thing that comes back post-Tommy John.

Joey Estes, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Level & Affiliate: Low-A Augusta  Age: 19   Org Rank: NR   FV: 35+
Line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 11 K

I panned the Braves 2019 draft class, which I thought included several reaches for college players (Beau Philip, mostly) without enough over-slot payoff later in the draft. Well, since that time, several of those late-round high schoolers have emerged (many are on the Braves list already, even without a real 2020) and the latest of them is Estes, a teenage righty who has a 39-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 innings so far this year. Estes sits about 94 and touches 96, which is up from the 91-94 range I have on record from his brief 2019. He also generates huge vertical movement on his fastball, which has flat angle at the letters. Estes’ delivery has a reliever look to it but he’s not walking anyone right now, and while neither of them has nasty raw movement, his slider and changeup feel are pretty decent for a teenager, and he’s especially good at maintaining his fastball arm speed on the changeup. We have some changes coming to the Top 100 on Monday that are currently gumming up my ability to make just one change to the Braves list by adding Estes, but he belongs in the 35+ FV tier right now and could be an impact reliever if even one of his secondary pitches develops.

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