Christopher Crawford

Prospect Roundup

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Top 10 Prospects: June 5

Monday, June 5, 2017

Here’s a look at the updated top 10 prospects for the 2017 season.

1. Yoan Moncada, IF, Chicago White Sox
2017 stats: 44 G, .291/.373/.446, 36 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 24 BB, 56 K, 12 SB at Triple-A Charlotte.

Moncada has really struggled since returning from his thumb injury, and I remain wholly convinced that there’s no reason to worry. Why? Because the talent is too impressive here to worry about a two-week struggle. Yes, the strikeouts are a bit vexing, and I’d like to see him drive the ball more than he did in April, but Moncada’s still stealing bases, and he still has a complete game that makes him one of the best real -- and the best fantasy -- prospects in baseball.

2. Amed Rosario, SS New York Mets
2017 stats: 55 G, .346/.385/.504, 35 R, 13 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 14 BB, 41 K, 11 SB at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Maybe the Mets are leaving Rosario in Triple-A because... I got nothing here. I understand being patient, but I have no idea what Rosario has to do to show the Mets he’s ready to be their everyday shortstop. Maybe the answer is get rid of Asdrubal Cabrera. I don’t know. The guy is ready to make an impact. Please stop making me type about this.

3. Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
2017 stats: 40 G, .300/.391/.500, 33 R, 10 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 20 BB, 41 K, 6 SB at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Brinson’s average has dropped a few points in the last couple of weeks, but in the process, his on-base percentage has gone up in the same timeframe. Even if you’re in a fantasy league that only counts batting average, this is a positive development. If he’s taking pitches, he’s far more likely to be successful, as big-league pitchers will expose guys with poor approaches. Brinson continues to impress despite the advantage of Colorado Springs’ friendly confines, and he looks like a contributor for the surprising Brewers in 2017.

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4. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves
2017 stats: 54 G, .262/.311/.391, 17 R, 12 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 15 BB, 51 K, 15 SB at Triple-A Gwinnett.

Albies had a bit of a rough week, but he did hit his third homer of the year, and he’s now up to 19 extra-base hits. Considering how little power projection he has, this is a nice little development. He’s going to have to show a much better approach to reach the bigs, but it’s nice to see him making hard contact at the Triple-A level, and all of the talent is here for him to be a success.
5. Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
2017 stats: 43 G,.255/.364/.433, 25 R, 11 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 25 BB, 34 K at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Torres might be a little too patient right now. Yes, that’s a real thing. It’s great that he’s drawing walks, but he is putting himself in a lot of two-strike counts, as seen in his 13 strikeouts in 11 games with Scranton. This is definitely an adjustment period, and Torres is too smart and too good for it to last much longer. That’s the hope, anyway.

6. Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees
2017 stats: 43 G, .254/.348/.486, 30 R, 16 2B, 9 HR, 30 RBI, 27 BB, 46 K at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

After his ridiculous previous week, Frazier didn’t have as much fun the past seven days, and saw his slugging percentage drop 30 points. Bummer. The good news is that his on-base percentage rose, and the average stayed around the same. Approach, folks. Approach is really important. If the Yankees feel like he’s not going to beat himself, there’s a really good chance he’s going to spend time with the club this summer.

7. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox
2017 stats: 10 GS, 2.38 ERA, 53 IP, 29 H, 4 HR, 31 BB, 75 SO at Double-A Birmingham.

I wanted to wait until Kopech reached Triple-A to make the top 10. I can’t wait any longer. Simply put, Kopech has shown the best stuff of any minor-league pitcher in baseball, and you can see from the ERA and strikeout totals that he’s getting the job done. The command still leaves a lot to be desired, but his stuff is so good that it really may not matter. Kopech could be a top of the rotation arm, and he should get a chance to show you why at the highest level this summer.

8. Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics
2017 stats: 51 G, .290/.330/.472, 28 R, 10 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 11 BB, 67 K, 3 SB at Triple-A Nashville.

Uh oh. Call it the curse of the Rotoworld list. Barreto came out blazing, but he’s really struggled to make adjustments over the past few weeks. Last week, he struck out 11 times and walked zero times. That’s just not going to get it done, and it’s not what the Athletics want to see from the young shortstop if they’re going to call him up. There’s still time, but he’s going to have to be much better with the bat these next few weeks to stay in the top 10.

9. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
2017 stats: 52 G, .262/.322/.372, 33 R, 11 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 15 BB, 31 K, 8 SB at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Welcome back, Mr. Meadows. After getting off to an atrocious start -- and that might be putting it mildly -- he’s been much better with the bat lately. Since May 9, Meadows is hitting .329/.386/.474 with a couple homers and five stolen bases. This is much more indicative of his talent, and with the Pirates struggling, it has to be a welcome sight. He’s back on track to make his debut this season, and his strong all-around game gives him a chance to be fantasy-relevant.

10. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
2017 stats: 11 GS, 4.45 ERA, 60.2 IP, 61 H, 14 BB, 75 K at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham

Honeywell has been one of the real breakout stars of 2017, not that he was an unknown, but he’s taken things to another level so far this spring. Unfortunately, his last two outings have not lived up to expectations. He was better on Friday than the previous effort, but he still gave up four runs and walked three in less than six innings. That puts his Triple-A ERA over 5.10, and that’s not the kind of numbers Tampa Bay wants to see before bringing him up. I still think he makes his debut in 2017, but he’s going to have to pitch better than this for that to come true.

Also considered: Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Chicago White Sox; Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers; Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros; Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.
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