Visiting the Farms - AL Central
Chicago White Sox
Jared Kelley was the White Sox second round pick last year, and they may have gotten a great deal. The former Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year possesses an upper 90's cutter and what most scouts call his slurve. He's most known for his changeup, which breaks more like a sinker. With his stuff and his age, Kelley lacks the command necessary to rein in those nasty pitches.
Micker Adolofo has been sliding down the White Sox prospect list because of Tommy John surgery and arthroscopic elbow surgery in consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. Regardless, Adolfo is still known for his rocket arm in the outfield. His raw power is what scouts point to, with some saying it's the best in the White Sox system. He's a bigger player (6'4", 225lbs), so he's stuck in the corner outfield slot for his career.
Jonatan Stiever is an all around good pitcher who throws a great curveball. Although the grading doesn't favor Stiever, he is very accurate as well. In 2019, he issued 27 walks over 145 IP. Stiever's makeup projects him as a back of the rotation starter.
Spencer Torkelson has been the recent darling of the hobby, leading to more Bowman Prospect sales and sweaty men fighting in Target's and Wal-Mart's across the country. Spork has MLB ready contact and power against both handed pitchers, with an amazing eye for the strike zone. This year, he's garnered a .409 OBP through 24 games in High A. The only downside for Torkelson is the ability on defense. The Tigers are trying him out at third, but he'll most likely project to 1B.
Riley Greene is another one of those players with above average tools all around. He's fast enough to play center field, and his bat is certainly a positive. He'll be a player to keep an eye on for the 30/30 race, as he sprays the ball to all fields from the left side of the plate.
Matt Manning is more of an NBA guard at 6'6". What he does differently than probably every guard in the NBA, is throws a 100 mph fastball. Couple that with a plus curveball and developing changeup, Manning may project as a closer. The Tigers are pushing him to join Skubal and Mize as the trio that could terrorize the Central for years to come.
Aaron Sabato was strictly drafted for his above average power and ability to recognize the strike zone. Defensively, he's best off playing DH as he doesn't have a strong arm or great mobility.
Royce Lewis feels like he's been in our life for a while. Drafted first overall by the Twins back in 2017, his power and speed combination give shades of Acuña Jr. Lewis has the athletes to play multiple positions, including third, second, and any of the outfield slots. He's poised to be the Twins shortstop for years to come. Offensively, he's gathered multiple seasons of around 13 homers and 25 stolen bases, all while playing Gold Glove level defense.
Jhoan Duran features one of the more fun pitches. He calls it the "splinker", which is a combination of a splitter and sinker. It sits in the mid 90's and baffles hitters. Couple that pitch with his fastball that averages 97mph, Duran has the makeup to be a solid starter for years to come.
Kansas City Royals
Asa Lacy was the Royals first round pick this past year. He's a lefty starter that throws with a 3/4 delivery. This funky delivery combined with his upper 80's slider plays very well for the future. His fastball sits in the mid 90's and his curve has an aggressive downwards movement, most likely generated from that delivery. A lefty starter with weird breaking stuff is lethal, as long as they can control it.
Bobby Witt Jr is another top tier shortstop prospect in the AL Central. Much like the aforementioned Royce Lewis, Witt Jr is above average at every facet of the game. Unlike Lewis, Witt Jr is more of a contact hitter that will single people to death. He does possess some untapped power, some of which has been seen this year. Through 27 games, Witt Jr has slugged 9 homers. Any time a shortstop can be a power hitter adds a ton of value to your team.
Jackson Kowar has rocketed up the Royals prospect board this year. This is thanks to his 70 grade changeup and the sometimes high 90's fastball. In six starts this year for AAA Omaha, Kowar is 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA in 31.2 IP with 41 K's and 10 walks. Look for him to break in soon.
George Valera is still a relatively raw prospect for The Tribe. Scouts in the system say he has the potential to be a 25 home run hitter with a .300+ average. The lefty swings well, but may lack the strength right now to face higher levels of pitching. He runs well enough to play center, but will most likely end up in the corner outfield position when he breaks in.
Tyler Freeman is best known for his ability to make contact. Going into this year, he only struck out 9% of the time. He batted .306 last year, and .355 so far this year. Unlike Royce Lewis and Bobby Witt Jr, Freeman doesn't have the raw power as they do. Defensively, he is reliable. This would lead me to believe he'll be a leadoff hitter.
Nolan Jones has an advanced eye for the strike zone. In 2019, he led the minors with 96 walks. Combine the great eye with the 70 grade raw power, Jones can become lethal. What's keeping him down now is that Jose Rameriez plays his position. Taking this into account, Cleveland has been playing him in the outfield to see how they can get this dangerous bat into the lineup.