Visiting the Farms - AL East
With the MLB Draft six weeks away, we're going to visit each MLB teams farm system to highlight the top player at each spot of the farm system, starting at Single A. I've tried to omit the players that are playing full time in the Majors (Cristain Pache and Alex Kirilloff for example) to give a true sense of how the farms look. I used a combination of Fangraphs and MLB Pipeline to compile the write ups and grades. Each player has a number in parenthesis signifying their current rank in each clubs system. We'll start off the trip with the AL East.
Boston Red Sox
Gilberto Jimenez could be Boston's best defensive outfielder, next to Alex Verdugo. The combination of top tier speed and above average fielding could push him through the minors faster. Jimenez became a switch hitter when the Red Sox picked him up for $10,000 back in 2017, which you can see from his projected hit ability may make him an every day starter down the line.
Triston Casas is the Sox best prospect at the moment. The power hitting first basemen was the best high school hitter back in 2018. He's even poked his head into the Red Sox alternate site last year. He's not all about power though, as the lefty has enough hard contact to warrant a stab at a doubles title down the line.
Jeter Downs was acquired from the Dodgers earlier last year in the Mookie Betts trade. He's a solid middle infielder, that plays more towards second. He'll be the bottom of the order bat once he breaks in. He's MLB ready now, but the Sox already feature enough middle infielders like Xander, Marwin Gonzalez, Kike Hernandez, and Christian Arroyo.
Toronto Blue Jays
Orelvis Martinez has the raw power and arm to be an option on the left side of the infield for the Jays in the future. While his contact hitting isn't up to snuff yet, many experts believe the 19 year old will grow into his 6'1" frame, resulting in an Adrian Beltre type player.
Austin Martin originally was drafted by Cleveland back in 2017 in the 37th round, but he chose not to sign, which was a great idea. In 2019, Martin lead the Southeaset Conference in batting average (.392) and OBP (.486) and was drafted 5th overall last year. His hitting skill his his best attribute, spraying the ball over the entire field. Martin possess the glove to play shortstop and third base, but lacks the throwing accuracy at times. He's shifted to outfield, but is still taking reps in AA as a shortstop and third basemen.
Nate Pearson is one of the more intriguing pitching prospects at the moment. His fastball has been graded anywhere between 70 and 80, thanks to the velocity (peaking at 104mph in a 2018 Fall Stars game) and movement. His slider registers in the up 80's with insane movement as well, with his changeup (low 80's) and 12-6 curve (high 70's) rounding out the mix. Just as you would've guessed, Pearson lacks command at the Major League level, gathering 6.5 BB/9 in his recent appearance. If he fixes this, we may have another deGrom worthy pitcher.
Grayson Rodriguez actually features a sinker as his best pitch. Although it's graded at a 60, the sinker sits between 95-99 mph with great downward action. The changeup is his second best pitch registering in the high 80's, with a decent slider and curve to round out his repertoire. His size is great as well, at 6'5" weighing 220lbs. We could see Rodriguez as soon as next year in the Majors.
Adley Rutschman is the best catching prospect in the minors at the moment. I'll admit, I have said he's already the Orioles best player (sorry Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins). Adley is a switch hitting catcher with power from both sides of the plate, with no obvious weaknesses in his fielding. He features a strong arm and blocking ability as well. I'd be looking over my shoulder if I were Pedro Severino, the current catcher for the O's, as Adley may be up this year.
Yusniel Diaz was a part of the trade that sent Manny Machado to the Dodgers back in 2017. Fast forward to this year, and Diaz is about to break into the Majors, if not for injuries. He missed most of the 2019 season with quad and hamstring issues, and obviously in 2020 wasn't playing pro ball. Diaz has a great arm and average speed, allowing him to play CF if necessary.
Tampa Bay Rays
Greg Jones possess elite speed and a great arm, planting him in center field. He has had innings at shortstop, but the Rays are already stacked with middle infielders. The speed Jones has led to 19 steals in 48 games in 2019 and 7 bags swiped in 10 games in High A this year. He's also a switch hitter, but the move to batting from the left side permanently should be in play given his speed.
Shane Baz was a part of the trade that sent Chris Archer over to the Pirates. Baz features a triple digit fastball and a wipe out slider/cutter, depending on who you ask. He does have some command issues, more importantly repeating the same delivery every time. He's got the stuff to be a closer if the command issues continue.
Wander Franco, as most of you know thanks to the hobby, is baseball's #1 prospect, and for good reason. He's a switch hitting shortstop with an abnormally great ability to hit the ball. He's the kind of player that will consistently bat above .300, while walking almost double the amount he strikes out. Through 21 games this year in AAA, his OPS is .888. His arm and glove are great as well, although the move to second or third rather than short is in play because of how compact his frame is (5'10", 190lbs).
New York Yankees
**Note: Jasson Dominguez has yet to play a professional baseball game for the Yankees yet, therefore he doesn't qualify for this write up**
Oswald Peraza is already on the Yankees 40 man roster, which should tell you the Yanks value of him. He is your classic line drive hitter, with the tools to be a consistent middle infielder. He did spend some time gathering at bats in the Venezuelan league this past winter. That seems to have helped because through 23 games this year in High A, Peraza already has 15 stolen bases and five home runs.
Luis Gil was originally picked up by the Twins back in 2015 as a Dominican League prospect, but was traded back in 2017 over to the Yankees for OF Jake Cave. Gil features a mid 90's fastball with a high 80's change up which could be troublesome to hitters. His curveball and slider are more of the same pitch, but equally effective. He struggles with command issues (4.2 BB/9 as a career best), which maps him to the bullpen.
Deivi Garcia body might hold him back. He's listed at 5'9", which many scouts believe will be a detriment to becoming a full time starter. His fastball averages in the low 90's, but his changeup is believed to be his best pitch as it held lefties to a paultry .579 OPS in the minors. He's already spent some time in the Majors this year, but has since bounced back to AAA.