Visiting the Farms - AL West
Korey Lee has the physical abilities to play catcher at the major league level, although he's played both 1B and 3B. His arm is above average and his raw power can transform him into a Mike Zunino type catcher. Through 28 games in High A, Lee is slugging .462 with an impressive .330 batting average.
Pedro Leon is surrounded by mystery. Houston scooped up Leon last year, after he was declared a free agent in December 2019. Not many teams had the ability to scout him, but from what can be gathered in his pro playing career is his speed and arm strength. Although he's a smaller player, standing in at 5'10" 170lbs, Leon has the sprint speed to play center and the fielding ability to play shortstop. Through 30 games in AA, Leon is slugging .423 but is averaging over a strikeout per game.
Forrest Whitley underwent Tommy John surgery in March, which has pushed back his appearance in the majors. The Astros were confident he was ready last year, but the pandemic pushed it back. The 6'7" starter features five strong pitches, the first pitcher we've covered to have five gradable pitches. He's got some injury concerns as mentioned with Tommy John, an oblique strain that put him out in 2018, a sore shoulder in 2019, plus a 50 game suspension for violating the Minor League drug policy. Other than the command issues, Whitley is ready to go, come mid 2022.
Los Angeles Angels
Jordyn Adams is one of the best athletes in the minor leagues. Drafted based off his ability to outrun anyone, and his surprising plate discipline, Adams will end up as a starting outfielder at some point. He shows great raw power as well, mirroring images of a young Byron Buxton. Although only through three games in High A, Adams has three hits, all for extra bases.
Reid Detmers won't light up the radar gun, but does show a potential for tremendous swing and miss pitches. Through 7 starts this year in AA, Detmers has 46 strikeouts over only 29 innings! His best pitch is his curveball, which registers between 72 and 76mph with the ability to place that fastball wherever he wants. On top of that, he's a lefty which almost certainly lands him a spot in a major league rotation.
Brandon Marsh is another one of those all around great prospects. All of his tools, including his speed even project out well, given that he's 6'2" 210lb. He's kept down in AAA thanks to the log jam in the OF for the Angels, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see him this year.
Julio Rodriguez has been on Mariners fans radars for almost as long as the number one guy, Jared Kelenic. Rodriguez is one of the top five prospects in the league right now, with the physical skills to be a top tier hitter come time for his call up. Through 26 games in High A, Rodriguez is slugging .589 with a batting average of .327.
Joe Rizzo makes this list, simply because all of the Mariners players seem to be either in A or AAA. Rizzo is a smaller player, measuring at 5'9". His calling card is his potential at fielding, where he's nested at the third base position for now. Think Kyle Seager, less the hitting.
Jarred Kelenic makes this list even though he was up in the majors this year. Much like his pal Julio Rodriguez, Kelenic possess all of the hitting tools to be one of the best for years to come. I dug into why Kelenic struggled, and found he's just not swinging at the meatballs, as well as pitchers throwing around the zone. He'll bounce back soon enough.
Justin Foscue has power and an aggressive approach to make him a 20 home run hitter. In the field, he's an average second basemen at best. He's struggling a little bit at the plate in 13 games this year, mustering a .182 average.
Josh Jung suffered a broken foot back in March and needed surgery. This delayed his inevitable MLB start, as the Rangers are out of contention for the playoffs. He's an all around great hitter with decent pop, as he can easily gather 20 home runs. He's tried out shortstop in his pro career, but he'll slot into third once called up.
Curtis Terry is much like Joe Rizzo from the Mariners in that all of the prospects are either playing for A or AA. Terry hasn't seen the majors yet, but he does have above average raw power. At 6'2" 258lbs, when Terry makes contact, it's loud. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the speed or plate discipline to make as big of an impact as he should.
Tyler Soderstrom is Oakland's most recent first round pick. At only 19 years old, this catcher has all of the upside in front of him. He's raking the ball in A right now. Through 34 games, he's batting .304 with five homers. He's a better hitter than catcher, for now. His 6'2" 200lb frame should project well as a MLB starter within the next four years.
Nick Allen is a great fielder but subpar fielder. Think players like Jose Iglesias and Andrelton Simmons. With that being said, he is hitting .295 though 22 games in AA this year. Defense like this should speed his progression through the minors as there is always a spot for a Gold Glove caliber defender. Check out this highlight back in 2017(!)
Daulton Jefferies did have one appearance in the majors last year, but hasn't made it back up to the big leagues. The 25 year old is ready to break in to the majors, thanks to his command over his three plus pitches. Through four starts this year in AAA, he's gathered a 1.37 ERA through 19.1 IP. You'll see him very soon in the majors.