Visiting the Farms - NL East
Dax Fulton was the Marlins second round pick last year. This 6'7" lefty is almost recovered from his Tommy John surgery back in 2019. His fastball is projected around 93mph, but has some trailing movement on it. Fulton's curveball is also effective, averaging 85mph. His changeup is more of an afterthought at this point.
JJ Bleday's best attribute is his power. The former home run leader in college possess power that can push him past the 30 home run mark in the majors. His speed is decent enough for him to steal some bases or play center in a pinch. His arm is also above average, slotting him nicely into right field once he gets called up.
Sixto Sanchez already made waves in the show during last years pandemic shortened season. The Marlins received this top caliber pitcher back when they traded JT Realmuto to the Phillies. He showed off his two and four seam fastball, which both project to be 70 grade tools. Sanchez even added a cutter last year, which puts this starter at five plus pitches. Sanchez has the stuff and speed to be the Marlins best pitcher, once he returns from injury this year.
Jared Shuster was drafted by the Braves in the first round this past year, and scouts viewed this as a reach. Prior to drafting, Shuster's fastball was routinely around 92mph, but after some work, pushed it to 97mph. Shuster also features a two seamer as well as a plus changeup. He's prone to walking batters, but through 15 innings this year, his strikeout to walk ratio is 5.25.
Shea Langeliers was the other catcher taken behind Adely Rutschman back in 2019. What popped the most with Langeliers was his ability behind the plate. Although not shown above, his arm grades out at a 70. Langeliers defense is already major league ready thanks to his athleticism and agility behind the plate. His bat is average, but he is making progress in the minors. He's got nine homers and has a solid .882 OPS this year for the Mississippi Braves.
Drew Waters won the MVP award and the batting title in AA back in 2019 batting .319 with an .847 OPS. Waters tools are all above average and even has the ability to hit from both sides of the plate. His fielding may be his best tool, thanks to his speed and arm. He'll most likely be kept down a bit longer, thanks to #1 prospect Cristian Pache also roaming center field in the majors.
Jackson Rutledge has an exciting one-two punch. Thanks to his 6'7" frame, he's able to throw his fastball in the upper 90's with relative ease. In the age of spin rate, Rutledge's fastball is near the top already. His slider is almost as effective as the fastball with a great amount of break. His curveball and changeup are afterthoughts now, even though they do show promise. I could see him projecting into a closer role if the offspeed pitches don't live up to expectations.
Cade Cavalli was a former two way player, and has only focused on pitching for the past couple of years. What's most exciting about this is how fast Cavalli has progressed. The fastball has gotten to 99mph, with riding action. He's able to manipulate that natural ride into a cutter as well, adding a fifth pitch to his repertoire. There were rumblings throughout the organization that the Nats wanted to call him up last year for a postseason run, but they fell short.
Tres Barrera is hampered by his lack of offensive impact. The highlight to his bat was a 108 wRC+ back in 2019 for AA. Nationals scouts point out his "swinging for the fences" mentality, and want him to focus more on line drives. The Nationals do use him as a backup catcher now, thanks to his ability behind the plate.
Mick Abel is already the number one prospect in the Phillies organization, although he was drafted just last year. What's most exciting about Abel is his stuff. The fastball sits between 95-99mph, and the curve has more of a 12-6 break to it dropping out of the picture quick. The changeup and slider also break a great amount. The 19 year old projects to be a frontline starter as of now thanks to the potential in his 6'5" frame.
Bryson Stott is a lefty batting shortstop. His ability to make contact with the ball is a plus. As he progresses through the minors, Phillies scouts point to his increased strength, turning those singles into doubles. This is evident by the increase in his OPS from .885 to .916 this year despite a 20 point drop off in average. His fielding is above average as well, projecting him to being a major league shortstop.
Adonis Medina has been with the Phillies for a bit now, after being drafted in 2014. His pitching style is groundouts, lead by his low 90's sinking fastball. Through the minors, he has had a problem with walks, with a 2.5 strikeout walk ratio which has kept him down. Look for Medina to pop in to the majors this year.
New York Mets
Francisco Alvarez leapfrogged former top Mets prospect Ronny Maurcio this year. Although he's still raw, Alvarez is showing an MLB ready bat as well as above average catching ability. This year, Alvarez is on fire. Between A and A+, Alvarez has a .980 OPS, batting .417 in A. His offense already projects as a middle of the lineup bat. If he keeps performing at this level, we may see Alvarez as soon as next year.
Mark Vientos has impressive raw power, but lacks the ability to make contact. For example, he struck out more than he got hits back in 2019 (106 hits to 110 strikeouts). If Vientos can cut down on the strikeouts and tap into that potential power, he'll have a spot on a major league roster based off of that power alone.
Khalil Lee is has the ability to become a part of the three true outcomes clubs, either homering, striking out, or walking. Lee has also shown his speed, stealing 53 bases back in 2019 in AA. Lee was called up this year but struggled, only putting together a .056/.056/.111 slash line. What's hindering his ability to become a better hitter is his groundball rate. In that same season, he had a 59.3% groundball rate, which is extremely high for a player that has the raw power that he does.