Feature Photo: Scott Kingery, 2B, Phillies
(w/ Arizona Wildcats in 2015)
2080 contributor Alec Dopp continues his coverage of the 2016 Arizona Fall League by spending some time with the Surprise Saguaros late last week, grabbing video of Mauricio Dubon (SS, Red Sox), Mitch Garver (C, Twins) and Mauricio Ramos (3B, Royals) as part of his fourth installment of video updates covering the top prospects playing in Arizona this year. Check out our Prospect Video Library for other AFL videos from the first two weeks of action.
2016 Arizona Fall League Prospect Video Highlights
A late-round pickup in the 2013 MLB Draft, Dubon’s inaugural AFL campaign comes on the heels of a breakout 2016 season that encompassed a .323/.379/.461 slash line, 31 doubles and 30 stolen bases across 124 games split between High A and Double-A. The 22-year-old has not accumulated flashy numbers thus far, hitting .269 with one home run and two stolen bases in 26 at-bats) for Surprise, and an aggressive approach has yielded no walks and three strikeouts though six games. Dubon is lean and athletic, with some jail-break out of the box and above-average barrel control at the plate, and he still has ample room to add some muscle to his 160-pound frame. Look for himto start 2017 at Triple-A Pawtucket.
One of just six hitters with double-digit marks in home runs (10) and stolen bases (16) in the Texas League last season (including a .275/.358/.450 slash line in 86 games at the Double-A level), Toups has been an early fall league standout, slashing .348/.375/.609 with one home run, three doubles and one stolen base through 23 at-bats. Smallish and lean, Toups has shown below-average overall raw power in batting practice, working all fields with line-drive trajectories that suggest his pop will be mostly into the gaps at the next level. The aggressive mentality he showed at Double-A (24.4% strikeout rate) this year may be a sticking point moving forward, as he has whiffed five times and walked only once in his five AFL contests.
After walking more batters (38) than he struck out (35) across 47.1 Double-A innings, and spending a brief amount of time on the disabled list mid-season, Salas’ first fall league campaign has started surprisingly well, ceding just one earned run in six innings with four whiffs and two walks across two appearances. The 24-year-old right hander worked 91-to-92 mph with some tailing movement and late life to his fringe-average fastball last Tuesday in Salt River, mixing in an 83-to-86 mph slider as his primary secondary offering. Salas’ repertoire did not show ability to miss bats, and while the slider flashed above-average strike-to-ball sweep, his command of both pitches still requires some polish.
One of the older hitters in Arizona, Garver finds himself playing his second AFL season for the Twins. The 25-year-old proceeded to hit .270 with 12 home runs split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016, while throwing out an impressive 48% of would-be base stealers in 530 innings this season. He currently owns a .779 OPS with one home run in 27 PAs with Surprise. Garver’s raw power is of the fringe-average, pull-oriented type, and while the contact skills are average, he’s been working deep into counts and has drawn walks early (5 BB/5 K).
Kingery’s emergence has become a welcomed addition to a rapidly retooling Phillies farm system, as the former second-round pick slashed .281/.335/.388 with 36 doubles and 30 stolen bases in 131 games split between High A and Double-A in 2016. Granted, his AFL showing has been far from eye-opening (.154/.185/.192 in 27 PA), but Kingery has flashed 80-grade speed down the line for Scottsdale, including a 3.71 HP-to-1B on a bunt attempt last week, and he’s displayed a dependable glove, with an average arm and above-average range at second base. Patience and selectivity at the plate were issues in Double-A this year (5 BB/36 K), and that trend has persisted against the more advanced arms in the AFL, with a BB/K ratio of 1:6 through seven games.
A 20th-round pick from Harvard two summers ago, Anderson’s second pro season was spent almost exclusively out of the bullpen, where he posted a 3.58 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 5.1 K/9 across 88 innings between Low A and High A. The 6-foot-2 righthander has been roughed up early in Arizona, holding true to a 5.23 ERA with six whiffs and two walks in a team-high 10.1 frames thus far. Anderson featured an average fastball sitting 91-to-93 mph in my viewing, along with a 86-to-87 mph changeup that had below-average fade and drop in this small sample. The 23-year-old showed control of the running game, however, registering delivery times between 1.15-1.25 seconds consistently in this appearance.
Signed out of the Dominican in 2011, Ramos’ first fall league tour comes on the heels of arguably his best full season as a pro in which he slashed .288/.326/.406 with nine home runs and 28 doubles in 125 games in the Double-A Texas League. The corner infielder’s success has translated well power-wise in the desert, already owning three extra base hits (1 home run, 2 doubles) in four games on his way to a handsome slash line of .250/.294/.563 through 20 PAs. Ramos is a well-below-average runner and has posted questionable defensive numbers at the hot corner as a pro, prompting Kansas City to use this AFL season acclimating the 24-year-old infielder to first base in preparation for a potential start at the Triple-A level in 2017.
After a trio of productive seasons in the Cuban National Series, Ibanez embarked on his pro career by signing as a free agent with the Rangers in July of 2015. It didn’t take long for the second baseman to acclimate himself to pro pitching, slashing .324/.413/.546 with 7 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 49 games with Low A Hickory before earning a mid-season bump to Double-A. Though he’s got below-average raw power, Ibanez has displayed above-average contact skills and quality overall feel for the barrel, both of which are reflected by his .333 AVG and mere 11% strikeout rate through 27 at-bats this fall. He is an average runner at best, but has shown solid defensive actions and range at second base.
Ht/Wt: 5’10 / 160 B/T: R/R Age: 23 yrs, 7m
Making up for lost time after suffering a concussion in late April (while slashing .248/.353/.434 with 12 stolen bases in 41 games split between rookie ball, High A and Triple-A), English’s fall league debut has been forgettable offensively, yielding a .160/.300/.200 line with one double and a team-high 12 strikeouts through 29 PAs. His defensive chops are where he’s stood out in live looks, however, where he’s used his plus to double-plus speed (4.19 HP-to-1B) and quick first-step to rob several base hits over his head and into the gaps, showing that he’s a plus defender in center field.
One of the more productive hitting catchers at the High A level this season – he slashed .303/.342/.434 with nine home runs and 30 doubles in 109 games – Trevino’s second straight fall league campaign has not necessarily stood out on paper, posting a .637 OPS with one home run and a pair of doubles through seven games. The 23-year-old has proven his ability to hit for a high average in High A this year, though, and in the AFL he’s struck out just once in 32 PAs while showing power to the gaps. The arm has not been tested in my live looks year, but it is worth mentioning that he’s thrown out 48% of 98 total would-be base stealers in the California League in 2016, roughly 18-20% above the MLB average.