Will Smith - Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 spring training (Bill Mitchell)

Feature Image: Will Smith, C, Los Angeles Dodgers

The number in parentheses next to a player’s name is his ranking on our recent Midseason Top 125 Prospects. To be included in this piece, a player must meet MLB rookie eligibility guidelines and be on the active roster of a minor league team (eliminating injured players who will not be participating in the playoffs).

International League:
Durham Bulls (TAM) vs. Toledo Mud Hens (DET)

Top Hitting Prospect:
Daz Cameron (#84), CF, Toledo Mud Hens
Report | Spotlight | Video

Well-rounded center fielder who does a bit of everything. The #84 prospect on our recent Midseason Top 125 Prospect List has played his way to Triple-A as a 21-year-old. I was very impressed with his polish and instincts in a three-game look, and Cameron was one of the highest-graded players we had turned in from the Florida State League in the first half of the season. He could reach the big leagues next season.

Top Pitching Prospect:
Colin Poche, LHP, Durham Bulls

Poche has been among the most dominant pitchers in the minors this year. Pitching out of the bullpen, he has posted a 1.08 ERA while striking out over 40-percent of opposing hitters. Poche uses more guile than stuff to get results and his groundball and strand rates give some indication he won’t put up numbers like this at the big league level. His statistical track record has pushed him onto the brink of Tampa’s future pitching plans.

Other Top Prospects:
Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Durham Bulls
Report | Video

Named to the Futures Game this July, Lowe is a 1B-only without much defensive value, but he hits enough for an everyday ceiling on a corner. He has vaulted himself into the Rays’ future plans with a .330/.416/.568 combined slash line between three levels in 2018, having hit his way to Triple-A after starting the season with High A Charlotte in the Florida State League.

Keep an Eye On:

  • Nick Ciuffo, C, Durham Bulls (Video)
  • Joe McCarthy, OF, Durham Bulls
  • Willi Castro, SS, Toledo Mud Hens (Report | Video)
  • Spencer Turnbull, RHP, Toledo Mud Hens (Video)
  • Jacob Robson, OF, Toledo Mud Hens


Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (PHI) vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY)

Top Hitting Prospect:
Joey Meneses, 1B, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Meneses doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional prospect, but his 2018 performance has pushed him to the brink of the big leagues. He’s 26-years-old and qualified for Minor League Free Agency at the end of 2017, signing with the Phillies after having spent all of his career previously in Atlanta’s system. Meneses dominated International League pitching this year, slashing .311/.360/.510 with 23 homeruns en route to being named the league’s MVP and Rookie of the Year. The ceiling is probably a bench bat or platoon starter at best. If he has trouble carving out a full-time role in the big leagues, this type of profile is increasingly becoming a target for NPB and KBO clubs. 

Top Pitching Prospect:
Justus Sheffield (#35), LHP, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Report | Video

The Yankees had moved Sheffield to the ‘pen down the stretch in order to prepare him to help the big league club as a reliever. Given that, it’s a bit odd to see him in Scranton even after rosters expanded, but he could still come up after the International League playoffs. Sheffield’s fastball and slider will be above-average pitches–the question is whether he’s a starter or reliever long-term.

Keep an Eye On:

  • Chance Adams, RHP, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Video)
  • Michael King, RHP, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Report | Video)
  • Adonis Rosa, RHP, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Video)
  • Erik Swanson, RHP, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Video)
  • Mike Ford, 1B, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Video)
  • Drew Anderson, RHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Report | Video)
  • Tom Eshleman, RHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
  • Cole Irvin, LHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Video)
  • Ranger Suarez, LHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs


Pacific Coast League
Fresno Grizzlies (HOU) vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (SDP)

Top Hitting Prospect:
Kyle Tucker (#5), OF, Fresno Grizzlies

Our #5 prospect at the mid-season mark, the 21-year-old Tucker struggled in a 20-game cameo with the big league club. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise or long-term concern and Houston plans to call up its top position prospect again once Fresno finishes its playoff run. He’s hitting .332/.400/.590 in Triple-A and looks capable of being an above-average big leaguer with a bevy of above-average tools.

Top Pitching Prospect:
Cal Quantrill (#52), RHP, El Paso Chihuahuas
Report | Video

Quantrill made six starts with Triple-A El Paso before the playoffs after moving up from Double-A, where he spent the 2018 season prior to his promotion. The eighth overall pick in 2016’s First-Year Player Draft, he has shown polished control this year, walking just 43 in 148 total innings pitched. Quantrill’s ceiling isn’t looking as high as scouts thought as an amateur, but he has characteristics of a reliable #4 starter and has a chance to be a part of San Diego’s rotation of the future. 

Other Top Prospects:
Yordan Alvarez (#27), LF, Fresno Grizzlies

Houston made an incredibly prudent move in 2016, trading RHP Josh Fields for Alvarez early in his pro career. Born in Cuba and originally signed by the Dodgers, the 6-foot-5, lefty-swinging outfielder has blossomed into a top prospect for the Astros since the trade. The 21-year-old proved too advanced for the Texas League to begin this season, moving up to Triple-A after a dominant .325/.389/.615 showing with Corpus Christi. The ceiling is a corner bat who could hit in the middle-third of a big league lineup. 

Logan Allen (#89), LHP, El Paso Chihuahuas
Spotlight | Video

Allen was an 8th-round pick by the Red Sox out of a Florida high school in 2015, later being dealt to the Padres as a key piece of the trade that brought RHP Craig Kimbrel to Boston. Now 21-years-old, Allen has steadily climbed prospect lists and will enter this off-season as a consensus Top 125 player in the minors. He’s got #3/#4 starter upside: a durable left-handed frame that throws strikes with three above-average pitches. 

Rogelio Armenteros (#106), RHP, Fresno Grizzlies

A sleeper on our Midseason Top 125 Prospect ListArmenteros is a 24-year-old righty who has quietly had a big year for Triple-A Fresno. Across 21 starts, he has held opposing hitters to a .235 batting average while striking out well over a batter per inning en route to a solid 3.74 ERA. Signed from Cuba, he is Rule 5 eligible after this year and looks like a lock to be added to the 40-Man Roster during the off-season.

Keep an Eye On:

  • Myles Straw, OF, Fresno Grizzlies
  • J.D. Davis, 3B, Fresno Grizzlies
  • Riley Ferrell, RHP, Fresno Grizzlies
  • Walker Lockett, RHP, El Paso Chihuahuas


Oklahoma City Dodgers (LAD) vs. Memphis Redbirds (STL)

Top Hitting Prospect:
Will Smith (#99), C, Oklahoma City Dodgers

Smith made our Midseason Top 125 Prospect List because we felt he was big league ready, able to step in and handle the defensive rigors of the position while bringing some pop at the plate. He might never hit for much average, but given the lack of offense across the league at catcher, Smith’s potential to run into 15-20 home runs a year could make him a quality bat for the position.

Top Pitching Prospect:
Conner Greene, RHP, Memphis Redbirds

Greene’s blazing fastball has long made him a prospect, but inconsistent control and secondary pitches have been continual issues for the 23-year-old righty. He has shifted to the ‘pen in Triple-A and, despite plus stuff, Greene has struggled through the initial transition to a new role.

Other Top Prospects:
Andrew Knizer, C, Memphis Redbirds

Knizer is in the midst of a breakout season, showing improved defense at catcher while slashing .313/.368/.430 between Double-A and Triple-A. He enters the off-season knocking on the door of the big leagues (as well as top prospect lists). Knizer’s performance this year might have vaulted him ahead of Carson Kelly on the Cardinals’ depth chart. 

Keep an Eye On:

  • Randy Arozarena, OF, Memphis Redbirds (Video)
  • Justin Williams, OF, Memphis Redbirds (Video)
  • Chris Ellis, RHP, Memphis Redbirds (Video)
  • Jake Woodford, RHP, Memphis Redbirds
  • Max Shrock, 2B, Memphis Redbirds (Video)
  • Edwin Rios, 1B, Oklahoma City Dodgers
  • Josh Sborz, RHP, Oklahoma City Dodgers