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We just released our updated Top 125 Prospects entering 2019. Click here to view our user-friendly table, sortable by team, age, position, grade, MLB ETA, and more.
Our new 2019 pro-side video, scouting report, and spotlight libraries are now live! Check out the links below–and you can always refer to our 2018 libraries for even more player info:
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Jose Devers, SS, Miami Marlins (Jupiter Hammerheads)
One of the prospects Miami acquired from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton deal, Devers got off to a torrid start at the plate this year—in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, no less—after adding noticeable muscle through the off-season. I only caught one game of the athletic infielder this year, as he was placed on the IL early in my full-series look at Jupiter.
Devers is a throwback shortstop, unlikely to bring much power to the plate but able to hit, run, field, and throw well enough to potentially fit as a regular at a valuable position. He was one of the youngest everyday players in the South Atlantic League last year, showing the makings of solid bat-to-ball skill but lacking much strength at contact. Devers’ physical gains have started to change that, as his compact swing can now spray hard liners all over the field. His best tools are still on defense, where the 19-year-old shows the first step and easy actions to stick at short. His arm was fringy from the deep hole last year, but added strength has changed that too. I didn’t see him challenged much defensively in this viewing, though the handful of routine throws he did make came out with noticeably crisper life across the dirt.
Victor Victor Mesa, OF, Miami Marlins (Jupiter Hammerheads)
Ht/Wt: 5’9” / 165 lbs. B/T: R / R Age (as of April 1, 2019): 22y, 8m
One of several recent highly-touted outfielders to come from Cuba, which team Mesa would sign with was one of last off-season’s biggest headlines. After a well-publicized workout at Marlins Park for all 30 organizations, he and younger brother Victor Mesa Jr.both inked seven-figure deals with Miami. Victor Victor was talked about as a quick-to-the-bigs type of prospect at the time, though a trying first two months in A-Ball have showed holes in his game that could make it a longer development track than initially anticipated. Mesa’s batting average has hovered around .200 with little power in the Florida State League, with iffy in-person showings for numerous scouts that suggest the eyeball test has agreed with those numbers so far.
Mesa’s long-limbed and athletic frame makes him appear taller than his listed height of 5-foot-9. There’s little question about his speed or defense, as he played a solid CF in my viewings and showed glimpses of an above-average arm. The ability to play up-the-middle and contribute across numerous facets of the game raises Mesa’s floor, though he’ll need to show more life at the plate to hit his way into a contending lineup on an every day basis. He swung through secondary stuff consistently, also struggling to get his front foot down on time and turn around velocity. There wasn’t much hard contact across a multi-game viewing, though flashes of average raw power in BP suggest there’s at least the potential to drive the ball.
Mesa hasn’t played competitive games in over a year, so some of how he has started 2019 should be chalked up to shaking off understandable rust. So long as he can produce offensively close to positional norms, the ceiling is still an everyday CF with solid defensive and baserunning contributions. That said, the longer he struggles at the plate, the more reason there will be to consider scenarios in which Mesa winds up more of a glove-first role player or well-rounded reserve.
Matt Vierling, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater Threshers)
Ht/Wt: 6’3” / 205 lbs. B/T: R / R Age (as of April 1, 2019): 22y, 6m
Vierling was Philadelphia’s fifth-rounder in 2018, a three-year starter at Notre Dame who has enjoyed lots of success early in his pro career. He spent most of his first summer in the minors with Class A Lakewood—a fairly direct assignment for a player that was just drafted—playing a large role in the BlueClaws’ push to the South Atlantic League championship by slashing .293/.342/.473 down the stretch. Vierling got off to a torrid start to 2019 in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League but has cooled of late, slumping through May and the early parts of June.
A large, full-bodied frame at 6-foot-3, Vierling is surprisingly mobile for his size. He runs close to average up the line and slides in at CF when needed, though he only profiles on an outfield corner at higher levels. At the plate, his hands work in a tight, punchy loop that keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. Vierling makes hard contact to both fields, and while a level path doesn’t seem geared for much power, he’s putting more balls in the air this season than ever before.
This type of prospect—a R/R corner player from the college ranks without towering raw power—rarely sees the top of prospect lists. That said, there’s track record for that profile consistently popping up in the big leagues, usually as offense-first bench bats or stopgap regulars on the weak side of a platoon. Vierling isn’t hugely deficient defensively or on the bases, which helps him be a bit less one-dimensional if he winds up filling a low-impact role such as that.
FEATURED SCOUTING REPORTS
Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater Threshers)
#3 overall pick in last year’s draft has improved pure hitting ability and trimmed up XL frame since signing; emerging as a top offensive prospect in 2019, a potential impact middle-of-the-lineup bat.
Vidal Brujan, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays (Charlotte Stone Crabs)
Elite switch-hitting contact skill and plus speed/defense give high ceiling despite limited power potential; high-floor prospect who projects as a top-of-the-lineup catalyst.
Ronaldo Hernandez, C, Tampa Bay Rays (Charlotte Stone Crabs)
Size, power, and plus throwing arm are the carry tools; ceiling of 20+ HR producer at valuable defensive position.
Braxton Garrett, LHP, Miami Marlins (Jupiter Hammerheads)
Has bounced back well from TJ surgery and looks like the same pitcher; overall polish and chance for 60-grade CB separate him and give mid-rotation upside.
Trevor Rogers, LHP, Miami Marlins (Jupiter Hammerheads)
Will be on a longer development track but has shown encouraging progress across the board; size and raw ingredients of a durable #4 lefty SP, still requires some dreaming.
Nick Maton, SS/INF, Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater Threshers)
Always had strong contact ability and barrel-feel, now showing potential for above-average hit tool as he gets stronger; ceiling of low-end regular or quality role player with defensive versatility.
Jordan Holloway, RHP, Miami Marlins (Jupiter Hammerheads)
Physical frame with high-90s fastball and flashes of sharp CB; lack of third pitch or control likely moves him to the ‘pen, but could be impactful high-leverage piece there.
OTHERS OF NOTE
|Stephen Woods Jr.||TAM||Charlotte||RHP||Video||Report|