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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Wander Franco, SS/2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Franco had among the most impressive BP sessions of any prospect in attendance. The switch-hitter showed raw power from both sides of the plate—with some especially impressive drives hitting lefty—with explosive contact from effortless flicks of the wrist. He took some ground balls before the game at SS, and while Franco’s hands are fair at the position, most expect him to move to 2B long term. He went 1-for-2 in the game itself, going down looking his first plate appearance on a generous inside strike call and singling hitting right handed in the fourth inning. Franco’s offensive prowess relative to his age and pro level is reaching historic levels. He’s arguably baseball’s top minor leaguer right now, and seems the heir apparent to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays) as the next “generational” hitting prospect in the minors.
Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins
I wasn’t panicking about Lewis’ slow start to 2019 from my recent Florida State League look, citing his slew of amazing plus raw tools as reason to be patient. That natural ability was on display during his BP session, arguably the best of any player in attendance. Lewis destroyed balls to the pullside and straightaway with a loose stroke that doesn’t sell out for power. In his next to last round, he put one out to dead center on a low line, then opened up on a ball with towering loft—putting it nearly halfway up the left field section in Progressive Field. You just don’t see middle infielders with this type of physicality (6-foot-2 and 200 pounds) and raw power, at least ones with the athleticism to stick at a center-diamond spot like he does. Lewis has the tools to stick at shortstop, but there’s a chance his hands and footwork ultimately force him to CF. He’s the type of player that makes spectacular plays but can struggle with the routine, something that showed through with a botched ground ball to him. Despite his offensive scuffles so far in the Florida State League, we still consider Lewis one of the best prospects in baseball given his freakish natural ability and high-energy makeup.
Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Ht/Wt: 6’3” / 215 lbs. B/T: R/R Highest Level: AA Age (as of July 7, 2019): 20y, 3m
Adell showed the same batspeed and raw power we’ve come to expect from him in BP. What impressed me the most about his round was not just how far he drives the baseball, but the way he was able to use the other field with authority. He sprayed hard line drives to all parts of the park, showing impressive carry away from the pullside. Adell had a busier line in the Futures Game than most, staying in for the entirety of the contest and getting four plate appearances. He walked twice, got a hit, and scored a run, also making some nice plays in RF.
Nate Pearson, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Pearson’s arm-strength always has a way of stealing the show in all-star game situations. He touched 102-103 mph last fall in the AFL Rising Stars Game, similarly hovering around 100 mph in this look. The slider was equally nasty, getting consistent swinging strikes at 86-to-89 mph from the same tunnel as his fastball. Though these aspects weren’t on display in such a quick outing, what has been most impressive about Pearson’s season is the development of his pitchability. The changeup is much better, and as I wrote in my report after a live May viewing, he looks more like a potential starter than he did a year ago. Pearson isn’t a slam dunk starter for reasons of durability (XXL frame with effort) or polish, though outings like these leave little doubt he could fall back successfully into an impact relief role.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
Kelenic was one of the youngest players in the Futures Game, still 19 until shortly after this year’s contest. You couldn’t tell that from his BP, though, which ranked among the loudest in the American League’s hitting group. His left-handed swing packs a compact punch, driving the ball hard without getting long for power. Kelenic has performed extremely well for a cold-weather prep bat early in his pro career. He scores points for his makeup and intensity, two things that were visible on the field in Sunday’s game.
Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit Tigers
Manning had a bumpy Futures Game outing, unable to make it out of his inning of work. He didn’t have his best command and struggled to find a feel for his curveball, though nothing about this appearance diminishes his overall ceiling. His fastball worked in the 93-to-97 mph range with consistent run, though Manning scattered the pitch across the zone and fell behind in counts. His mid-80s changeup has historically been behind his curve, though Manning relied on the change more than usual. The pitch showed firm split-like action (though it doesn’t seem to be thrown with a true split grip), with short dive down to the armside at finish. Manning has an extra-large frame and is still very young, two factors that can take some time to iron out and can cause bouts of outing-to-outing inconsistency like this one.
Nolan Jones, 3B, Cleveland Indians
Jones’ physicality and power potential are among the largest drivers of his prospect value, and both were on display in BP. His 6-foot-4 and 185-pound frame stands out even on a field of baseball’s top minor leaguers, looking the part of a big league corner producer. The raw was there to match, showing at least 60-grade ability to drive straightaway and the pullside with towering fly ball loft. He brings plenty of power into games, and could even take another step forward in that regard if he makes changes to a grounder-heavy contact profile. Jones has been an on-base machine this year, looking like a future power and patience threat in the big leagues. I’d like to see him handle lefties better, though there are a few examples of left-handed hitters in Cleveland’s system making that adjustment even this season.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Rodriguez entered the game in extra innings, holding the NL team scoreless (starting with a runner on second base, per new MiLB extra inning rules) in the bottom of the eighth. His fastball worked 94-to-96 mph with spotty command, settling in to make the pitches he needed to. Rodriguez’ curveball came in at 74-to-76 mph with long 12-to-6 shape. It gets loopy when he doesn’t finish it, but has looked like a quality pitch with big downer action at best at other times this year. He has made strides with a changeup since turning pro, showing it at 79-to-81 mph with enthusing ability to set up his fastball with the pitch. Rodriguez also has a slider, though he didn’t use it in his inning in the Futures Game.
Justin Dunn, RHP, Seattle Mariners
Dunn was the main pitching prospect the Mets gave up in the deal that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. The other headliner in last winter’s deal—outfielder Jarred Kelenic—also participated in the Futures Game. Dunn worked a quick inning, staying around the zone with numerous speeds from a repeatable, athletic delivery. His 93-to-94 mph fastball had late sink and tail, placed well down to the armside to strike out Taylor Trammell (Reds) looking. He maintained deceptive armspeed on an upper-80s changeup, and while the pitch could live to lose a tick or two velocity-wise, it got consistent short dive. Dunn used his change to both lefties and righties, a pitch he has gained significantly more feel for since turning pro. His best off-speed has historically been a breaking ball, though he only threw one at 81 mph in this look.
Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees
Garcia started the game for the American League team, working a quick inning. He’s very short at just 5-foot-9, but a quick arm generates velo and creates above-average breaking ball spin. Garcia’s fastball was 93-to-96 mph this look, generally where he sits over the course of a regular outing (he’ll actually touch a bit higher at times, occasionally popping 97s and 98s). It’s a lively heater with late hop up in the zone, though he’ll need to really stay away from the middle-third given the lack of natural plane on the pitch. His best off-speed is a shapely upper-70s curve with sharp bite and consistent depth. Garcia has developed increased feel for a upper-80s cutter/slider hybrid this year, a pitch that generally looks like a slider but gets lateral when thrown at the top of its velo band. He didn’t show a changeup in the Futures Game, though its less developed than the rest of his arsenal in general.
DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
Hall’s walk rate in 2019 has been troubling, though I’m still more hopeful about his long term upside more than I am betting on his lack of control hindering him in the rotation. A one-inning look isn’t particularly representative of any pitcher’s ability to stick as a starter, though Hall was arguably as impressive stuff-wise of any pitcher in the game. The 20-year-old lefty worked in the 95-to-97 mph range on his fastball, flashing two secondary pitches that both flashed above-average. His 78-to-80 mph curveball showed sharp three-quarters tilt and good depth, getting lefties to swing over the top when he snapped off a good one. Most impressive was Hall’s 81-to-82 mph changeup, a pitch he has developed much more feel for in the last year. There was huge separation off the heater—all without sacrificing armspeed—with fading action that induced whiffs. Hall has the stuff to be an impactful lefty rotation piece, but he’ll need to cut his walk rate down by a sizable margin to reach that ceiling.
Brady Singer, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Singer’s fastball has sat more frequently in the low-90s as a pro, but in a short Futures Game stint, it was back to the 93-to-95 mph range he showed in college. It was enthusing he didn’t lose any movement when throwing harder, as is sometimes the case. His heater showed its usual above-average running action, corkscrewing back over the plate with late life. Singer spots his fastball low in the zone, commanding the armside well in his inning of work. His 83-to-85 mph slider had sharp, crisp bite and was used to combat both lefties and righties—even getting back leg swings from a left-handed batter. Singer wrinkled a handful of changeups at 85-to-86 mph to keep opposite-handed hitters honest, though in an actual start, his change is a much more prominent part of the arsenal. Overall, this was a classic Brady Singer outing: he got out of trouble with runners on, staying poised and setting up hitters with numerous speeds.
Sam Huff, C, Texas Rangers
Huff was Texas’ only representative in the Futures Game, but he made he presence felt. He wasn’t a starter, but tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a towering two-run homer. Huff showed what he has been doing all season on the grand stage, that being putting the ball out of the park. He’s a physical presence with plus raw pull power, though there are holes in his game that weren’t fully exposed in this setting. He strikes out at a concerning rate and rarely walks, likely a future low-average, fringy on-base producer that only has a chance to get into a big league lineup regularly behind the plate. Though his developments at catcher are encouraging—he has always thrown well, and what used to be below-average glovework is improving—Huff still likely isn’t going to be a better-than-average defender there. His power will get him to the big leagues, but he’ll need to hit more to carve out a substantial role. The Rangers did a great job identifying Huff, who was an unheralded seventh round pick out of high school in 2016.