Back in May, while previewing some draft prospects, I mentioned that Marcus Stroman was well suited to climb the ladder quickly. And then just three weeks ago in my Week 18 MiLB report, I reiterated that sentiment, this time suggesting that Stroman might even be in line for a September call-up. Well, a lot can change in just a few weeks, especially when, during those few weeks, you test positive for something called Methylhexaneamine. That’s what Stroman did. And in case you hadn’t deduced it already, Methylhexaneamine is banned substance in baseball. Hence: Stroman was slapped with a 50 game suspension. The Jays’ first-rounder won’t see a pro ball field ’til late next May, and that’s truly bad news for a guy who should’ve been competing for a spot on the big club in spring training. With big time heat to go with a plus slider, Stroman has immediate high-leverage reliever potential. He certainly could’ve entered 2013 with hype similar to that with which Addison Reed entered 2012. Not anymore.
For those who missed it on Wednesday, Nick and Rudy were nice enough to have me join them for this week’s Razzball Podcast. We talked prospects, counting down my top 15. Check it out, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Jurickson Profar | SS, Rangers – Texas has recalled Profar. Frisco had used him off the bench during his final few games in the minors, prepping him for the backup role he’ll be occupying in the bigs. Profar brings enormous potential, so stash him in keepers, but his immediate value will be limited. Still, it’s exciting to have another world-class prospect make his debut in 2012.
Darin Ruf | 1B, Phillies – Hasn’t slowed since I mentioned him here last week. He’s 26 years old, and he’s only in Double-A, but he hit 20 homers in the month of August, which is ridiculous.
Gerrit Cole | RHP, Pirates – The Pirates have promoted Cole to Triple-A Indianapolis where he’ll pitch in the International League playoffs. He’ll be in the mix for a starting gig with Pittsburgh next spring.
Noah Syndergaard | RHP, Blue Jays – This big, athletic 20-year-old has put together at nice full season at Low-A Lansing: 2.74 ERA and a 10.3 K/9. He’s been outstanding lately, by the way, striking out nine batters in five frames during his most recent outing.
Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds – He likely won’t see Cinci this year, but he’s on the Reds’ Arizona Fall League roster. What’s most interesting about this development is that Hamilton is listed on the roster as an outfielder. I imagine he’ll have solid range in center field. For the rest of the AFL rosters, Baseball America has the list here.
Dylan Bundy | RHP, Orioles – Bundy isn’t arriving this year either.
Wilmer Flores | 3B, Mets – Flores is simply on fire. His last ten: .459/.512/.892, 10 XBH (4 HR) in 40 PA.
Trevor May | RHP, Phillies – May is finally starting to show some of the promise that stirred up huge preseason hype. He’s struck out 18 and walked just 3 through 15 IP over his last two outings. I’m still a big fan of May’s — a well-placed heater at 98 is a beautiful thing.
Robbie Erlin | LHP, Padres – Erlin was shelved in May due to elbow tendinitis. He returned to Double-A San Antonio on the August 18th, but he REALLY returned on this past Tuesday, striking out 10 while allowing just one run through 5 IP.
Courtney Hawkins | OF, White Sox – The Sox picked Hawkins out of high school with the 13th overall pick in June’s draft and have been extremely aggressive with the 18-year-old. Chicago moved their top prospect up to High-A after he blasted four homers through 16 games at Low-A.
Trayce Thompson | OF, White Sox – I never thought I’d list consecutive White Sox in this weekly post, but nothing is impossible. After hitting 25 homers between High-A and Double-A, Thompson has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. For a closer look at him, click here.