Jorge Soler was off to a great start at High-A Daytona, batting .435/.519/.739 with 2 homers through his first six games. The was promising news for the Cubs, who inked him to a nine-year, $30 million contract last summer. The 21-year-old Cuban is not a cost-controlled prospect — there’s an opt-out clause that would make him eligible for arbitration after three years service time, but both sides would be thrilled if it came to that. In any case, there’s incentive for the Cubs to develop him quickly in order to make sure the bulk of those nine years are spent at the highest level. Chicago was smart to make such a long-term investment in Soler — it gives them a little developmental cushion — but they’re still trying to avoid unnecessary setbacks. Things were going well in that department up until Wednesday, when Soler decided to brandish a baseball bat as he sprinted toward the opponent’s dugout following a benches-clearing incident. The league suspended him five games, which isn’t a huge setback, but the Cubs are reportedly investigating the matter further and could tack on more time. I doubt it’ll come to that, but the ordeal still raises some major character concerns. Let’s hope this was an isolated incident and that the new regime in Chicago doesn’t enable such behavior as the old group did with headcases like Carlos Zambrano.
Tony Cingrani | LHP, Reds — Cingrani continued his dominant start with another great outing. His line on the year looks like this: zero runs, 3 hits, 21/2 K/BB in 12.1 IP. Grey advised you buy into this guy in his latest Buy or Sell. The timing of that post couldn’t have been better, as Cueto was pulled from last night’s game with apparent triceps pain. We’ll know more about his status today, but I’d try to grab Cingrani wherever you can.
Archie Bradley | RHP, D’Backs — Bradley is off to a tremendous start at High-A Visalia, allowing zero runs through 11.2 IP, while posting a 19/3 K/BB. The 20-year-old has legit front-end potential, and he’ll push through to Double-A in a hurry if this sort of production keeps up.
Kevin Gausman | RHP, Orioles — After a poor first outing at Double-A Bowie, Gausman put in a great effort in his second start, allowing only 2 hits and 1 run through 6 frames, whiffing 5 along the way. His K/BB on the season now sits at 12/0.
Byron Buxton | OF, Twins — 2012’s 2nd overall pick is making his full-season debut with Low-A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League. Buxton, at age 19, is adjusting quite well so far: .500/.565/.950 with 2 HR through 5 games.
Miguel Sano | OF/3B, Twins — Buxton’s teammate in the Twins organization, Miguel Sano, is also off to a hot start. Sano, who possesses the best raw power in the minors, has already blasted 2 homers at High-A Fort Myers. I’ll set the over/under on his 2013 total at 30, and I’ll wager my house on the over. It’s actually an apartment and the lease expires next month, but you get the idea.
Yasiel Puig | OF, Dodgers — After teasing fantasy owners with impressive production in big league camp late into spring training, Puig is officially on the mainstream prospect radar. He’s backing up the recent hype at Double-A Chattanooga, batting .417/.481/.708 through 7 games.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals — Taveras was late to start his regular season at Triple-A Memphis as he dealt with a personal matter, but he’s back on the field now and he’s hit safely in 6 of his first 12 AB’s. The 20-year-old outfielder was #1 in my latest prospect power rankings.
Joe Ross | RHP, Padres — Ross is an exciting young arm with front-end potential, but spotty command has held him back thus far. There has been no sign of those problems in the early going at Low-A Fort Wayne, though, as the 19-year-old is yet to surrender a run through 10 IP. He’s allowed only four baserunners while striking out 12 across two starts.
Jameson Taillon | RHP, Pirates — Gerrit Cole is getting the early season fantasy hype, and rightfully so given his proximity to the bigs, but Jameson Taillon has been the more productive Pittsburgh pitching prospect on the young season. The 21-year-old had 10 K’s in his last outing, putting him at 14 on the year in just 11 IP.
Mike Olt | 1B/3B, Rangers — Olt is struggling so far in his first taste of Triple-A baseball. The 24-year-old slugger brings plenty of fantasy potential to the table for this season, but this 3/35 slump is not the sort of start the Rangers were hoping for.