With the constant influx of new talent, new names, new statistics, it can be easy to lose sight of a prospect who’s fallen from grace. A little more than a year ago, in their 2012 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America ranked Joe Benson as the #2 overall prospect in the Twins organization. Benson was coming off a 2011 in which he hit .285/.388/.495 with 16 homers at Double-A New Britain, finishing the year with a call-up to the big club and a spot on the 40-man. He was on the fantasy radar before injuries delayed his 2012 debut, but he hasn’t been relevant since then. Across four levels in 2012, the former 2nd round draft pick managed a line at .202/.288/.336. And after watching him hit .192/.256/.285 through 43 games at Triple-A Rochester this season, the Twins had seen enough and released Benson to make room for P.J. Walters. The Rangers claimed him have assigned him to Double-A. At 25 years old, there’s still a glimmer of hope for the toolsy outfielder, but that will fade quickly if the horrendous hitting continues.
Anthony Rendon | 3B, Nationals — Danny Espinosa has a bone fragment floating around in his wrist, which helps explain his awful production to some degree, but he’s not yet headed for the DL. Rendon wouldn’t be immediately available anyway, as he recovers from wisdom tooth removal. The 22-year-old is hitting .330/.473/.625 through 32 games at Double-A Harrisburg.
Michael Wacha | RHP, Cardinals — John Gast was pulled in the second inning Saturday due to shoulder tightness. The extent of the injury is unclear at this moment, but for the second weekend in a row, we’re sounding the Wacha alarm.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals — Word is Taveras will return to action today at Triple-A Memphis. The Cardinals have kept him off the field for the past two weeks due to an ankle injury. Life is sweeter when Oscar Taveras is on the field.
Marcus Stroman | RHP, Blue Jays — Stroman has returned to Double-A New Hampshire after serving a 50 game suspension for a positive PED test late last season. The 2012 first rounder features a huge fastball and a filthy slider, and has been pegged as a future closer, but the Blue Jays will give him a look as a starter this season.
Jonathan Singleton | 1B, Astros — Singleton is also returning to action after serving a 50 game suspension for violating the substance policy. His drugs were of the recreational variety, if that matters to you. The 21-year-old slugger will join Low-A Quad Cities on Monday, but he’ll spend the bulk of this year at Triple-A.
Carlos Correa | SS, Astros — Singleton will be joining Carlos Correa at Quad Cities. The 2012 #1 overall pick has been overshadowed by Byron Buxton (#2 overall), who’s playing in the same league. But Correa has been fantastic since the calendar rolled over to May, and he’s hitting .357 through his last ten.
Albert Almora | OF, Cubs — The Midwest League seems to be overflowing with high profile dudes, and Albert Almora joined the prospect party last week. The 6th overall pick last June has looked quite good early on in his full season debut, collecting 8 hits and two walks through 16 plate appearances. I’ll be at Kane County next weekend when Buxton comes to town. Can’t wait.
Gregory Polanco | OF, Pirates — Polanco has been on fire in Florida State League play. The 21-year-old has his line up to .319/.386/.515 with 6 HR and 19 SB through 43 games at Bradenton. He might not be far from a bump to the upper levels if this keeps up.
Rafael Montero | RHP, Mets — The Mets promoted Montero to Triple-A Las Vegas after the 22-year-old posted a 10.4 K/9 through 8 Double-A starts. His first outing in the PCL wasn’t quite so good in the whiff department, but he was effective in the start, nonetheless, allowing only 5 baserunners through 6.2 IP while striking out 5.
Miguel Sano | 3B/OF, Twins — Sano has caught George Springer in the MiLB home run race, bombing three times last week to put his season total at 13. Batting .352/.446/.691 with 28 XBH through 195 PA at High-A, Sano appears ready for upper levels baseball.
Stetson Allie | 1B, Pirates — Stetson Allie was once a top-100 prospect… as a pitcher. He’s a first baseman now, and like Sano and Springer (and Ryan Rua), Allie has 13 homers. While at 22 he’s a little old for the South Atlantic League, you have to love his level of production: .345/.427/.650 with 45 RBI. Expect the Pirates to accelerate his development with a promotion to High-A soon.
Martin Perez | RHP, Rangers — After surrendering four runs in his first start at Triple-A Round Rock, Perez was brilliant in his second outing. The 22-year-old shut down Reno, allowing only 3 hits and zero runs through 7 IP, walking none and whiffing 7 along the way. Perez is not far from a spot in the Rangers rotation if he continues to pitch at that level.
Tyler Skaggs | LHP, D’Backs — Skaggs’s most recent start was his best of the season. The lefty walked none, whiffed 10, and allowed 1 ER on 5 hits in 7.2 frames on Wednesday. He’s had a rough year to this point, but Skaggs has the stuff and polish to turn things around quickly.
Hunter Morris | 1B, Brewers — Morris is heating up at Triple-A Nashville, hitting .361/.415/.778 with 4 homers though his last 10 games. The 24-year-old has legit power and could find himself in Milwaukee before year’s end.