If you came here looking for the next 25 players in the Top 100, I hope you won’t feel misled. I’m planning for that to be a monster Sunday post with all 100 write-ups in the same place.
There’s so many balls in play right now around the game that taking two weeks to snapshot-rank the top 100 leaves some stones unturned in the interim.
Dodgers OF Josue De Paula (17, DSL) and Cubs SS Pedro Ramirez (18, CPX) might sneak into the next set, or maybe I’d build a just-missed article around them, but I’d rather name them here than feel pressure to squeeze them in because the pick-up clock ticks quickly on big-time talents. Same goes for Red Sox OF Miguel Bleis (18, CPX). Might be late already in some of your leagues. Can’t let it get any later.
I have 37 names in my forever-growing, haven’t-featured-yet list, aka my writing/researching/following queue. It’s the place I store every player I come across that could or should be discussed here, so it’s always kinda crowded in there. That’s why the beat works, I think, when it’s really humming. I’m not just opening a blank screen when it’s Go time. I’m collecting and following and selecting pop-up names every waking hour of the day. (I hope that’s an exaggeration but can’t verify). How many men is too many to be thinking about on a daily basis? It’s not for me to say, but it is time to clear the top of the list.
Atlanta RHP Mike Soroka (25) threw four shutout innings in High-A Tuesday. I picked him up just now. Or 20 minutes ago, anyway, in a 12-team keeper H2H league that uses QS instead of W. Good time to take a look around in your leagues. Might be too late by Sunday.
Dodgers OF Josue De Paula (17, DSL) should be added where you can while you can as the Dodgers’ latest Dude. The 3D Dude Printer they’ve patented takes time to warm-up, and Dude Printers are notoriously buggy, but at 6’3” 185 lbs, De Paula looks like the Dude they put in all the 3D Dude Printer ads. And look, if he suddenly faceplants in the DSL or Complex League for whatever reason, you move on, but for now, it’s double arrows up. He’s slashing .337/.442/.488 with four home runs, 15 steals, 31 walks (14.9%) and 28 strikeouts (13.5%).
Royals SS Maikel Garcia (22, MLB) is leveling up, or at least trying to evolve his game. After hitting four home runs in 78 Double-A games, he had a cup of Toronto coffee before heading back to Triple-A, where he hit three home runs in just eight games. Long-seeded hopes that Garcia would eventually turn some of his contact-hitting skills toward power production could be coming to fruition. Happens in a hurry sometimes. Kansas City called him back up this week, and it’s not clear where he’ll play, but I can’t think of many good reasons to call him up and sit him.
Diamondbacks OF Jorge Barrosa (21, AA) has always flashed some noisy tools, but he’s putting it all together this season, especially over the last month, slashing .398/.500/.581 with three home runs, four stolen bases, 19 walks (16.7%) and 14 strikeouts (12.3%) in 24 games since July 13.
Cubs SS Yonathan Perlaza (23, AA) is making his own leap at the moment. It’s tough to build a cogent player-development case for keeping him in Double-A. Perhaps there’s a Triple-A roster crunch in Iowa. I’m not a big OPS guy, but you get up around the 1200 mark, my eyes boggle. Over his last 26 games, Perlaza is slugging .804 with a .430 OBP and 25 extra base hits (11 HR). He’s carried a 12.3 percent walk rate and 22.7 percent strikeout rate in 97 games at the level, slugging .518 with 20 HR and 8 SB on the season.
Cubs SS Pedro Ramirez (18, CPX) is a 5’9” 165 lb switch hitter who’s carrying over his 2021 success in the DSL. That’s no easy feat. Minor League sands are always shifting in terms of where you might see a prospect fall into the quick stuff, but the gulf between the Dominican Summer League and stateside baseball has swallowed up plenty of youngsters. Ramirez is cruising right through, slashing .319/.391/.541 with 16 walks (10.6%) and 24 strikeouts (15.9%) in 39 games. Should be on his way to Low-A sooner than later, unless, like with Perlaza, there’s a backlog in Chicago’s pipeline.
Red Sox OF Miguel Bleis (18, CPX) seems to be catching the most heat of this week’s names at the moment, but he’s also the one striking out most: 26.9 percent in 40 games. If we zoom in, we see something happening in August. He struck out twice the first game then just twice over his next eight games. Samples don’t get much smaller, but when a hyper-talented teenager cuts his K-rate by 20 points for a week, I’ll stay on that story. He’s slashing .500/.548/.964 with a home run and seven steals over that stretch. Fun stuff.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.