I was going to open this post with my favorite Future quote, but then I remembered that I don’t know what Future is saying ever. That’s okay, I just like humming along to the words anyway. Seriously, I think that’s Future’s appeal, you can hum to the words! Brave new world, ladies and gents! So why are we here? I know why I’m here, you should figure that out on your own. In the meantime read along, as I follow up my post from this past Wednesday updating y’all on the performances of the players taken in the first round of this year’s MLB draft. On Wednesday I’ll round out the series, with my later round draft sleepers. I’ll try and figure out what Future is saying between now and then. Today we’ll look at picks 17-34, and touch on a handful of players I like from the Competitive Balance Round. I mean I could have done the whole draft, but I don’t have time to write 2,000,000 words. I’m too busy watching minor league baseball, and trying to figure out what Future is saying.

 

Forrest Whitley, Greeneville (Astros) RHP: The righty giant was plucked from the Astros own backyard, when they selected him with the 17th overall pick. So far he’s been inconsistent in proball, struggling at times in the GCL and Appy league.

Blake Rutherford, Pulaski (Yankees) OF: Yes, Pulaski is by far the best town name in all of Minor League baseball. It’s the perfect bush league name to use when threatening to send someone to the middle of nowhere. “Keep messing with me and I’ll send you to Pulaski!” Any the who, Rutherford the second Cali prep hitter selected in this year’s draft, was not to long ago considered a better prospect than top overall choice Mickey Moniak. So far he’s struggled in the GCL, and raked in the Appy league. At Pulaski, Rutherford has slashed .382/.440/.618 with 2 homers in 100 plate appearances. One of the highest upside players from this year’s crop.

Justin Dunn, Brooklyn (Mets) RHP: Between Szapucki, Harol Gonzalez, and Dunn, the Cyclones rotation is one to behold. We’re 24 innings into Dunn’s pro career, and he’s been exactly what scouts envisioned; a righty with electric stuff, and inconsistent command. Though none of his warts have materialized in underwhelming production. Quite the opposite in fact, as his numbers have been impressive (1.50 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, and 3.4 Bb/9). Take that with a grain of salt as its short season A ball.

Gavin Lux, Arizona (Dodgers) SS: The first middle infidel in this year’s draft, is a solid but unexciting prospect. I much prefer Delvin Perez, but that’s not to say that Lux doesn’t possess potential as a fantasy player. He’s been solid in the rookie level Arizona league slashing .277/.365/.386, but has flashed little power or speed. Scouts seem to think he could grow into a 15 home run hitter, but scouts also thought Alex Gordon would make the hall of fame.

TJ Zeuch, Vancouver (Blue Jays) RHP: A 6’7 giant, that features a four pitch arsenal led by his 97 MPH fastball. Zeuch has looked solid, but unspectacular in his 26 pro innings. So far it doesn’t look like there’s a ton of K upside, as he sports a 8.3 K/9, but the control has been excellent, as he’s walking batters at minuscule 1.7 Bb/9 clip.

Delvin Perez, GCL (Cardinals) SS: A few weeks after the draft following Kyle Lewis’ injury, and before Senzel really broke out, I kicked around the idea of ranking Perez as the draft’s top fantasy prospect. You’ll be pleased to know, I’ve since changed my mind. Not because Perez has been bad, but because others have passed him. Enough about that. Perez is raw, and that’s obvious when watching him. He possesses plus speed and contact ability, but the power is far off and may never come. Maybe he needs to get another one of those “drinks” from his friend so he won’t “lose weight”.

Hudson Sanchez, Tri-City (Padres) SS: Many viewed Sanchez as the biggest reach of the first round, but so far he’s exceeded expectations, as he’s slashed .297/.342/.388 across rookie ball and lo-A.

Eric Lauer, Tri-City (Padres) LHP: A polished high floor lefty, has flashed some better than expected swing and miss stuff through his first 25 pro innings. With a K/9 of 11.5, the Kent State product looks like a future big leaguer albeit one with limited upside.

Zack Burdi, Charlotte (White Sox) RHP: Looks like it only took Zack a couple of months to lap his older brother Nick’s career. That’s not saying much though. The future bullpen ace is already in AAA, and has shown the ability to miss bats in bunches (13.1 K/9), something he was known for at Louisville. The numbers are pretty good across the board actually, particularly when you consider 27 of his career 33 innings have come in AA and AAA. I wouldn’t even be shocked if he threw a few innings for the Southsiders in September.

Cody Sedlock, Aberdeen (Orioles) RHP: Solid results so far in the New York-Penn League. Through 24 innings Sedlock has an ERA of 3.38, a 1.08 WHIP, and a K/9 of 9.4. He profiles as a groundball pitcher with swing and miss ability. Or in other words exactly what I look for in spec pitchers. Sedlock is the second converted pen arm from Illinois in as many years, as Tyler Jay did the same a year prior. We can only hope Sedlock looks as good this time next year as Jay has. Hopefully the O’s don’t botch this one too.

Carter Kieboom, GCL (Nationals) SS: Talked about Kieboom in last week’s Minor League Update.

Dane Dunning, Auburn (Nationals) RHP: Converted reliever from national powerhouse Florida, like seemingly all of these college arms, he’s pitched well in the lower levels of the minors. I’m bored, someone pitch poorly so I can rip them. The swing and miss stuff he flashed in the GCL has disappeared in the NYPL, not a shocking development. Dunning projects as a back of the rotation arm.

Cole Ragans, Arizona (Rangers) LHP: Okay, so I got my wish, a first round player getting worked in his first season. He’s a prep arm through, so I wouldn’t write him off yet. If he’s still getting lit up in the AZL two years from now, then we can write him off. So far the young lefty is getting punchouts (9.0), but is getting killed on the walks (7.2). This is a bad sign considering the scouting reports talk about Ragans pitchability and polish over pure stuff.

Anthony Kay, Mets LHP: When your comps start and end with “Poor man’s Mark Buehrle” I tend to get the burning sensation in my nether regions of blah….Why would a poor man want a Mark Buehrle anyway? Does he have soup? Kay’s yet to pitch this season due to elbow worries. Is he jumping up your draft boards yet?

Will Smith, Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) C: Wait there’s two of these guys? A better real life prospect than fantasy prospect, Smith’s bat has been solid, though unspectacular so far. He’s already reached hi-A Rancho for what it’s worth. Oh yeah nothing…. Wait? How many Will Smith’s are there in California now? That’s reason enough to stay on the East Coast.

Dylan Carlson, GCL (Cardinals) OF: Switch-hitting Cali prep prospect has flashed some pop and speed in the Gulf Coast League, but not enough to make him a high helium player.

Dakota Hudson, Palm Beach (Cardinals) RHP: One of my favorite picks of the first round, Hudson when it’s all said and done might be one of the top 5 arms to come out of this draft. A tall righty with a funky crouching windup, Hudson has pitched convincingly across two levels of the low minors. Another fast mover, he’s already reached hi-A Palm Beach of the Florida State League. So far he’s using his mid 90’s fastball and plus-plus slider/cutter to strikeout batters at a high rate. Dropping a real funky K/9 of 13.8, granted it’s only been 10 innings, and he’s had some serious control issues since touching the FSL.

Taylor Trammell, Billings (Reds) OF: One of the best fantasy prospects in the draft, Trammell is a raw athletic type with plus-plus speed and untapped power. One of the most exciting players of a top notch Reds draft class. At Billings of the rookie level Pioneer League, Trammell has looked great slashing .303/.376/.414 with 22 steals and a homer in 53 games. The speed is already a weapon, and he’s hit well for someone who was considered raw with the bat.

Jordan Sheffield, Great Lakes (Dodgers) RHP: Brother of recently acquired Yankees farmhand Justus, Jordan was a star at Vanderbilt. 6 starts into his pro career Sheffield has been okay, getting punchouts but struggling with walks.

Anfernee Grier, Hillsboro (Diamondbacks) OF: A potential power/speed prospect with an enticing upside. Good bat speed but a long swing has led to contact issues.

Joey Wentz, Danville (Braves) LHP: One of the biggest steals of the first 40 picks, Wentz is a high upside lefty who’s shown well for a prep arm in his first stint in proball. The swing and miss stuff is as good as advertised with a 11.1 K/9 through 39 innings.

 

Follow Me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbaseball and Subscribe to the Prospect Podcast with myself & Michael Halpern of imaginarybrickwall.com

 
  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Good morning SRalph. Solid write-up .

    Hey what are your thoughts on Florida OF Buddy Reed picked 48th by San Diego..I heard good things about him early on in college and then nothing..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: He’s been alright, I could mention him on Wednesday when I do sleepers from the draft. He’s not really a sleeper though. He’s had contact issues, but has shown the ability to get on base and run.

  2. Sparky says:
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    I got broads in Pulaski

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sparky: Twistin dope, lean, and the Gatsby.

  3. Luvdarooks says:
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    I like the high helium analogy

    What do you see delvin Perez stats morphing into his second and third year as a major leaguer in a 5×5

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Luvdarooks: Wow, that’s a long way out. Right now he looks like a potential top of the order contact/speed guy. He’d need to develop power to contribute in 5×5

  4. Luvdarooks says:
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    Who here in an NL only do you see with $30+ Eventual value in an NL only 5×5

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Luvdarooks: I’d probably look at the first article, with guys like Moniak, Senzel, Ian Anderson, Ray, etc. Perez could eventually be a star. I like Wentz too. If you’re looking for future superstars this is a rough draft for that and I’d expect if there’s any they come from the first half of the first round. There’s always a chance a few come from the later rounds too.

  5. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    What is a Stephen Cardullo? Where is Tom Murphy!?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Clogged Rosterman: Cardullo is a old prospect was a Diamondbacks late round pick in 2010, went the Indy ball route. Had a big year in AAA. Hits for some power, walks, and doesn’t strikeout much. Maybe worth a flier in a deeper league.

      Murphy (I hope) is a Sept 1st callup.

  6. Mike says:
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    Ralphie my boy!

    Between Corey seager and “the sanchize” Gary Sanchez, who has more appeal as a keeper? My thought was Corey, since I doubt Gary could duplicate the run he’s having now.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike: Yeah it’s 100% Seager not even a question. Sanchez is good, but he’s not Mike Piazza. Seager is borderline first round next year. Seager is a top 5-10 dynasty/keeper player.

      • Mike says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: that was my thought, just needed a second opinion. I’ve got a nice little core locked up next year with seager, manny, Harper and trout.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike: Yeah might be the best core possible.

  7. David says:
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    Good stuff Ralph! What’s your take on Dubon? When do you think he makes it to the bigs? Do you think he change positions; be traded? Thanks

    David

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: I’m not sure where he ends up, obviously the middle infield looks full for he immediate future. Seems like potential trade bait. I thought he was a no power/speed type with good approach and contact. Since being promoted to AA he’s hit for more power and ran less. He does seem to have offensive skills.

  8. The Hack says:
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    I thought I was going to see Bobby Dalbec. Why tease me Lifstain?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @The Hack: LOL! lifstain! Shut it down the Hack formerly known as Spoogebeard.

      Dalbec and Heath Quinn and Stephen Wrenn and Peter Alonso…..coming Wednesday

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: The sploogebeard crowd is the troll crowd and that is like Tehol, so what Im saying is stop being Tehol. Next thing I know you’ll be rolling in a Russell Wilson jersey

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @J-FOH: Do I get to be a rich kid too?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @J-FOH: As long as it’s not shitty Jedi Mind.

          • The Hack says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: I like some jedi…not all but some.

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @The Hack: I like a lot of the production and guest appearances. Otherwise it’s Cookie Monster rap.

              • The Hack says:
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                @Ralph Lifshitz: please define cookie monster rap?

                • Ralph Lifshitz

                  Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                  @The Hack: When you vocally resemble the Cookie Monster. Vinny Paz is a disgrace to the real Vinny Paz! They’re making a movie about that legend

                  • The Hack says:
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                    @Ralph Lifshitz: I just looked it up. I remember that guy now. Damn I always found it lame when rappers take the names of someone famous…looking at you rick ross

                    • Ralph Lifshitz

                      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                      @The Hack: I’ve seen him out in Providence back in my younger days.

                      Yeah AZ, 50 Cent, Capone, Norega, and about a million other ones.

  9. OJ Simpson says:
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    in a 12 team 5×5 OBP QS h2h league and we can keep 6.

    I have
    Bundy
    Benintendi
    Dahl
    Sano
    Odor
    Bregman
    Taillon
    Nola
    Franco
    VIllar

    assuming equal keep value who are your 6?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OJ Simpson: Villar, Dahl, Bregman, Benintendi, Odor, and Franco. I’m on the fence with Sano and Franco. Franco has been screwed by BABIP issues and doesn’t K a lot. I see a rebound next year.

  10. Steve says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Who are your favorite 3 minor leaguers who will likely join their teams when rosters expand this week? Hedges, Renfroe and Rodgers have all cooled off recently.

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve: Hmmm Halp and I are going to be on this week’s pod discussing exactly this.

  11. knucks says:
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    If Thursday come and goes and Moncada is not up, safe to drop him right? I added him last night in a 12 team redraft as a potential SAGNOF play, so not much invested in it.

    I guess the question is, if they don’t add him to the 40 man on Thursday, you think he could still come up during Labor Day weekend at some point?

Comments are closed.