Dynasty Baseball

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 7-15-21

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Welcome to the 7-15-21 edition of our 2021 MiLB Prospect Notes.

It was an exciting week with the MLB draft and the Futures Game. Because the draft is now part of the All-Star Break, more than a month later than it was in 2019, the Minor League season is also a bit later than normal this year.

The one event the MLB has moved up in their schedule is the Rookie Leagues. In the past, the Rookie Leagues did not begin until after the draft, running until the end of August.  However, in 2021, the Rookie league (Arizona and Florida Complex Leagues) began several weeks before the draft and will end on September 19th.

There is a deadline to sign draft picks of August 1st.  Most draft picks will likely have five-week to seven weeks to play in games in 2021.

In 2019, Andrew Vaughn played in 55 games including 29 in High A.  It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the changes to the dates make to how much 2021 draft picks play this year.

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 7-15-21

This week, I will look at young international position players that are playing in a full-season league for the first time.  Each level up the minor league ladder is a new challenge for a prospect.  However, for international position players moving up to a full season league appears to be a big challenge.

Top prospect Jasson Dominguez was just promoted to Low A earlier this week.  It is too early to comment on his performance with Tampa.

In full-season ball, there are a lot of older pitchers who have better command and can throw more off-speed pitches than a young international hitter has seen before.

The stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr.and Fernando Tatis Jr.are able to excel instantly, but for many prospects, they may struggle for the first time at the full-season level.  Some prospects that did not do well initially are able to adjust but others may never get over the hump.

I plan to relook at these prospects again towards the end of the year.

Studs

Format: Prospect ranking (if any) Name (Organization, Position, signing bonus, Country)

36 Francisco Alvarez (Mets 19 C $2.7M Venezuela)

Alvarez has been one of the most impressive prospects in 2021. After dominating 15 games in Low A St Lucie, Alvarez was quickly promoted to High A Brooklyn which has been a bit more challenging.  Alvarez has a .133 w RC+ in 36 games at Brooklyn.

Alvarez is an offensive first catcher but he is good enough defensively to stay at catcher at least early in his career.

62 Diego Cartaya (Dodgers 19 C $2.5M Venezuela)

Cartaya has shown advanced skills offensively and defensively after being the Dodgers big international signing in the 2018 class.  He split 2019 between the DSL and the AZL.

Cartaya was assigned to Low A Rancho Cucamonga on May 25th and already has nine homers and 29 RBIs in 29 games with a .402 OBP.

10 Marco Luciano (Giants 19 SS $2.6M Dominican Republic)

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Luciano appears to be a middle-of-the-order bat that could be in the majors by 2023.  He is likely to one day outgrow shortstop but that may not be for a few years.  Luciano had ten homers in 38 games in the AZL in 2019.

Luciano is leading all of Low A in homers while maintaining a respectable strikeout rate of 21.4 percent.

9 Noelvi Marte (Mariners 19 SS $1.55M Dominican Republic)

Marte was the top prospect that stayed in the DSL in 2019.  Marte has huge upside with the bat although his eventual defensive position is questionable.

At Modesto in 2021, Marte has been one of the better all-around offensive players in Low A West with a .215 ISO and a .383 OBP.  Marte is playing shortstop but has 17 errors in 52 games.

The Real Deal

89 Maikol Escotto (Pirates 19 SS $350k Dominican Republic)

Acquired in the Jamison Taillon trade, Escotto just turned 19 in June. He has a .984 OPS in the DSL in 2019.  Escotto has a much clearer path to staying at shortstop with the Pirates than the Yankees.

Despite being 18 at the beginning of the year, Escotto began the season with Low A Bradenton and has shown a well-rounded game with strong plate discipline.  He missed a couple of weeks in June with an injury and has not quite been as good since he returned.

Angel Martinez (Indians 19 2B/SS $500k Domincian Republic)

The son of MLB catcher Sandy Martinez, Angel was part of the 2018 class and has shown advanced, well-rounded skills.

Martinez has had one of the smoother transitions to full-season ball from the teenage international position players.  He has shared shortstop duties with Gabriel Rodriguez and played second base when Rodriguez in at short.  Martinez has 24 extra-base hits and a 130 wRC+, but he only has six stolen bases despite above-average speed.

103 Orelvis Martinez (Blue Jays 19 SS $3.5M Dominican Republic)

Martinez projects as a power hitter.  In 2019 he skipped the DSL and was among the leader in homers in the Gulf Coast League. There is some question if he sticks at shortstop as he grows.

in 2021 Martinez has 27 extra-base hits and a .384 wOBA for Low A Dunedin. While his strikeouts are up at 27.6%, it is not terrible given his age and the upgrade in competition.

69 Luis Matos (Giants 19 OF $725k Venezuela)

In 2019 Matos was outstanding in 55 games in the DSL and finished the year strongly in the AZL.

Matos has been solid in 2021 with a .338 wOBA and just a 14.2 percent strikeout rate. He is still growing and needs to get a bit stronger but Matos appears to have a floor of a fourth outfielder with a ceiling considerably higher.

122 Jhonkensy Noel (Indians 19 1B-3B $100k Dominican Republic)

Noel is likely a first baseman, but he has a lot of offensive potential as a power hitter.

Noel has been limited to 21 games due to a couple of injuries but has a 161 wRC+. A concern is that he has only walked twice in 76 plate appearances.

58 Andy Pages (Dodgers 20 OF $350k Cuba)

After hitting 19 homers in 63 games for Ogden in the Pioneer League in 2019, Pages was almost traded to the Angels as part of a trade-related to the Mookie Betts trade.  Fortunately for the Dodgers, the Angels got tired of waiting for the Betts trade to be finalized and the Pages trade fell through

Surprisingly in 2021, the normally conservative Dodgers has Pages skip low A and assigned him to High A Great Lake.  After a slow start, Pages had a 36 game stretch between May 20th and June 30th where he hit 16 homers firmly establishing himself as a top prospect.

Jairo Pomares (Giants 20 OF $975k Cuba)

Part of the Giants excellent 2018 international free agent class, Pomares hit .368 in the AZL in 2019. He is most likely a corner outfielder.

He missed the first six weeks of the 2021 season with back spasms but has mashed since he was activated. In 24 games for low A San Jose, Pomares has eight homers and a 1.062 OPS.

In-Season Improvement

Luisangel Acuna (Rangers 19 SS $400K Venezuela)

When you are a baseball prospect and your older brother is one of the best players in baseball, you get extra attention. Acuna was very good in the DSL in 2019.  Luisangel is much smaller than Ronald and his ceiling is lower.

Acuna batted .165 in May but has played much better since. Acuna has .436 wOBA since June 4th, Acuna has established himself as a legitimate prospect and potentially the Rangers shortstop of the future.

72 Brayan Rocchio (Indians 20 SS $125k Venezuela)

Rocchio has a reputation for being a leader on the fielder.  Despite being stuck in Venezuela due to covid19 and missing the 2020 alternate site and instructional, league, Rochio was assigned to High A Lake County in 2021skipping Low A.

Not surprisingly Rocchio got off to a slow start in 2021.  However, he has made significant improvements since the season began.  Since June 1st, Rocchio has a .384 OBP and .211 ISO.  Rocchio will be moving up prospect rankings.

Overmatched

Benyamin Bailey (White Sox 19 OF $35k Panama)

A physical specimen who was impressive in the DSL in 2019 with a .462 wOBA and a 21.4 percent walk rate.

Bailey was initially assigned to Low A Kannapolis in 2021.  It was apparent he was not physically or mentally ready (.039 ISO) and he was reassigned on June 1st.  Bailey is currently playing in the Arizona Complex League.

Antonio Cabello (Rangers 20 OF $1.35M Venezuela)

Cabello got off to a nice start to his pro career in 2018 for the GCL Yankees and there was a time he had a lot of prospect buzz.  However, he struggled in 2019 in the Appalachian League and the Yankees traded him to the Rangers as part of the Rougned Odor deal this April.

The Rangers assigned Cabello to Low A Down East.  Cabello has been lost with a 26 wRC+ in 42 games.

Sergio Campana (Pirates 19 OF $500k Dominican Republic)

Campana has great speed and has impressed enough in camp to earn an assignment to Low A Bradenton.  Campana was overmatched and on July 13th he was reassigned to Florida Complex League.

Jeremy De Le Rosa (Nationals 19 OF $300k Dominican Republic)

The National are very aggressive with their prospects.  In 2019, De La Rosa went straight to the GCL where has a 108 wRC+ in 26 games.

After opening 2021 in extended training, De La Rosa was promoted to Low A Fredericksburg on May 14th. He has mostly been overmatched with a .246 OBP and a .086 ISO.

Kevin Made (Cubs 18 SS #1.7M Dominican Republic)

Prior to Jasson Dominguez promotion to Low A this week, besides Robert Puason, the only other high-profile player from the 2019 international free agent class that has played in full-season ball was Kevin Made who has played 13 games for Myrtle Beach.

Made was not assigned to Low A until May 27th. Then a week later he was placed on the IL and was out for nearly a month. When Made has played, he only one extra-base hit and has a wRC+ of 29.

Keithron Moss (Tex 19 2B $800k Bahamas)

The Rangers signed the switch-hitting Moss in December 2017 as a shortstop.  He struggled in the Dominican Summer League(DSL)  in 2018, but he was good in the Arizona League (AZL) for rookies in 2019 with a .425  on-base percentage (OBP) despite not turning 18 until the end of the season. His best asset has been a high walk rate.



Moss has played second base in 2021 in Low A.  He is striking out 43.7 percent of the time and is hitting just .165.

Robert Puason (Athletics 18 SS $5.1M Dominican Republic)

The COVID 19 shutdown may have impacted younger players who had limited pro experience more than anyone. The only player from the 2019 international free agent class that has been in full-season ball for the entire season is Robert Puason.  Puason was the second ranked player in the class behind Jasson Dominguez.

Puason has been badly overmatched.  He has only five extra-base hits in 180 plate appearances and is striking out 46.7 percent of the time.

 

Solid Transition

Darryl Collins (Royals 19 OF $97.5K Netherlands)

There are not many baseball players from the Netherlands but Collins grew up playing baseball due to his grandfather who was a former player and now coach.

Collins showed an advanced hit tool in 2019 in the AZL with a .320 batting average and .401 OBP and has not missed a beat with low A Columbia.  Collins has a 16.2 strikeout percent rate and a 12.4 percentage walk rate.

Bryan Ramos (White Sox 19 2B $300k Cuba)

Ramos held his own as a 17-year-old in the AZL in 2019.

Currently stationed at Low A Kannapolis, Ramos has been good offensively with nine homers and nine stolen bases and a 121 wRC+.  Ramos was signed as a third basemen but has only played one game at third this year.  He has played some second base (19 games) but has mostly played DH (39 games).

Given how few prospects the White Sox have it is odd that they are not at least giving Ramos much of a chance to work on his defense in games.

Jose Rodriguez (White Sox 20 SS $50k Dominican Republic)

Since signing with the White Sox, Rodriguez has been very productive.  He shows good power despite not being very big. Rodriguez is 18 for 22 on the bases although part of that may be a product of the experimental rules leading which favor base runners.

Rodriguez has made 19 errors in 55 games at shortstop.  He may be more of a super-utility type. Rodriguez has emerged as one of the White Sox better-looking prospects.

Disappointing

Aaron Bracho (Indians 20 2B $1.5M Venezuela)

Bracho came into 2021 with the reputation of an advanced hitter with questionable defensive skills.  The Indians have so many middle infielders in the lower minors, that Bracho was assigned to High A Lake County.

Bracho has struggled offensively more than expected. He has a .193/.282/.605 slash line.

Gabriel Rodriguez (Indians 19 SS-3B $2.1M Venezuela)

Rodriguez received Indians’ largest signing bonus ever for an international free agent.  However, he has mostly been mediocre on the field with an unexceptional performance in the DSL in 2019.

Rodriguez is splitting shortstop in 2021 with Angel Martinez and playing third when Martinez is at shortstop.  Offensively Rodriguez has just one homer and one steal in 46 games with a .267 OBP.

Misael Urbina (Twins 19 OF $2.75M Venezuela)

Urbina has the reputation for having well-rounded skills. However, while he was solid in the DSL in 2019, he did not put up the type of numbers to be expected of a top prospect in the DSL

Urbina has struggled offensively at Low A Fort Myers. He has a .315 OBP with just a .101 ISO.

Some Skills and Some Question Marks

Brayan Buelvas (Athletics 19 OF $100k Colombia)

Buelvas played well in 2019 as one of the youngest players in the AZL.

In 2021 at Low A Stockton, Buelvas has shown good power with nine homers but has been unexceptional otherwise.  Buelvas is listed at 5’11” 155 pounds which may no longer be accurate.

Alex De Jesus (Dodgers 19 SS $500k Dominican Republic)

De Jesus played 44 games in the Arizona League as a 17-year-old in 2019 where he held his own. He is tall and wiry and projects to have big power as he fills out.

In 2021 De Jesus has played all year in Low A  Rancho Cucamonga. He has hit nine homers and is among the league leaders in RBIs. However, De Jesus is striking out 36.3 percent of the time. He likely profiles as a third baseman, although he primarily has played shortstop in 2021.  De Jesus has made 12 errors in 34 games at shortstop.

Heriberto Hernandez (Rays 21 LF $10k Domincian Republic)

A slightly older, under-the-radar signing by the Rangers in December 2017 as a catcher.  Hernandez has shown impressive batting skills but is not strong defensively.  He was traded to the Rays in December as part of the Nate Lowe trade.

The Rays have given up on Hernandez as a catcher.  He has primarily played leftfield which puts a lot of pressure on his bat.  Hernandez is walking at a 17.9 percent rate but only has four homers.

Yohendrick Pinango (Cubs 19 OF $400k Venezuela)

Pinango had a nice year in 2019 in DSL where he showed excellent contact skills.

In 2021 at Myrtle Beach, Pinango has been average with a 92 wRC+. He has shown a bit more power than he did in 2019 as he has matured.

Alexfri Planez (Indians 19 OF $400k Venezuela)

Planez was part of the Indians ‘ huge 2017 international free agent class. He had a nice season in 2018 in the DSL but missed most of 2019 with the broken hamate bone.  Planez has good size but will need to hit for power because he projects as a corner outfielder.

Planez has seven homers for Low A Lynchburg this year but the 3.4 percent walk rate stands out as an issue.

106 Johan Rojas (Phillies OF $10k Dominican Republic)

An under-the-radar signing that showed some nice skills in the DSL and AZL in 2018 and 2020.  Rojas has considerable buzz at the alternate training site in 2020 and is one of just a few prospects Phillies fans can get excited about in a poor farm system.

Rojas struggled initially at Low A Clearwater with a .541 OPS in May.  He has played better since and his under twenty percent strikeout ratio is good. He is a potential breakout in the second half of the season.

105 George Valera (Indians 20 OF 1.3M Domincian Republic)

Valera at one point was considered the type of skilled prospect that would move very quickly to the majors.  However, injuries have slowed his progress down.  Valera played six games in full-season A at the end of 2019.

Valera was assigned to High A Lake County and has played well enough when he has played, but he missed about a month with an oblique injury.  The most important thing for Valera is to get at-bats.

Question Marks

D’Shawn Knowles (Angels 20 OF $850K Bahamas)

After a very strong pro debut in 2018 in the AZL and Pioneer Leagues, it was a surprise that Knowles was not assigned to full-season ball for 2019.  He did repeat the Pioneer League in 2019 (.698 OPS) but was not nearly as good as he was in 2018 (.949 OPS).

Knowles was finally added to the Low A Inland Empire roster on May 25th.  Knowles has 16 stolen bases but overall has struggled with a 74 wRC+.

Victor Mesa Jr (Marlins 19 OF $1M Cuba)

Mesa Jr was a package deal with his more heralded older brother Victor Victor Mesa after the 2018 season.  While Victor Victor has been a disappointment,  Victor Mesa Jr had a solid season as a 17-year-old in the GCL in 2019.

Mesa Jr has spent 2021 in Low A Jupiter.  He has not been terrible but he has been stood out either.  I question whether Mesa Jr has enough tools to be more than a fourth outfielder.

Alexander Mojica (Pirates 18 3B $350K Dominican Republic)

Mojica was very good in the DSL in 2019 with an OPS of 1.048.  However, pitching in the DSL is suspect.  It is aggressive to go from the DSL to Low A even with no season in 2020.

Mojica is only hitting .190 but he is walking a lot (17.8 percent) and has a low BAPIP (.230).  Although Mojica plays third base now, he is likely a first baseman in the future so his bat will have to carry him.

Wilderd Patino (Diamondbacks 19 OF Venezuela)

Patino signed with the Diamondbacks for an undisclosed bonus after a reported 1.3 million dollar deal with the Rangers fell through possibly due to an elbow injury.  In 2018 and 2019, Patino impressed with his athleticism.

Patino was assigned to Low A Visalia but after a slow start, he has been on the IL with an unknown injury since May 19th.

Carlos Rodriguez (Brewers 20 OF 1.355M Venezuela)

The old Pioneer League was an extreme hitter league that made the jump to full-season ball bigger for position players. Rodriguez hit a mostly empty .331 with just a 105 wRC+ in 2019 and the Brewers assigned him to High A Wisconsin.

Rodriguez has good speed and covers a lot of ground in the outfielder.  However, he is small and has shown little power.  One change in 2021 is that Rodriguez is walking a lot more.  He has 13.3 percent walk rate this year.

Comings and Goings

Prospects Changing Levels

The Yankees were active, making a number of promotions including Jasson Dominguez. Dominguez made his full-season debut in Low A Tampa on July 13th. In addition, they promoted Anthony Volpe to High A.

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My number one pitching prospect, Edward Cabrera was promoted to AAA.

DateOrganizationProspectFromTo
7/7/21IndiansOwen MillerAAAMLB
7/8/21RaysVidal BrujanMLBAAA
7/8/21IndiansOwen MillerMLBAAA
7/9/21MarlinsNick NiedertAAAMLB
7/9/21RedsTony SantillanAAAMLB
7/9/21IndiansTriston McKenzieAAAMLB
7/9/21AstrosTaylor JonesAAAMLB
7/9/21MarlinsJordan HollowayMLBAAA
7/9/21CubsCory AbbottMLBAAA
7/9/21RaysVidal BrujanAAAMLB
7/10/21GiantsJoey BartAAAMLB
7/10/21DiamondbacksAndy YoungAAAMLB
7/11/21MarlinsMonte HarrisonAAAMLB
7/11/21MarinersCal RaleighAAAMLB
7/11/21TigersMatt ManningMLBAAA
7/11/21MarinersTaylor TrammellMLBAAA
7/12/21GiantsJoey BartMLBAAA
7/12/21GiantsPatrick BaileyRookieLow A
7/13/21YankeesJasson DominguezRookieLow A
7/13/21YankeesAnthony VolpeLow AHigh A
7/13/21YankeesRyder GreenRookieLow A
7/13/21IndiansDaniel EspinoLow AHigh A
7/13/21YankeesGlenn OttoAAAAA
7/13/21MetsBrett BatyHigh AAA
7/13/21IndiansEdward CabreraAAAAA

Prospects Coming Off the IL

Date OrganizationProspect Level
7/7/21RedsBryce BonninLow A
7/8/21RaysOsleivis BasabeLow A
7/9/21AngelsBrandon MarshAAA
7/10/21RangersJustin FoscueHigh A

Prospects Who Went On the IL

DateOrganizationProspectLevel
7/7/21RaysCole WilcoxLow A
7/7/21MarlinsJerar EncarnacionAA
7/9/21PhilliesKendall SimmonsLow A
7/12/21YankeesJos Smith High A
7/13/21Diamondbacks Bryce JarvisAA

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Mike Schneider

Michael grew up in the seventies and eighties watching This Week in Baseball and The Baseball Bunch. He played in his first fantasy baseball league in 1986. Michael lives in Frederick, MD where he developed a love for minor league baseball.

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  1. Pingback: 2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 9-23-21 - Fantasy Six Pack

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