2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-5-21

by Mike Schneider
2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-5-21

Welcome to the 8-5-21 edition of our 2021 MiLB Prospect Notes.

This was an eventful week with the trade deadline, an incredible number of promotions, and a high draft pick who surprisingly ended up not signing.

This week we will cover these topics and look at several prospects that have recently come on the radar and additional quick hits.

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-5-21

Trade Deadline Opinions

  • The Cubs were 38-27 after June 13th and it did not appear that they would be holding a fire sale a little over a month later. However, the slump that made the Cubs sellers may be the best thing for the organization in the long run. Pete Crow-Armstrong, Nick Madrigal, Alexander Vizcaino, Codi Heuer, Alexander Canario, and Kevin Alcantara are nice additions to an already improving farm system.
  • Many expected the Twins to compete in 2021. Despite having a disappointing year they had a couple of attractive pieces to trade.  The Twins did well in the Nelson Cruz and Jose Berrios trades. Their farm system was good already and by adding Joe Ryan, Austin Martin, Simeon Woods- Richardson, and Drew Strotman, the Twins have the potential to be successful soon.
  • In the last few years, no organization has been more successful at player development than the Yankees,  They traded a lot of their depth to acquire Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo, and Clay Holmes. However, they were able to keep most of the prospects with high upside such as Jasson Dominquez, Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Clarke Schmidt, and Estevan Florial.
  • The Kendall Graveman trade is Jerry Dipito valuing Abraham Toro more than conventional expectations. If Dipito is correct the Mariners added a key piece to their team who will still be in his prime when their top prospects are ready and the Mariners expect to compete for titles. They traded away a reliever who was a key part of their surprising success in 2021.
  • The National did not get enough for Max Sherzer AND Trea Turner.  It somehow seemed like Turner was a throw-in.  The Dodgers have so many young prospects that popped this year, I thought the Nats should have been able to obtain better third and fourth pieces in the trade.
  • The Phillies will regret trading away Spencer Howard especially when you consider that the Phillies' chances of making the playoffs are not great.

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  • Daniel Hudson, who was a big part of the National World Series run in 2019, fit the White Sox needs more than Craig Kimbrel and cost significantly less.
  • The Braves added a couple of useful players in Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall at little cost.
  • The inability of the Rockies to get trade Trevor Story is mindboggling.  It is difficult to believe they could not have gotten as least as much as the Cubs received for Javier Baer.  Pete Crow-Armstrong has significantly more value than the Rockies will receive as a compensation draft pick for Story.

Kumar Rocker and the Mets

The deadline to sign draft picks came and went without the Mets signing their first-round draft pick, right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker reportedly as a result of finding information of his physical that the Mets did not like about his arm.

I am not a doctor and I do not have access to Kumar Rocker's physical. I do know, however, that both the Mets and Kumar Rocker lose out by not being able to work things out.

Rocker has two more years of eligibility at Vanderbilt should he decide to return, but when he reenters the draft, there is going to be a red flag about his arm.

The Mets do receive an additional first-round pick in 2022 but their 2021 draft was based on signing Rocker to an overslot deal and when that fell through they did not have a late-round backup that they could spend the extra money on.

Between Rocker not signing and the Mets trading away recent high draft picks like Jarred Kelenic, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Pete Crow-Armstrong, the Mets are losing a lot of young talent.  Eventually, that is going to impact them.

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Three New Prospects To Know

Matthew Fraizer (Pirates OF)

Until 2021, Matthew Fraizer's success was largely limited to 19 games at the University of Arizona in 2019. Fraizer was not a standout in his freshman and sophomore years in college.  However, he was batting .412 at the beginning of his junior year when he broke his hamate bone and missed the rest of the college season.  For his college career, Fraizer hit three home runs and stole eight bases.

The Pirates saw enough to select Fraizer in the third round.  It is not unusual for a hitter to struggle after returning from a broken hamate.  Fraizer did return in 2019 as a pro in the New York Penn League but only had a .553 OPS with no homers.

Fraizer made some adjustments to his swing at the instructional league.  In 2021 he has finally been able to show his talent on the field.  Frazier was assigned to High A Greensboro. After a respectable, May, Fraizer really hit his stride in a series in early June against Winston Salem and has not stopped. He had a 16 game hit streak beginning on May 31st.

Frazier hit nine homers in June and another nine in July.  For the season Fraizer is batting .314 with a .401 on-base percentage and a .979 OPS with 20 home runs and 14 steals. Defensively he had split time between center and left field.

Fraizer was promoted to AA Altoona on August 5th.

Euribel Angeles (Padres  INF)

Angeles signed with the Padres out on the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2018, for $300,000. He was one of only a handful of 18-year-olds in full-season ball at the beginning of the minor league season.

Angeles is a very advanced hitter. From May 22nd until July 15th he hit in 41 of 43 games batting .409 with 74 hits and a .448 wOBA.

On the season Angeles is hitting .349 with 26 extra-base hits and 15 steals in 18 attempts.  Angeles has played second, third, and shortstop but is likely a second baseman long term.

Angeles does not have the incredible athletic skills that you can dream on.  However, it is a plus hit tool. Angeles has a chance to be a solid regular.

Elly De La Cruz (Red 3B)

De La Cruz is a freak athlete with a huge upside.  A low profile signing as part of the Reds 2018 international free agent class, De La Cruz was virtually unknown until a few weeks ago.

De La Cruz played in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) in 2019 and hit .285 with one homer, a .351 on-base percentage, and a .733 OPS.

In 2021, De La Cruz played 11 games in the Arizona Complex League (ACL) where he hit .400 with 3 home runs and quickly earned a promotion to Low A Daytona.

In 16 games in the Low A Southeast League, De La Cruz has nine extra-base hits.  Most of the Southeast League has access to Statcast data and De La Cruz has put up impressive exit velocity and sprint speed numbers.

De La Cruz measures in at 6'2" 150 lbs. He is still growing into his body as a 19-year-old.

Quick Hits

Adell and Garcia Not Prospects

The Angels Jo Adell and the Nationals Luis Garcia received the call-up to the majors this week. Both were in this strange place where they had used up their rookie eligibility as a result of a change MLB made to the rules because of the shortened 2020 season. As a result, they did not appear on prospect lists.

However, they were essentially still prospects.  In fact, once Wander Franco was called up, Garcia became the youngest player in AAA.  I believe both benefited from an extended stay in the minors and are now ready to succeed in the majors.

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Quinn Priester

The Pirates' first-round pick in 2019 out of high school in Illinois, Priester has steadily improved over the course of the season.  He looks like he is ready to take a leap from solid arm to a pitcher who has a good chance to be a mid-rotation starter.

In July, Priester has allowed only ten hits in twenty-four innings.  His curveball has the potential to be elite.

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Lack of Progress for Kirby and Hancock

The Mariner's 2019 first-round draft pick George Kirby and their 2020 first-round pick Emerson Hancock are at High A Everett. Kirby has pitched 38.2 innings and Hancock 31 innings on the year.  Kirby last pitched on July 10th and Hancock recently returned after missing a month.

The team ruled Hancock out with a shoulder injury. There has been no word on Kirby and he remains active.

These pitchers were considered advanced prospects coming out of college. They should not need much time in the minor leagues.  Ideally, they eventually get experience in the upper minors. They also need to build up innings following the cancellation of the 2020 season. With that under their belt, that they are ready to join the Mariner's starting rotation in 2022.

This has been a significant setback for both Kirby and Hancock.

Yusiniel Diaz

I wrote about Yusiniel Diaz' career earlier this year, arguing how it is stuck in neutral.

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 6-10-21

Two months later, things are not improving for Diaz.  At the time, he was out with an injury.  He returned on June 15th and after several rehab games, he went to AAA where in 16 games he hit .153 with three extra-base hits.  Diaz missed the next few weeks with turf toe.  He started rehabbing in AA again this week.

The Orioles have drafted a number of outfielders recently and Diaz's time to get a chance is running out.

Jake Gatewood

The Angels signed Gatewood as a minor league free agent this year.  He has always had a lot of power with contact issues.

Here's what fascinates me. Gatewood hit 21 home runs in 76 games for the AAA team in Salt Lake City. However, his wRC+ is just 89.  I believe that part of this is related to ballpark factors.  Salt Lake City is a very favorable hitter's park.

Comings and Goings

Prospects Changing Levels

With several teams going to full rebuild mode at the trade deadline plus a large number of promotions within the minor leagues it was a very active week.

Perhaps the two most exciting promotions involved the minor league leaders in home runs among teenagers.  Both Orelvis Martinez and Marco Luciano received promotions from Low A to High A.

7/27/21PiratesRudolfo CastroAAAMLB
7/29/21NationalsLuis GarciaAAAMLB
7/29/21GiantsRyan MurphyLow AHigh A
7/29/21RaysJacob LopezHigh AAA
7/30/21NationalsGabe KlobositsAAAMLB
7/30/21MarlinsBryan De La CruzAAAMLB
7/30/21Red SoxJonathan AraúzAAAMLB
7/30/21RedsTony SantillanMLBAAA
7/30/21BrewersKeston Hiura MLBAAA
7/30/21IndiansBryan LavastidaHigh AAA
7/30/21IndiansRichard PalaciosAAAAA
7/30/21RangersTrevor HauverLow AHigh A
7/30/21IndiansBrayan RocchioHigh AAA
7/31/21DodgersHyun-il ChoiLow AHigh A
7/31/21RoyalsEdward OlivaresAAAMLB
7/31/21AstrosJake MeyersAAAMLB
7/31/21PiratesHoy Jun ParkAAAMLB
7/31/21GiantsSam LongMLBAAA
7/31/21AstrosBryan AbreuMLBAAA
7/31/21PiratesJared OlivaMLBAAA
7/31/21TwinsGilberto CelestinoMLBAAA
7/31/21DodgersBrusdar GraterolMLBAAA
7/31/21MarlinsJordan HollowayMLBAAA
7/31/21DiamondbacksMatt Tabor AAAAA
7/31/21RangersCole UvilaAAAAA
7/31/21DodgersRyan PepiotAAAAA
7/31/21AstrosHunter BrownAAAAA
7/31/21DodgersAndre JacksonAAAAA
7/31/21DodgersLandon KnackHigh AAA
7/31/21PhilliesJhailyn OrtizHigh AAA
7/31/21OriolesDrew RomHigh AAA
8/1/21AthleticsDaulton JefferiesAAAMLB
8/1/21AngelsReid DetmersAAAMLB
8/1/21DodgersZach McKinstryMLBAAA
8/1/21AngelsLuis RengifoMLBAAA
8/1/21MarlinsLewin DiazMLBAAA
8/2/21MarlinsJesus LuzardoAAAMLB
8/2/21AngelsJo AdellAAAMLB
8/2/21AngelsChris RodriguezAAAMLB
8/2/21Blue JaysOrelvis MartinezLow AHigh A
8/3/21YankeesLuis GilAAAMLB
8/3/21DodgersEddys LeonardLow AHigh A
8/3/21YankeesAustin WellsLow AHigh A
8/3/21RockiesMichael TogliaHigh AAA
8/4/21YankeesLuis GilMLBAAA

Prospects Who Went On The IL

Tyler Freeman is out for the year.

Mick Abel and Jackson Rutledge found themselves on the IL.

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

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Baseball Betting – Thursday, August 5, 2021 – Sports Betting Rundown August 5, 2021 - 6:26 pm

[…] covers some MLB topics and looks at several prospects that have recently come on the radar and additional quick […]


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