5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 6-15-24

by Mike Schneider
Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers

Welcome to the 6-15-24 edition of 5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers of my prospect rankings.

It is interesting to see how major league organizations have little niches in finding and developing talent. Sometimes, these niches help at the major league level. Sometimes, it is just interesting at the lower levels of the minors.

The Guardians have been great with pitchers for years.  I profile a Guardian pitching prospect below.

Recently the Yankees have had success with drafting college pitchers in the middle rounds.

The Rangers seem to find late-round or undrafted pitchers who have been good at the lower levels.

The Phillies have signed some prospects from unusual places.  They signed Curtis Mead from Australia. A few years ago, they had a pitcher named Kyle Glogoski from New Zealand, who I liked before injuries impacted his development. Below I profile another Phillies pitcher from a country not normally associated with baseball.

Don't forget to check out our Dynasty Baseball Rankings, where Chad Simpson, Cristian Crespo and I rank 500+ players.

5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 6-15-24

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Roman Anthony, Boston Red Sox, CF, Age 20, Ranking 10

No public high school in the country has produced more baseball talent in recent years than Stoneman Douglas. Alumni include Anthony RizzoJesús Luzardo and Coby Mayo.

Coming out of high school, Roman Anthony was highly regarded but clearly in a tier below the high school outfield trio of Druw Jones, Elijah Green, and  Justin Crawford in the class of 2022. Anthony has committed to Ole Miss but was selected by the Red Sox with the 79th overall pick.  The Red Sox obtained the draft pick as compensation for the Eduardo Rodriguez signing with the Tigers. Although Anthony was the third Red Sox pick, he received the largest bonus of any Red Sox draft pick in 2022.  Anthony signed for a 2.5 million dollar bonus.

After signing with the Red Sox, Anthony began his pro career by hitting .429 in the Florida Complex League in 10 games. He finished the year playing 10 games at Single-A Salem.

Last year Anthony returned to Salem to begin the year.  In 42 games, Anthony walked at an 18.8% rate but only hit one homer with 11 extra-base hits.  Anthony was promoted to High A Greenville on June 13th, where he excelled. In 54 games, Anthony hit 29 extra-base hits, including 12 homers.  He had a 164 wRC+. Despite being only 19 years old, Anthony was promoted to AA Portland for the last 10 games, where he had a .477 on-base percentage.

Back at Portland this year, Anthony started slowly with a 33.3% strikeout rate and a 13.1% walk rate in April.  Since then Anthony has an 19.7% strikeout rate with a 15.6% walk rate. Despite being one of the youngest players in AA, Anthony has 22 extra-base hits, including five homers.

The 6'2" lefthanded hitter was projected to be a rightfielder when Anthony was drafted.  However, as a pro, Anthony has primarily been a centerfielder.  He has the skills to stick at center at least early in his career but with Ceddanne Rafaela in the mix, the Red Sox could have the makings of a strong defensive outfield with Rafaela in center and Anthony in right.

Anthony has proven to be more advanced than the high school outfielders who were selected well before him in the draft. The way he has adjusted to AA pitching this year has been particularly impressive. Anthony has both a high floor and a high ceiling, especially if the power continues to develop.

Xavier Isaac, Tampa Bay Rays, 1B, Age 20, Ranking 155

Based on their successful track record of drafting and developing prospects, the Rays are one of those organizations whose judgment is not questioned.  In 2022 the Rays selected Xavier Isaac out of high school in North Carolina in the first round with the 29th overall pick. Isaac has limited defensive value and was projected to go in the third or fourth round.  The Rays signed Isaac at slot for 2.55 million.

Last year, Isaac spent most of the year at Single-A Charleston, where he had a .266/.380/.462 line with 13 homers in 90 games as a 19-year-old. From May 2nd until he got promoted to High A on August 22nd, Isaac has a 150 wRC+ with a 21.6% strikeout rate and 13.6% walk rate. Before returning to Charleston for the playoffs, Isaac got in 12 games at High A Bowling Green, where he hit six more homers and had a 258 wRC+.

Like in 2023, Isaac had a slow April, when he hit .221 with a 32.1% percent strikeout rate. However, Since May 1st, Isaac has had a 201 wRC+ with 22 extra-base hits, including nine homers in 36 games.  During this stretch, Isaac has a 25.3% strikeout rate versus a 12.7% walk rate.

The lefthanded Isaac is listed at 6'4" and 240 pounds. He is not going to be a big base stealer but he has shown some athleticism by starting his career with 24 steals in 24 attempts before being caught twice this past week.

Isaac should be fine defensively at first base. However, it is his bat that has a chance to be special. He projects to have both a plus-hit tool and elite power.  Isaac is likely to get promoted to AA Montgomery later this summer. and if he continues to hit could be in the majors in the second half of 2025.

Samuel Aldegheri, Philadelphia Phillies, LHP, Age 22, Ranking 304

There have been plenty of Italian American players, including hall-of-famers such as Joe DiMaggioPhil Rizzuto, and Mike Piazza. However, there have not been many major league players who were born in Italy.  In fact, in the last 60 years, the only player from Italy was Alex Liddi, who played in 61 games for the Mariners between 2011 and 2013.

Samuel Aldegheri was born near Verona, Italy.  One of the few baseball fields in his town was near his house. Both Samuel and his older brother became pitchers.

https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/5339511/2024/03/15/sam-aldegheri-italian-pitcher-phillies-mlb/

The Phillies signed Aldegheri as an international free agent in 2019, a few months before his 18th birthday, for a $210,000 signing bonus. With no minor league season in 2020, Aldegheri did not make his pro debut until 2021. After three appearances in the Florida Complex League, Aldegheri was promoted to Single-A, Clearwater, on July 17th.

In his first four games for Clearwater, Aldegheri threw 10 shutout innings allowing five hits and five walks while striking out 16. Aldegheri made only one more appearance in 2021 before ending the season on the injured list.

Aldegheri missed most of 2022 with an arm injury. He pitched 12.1 innings in the Florida Compalex League. Last year Aldegheri was healthy and back in Single-A Clearwater for most of the year. In 67.2 innings at Clearwater, Aldegheri struck out 27.8% of batters while holding hitters to a .234 batting average against.  Aldegheri was promoted to High A Jersey Shore for his last four starts of the year.

This year at Jersey Shore, Aldegheri has struck out 35.1% of batters with a .150 batting average against.  In his last four games, Aldegheri has a strikeout minus walk rate of 35.6%.

Aldegheri 'has good secondary pitches including a plus slider. When he pitches at higher levels, it is questionable how effective his fastball will be. It will be a good test for Aldegheri when he gets to AA Reading which I expect to happen later this year.

Alex Freeland, Los Angeles Dodgers, SS, Age 22, Ranking 329

A switch hitter who is a strong versatile defender, Alex Freeland looked like a potential backup infielder heading into this year. However, Freeland's offensive skills have improved this year, upgrading his prospect projection.

Freeland was born in Lousiville but attended high school in southwest Florida.  He was born with a club foot and had several surgeries when he was a baby.

He was a top prospect in the 2020 high school senior class but went undrafted in the abbreviated MLB draft.  Freeland played two years at Central Florida University, where he had a .285/.402/.485 line with 18 homers in 102 games.  Oddly, Freeland only stole nine bases in college.

The Dodgers selected Freeland in the third round of the 2022 draft and signed him for around the slot value of $580,200. Freeland made his pro debut playing eight games for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in September 2022.

Last year, Freeland spent the entire season at High A Great Lakes.  He missed about a month with an injury and only hit .147 against lefthanded pitching. Freeland did steal 31 bases and hit nine homers in 106 games.

To begin 2024 Freeland returned to High A where in 23 games he had a 210 wRC+ with 27 walks versus 16 strikeouts.  Freeland was promoted to AA Tulsa on May 7th where he has continued to mash. In 35 games at AA Freeland has six homers and 10 steals with a .281/.415/.500 line.

Freeland is a grinder who can contribute in several ways. The major leaguer who I think Freeland can be similar to is Jordan Westburg.

Matt Wilkinson, Cleveland Guardians,  LHP, Age 21, Ranking 509

It is fun to see a prospect with a cool nickname and an unusual build for an athlete have success. Wilkinson is listed at 6'2'; and 270 pounds.

Matt Wilkinson first got attention as a pitcher as a 12-year-old in 2015 when he struck out 16 batters in five innings representing Canada in the Little League World Series.

https://www.delta-optimist.com/local-sports/ladner-pitcher-strikes-out-16-at-little-league-world-series-3017140

Wilkinson grew up in Vancouver and was given the nickname "Tugboat" because of his thick build. He began playing in the Western Canadian Baseball League, a summer league for college players, at age 16. In 2022  Wilkinson attended Central Arizona Junior College, which has a strong baseball program with alumni including Ian Kinsler and Rich Harden.

Working mostly out of the bullpen as a freshman, Wilkinson had a 1.87 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 53 innings.  Last year, Wilkinson was even better with a 1.07 ERA, a 073 WHIP, and 136 strikeouts in 84 innings. Wilkinson was committed to Arizona State but when the Guardians drafted him in the 10th round he signed for a signing bonus of $110,000. Of the 19 players who the Guardian drafted and signed last year, only one received a signing bonus less than Wilkinson.

Typically, I am skeptical of late-round pitchers who succeed in Single-A. Often, these pitchers can get by because they are more advanced than Single-A hitters. Wilkinson pitched just one inning as a pro in 2023.  This year, Wilkinson dominated at Single Lynchburg, including a performance on Apri l25th where he threw six no-hit innings, striking out 15 of 19 batters.

In 40.1 innings at Lynchburg, wilkinson struck out an incredible 48% of batters. He was promoted to High A Lake County on May 21st. so far in four games at High A, Wilkinson has still been impressive with a 30% strikeout minus walk rate.

Wilkinson's strength is his ability to command his pitches. In addition to his fastball, Wilkinson also throws a slider and changeup.

The Guardians may be the best organization in baseball at developing pitchers and despite his shape, Wilkinson is showing he is quite skilled at missing bats.


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