5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-16-23

by Mike Schneider
Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-16-23

I will be profiling 5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers that are in my Prospect Rankings as of 4-16-23.

The prospects profiled today have gotten off to an impressive start in this young season and are trending up.

Look for a post similar to this to come out each time I update my Rankings which will be on the 15th and 30th of every month during the baseball season!

5 Dynasty Baseball Prospect Risers 4-16-23

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Junior Caminero, Tampa Bay, 3B, Age 19, Ranking 209

Junior Caminero was not a headliner in Cleveland's 2019 international free agent class.  However, Caminero had a strong year in the 2021 Dominican Summer League with a 144 wRC+ as a 17-year-old.

After the 2021 season, the Rays had a 40-man roster crunch and did not have room to put RHP Tobias Myers on their 40-man roster.  Rather than expose him to the Rule V draft, the Rays traded Myers to the Guardians for Junior Caminero.  Ironically due to the MLB lockout, the Rule V draft ended up being canceled for the 2021-2022 off-season.

In his first season in the Rays organization, Caminero had a strong year in 2022.  In 36 games in the Florida Complex League, Caminero hit .326/.403/.492 with five homers and seven stolen bases.

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More impressively, the Rays promoted Caminero to Single-A Charleston for the last month of the season.  Caminero did not miss a beat Caminero is with a 137 wRC+ in 26 games with six homes and five steals in 26 games.  On the year, Caminero has a strikeout rate of just 15.9% with a walk rate of 8.5%.

The Rays continue to be aggressive with Caminero assigning him to High A Bowling Green to begin 2023 despite not turning 20 until July.  Caminero began the season with five hits on Opening Day including a homer. Through his first four games of the season, Caminero has eight hit in 17 at-bats.

It is hard to believe that the Rays got Caminero for so little. The Guardians ended up trading Myers to the Giants in July 2022 who designated him for assignment later that month.

There are questions about where Caminero will fit defensively.  He has played more at third base than shortstop or first base.  However, it is the bat that is going to carry Caminero who is now listed at 6'1" and 157 pounds. but is reportedly bigger.

Look for Caminero to be a fast riser on prospect rankings in 2023.

Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati, LHP, Age 23, Ranking 123

Abbott has gotten off to an excellent start in 2023 at AA Chattanooga in his first two games. On April 6th against the Rocket City Trash Pandas, Abbot struck out 11 of the 15 batters he faced with the only base runner coming via the walk in 4.2 innings pitched.  He was even more dominant on April 13th when he struck out 14 of 20 batters.

The lefthanded Abbott played his college ball at the University of Virginia which does not have a good record of developing major league pitchers.  Though his first three years in college Abbott only made three starts and walked 49 batters on 108.1 innings.  However, in 2021 Abbott was a mainstay in UVA's starting rotation and struck out 37.4% of batters. The Reds were impressed enough to take Abbott with the 53rd overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft.

In 2022 Abbott got off to a fast start dominating High A  Daytona where he only allowed two earned runs in 27 innings which earned Abbott a quick promotion to AA.  After an outstanding AA debut where he struck out 12 batters, Abbott struggled quite a bit over his next 16 starts where he had a 6.23 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and walked 12.2% of batters.

However, Abbott did finish 2022 strong not allowing a run in September over 16 innings where he had a 33.3% strikeout minus walk rate.

Since Abbott had limited experience as a starter, his struggles in the middle of 2022 were not surprising.  Dealing with some adversity can make a pitcher better in the long term. Abbott is not a particularly hard thrower but his curveball is a plus pitch and he had some deception.

Abbott has proven to be difficult to hit when he is on. This year will be a big year for him to develop consistency.  The Reds have the potential to have a nice starting rotation in the near future and Abbott could be a big part of it.

Tink Hence, St Louis, RHP, Age 20, Ranking 119

The 2020 MLB draft was just five rounds due to the canceled or shortened high school and college seasons for COVID. Despite the size of the draft, it is shaping up to be an all time great draft for the St Louis Cardinals.

Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson are already in the majors. Masyn Wnn is a top forty prospect who is at AAA after impressing in spring training.  Tink Hence is a young raw pitching prospect who has shown the potential to be a front end starter.

The Matthew Liberatore for Randy Arozarena trade has been a big win for the Rays so far.  As part of that trade. The Cardinals traded their Compensation A draft pick (pick 37) to the and acquired the Rays' Compensation B draft pick (pick 63).  The Rays selected shortstop Alika Williams with pick 37 and the Cardinal selected Tink Hence with pick 63.

Hence was a high school pitcher out of Arkansas who was not yet 18 at the time of the draft. Hence, whose given name is Markevian, is very young looking with a slight build.  He is listed at 6'1" and 180 lbs.

The Cardinals bought Hence along slowly. In 2021, Hence made his pro debut in the Florida Complex League.  Hence only pitched eight innings in 2021 and only once did he pitch more than an inning in a game.

Last season, the Cardinals did step up Hence's workload some.  He spent the entire season with Single A Palm Beach.  Hence still only threw 52.1 innings and his longest outing was just four innings. Hence had a strikeout minus walk rate of 33.8% and held batters to a .173 batting average against.

To begin the 2023 season Hence was assigned to High A Peoria.  In his first game, Hence threw four scoreless innings with six strikeouts allowing one hit and two walks. In his second game on April 13th, Hemce was removed from the game after throwing 3.2 scoreless innings with a possible injury but there have not been any updates.

Hence already throws in the mid-nineties and has the potential to increase his velocity as he physically matures. The curveball also has the potential to be a plus pitch. He is working on a changeup as a third pitch but it is a work in progress.

There are few pitching prospects in baseball that have as much upside as Tink Hence.

Evan Carter, Texas, CF, Age 20, Ranking 61

When the Rangers selected Carter with the 50th overall pick in the 2020 draft he was a relative unknown. He was drafted out of high school in Tennessee and like everyone in the 2020 draft class, he missed most of the season due to the pandemic. The Rangers signed Carter to a signing bonus of $1,250,000 which was slightly below slot.

Carter was limited to 32 games for Single-A Down East in 2021 due to back issues.  However, despite his inexperience and young age, the Rangers had Carter begin 2021 in High A Hickory.

Carter had a very nice season hitting 11 homers and stealing 26 bases in 100 games at High A.  Carter's hit tool stands out.  He walked 59 times and only stuck out 76 times.  He had a .388 on base percentage.  Carter was promoted to AA Frisco for the last six games of the season where he had a .536 on base percentage.

To begin 2023, Carter is at AA Frisco and has gotten off to a fast start with a two homer game on April 12th. Through his first seven games, Carter has 12 hits and five walks with two stolen bases.

As a pro, Carter has a 16% walk rate and a 17.9% strikeout rate while typically being one of the youngest players in the league.

Defensively Carter has the skills to remain a centerfielder.  He has continued to grow and is reportedly about 6' 4" now.  As he gets older, expect the power should become a bigger part of his game.

Carter has a well-rounded game with a very high floor. He could be in the majors sooner than expected.

Brayan Rocchio, Cleveland, SS, Age 22, Ranking 21

Cleveland signed Brayan Rocchio as a 16-year-old for $125,000 as part of their talented  2017 international free agent class.  Rocchio is a switch hitter from Venezuela who despite not being one of the more heralded prospects at the time of the signing, quickly emerged as a top prospect.   He is known for his high baseball Q which has earned him the nickname of "The Professor".

Typically a 17-year-old international prospect will spend the entire year in the Dominican Summer League. However, 2018 brought Rocchio stateside to play 35 games in the Arizona Summer League where Rocchio batted .343.

In 2019, Rocchio spent the entire year in the NY Penn League as an 18-year-old playing against players that were several years older than him. Rocchio struck out just 13.6% of the time and had a 107 wRC+.

Not only was the 2020 minor league season canceled, but Rocchio was also stuck in Venezuela and was unable to attend the alternate training site or the fall instructional league.

The Guardians continued to be aggressive with Rocchio's assignments. He skipped Single A and began 2021 at High A Lake County.   After struggling for the first month of the season, Rocchio had a 137 wRC+ over his last 40 games for Lake County earning promotion to AA Akron for the last 44 games of the season where he had a .293/360/.505 line as a 20-year-old in the upper minors.

Rocchio split 2022 between AA Akron and AAA Columbus.  Once again Rocchio started slowly but was outstanding in July. Rocchio was promoted to AAA for the last month of the season where he had five homes in 33 games but only had a .686 OPS.

In 2023 Rocchio has gotten off to a fast start at AAA with a .426 on base percentage in his first 13 games.

The Guardians have always challenged Rocchio with his assignments moving him up as soon as he has success. He has hit  33 homers in the last two seasons which is impressive given his age.

The Guardians are well stocked with middle infielders in the majors with  Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario and a number of prospects in the minors. However, Rocchio continues his stellar play, he will get an opportunity soon with the Guardians or via a trade.

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