Over the next few weeks, we’ll be checking in on how the top five prospects from each team are doing so far in 2021. The lists are based on our preseason rankings, which can be found by clicking on each team. Some prospects may still be looking to take the field for the first time, while others may be on the verge of losing their prospect status.
With this article, we’ll take a look at the top prospects from each team in the National League West.
Stats are of June 7.
1. Ian Anderson, P, MLB – Anderson has exceeded his prospect eligibility but as these articles are based on our preseason lists, he checks in here. Anderson has hit some bumps in the road his last few outings, but he’s been very solid on the year as a whole. Through 59.1 innings, the 23-year-old has a 3.64 ERA and 26.1% strikeout rate.
2. Drew Waters, OF, Triple-A– Waters has already had an up-and-down prospect career and he is only 22-years-old. In 2021, Waters is hitting .263 at Triple-A with three home runs and seven steals but is striking out nearly 30% of the time. The approach has always been a concern for Waters and his 2021 strikeout rate actually marks an improvement. If it continues to trend in the right direction, Waters’ power/speed combination could fully come to the surface.
3. Cristian Pache, OF, MLB/Triple-A – The story is more of the same as it always has been for Pache. We are looking at an elite defensive outfielder, but he still can’t figure out MLB pitching. The 22-year-old has struck out 36% of the time hit .111 in 22 MLB games in 2021. He recently came off the IL and was optioned to Triple-A.
4. Braden Shewmake, SS, Double-A – Shewmake struggled at Double-A in 2019, posting a 53 wRC+ in 14 games. He had dominated High-A, though, so there was hope that the Double-A performance was just a small sample. Unfortunately, he’s been even less successful at Double-A in 2021, triple-slashing .101/.149/.169.
5. Tucker Davidson, P, MLB/Triple-A – Davidson has looked the part in his MLB debut. Through two starts and 11.2 innings, the lefty has a 2.31 ERA with a 21.7% strikeout rate. The walk rate is in the double digits, but Davidson has been able to avoid too much trouble. It appears that he’s going to get an extended look in the rotation.
1. Sixto Sánchez, P, N/A – Shoulder issues have prevented the exciting 22-year-old from seeing game action in 2021. News recently came out that Sánchez has paused throwing for the next few days to let the shoulder heal. He’s still a top-flight pitching prospect, but there is some concern that we may not see him at the MLB level in 2021.
2. Max Meyer, P, Double-A – Meyer has been electric in his professional debut, tossing 29 innings and allowing just six runs while striking out 31. The right-hander also pitched six innings in his most recent outing, the most of his young career, and could end the year in Triple-A if he continues to overmatch Double-A hitters.
3. JJ Bleday, OF, Double-A – Bleday is walking at a 15% rate in Double-A, but his triple slash sits at .178/.302/.327. The lefty has big power and I would expect it to surface soon.
4. Edward Cabrera, P, Low-A – A biceps injury held Cabrera out of game action until very recently. He made a three-inning appearance at Low-A on June 6, striking out three while allowing zero runs. He pitched in Double-A in 2019 and he should be back in the upper minors in no time. He’ll likely be stretched out over the next few weeks.
5. Jazz Chisholm, Jr., SS, MLB – Chisholm took the league by storm for the first six weeks of the season before he was forced to miss some time due to injury. Since returning from the IL he hasn’t been quite the same player, hitting just .233/.270/.400 in 14 games. On the year, his 32% strikeout rate raises some cause for concern, but his 126 wRC+, seven home runs, and nine steals highlight his dynamic abilities.
1. Ronny Mauricio, SS, High-A – The power is starting to show up for Mauricio. Through his first 24 games at High-A, Mauricio has belted six home runs and has posted a .252 ISO. The approach is still a cause for concern as the shortstop is walking about 3% of the time while striking out in more than 30% of his plate appearances. So overall, there is some good and some bad to Mauricio’s 2021 start.
2. Francisco Álvarez, C, High-A/Low-A – The backstop is off to a hot start in 2021. Álvarez absolutely demolished Low-A to the tune of a 227 wRC+ with a 22% walk rate and .229 ISO in 15 games before being promoted to High-A. He’s more than held his own there, too, triple slashing .265/.350/.500 in 10 contests. His stock is trending up.
3. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Low-A – There isn’t much to go off of here. PCA played in three Low-A games before he required surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. There is no timetable on his return, but the outfielder will miss most, if not all, of his first professional season.
4. Matt Allan, P, Low-A – Like PCA, Allan barely saw any action before suffering a significant injury. The righty pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
5. David Peterson, P, MLB – The lefthander has exceeded prospect eligibility and spent the entirety of 2021 with the big league club. It’s been a mixed bag for Peterson and in his most recent start, he allowed five runs in 1/3 of an innings. That buoyed his season ERA to an ugly 5.89 ERA. On the flip side, he has a 25.7% strikeout rate.
1. Spencer Howard, P, MLB/Triple-A – Howard made a handful of appearances for the Phillies in April but his last three opportunities have come out of the rotation. On the season, the 24-year-old has a 4.61 ERA and 29.7% strikeout rate. He’s been killed by walks, yielding 11 in 13.1 innings, and as a result, hasn’t pitched deep into games. The strikeout ability has been on display but the control issues need to become less prevalent for Howard to become a staple of the rotation.
2. Bryson Stott, SS, High-A/Double-A – There’s no way around it, Stott has been on fire to start the 2021 season. The 23-year-old demolished High-A, belting five home runs and hitting .288 with a 23.2% walk rate in 22 games. His performance earned him a promotion to Double-A where he is just getting started. The lost minor league season pushed the shortstop a little under the radar and his stock is now on the rise.
3. Mick Abel, P, Low-A – Abel was selected 15th overall in the 2020 draft and is starting his professional career at Low-A. He’s been dominant thus far, posting a 23.2% K-BB rate and a 3.57 ERA in 17.2 innings. He’s just 19 years old, so he’s still several years away from the bigs, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him end the year in High-A for a handful of starts.
4. Kendall Logan Simmons, SS, Low-A – Simmons just started getting into game action at the beginning of June, so there isn’t much of an update here. He’s a big power bat, especially for a middle infielder, with some strikeout concerns.
5. Luis Garcia, SS, Low-A – Garcia couldn’t keep pace at Low-A in 2019, so he’s repeating the level here to start 2021. He’s still only 20 years old and is putting up a much more respectable .244/.361/.370 triple slash this time around.
1. Jackson Rutledge, P, High-A – Rutledge has tossed just over 10 innings at High-A this year but is currently healing from shoulder inflammation. The right-hander has a 12.66 ERA in those 10 innings but it’s way too small of a sample to be concerned, especially when you factor in an injury.
2. Cade Cavalli, P, High-A – The 22nd overall pick last June is overmatching hitters in High-A. Through 33.2 innings, the 22-year-old has a sparkling 2.14 ERA and 41.8% strikeout rate. It would be surprising to see him stick in High-A much longer.
3. Cole Henry, P, High-A – Henry is a similar story to Cavalli. The right-hander was taken in the second round of the 2020 draft and is having success in his first taste of professional action at High-A. Through 24 innings, the 21-year-old has a 3.00 ERA and a 37.2% strikeout rate. It’s not quite what Cavalli is doing, but it’s not far off either.
4. Drew Mendoza, 1B, Double-A – Mendoza received an aggressive assignment to Double-A for 2021. He is 23 years old, but he hadn’t played above Single-A. He has a 93 wRC+ to start the year but is only hitting .160. His power and ability to draw walks are his calling cards, but he will need to hit for a higher average to continue to move through the minors.
5. Mason Denaburg, P, N/A – Denaburg underwent Tommy John and will miss all of the 2021 season. He’ll look to bounce back in 2022.
Various Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare