(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
New to Pitcher List, we are going to be doing a weekly prospect roundup that is designed to keep you informed on what is happening down in the minor leagues that is relevant for your dynasty leagues. I’ll be talking about who is hot, which top prospects are struggling, underrated guys that are producing to keep an eye on, or anything that may have caught my eye in general.
Luis Garcia (SS, Philadelphia Phillies) Age: 17, Level: ROK
A high profile international amateur signing from 2017, Garcia secured a $2.5 Million signing bonus from the Phillies and has done nothing but impress in his first professional season. Garcia did not play this week as his GCL Phillies lost in the Semi-Finals and the Gulf Coast League season finished this week, but I wanted to highlight how strongly he finished the season including the playoffs as he had 6 multi-hit performances in his last 10 games plus 3 SBs. Garcia finishes his season with a .369/.433/.488 batting line with 1 HR and 12 SBs in 187 PAs and supported it with an 8% walk rate along with an impressive 11.2% strikeout rate. His 7% swinging-strike rate is elite and led the league, and his 162 wRC+ ranked in a tie for 3rd best in the league. Look for him to rise up prospect lists over the off-season!
Vladimir Gutierrez (SP, Cincinnati Reds) Age: 22, Level: AA
A $4.75 Million international amateur signing out of Cuba back in 2016, the Reds knew that he was going to be a bit of a project considering he had not pitched competitively in two years. Gutierrez who is pictured above, has slowly been putting things together in 2018 and had one of the best starts of his professional career this week with a 7 inning gem in which he struck out 7 batters against just 1 walk, and allowed 3 hits and 1 ER. This strong performance pushed Gutierrez’s season ERA at AA to 4.35 over 147 innings pitched, and he has racked up 145 strikeouts against 38 walks along the way. His 12.9% swinging-strike rate is very much above-average and ranks 3rd best in the Southern League. The combo of swing and miss stuff along with above-average control makes him an interesting mid-rotation upside starter.
Carlos Rincon (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) Age: 20, Level: A+
The Dodgers seemingly have an endless supply of interesting players in their farm system, Rincon is another interesting name with big power potential and the numbers to support it. Rincon put together dominant games back to back on Wednesday and Thursday, with the Wednesday game being a 1 for 3 day with a HR plus 2 walks, and then followed that up with the game on Thursday in which he went 3 for 5 with 3 HRs and 5 RBIs. Rincon now has a .340/.442/.880 line over 120 PAs at A+ and is supporting it with a 12.5% walk rate and 22.5% strikeout rate. You’re reading that slugging% right, it’s at an .880 right now, and his ISO sits at a cool .540 mark, both of which I’m not sure that I’ve seen that high over this many PAs. Do note that his swinging-strike rate has been awful an 18.1% mark and he has had major contact issues in the past so I think he’s a very high-risk prospect. The power potential makes him interesting though, and those in Ottoneu scoring formats may find him a valuable prospect.
Matt Manning (SP, Detroit Tigers) Age: 20, Level: AA
The Tigers 1st round pick from 2016 (9th overall), Manning has been moving up the organizational ladder well and recently made his first AA start. He made quite the impression in his first taste of AA action as he threw 6 innings of shutout ball including 8 strikeouts against just 1 walk, and only 3 hits allowed. This performance was just another in a long line of strong performances from Manning this year as he now has a 3.03 ERA over 113 innings pitched between 3 levels with 149 strikeouts against 48 walks. His peripherals look strong too with a 14.2% swinging-strike rate for the season which ranks 21st best in the entire minors among those with at least 110 innings pitched, a 3.03 FIP with ranks 27th, and an xFIP of 2.99 that ranks 6th. He has a very high-upside and I think he should be a riser on off-season prospect lists.
Peter Alonso (1B, New York Mets) Age: 23, Level: AAA
The Mets top hitting prospect recently received the news that he wouldn’t be getting a call to the majors this year and instead will be sent to the Arizona Fall League upon his AAA season finishing. He didn’t let that news get to him as he had a massive game on Friday in which he went 4 for 5 with 2 HRs. Those HRs were number 34 and 35 for Alonso on the season, and he has hit .284/.396/.576 with it for an impressive 158 wRC+ between AA and AAA. His combination of power highlighted by a .292 ISO for the season along with contact skills highlighted by an above-average 9.5% swinging-strike rate is special and I think he goes into next year as one of the top slugging prospects in the minors with a good chance to come up by the Super 2 deadline.
Yefri Del Rosario (SP, Kansas City Royals) Age: 18, Level: A
Del Rosario was a part of the Braves international amteur signing scandal in the offseason that caused 12 players that they had signed to be declared a free agent, and he promptly signed with the Royals for $650,000. He has had a pretty solid 2018 season in the Royals system with a 3.19 ERA over 79 innings and has racked up 72 strikeouts against 29 walks along the way. He had one of his best starts of the season this week with a 7 shutout inning performance in which he struck out 9 batters against 1 walk and only allowed 4 hits. His 12.1% swinging-strike rate is above-average and he combines it with an approach that leads to heavy flyballs rates that should play well with the Royals big home ballpark. His 4.46 FIP and 4.30 xFIP suggest that he’s been fortunate to achieve the 3.19 ERA to date, but heavy flyball guys often outproduce their peripherals anyway. He should be on deep dynasty league radars.
Malcom Nunez (3B, St. Louis Cardinals) Age: 17, Level: ROK