Prospects Checkup: National League West

A look at the top prospects in the NL West.

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 21.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

 

1. Kristian Robinson, OF, N/A – Robinson’s stock was already taking a slight hit due to swing and miss concerns, but legal concerns following an aggravated assault arrest have made it unclear as to when we will see Robinson on a baseball diamond again. When playing, he still has one of the highest ceilings in the minors, but all of the uncertainty and missed time will certainly cause Robinson to tumble down prospect lists.

2. Corbin Carroll, OF, High-A – Carroll looked even better than advertised for seven games, triple slashing .435/.552/.913, before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He’s become a consensus top-20 prospect and will look to bounce back in 2022.

3. Alek Thomas, OF, Double-A – Thomas has not had trouble at Double-A, posting a 138 wRC+ in 34 games despite being just 21 years old. It feels like Thomas gets a bit overlooked in this system, but his plus hit, power, and speed tools make him one of the highest ceiling minor leaguers.

4. Geraldo Perdomo, SS, MLB/Double-A – Perdomo made a brief appearance for the Diamondbacks earlier this season when the team was battling multiple injuries, but he likely won’t be up again until 2022.  The 21-year-old is still struggling to find his footing at the plate in Double-A, hitting just .174 in 35 games. Perdomo knows how to take a walk and use his speed on the basepaths.

5. Blake Walston, P, Low-A – Walston’s ability to punch out batters has been on display in 2021, posting a 32.5% strikeout rate in his first seven starts. He’s about to turn 20 years old and while he’s years away from the majors, Walston could be in line for a promotion to High-A sometime in the near future.

 

Colorado Rockies

 

1. Michael Toglia, 1B, High-A – The power has been on display in a big way for Toglia in 2021. The 22-year-old has belted 10 home runs and posted a .255 ISO in his first 42 games. The batting average is a little low at .222, but Toglia’s walk rate is over 14%. He looks the part of a high-OBP corner power bat.

2. Zac Veen, OF, Low-A – Veen has been one of the best base stealers in the minors leagues, swiping 21 bags in his first 39 games. The 19-year-old has a 106 wRC+ and while the 27% strikeout rate is high, his 15.7% walk rate indicates that Veen is a patient hitter at that plate. He’s turned it on lately, too, hitting .297 since June 9th and belting his first home run.

3. Aaron Schunk, 2B/3B, High-A – Schunk is still looking to get it going in 2021. In his first 29 games, the 23-year-old has 79 wRC+ of and a strikeout over 30%. The walk rate is low, so Schunk needs to make good contact to be productive.

4. Brenton Doyle, OF, High-A – Like Schunk, Doyle is striking out more than 30% of the time, but the latter is walking more than 10% of the time. The ability to draw walks has allowed Doyle to put his speed as the 23-year-old to swipe 11 bags in his 39 games.

5. Ryan Vilade, OFTriple-A – It feels like there has been some prospect fatigue for Vilade, but the infielder-turned-outfielder had a big 2019 season at Double-A and is hitting .274 to start the year in Triple-A. His ISO and groundball rates have gone in the wrong direction, though.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

 

1. Josiah Gray, P, Triple-A – Gray made one start before being shut down with a shoulder injury. Dave Roberts recently stated that Gray’s return is still a “ways down the road”. Gray has breezed through the minors over the last few seasons and appeared to be knocking on the door of his MLB debut before the injury.

2. Michael Busch, 2B, Double-A – Busch’s power, patience, and defensive uncertainty naturally draw comparisons to Max Muncy. That’s all been on full display for Busch at Double-A as the 23-year-old has a 14% walk rate and six home runs in 35 games.

3. Andy Pages, OF, High-A – Pages has been one of the biggest prospect breakouts so far in 2021. The 20 year old has 12 home runs in 42 games all while increasing his walk rate and decreasing his walk rate. The arrow is pointing straight up here.

4. Diego Cartaya, C, Low-A – It’s only been 16 games, but Cartaya has been scorching. The young backstop is hitting .333 with six home runs and a 196 wRC+. The Dodgers have had several promising catching prospects over the last few seasons and Cartaya is the latest.

5. Keibert Ruiz, C, MLB/Triple-A – Ruiz has made a handful of temporary appearances for the big league club in 2021, but for the most part, he’s just been raking at Triple-A.  In the minors, Ruiz has clubbed eight home runs and is hitting .273. It’ll be tough for him to get consistent at-bats for the Dodgers given their depth, but he’s an injury away from an opportunity.

 

San Diego Padres

 

1. MacKenzie Gore, P, Triple-A – Gore was once the consensus best pitching prospect in the game but concerns have arisen over the last 18 months. Gore’s command has escaped him in 2021, as the lefty has posted a 12.5% walk rate in his first 20 innings, leading to 5.85 innings. Gore still has top-of-the-rotation stuff but is only 22 years old but there are now questions on how likely it is he reaches that potential.

2. CJ Abrams, SS, Double-A – Abrams will likely be slotted in the number one spot upon our next update. The talented shortstop is triple slashing .296/.362/.415 with two home runs and 10 steals in his first 35 games. That’s not bad for a 20-year-old that’s several years young for the level. The power hasn’t quite come along yet but it will in due time.

3. Ha-Seong Kim, INF/OF, MLB – It’s been a struggle at the plate for Kim who has a 75 wRC+ in his first 58 games. He does have four home runs and five steals, though, and has culminated a 0.4 fWAR off of his defensive versatility.

4. Luis Campusano, C, MLB/Triple-A – Campusano has had a brief taste of the majors this season but managed just three hits in his 38 at-bats. He’s performed much better at Triple-A, triple slashing .266/.340/.453. At just 22-years-old, the future is bright for the young backstop.

5. Ryan Weathers, P, MLB – Weathers has filled multiple roles on the rubber for the Padres this season, tossing 47.1 innings and posting a 2.47 ERA. He’s on the verge of exceeding his prospect eligibility and although the strikeout numbers aren’t high, Weathers has carved out a nice spot for him on the Padres.

 

San Francisco Giants

 

1. Marco Luciano, SS, Low-A – Luciano has been as good as advertised in Low-A to start 2021, posting a 132 wRC+ with eight home runs and two steals in 38 games. Luciano’s walk rate is in the double digits and his ISO sits at .250. Luciano should see a promotion to High-A at some point this year.

2. Joey Bart, C, MLB/Triple-A – Bart has one at-bat at the MLB level this season, so it’s been mostly Triple-A action for the 24-year-old backstop. That’s treated him well as Bart is hitting .350 with seven home runs at that level. Unfortunately for Bart, Buster Posey is having a career year, so it’s unclear when the former will get an extended look.

3. Heliot Ramos, OF, Double-A – Ramos is young for the level at 21 years old, but he’s more than holding his own with a 119 wRC+, five home runs, and five steals in 40 games. His strikeout rate is still in the danger zone – close to 30% – but he has a career-high 12% walk rate.

4. Alexander Canario, OF, Low-A – It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Canario. The 21-year-old has four home runs and 11 steals in 37 games, but he is striking out 27% of the time and hitting just .231.

5. Luis Matos, OF, Low-A – Matos has begun to skyrocket up prospect lists, especially fantasy ones, due to his power and speed potential. The 19-year-old is hitting .297 with three home runs and 13 steals. Matos is a little swing-happy right now with just a 6% walk rate and it could be something to watch as he progresses through the minors.

 

Various Photos by MLB Photos | Adapted by Aaron Polcare

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