Spring Training Prospect Roundup: Week 4

Notes on the top prospect performers from the past week.

Welcome to the weekly prospect roundup! Each week during spring training we will provide news and notes on top prospects and highlight the top prospect performers from the past week.

Overall these will all be prospects with at least some dynasty relevance. I will try to provide updated scouting reports when necessary, but for the most part, you can find full write-ups on the team-by-team Top-50 lists done by our wonderful dynasty team.

Though it’s hard to draw conclusions from spring training, there are a few things that I pay particular attention to. For the most part, I look at mechanical adjustments and physical growth, which there is bound to plenty of, given that we haven’t seen many of these prospects since last spring. For pitchers, this also includes notable velocity and/or pitch mix changes. Though not all spring facilities have Statcast, we can (and will) certainly take advantage of the ones that do.

Let’s get into the best prospects from week 4 of spring training:

 

Prospect News and Notes

 

 

 Hitters of the Week

 

Bobby Dalbec (3B, BOS, #9 prospect): 5-for-16, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 5 R

Dalbec is who he is, and has been showing it all spring. He enters Sunday with team highs in both homers (7) and strikeouts (19) in 45 ABs this spring. He has nearly matched his eight HR debut last season, which also came with a similarly whopping 42% k-rate. The power is unquestioned. He’s slashing .311/.392/.822 so far, so the production is there despite the whiffs. It remains to be seen whether he will hit enough to stomach that k-rate.

 

Ryan Mountcastle (OF, BAL, #4 prospect): 5-for-14, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB, 4 R

Mountcastle has heated up of late, with a pair of homers earlier in the week giving him three in four games. His week was highlighted by a 3-run homer on Thursday against the Pirates, capping a 6-run second inning. It’s been an up-and-down spring for last year’s eighth place Rookie of the Year finisher, but he’s been streaky at the plate with four multi-hit games as of Sunday. He will lose rookie status within the season’s first week or so, and looks to establish himself as a staple in the middle of the rebuilding Orioles lineup.

 

Luis Campusano (C, SD, #4 prospect ): 6-for-14, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 3 R

With Austin Nola suffering a broken finger early in camp, the Padres will rely on Campusano behind the plate to start the season. Though slow out of the gate, he collected six hits this week including a trio of doubles. He is now hitting .300/.391/.425 this spring and although the slugging does not show in his slash line, he has been making noticeably better contact of late. He possesses a well rounded offensive skill set — complete with advanced plate discipline — and is yet another young position player San Diego can use to supplement it’s core of stars.

 

Ka’ai Tom (OF, OAK, unranked ): 4-for-14, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 6 R

Tom has made waves in A’s camp the past two weeks after missing the start with an oblique strain. The Rule 5 pick looks like a lock to make the 26-man roster, and may even force himself into a bigger role as the season progresses. I mentioned his lightning-quick hands and above-average power in last week’s roundup, and he showcased impressive speed and plate discipline this week. Through Saturday, Tom reached base eight times (including a double and triple), and came around to score six of those times. He’s been one of the most exciting players to watch the past two weeks and is certainly worth considering in deeper fantasy formats.

 

Pavin Smith (OF, AZ, #22 prospect): 5-for-16, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R

Pavin Smith has been getting consistent work in the outfield this spring and looks increasingly likely to fill the void left by Kole Calhoun‘s injury. Fellow prospect Daulton Varsho getting sent to minor league camp earlier this week enhances those chances, as does Smith’s five hit showing this week. That included his first homer of the spring, a solo shot off Royals’ lefty Danny Duffy on Thursday. He could see the lion’s share of time in RF, with the speedy Tim Locastro and NRI Trayce Thompson seeing time as well.

 

 

 

Pitchers of the Week

 

Trevor Rogers (LHP, MIA, #4 prospect): 10.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 Ks

Trevor Rogers wants the Marlins fifth starter job. He made two starts this week and was strong in both. That included a 10 strikeout performance on Friday over 5.2 scoreless innings against the Astros. Rogers has been solid all spring, now sporting a cumulative line of 19 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 29 Ks (2.84 ERA) following Friday’s start. The underlying metrics support his breakout, with statcast showing added fastball velocity (now sitting 94-97). Additionally, his first start of the week featured a 2350 RPM slider — the highest spin rate on a single pitch of his career. He would have likely been named the 5th starter already if not for strong competition from Nick Neidert, and both only have one more start before Don Mattingly makes a decision.

 

Daulton Jefferies (RHP, OAK, #1 prospect): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks

Jefferies has been sharp all spring and performed perhaps his sharpest outing on Tuesday. He’s in a fierce battle with lefties Cole Irvin and A.J. Puk for the A’s final rotation spot and couldn’t have put together a better final showing. He struck out 7 over 4 2-hit innings against the Rockies, and now has a 20:3 K:BB ratio in 13 innings this spring.

 

Casey Mize (RHP, DET, #5 prospect): 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER 0 BB, 9 Ks

Mize has had a shaky spring, but the former 1st overall pick was officially named a rotation member heading into the season. He responded with a nine K performance on Friday against the Blue Jays. His fastball has been consistent all spring, comfortably sitting in the 94-96 range after averaging 93 in his debut last season. With 13 whiffs on 73 pitches in the outing, Manager AJ Hinch seems to like what he sees, “If you watch his stuff throughout the spring, it’s very evident he can get major league hitters out.” Mize joins fellow prospect Tarik Skubal in the Tigers opening day rotation .

 

Bryan Abreu (RHP, HOU, #9 prospect ): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks

Abreu had a fantastic week that included throwing 3 perfect innings with 4 strikeouts on Monday against the Mets. Though his second outing of the week was not nearly as dominant, the hard throwing righty was officially named to the Astros roster following Saturday’s game. He’s long been among Houston’s top pitching prospects, and is certainly someone who could thrive in a multi-inning bullpen role. He showed a breaking-ball heavy pitch mix in his brief 2020 debut, and will hope his 29% minor league k-rate can translate to major league success.

 

Bobby Miller (RHP, LAD, #9 prospect): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks

The Dodgers top 2020 draft choice made a pair of outings in relief this week. Miller struck out 2 in a perfect inning on Monday, then came back with a pair of shutout innings against the A’s on Friday. He isn’t in consideration for an opening day role, but has certainly made the most of his four games of action this spring. The Dodgers incredible depth makes it unlikely that Miller makes his debut this season, but the 21 year-old has the makings of a future frontline starter.

 

 

Other Highlights

Though we, unfortunately, can’t watch every spring training game on TV, here is an assortment of highlights from other prospects worth noting this week:

 

Featured image by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)

Natan Cristol-Deman

Natan is a California native and current junior at UMass Amherst. His interests include player development, strategy, analytics, and Mike Soroka. You can find him on twitter @natan_cd

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