This week at Big Hype Prospects, we use Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award As a lens to highlight some who didn’t get enough love in this column.
Five big promotional possibilities
Ezekiel Tovaro21, SS, Col (AAA)
(AA) 295 PA, 13 HR, 17 SB, .318/.386/.545
Tovar was not selected for the Rockies Player of the Year, which was ultimately a coin-flip position. leave amador, However, we discussed Amador last week and Tovar is set to make his debut today. After performing well in Double-A, Tovar compiled 23 successful plate appearances in Triple-A. He will get a brief trial to finish 2022 while the club considers its long-term plans.
Scouting reports often begin with Tovar’s defense which is universally well regarded and should stand out in the extreme-shift metagame. He relies much less on position than many of the big-bodied shortstops around the league. As a hitter, he has improved the quality of his contact this season. There are still concerns that he will be strikeout and soft contact prone early in his career as he further develops his plate discipline. Their selectivity seems to be trending in a positive direction.
A couple freely available reports such as this one from fangraph Mention his hit tool as a carrying attribute. Hit-tool-oriented prospects tend to have rocky growth paths (no pun intended). At lower levels, they perform well against pitches outside the field, which lends itself to an unflappable, swing-happy approach in the majors. We’ll soon take a first look at how Tovar adjusts.
Wilmer Flores21, sp, det (AA)
83.2 IP, 10.22K/9, 2.26Bb/9, 3.01 ERA
The latest pitcher to originate in the Tigers system, Flores crushed High-A hitters in early 2022 before moving to Double-A. Not to be confused with his brother, 10-year veteran infielder Wilmer Flores, Flores is a pitcher of the same name who relies on arm strength and a pair of power breaking balls. The report mentions poor command despite the low run rate – a sign that he is throwing his stuff into the zone and letting the hitters out themselves. For a poorly-commanded pitcher with plus stuff, there are worse ways to develop. This season, at least two notorious wrong relievers – jose alvarado And FAlix Bautista – Only throwing more pitches into the strike zone resulted in a breakout.
Flores entered the season and was strongly regarded as the reliever of the future. His work this year, Outing involves maintaining deep velocityThat attitude is beginning to change.
Andy Rodriguez22, C/2B, PIT (AAA)
(AA) 138 PA, 8 HR, 1 SB, .356/.442/.678
achieved in Joe Musgrove The growth of the business, Rodriguez, has progressed by leaps and bounds this season. He entered the year as a utility guy with some lucrative experience. He now looks to be either a premium catcher or part of a second baseman. His hitting, always disciplined, has taken a big step this season. Including all three levels he played, Rodriguez hit 24 home runs, 37 doubles and three triples in 520 plate appearances. Not only is he hitting for power, he’s making excellent swing decisions and improving at every level. In a more widely acclaimed system, this performance could qualify to be among the top 25 prospects. As it stands, he is quietly making the leap to top 100 lists.
Kyle Manzardo22, 1B, TBR (AA)
122 PA, 5 HR, 1 SB, .323/.402/.576
Manzardo, a six-foot-one-inch first baseman, will have to mash to make his way to the majors. Fortunately, he is already doing so. He also finds himself in the right organization. The Rays are the only team to deny the same height ji-man choi Opportunity to find a role. Manzardo shows a better ability to avoid strikeouts than Choi while maintaining comparable plate discipline. Including High-A, his 22 home runs in 397 plate appearances represented an improvement over pre-season scouting reports that suggested he had below-average power. Left-handed hitter Manzardo bends slightly to make contact with the ball. Depending on the development of his power, he may become a premium first baseman or may struggle with a low BABIP at the upper levels. Early returns show that the first result is better.
Tyler Gentry23, OF, KC (AA)
331 PA, 16 HR, 8 SB, .321/.417/.555
The Royals were probably held back this season by the sheer amount of hyped prospects for the Majors. It also means there is room for new names to grow, such as Gentry. A well-rounded hitter, Gentry managed 152 High-A Plate appearances before climbing to Double-A, where he continued to excel. Per Baseball America, he credits a simplistic approach and loads with his aggressive breakouts – not that he wasn’t a well-known hitter already entering the season. Knocking on him is his defense. He is a corner outfielder who is not particularly known for good jumps. This is a profile that requires a big bat to work in majors. While he doesn’t have a single carrying quality as a hitter, the whole profile plus plays thanks to discipline and frequent contact. Keep an eye on his BABIP next season.
Taylor Dollardsea (23): The Mariners graduated Julio Rodriguez And George Kirby, Matt Brasho joined the bullpen, emerson hancock there was a down season, and noelvi mars Was exported to Cincinnati. Dollard steps in as a candidate for the top spot in the Seattle system a pitchability basis, The right hand range moves (1.94 BB/9) and can create lots of shocks if needed. He pitches mostly for contact, making him a potential future innings-eater to make his debut in the next season.
louis verlandmin (24): Making his third major league debut, as I write, Vreeland made 20 Double-A appearances before an impressive four-game stint in Triple-A. While he is not a physical specimen and lacks the mutable velocity associated with most pitching possibilities today, Vreeland has a four-pitch repertoire of average offerings. He is able to mix and match in a way that should, ultimately, keep the big league hitters off balance. He’ll probably toss his share of clunkers along the way.
Jeremy RoseWSH (20): A left-handed hitting center fielder with defensive chops, de la Rosa did well in Low-A as an age-appropriate position player. Promotion to High-A did not slow his base stealing, but it did render his bat impotent (53 wRC+). De la Rosa is poised for a slow-burn growth path. The defense all but assures an eventual Major League arrival while a high strike rate can provide him with a long-term backup.
sedan rafaellaBoss (22): Rafaella, who is a utility of five feet eight inches, has achieved astonishing power on two levels this season. He is an aggressive hacker with a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, which can be exploited in the upper levels. This season, he managed 21 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 524 plate appearances split between High- and Double-A. He turned 22 five days ago.
colson montgomeryCWS (20): Montgomery got off to a slow start and didn’t impress in many of the looks I’ve had this season. However, the overall statistics show promise from the multi-sport athlete. He makes a ton of contact, acts well, and is already developing sneaky power. Most players with his background – he was a rising hoops star who also played quarterback – progress slowly through the lower levels. Montgomery has already reached Double-A.