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Williamsport season in review

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A guest piece from one of our local writers about one of the Phillies’ minor league affiliates

One of the local writers, Mitch Rupert, gave The Good Phight his season in review. Hope you enjoy.

It would like take a few guesses to figure out which of the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league affiliates led the organization in ERA. It’s a terrible measure of just how good a pitching staff is, but they led the organization nonetheless.

The Williamsport Crosscutters were mired, at one point, in a slump which saw them lose 27 of the season’s first 37 games. But it was never because of the pitching staff. It was a staff which was strong from the first day to the last. So when the offense finally caught up, you were left with a team which was tied for the best record in the New York-Penn League over the season’s final 38 games.

Williamsport was one of just two Phillies affiliates to finish in the Top 3 in its respective league in team ERA. It’s 3.14 team ERA was the lowest posted by a Phillies’ affiliate. Only the GCL West team finished higher, placing second out of 18 teams with a 3.17 mark.

But what made this Crosscutters pitching staff so curious is that it was devoid of more than a couple of legitimate prospects which MLB futures. It was something pitching coach Hector Berrios and manager Pat Borders knew from the start of the season.

”This year we have maybe not the same talent, but we have better pitching,” Berrios said on the team’s media day in June. “They’re better pitchers and they know how to efficiently get the ball over the plate, attack hitters and get the least amount of walks.”

And he was absolutely right. Outside of fourth-round draft pick Erik Miller and seventh-round pick Brett Schulze, there wasn’t anyone on the pitching staff with a true Major League future. There were intriguing prospects like Tom Sutera or Taylor Lehman and Tyler Burch who got results but lacked anything which resembled big league stuff. Only reliever Alejandro Made was a consistent presence in the mid to upper-90s on the radar gun. Junior Tejada was intriguing because of his ability, a wipeout slider and his relative youth.

As is customary in the years I’ve come to know Hector Berrios, on media day we always discuss his goals and the things he’s been working on staff-wide. Then we pick apart individual prospects and who he likes and doesn’t like. When we reached that portion of our media day session this season, I asked about only one player, Junior Tejada, because everyone else was such an unknown.

Berrios wasn’t wrong, though, in his initial assessment of the staff. They were far and away better pitchers than any of the other staffs he’s had in his three previous years with the Crosscutters. But there was absolutely nothing sexy about it.

So it leads to the question of how much do results really matter? Well, certainly in a vacuum they do matter. Pitchability matters, especially if your players have projection. But what I’ve come to learn at the rookie level is to best judge a prospect, whether as a pitcher or position player, you need to find one thing about a player which would fit in on a big league field immediately.

The problem is that was difficult to find on this pitching staff. Miller was the best example, with which where he was taken in the draft, he should have been. But even his stuff wasn’t as advertised from pre-draft scouting reports which had his velocity in the upper-90s. During his time with the Crosscutters, his velocity was largely in the 90-92 range. He said those upper-90s numbers came in stints where location wasn’t paramount and he was just trying to light up radar guns. He sacrificed the velocity for the location, and even in a half-season with the Phillies, he made an impressive improvement in his control. Although he said he still wants to work on turning that control into command.

When making this list of the Crosscutters’ best pitching prospects, it was clear there was no arm on the roster even remotely close to the excitement of an Adonis Medina, Franklyn Kilome, Francisco Morales, Will Stewart or Spencer Howard. There was the tier of Miller and Schulze, a one-man tier of Hsin-Chieh Lin, and muddied water of players who lived in the 88-91 range who located their fastball well.

This list of top pitching prospects from the Crosscutters this summer isn’t going to give you warm, fuzzy feelings about what’s to come in the system, so we’ll let the hitting prospects do that for you.

Johan Rojas is a player those who follow me on Twitter heard be rave about all summer. When even the scouts’ eyes light up when talking about him, it’s clear he has the potential to be someone of great interest in the system.

I’ve seen some in the Twittersphere talk about Rojas in the same vein as a Ronald Acuna type, or a way-too-young-to-be-this-good kind of player. And while the excitement level for the 19-year-old should be abnormally high, it’s important not to get carried away.

I get it. Everyone sees other organizations with players impacting big league games day in and day out without being able to order a beer with their post-game dinner, and they ask ‘Why don’t the Phillies have any players like that?’ So it’s easy to heap that kind of expectation on a player who is very obviously otherworldly talented. But it’s also dangerous.

It’s important to allow development to happen and not rush it. The Phillies have proven to be willing to push prospects they think are special when they know they can handle it mentally and think they can handle it physically (see, Luis Garcia, who is two months younger than Rojas but started the season two levels higher). And Rojas will get that push if the Phillies deem it helpful. And it’s clear hitting coordinator Jason Ochart is a believer in not just the bat, but the player as a whole. But there is still development which needs to happen with Rojas, as it needs to be done with everybody else who passed through Williamsport this season.

Evaluating players at the short-season level and trying to pin down any kind of Major League future certainty is a failing enterprise at best. So much can change between their days at Bowman Field and their days in Clearwater, Reading or Lehigh Valley. But what we have below is what we know based on what happened in front of my eyes this summer.

Some of it will make sense in 5 years, most of it won’t. But for now, it’s fun to guess.

Top 5 pitchers

1. Erik Miller, 21, LHP, GCL Phillies West/Williamsport/Lakewood

Season totals: 11 games, 7 starts, 36 IP, 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.111 WHIP, 6.3 H/9, 3.8 BB/9, 13.0 K/9, 3.00 K/BB

The fourth-round draft pick was easily the biggest pitching prospect to put on a Crosscutters uniform this year. There’s a ton of projection to be done with Miller, but it’s clear there’s a very good base here to build from. The primary goal of the season for the Phillies was to get the left-hander was to smooth out his mechanics a little bit. Did better to get rid of a noticeable hitch in his delivery, especially from the stretch, and it led to an improved control. Still lacking command, but showed a propensity for throwing strikes while he was in Williamsport. He walked multiple batters in five of 11 starts, but also struck out at least five batters in seven starts, including his final five. Sat primarily 90-92 and topped out at 93 with the Crosscutters. Pre-draft reports labeled Miller with a fastball with topped out in the upper 90s, but he said it was unrealistic to think he could hit that kind of velocity with the kind of command the team wants from him. He’s hoping to be in the 93-95 range after the mechanical adjustments he’s begun to make. Has a solid change-up at 80-83 which showed good deception. Manager Pat Borders called his slider his best secondary offering and has potential to be a plus pitch, but he can struggle with command of it at times. Bottom line is the tools are there to be a quality mid-rotation arm, but a small bump in velocity and continued improvement of control/command could make him a quick mover through the system.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Clearwater.

2. Brett Schulze, 21, RHP, GCL Phillies West/Williamsport

Season totals: 12 games, 5 starts, 26 2/3 IP, 1-0, 0.34 ERA, 1.463 WHIP, 7.4 H/9, 5.7 BB/9, 12.5 K/9, 2.18 K/BB

Appeared in 30 games for the University of Minnesota, all as a reliever, before being drafted in the seventh round. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Phillies try to stretch him out as a starter. Topped out at 95 with the fastball, but was more consistently 92-94. The fastball seemed to play up as it jumped out of Schulze’s hand and seemed to catch hitters off-guard even though he was predominantly a fastball pitcher. Had very good deception on his breaking ball and change-up, which hitters never seemed to be able to pick up very well. Change-up was primarily 82-83 and had solid dive to it. Curveball can get a little loopy at 80-81, but when he keeps it down it’s a swing-and-miss pitch. Has a bit of a max effort delivery which helps generate the velo from a 180-pound frame which has room to fill out. His floor is probably middle innings reliever, but it’s worth giving him the opportunity to stretch out as a starter. Had 16 swings-and-miss in 2 2/3 innings in an Aug. 7 game against division-winning Batavia, and 14 swings-and-miss in 3 2/3 innings at Batavia on Aug. 25. Did not allow an earned run until his final outing of the season.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

3. Hsin-Chieh Lin, 20, RHP, GCL Phillies West/Williamsport/Clearwater

Season totals: 12 games, 6 starts, 40 IP, 2-0, 2.03 ERA, 1.150 WHIP, 6.3 H/9, 4.1 BB/9, 9.9 K/9, 2.44 K/BB

As intriguing a pitching prospect as there was on the roster in Williamsport this season if only because he was a bit of an unknown. Showcased three pitches throughout the season: A two-seam fastball at 90-92, T93 with decent arm-side run, a big overhand curve at 78-79, and a fall-off-the-table splitter in the 80-82 range. Also flashed a slider now and again, but primarily was with the other three pitches. Struggled with control at times and walked more than 2 batters in an outing three times, but also has true swing-and-miss stuff. The splitter may be the most interesting of his secondary pitches because of its spin rate in the 800-900 RPM range and the deception which comes with the fastball motion from his arm. Very simple, repeatable delivery which gets his weight on the back leg and really driving toward the plate. Strong lower half which makes the velocity look effortless. At times, gets drifting forward which leaves his arm dragging behind which accounts for his control issues. When in time, has a legit three-pitch mix which should play moving forward as a starter.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

4. Tom Sutera, 22, RHP, Williamsport/Lakewood

Season totals: 14 games, 6 starts, 49 IP, 2-6, 3.12 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 8.6 H/9, 1.8 BB/9, 9.9 K/9, 5.40 K/BB

Intriguing if only because of the results he produced in his first full summer with the Phillies. He was an undrafted free agent who was signed after a brilliant performance in the Cape Cod League in 2018. He’s a sinkerball pitcher and was consistently 88-91 with a fastball which generated a ton of weak contact. Had a groundball rate of 48.2% at Williamsport and 49.3% in Lakewood. Allowed nearly a hit per inning, but also struck out more than one batter per inning. The stuff is by no means sexy, and he’ll continue to get outs in the low minors against young hitters. With a 6-foot, 5-inch frame and only 190 pounds, there may still be room for Sutera to add some size and, potentially, velocity. The reality is in most years he wouldn’t make this kind of list, but the results and potential still for growth at least make him an intriguing possibility moving forward. Is a back-end starter at best without the kind of wipeout stuff which would make him a viable option in the bullpen.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Clearwater.

5. Junior Tejada, 22, LHP, Williamsport

Season totals: 14 games, 7 starts, 44 IP, 2-2, 4.30 ERA, 1.318 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 3.1 BB/9, 10.0 K/9, 3.27 K/BB

The most intriguing of pitching prospects when the initial roster was announced in mid-June. A 22-year-old left-hander with a low-90s fastball which had gotten up to as much as 94-95 during extended spring training. Never got to quite that mark on his velo, but was a consistent 90-92 throughout 4 appearances with the Crosscutters which included seven starts. Stuff seemed to play better as a starter than it did as a reliever. Had a strikeout rate of 33% in seven starts, with just a 18.75% strikeout rate in seven appearances as a reliever. Slider was his best secondary pitch which sat in the 79-82 range and showed solid deception and depth. The slider was especially effective against lefties, who struck out in 27.8% of plate appearances against Tejada, but also hit for a higher average than righties (.259 vs. .244). Hard to envision a bullpen future moving forward without added velocity, and while the change-up is a usable pitch, it’s probably not good enough to make him a big league starter. But the fastball and slider combo right now are good enough to keep an eye on him.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Players to watch

Jose Conopoima, 19, RHP, Williamsport

Season totals: 14 games, 7 starts, 47 2/3 IP, 1-3, 2.83 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 8.7 H/9, 2.1 BB/9, 8.1 K/9, 3.9 K/BB

A better results-based prospect than a stuff prospect. Was 88-91 with the fastball, largely, but primarily was under 90 mph. Stuff-wise was quite underwhelming, but with a thin frame at 6-feet tall and just 157 pounds, there seems to be room to fill out and add some velocity. Survived on pitchability for the most part and his command led to his strikeouts. Had just two outings with multiple walks while 10 of his 14 appearances had multiple strikeouts.

Victor Vargas, 19, RHP, GCL Phillies East/Williamsport

Season totals: 11 games, 8 starts, 39 2/3 IP, 3-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.336 WHIP, 9.3 H/9, 2.7 BB/9, 5.9 K/9, 2.17 K/BB

Was a $525,000 signing out of Colombia in 2017 but has continued to post underwhelming stuff along with underwhelming results. Was primarily 88-90, T91 with his fastball in four appearances with the Crosscutters. Actually saw an increase in his strikeout rate after his promotion to Williamsport in an extremely small sample size, but also saw a significant increase in his walk rate. Turned 19 on Sept. 3, so still plenty of time for things to change, but the results and stuff have been quite underwhelming.

Top 5 hitters

1. Bryson Stott, 22, SS, GCL Phillies East/Williamsport

Season totals: 48 games, 193 PA, .295/.391/.494, 6 HR, 27 RBIs, 9 2B, 3 3B, 20.2 K%, 12.4 BB%

Showcased everything which made him the 14th overall pick in June’s draft. Did everything well and nothing spectacular. Offensively, he’s got a great idea at the plate of his own strikezone and where he can do damage with the ball. Gets in trouble when he gets pull happy and begins to spin off the ball. Made an in-season adjustment as teams began peppering him away with fastballs and used the left side of the diamond more. His power is going to be limited to the pull side and at this point he’s probably got about 15-HR power, but it’s easy to see some added strength driving up that total as he progresses. Struggled against left-handers who liked to pick on the outside corner, hitting just .206 in a very small sample size of 34 at-bats. Defensively gets a great, quick read on the ball and glides across the infield with tremendous range. Does well to field the ball out in front of him with soft hands. Only hiccup moving forward may be his arm strength. One scout said it may keep him from being a shortstop in the big leagues as there, at times, is a noticeable hump in the path of his throws to first. But makes up what he lacks in arm strength and impressive internal clock and an ability to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately. He should have the ability to move quickly and could be in Philadelphia as early as 2021 if he continues on this path and develops a touch more power. His floor is probably more intriguing than his ceiling because it’s so high.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Clearwater.

2. Johan Rojas, 19, OF, GCL Phillies West/Williamsport

Season totals: 60 games, 256 PA, .265/.313/.429, 2 HR, 15 RBIs, 11 2B, 11 3B, 16 K%, 5.4 BB%

I’ve tried at times to temper my hype for Rojas, but the hype is real and it’s warranted. He’s listed at 165 pounds, but it’s 165 pounds which is chiseled from granite. He complements a leg kick with long arms which generate incredible bat speed. Had a season-high exit velo of 107 mph on a triple against Brooklyn in early August. Both his home runs were to the opposite field. Tremendous hand-eye coordination is almost a detriment at times as he’ll dribble the ball to infielders when he gets fooled instead of swinging through. But his occasionally sub-4-second time to first base makes even those potential hits. Had some of the best raw power on the team despite being one of its youngest players which should allow him to profile in a corner outfield spot down the road if needed. But right now, he’s one of the best center field prospects in the entire system. More of a glider than a runner in the outfield. Covers so much ground in a manner which seems effortless. I’d call it above average arm strength, but combined with very good accuracy, makes him a dangerous thrower in the outfield. One NL East scout said Rojas reminded him of Victor Robles, although not as polished defensively as Robles was as a minor leaguer. It’d be unfair to put him in the same category as an Ozzie Albies or Ronald Ocuña Jr. because he is not nearly as polished as those players at such a young age. There is still a good bit of development which needs to be done, especially in terms of plate discipline and locking in on his pitches, and some body growth. But all the raw tools scream of potentially being an impact player.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

3. Kendall Simmons, 19, INF, Williamsport

Season totals: 51 games, 205 PA, .234/.333/.520, 12 HR, 34 RBIs, 7 2B, 3 3B, 26.2 K%, 9.8 BB%

Season was divided into two distinct acts. The first was the opening 21 games in which the former sixth-round draft pick slashed .169/.235/.324 and struck out in more than 33% of his at-bats. The second act included a .280/.398/.660 slash line in which he hit 10 home runs in 124 PAs and reduced his strikeout rate to 21.7%. The truth of who Simmons in lies somewhere in between those two extremes. But this much was clear: when manager Pat Borders challenged him to either find what made him such a highly sought after prospect or risk finishing his career never having scraped his potential, Simmons responded. In his best stretch following that conversation, Simmons slashed .338/.450/.813 with 10 home runs and a 22/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 101 plate appearances. This much is true, his power is otherworldly (search his name on Twitter and you’ll find his 445-foot home run from early August pretty quickly). He was by far the most athletic infielder on a roster full of exceptional defensive players. When locked in, his plate discipline belies his power potential. His throwing arm will play above average to plus at any infield position. If only a brief glimpse in an extremely small sample size over those 24 white-hot games, Simmons’ potential ceiling is celestial. There were no physical adjustments which made his prospect status explode, it was all mental. I still believe his best defensive position moving forward would be second base where he can best use his athleticism and lightning-quick first step, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a potential third-base landing spot in his future because of the power profile and arm strength. An average-at-best runner who can move a little bit when he gets rolling, but is never going to light up a stopwatch from home to first. Solid chance his spot on prospect lists this offseason could vary wildly depending on when evaluators saw him, but make no mistake, he’s as intriguing a prospect going in to 2020 as the Phillies have.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

4. Logan O’Hoppe, 19, C, Williamsport

Season totals: 45 games, 177 PA, .216/.266/.407, 5 HR, 26 RBIs, 12 2B, 2 3B, 27.6 K%, 6.8 BB%

Missed the final two weeks of the season for an undisclosed injury which was no serious. He did participate in Instructional League following the conclusion of the season. Incendiary potential in the bat as evidenced by a one-month, 19-game stretch which saw him slash .366/.395/.732 which featured 16 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs. Extreme risk in the bat, though, as it is streaky. A largely uppercut swing is built to lift the ball and houses plus raw power from a 6-foot-2 frame which probably weighs more than his listed 185 pounds. There is a ton of swing-and-miss in the swing and can be susceptible to pitches up in the zone. But the pitch recognition is solid. Switched to an extreme opposite-field approach following the first month of the season which allowed his power to play better to the pull side instead of getting in front of pitches. Defensively is as solid fundamentally as any catcher to come through Williamsport in my 11 seasons. Solid arm strength and throws the ball through second base with a quick release and good footwork which allows him to pop consistent times in the 1.9 to 2.0 range. Was clocked as fast as 1.85 on a hand-held stopwatch on a caught stealing. Threw out 31 percent of potential basestealers (13 of 42). Uses his body well behind the plate to block pitches and is very rarely caught out of position on a ball in the dirt. Sets a strong, low target despite his taller-than-average frame, and has shown signs of already incorporating pitch-framing into his receiving. A sponge of a worker who soaks up as much information as he can on how to get better. Still learning about pitch-calling but has a solid understanding of how to get pitchers into situations where they can use their best pitch. He’s an above average runner for a catcher and won’t clog up the basepaths.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

5. Juan Aparicio, 19, C, Williamsport/Lakewood

Season totals: 52 games, 195 PA, .303/.364/.457, 2 HR, 25 RBIs, 13 2B, 4 3B, 21 K%, 6.1 BB%

Incredible hand-eye coordination made him the best pure hitter on the roster. With 121 plate appearances at Williamsport, he will go down with the best single-season batting average for the Crosscutters in team history at .374. In 52 games this year did not face a pitcher who was younger than himself and still managed to post a final batting average above .300. At this point, his power is largely gap power, but it’s more significant than someone like Rafael Marchan, who is also a contact-first hitter. High leg kick and quick hands allow him to stay back on the ball a little longer and better see pitches. A primarily level swing keeps the barrel through the impact zone a long time and helps him barrel the ball to all fields. There’s good power in the frame, but he doesn’t sell out for it, and instead keeps his body under control and keeps his head still. May never be a 20-home run kind of guy, but should be a 40-doubles kind of hitter moving forward. His best position defensively is still hitter, but was much improved this season behind the plate. Still very raw in terms of calling a game, but his fundamentals behind the plate are solid. Has a big of a long delivery when throwing to second, but above average arm strength and some quick feet kept his pop times respectable. He’s an athletic receiver behind the plate who plays with a good foundation and provides a good, low target to pitchers.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Players to watch

Natt Fassnacht, 21, INF, Williamsport

Season totals: 45 games, 171 PA, .227/.322/.333, 2 HR, 17 RBIs, 8 2B, 1 3B, 24.6 K%, 10.5 BB%

Interesting because of what he’s capable of doing with the bat. He hit .370 at George Washington, and his ability to control the bat is what’s going to keep him in the system a long time. Probably is bound to be a second baseman in the future, but can fill in at three infield positions. Showcased a little pop, but should never be a big part of his game. Just a solid player who is always going to play hard and give you a chance to win. Sometimes a little stiff in fielding groundballs, which led to a chunk of his errors. Worth keeping an eye on moving forward.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Hunter Hearn, 23, OF, Williamsport

Season totals: 52 games, 195 PA, .180/.251/.309, 5 HR, 19 RBIs, 8 2B, 0 3B, 28.2 K%, 6.2 BB%

Owner of the largest belt buckle in the system. And older prospect who was a senior sign out of Sam Houston State as a 26th-round draft pick, but does two things very well: Hit for power and throw from the outfield. He’s a right-field prospect moving forward, but having just turned 23 he’s going to have to show improved plate discipline quickly to remain part of the plan. A ton of moving parts to his swing which features a high leg kick and a pronounced load. On one hand it generates some of the best raw power on the team, but leads to significant swing-and-miss. Led the Crosscutters with eight outfield assists thanks to a right arm which produces frozen rope-throws like Hershey’s produces chocolate, along with a GPS-like accuracy.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Hunter Markwardt, 22, OF, Williamsport

Season totals: 18 games, 68 PA, .306/.324/.355, 0 HR, 8 RBIs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 20.5 K%, 2.9 BB%

After his first pro summer Markwardt is a little bit of a mystery after playing just 18 games. When crashing face-first into the unpadded left-center field wall at and ended up with a broken nose and a couple cuts on his face. That was the final time he played this summer. What he did show in an extremely small sample size was an ability to handle the bat with an extreme pull-happy swing and setup. Struggled with pitches on the outer half but could get to almost anything in the pull zone. Ran in the 4.0 to 4.2 range to first base from the left side and that speed helped him patrol center field with ease. The 13th-round pick this year is going to have to be able to stick in center field to provide value because the power profile just doesn’t seem to be there to man a corner spot.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Nicolas Torres, 20, SS/2B, Williamsport

Season totals: 47 games, 166 PA, .260/.323/.287, 0 HR, 10 RBIs, 4 2B, 0 3B, 21.6 K%, 7.8 BB%

Season-long stats were skewed a touch by a terrible start through his first 26 games of the season when he slashed .191/.267/.206 and struck out more than three times as much as he walked. For a contact-first player who relies on his quickness and ability to play defense, it was about as worst-case-scenario as it could have been for the 155-pound middle infielder. But his close to the year with a .317/.371/.354 slash is probably more in line with who needs to be to be a prospect of any substance. There’s no power in his swing, and while there is some growth potential in the frame, the bat speed doesn’t ring out as eventually being able to develop home run power. Probably always going to be a defense-first play who can be a plus defender up the middle. Soft hands and a strong arm could keep him on shortstop moving forward, but he’d be buried on the organizational depth chart at that position. He’s going to be worth keeping an eye on if only because any increase in even his gap power could increase his value.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.

Corbin Williams, 21, OF, Williamsport

Season totals: 58 games, 232 PA, .220/.302/.250, 0 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 2B, 1 3B, 31.9 K%, 9.0 BB%

The speed and power game of Williams are polar opposites of one another. On one hand, he’s a true 80 runner in every sense of the word. On multiple bunts this season he was clocked at under 3.7 seconds to first base from the right side. He led the New York-Penn League in stolen bases and was one of only three Crosscutters in franchise history to steal at least 30 in a season. On the flip side, he’s a true 20 on the 20-80 scouting scale for power, and if there was a 10, he’d be a 10. When he hit his first batting practice home run in August, the team went nuts because it’s just not part of his game and probably never will be. His slight frame makes Carlos Tocci look like The Rock. But he can get the bat on the ball, and has become a proficient bunter. He’s also a plus defender in center field who has the glide quality when he tracks down fly balls. Became much better throughout the year about picking his spots to steal instead of just running to run. As intriguing a prospect as there is in the system, but he comes with extreme risk because of the lack of power.

Projected 2020 starting spot: Lakewood.