Greetings, fellow prospectors. It’s back. And I know you’ve missed it.
The minor league season is officially under way, and there are some teams who are considered more “stacked” in terms of higher ceiling prospects than others. Here is my personal top 10 list.
1) Lancaster Jet Hawks (Astros, High-A) – Where else are you going to find two consecutive #1 draft picks on the same team? If that weren’t enough, there are a plethora of other pitchers, and especially position prospects, to keep an eye on. Their park is considered to be one of the most hitter-friendly in the entire minors, which could be a double-edged sword, but these arms could move quickly up the ladder, so go and see them sooner than later.
Pitchers – Mark Appel, Josh Hader, Lance McCullers, Kyle Smith, Vince Velasquez
Hitters – Carlos Correa, Rio Ruiz, Teoscar Hernandez, Danry Vasquez
2) Oklahoma City Red Hawks (Astros, AAA) – If the above Astros prospects weren’t enough for you, we have another sampling of high-end guys awaiting their call to Houston.
Pitchers – Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Tropeano
Hitters – Max Stassi, Jon Singleton, Domingo Santana, George Springer
3) Tennessee Smokies (Cubs, AA) – Their overall system is stacked, five guys in particular, who are considered among the best in the minors. And they’re all in one place.
Pitchers – Corey Black, C.J. Edwards, Pierce Johnson (injured)
Hitters – Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler
4) Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals, High-A) – It isn’t often so many of their prospects can be found on one team, and as an added bonus, two of them were just drafted last year.
Pitchers – Miguel Almonte, Christian Binford, Sean Manaea
Hitters – Hunter Dozier, Raul A. Mondesi, Bubba Starling
5) Iowa Cubs (Cubs, AAA) – Like the Astros’ system, the Cubs have potential in abundance, headlined here by Baseball America’s #5 overall minor league prospect.
Pitchers – Kyle Hendricks
Hitters – Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Christian Villanueva
6) Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox, AAA) – Even without Jackie Bradley, who was the recipient of a last minute recall to Fenway, there are several names who could very well follow him this year, highlighted by these guys.
Pitchers – Matt Barnes, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo
Hitters – Garin Cecchini, Bryce Brentz, Christian Vazquez
7) Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox, AA) – Here is yet another farm system with two teams’ worth of emphatic potential.
Pitchers – Henry Owens
Hitters – Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, Deven Marrero
8) Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Rangers, High-A) – The majority of last year’s “dream lineup” while they were stationed in Hickory have moved up a level this year.
Pitchers – Alex Gonzalez
Hitters – Jorge Alfaro, Chris Bostick, Joey Gallo, Nick Williams
9) San Antonio Missions (Padres, AA) – Featuring arguably the minors’ top catching prospect and an arm who broke out in a big way last year.
Pitchers – Jesse Hahn, Matt Wisler
Hitters – Austin Hedges, Jace Peterson, Cory Spangenberg, Travis Jankowski, Rymer Liriano
10)West Virginia Power (Pirates, Low-A) – These guys may still be a ways off, but when two of last year’s top hitting first rounders are assigned to the same team, it’s just too enticing to ignore.
Pitchers – Luis Heredia
Hitters – Reese McGuire, JaCoby Jones, Austin Meadows (injured), Harold Ramirez
Others who just missed – Ft. Myers Miracle, Las Vegas 51’s, Lansing Lugnuts, Durham Bulls.