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A SBNation Community about Minor League Baseball, Rookies, and Prospects



Updated: 2017-12-13T20:41:50-05:00

 



Marlins trade Marcell Ozuna to Cardinals for four prospects

2017-12-13T20:41:50-05:00

Miami acquires outfielder Magneuris Sierra and pitching prospects Sandy Alcatara, Daniel Castano, and Zac Gallen On Wednesday afternoon the Miami Marlins traded outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals for four prospects: outfielder Magneuris Sierra, and pitching prospects Sandy Alcantara, Daniel Castano, and Zac Gallen. Here’s a quick take on the trade. Sandy Alcantara, RHP: The Cardinals signed Alcantara out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He spent most of 2017 with Springfield in the Double-A Texas League, posting a 4.31 ERA in 125 innings with a 106/54 K/BB. He pitched in the majors in September, seeing relief work and posting a 4.32 ERA in 8.1 innings with a 10/6 K/BB.We wrote this report on Alcantara back in September and it is still valid: fastball in the mid-to-upper-90s, mixing in a good change-up and inconsistent breaking ball. With more breaking ball development and sharper command he could be a number three starter, perhaps more, although many observers think he will wind up as a reliever, albeit a possibly dominant one. In my opinion he needs a year of Triple-A to add more polish to his arsenal. Right now I rate him as a solid Grade B prospect. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports Sandy Alcantara Daniel Castano, LHP: Castano was drafted by the Cardinals in the 19th round in 2016 from Baylor University. He pitched in the New York-Penn League in 2017, posting a 2.57 ERA in 91 innings with an 81/13 K/BB. His statistics were impressive but he has yet to reach full-season ball. Castano is age 23, listed at 6-4, 230 pounds. He does not throw especially hard, with a fastball in the 87-91 range, but he keeps hitters off-mark with a curveball, cutter, and change-up and he throws strikes. We need to see how he fares against more experienced hitters but he’s put himself on the radar as a Grade C type. Zac Gallen, RHP: Gallen was drafted in the third round in 2016 from the University of North Carolina. His first full pro season in 2017 was highly successful, with a combined 2.93 ERA between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A with a 121/35 K/BB in 148 innings.Gallen is listed at 6-2, 190, age 22. He is one of the most polished pitchers in the minor leagues, featuring stellar command of his 90-94 MPH fastball, curveball, cutter, and change-up. While none of his pitches are excellent by themselves, his ability to mix them efficiently helps everything play up. He does not have Alcantara’s physical upside but his feel for pitching is stronger and I would also rate him as a Grade B prospect.Magneuris Sierra, OF: Sierra is from the Dominican Republic, signed by the Cardinals in 2012. He split 2017 between High-A and Double-A, hitting a combined .270/.318/.373 with 27 walks and 74 strikeouts in 408 at-bats, stealing 20 bases in 30 attempts. He received some time in the majors as well, hitting .317/.359/.317 with in 60 at-bats with four walks, 14 strikeouts, and a pair of steals. Sierra is listed at 5-11, 160, a left-handed hitter and thrower, age 21. As you may expect from his statistical profile speed is his best asset. He needs more polish as a baserunner but uses the speed very well in the outfield. He also has a strong arm and profiles very well in center.The main question is his bat. He usually makes contact but is a rather aggressive hitter with a low walk rate. He hasn’t shown much home run power to this point and given his physical build he’s not likely to develop into a substantial power source, although there’s some wiry strength there and he should hit some doubles and triples. An optimistic read on his hitting (i.e., more power and/or a higher OBP) would project him as a long-term regular in center field. If his batting average remains empty he might be more of a defense-oriented fourth outfielder. Given his young age at 21, an optimistic read is quite plausible and he currently rates as a Grade B prospect for me. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images Magneuris Sierra [...]



Arizona Diamondbacks preliminary prospect grade breakdown

2017-12-13T19:46:11-05:00

(image)

The first-run grade distribution for D-backs prospects

I am working on the Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 prospects list for 2018. Most of Thursday will be devoted to the Rule 5 draft, so the report may not be finished until Friday. Here is a quick look at how the first run through the grades came out.

Grade A: Zero
Grade A-: Zero
Grade B+: One
Grade B: Three
Grade B-: Nine
Grade C+: 17 Lots of flexibility there, will probably be fewer than 17
Grade C: Everyone else

The players:

Jose Almonte, RHP
Ryan Atkinson, RHP
Anthony Banda, LHP
Jorge Barrosa, OF
Matt Brill, RHP
Socrates Brito, OF
Jose Caballero, 2B
Jasrado Chisholm, SS
Taylor Clarke, RHP
Kevin Cron, 1B
Ben DeLuzio, OF
Eduardo Diaz, OF
Justin Donatella, RHP
Frank Duncan, RHP
Jon Duplantier, RHP
Jhoan Duran, RHP
Drew Ellis, 3B
Tommy Eveld, RHP
Harrison Francis, RHP
Anfernee Grier, OF
Eddie Hernandez, INF
Ramon Hernandez, 3B
Tramayne Holmes, OF
Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP
Mark Karaviotis, 1B
Brad Keller, RHP
Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Joey Krehbiel, RHP
Mack Lemieux, LHP
Domingo Leyba, INF
Yoan Lopez, RHP
Keshawn Lynch, 2B-SS
Tyler Mark, RHP
Francis Martinez, 1B
Mason McCullough, RHP
Sam McWilliams, RHP
Jared Miller, LHP
Dominic Miroglio, C
Gabriel Maciel, OF
Kevin McCanna, RHP
Colin Poche, LHP
Eudy Ramos, 3B
Cody “Alabama” Reed, LHP
Jack Reinheimer, INF
Victor Reyes, OF
Kristian Robinson, OF
Joey Rose, 3B
Yan Sanchez, INF-OF
Brian Shaffer, RHP
Jimmie Sherfy, RHP
Pavin Smith, 1B
Matt Tabor, RHP
Bo Takahashi, RHP
Emilio Vargas, RHP
Ildemaro Vargas, INF
Daulton Varsho, C
Christian Walker, 1B-OF
Breckin Williams, RHP
Marcus Wilson, OF
Andy Yerzy, C
Alex Young, LHP




The Yankees can STILL control trade market

2017-12-13T14:05:07-05:00

After Sonny Gray, Giancarlo Stanton trades, assets are still aplenty Clap it up, new Yankees manager Aaron Boone. There’s more than enough to be excited about regarding your ball club right now. After making Giancarlo-sized headlines over the weekend, acquiring said Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins for essentially pitching prospect Jorge Guzman (read about the Marlins’ future here), it’s a great time to be a Yankees fan. Not even a couple years ago, New York ditched their usual ways and instead of throwing money at the Wall (Street? get it?) and seeing what sticks, took a step back and invested in younger talent. Given the franchise’s financial fortunes, they were already set with assets to trade. Just by cleaning out their bullpen, they acquired some of the game’s best prospects for relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. Without even mentioning Justus Sheffield or Billy McKinney (just did), the club had netted two of the game’s best prospects —Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier— in the blink of an eye. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports L to R: Mateo, Torres and Andujar There were other moves, as well. Carlos Beltran fetched former fourth overall pick Dillon Tate, Brian McCann netted two pitching prospects —including Miami bound Guzman— and Justin Wilson turned into dynamite reliever Chad Green. Fast forward to the 2017 trade deadline, with the rebuild done and over with before you could even say “Severino,” the Yankees traded three prospects for Sonny Gray. Gone from a now loaded farm system were Dustin Fowler, James Kaprielian and Jorge Mateo. 2016 first-rounder Blake Rutherford also departed to Chicago in return for three White Sox veterans, including former Yankee David Robertson. All four players were homegrown by the Yankees but since replaced in the lightning fast rebuild. Couple that with several new developing prospects like Chance Adams, Estevan Florial and Miguel Andujar and the Yankees —even after trades for Gray, Robertson/Todd Frazier/Tommy Kahnle and now Stanton— are still as loaded as any team in baseball. With that said, the free agent market in 2017 is top heavy. The Yankees certainly won’t be in play for the big boppers like J.D. Martinez, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer or even an Alex Cobb. But the trade market could be where the magic is made...again. The Baltimore Orioles are shopping Manny Machado, destined for free agency in 2019. There’s also dominant closer Zach Britton, also set to hit the market that same winter for the O’s. The Pittsburgh Pirates are fielding offers on Gerrit Cole, under team control for two more seasons. The San Diego Padres will see just how much they can get for waiver darling closer Brad Hand. Tampa Bay could test the market for ace Chris Archer. Jackie Bradley, Jr. is available incase the Yankees and Red Sox really want to make a deal just for the sake of baseball chaos. But you get the picture. It’s a big picture full of big names flooding a potentially potent trade market. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Future teammates? And guess who stands arguably at the top to reap the benefits? Even after all the prospect dealing in just the past six months, it’s the Yankees. Where most farm systems would be gutted after a pair of trades like this (think the Texas Rangers and their dual dealings for Cole Hamels and Jonathan Lucroy), the Yankees not only aren’t hurting for depth in the system but also have the benefit of that huge piggy bank to work with. In another apt comparison, the Houston Astros made sizable deals over the past few seasons for Ken Giles, Carlos Gomez and most recently for Justin Verlander. Even still, they have multiple top prospects like Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley and Francis Martes that could tilt prospective negotiations in their favor. What they don’t have, however, is that seemingly endless budget like the Yankees. New York has the prospects, the money and the overall means to be the m[...]



Arizona Diamondbacks preliminary prospect list

2017-12-11T14:33:57-05:00

(image)

Here are 61 D-Backs prospects under study for 2018

Here’s the working research list of 61 Arizona Diamondbacks prospects under study as I work on the Top 20 prospect report. There’s a lot of Grade C here. Feel free to suggest others.

Jose Almonte, RHP
Ryan Atkinson, RHP
Anthony Banda, LHP
Jorge Barrosa, OF
Matt Brill, RHP
Socrates Brito, OF
Jose Caballero, 2B
Jasrado Chisholm, SS
Taylor Clarke, RHP
Kevin Cron, 1B
Ben DeLuzio, OF
Eduardo Diaz, OF
Justin Donatella, RHP
Frank Duncan, RHP
Jon Duplantier, RHP
Jhoan Duran, RHP
Drew Ellis, 3B
Tommy Eveld, RHP
Harrison Francis, RHP
Anfernee Grier, OF
Eddie Hernandez, INF
Ramon Hernandez, 3B
Tramayne Holmes, OF
Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP
Mark Karaviotis, 1B
Brad Keller, RHP
Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Joey Krehbiel, RHP
Mack Lemieux, LHP
Yoan Lopez, RHP
Keshawn Lynch, 2B-SS
Tyler Mark, RHP
Francis Martinez, 1B
Mason McCullough, RHP
Sam McWilliams, RHP
Jared Miller, LHP
Dominic Miroglio, C
Domingo Leyba, INF
Gabriel Maciel, OF
Kevin McCanna, RHP
Colin Poche, LHP
Eudy Ramos, 3B
Cody “Alabama” Reed, LHP
Jack Reinheimer, INF
Victor Reyes, OF
Kristian Robinson, OF
Joey Rose, 3B
Yan Sanchez, INF-OF
Brian Shaffer, RHP
Jimmie Sherfy, RHP
Pavin Smith, 1B
Matt Tabor, RHP
Bo Takahashi, RHP
Emilio Vargas, RHP
Ildemaro Vargas, INF
Daulton Varsho, C
Christian Walker, 1B-OF
Breckin Williams, RHP
Marcus Wilson, OF
Andy Yerzy, C
Alex Young, LHP




Two-way players: Jack Bentley

2017-12-11T10:37:42-05:00

Early 20th century minor league superstar Jack Bentley was a success as both a hitter and pitcher With the Los Angeles Angels signing Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, the baseball world has two-way players on the mind, yet the idea of the two-way player is far from a new one. Decades ago, it was not uncommon to find many a pitcher who handled the bat nearly as well as they performed on the mound. Few, however, truly excelled at both at the same time. One example from early in the 20th century was Jack Bentley. John Needles Bentley was born on March 8th, 1885, in a Quaker farming community in Sandy Spring, Maryland, to an affluent family. His father, John, was president of a local bank, while his mother, Cornelia (nee Hallowell) came from an influential family, in her own right. “Jack”, as he was called, was the only son among six children. He learned the game at a very early age, progressing to the point that he was playing among adult teams by the age of ten, when he wasn't working the family farm. Interestingly enough, Bentley played every position at the time except for pitcher. Living so close to the Washington Senators, Bentley was an ardent fan of the team. Indeed, the Senators would play an important role in his development as a professional. Soon after departing home for the George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, a Quaker day school, Bentley became an accomplished pitcher. He would leave the George School at age eighteen, already a major-league prospect. It is reported that Bentley threw “several” no-hitters while in high school. Less than a year after becoming a student at the day school, Bentley was approached by Bert Conn, then manager of the Johnstown Johnnies in the Class B Tri-State League, a league which included teams in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Conn offered him a contract to play the outfield at $75 a month, equivalent to slightly less than $1900 in current value, but the teenager turned him down. It was a pivotal time for Bentley. His father was enduring health problems that would eventually overcome him, and the farm had to be tended as well. This is where Julian Gartrell entered the picture. Gartrell, a doctor in the DC area, took notice of Bentley and mentioned him to his friend, Senators manager Clark Griffith. Bentley was playing for a county team by the time Dr. Gartrell found him, and after a particularly well-pitched game, the doctor suggested to Bentley that he go to Griffith Stadium to try out for the Senators. Bentley took that chance, and Griffith liked what he saw, though Bentley had no expectation that anything good would come of the tryout. Bentley was put on the mound by Griffith to pitch batting practice. Senators catcher John Henry, at the time, expected little to come of the eighteen year-old's performance. And yet, batter after batter looked baffled against the young lefty. After twenty minutes or so, Griffith had seen enough. He would offer Bentley a season-long contract for $600 ($100 per month). Bentley wouldn't accept it without first discussing it with his parents, who felt baseball wasn't a worthwhile vocation. The general atmosphere among professional ballplayers, where drinking, gambling, philandering, and generalized chicanery were commonplace, caused further hesitation in the minds of the Quaker family. After he gave his word that he would abstain from such activities, his parents gave their blessing. Bentley, amazingly, went straight to the majors, making his MLB debut on September 6th, 1913, against the New York Yankees. He entered the game in the ninth in relief of Joe Engel, with the score 9-1, Senators. He retired right fielder Frank Gilhooley on a fly ball to center fielder Clyde Milan, shortstop Rollie Zeider lined out to center as well, and catcher Ed Sweeney grounded out to second baseman Frank LaPorte. It was a low-pressure appearance for Bentley, but Griffith wanted to see what he could do without throwing him to the wol[...]



So where are the Marlins now?

2017-12-11T09:17:40-05:00

After blockbuster deals with Stanton and Gordon, what’s the forecast in South Beach? Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have been owners of the Miami Marlins for almost three months now. With the MLB regular season having concluded in November (the Astros won the World Series, by the way), the transaction window officially opened. Not until December and the always enjoyable Winter Meetings does the activity really start to ramp up. But for Jeter, Sherman and their Marlins, that activity has peaked in early December with two very big moves. Backtracking a little bit, I wrote two separate but narratively linear articles on the Marlins last season. First, I ventured that the then Jeff Loria-owned club should beat the league to the punch and sell off pieces first. My reasoning: the Marlins have a good team. A damn good team for one that finds themselves in such bleak fortune. Only the champion Astros and Coors Field tenant Rockies had a better team batting average than the Marlins in 2017. Only those two clubs racked up more hits. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Additionally, the Marlins were fifth in the National League in runs scored and fourth in RBI in the senior circuit. This team can absolutely rake. Unfortunately, pitching is a big problem in South Beach, the team finishing 26th in ERA last season. The tragic death of Jose Fernandez left the club helpless for a top-of-the-rotation arm and they’ve battled horrible luck with their recent top draft picks. Tyler Kolek (2nd overall pick, 2014) and Braxton Garrett (6th, 2016) have both become Tommy John victims with Kolek’s stock at an all-time low and Garrett still holding on as one of the team’s best prospects... ...which speaks to the overall quality of the farm system. John ranked the Marlins in a league of their own entering 2017: the basement. All by themselves. The ownership situation —whether it be Loria’s ineptitude in roster building and/or cost-cutting or the fact that they really don’t have one in place— has finally been resolved. But it appears Jeter and Sherman are off to a start that rings all too familiar. The team is stripping down again. You don’t have to play devil’s advocate to defend the decision, but the Marlins did manage 77 wins last season after starting out with what seemed like a winless April. Alas, here we are. They’re tearing it down again to build it up. Teams have held onto more with less, but the Marlins have a legitimate core in place. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports With the dealing of Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners and the essential selling of Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, they managed to add something to their farm system in the former deal. The latter, unfortunately, is a dump. Marlins’ ownership certainly tried their best (we presume) to squeeze some high-level prospects out of the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants or the Yankees, but Stanton’s contract is just all sorts of terrible. Even as a reigning NL MVP who just turned 28, entering the prime of his career as one of the league’s fiercest power hitters, the contract he signed in 2014 is this Marlins’ team’s undoing. Stanton, of course, can opt out after 2020 which would have saved the Marlins from themselves, but only Dirk Nowitzki says no to that many millions. A quick breakdown shows Stanton earning $25 million in 2018, $26 million (shorthand from here on out) in 2019 and $26M in 2020. After he certainly opts in, he’s due $29M in 2021 and 2022, $32M in 2023 through 2025, $29M in 2026, $25M in 2027 and then finally a club option for $25M in 2028 before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2028 at age 40. The absurd amount of money could have defended even from the Marlins, but the minute they gave him a contract for well over a decade, they were tying their own hands in a Florida-sized knot. So here we are, Giancarlo Stan[...]



Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 prospects you should know

2017-12-10T09:00:03-05:00

The Pirates have pumped out some intriguing prospects over the past few years. What do they have left on the farm? It’s an interesting time on the Pittsburgh Pirates farm. Just a few years removed from turning some nice prospects into a contender at the big league level, the team seems to be back to square one. The same system touted for once having incredible pitching depth, seems to lack that superstar talent after Mitch Keller. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some players with big league potential. Some may just be further away from their chance. Here are three prospects to keep an eye on come 2018. Jordan Luplow, OF If you like power, Luplow is your man. Drafted in the third round out of Fresno State in 2014, the right hander slugger had a steady climb up the ladder. Luplow advanced one level in each of his three seasons, until he put it all together in 2017, and climbed from Double-A to the bigs. Already 24 years old and having nearly 30 big league games under his belt, how much of a “prospect” Luplow remains is a question. What is not a question is that he put together his best year as a pro at his most advanced levels of the minor leagues. Between Double and Triple-A, Luplow slashed .302/.381/.527 with 22 doubles and 23 home runs. His power is almost all pull, but he generates a lot of it on his fly ball power. What’s impressive is that Luplow seems to understand the strike zone. He’s never posted a strikeout rate higher than 20 percent, and often walks well over 10 percent of his plate appearances. Luplow could break spring training as the opening day fourth outfielder. The Pirates could also start him in Triple-A for a little bit to see if he rounds out into a full-timer. If his improvements continue, he very well may. Stephen Alemais, SS Alemais is his name and defense is his game. The 21-year-old shortstop prospect is about as fundamentally sound as it gets at the position. The Pirates knew what they were getting when they drafted him in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Tulane. The right-hander has a big arm, and his instincts and range may be the best in a farm system littered with promising infield prospects. There is no denying that he can be a big league infielder from a fielding perspective. The questions were surrounding his ability to hit at the advanced levels. Alemais makes his living on contact, with little, if no over-the-fence power. No matter the sample size, Alemais had never hit above .263 at any stop until his Florida State League debut this season. Sure, it was only 30 games, but against the most advanced pitching, in a very pitcher-friendly league, Alemais was at his best. He slashed .317/.393/.406 walking just as many times as he struck out (14:14). He hits a ton of ground balls and seems to like center field the most, but shows an ability to possibly make contact to all fields regularly. It will be interesting to not only see how well Alemais adjusts to more mature pitching up the ladder, but how quickly the Pirates move him with the depth in the system. Luis Escobar, RHP Escobar is the classic, “he can throw, but needs to learn how to pitch guy.” He has two quality pitches, but whether or not he can land them is another question. Now 21, the Colombian is coming off his first year of full-season ball. It showed promise, but also concern. He made 25 starts in 26 appearances in the South Atlantic League posting a respectable ERA (3.83), a nice WHIP (1.19) which equated to a sound FIP (3.52). He also led the circuit in strikeouts, punching out 168 in 131.2 innings, a dazzling 11.48 per nine. The problem is, he walked 60 over the same span, a too-high 4.10 per nine. Escobar has two pitches ready to climb the ladder. His fastball hits the upper-90s, but is in the mid-90s most of the time. His curveball has spin and bite, but he struggles commanding it. His changeup is well behind in both co[...]



New York Yankees go fishing, reel in Giancarlo Stanton

2017-12-09T13:50:25-05:00

The Yankees may have missed out on Otani, but Brian Cashman worked out a deal to land Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton. Brian Cashman continues to make the New York Yankees stronger without having to go through the rebuild process. After a Tweet from Henry Schulman in the wee hours of Saturday morning indicated the Yankees and Miami Marlins deal was more or less in place, the #StantonWatch officially began. Joel Sherman was the first to report that Starlin Castro and two prospects are heading to Miami for Stanton. So, who did the Yankees give up? (note: as of 12:20 p.m. ET, this is still unconfirmed from both teams. Should anything change, check back here for updated information) Jorge Guzman, RHP Guzman was acquired by the Yankees from the Houston Astros in the Brian McCann deal. Here’s what we said at Minor League Ball the day of the trade: Like [Albert] Abreu, Guzman is a tall and lanky right-hander, standing at 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds. Also like Abreu, he will be 21 for the duration of the 2017 season. But wait, there’s more. He, too, was signed out of the Dominican Republic. And also like Abreu, Guzman throws straight gas. Guzman is much more raw than Abreu, which is frightening considering how much heat he can harness with his fastball. He hit 97 to 98 on the regular, hitting triple-digits with ease, topping out at 103 according to some reports. He adds in a slider and a changeup, which are still a bit behind but developing nonetheless. That fastball has enough to like that the Yankees can be patient as the other stuff comes along. Unlike Abreu, most see him as a reliever, which would help him get by with that overpowering fastball a lot easier. The Yankees hope they have a new Aroldis Chapman on their hands, but still just 20 years old over this winter, there is a lot of time to figure it out. Guzman began the year in extended spring training and finished the year in Staten Island. His work on his command was evident in his 13 starts in the New York-Penn League. Overall the 21-year-old went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He struck out 88 in 66.2 innings while walking just 18. Guzman was also extremely effective in inducing ground balls, with a 53.3 percent rate of batted balls. That is plenty to like. He is still young and will likely advance the ladder a bit more quickly now that his mechanics are trending in the right direction. He has a big arm, giving him an elite fastball that hits triple-digits. Should he clean up his slider, it is a strikeout pitch. At the very least, the Marlins have an intriguing closer candidate, and at the most they have a mid-rotation arm. He impressed our own John Sickels enough that he had him at No. 7 in the Yankees preseason rankings. Here’s what he said: Age 21, signed by Astros in 2014 from Dominican Republic, another component of McCann trade; posted 2.30 ERA with 88/18 K/BB in 67 innings in New York-Penn League; outstanding numbers matched with excellent stuff, fastball reported as high as 103 and works at 97-99; slider and change-up are erratic but his command of the fastball and the velocity was too much for most NY-P hitters; tremendous ceiling, though we need to see him at higher levels. ETA 2020. Jose Devers, IF Devers has some pretty impressive baseball bloodlines. His cousin Rafael Devers graduated to big league stud rookie, but was one of baseball’s best prospects for several years. Jose may not be quite that, but he’s still very intriguing. The 18-year-old was signed out of the Dominican Republic. He stands at 6-feet and 155 pounds and made his pro ball debut this season. Split between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League, Devers slashed .245/.336/.342 with nine doubles, three triples and one home run. An interesting thing to look at is his strikeout rate. In his DSL debut, he struck out 16 times and walked none in 11 games. Once he jumped t[...]