With the trade deadline passed, it seems like a perfect time to talk about some prospects that have shined this past month of July. These prospects are by no means the best players of the month, but instead are some with underpriced Bowman cards given their performance.
Jack Brannigan – Going extremely under the radar, Brannigan has stepped his play up a notch. While earning both Top 30 Pirates prospect honors (on MLB Pipeline) and a High-A call up, Brannigan has returned to his college form after a rough 2022 debut. While batting well over .300 in July and mashing three home runs, Brannigan has not slowed down since his call up. There is a real possibility Brannigan reaches AA by the end of the year if he continues this level of play.
Cameron Cauley – Cauley’s another prospect entering his respected organization’s top 30 (according to MLB Pipeline, recently ranked #36 on Byron Cox’s Rangers midseason Top 50) while simultaneously earning a High-A call up. Cauley has not been afraid of High-A pitching so far, with 4 SB, 3 HR, and a .306 AVG, Cauley seems to have dramatically improved since the call up. As he continues to add strength to his 5’10” frame, Cauley has true 20/20 potential and is one of the more destructive baserunners. Still just 20 years old after three professional seasons, if Cauley can continue to improve at these rates, we are witnessing the emergence of another Rangers top prospect.
Dayan Frias – Currently one of my favorite bats in all of the minor leagues, Frias saw a huge power surge last month. With more walks then strikeouts in July, Frias tallied 6 HR and 5 doubles with a near .300 AVG. Though just standing at 5’9” Frias could easily develop into a prospect like Hector Rodriguez. Primarily playing at 3B, Frias has played all over the infield and could even eventually see some time in the outfield.
Angel Martinez – Another Guardians prospect, Martinez has seemed to fall off of everyone’s list after a surge in 2022. This month, Martinez is fighting for his relevancy back and showing why he is one of the premier bats in the Guardians farm. With a .309 AVG, 5 HR, and a sub 20 K%, Martinez is doing just that. Showing some of the most elite defense in the entire organization, Martinez has had a pretty equal distribution of playing time at 3B, 2B, and SS this season. As it stands I think the Guardians currently only have two better prospect bats than Martinez in Chase DeLauter & Kyle Manzardo, and DeLauter’s future is extremely unclear due to injuries.
Jeremiah Jackson – Though Jackson is already 23, and in terms of Bowman investing probably not the best buy, he is still worth mentioning as he continues to play the best baseball of his career. Just 5 HR away from a 20/20 season, Jackson hit 7 homers this month and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. As he continues to make small adjustments to his overhauled swing, Jackson already has some major league Spring Training experience and continues to prove his ability to react on pitches.
Kenedy Corona – Another older prospect in terms of Bowman investing, Corona is just two home runs away from a 20/20 season and hit five homers in July with a .260 AVG. With a very high chance at promotion to AAA this year and 2024 debut, Corona could very easily outshine everyone in the Astros farm system.
Jace Avina – Mentioned in my last article as a dark horse sleeper, Avina is playing his best baseball. With a .305 AVG, 4 home runs, and 5 doubles, it seems Avina is finally starting to adjust. Avina had some extremely high expectations this year after his 15 home run 2022 debut, but the 20-year-old Brewers prospect has shown some serious contact issues in Low-A this year. With a great start to the second half of the year, I don’t see Avina slowing down and expect a strong end to 2023.
Junior Tilien – With a recent High-A call up over other highly ranked Mets prospects, Tilien has shined in High-A. Batting .270 with a sub 15 K% in July, Tilien has shown a drastically improved plate presence this year. Mashing 23 doubles so far, Tilien is developing above average power with an elite plate approach. Still just 20 years old, he should be a lot more known then he is now, as he remains one of the lesser known Mets prospects and didn’t even make Philip Frank’s midseason Mets Top 50.
David McCabe – McCabe is really showing why he should be considered one of the best Braves bats in the entire organization. The 6’3”, 230 lb mammoth from Charlotte is absolutely destroying High-A Rome. Batting .306 last month with 4 HR and 7 doubles, I argue that McCabe should be one of the Braves’ top 5 hitting prospects. He’s pretty much an Austin Riley clone, sitting at #26 on Michael Kelley’s midseason Braves Top 50 ranks, but is showing all the signs of being able to shine in MLB.
Sal Stewart – Though being picked 32 overall in the 2022 MLB Draft, Bowman collectors seemed to have prioritized other prep bats like Tucker Toman. This seems to have been a mistake as Stewart is on fire. With more walks than strikeouts last month, he slammed 4 home runs and 6 doubles while maintaining a near .300 AVG.
Nathan Martorella – With no reason to not be in AA, Martorella is taking over the Padres organization. After posting a .315 batting average last month with four homers and 6 doubles, the power-hitting first baseman is making huge strides to becoming a top Padres prospect.