Florida State League Round Up

Bubba Chandler, Bradenton Marauders, Florida State League, June 13, 2022. Photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

Let’s take a quick look at a couple teams, and a couple other standout prospects, in the Single-A Florida State League!

*All stats through Sunday 8/21/22

Lakeland Tigers Flying High

The Tigers’ Single-A affiliate has been flying high among the Prospects1500 Tigers team ranks this season with 3 members of their July roster represented among our Top 10. If that doesn’t sell you on this roster, consider that all of them are still just teenagers.

Leading the pack on our list at #6 is Roberto Campos, a 19-year-old outfield prospect from Cuba. Campos is a threatening presence from the right side of the plate and with his swing and frame, it’s not hard to envision an impact bat down the line. For now, he’s holding his own as a teenager in the FSL, slashing .252/.320/.381 with a 22.2% K% and 5 homers. Campos remains an exciting young prospect.

Next at #7 is 18-year-old infielder Cristian Santana. Listed at 6 feet, Santana has a thicker lower half and a quick bat. The teenager presents as a bit rawer than his teammates mentioned here with a 27.4% K% and a .206 average, however, I was impressed by his ability to turn on the ball. He is also sporting a healthy BB% of 16.5%, in his full season debut, with 6 homers and 9 steals across 285 PA.

Moving to the 8th spot in our ranks features a presence in the batter’s box about as imposing as they come. Standing at a listed 6’4” that looks like it is underselling it, Izaac Pacheco was the Tigers 2nd round pick out of the Texas high school ranks in 2021. So far he’s had a full season debut to rival his physicality. Pacheco sported a .267/.342/.415 line with 8 homers and 12 steals, through 371 plate appearances for Lakeland. He was promoted to High-A on August 3rd. Still just 19 years old, Pacheco swatted homers in each of his first games at the new level. He’s been on the injured list since August 11th.

Talented Marauders Vie for Division Lead

Not only do the Bradenton Marauders have a MiLB stream many consider to be the best around, but the Single-A Pirates also feature some very intriguing prospects.

Two-way talent Bubba Chandler clocks in at #7 on our Pirates list. Chandler is impressive and could technically be considered a 3-way talent if you count each side of the plate he can hit from. The mound has been where the talent has really shown through. The 2021 72 overall pick has thrown 16 innings, striking out 22 to 12 walks with a 4.32 ERA for Bradenton. He made his 1st relief appearance at the level on July 26th against the Flying Tigers and was dominant, striking out 6 in 3.2 innings of work. He has only allowed more than one earned run in two of five Single-A outings this year and while he has struggled with command at times, his stuff has been shown to be very hard to hit.

Only playing one position, but taken 35 picks before Chandler, was teammate Anthony Solometo. The big lefty comes in at #9 on our Pirates list. 19 years old and standing at a listed 6’5”, Solometo also has electric stuff. Pitching 3 innings in that same July 26th game against the Tigers, Solometo walked 4 in 3 IP, good for the worst command he has shown all season. Across 34.1 IP he has a 3.15 ERA, 35 K, and 11 BB. The stuff is loud and the body is big.

The Marauders sit atop their division in the second half race and it’s been in large part due to the efforts of Tsung-Che Cheng and Jase BowenBowen (unranked) is a well-rounded player taken in the 11th round out of high school in 2019. He was third in the FSL in runs scored and sported a .278/.355/.450 slash and 14 homers with 20 steals. It was his second go at the level and a near identical K rate as the 405 PA last season is not ideal but there have been some improvements. Encouraging has been his increased ability to get on base without sacrificing any power. Bowen was promoted on August 9th. Cheng (#30), also 21, bats leadoff for Bradenton and fits the bill with a compact stroke and the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He leads the league in runs scored.

Deivis Nadal has not warranted any buzz with his performance, nor did he rank among our top 50 Pirates prospects. I however am a fan. Lean and very projectable, Nadal is a great athlete with very fluid actions on the field. To me, he invokes a comp to Jurickson Profar with the athleticism and frame. I like his swing as well. A switch hitter, the Dominican-born Nadal has 11 steals on the season backing up that athleticism. As mentioned, he hasn’t had much success at the plate in his time stateside yet, batting .213 over 215 plate appearances for the Marauders. I’ll hold out hope he improves while enjoying watching him play.

Standout Performers

Yiddi Cappe has come up to FSL to make pitchers wish he had not. Through 109 PA, he has 32 hits, good for a .311 average. It took him a couple of weeks to find his power stroke but he’s now hit 2 over the fence in 24 games to go along with 6 steals. Cappe is 19 and listed at 6’3” coming out of Cuba. He slots in as our #8 Marlins prospect and he is an exciting one.

Lastly, this article would be remiss if it did not mention our 6th-ranked Blue Jays prospect, Gabriel Martinez. Armed with a sweet swing from the right side, the 20-year-old from Venezuela can hit, simple as that. He had a strong season for Dunedin before being promoted on August 7th. Martinez slashed .288/.348/.483 with 11 homers and a 17% K%. Martinez is not a physical presence or much of a prospect for projection, however, he displays barrel control that leaves you thinking mainly about hitterish qualities and .300 batting averages.

Nick covers the Florida State League for Prospects1500. Born and raised in the Bay Area he fell in love with the Oakland A’s at an early age. The A’s have never loved him back but that’s never stopped him from obsessing over all things baseball, especially prospects, the minor leagues, and dynasty baseball. Find him on Twitter @Leobaseball3.

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