Prospects to Watch In Spring Training: Part 2 – The National League 20

Cristian Pache (2018 Arizona Fall League) - photo credit Benjamin Rush, forloveofbaseball on Flickr

This is part 2 of my 2-part series featuring 40 players to watch for in Spring Training that have a chance to make an impact in the majors soon. The first installment covered 20 American League prospects and here are 20 National League prospects on my early season radar.

The National League might lack the depth that the American League has but there are some diamond in the rough type players that could still have a chance to garner plenty of attention this season among fantasy dynasty leagues’ owners and writers, prospect and rookie card collectors, and MLB analysts. Although not all of them might make it to the majors this season, those that might seem like longer shots have a chance to possibly get there and play important roles among teams pushing for a playoff spot later on in the season.


Remember, Juan Soto debuted at 19 and it seems like players are getting to the majors faster each and every year. These are some of the top players to keep an eye on that sites like Baseball America and MLB Pipeline have listed with an ETA for 2020. Players on this list are ones to watch during Spring Training, since they have a chance to debut this season, as well as be impactful franchise players in upcoming years.

#1 Gavin Lux, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers 

Lux was the 2016 1st Round Draft Pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, selected with the 20th overall pick out of Indian Trail HS (WI). He was more known for being the nephew of college baseball legend and 1982 Golden Spikes award winner Augie Schmidt when he first got drafted but over the past 2 seasons he’s made a name for himself.

In 2017, Lux’s first full season he struggled to hit for average in the Midwest League, but due to his excellent work ethic, he was able to make the necessary adjustments to improve his swing and absolutely took off in 2018. Lux was able to hit .324 in both the High-A California League and the AA Texas League. He impressed scouts enough in the Cal League to be considered a top 5 prospect by Baseball America, while making it to AA at the age of 20.

In 2019 Lux started the season back at AA but was able to end the season in the majors where he continued to impress by hitting a home run as a pinch hitter in his first at bat in the playoffs. He is universally considered a top 10 prospect, and has been ranked the #1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline (as of publication).

Age: 22 Size: 6’2”, 190 Bats: L Throws: R ETA: Debuted 2019

Hitting: After making the necessary adjustments to his swing after 2017, he hit a combined (.336) on his way to being considered a possible plus or better hitter that has seen his power improve every year. He has the potential to have plus or better power, to go along with plus speed. He’s a physical specimen that could be a potential 20 homer, 20 stolen base guy as soon as 2020.

Fielding: Lux was originally a shortstop that played more at second base in 2017, but made the physical improvements to become a better athlete he has seen more time at shortstop during his time in the minors. He has an above average arm that makes him better suited for second base but he’s still athletic enough to play shortstop. Although he’s seen as an above average defender at second base right now, he did see his fielding percentage improve as well. 

2020 and Beyond: Lux has already played in 23 games at the major league level and made in impact in the playoffs. He should start the season with a meaningful role in the Dodgers lineup with a chance to bat near the top or middle of their lineup. I think he could definitely be a future All-Star, quite possibly as soon as 2020 with a great chance to be a potential to be a future NL MVP candidate at some point if he continues to improve his game.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#4 #4 #2

Hit Streak: 18 (4/11-5/2) , 32-72 (.444), with 11 doubles and 6 home runs 

Best Game: 7/18/19 @ Iowa, 5-6, with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 RBI 

Splits: vs. RH: .339/.416/.599 vs. LH: .299/.355/.485 Fielding%: .961

#2 MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres 

The Padres selected Gore with their 2017 1st Round Draft Pick (3rd overall) out of Whiteville HS (NC). Gore was named Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year in 2017, and was considered by some to be the top prospect in the 2017 draft class. Even ahead of Hunter Greene at the time.

He impressed scouts and evaluators enough in the Rookie level Arizona League to be considered the top prospect in the league according to Baseball America. In 2018 he made his full season debut in the Midwest League. He didn’t display his normal dominance, but that may be largely attributed to dealing with blister issues. Yet, he was still named the top pitching prospect in the Midwest League. In 2019 Gore was fully healthy and showed why he might have been the best player in the 2017 draft class by posting a 1.02 ERA in the extremely offense-oriented High-A California League. He earned a mid-season promotion to AA at the age of 20, and consensus is that he is the top pitching prospect in the minors.

Age: 21 Size: 6’3”, 195 ETA: 2020

Stuff: A 4-pitch pitcher with a chance to have each of them be 4 plus or better. His best pitch is his plus fastball that sits in the 92-96 mph range that he commands well. He has the best secondary stuff in the minors: upper 70s curveball, mid 80s slider, and a changeup all look to be plus pitches. MacKenzie Gore has shown plus control and wasn’t afraid to go right after hitters. One of the scary things is that he still has plenty of upside and has continued to improve and impress at every level so far.

2020 and Beyond: Gore should get plenty of opportunities to impress in Spring Training and has a great chance to make it to the majors before the end of the season. He will more than likely start the season at AA, and he has the stuff to profile as a #1 starter that might be quicker to the majors than we think if he gets off to a hot start early; especially as there were already some managers in High-A that thought he could pitch in the majors already.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#5 #6 #5

Best Game: 5/30/19 vs. San Jose, 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9 K, 0 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .156 vs. LH: .194 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 8

#3 Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves 

The Atlanta Braves signed Pache out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. In 2016 he debuted in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League and impressed enough to earn a promotion to the Rookie Advanced Appalachian League while ranking as a top 10 prospect in both leagues according to Baseball America. In 2017 he made his full season debut in the South Atlantic League and impressed scouts and evaluators with his outstanding defense in centerfield to go along with his plus to double plus speed, while also ranking as a top 5 prospect in the league at 18.

In 2018 he continued to impress across 2 levels: the High-A Florida State League where he was one of the best and AA Mississippi. He also participated in the Arizona Fall League where he was considered as one of the best prospects. In 2019 he began the season at AA and impressed enough to earn a midseason promotion to AAA while ranking as a top 5 prospect in the Southern League. He is the Atlanta Braves #1 prospect.

Age: 21 Size: 6’2”, 185 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Pache has excellent bat-to-ball skills to go along with plus to double plus speed. In 2019 he started to show more power, and scouts and evaluators believe he has the ability and body type to develop above average power. He’s very pull heavy and his swing can get long at times leading some to question his overall ability to hit for average at the major league level.

Defense: He might be one of the best defensive center fielders in all of baseball, including those at the major league level. Most scouts and evaluators feel he has the ability to contend for gold gloves in the future. He has a great arm that’s considered plus to double plus with good throw accuracy. He also uses his plus to double plus speed to track down balls in center field. A truly great center fielder that reminds some scouts of Andruw Jones.

2020 and Beyond: Pache will probably get a nice long look in Spring Training as he has a great chance to be in the majors before the end of the season, but he will more than likely start the season at AAA. Pache looks to have the talent of a future gold glove center fielder with a chance to be an impact hitter with a good power speed combo as he’s continued to show improvements in his game at every level he’s played despite being younger than the competition.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#22 #12 #13

Hit Streak: 11 (6/8-6/21), 15-40 (.375), with 4 doubles and 3 home runs 

Best Game: 6/20/19 @ Biloxi, 3-4, with 2 doubles and 5 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .268/.332/.466 vs. LH: .308/.368/.449 Fielding%: .985

#4 Joey Bart, C, San Francisco  Giants 

The Giants selected 2018 1st Round draft pick (2nd overall) out of Georgia Tech. In 2018 as an amateur at Georgia Tech he won the ACC Player of the Year, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year, on his way to becoming the top position player taken in the draft.

He continued to impress as a pro in the short season Northwest League where he was considered the top prospect in the league. In 2019 Spring Training, Bart performed well enough that some thought he might get a chance to make it to the majors before the end of the season. He started the season at High-A but unfortunately missed time due to a broken bone in his left hand, which he sustained from being hit by a pitch in mid-April. It cost him about 6 weeks, and although he played everyday he had trouble gripping that bat for about a month.

After returning to full health he picked up right where he’d left off, and was named the best everyday player in the California League according to Baseball America. He also earned a promotion to AA in August and performed well in the Arizona Fall League. He is the San Francisco Giants #1 prospect.

Age: 23 Size: 6’3”, 235 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Bart is a very disciplined hitter with good strike zone judgment and although he has plenty of power he doesn’t sell out for power. Scouts and evaluators feel that Bart should develop into an above average hitter with plus power to all fields. He is a below average runner but quite athletic for a catcher.

Fielding: Joey Bart earns plenty of praise from scouts and evaluators for his defensive ability where he grades as a plus defender with a plus arm behind the plate. He also works well with his pitchers and has plus makeup and good leadership skills.

2020 and Beyond: Bart will more than likely start the season at AAA with a chance to make it to the majors before the end of the season. He has a chance to be an All-Star as he is a gold glove caliber catcher with power to all fields with plenty of intangibles but will have to prove his durability as he’s already missed time with injuries.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#23 #32 #14

Hit Streak: 8 (7/20-7/30), 12-32 (.343), with a triple and a home run 

Best Game: 8/29/19 vs. Erie, 4-4, with a double, home run and 2 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .264/.317/.446 vs. LH: .324/.368/.662 Fielding%: .992

#5 Dylan Carlson, OF, St. Louis Cardinals 

2016 1st Round Draft Pick of the St. Louis Cardinals selected with the 33rd overall pick out of Elk Grove HS (CA). Carlson seemed to be a late bloomer that broke out in a big way in 2019 as he was one of only 10 players in the minors to have a 20 homer, 20 stolen base season on his way to being named the AA Texas League MVP. He was the second youngest regular in the Texas League and impressed scouts and evaluators enough to be considered one of the best prospects in the league according to Baseball America.

Age: 21 Size: 6’3”, 205 Bats: S Throws: L ETA: 2020 

Hitting: A switch hitter that’s always shown an ability to make hard contact, he projects to have above average or better power. He’s also a threat on the base paths thanks as he is an above average runner with good instincts giving him an intriguing power speed combo. He’s typically faced older competition and although he’d struggled to hit for average in past seasons he looked like an above average or better hitter in 2019. He has good pitch recognition and a good knowledge of the strike zone.

Fielding: Carlson is able to play all three outfield positions thanks to his above average speed although most scouts and evaluators feel he’s better suited as a corner outfielder. He also has an above average arm that at times plays better due to the fact that he has pretty good accuracy on his throws.

2020 and beyond: Carlson made a nice impression on the Cardinals in 2019 and will look to build off of his breakout performance in 2020. He should get a nice long look in Spring Training and will more than likely start the season at AAA with a chance to make it to the majors by the end of the season. He has 5-tool ability and thanks to the gains he’s made while being one of the younger players in the league he has a chance to be even better in 2020 and beyond but he will have to prove that 2019 was more than just a breakout season.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#17 #10 #17

Hit Streak: 10 (5/11-5/21)       14-41 (.341), with 2 doubles, 3 triples, and 4 home runs

Best Game: 5/16/19 @ NW Arkansas 3-5, with a double, triple, home run, 4 RBI’s and a stolen base 

Splits: vs. RH: .299/.381/.551 vs. LH: .274/.345/.516 Fielding%: 1.000

#6 Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS, Washington Nationals 

2016 1st Round Draft Pick of the Washington Nationals selected with the 28th overall pick out of Walton HS (GA). In 2016 Kieboom helped lead his high school team to a state championship before signing with the Nationals, the same team that his brother Spencer played for. 2018 was his breakout season as he made it from High-A to AA at the age of 20, and he was considered the top prospect in the Carolina League that season by Baseball America. In 2019 Kieboom continued to impress scouts, where in Spring Training he hit a home run off of Justin Verlander and later was given a chance to play in the majors in April where he homered in his first major league game. Although Kieboom wasn’t ready for the big leagues in late April/early May he continued to perform well at AAA where he ranked as a top 5 prospect in the Pacific Coast League according to Baseball America. He is the Washington Nationals #1 prospect.

Age: 22 Size: 6’2”, 190 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: Debuted 2019

Hitting: Kieboom is an all fields hitter that has plenty of good at bats and is able to work counts due to a good approach and patience at the plate. Scouts and evaluators believe he will become a plus hitter as he continues to develop. He’s a good fastball hitter and projects to have above average power as he makes plenty of hard contact already. He has average speed but it plays better than average due to good instincts.

Fielding: Kieboom projects to be an above average defender although it’s not certain where he will play in 2020. He has good feet and hands to go along with an above average arm, but due to an awkward throwing motion scouts feel he profiles better at second base and it’s not like he’s going to move Trea Turner off of shortstop. Some wonder if he would play third base if Anthony Rendon leaves via free agency, but I feel that him playing regularly as a 3rd baseman is highly unlikely.

2020 and Beyond: Kieboom should get a chance to make it to the majors out of Spring Training if he performs well. Some evaluators envision him as a #2 hitter thanks to his advanced approach at the plate to go along with his above average power, and others believe he will be a solid middle of the lineup run producer.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#13 #15 #21

Hit Streak: 12 (7/12-7/25), 19-55 (.345), with a double and a home run 

Best Game: 4/8/19 vs. Reno, 4-5, with a double, triple, stolen base, and an RBI 

Splits: vs. RH: .252/.371/.446 vs. LH: .363/.441/.534 Fielding%: .969

#7 Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Miami Marlins 

Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. An under the radar international prospect, Sixto impressed and has been continuing to impress scouts since he first won the Gulf Coast League triple crown in his stateside debut in 2016. He was such a highly regarded prospect that when the Marlins traded J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies in February 2019, they insisted that Sixto be a part of the trade. Since 2017 he has been considered the top pitching prospect in every full season level he’s played in according to Baseball America (2017- SAL (A-), 2018 FSL (A+), 2019 SOU (AA). He is considered the #1 prospect of the Miami Marlins according to Baseball America.

Age: 21 Size: 6’0”, 185 ETA: 2020

Stuff: A 3 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 3 plus or better pitches. His best pitch is his double plus fastball and he throws a 2-seamer with good sinking action and a 4-seam fastball that he’s able to hit triple digits with. He has really good command of his fastball and it has plenty of movement. He also uses a changeup that is a plus pitch as well as a plus slider with plenty of movement. He has a nice delivery that he repeats well and he throws plenty of strikes leading scouts and evaluators to believe he will develop plus control.

2020 and Beyond: With being the best pitching prospect at every level he’s been in so far he will more than likely start the season at AAA with a chance to make it to the majors by the end of the season. He has all the talent to be a future front of the rotation starter.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#28 #16 #22

Best Game: 7/23/19 vs. Biloxi 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 0 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .203 vs. LH: .265 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 7

#8 Dustin May, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers 

2016 3rd Round Draft Pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a projectable prep player Dustin May used to pitch in the low 90s but since signing with the Dodgers he’s seen his stuff improve including his velocity where now he’ll sit in the mid 90s and was pitching even harder out of the Dodgers bullpen. He was considered the top pitching prospect in the Texas League in 2019 by Baseball America, and he made his major league debut on August 2nd.

Age: 22 Size: 6’6”, 180 ETA: Debuted 2019

Stuff: A 4 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 3 plus pitches and 4 above average pitches, May isn’t afraid to come after hitters. His fastball has plenty of sink and is good at producing plenty of grounders, it’s considered a plus pitch that sits in the mid 90s with good movement. He also throws a cutter that looks to be an above average to plus pitch, and his best secondary pitch is his curveball which gives him another potential plus pitch. May’s changeup continues to improve and it’s considered a fourth above average pitch for May who has above average or better control.

2020 and Beyond: Dustin May should have a chance to make it out of Spring Training with the Dodgers. Whether or not he will be a reliever or starter with the Dodgers in 2020 isn’t concrete yet but he does have the ability to be a solid starting pitcher that would profile well as a mid-rotation starter with even more upside as he’s young and has shown the ability to continue to improve.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#33 #20 #23

Best Game: 6/22/19 vs. Amarillo, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 14 K, 0 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .214 vs. LH: .268 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 5

#9 Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado  Rockies 

2015 1st Round Draft Pick of the Colorado Rockies selected with the 3rd overall pick out of Lake Mary HS (FL). The top prep player taken in his draft class Rodgers has been in the spotlight dating back to his amateur days and has done a good job of living up to those expectations until he struggled a bit in 2019. Rodgers did however make it to the majors in 2019 and was considered a top 10 prospect in the Pacific Coast League by Baseball America in what seemed like a down year for him despite hitting .350 at AAA. He finished the season on the DL in July due to a torn labrum and plays in a crowded Rockies infield but there still is a lot to like with Brendan Rodgers who was able to cut down on strikeouts while improving his walk rate.

Age: 23 Size: 6’0”, 180 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: Debuted 2019

Hitting: An all fields hitter that showed improvements against higher level competition, scouts feel like he has the skills to become a plus hitter as he continues to develop. He has incredible bat speed, barrels balls consistently, and can drive the ball to all fields with power. He should develop into an above average or better power hitter. He has slightly better than average speed.

Fielding: Despite not having elite speed Rodgers still should develop into an above average defender thanks to good instincts, good feet, and a plus arm. There’s still some uncertainty as to what position Rodgers will play in the majors but it’s more than likely second base as the Rockies currently have Trevor Story at shortstop and Nolan Arenado at third base. Brendan did struggle a bit at transitioning to second base but will probably handle it better as he gets more comfortable at the position.

2020 and Beyond: Rodgers will more than likely get a chance to make it with the Rockies out of Spring Training but there’s still plenty of competition for the second base job with Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson. If Rodgers can live up to expectations he should be another special talented hitter for the Rockies as he profiles well as a middle of the lineup right handed power hitter.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#30 #23 #29

Hit Streak: 6 (4/24-4/29), 13-25 (.520), with 4 doubles, a triple, and 3 home runs 

Best Game: 5/13/19 @ Fresno, 4-5, with 2 home runs and 2 RBI 

Splits: vs. RH: .318/.373/.539 vs. LH: .277/.347/.385 Fielding%: .967

#10 Spencer Howard, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies 

2017 2nd Round Draft Pick of the Philadelphia Phillies. Originally a redshirt freshman at Cal Poly he worked hard and gained more velocity. Howard started out as a reliever in college until his redshirt sophomore season when he went 8-1 with a 1.95 ERA. In 2018 his first full season he started at Low-A and went through a dead arm period during the season but by the end of it he was able to touch triple digits and impressed in the playoffs as he pitched a no-hit shutout. In 2019 he put together his best performance as a pro posting a 2.03 ERA while making it up to AA where he continued to impress. He did however miss two months with shoulder soreness and so he ended up pitching in the Arizona Fall League where he continued to impress. He is the Phillies #1 prospect according to Baseball America. 

Age: 23 Size: 6’2”, 205 ETA: 2020

Stuff: A 4 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 4 above average or better pitches. His best pitch is his double plus fastball that has touched triple digits which he’s able to paint the corners with. His best secondary pitch is his changeup that’s continued to improve since the time he signed it shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch as he continues to add more feel for it. He also throws 2 solid breaking balls that have a chance to be above average or better pitches in his slider and his curveball but they are inconsistent at times. He has the build to be a starting pitcher but will have to improve the command of his secondary pitches but he has a chance to have above average control.

2020 and Beyond: Spencer Howard has continued  to improve his game and some scouts and evaluators feel he has the stuff to be a front of the rotation starter but I feel that in order for him to get there he will need to improve the command of his secondary pitches and prove he’s durable enough to be a starting pitcher as he’s missed time 2 straight seasons. Even if at worst he gets moved to the bullpen, he has the stuff to be a dominant closer or reliever as he’s proven his game plays big in clutch situations. He should start the season at AAA with a chance to make it to the majors by the end of the season.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball America Rank MLB Rank
#55 #27 #34

Best Game: 4/23/19 vs. Florida, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11 K, 0 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .137 vs. LH: .206 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 7

#11 Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta  Braves 

2017 2nd Round Draft Pick of the Atlanta Braves. Waters was considered one of the best prep hitters in his class and he’s continued to impress with his bat. In 2018 he started his first full season at Low-A and impressed enough to earn a midseason call up to High-A. In 2019 at the age of 20 he won the AA Southern League MVP and impressed scouts and evaluators enough to be considered a top 5 prospect in the Southern League according to Baseball America. He led the Southern League in a plethora of categories including batting average, hits, doubles, and triples.

Age: 21 Size: 6’2”, 183 Bats: S Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: An advanced hitter with a sweet swing from both sides of the plate, although scouts feel he needs to show improvement from the right side of the plate as he’s more swing and miss at times from that side and he’s also more of a pull hitter from that side as well. He has more of an all fields approach and is considered an above average hitter. He shows above average power in BP and is still learning how to transfer it into in game power, but that should come as he continues to develop. He’s also a plus runner that uses it to his advantage on the basepaths whether its stealing bases or taking the extra base.

Fielding: Waters is a plus defender that uses his plus speed to cover plenty of ground in the outfield. He also has a plus arm that will allow him to play right field.

2020 and Beyond: Waters should get plenty of opportunities to impress in Spring Training and although he will more than likely start the season at AAA, there’s a very good chance that he will make it to Atlanta before the end of the season. In the near future the Braves could have the best group of young outfielders in the majors. Waters projects to be an impact hitter that’s capable of being a future 20 homer, 20 stolen base guy that should be able to showcase 5 tool talent on a nightly basis in Atlanta.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#18 #36 #26

Hit Streak: 15 (6/8-6/26), 25-62 (.403), with 6 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs 

Best Game: 6/1/19 @ Pensacola, 4-5, with a double, 2 triples and an RBI 

Splits: vs. RH: .325/.380/.486 vs. LH: .258/.293/.371 Fielding%: .975

#12 Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves 

2016 1st Round Draft Pick of the Atlanta Braves selected with the 3rd overall pick out of Shenendehowa HS (NY). Anderson was the first pitcher taken in the 2016 draft. In 2019 at the age of 20, he began the season at AA and was promoted to AAA in August. He ranked among the leaders in strikeouts in the Southern League prior to his promotion, and impressed scouts and evaluators enough to be considered a top 10 prospect in the league according to Baseball America. 

Age: 21 Size: 6’3”, 170 ETA: 2020

Stuff: A 3 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 3 plus pitches. His fastball is considered a plus pitch although it typically sat in the 92-94 mph range he’s touched higher in the past. His best secondary pitch is his mid 70s curveball is an above average to plus pitch at times. He also throws a real good changeup that’s shown flashes of becoming a plus pitch and is continuing to improve. He doesn’t have the best command and at times loses his fastball which can backfire on him, scouts still feel that despite this he’s still young and talented enough to develop above average control.

2020 and Beyond: Anderson will more than likely start the season at AAA. If Anderson pitches well early on in the season, there’s a good chance he could make it to Atlanta at some point before the All-Star break. He has the talent to develop into a mid-rotation starter with even more upside if his command/control improves.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#36 #44 #37

Best Game: 6/28/19 vs. Jackson, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 14 K, 2 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .223 vs. LH: .194 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 5

#13 Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies 

2018 1st Round Draft Pick of the Philadelphia Phillies selected with the 3rd overall pick out of Wichita State. Bohm might have been considered the best hitter in his draft class and was drafted because  of his hit tool. He struggled somewhat during his pro debut in 2018, and started the season at Low-A but made it all the way to AA in 2019. He impressed plenty of scouts and evaluators and was a Futures game participant in 2019 while on his way to being named the Phillies minor league player of the year. He was named a top 5 prospect in two leagues, the Florida State League (High-A) and the Eastern League (AA) by Baseball America.

Age: 23 Size: 6’5”, 225 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Bohm was one of the most impressive hitters in the minors in 2019. He has power to all fields and he could someday hit 25-30 home runs to go along with an above average hit tool. He’s a hard worker that wants to continue to improve as a hitter. He also has good plate discipline and he has an all fields approach. He’s currently an average runner but will more than likely become a below average runner as he gets older.

Fielding: Most scouts and evaluators feel that although he’s a third baseman now and the Phillies will probably give him a chance to play there, although his long term home is more than likely first base. His bat profiles well enough at either corner position and he has an above average arm but he really lacks the quickness and agility to probably be an everyday third baseman. He split time between first base and third base about half the time while in the Arizona Fall League.

2020 and Beyond: Bohm has a good chance to start the season in AAA with a chance to make it to the majors by the end of the season. Although he’s probably a first baseman long term, he has the bat to profile there and should develop into a middle of the lineup power hitter in time.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#24 #28 #30

Hit Streak: 10 (5/20-5/30), 13-39 (.333), with 2 doubles, a triple, and a home run 

Best Game: 7/20/19 vs. New Hampshire, 2-4, with 2 home runs and 2 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .311/.387/.522 vs. LH: .284/.347/.505 Fielding%: .938

#14 Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS/OF, Chicago Cubs 

2018 1st Round Draft Pick of the Chicago Cubs selected with the 24th overall pick out of Stanford. Hoerner was considered one of the top hitters in his draft class, and he did not disappoint as he was the fastest player from his draft class to make it to the majors, doing so in his first full season with the Cubs. In 2019 he started  the season at AA and impressed enough to earn a chance to play with the Cubs. While with the Cubs he impressed during his major league call up in September and should factor into their plans in 2020 possibly seeing time as a regular at second base. Nico Hoerner is the top prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization.

Age: 22 Size: 5’11”, 200 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: Debuted 2019

Hitting: Hoerner is an above average or better hitter with a chance to hit 15 or more home runs. He makes plenty of contact, has good plate discipline, and a good knowledge of the strike zone. When he’s on base he has pretty good instincts to go along with above average speed which should allow him to steal bases.

Fielding: Hoerner is a solid defender at shortstop but will probably see more time at second base due to Javier Baez. He has good instincts and is fairly reliable. He might not have the range or arm to play shortstop regularly but did okay filling in for Baez last September. He might be an above average to plus defender at second base.

2020 and Beyond: While with the Cubs he impressed during his major league call up in September and should factor into their plans in 2020 possibly seeing time as a regular at second base. He’s a solid hitter that could possibly hit near the top of the Cubs order with the ability to be a solid table setter or he could provide more balance near the bottom half of a deep Cubs lineup.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#44 #40 #51

Hit Streak: 7 (8/11-8/20), 14-37 (.378), with 2 doubles

Best Game: 9/14/19 vs. Pittsburgh, 3-4, with a home run and 3 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .309/.364/.413 vs. LH: .243/.281/.402 Fielding%: .982

#15 Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates 

2014 2nd Round Draft Pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A very raw young talent that took 2 years to make it to his first full season in 2016 impressed in his first full season and got promoted to High-A before the end of the year. In 2017 he made it to AA and in 2018 he made it up to AAA and earned Futures Game honors that season. In 2019 Mitch Keller made his major league debut in May but didn’t become a major league regular until August but impressed scouts and evaluators enough to win the International League Pitcher of the Year, while ranking as a top 10 prospect in the International League according to Baseball America.

Age: 23 Size: 6’2”, 210 ETA: Debuted 2019

Stuff: A 4 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 2 plus pitches. Keller’s best pitch is his mid 90s fastball that grades as a plus or better pitch. His best secondary pitch is his curveball that’s an above average to plus pitch. He also uses a changeup and a slider that if he develops better command could have 4 average or better pitches. He shows signs of having average or better control.

2020 and Beyond: Keller should get an opportunity to start with the Pittsburgh Pirates major league team out of Spring Training. If he can show improved command and is able to execute his pitches on a more regular basis, he has the opportunity to be a mid-rotation starter with even more upside depending on how much his command is able to improve.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#52 #52 #39

Best Game: 6/7/19 @ Toledo, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 13 K, 3 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .273 vs. LH: .288 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 3

#16 Daulton Varsho, C, Arizona Diamondbacks

2017 2nd Round Draft Pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Daulton Varsho is the son of former major league outfielder Gary Varsho and was named after Varsho’s teammate Darren Daulton. He’s performed well as a pro throughout his career in the minor leagues making it up to AA in his second full season in 2019. While in the Southern League in 2019 he had an amazing second half in which he put up a slash line of .344/.420/.599 which helped him to lead the league in runs scored, slugging, and OPS, while ranking among the leaders in average and on base. I believe his talent probably warrants a higher ranking but there are still plenty of questions as to what position he will play in the majors as he’s blocked at catcher by Carson Kelly. 

Age: 23 Size: 5’10”, 190 Bats: L Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Varsho is an above average hitter with a good knowledge of the strike zone. He also makes solid contact and should develop above average power. He’s an above average runner who is able to steal bases as evidenced by his 40 stolen bases over the past 2 seasons.

Fielding: Varsho is a really good athlete who is a good blocker but might not stick behind the plate as a regular due to his below average arm. He’s seen time in the outfield and some evaluators feel he’s athletic enough to play second base, although he hasn’t played second base as a pro.

2020 and Beyond: What position Varsho will become a future regular at is unknown, one thing we do know is he can flat out hit with an excellent power-speed combo. He will more than likely start the season at AAA with a chance to make it to the majors before the end of the season. If he can develop into a super utility player that can still hit for a good average he could be a really special player in the future as he has the potential to be a good hitter that garners plenty of value due to his ability to play catcher, outfield, and maybe even second base.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#81 #53 #76

Hit Streak: 10 (5/1-5/14), 17-41 (.415), with 4 doubles and a home run

Best Game: 8/21/19 vs. Tennessee, 4-4, with a double, a home run and 2 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .312/.382/.609 vs. LH: .277/.371/.338 Fielding%: .991

#17 Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

2015 1st Round Draft Pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates selected with the 32nd overall pick out of Concordia Lutheran HS (TX). He is the son of former 14 year major leaguer Charlie Hayes. Ke’Bryan has played at a high level earning multiple All-Star honors and performing well enough in 2019 while at AAA to be considered a top 10 prospect in the International League by Baseball America.

Age: 23 Size: 6’1”, 210 Bats: R Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Ke’Bryan is considered to be an above average hitter that continues to improve leading some evaluators to believe he could develop into a plus hitter someday. He currently shows fringe-average power now but has seen an increase in home runs every season since 2017 although his career high is just 10. He’s an above average runner that could develop into a potential 15 HR, 15 SB hitter in time as he’s also a smart baserunner.

Fielding: Hayes is one of the best defenders at third base and one that many scouts and evaluators can envision winning multiple gold gloves at some point (Not that Nolan Arenado has anything to say about that). He has a plus, accurate arm and is a plus fielder with good hands, range, and instincts.

2020 and Beyond: Hayes might start the season at AAA but he should have a great chance of making it to the Pirates at some point in 2020. He has the tools and talent to be an outstanding defensive third baseman that could hit for a solid average while displaying an average or better power speed combo.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#48 #56 #41

Hit Streak: 8 (4/25-5/3), 10-33 (.303), with 4 doubles

Best Game: 4/11/19 vs. Charlotte, 3-5, with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .270/.342/.426 vs. LH: .239/.313/.368 Fielding%: .990

#18 Kyle Wright, RHP, Atlanta Braves 

2017 1st Round Draft Pick of the Atlanta Braves selected with the 5th overall pick out of Vanderbilt. He was the #1 pitcher drafted in 2017, and in Wright’s first full season in 2018, he was able to make it to the majors. The plan was in 2019 was for Kyle Wright to be a starter with the major league team however, things didn’t go as planned as he struggled with his command and was sent back down to AAA. Although Wright had a disappointing season he still finished as a top 10 prospect in the International League according to Baseball America.

Age: 24 Size: 6’4”, 200 ETA: Debuted 2018

Stuff: A 4 pitcher pitch with a chance to have 4 plus pitches. His best pitch is his plus fastball that sits in the mid 90s and can touch 99 at times. His best secondary pitch was his slider that is currently an above average pitch. He also uses a curveball and changeup that look to be above average or better pitches. Currently his control and command is below average but scouts and evaluators feel his control will improve in time.

2020 and beyond: Wright will more than likely get an opportunity to pitch in the major league rotation possibly out of Spring Training. He has the talent to be a front of the rotation starter if he can develop much better command and control of his above average or better stuff.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#58 #64 #52

Best Game: 6/14/19 @ Syracuse, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 2 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .247 vs. LH: .276 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 3

#19 Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins 

Signed by the Tampa Bay Rays out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. In 2019 Sanchez was traded from Tampa Bay to Miami as part of the deal that sent Trevor Richards and Nick Anderson to Tampa Bay. In 2019 he made his debut at AAA at the age of 21 prior to being traded to the Marlins.

Age: 22 Size: 6’3”, 230 Bats: L Throws: R ETA: 2020

Hitting: Sanchez has all the skills to develop into an above average or better hitter with similar power. He makes consistently hard contact and has excellent bat speed. He will need to be less aggressive and develop better plate discipline as more advanced pitchers have taken advantage of his willingness to chase pitches out of the zone at times, and his swing can get long at times.

Fielding: Sanchez is an above average runner with a strong arm which should allow him to become an above average defender in right field. 

2020 and Beyond: Sanchez is still young with plenty of upside and he’s shown an ability to continue to improve his game so it might just be a matter of patience with him as he continues to improve as a hitter. He has the talent to be a special hitter one that should profile well as a power hitting middle of the lineup hitter. He should start the season at AAA with  a chance to make it to the majors by the end of the season.

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#46 #58 #80

Hit Streak: 10 (5/24-6/3), 15-42 (.357), with 2 doubles and 3 home runs

Best Game: 8/2/19 @ Salt Lake 3-4, with a double, 2 home runs and 3 RBI

Splits: vs. RH: .259/.316/.399 vs. LH: .263/.354/.394 Fielding%: .991

#20 Edward Cabrera, RHP, Miami Marlins

Signed by the Miami Marlins out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Edward Cabrera was named the top pitcher in the Florida State League in 2019 and made it to AA where he posted a 2.56 ERA. Baseball America considered him to be among the top 10 players in the Florida State League. He is also considered to have the best changeup in the Marlins organization.

Age: 21 Size: 6’4”, 175 ETA: 2020

Stuff: A 3 pitch pitcher with a chance to have 3 above average or better pitches. His plus fastball sits about 93-97 mph with good sink and he can even reach triple digits with it, but the harder he throws the less command he has of it. His secondary pitches took a step forward in 2019 as he commanded both his low to mid 80’s slider and changeup much better than in years past. He will need to improve the consistency of his delivery in order to improve his command but his control projects to be above average in time.

2020 and Beyond: Cabrera has tremendous upside and is one of the most talented arms in the Marlins system. He will have to prove he can handle the workload of a starter as he has never thrown more than 100.1 innings so far in his career. He has a chance to start the season at AAA and if he continues to pitch well there’s a chance he might make it to the majors before the end of the year. 

Prospects1500 Rank Baseball American Rank MLB Rank
#93 #99 #76

Best Game: 5/1/19 vs. Bradenton, 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 13 K, 0 BB

Splits: vs. RH: .169 vs. LH: .216 Scoreless Starts (Min. 4 IP): 7

 




About James Weisser 15 Articles
James Weisser has been following prospects since 2003, when the Florida Marlins won the world series with players like Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, and Dontrelle Willis. He has seen MVP's, Cy Young Winners, and All-Stars before they ever played in the majors, and is an avid college baseball fan who enjoys watching the SEC and ACC in the spring when often times the cold, wet weather of the Midwest allows him to follow some of the top players in both conferences. He also enjoys following/covering the Midwest League which is often players first full-season level. He also watches some of the top amateur talent that comes through Chicago and the Midwest like the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field which features some of the top incoming seniors for the following year as well as the 17U Team USA which features some of the top juniors in the country. He currently resides in McHenry, Illinois which is located within an hour from the Beloit Snappers and Kane County Cougars which allows him to see 4 or more organizations Low A teams in a week at times. A White Sox fan growing up one of his favorite moments was watching them win the World Series in 2005. A few of his all-time favorite players to watch are Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard, Clayton Kershaw, Barry Bonds, Mike Trout, and Ken Griffey Jr.

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