This is 2013’s better (way) late than never final edition of prospects of the month. As is usual protocol around here, August and September have been combined into the same post due to September being so short.
Oddly enough, this was probably the most competitive month of the season in terms of finding standout prospects. The cutoff just to make the honorable mention section was the toughest cut.
Final Affiliate Records
Great Falls: 48-28
Hitter of the Month: Jacob May
Stats: .367/.422/.600, 17 RBI, 13 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 10 BB, 22 K, 15/18 SB in 120 AB
May had a streaky start to his pro career. After dominating with Great Falls, May went through an adjustment period upon getting promoted to Kannapolis in July. He hit just .174 over his first 24 games with the Intimidators, but turned it around before the end of the season. The 21-year-old seemed to figure something out and finished as the hottest hitter in the system. It’s possible his up and down rookie season are a sign of inconsistent play, but let’s hope it’s more like he is able to make quick adjustments and could be a breakout prospects in 2014.
Dan Black (AA): .294/.405/.510 with 5 HR, 19 BB and 18 K in 102 AB (playoff stats not included)
Joey DeMichele (High-A): .295/.393/.492 with 3 HR, 7 BB and 20 K in 92 AB
Kevan Smith (High-A): .348/.419/.522 with 3 HR, 2 BB and 9 K in 99 AB
* Apologies to Christian Stringer, Corey Thompson and Zach Fisher of Great Falls and Nolan Earley of Bristol who all had an OPS over .900 after August 1, but got passed over for more established prospects that saw more regular action.
Black was a part of the Barons’ Southern League championship. The slugging first baseman is 26 so he’s not much of a prospect, but he posted a strong .881 OPS for the Barons.
DeMichele had a disappointing season and many are questioning his prospect status. Either way, a strong finish to 2013 gives some reason for hope that he is still a valuable prospect. DeMichele’s teammate, Smith, was a more productive hitter for the Dash (.834 OPS), but is 25 with no experience at AA or higher.
Pitcher of the Month: Erik Johnson
Stats: 1.15 ERA, 36 K, 9 BB, 29 H in 39 IP
Johnson’s stats above are his last in AAA before joining the big league club. In the Majors, he held his own with a 3.25 ERA in 27.2 IP, but didn’t have good peripherals to go with. Johnson has a quality arm and enough talent to not be a prospect for much longer. He was unquestionably the top pitching prospect in the system throughout 2013 so it was no surprise he not only received the call to the White Sox, but was a competitive starting pitcher in his limited time.
Chris Bassitt (AA): 43.1 IP, 1.45 ERA, 42 K, 14 BB, 30 H
Tony Bucciferro (Low-A): 35 IP, 1.54 ERA, 36 K, 3 BB, 33 H
Adam Lopez (Low-A): 35 IP, 1.26 ERA, 37 K, 8 BB, 28 H
* Tyler Danish was also dominant in 12 innings (0 R, 11 K, 1 BB) out of the bullpen for Bristol and Kannapolis.
Bassitt’s late season surge has cemented him as a player to watch in 2014. This guy is a legitimate prospect and that’s come out of nowhere. Even more impressive is his two playoff starts, both wins in Game 1s: 12.2 IP, 1 R, 16 K, 2 BB, 9 H.
Bucciferro turns 24 in December so he won’t get a lot of prospect attention, but whenever you have a 36:3 K:BB ratio you’re worth mentioning. Lopez had a hot run as a starter despite making just seven starts in 2013. He is still just 22 so there is some hope for him to maintain a prospect status.