The Top Prospect Report is a weekly post here at FutureSox highlighting the top prospects in the system. More specifically, it will cover the top 15 prospects as classified by their most recent FS ranking.
This can serve as your one-stop shop to see weekly and season stat lines for all the high-end talent growing on the farm. Most players will have a few notes about their recent performance, while others may have more in-depth blurbs. How much a prospect is featured in a given week will be dictated by performance or relevant narratives.
*Stats may not reflect last night’s results*
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B
Moncada cooled off before being sidelined with a thumb injury. The timing happened to coincide with the date at which his extra year of control locked in, so there was plenty of call-up speculation in the Twitterverse. Alas, baseball teases us sometimes. A bruised thumb will keep Moncada out for a week, but negative (aka positive) x-rays indicate it’s nothing too serious.
Last Week: .222/.263/.278 (.541 OPS), 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 19 PA
Season Line: .331/.401/.504 (.905 OPS), 46 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 10 SB, 10.8 BB%, 27.4 K%, .440 BABIP, 157 PA
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP
Giolito opened the week with arguably the best start of his Charlotte Knights career, going six strong innings with just four hits and two runs on the scorecard. The difference: better control for the righty who struck out five and walked just one. While two of the four hits consisted of a triple and home run, the outing was miles better than what has been Giolto’s norm in 2017. Last night’s start was an outing more reminiscent of Giolito’s prior starts. He gave up three runs on six hits over five innings. Control was fringe, with three walks to four strikeouts. Pedro Alvarez did most of the damage with a home run and double, which is on par with how Giolito fared against MLB hitting in his brief time with the Nationals.
Last Week: 1-0, 4.09 ERA, 9 K, 4 BB, 2 GS, 11.0 IP
Season Line: 1-6, 6.45 ERA, 5.77 FIP, 9.44 K/9, 4.98 BB/9, 1.83 HR/9, 8 GS, 39.1 IP
3. Michael Kopech, RHP
Kopech sailed through five no-hit innings against the Chattanooga Lookouts, with a pair of walks being the only blemish. He hit a bump in the sixth inning when he surrendered a home run, walked a batter, and gave up back to back singles before he got pulled. A rare Cleuluis Rondon error would allow one of Ian Hamilton‘s inherited runners to score, with the run being charged to Kopech. The final line of three earned runs over 5.1 innings makes the start look more solid than dominant, but Kopech had one of his better outings up until the sixth. All told, he struck out nine and issued three free passes.
Last Week: 0-0, 5.08 ERA, 9 K, 3 BB, 1 GS, 5.1 IP
Season Line: 2-2, 3.06 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 12.99 K/9, 5.35 BB/9, HR/9, 7 GS, 35.1 IP
4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
Reynaldo Lopez has been on a roll. He got the win against Durham, going five scoreless frames and surrendering just three hits. While he walked three batters, he produced two-fold that in strikeouts (6). Two of those strikeouts helped him get out of his only jam in the 4th inning. Generating whiffs is the best way for a 4.60 BB/9 to not derail your numbers, although that’s a mark he’ll need to cut down before seeing Chicago. Meanwhile, Lopez has gone 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA over his last five starts, holding opposing batters to a .217/.308/330 line.
Last Week: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB, 1 GS, 5.0 IP
Season Line: 5-1, 3.14 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 9.4 K/9, 4.60 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 8 GS, 43.0 IP
5. Zack Collins, C
Last week I wrote about how Zack Collins was uncharacteristically trailing in the power department. He went on to hit two home runs over the next six days. Coincidence? Collins would only have two other hits all week but he did manage to walk seven times. The .388 OBP is excellent for Collins and a .269 BABIP speaks to some positive regression with his average, so the arrow is pointing up for the catcher.
Last Week: .190/.393/.476 (.869 OPS), 4 H, 2 HR, 7 BB, 8 K, 28 PA
Season Line: .222/.388/.410 (.798 OPS), 26 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 19 RBI, SB, 21.1 BB%, 23.7 K%, .269 BABIP, 152 PA
6. Carson Fulmer, RHP
Carson Fulmer‘s two starts couldn’t have been more different. He got a win against Louisville, going five plus innings and holding them to one earned run on seven hits. His control was on all night but he did give up some hard contact. Inducing a double play in the third saved him from potentially a big inning. Eight strikeouts to just one walk enabled him to limit most of the damage. While Fulmer toed the line in his first start, he slipped significantly in the second. It was an “avert your eyes” type of line. He surrendered a three-run home run in the second, had a clean third, but lost his control in the subsequent frames. He threw just 51 percent of his 91 pitches for strikes and walked five men. He was bounced in the 5th, with seven earned runs on six hits to his name. Simply one of those turn the page outings.
Last Week: 1-1, 7.20 ERA, 10 K, 6 BB, 2 GS, 10.0 IP
Season Line: 5-2, 3.86 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 7.11 K/9, 3.45 BB/9, 1.22 HR/9, 8 GS, 44.1 IP
7. Alec Hansen, RHP
Alec Hansen had what may have been the best outing of his season. He twirled 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits, two walks, and striking out seven. It’s the first time he made it into the seventh inning this season and he was fairly efficient with 94 pitches. Nearly 70 percent of those pitches were in the zone, which is a very good sign for the occasionally control-plagued Hansen. You can find Rob Young’s Q&A with Hansen and other Intimidators here. Hansen talks about his refined change up and addresses his issues with the running game.
Last Week: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 1 GS, 6.2 IP
Season Line: 3-3, 2.95 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 8.86 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 0.21 HR/9, 8 GS, 42.2 IP
8. Zack Burdi, RHP
Zack Burdi notched two saves this week in two attempts. He gave up just one hit over those two innings while striking out three and surrendering one free pass. Burdi has cut his walks in half compared to last season. His stats are now eye-popping, with a 14.73 K/9, 5-6 conversion rate on his saves, a 1.84 ERA, and the BABIP and strand rate to back up the performance. Burdi got the loss last night when he went two innings, giving up a run on two hits in a non-save situation.
Last Week: 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 4 K, 2 BB, 2 SV, 3 G, 4.0 IP
Season Line: 0-1, 1.84 ERA, 1.65 FIP, 14.73 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 5 SV, 1 BS, 14.2 IP
9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
Basabe has crashed back to earth since he went on a nice hitting streak, raising his overall line enough to generate some hype. He had poor plate discipline this week (2/7 BB/K) and simply didn’t put the bat on the ball. Two stolen bases at least padded some of his stat line.
Last Week: .105/.320/.105 (.425 OPS), 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 SB, 25 PA
Season Line: .223/.338/.322 (.660 OPS), 27 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 7 SB, 11.8 BB%, 24.3 K%, .306 BABIP, 144 PA
10. Dane Dunning, RHP
Despite making a nice debut in High-A, Dane Dunning has struggled since the promotion, though he gets a pass on his most recent start. Dunning walked four batters over 3.2 innings, and gave up three runs on four hits, but most of that damage occurred after he was hit in the pitching hand by a line drive. He stayed in for a handful of batters before being removed, and later said that he’d lost feeling in a few of his fingers. Probably best to just call this a mulligan.
Last Week: 0-0, 7.36 ERA, 7 K, 4 BB, 1 GS, 3.2 IP
Low-A: 2-0, 0.35 ERA, 1.41 FIP, 11.42 K/9, 0.69 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 4 GS, 26.0 IP
High-A: 1-0, 4.76 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 14.29 K/9, 6.35 BB/9, 0.79 HR/9, 3 GS, 11.1 IP
11. Jordan Stephens, RHP
*Currently Injured, but now throwing in Extended Spring Training and should return soon*
12. Alex Call, OF
*Currently Injured – intercostal muscle injury, has been taking BP in the cage, should return soon*
Last Week: Did Not Play
Season Line: .244/.311/.366 (.677 OPS), 10 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 6.7 BB%, 24.4 K%, .333 BABIP, 45 PA
13. Spencer Adams, RHP
Spencer Adams wasn’t missing any bats in his outing against Chattanooga, as he gave up nine hits over 5.2 innings, including a home run. The outing raised his season ERA to 4.37 but a .344 BABIP against isn’t sustainable, so he’s likely a bit closer to his 3.37 FIP, which is a full run lower.
Last Week: 0-1, 6.35 ERA, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 GS, 5.2 IP
Season Line: 1-6, 4.37 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 6.65 K/9, 1.14 BB/9, 0.95 HR/9, 8 GS, 47.1 IP
14. Jameson Fisher, OF
Fisher doubled in the only contest he played last week. A foul ball off the ankle has relegated him to the bench, where he’s currently day-to-day. A trip to the DL is not expected. Fisher is unexpectedly struggling in A-ball after putting on a show at the Rookie Ball level last year. Sub-par numbers shouldn’t take away from what is a rather intriguing outfield prospect and a possible steal as a fourth round pick. FutureSox’s Matt Cassidy got a look at Fisher last week and noted clean hitting mechanics but an approach indicative of pressing. He’s also working hard to improve his outfield defense, which is a new position for him after being a catcher and first baseman in college. Cassidy’s full write up can be found here.
Last Week: 1-for-4, 2B, K (Only played one game)
Season Line: .245/.336/.364 (.700 OPS), 27 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB, 10.9 BB%, 24.8 K%, .329 BABIP, 129 PA
15. Luis Curbelo, SS
*In extended spring training*
16. Adam Engel, OF
Consistency in approach has been the buzz phrasing with Engel, who toys with his swing and set up more than just about anyone in the system. Matt Cassidy noted a new approach for Engel, where he loads before the pitch but is still able to generate leverage in his swing. Something he began to employ in Spring Training, it may have just taken a couple weeks to catch on. You can see video and read Cassidy’s take here. In the last month, Engel has hit .277/.351/.578 (.929 OPS) with eight doubles, a triple, and six home runs (including a big one last night). He’s gone from a black hole to the stratosphere, and the fact that his season OPS is only .725 shows just how bad his first ten games were. With plus-plus speed and legitimately plus defense in center field, Engel has an enormous ceiling. If his bat can ever hang around for more than a month at a time, he could be special.
Last Week: .286/.375/.571 (.946 OPS), 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 5 K, 25 PA
Season Line: .215/.304/.421 (.725 OPS), 26 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB, 10.0 BB%, 25.7 K%, .259 BABIP, 140 PA
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