Organizational Sleepers - American League

Here's a quick breakdown on all this prospecty goodness. After each players name is their organization rankings from 7 of the biggest prospecters/sites around, Baseball America (BA),'s Jonathan "OJ" Mayo (MLB), Baseball Prospectus (BP), our own John Sickels (JS), FanGraphs (FG), Bullpen Banter (BP), and ESPN's Keith Law (KL). An X means the player was not ranked on that particular list. The next row will give you all the background on the player including DOB, position, handedness, height, weight, what round and pick they were drafted at, their alma mater, and the peak level they've reached so far in the 2013 season. I've also included an Honorable Mentions section for each team to give you an idea who else was in the picture. No player in the stateside rookie leagues were considered due to lack of information.

Michael Ohlman BA-X, MLB-19, BP-X, JS-18, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 12/14/90 C/DH B/T: R/R H/W: 6’4 205 LB DRAFT: 2009- 11/326 LAKEWOOD RANCH HS (FL) PEAK: A+

2013 stats (thru 8/15) - 83 G, .307/.408/.528/.936, 93-303, 23 2B, 12 HR, 4 3B, 53 R, 47 RBI, 4-4 SB, 49 BB, 78 K, 158 wRC+, .422 wOBA, .377 BABIP, .221 ISO

The first 3 year of Ohlman’s career were rough to say the least, with a season high average of .233. He suffered a significant right shoulder damage in spring training of 2012 after wrecking his truck, cutting his season short before it even got started. He was then suspended 50 games in for a substance of abuse. Ohlman has been a completely different animal since he’s returned. He posted a .300/.400/.460 line over 240 PA with 24 extra base hits including 3 HR. He also had a fantastic 35 BB to 37 K in Delmarva and the GCL. He’s added more power to his game this year and is hitting line drives at a 21.1% clip, a good 6.4% better than league average. John made a very valid point in his book about if Ohlman had gone to college instead of signing, he would have been drafted in 2012 and a .300/.400/.460 line would be very interesting for a first year player in the Sally. He’s very rough behind the plate (9 E, 8 PB, 27% CS) and he’s spent more time at DH this year (42 G) than behind the plate (41 G). He has decent arm strength but is a mess mechanically. He does have an athletic frame and if he has to move positions the front office would do well to try him at 3B or a corner OF spot before resorting to 1B. Honorable Mentions - RHP Jimmy Yacabonis, LHP Steven Brault


Mookie Betts BA-31, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-15, BB-X, KL-X
BORN: 10/7/92 2B B/T: R/R H/W: 5’9 156 LB DRAFT: 2011- 5/172 JOHN OVERTON HS (TN) PEAK: A+

2013 stats (thru 8/15) - 110 G, .292/.400/.471/.871, 117-401, 30 2B, 12 HR, 3 3B, 79 R, 46 RBI, 33-35 SB, 72 BB, 55 K, 160 wRC+ (A), 120 wRC+ (A+) , .415 wOBA (A), .363 wOBA (A+), .313 BABIP, .179 ISO

Betts was drafted as a SS in 2011 but was moved over to 2B by the time he hit short season ball last year. His size likely had a lot to do with that. He shows an otherworldly feel for the strike zone and always seems to be in control of his at-bats. Easy plus speed, great instincts, and athleticism combined with fantastic bat control, consistent contact and premier plate discipline equal a future lead off hitter for someone. He’s not just an empty batting average either as he’s hit 45 extra base hits this year. He’s also roping line drives at a 18.2% clip, good for 3.5% better than league average. However, he is showing a strong platoon split, only hitting .204/.310/.306 against lefties this year in 98 AB‘s compared to .320/.429/.525 in 303 AB’s against right handers. In the field, he shows excellent range with good first step quickness and a solid glove. His arm is average to below average, so a move back to the left side of the infield is probably not in the cards. I think he’s a future everyday second baseman, just not in Boston. Little known fact - Mookie is a beast at the bowling alley. Honorable Mention - RHP Jamie Callahan

Micah Johnson BA-25, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 12/18/90 2B B/T: L/R H/W: 5’11 200 LB DRAFT: 2012- 9/291 INDIANA-BLOOMINGTON PEAK: A+

2013 stats (thru 8/15) - 116 G, .328/.392/.476/.868, 155-473, 24 2B, 14 3B, 6 HR, 102 R, 51 RBI, 79-105 SB, 47 BB, 89 K, 167 wRC+ (A), 99 wRC+ (A+) , .429 wOBA (A), .329 wOBA (A+), .389 BABIP, .148 ISO

Johnson has been a revelation for a White Sox system that has seen many of their top prospects regress this year. He has yet to register a month with an average below .302 this year while hitting .336 vs. RHP and .305 vs. LHP. Through the end of may he had already stolen 47 bags in 60 tries, but has slowed down since with only 32 SB in 45 attempts since June 1. He was promoted to A+ Winston-Salem in early July and has hit .302/.333/.379 since with 10 XBH and 17 SB in 39 games. At the plate, Johnson has shown an ability to hit line drives at a better than league average clip (3.2 % in A, 0.4% in A+) while also putting the ball on the ground 48.5% of the time in Kannapolis and 53.9% of the time in Winston-Salem. This allows him to utilize his plus plus speed and beat out infield hits. Many prospecteers have noted that Johnson’s raw speed is much better than his usable game speed as his lack of instincts cause his speed to play down a bit. He’s an athlete who’s got surprising pop in his stick but sometimes gets a little too aggressive at the plate. In the field, he’s an absolute butcher at 2B. He’s got stone hands and sub-par footwork at a position where those two attributes are pretty important. He does have good range though, but he gets bad jumps off contact and has to use his speed to make up for it. He’ll finish the year as a 22 year old in A+ with a promotion to AA to start 2014. Honorable Mentions - SS/2B Marcus Semien, RHP Kevin Vance

Cody Anderson BA-29, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 9/14/90 RHSP B/T: R/R H/W: 6’4 220 LB DRAFT: 2011- 14/428 FEATHER RIVER JC (CA) PEAK: AA

2013 (thru 8/15) - 24 GS, 128.1 IP, 109 H, 34 ER, 34 BB, 117 K, 6 HRA, 2.38 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 7.6 H/9, 8.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 3.44 K/BB, 0.70 GO:FO, 2.90 FIP, 3.42 SIERA
FB - 4-seam: 90-94, T-96 CB - developing, average potential CU - developing SL - sometimes called a cutter, #2 pitch Command - good Makeup - bulldog mentality, great work ethic Motion - very repeatable Other - strong, durable body Ceiling - 4/5 starter

Anderson was taken in the 14th round and signed away from TCU for $250K in 2011. He put together a solid season last year in A ball, starting 23 games and pitching 98.1 innings after being a reliever in college. With the knowledge of the rigors of a full season starting, Anderson has flourished this year with A+ Carolina and the development of his cutter. His 2.48 ERA at Carolina isn’t a mirage either with a 2.89 FIP and 3.38 SIERA. His performance earned him a promotion to AA Akron August 15th. So far this year he’s walking less batters than last year (0.5%), significantly striking out more (5.0%), and is not allowing as many HR. Lefties are hitting him a bit better this year (.234 AVG, .621 OPS, 9 XBH in 167 AB) than righties (.236 AVG, .611 OPS, 18 XBH in 296 AB) but he’s still limiting both very well. When he’s on the mound he shows a bulldog mentality and a delivery he has no problems repeating. He’s got the frame to withstand innings and has shown good command, striking out almost 3.5 more hitters than he’s walked. His fastball sits in the low 90’s but multiple reports have said that he can reach back to hit 96 when needed. His cutter has taken a huge leap forward and has become his go-to breaking pitch. Seeing has its also been called a slider, it may have more break to it than a normal cutter. His curve and change are both still in the development phase with the hook showing more consistent break. He’s being looked at as a possible back end starter but if he continues to improve his curve he could be more of a 3 or 4 starter with a good fastball and 2 average breaking balls. Honorable Mentions - 2B/3B Claudio Bautista, 2B Joe Wendle

Devon Travis BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 2/21/91 2B B/T: R/R H/W: 5’9 185 LB DRAFT: 2012- 13/424 FLORIDA ST. PEAK: A+

2013 stats (thru 8/15) - 114 G, .354/.424/.493/.917, 155-438, 24 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 77 R, 62 RBI, 20-23 SB, 46 BB, 52 K, 159 wRC+ (A), 164 wRC+ (A+) , .419 wOBA (A), .421 wOBA (A+), .380 BABIP, .139 ISO

Travis was chosen out of the draft as a polished college hitter from a top tier school in Florida State. He impressed after the draft with short season Connecticut, putting up a .280/.352/.441 line and good defense at second. He was promoted to full season ball to start the year and started mashing the ball. He hit .341 in April with a .918 OPS and he has not stopped since. He’s hit .343, .379, and a ridiculous .398 in the subsequent months. Its almost unfair to compare him to league average where his line drive % in A ball was 3.7 above average, his K% in A ball was 9.9% below average and in A+ is 6.3 below average. At the plate, he has HR power to left field but gap power going oppo. He consistently barrels up the ball, and does not expand the zone, working his walks and limiting K’s. In the field he has soft hands, quick feet, and solid range. Travis’s solid arm can make the necessary plays at 2B and he can roll the duece with no problems. He’s reportedly a below average runner though, with poor acceleration but he’s been very effective on the bases, stealing at a 87% success rate. Little known fact, Travis played in the 2003 Little League World Series for East Boynton Beach (FL). Honorable Mentions - LHP Kyle Ryan, LHP Joshua Turley

Josh Hader BA-19, MLB-13, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-9 BORN: 4/7/94 LHSP B/T: L/L H/W: 6’3 175 LB DRAFT: 2012- 19/582 OLD MILL HS (MD) PEAK: A

2013 (thru 8/15) - 19 GS, 91.2 IP, 70 H, 29 ER, 46 BB, 83 K, 4 HRA, 2.85 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 6.9 H/9, 8.1 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.80 K/BB, 1.01 GO:FO, 3.69 FIP, 4.25 SIERA
FB - 4-seam: 89/93 T-95, good movement, arm side run and sink CB - 73/77, tight spin, below average command CU - 82/84, sometimes has good fade, can throw too hard SL - None Command - developing Makeup - iffy Motion - low ¾ slot, Other - good pickoff move, lives low in the zone Ceiling - middle relief

Quick note about Hader’s rankings - these are where he landed in Baltimore’s pre-season org rankings. Hader has really excelled this year as a teenager in the Sally. He was a part of the Bud Norris trade at the deadline and went from playing for Delmarva to Quad Cties. He’s made 2 starts for his new team and the first was great, throwing 6 scoreless innings with just 1 hit allowed, no walks and 2 strike outs. His second start was the exact opposite, only making it through 2/3 of an inning with 2 hits allowed, 4 walks, 4 earned runs and 2 strikeouts. Due to his high walk rate (4.4 per 9) and low BABIP (.272), Hader’s FIP was 3.65 with Delmarva, which is still good, just not as great as the 2.65 ERA. In Delmarva he also held batters to a .215 AVG and just a .629 OPS. When a lefty comes to the plate though, they have no chance. When Hader faces a LHB they are hitting .134/.237/.207 for a .444 OPS in 94 PA. Righties are tagging him at a .233/.338/.340./678 clip. When he’s on the mound he uses a fastball that sits in the low 90’s with sink and arm side run but can hit 95, a curve that has tight spin but he gets on top of too much and can’t command, and a change up that’s a show me pitch at this point. He lives in the bottom third of the strike zone and has a good pick off move. A lot of people have said that due to his motion and arm slot, he should ditch the curve in favor of a slider which is a valid point. Due to his height, handedness, arm slot and lankiness, he gets a lot of comparisons to Chris Sale from the White Sox. That obviously is a best case scenario for Houston. In order for that to happen, Hader needs to refine his offspeed pitches and improve his command of all 3 pitches. Otherwise, it’s a bullpen future for Hader. Honorable Mentions - RHP Michael Feliz, RHP Kyle Smith, RHP Vincent Velasquez, C Tyler Heineman, C Max Stassi

Christian Binford BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 12/20/92 RHSP B/T: R/R H/W: 6’6 217 LB DRAFT: 2011- 30/906 MERCERSBURG ACADEMY (PA) PEAK: A

2013 (thru 8/15) - 21 GS, 125 IP, 117 H, 33 ER, 24 BB, 125 K, 5 HRA, 2.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 9.0 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 5.21 K/BB, 1.70 GO:FO, 2.42 FIP, 2.84 SIERA
FB - 4-seam: 88/93, good sink CB - solid-average CU - inconsistent, flashes plus SL - none Command - excellent Makeup - Motion - struggles to repeat delivery Other - gets good plane from 6’6 frame Ceiling - 4/5 starter

I can see this guy shooting up prospect lists next season when you combine his age and performance. Even though Binford was taken in the 30th round of the 2011 draft, he still signed for $575K and broke what was thought to be a very strong commitment to Virginia. He had Tommy John surgery in high school, so that’s out of the way. In his first season, he made 8 starts in the Appy league and posted a 2.02 ERA in 40 innings with 9 H/9, 7 K/9 and just 0.9 BB/9. He made the full season jump this year and has been even better. He’s getting batters to put the ball on the ground almost 50% of the time and is getting almost twice as many groundouts as fly outs. He’s limiting right handed hitters to a .204 AVG and .517 OPS over 290 PA, but lefties are tagging him with a .304 AVG and .746 OPS. The development of his change up will go a long way in helping remedy that. One odd stat from him is that although lefties are batting almost .300 against him, he’s inducing 2.69 ground outs to each fly out when facing opposite handed hitters. On the mound, Binford uses his height to get good plane and sink on his fastball that sits in the low 90’s. His curve is a solid-average pitch and his changeup is a work in progress that sometimes flashes plus with good fade. A downside to being so tall is he does struggle to repeat his delivery but has not affected his command in general, which is outstanding. Until the change up develops more and the curve progresses a bit more, he has a back of rotation ceiling who can eat some innings. Keep in mind he is also only 20 years old the entire year. Honorable Mentions - RHP Jake Newberry, RHP Zachary Lovvorn

Zach Borenstein BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 6/23/90 LF B/T: L/R H/W: 6’0 205 LB DRAFT: 2011- 23/705 EASTERN ILLINOIS PEAK: A+

2013 stats (thru 8/15) - 96 G, .334/.392/.637/1.029, 117-350, 20 2B, 7 3B, 24 HR, 67 R, 84 RBI, 4-9 SB, 32 BB, 77 K, 161 wRC+, .433 wOBA, .365 BABIP, .303 ISO

Borenstein has had an incredible break out season. I have no idea why he has not been talked about this year, but he is one of the very few bright spots in the Angels system. Though injuries have nagged at him this year, he’s taken the Cal league by storm by hitting .339 on the road and .329 at home. He’s also seen the majority of his power output come on the road where he’s hit 18 of his 24 bombs. The major change in his game has been his ability to hit line drives at a 19.6% clip. That is almost 4% better than the rest of the Cal league. He’s walking 0.8% less than league average and striking out 2.6% less as well. The power is a nice surprise as his previous career high was just 11, but part of this can be attributed to playing in such a hitter friendly league. As far as a scouting report on Borenstein, he’s another one of those guys who does not have a stand out tool, but is average across the board. He has decent plate discipline and can punish a mistake over the plate. In the field, he plays a solid LF after being drafted as a 3B. His arm and range are nothing to write home about, but he gets the job done. His only weakness has been his speed where he went from a 72% success rate stealing last year (13-18 SB) to a 44.4% success rate this year (4-9 SB). If he can continue to show his power isn’t a Cal league mirage next year, he will become a valuable trade piece for the Angels. Honorable Mention - SS Jose Rondon

Adam Brett Walker BA-31, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-20, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 10/18/91 RF B/T:R/R H/W: 6’4 225 LB DRAFT: 2012- 3/97 JACKSONVILLE (FL) PEAK: A

2013 (thru 8/15) - 112 G, .282/.320/.552/.872 124-444, 28 2B, 7 3B, 26 HR, 73 R, 104 RBI, 8-8 SB, 25 BB, 103 K, 134 wRC+, .380 wOBA, .303 BABIP, .270 ISO

Nobody has ever doubted the power Walker could generate; he was even named by Baseball America as the best power prospect in the Midwest League. It was always whether the hit tool would allow the power to show up in games. Well, that hit tool is doing just fine right now in A ball. Walker has beat up the Midwest League, leading the entire circuit by 6 HR, 21 RBI, 35 points in SLG% and 25 points in ISO. He does have flaws in his game, specifically his free swinging ways (21.4 K%, 5.2 BB%) and his lack of line drives (just 10.3%, league average is 15.2%). He has no real platoon split, showing more power against southpaws (.250 AVG, .583 SLG%, .895 OPS), but better contact against righties (.290 AVG, .543 SLG%, .866 OPS). The Midwest league in general is a tough place to hit and Walker has demolished the ball when he’s on the road, hitting .314/.335/.577 with a .912 OPS. Since college he’s been known to chase pitches out of the zone but he has gotten better at his pitch recognition and adjusting as the season has worn on. He knows his game though and puts the ball in the air 37% of the time and lets his natural strength take care of the rest. That’s 9% better than the rest of the league. An underrated part of his game is his sneaky speed. While it takes him a bit to get going, he’s quick once underway. He is a perfect 11-11 in stolen bases as a professional and was 40-41 in college. In the field, he’s made a successful transition to RF from 1B where he played in college. His arm is good and he’s made progress on his route, though is range leaves a bit to be desired. Walker’s real test will come next year when he’s sent to A+ Ft. Myers and faces more advanced pitching. Success in Ft. Myers will certainly put him on the fast track to playing along side Buxton in Minnesota’s outfield in a few years. Little known fact - his father was a replacement player for the Vikings during the 1987 NFL strike and his cousin is 17-year MLB veteran Damion Easley. Honorable Mentions - 3B Travis Harrison, RHP Michael Tonkin, RHP Yorman Landa

Peter O’Brien BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 7/15/90 C/3B B/T: R/R H/W: 6’3 215 LB DRAFT: 2012-2/94 MIAMI (FL) PEAK: A+

2013 (thru 8/15) - 101 G, .291/.348/.548/.896, 112-385, 33 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 70 R, 81 RBI, 0-1 SB, 34 BB, 119 K, 181 wRC+ (A), 114 wRC+ (A+) , .449 wOBA (A), .347 wOBA (A+), .359 BABIP, .257 ISO

O’Brien is one of two former 2nd round catchers that have had break out years in the Yankees system. The other, JR Murphy is closer to the bigs but may not be the better prospect. There were never any questions about whether O’Brien could handle the stick at higher levels, but his defense coming into the year left quite a bit to be desired. He’s improved a good bit in a few aspects this year, going from a 21% caught stealing rate to 31% this year, and has only made 7 errors in 641 chances. He’s still learning the nuances of blocking balls (17 PB) and calling games though. He’s also seen time at 3B, playing 25 games and racking up 12 errors in that span. With the stick he’s struggled a bit with his promotion, hitting .257/.298/.476 in A+ after mashing low A to a .325/.394/.619 line. His strikeout rate is also a concern, whiffing 29.3% of the time in A+ (10.6 points more than league average) and 25.7% in low A (4.3 points more than average). Since his promotion he has really struggled with lefties hitting only .217 with a .657 OPS in 69 AB (SSS applies). He shows good pop in his bat when he squares it up but you can’t ignore the swing and miss potential here. Working on taking a walk would also improve his profile. He’s still going to need time to hone his defense behind the plate and with that being the one area the Yankees have depth at, he’s not going to be rushed. Honorable Mentions - LHP Dietrich Enns, RHP Rafael De Paula, C JR Murphy

Chris Bostick BA-20, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-13, FG-13, BB-13, KL-X
BORN: 3/24/93 2B B/T: R/R H/W: 5’11 185 LB DRAFT: 2011- 44/1336 AQUINAS INSTITUTE (NY) PEAK: A

2013 (thru 8/15) - 114 G, .288/.361/.470/.831, 124-430, 23 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR, 68 R, 82 RBI, 23-30 SB, 46 BB, 100 K, 132 wRC+, .378 wOBA, .346 BABIP, .181 ISO

I love me some late round steals, and Bostick could be one of the better ones of recent memory going in the 44th round. He signed for $125K to forego college at St. John’s, and hit the pro’s running. Bostick has sneaky power, with a quick, direct swing that consistently squares up balls. His hit tool is developing well and has shown the ability to pepper the gaps. One sign of his improvement is his line drive rate, where he’s hitting line drives 19.5% of the time this year. That’s up from 15.1% last year in short season Vermont and 4.3 points more than the Midwest league average. He’s hitting a few too many balls in the air compared to on the ground (31.4 FB%, 39.9 GB%) for a guy like him. Bostick has thrived with runners on base, hitting .341 with a .967 OPS and is doing just as good when there are men in scoring position (.352 avg, .959 OPS). His only flaw is hitting on the road where he’s barely keeping his head above water with a .249 average and .694 OPS. His walk and strikeout rates are in line with league average which is an area any player other than Mike O’Neill can improve on. In the field he’s looked at as a future utility man, being signed as SS and moved to 2B last year and the switch has stuck. In the future expect Bostick to see some time at 3B as well to fill out his utility profile. In 526 chances he’s made 20 errors at 2B for a .962 fielding percentage which is a small improvement from last year. He’s a hard working player with passion for the game. There really is nobody in the system to impede the rise of Bostick and he could end up being Addison Russell’s double play partner in 2 or 3 years, seeing as there is a dearth of middle infield talent aside from Russell and Bostick in the Oakland system. Honorable Mentions - 1B Max Muncy, OF BJ Boyd, RHP Ryan Dull, RHP Raul Alcantara

Ji-Man Choi BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X
BORN: 5/19/91 1B/DH B/T: L/R H/W: 6’1 195 LB IFA: 2009-$425K KOREA PEAK: AA

2013 (thru 8/15) - 106 G, .298/.398/.551/.949, 111-372, 34 2B, 6 3B, 16 HR, 54 R, 78 RBI, 1-4 SB, 57 BB, 60 K, 169 wRC+ (A+), 148 wRC+ (AA) , .445 wOBA (A+), .390 wOBA (AA), .319 BABIP, .253 ISO

Choi made arguably one of the hardest jumps in the minors this year, going from the joke of a ballpark in A+ High Desert in the Cal league to AA Jackson in the Southern league. Its safe to say he successfully made that jump, hitting .262/.372/.487/.859 since his promotion. He was signed in 2009 as a catcher, but moved to 1B in 2010. Choi has always shown excellent plate discipline, even coming back from a full year off recovering from major back surgery he had done in 2011. This year in AA (226 PA) he’s walking at a 13.3% clip, 4 points above league average, while striking out only 11.9% of the time, 7.6 less than league average. He’s also hitting line drives at a 18.8% in AA and 19.5% in A+. Some scouts question if his gap power will be enough now that he’s limited to 1B and DH and has below-average speed. I don’t think anyone has had questions about his ability to make contact though as he’s been seen as a polished hitter with good bat speed and an average grade put on both his power and hit tools. Defensively, Choi has been solid this year, only making 1 error at Jackson in 319 chances while making 6 in 377 chances at High Desert. He also saw 4 games at 3B in A+ where he did not make any errors. With Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero in the system and a plethora of cheap options on the free agent market, Choi is really going to have to stand out with his bat to move up in the pecking order. Honorable Mentions - RHP Dylan Unsworth, LHP Brian Moran, C Tyler Marlette, SS Chris Taylor

Dylan Floro BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 12/27/90 RHSP B/T: L/R H/W: 6’2 175 LB DRAFT: 2012-13/422 CAL ST. FULLERTON PEAK: A+

2013 (thru 8/15) - 20 G, 118.1 IP, 111 H, 23 ER, 19 BB, 90 K, 4 HRA, 1.75 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 4.74 K/BB, 2.62 GO:FO, 2.63 FIP, 2.94 SIERA
FB - 4 seam: 88/92 CB - none CU - good fade SL - slurvy Command - exceptional Makeup - Motion - good deception Other - keeps the ball down, tons of GO Ceiling - 4/5 starter, mid-relief

Floro has an interesting story behind him. Coming out of high school, the Rays selected him in the 20th round of the draft after he had fallen to them amid concerns of his commitment to Cal State Fullerton. He was a top 2-3 round talent with a devastating slider and low 90’s heat with ease but wound up going to school instead. In his time at CS Fullerton his stuff began to slip, his fastball barely touching 90 and his once devastating slider had lost its bite. He turned to deception to get hitters out and learned to throw any pitch anywhere he wanted to, turning his command into a weapon. The Rays would draft Floro once again in 2012, this time in the 13th round. He’s picked his velocity back up to the low 90’s and has made progress getting back to the hard, biting slider instead of the loose slurve he’s been throwing. He’s made a lot of progress on his change up as well, developing good fade and is utilizing more against lefties. Picking through the stats, it should be known that so far Floro has been a ground ball machine this year, getting 2.62 ground outs for every fly out, and getting 63.8% of batted balls on the ground. His K% and BABIP are exactly league average while he only walked 4.4% of batters, 4.6 points better than league average. His 1.81 ERA in low A was not a fluke either as he had a 2.67 FIP and 2.87 SIERA. He’s only made 1 start for A+ Charlotte and he threw a complete game with 8 hits allowed and 5 K’s with no walks and only 1 run allowed. The only flaws in Floro’s game are his lack of strikeouts at low A and his age being a little behind the curve. If he follows up his fantastic debut in Charlotte with more of the same, he could get the start next year in AA Montgomery. Honorable Mentions - CF Andrew Toles, 2B Ryan Brett, RHP Marcus Jensen

Alex Claudio BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-X, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X BORN: 1/31/92 LHP B/T: L/L H/W: 6’3 160 LB DRAFT: 2010-27/826 ISABEL FLORES HS (PR) PEAK: AA

2013 (thru 8/15) - 39 G, 19 GF, 68.2 IP, 40 H, 10 ER, 11 BB, 87 K, 4 HRA, 1.31 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 5.2 H/9, 11.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 7.91 K/BB, 2.47 GO:FO, 1.90 FIP, 1.71 SIERA, 11 SV
FB - 4 seam: 85/88 CB - none CU - Unholy, 1-8 break, mid-high 60’s SL - none Command - excellent Makeup - Motion - side arm Other - Ceiling - set-up reliever, LOOGY

I have long been a huge fan of Claudio and his mystifying screwball/change up and ability to manipulate quality hitters with sub-par velocity. He’s also racking up awards, receiving the SAL pitcher of the week in April, the Texas Rangers reliever of the month for May, the best change up in the Sally league according to Baseball America and was selected for the Low A All Star Game and wound up getting the save. Claudio’s numbers this year are ridiculous as well; he’s striking out almost 11.5 batters per 9 innings, walking less than 1.5 batters per 9, giving up barely more than 5 hits per 9 innings and getting almost 2.5 ground outs for every fly out. Against lefties this year, they are batting .117 in 80 PA with 3 BB, 32 K, and a .332 OPS. Pitching in front of the home crowd, he’s practically unstoppable. In 33.2 IP this year he’s allowed 17 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks and 50 strike outs! That’s a 0.26 ERA and 0.55 WHIP. July was the only month in which he allowed more than 9 hits while pitching at least 14 innings. Even with all the sheer insanity in his stat line, he’s flown under the radar most of the year and it’s really hard to find a scouting report on him. From what I have found his fastball sits in the mid-high 80’s which he offsets with a change up/screwball in the mid 60‘s that will make you think someone slipped some LSD in your drink. Coming from the sidearm angle with the huge 1-8 break, it buckles knees and breaks ankles like a crossover by Air Jordan. In my opinion, it’s the best change up I have ever seen watching baseball. Honorable Mentions - RHP Alec Asher, RHP Jose Leclerc, RHP Ryne Slack

Andy Burns BA-X, MLB-X, BP-X, JS-20, FG-X, BB-X, KL-X
BORN: 8/7/90 3B B/T: R/R H/W: 6’2 190 LB DRAFT: 2011-11/349 ARIZONA PEAK: AA

2013 (thru 8/15) - 110 G, .285/.344/.486/.831, 125-438, 32 2B, 7 3B, 14 HR, 71 R, 76 RBI, 29-41 SB, 41 BB, 80 K, 152 wRC+ (A+), 98 wRC+ (AA) , .403 wOBA (A+), .326 wOBA (AA), .316 BABIP, .201 ISO

Burns has an interesting background because in that the year he was drafted, he did not play a single inning for Arizona. Due to transfer rules in the NCAA, after he transferred to Arizona in 2011 from Kentucky in 2010, he was deemed ineligible. Toronto’s scouts were impressed enough with what they saw in 2010 at Kentucky that they decided he was worth taking in the 11th round. Coming into this year, he was looked at as a solid utility infielder with good pop in his bat that racked up doubles. Without a home on the diamond and questions about his hit tool, he was left off most pre-season organization lists. This year, he’s continued to collect doubles at an impressive clip but has seen more go over the fence, setting a new career high in HR with 14. He’s also already at 53 extra base hits on the year. Burns is an interesting case study on how much a drop in BABIP can affect the season line. In A+ Dunedin this year, he posted a .327/.383/.524 line in 282 PA with a .349 BABIP, which was 43 points above league average. After he was promoted to AA New Hampshire, he’s posted a .232/.291/.437 line with a .268 BABIP, 38 points BELOW league average. At the plate, Burns has shown the ability to barrel any velocity he‘s seen, with average power potential, and solid-average speed once he gets going. He’s a very aggressive base runner and sometimes runs when he shouldn’t, as seen by his 71% successful stolen base rate. On defense, he was voted best defensive 3B in the Florida State League by Baseball America. He has a solid arm and good range. He played mainly SS with games also played at 2B and 3B last year for low A Lansing. In 100 games at third this year he’s had 269 chances and made 19 errors, good for a .929 fielding percentage. I think his slow start to AA is mostly attributed to a heavy BABIP regression and he will turn it around. Next year he’s probably slated for more time at AA with another midseason promotion if he flourishes in New Hampshire. Honorable Mentions - LHP Shane Dawson RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski
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