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Sleeper Prospects for 2013 In Review, Part ONE

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DJ Baxendale pitching for the University of Arkansas in 2012
DJ Baxendale pitching for the University of Arkansas in 2012
Matt Ryerson, USA Today Sports

Back in April, I posted a look at my Sleeper Alert! list from the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book. We have enough minor league data now to get a read for how the players on the list are doing, so let's take a look. This is players A through F.

Here are links to the original lists.

Sleeper Prospects for 2013, Part One
Sleeper Prospects for 2013, Part Two
Sleeper Prospects for 2013, Part Three

Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals: WHAT I WROTE IN APRIL: Age 19, right-hander from Dominican Republic generating considerable buzz this spring with strong command of plus/plus stuff. Could rank among elite pitching prospects in the game six months from now. RESULTS: 3.82 ERA with a 58/22 K/BB in 61 innings for Low-A Lexington, with 57 hits allowed. Reasonable performance especially given his age. Almonte started getting a lot of attention beyond Royals fandom shortly after the book went to press, so he isn't a "sleeper" type as much as the others.

D.J. Baxendale, RHP, Twins: WHAT I WROTE IN APRIL:
Age 22, drafted from University of Arkansas in 10th round in '12. Doesn't burn radar but has exceptional command and posted a 31/2 K/BB in his first 19 pro innings. Inning-eater control type but could be a good one. RESULTS: Outstanding at High-A Fort Myers (1.10 ERA with a 48/11 K/BB in 57 innings), Baxendale has had a rougher time after moving up to Double-A New Britain (6.75 ERA, 14/7 K/BB in 23 innings) but this is not uncommon for finesse pitchers and he's shown the ability to adapt in the past.

Zach Bird, RHP, Dodgers: APRIL:
Age 18, drafted in ninth round last year from high school in Jackson, Mississippi. Live arm, projectable, already throws in low-90s and could get faster, long-term investment type with high upside. Like Almonte, could rank much higher entering 2014. RESULTS: Reports on his stuff are positive, but he's shown serious command issues for Low-A Great Lakes, resulting in a 6.00 ERA and a 30/34 K/BB ratio in 36 innings. Given his age, there is plenty of time for improvement.

Kevin Brady, RHP, Phillies: APRIL:
Age 22, drafted in 10th round last June from Clemson, could have gone higher if not for badly-timed injuries. Looked great after signing, posted 1.90 ERA with 54/7 K/BB in first 43 pro innings, throwing strikes with 90+ fastball, slider, changeup. RESULTS: Made six starts for Low-A Lakewood resulting in a 5.47 ERA and a 28/16 K/BB in 26 innings. He went on the disabled list in early May, then was sent to extended spring training. At this point we need to see if he's healthy.

Andy Burns, INF, Blue Jays: APRIL:
Age 22, 11th round pick in 2011 from University of Arizona. Isn't likely to hit for average (he hit just .248 in Low-A), but he has some power, some speed, and defensive versatility around the infield. RESULTS: Hitting .321/.380/.523 with 25 walks, 37 strikeouts in 237 at-bats for High-A Dunedin, also stealing 21 bases. He's been excellent and should be moving up to Double-A sometime soon.

Daniel Camarena, LHP, Yankees: APRIL
: Age 20, drafted in 20th round in 2011 from high school in San Diego. He's barely seen any action yet but he has a 15/0 K/BB in his first 18 pro innings in rookie ball, getting positive reviews for his curveball and fastball command. RESULTS: Not impressive thus far, with a 6.34 ERA and a 36/13 K/BB in 50 innings for Low-A Charleston, with 61 hits allowed. He's thrown strikes but has been very hittable.

Jharel Cotton, RHP, Dodgers: APRIL
: Age 21, 20th round pick last year out of East Carolina University, where he threw 88-91 MPH. He went off to summer college ball, boosted his velocity into the mid-90s, then posted a 20/3 K/BB in 15 innings in rookie ball. RESULTS: 3.55 ERA with a 58/17 K/BB in 58 innings for Low-A Great Lakes, with 42 hits allowed. Reports on stuff were very good, earning him a promotion to Double-A (skipping High-A). He's thrown just 3.2 innings for Chattanooga thus far in a pair of relief outings, but has fanned five. So far, so good.

Jake DeGrom, RHP, Mets: APRIL:
Age 24, ninth round pick in '10 from Stetson, missed '11 with Tommy John but came back strong in '12, throwing strikes and hitting mid-90s with his sinker. 2.95 ERA with 118/26 K/BB in 137 pro innings thus far. Often overlooked in Mets system but not for much longer. RESULTS: Made two starts for High-A St. Lucie, then moved up to Double-A Binghamton where he has a 4.80 ERA with a 44/20 K/BB in 60 innings with 69 hits allowed. I felt he was capable of better; he's had several very good games but the bad ones have trashed his stat line so far.

Logan Ehlers, LHP, Tigers: APRIL:
Age 21, small-town Nebraska kid drafted in 20th round out of Howard Junior College in Texas last year, erratic track record but shows four pitches at his best. Very speculative at this point but I track the Midwesterners closely. RESULTS: Used in relief for Low-A West Michigan with poor results thus far, 5.92 ERA with a 16/15 K/BB in 24 innings, 32 hits. Reports indicate that he's gained weight, has struggled with his command, and is not showing the life on his pitches that he showed in college.

Roenis Elias, LHP, Mariners: APRIL
: Age 24, signed out of Cuba in 2011, posted a 3.76 ERA with a 128/41 K/BB in 148 innings in High Desert last year, which is like pitching on the moon. Doesn't have tremendous velocity and easy to overlook in Mariners system, but showed great pitchability last year. Should be tracked. RESULTS: Good success so far in Double-A, with a 2.92 ERA and a 59/25 K/BB in 74 innings for Jackson with 65 hits allowed. Continues to fly under the radar, but continues to get people out.

Edwin Escobar, LHP, Giants: APRIL:
Age 20, signed out of Venezuela by Rangers in ‘08, traded to Giants in '09 and now on 40-man roster. Velocity pushed into the 90s last year and he always threw strikes, posted 2.96 ERA with 122/32 K/BB in Low-A. The Giants know pitching. RESULTS: As with Almonte, Escobar got considerable attention in spring training after the book was finished. He's lived up to it with a 3.23 ERA and a sharp 73/14 K/BB in 56 innings for High-A San Jose.

Stay tuned for parts two and three.