Here is a review of my list for "Sleeper Alert!" prospects as written up in the 2014 Baseball Prospect Book.
Fans of a specific team are often aware of such prospects before general fans and fantasy owners. The point of a Sleeper Alert is to get ahead of the national publicity curve on a prospect and point them out before they break out into popular consciousness.
Let’s see how the list performed this year. This list was originally posted April 28, 2014.
This is Part Two, letters M through Z. Part One is here.
Tyler Mahle, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: Age 20, posted 3.87 ERA with 71/15 K/BB in 77 innings for Billings in the Pioneer League, 80 hits. Excellent control, reports are positive particularly on his pitchability, full breakthrough possible next year. Seventh round pick in 2013 from high school in California.
Luke Maile, C, Tampa Bay Rays: Age 23, hit .268/.341/.387 with five homers, 35 walks, 76 strikeouts in 351 at-bats for Double-A Montgomery. Solid receiver, and I continue to believe that his bat has more potential for growth. Eighth round pick from University of Kentucky in 2012.
Trey Mancini, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: Age 22, hit .317/.357/.422 in 268 at-bats for Low-A Delmarva, then .251/.295/.396 in 275 at-bats for High-A Frederick. Not enough power for a first baseman, didn’t carry success he had at Notre Dame forward. Eighth round pick in 2013.
Kyle McGowin, RHP, Los Angeles Angels: Age 22, posted 2.93 ERA with 48/16 K/BB in 58 innings for High-A Inland Empire, 51 hits. Pitched very well but immediately went on disabled list with a sore elbow after being promoted to Double-A Arkansas in late May. Status unclear but he was quite good before he got hurt.
Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: Age 23, hit .300/.396/.476 with 44 walks, 49 strikeouts in 267 at-bats for Bakersfield in the California League, then .235/.333/.323 with 32 walks, 50 strikeouts in 226 at-bats for Double-A Pensacola. Had difficulty with transition to advanced pitching, but still has a chance to adjust since he retained control of the strike zone. Eighth round pick in 2012 from University of Arizona.
Keury Mella, RHP, San Francisco Giants: Age 21, posted 3.93 ERA with 63/13 K/BB in 66 innings for Low-A Augusta, then 1.83 ERA with 20/6 K/BB in 20 innings for short-season Salem-Keizer while rehabbing an undisclosed injury. From the Dominican Republic, he was effective when healthy.
Carlos Moncrief, OF, Cleveland Indians: Age 25, hit .271/.328/.431 with 33 doubles, 12 homers, 38 walks, 130 strikeouts in 480 at-bats for Triple-A Columbus. Will need to turn more of those doubles into homers to get a chance. I can't prove it objectively but I think he could still surprise us. 14th round pick in 2008 from Chipola JC.
Ryan Newell, RHP, Miami Marlins: Age 23, posted 3.36 ERA with 94/21 K/BB in 110 innings for Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, 110 hits. Solid season, ended early due to a bad case of mononucleosis but that’s better than a blown elbow or shredded shoulder. Seventh round pick in 2012 from Shorter College, has made huge progress with his command.
Wes Parsons, RHP, Atlanta Braves: Age 22, posted 5.00 ERA with 96/34 K/BB in 113 innings for High-A Lynchburg, 119 hits. Not a great year, although K/BB remains solid enough. Hit hard late, posted 7.19 ERA in last 10 starts. Undrafted free agent signed in 2012 from Jackson State Community College.
Nick Petree, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: Age 24, posted 2.51 ERA with 106/33 K/BB in 129 innings, 123 hits combined between Low-A Peoria, High-A Palm Beach, and one start for Double-A Springfield. Outstanding pitchability did him well in A-ball but will need to prove it will work at higher levels. Ninth round pick from Missouri State University in 2013.
Tom Robson, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: Age 21, 6.25 ERA with 22/18 K/BB in 32 innings for Lansing, blew out elbow, down for Tommy John. Fourth round pick in 2011 from high school in British Columbia.
Nellie Rodriguez, 1B, Cleveland Indians: Age 20, hit .268/.349/.482 with 32 doubles, 22 homers, 60 walks, 142 strikeouts in 485 at-bats for Low-A Lake County. Some contact issues but this is outstanding power production for the Midwest League. 15th round pick in 2012 from high school in New York City.
David Rollins, LHP, Houston Astros: Age 24, posted 3.81 ERA with 77/22 K/BB in 78 innings for Double-A Corpus Christi, 74 hits. Efficient strike-thrower who can start or relieve, could get a trial next year. Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 24th round in 2011 from San Jacinto CC, acquired in the 2012 JA Happ trade.
Caleb Smith, LHP, New York Yankees: Age 23, posted 3.67 ERA with 116/46 K/BB in 118 innings for Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, 99 hits. Typical Yankees middle round college-draft pitcher who can sneak up on us (David Phelps type), 14th round pick from Sam Houston State, has shown better control in pro ball than he did in college.
Josh Smith, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: Age 27, posted 4.70 ERA with 123/66 K/BB in 159 innings for Triple-A Louisville, 174 hits. Veteran non-prospect inning-eater with a chance to pull a Matt Shoemaker-like surprise if he can sharpen his control a bit more. 21st round pick in 2010 from Lipscomb.
Myles Smith, RHP, Boston Red Sox: Age 22, posted 5.82 ERA with 73/62 K/BB in 104 innings for Low-A Greenville, 121 hits. A poor season. More of a stuff guy than most of the other pitchers on this list, throws hard but still working on secondary pitches and command. Fourth round pick in 2013 from Lee University.
Jeff Thompson, RHP, Detroit Tigers: Age 23, pitched just eight innings due to injury in Low-A. Third round pick in 2013 from University of Louisville.
Austin Voth, RHP, Washington Nationals: Age 22, excellent season, 2.77 ERA with 133/38 K/BB in 127 innings between Low-A Hagerstown, High-A Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg. Low-90s fastball, sometimes faster, sharp control, good breaking ball. Fifth round pick in 2013 from University of Washington.
LeVon Washington, OF, Cleveland Indians: Age 23, former second round pick but pointed out as a "sleeper" to remind people of him since constant injuries have pushed him down the lists. However, when healthy he always hits, including a .294/.402/.393 mark in 252 at-bats in High-A this year. Lots of on-base ability. Can he stay healthy enough for it to matter?
Aaron West, RHP, Houston Astros: Age 24, posted 4.72 ERA with 19/11 K/BB in 34 innings between Double-A Corpus Christi and rookie-ball injury rehab. Went on DL in May, came off in July, got knocked around and when back on. Lost season due to injury. 17th round pick in 2012 from University of Washington.
Robert Whalen, RHP, New York Mets: Age 20, posted 2.01 ERA with 53/19 K/BB in 63 innings for Low-A Savannah, 44 hits. Effective in limited workload due to a hand infection, but finished strong, I still like him. 12th round pick in 2012 from high school in Florida.
Kean Wong, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays: Age 19, Kolten Wong’s brother. Hit .306/.347/.370 with 13 steals, 27 walks, 73 strikeouts in 422 at-bats for Low-A Bowling Green. Fourth round pick in 2013 from high school in Hawaii.
We won’t know how things really pan out here for a few years of course, but I’m not particularly happy with the Sleeper list this year. There were a lot of pitching injuries and perhaps too much emphasis on control artists, although this is historically a type that I like and sometimes you’ll hit on a guy like Mike Fiers or Matt Shoemaker. There weren’t many hitters on the list and I think I will put more resources into discovering bats for 2015.