Let’s take a shot at pegging some prospect sleepers ahead of the curve. I’m going to divide this by division, with two sleepers per team, one pitcher and one hitter. None of them have a current grade higher than C+ on our prospect lists entering 2017, but all (in my opinion) have a chance to be very good or even excellent values relative to their current ranking.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
Jack Reinheimer, INF: Age 24, third round pick in 2013 from East Carolina by the Mariners, traded to Diamondbacks in Mark Trumbo deal; hit .288/.353/.384 in Triple-A with 20 steals; lacks power but has good strike zone judgment; solid defender at shortstop, range is average but very reliable; has been very good in limited looks at second base; utility projection due to valuable defense and speed; fits historical profile of polished infielder who may show unexpected offensive development in late 20s.
Curtis Taylor, RHP: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2016 from University of British Columbia; big right-hander at 6-6, 215, throws strikes (23/5 K/BB in 16 innings in debut), can hit 94-96 from deceptive arm angle, secondary pitches show enough promise that he will be developed as a starter.
Parker French, RHP: Age 23, fifth round pick in 2015 from University of Texas; posted 2.63 ERA in 178 innings between Low-A and High-A with 122/29 K/BB, 2.01 GO/AO; heavy sinker along with very good control of workable curveball and change-up give him a chance as a back-end efficiency starter.
Garrett Hampson, SS: Age 22, third round pick in 2016 out of Long Beach State, hit .301/.404/.441 in the Northwest League with 36 steals in 40 attempts and 48 walks against 56 strikeouts in 256 at-bats; good strike zone judgement, 60-grade speed, and enough range and reliability to remain at shortstop; main question will be power development.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Leo Crawford, LHP: Age 20, signed out of Nicaragua for $47,500 in 2014; posted 2.42 ERA in 67 innings between rookie ball and Low-A with 63/16 K/BB; Midwest League observers report a surprisingly polished approach with a low-90s fastball, up from 86-88 when he signed.
Isbandel Isabel, 1B: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013 for just $80,000; hit .317/.396/.579 with 12 homers, 24 walks, 77 strikeouts in 202 at-bats between Pioneer and Midwest Leagues; genuine power and a mechanically-sound swing, impressive offensive potential if he can tighten up the strike zone a bit more; lacks speed and range but catches what he gets to at first base.
San Diego Padres:
Walker Lockett, RHP: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2012 from high school in Florida; posted 2.96 ERA between Low-A, High-A, Double-A, Triple-A with 123/24 K/BB in 164 innings, 1.66 GO/AO; another sinker/slider type, took step forward as durable inning-eater in ‘16 due to improved command, fourth starter possibilities.
Tre Carter, OF: Age 19, 11th round pick in 2016 from high school in Tennessee; hit .298/.411/.383 in rookie ball with nine walks, 10 strikeouts, three steals in 47 at-bats; left-handed hitter with 60-grade speed, was expected to be very raw but showed some ability to control strike zone in rookie ball; years away and high risk of failure but has the tools to be interesting.
San Francisco Giants:
Sandro Cabrera, LHP: Age 21, signed by Giants out of Dominican Republic in 2014 for $125,000; older prospect at age 19 when he signed but the Giants have a good feel for that category; posted 2.74 ERA in 43 innings between rookie ball and Low-A with 41/14 K/BB, 34 hits; low-90s fastball with solid curve, change-up, efficient with good control. Fangraphs has some video:
Dylan Davis, OF: Age 23, third round pick in 2014 from Oregon State, hit .283/.356/.521 with 26 homers, 52 walks, 119 strikeouts in 484 at-bats between Low-A and High-A; well-known in college but defensive limits and questions about contact against the best pitching have held back his stock a bit, though he ripped A-ball without much trouble in ‘16; could be Adam Duvall type low-batting average but productive slugger.