Good morning and welcome to the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread for Thursday, March 22nd, 2018. Some items for consideration today:
****I am working on articles about sleepers and “don’t overlook this guy” types who didn’t make the Top 175 but are still worthy of your attention. I’m also working up something about Texas Rangers outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez, who signed too late for placement on the Top 175.
****Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker has raked this spring, hitting .350/.413/.550 with four walks and four strikeouts in 40 at-bats. What do you guys think about him as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate?
****Since he is out of options Philadelphia Phillies rookie catcher Jorge Alfaro is a lock to make the team but he’s also played well enough to earn the spot on merit grounds, hitting .281/.378/.531 with two walks and seven strikeouts in 32 at-bats, small sample of course, but in keeping with his perceived ceiling as a hitter.
****Speaking of prospect catchers, Chance Sisco is hitting .393/.452/.714 in 28 at-bats for the Baltimore Orioles. The knock on Sisco as a hitter has been lack of power. As always, the value of spring stats is compromised by sample size and competition variance but a fast start is better than a slow one. As with Winker, Sisco’s power development will be key to his long-term value.
****Seattle Mariners first base prospect Daniel Vogelbach is certainly in the “too good for Triple-A” category now, with a .391/.509/.848 spring through 46 at-bats with 10 walks against nine strikeouts. He holds a .291/.403/.480 slash line in 918 Triple-A at-bats. There’s nothing left to prove there at age 25 and rumors indicate the Mariners want to keep him on the roster even if Ryon Healy and his injured hand are 100% on opening day, though at-bats may be sparse depending on what happens with other players.