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2018 National League Central: Sleeper Alert prospect results

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MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of spring training we wrote up a report on Sleeper Prospects for each major league organization. With the minor league season at an end this seems like a good time to review the list and see how we did.

We already looked at the National League East, which you can access here.

Here’s the American League East.

Here’s the American League West

And the National League West.

Don’t forget the American League Central.

The National League Central list was originally published April 2nd, 2018.

CHICAGO CUBS: Cory Abbott, RHP:

Original report: Age 22, second round pick in 2017 from Loyola Marymount; spectacular spring last year, NCAA stats 1.74 ERA in 98 innings, 130/28 K/BB, just 61 hits; pitched 14 pro innings in the Northwest League with 18/3 K/BB, 3.86 ERA; advanced pitchability with low-90s fastball, curve, change-up, cutter; will likely make short work of A-ball

Result: Impressive season between Low-A and High-A, 2.50 ERA in 115 innings, 131/39 K/BB; stock rising, A-ball was not much of a challenge.

CINCINNATI REDS Alex Blandino, INF:

Original report: Age 25, first round pick in 2014 out of Stanford; hit .265/.382/.453 between Double-A and Triple-A with 36 doubles, 12 homers, 64 walks, 86 strikeouts in 393 at-bats; good strike zone judgment; despite draft and college pedigree he is often lost in the prospect shuffle; on-base skills with occasional pop combined with defensive versatility could still result in a long career.

Result: Hit .234/.324/.289 in 128 at-bats in the majors until going on the disabled list with a torn ACL and missing the rest of the season. Capable of better, though needs to show more power.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS: Zack Brown, RHP:

Original report: Age 23, fifth round pick in 2016 from University of Kentucky, posted 3.11 ERA in 110 innings in Low-A/High-A, 107/36 K/BB; fastball 90-95, flashes plus curveball and workable change-up; particularly sharp late in the year with 23/2 K/BB in last 25 innings.

Result: 2.44 ERA in 126 innings in Double-A, 116/36 K/BB; strong season while making the often-difficult transition to the high minors, could arrive in majors next year.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES: Clay Holmes, RHP:

Original report: Age 25, ninth round pick in 2011 from high school in Slocumb, Alabama; just promoted to the major leagues this morning; 3.36 ERA in 113 innings in Triple-A last year, 99/59 K/BB, 96 hits; lost two years to Tommy John surgery but has been healthy lately; power sinker in low-90s, mixes in cutter/slider, curve, and change; notable for high ground ball rates, could be workhorse type if command holds up.

Result: Solid enough in Triple-A, 3.40 ERA with 100/40 K/B in 95 innings but has been hit hard so far in major league exposure, 8.84 ERA in 18 innings, 15/17 K/BB; control obviously the big problem here, heavy ground ball rate remains interesting if he can manage to cut down on walks.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Andy Young, INF:

Original report: Age 23, 37th round pick in 2016 from Indiana State University; quietly had very nice season in ‘17, hitting .278/.359/.471 with 17 homers in 410 at-bats between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A; versatile glove, best at second but playable at shortstop, third base, and even corner outfield; bargain as a 37th rounder even if he’s just a utility player but should not be under-estimated.

Result: Excellent year, hitting .289/.379/.479 with 21 homers, 38 walks, 85 strikeouts in 432 at-bats between High-A and Double-A including .319/.395/.556 after his promotion; very reliable at second base, can play third or short in a pinch; classic Cardinals budget draft pick who exceeds expectations, don’t overlook him.