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.
Here’s the National League West.
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Jose Almonte, RHP:
Original report: Age 22, from Dominican Republic, originally signed by Red Sox in 2012, traded to AZ in 2016; posted 3.55 ERA with 162/66 K/BB in 139 innings in High-A, impressive for Cal League, 129 hits allowed; fastball 92-95, secondary pitches (slider/cutter, change) have improved, can be overpowering; watch for any reduction in walk rate as he moves up, which could presage a breakout.
Results: Reports late in spring training indicated that his velocity was way down. He opened the year on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury and hasn’t pitched. Status unclear.
COLORADO ROCKIES: Sam Hilliard, OF:
Original report: Age 24, 15th round pick in 2015 from Wichita State University, hit .300/.360/.487 with 21 homers, 37 steals, 50 walks, 154 strikeouts in 536 at-bats in High-A; originally a pitcher, so may have more development potential than most players his age; good tool set with plus speed, plus arm, plus raw power; has contact issues and needs to prove himself in Double-A; went 10-for-27 for big league squad in spring training.
Results: Hit .262/.327/.389 in Double-A with nine homers, 23 steals, 41 walks, 151 strikeouts in 435 at-bats; still shows intriguing speed, arm strength, and power potential but plate discipline is iffy.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: Caleb Ferguson, LHP:
Original report: Age 21, 38th round pick in 2014 from high school in Ohio, 2.87 ERA with 140/55 K/BB in 122 innings in High-A, 113 hits, good numbers anywhere but especially in the Cal League; 90-95 fastball, curve flashes plus, change-up flashes average, high strikeout rate a positive marker; as with Jose Almonte, Ferguson faces the Double-A transition in ‘18 and could move quickly with only slight command improvements.
Results: Arrived in majors ahead of schedule and has been very successful, 3.45 ERA in 47 innings, 58/12 K/BB, certainly capable of taking a larger role.
SAN DIEGO PADRES: Edward Olivares, OF:
Original report: Age 22, signed by Toronto Blue Jays out of Venezuela in 2014, traded to Padres for Yangervis Solarte; hit .269/.327/.468 in 2017 between Low-A and High-A, 17 homers, 20 steals, 30 walks, 99 strikeouts in 494 at-bats; 60-speed, 60-arm, 55 raw power, needs some strike zone work but features an intriguing overall multi-category ceiling.
Results: Hit .277/.321/.429 in High-A, 25 doubles, 10 triples, 12 homers, 21 steals, impressive across-the-board potential but still needs to hone strike zone with 29/102 BB/K, remains intriguing for next year.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: Malique Ziegler, OF:
Original report: Age 21, 22nd round pick in 2016 from North Iowa Community College; originally from Des Moines, hit .240/.329/.374 in Northwest League with five homers, 26 steals, 28 walks, 66 strikeouts in 254 at-bats; impact tool with 70-grade speed, some raw power in athletic 6-2, 170 frame as well; raw overall and a long way off but has ceiling.
Results: Got off to a hot start by hitting .275/.405/.522 in Low-A April but went down with a painful oblique injury; came back in August and hit just .211/.276/.281, overall came out at .237/.340/.370; reports before the injury were highly positive and he looked like a breakout guy for a few weeks, will try again with better health in ‘19.