The Midwest League was a treasure trove of hot prospects in 2017, with names like Bo Bichette (#10) and Fernando Tatis, Jr (#4) peppering the Top 10 of the Creativesports Top 250 Prospect List (which can be purchased here for a modest $6.98, or with full season article access for just $8.98 total!).
But, let’s dig a bit deeper and look at some of the other prospects who caught my eye. As usual, the Top 250 Prospect Ranking, if one, is in parenthesis following the short narrative for each player.
Taylor Trammell (20, OF, Reds): A High School Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) selection in 2016, Trammell went .281-13-77 his first full season of play with 41 swipes and 77 walks to 123 strikeouts, good for a .368 OBP. That is pretty good for a kid who played as a 19-year old (Trammell turned 20 after the season ended). (#45)
Garrett Whitley (20, OF, Rays): The Rays first-round selection in 2015, from Niskayuna, New York, Whitley hit the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues the past two seasons, before getting a chance at full-season A with Bowling Green this past year. There Whitley posted a .244-13-61 season with 21 swipes, complemented by 57 walks to 112 strikeouts (.362 OBP). High-A should be next and Whitley shows a lot of zone potential for big improvements. (#219)
Hudson Potts (19, 3B, Padres): Potts, who play in the Midwest League as an 18-year old, was one of the youngest participants in the league. Despite that he hit .253-20-69 nailing 38% of hits for extra bases. Potts is slow (no steals) and needs to work on his zone judgement (23 walks to 140 whiffs) but power success at this level and age deserves a look. (#93)
Daz Cameron (20, OF, Tigers): In a year where MLB progeny are getting good notes, add Mike’s son Daz to the mix. A CBA Pick in 2015, Cameron was part of the Justin Verlander swap of last year. Daz hit .271-14-74 with 29 doubles and 32 swipes, while walking a modest 48 times to 112 strikeouts (.351 OBP). Cameron, who turns 21 in a couple of weeks, is ready to bring his act to the next level. (#158)
Scott Moss (23, P, Reds): Moss is old to be making any prospect lists and his success at Full Season A, at age 22 to start the season, should be expected. However, Moss makes this week’s review via leading the Midwest League in strikeouts with 156 over 135.6 innings, posting a record of 13-6, 3.45, with a 1.19 WHIP. And, Moss gets a bit of an age pass in that he was a fourth round pick out of Florida in 2016, thus 2017 was his first shot at Full Season anywhere. However, the Southpaw needs to plow through High-A and show us what he can do at AA this year to prove legitimacy.
Alfred Gutierrez (22, P, Tigers): A Venezuelan native, Gutierrez was a solid 10-7, 3.06 over 126.3 innings with 127 whiffs and a fantastic 0.98 WHIP. Over 370 minor league innings, Gutierrez has allowed just 80 walks (1.10 WHIP) and with pitching getting scarcer and scarcer at the higher levels expect a good performance starting at High-A in 2018 to foster AA time. If that is successful, watch for Comerica time. (#169)
Dustin May (20, P, Dodgers): The Dodgers #3 pick in 2016 from Justin, Texas, May owned the Gulf Coast League as a 19-year old (September 20 is his birthday) going an aggregate 9-6, 3.38, with 138 innings pitched at two levels paired with 128 whiffs. May, who walked just 28 (1.15 WHIP) giving him a 4.5-to-1 K-to-BB mark and nowhere to go but up. (#38)
Hansel Rodriguez (20, P, Padres): Rodriguez went 7-9. 3.80 during his first full season starting ten games, but closing as well to give him 90 innings with 103 whiffs to go with ten saves. The pen is likely the future home of Rodriguez who did indeed put it together last year as a pro. Let’s see what High-A and 2018 have in store? (#41)
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