How many sleepers panned out?
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.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Yefry Ramirez, RHP;
Pre-Season report: Age 24, from the Dominican Republic, acquired from Yankees for international bonus slot money last summer, went 15-3, 3.47 with 117/49 K/BB in 124 innings in Double-A, fastball 90-95, plus change-up, average slider, chance to reinforce major league staff later this year.
Result: Has split the season between Triple-A (3.88 ERA, 72/22 K/BB in 72 innings) and the majors, with 5.50 ERA in 56 innings for Baltimore, 55/30 K/BB; needs to lower the walks but has a shot as a fourth starter or bullpen asset.
BOSTON RED SOX: Roldani Baldwin, C:
Pre-season report: Age 22, from the Dominican Republic, hit .274/.310/.489 with 14 homers, 19 walks, 73 strikeouts in 368 at-bats in Low-A, also hit 35 doubles; threw out 33% of runners though rest of defense needs work, understandable as converted infielder; watch power production as he moves up, won’t be in majors soon.
Result: Injury-plagued and disappointing season, hitting .233/.282/.371 in High-A, four different trips to the disabled list makes it hard to get momentum; showed some power but strike zone judgment and defense regressed.
NEW YORK YANKEES: Brian Keller, RHP:
Pre-season report: Age 23, 39th round pick in 2016 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 3.13 ERA in 144 innings in Low-A/High-A, 157/28 K/BB, would get more attention in other systems; low-90s fastball, plus change-up, average curveball that flashes above-average, throws strikes, great find that low in the draft.
Result: Solid season in Double-A, 3.74 ERA in 125 innings, 114/37 K/BB, no real change in profile, still a sleeper.
TAMPA BAY RAYS: Drew Strotman, RHP:
Pre-season report: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2017 from St. Mary’s; posted 1.78 ERA in 51 innings in NY-P with 42/9 K/BB, just 29 hits allowed; dominant in short-season A-ball, velocity has increased from low-90 into mid-90s and has command of slider and change-up, in most systems he would be a candidate to move quickly but the Rays have so much ahead of him it may take longer.
Result: Made nine starts in Low-A and did pretty well, 3.52 ERA in 46 innings, 43/18 K/BB, but blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: Jordan Romano, RHP:
Pre-season report: Age 24, 10th round pick in 2014 from Oral Roberts but born in Ontario; 3.39 ERA in 138 innings in High-A, 138/54 K/BB, just two homers allowed, Tommy John survivor; fastball 92-96, plus slider, change-up and overall command need work but even small improvements would go a long way, watch his K/BB ratio.
Result: Made 25 starts in Double-A and one in Triple-A, posting 12-8 record, 4.11 ERA, 128/45 K/BB in 142 innings; no real change in profile, should get a look in the majors in 2019.