Checking in on sleeper results. . .
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.
This report looks at the American League West. The original report was written March 30th, 2018.
HOUSTON ASTROS: Jorge Alcala, RHP:
Original report: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, posted 3.05 ERA in 109 innings between Low-A and High-A with 95/45 K/BB, 71 hits allowed; mid/upper-90s fastball with reliable reports of 100-102 MPH peaks; good slider, change-up and curve coming along but inconsistent, needs to lower walks; watch for any spike in strikeout rate which would herald more consistency with off-speed pitches; ceiling is obviously very high.
Result: Still inconsistent but promising, posted 3.81 ERA with 104/49 K/BB in 99 innings between High-A and Double-A; traded to Minnesota Twins in Ryan Pressly deal; strikeout rate did spike, next step is to lower walks, has breakthrough potential for Twins in ‘19.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: Jose Soriano, RHP:
Original report: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2016, posted 2.92 ERA with 39/18 K/BB in 52 innings in rookie ball; promising fastball up to 94-95, also throws an above-average curveball; still projectable and velocity may improve further; action on pitches already results in high ground ball rate; long-term investment type but another high-ceiling arm.
Result: Threw 46 innings in Low-A after being activated in June, posting 4.47 ERA with 42/35 K/BB; more thrower than pitcher at this point, ceiling remains high.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: Nolan Blackwood, RHP:
Original report: Age 23, 14th round pick in 2016 from University of Memphis, posted 3.00 ERA, 48/18 K/BB in 57 innings in High-A, 3.00 GO/AO, 19 saves; threw six innings with just one unearned run in big league spring training; submarine pitcher with a fastball that gets into low-90s, unusually good velocity for this type of pitcher; decent slider and change-up, if his command is sharp enough he could have a very long bullpen career.
Result: Adequate season in Double-A, 4.13 ERA in 61 innings, 55/19 K/BB, GO/AO remains crazy at 3.13; traded to Detroit Tigers in August, still has enough middle relief potential to rate.
SEATTLE MARINERS: Joseph Rosa, 2B:
Original report: Age 21, interesting sleeper who has received little notice but has always hit well, .296/.374/.531 in Northwest League after hitting .305/.345/.455 in rookie ball in ’16; New York native but signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2014; holds career slash line of .298/.369/.436; switch-hitter with developing pop and solid plate discipline, but prospect stock has been held back by poor defense; he can hit though.
Result: Very disappointing season in Low-A, hitting .217/.299/.285 with 20 steals, 46 walks, 117 strikeouts in 428 at-bats; far worse than anything he did in the low minors, scouting reports went negative too; on the upside his defense improved but without a lot more with the bat the skeptics will win this case.
TEXAS RANGERS: Brendon Davis, SS:
Original report: Age 20, drafted by Los Angeles Dodgers in fifth round in 2015 from high school in Lakewood, California; traded to Rangers in Yu Darvish deal; hit .230/.341/.379 between Low-A and High-A last year with 11 homers, 62 walks, 148 whiffs; looks like a player with athleticism and projectable frame, patient approach is good but swing mechanics need work to tap his strength more often; also needs more polish on defense and may wind up a third or second; bundle of potential who may or may not pan out.
Result: Hit .254/.334/.365 in High-A, six homers, 46 walks, 105 strikeouts in 406 at-bats; both strikeouts and walks were down this year with no underlying change in production; hit better late in the season; tools and youth are still there, remains interesting but has work to do.