The Eastern League has been dominated by pitchers with perhaps 8 of its 10 top prospects residing on the mound. Huckers like Jacob Turner (3.05), Manny Banuelos (2.84), Eric Surkamp (1.88), Brad Peacock (2.28) and Dellin Betances (1.75) has been churning out solid ERAs. Chih-Hsien Chiang has 29 extra base hits in only 170 plate appearances and sits tied among qualifiers with a 1.004 OPS.
Player profiles after the jump...
The 24 year old Dominican has gone 4 of his past 6 games without allowing an earned run while striking out at least a batter per inning in each start. His control has been poor this season with 4.7 BB/9 but he has performed better in the past. His career BB/9 in 519 innings is 2.7 and last season in High-A he gave up only 2.0 BB/9. He has been right on the cusp of being old for each level on the way up and has been somewhat ignored as a prospect as a result. Now, as a 24 year old in AA he is no longer old for his level and he is showing his good results have more to do with his skill rather than being older than everyone else. If he can continue shutting teams out he should earn himself a promotion to AAA where he would be a prolonged hot streak away from the majors.
Jeurys Familia - Mets SP DOB: 10/10/89 2.21 ERA, 69.1 IP, 8.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9
Familia's first two pro seasons went about as well as one could hope for but then last season his control failed him and his ERA took the brunt of it, ballooning to 5.58 from 2.69 the year before. Jeurys got a second crack at High-A this year and through 6 starts he was able to maintain a 2.0 BB/9 and earned a promotion to AA. His first start at Binghamton he lasted 7 innings without giving up a walk but has since been as wild as an attention craving girl in Cabo. In 26 innings he has offered up 16 free passes, a whopping 5.54 BB/9. His mid-90s heat offers big time upside but only if he can hit the zone with it.
As far as potential future fantasy value, Norris is the top hitting prospect in the Eastern League. He has struggled to keep a respectable AVG all year long, mostly due to a 33.1 K%. He could one day have a .260 AVG in the majors and call it a career high. Despite that he should still provide excess value due to his plus plus power for a catcher and his plus plus BB%.