PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Pitcher Taijuan Walker #68 of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Every Sunday I will be taking a look at some of the prospects in AA currently, and many of the prospects there could be headed to the Majors in the next few months. We're already starting to see it somewhat, as pitchers Drew Hutchison (TOR) and Patrick Corbin (ARI) have been called up to the Majors already. All statistics are for the season, and are through Friday's games.
Matt Davidson (ARI) - .309/.430/.545, 23 R, 11 2B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 1 for 2 SB, 24 BB, 27 K
Nick Franklin (SEA) - 318/.373/.467, 12 R, 10 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 1 for 2 SB, 10 BB, 16 K
Andrelton Simmons (ATL) - .304/.388/.391, 18 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 15 RBI, 7 for 9 SB, 15 BB, 11 K
The long-term answer for the Braves at shortstop, Simmons nearly made the team out of Spring Training despite not playing above High-A before this year. Simmons isn't likely to give very much in terms of power for fantasy, but his approach appears to be good, and looks like a candidate to give some speed and a high batting average at a premium position.
Trevor Bauer (ARI) - 7 W, 1.68 ERA, 48.1 IP, 33 H, 1 HR, 26 BB, 60 K
Bauer is currently leading the Southern League with 60 strikeouts, and I was a bit surprised that the Diamondbacks ended up calling up Corbin instead of Bauer. That said, Bauer still needs to work a bit on reducing his walk rate, and Corbin has been serviceable thus far.
Tyler Skaggs (ARI) - 1 W, 3.06 ERA, 32.1 IP, 30 H, 4 HR, 7 BB, 43 K
Skaggs is currently leading all starting pitchers in the Southern League in K/9 and K/BB, with 12 K/9 and a 6.14 K/BB rate. Arizona is going to have a great problem soon, as Bauer and Skaggs will be knocking on the door in Arizona.
James Paxton (SEA) - 3 W, 2.60 ERA, 34.2 IP, 25 H, 1 HR, 21 BB, 43 K
Simon Castro (CHW) - 3 W, 3.60 ERA, 45 IP, 44 H, 3 HR, 10 BB, 36 K
Castro appears to be the beneficiary of a change of scenery, as he has been pitching much better this year for the White Sox' affiliate. Let's see if he can keep it up though.
Taijuan Walker (SEA) - 3 W, 1.71 ERA, 31.2 IP, 25 H, 1 HR, 10 BB, 32 K
Our own Kenneth Arthur wrote about Walker on Thursday, and I'm inclined to agree that he's probably one of the top three pitching prospects left in the minors right now. He's still just 19 years old, and it clearly appears that he may be too advanced for AA.
Sean Gilmartin (ATL) - 1 W, 3.20 ERA, 45 IP, 41 H, 2 HR, 7 BB, 27 K
The Braves' top draft pick from last year's draft, Gilmartin has already thrown 2 complete games this season, and is widely expected to move quickly through the system. He may not have the ceiling of a lot of the other pitchers mentioned above, but he may be there to stay as soon as the second half of this year.
Tyler Thornburg (MIL) - 4 W, 1.98 ERA, 41 IP, 26 H, 3 HR, 11 BB, 47 K
Rob Brantly (DET) - .358/.405/.566, 12 R, 13 2B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 8 BB, 10 K
Zach Wheeler (NYM)
Wheeler was activated from the disabled list on Thursday, after spending 7 days on the list with a "right middle fingernail avulsion". My advice to you is to not Google what that is, other than to say it involves your fingernail being torn.
Robbie Grossman (PIT) - .234/.336/.355, 18 R, 7 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 for 6 SB, 18 BB, 27 K
Grossman was extremely popular coming into the season after having a great season in High-A and a great performance in the AFL, but the numbers haven't quite translated for him yet in AA.
Trevor May (PHI) - 5 W, 2.83 ERA, 41 1/3 IP, 26 H, 16 BB, 45 K
May was a hard-luck loser on Friday night, as he threw 6 1/3 no hit innings, but hit a batter and walked 4. He ended up giving up 1 earned run and taking the loss after the next pitcher allowed an inherited runner to score. May has struck out at least 5 batters in each start, but has also walked 4 in each of his last two. I could see the Phillies leaving him in AA all season in order for him to work on his command.
Jeff Kobernus (WAS) - .319/.351/.375, 23 R, 6 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 23 for 28 SB, 7 BB, 21 K
Manny Machado (BAL) - .254/.363/.404, 9 R, 9 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 3 for 5 SB, 19 BB, 26 K
Machado is still the youngest player in the Eastern League at this point, at age 19. The advanced numbers actually show him to be more than holding his own as well, as he has a wOBA of .358 and wRC+ of 121. Personally, I like seeing that his walk rate and strikeout rates (14% and 18%, respectively) are both solid.
Wil Myers (KC) - .339/.415/.712, 29 R, 9 2B, 11 HR, 25 RBI, 4 for 4 SB, 15 BB, 37 K
I wrote about Myers last Monday, and he has continued to crush the ball since then. I think we could see Myers in AAA Omaha within the next month, as he has been dominant thus far.
Oscar Taveras (STL) - .325/.370/.667, 18 R, 10 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 30 RBI, 2 for 2 SB, 8 BB, 18 K
Both myself and Craig wrote about Taveras, and I'm honestly at the point where I just want to see what happens when he gets to the Majors. I don't think that happens this season, but that would be amazing if it did.
Jurickson Profar (TEX) - .273/.329/.492, 22 R, 8 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 4 for 4 SB, 11 BB, 26 K
Profar is currently in the middle of a 21 game hitting streak (through Friday) and has gotten on-base in 30 straight games. Oh, and he's still just 19 years old.
Nolan Arenado (COL) - .288/.355/.416, 13 R, 10 2B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 10 BB, 22 K
A.J. Griffin (OAK) - 3 W, 2.49 ERA, 43.1 IP, 31 H, 4 HR, 7 BB, 44 K
Griffin was recently promoted to AAA Sacramento after pitching well for the first month of the season.
Barret Loux (TEX) - 7 W, 2.37 ERA, 38 IP, 35 H, 3 HR, 11 BB, 39 K
Keyvius Sampson (SD) - 2 W, 5.85 ERA, 32.1 IP, 26 H, HR, 19 BB, 32 K