DENVER, CO - APRIL 30: Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies plays defense in the waning shafts of sunlight against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on April 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Every other Wednesday I will be taking a look at the two Low-A leagues, and some of the prospects in each of them to see how they are performing. All statistics are for the month of April, and are courtesy of Baseball Reference.
South Atlantic League
Tyler Austin (NYY) - .357/389/857, 23 R, 7 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 2 for 3 SB, 5 BB, 19 K
Craig wrote about Austin on Tuesday, and I had honestly no clue really who he was or how crazy his numbers had been so far this month. He is currently leading the SAL in home runs, is 3rd in RBI, and 8th in batting average (realistically that is probably 5th, as 3 players ahead of him have played in only 9 games each compared to the league's 22-24). Definitely someone to watch as the season progresses.
Alen Hanson (PIT) - .410/.441/695, 28 R, 10 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 10 for 14 SB, 6 BB, 23 K
Just 19 years old, Hanson has really announced himself on the prospect scene. Whether or not he can continue some version of this performance remains to be seen though, as he has already set a career high in home runs in a season, and is well on his way to doing the same in stolen bases (24 is his season high). I don't think he gets moved up any time soon, as they have been playing him exclusively at shortstop, and the performance numbers thus far don't look all that great (11 errors in 79 chances for a stellar fielding percentage of .861)
Trevor Story (COL) - .276/.398/.566, 20 R, 3 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 2 for 3 SB, 14 BB, 19 K
The Rockies' 1st round pick last year, Story has been playing primarily shortstop, but also has appeared in 7 games at 3B. Long-term, I have to imagine that the Rockies will have to make a decision whether Story or current SS Troy Tulowitzki may be in line for a position change, but unless Story shows he can't play the position, they really should just leave him there for now.
Delino DeShields Jr (HOU) - .253/.363/.337, 18 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 16 for 16 SB, 16 BB, 21 K
The Astros' top draft pick from 2010 has shown excellent speed so far this year in Lexington. However, it is his second go around in the Sally League. The results of his approach appear better with the walks, but I'd really like to see him translate his speed some more to extra base hits at this point. He seems likely to me to spend the full season in Low-A again, and make sure that he can really put up good numbers before moving him up.
Gabriel Lino (BAL) - .313/.375/.484, 15 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 1 for 1 SB, 5 BB, 18 K
A bit lost in Delmarva behind the hype surrounding top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, Lino has been having a very solid offensive performance, and Jason Parks mentioned on the Up-and-In podcast that scouting reports about his abilities behind the plate are extremely positive so far. This is a 19 year old catcher in his first full season assignment.
Matt Barnes (BOS) - 2 W, 0.34 ERA, 26 2/3 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 42 K
Barnes has pitched so well in the Sally League that he has already been promoted to High-A Salem. It's pretty clear that he probably shouldn't have stayed in Low-A, as he has struck out 43% of all batters he has faced there.
Jose Fernandez (MIA) - 3 W, 1.59 ERA, 28 1/3 IP, 16 H, 9 BB, 37 K
Dylan Bundy (BAL) - 17 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 25 K
The legend continues to grow for Bundy, as he finally allowed a hit and a walk in his last start. He will be building up to go 5 innings by the end of May, so I would be extremely surprised if he moves out of Delmarva before the end of the season. UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick has a great piece about Bundy over at ESPN.com, and in it we learn that Bundy will be limited to 125 IP on the season, and had the option to start out going 5 IP and reach his limit sooner or throw just 3 IP to start out with and pitch later in to the season.
Henry Owens (BOS) - 1 W, 7.85 ERA, 18.1 IP, 22 H, 14 BB, 36 K
What on earth do we make of this line? His FIP is down at 3.69 though, but ideally you'd like to see improvements in walk rate. He is sporting a .487 BABIP right now. He can't be that unlucky, right?
Miguel Sano (MIN) - .276/.422/.586, 17 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 2 for 3 SB, 18 BB, 32 K
Sano is currently tied for second in the Midwest League in home runs (the leader has 7), is tied for the lead in RBI, and is 4th in OPS.
Austin Hedges (SD) - .319/.396/.553, 7 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 2 for 3 SB, 6 BB, 8 K
Hedges came into the season with concerns about his bat, and very few about his defense behind the plate. However, he has thrown out just 30% of base stealers thus far, and is crushing the ball at the plate. We'll have to wait and see if these performances switch back around.
Jorge Bonifacio (KC) - .340/.415/.468, 13 R, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 3 for 3 SB, 11 BB, 17 K
Luigi Rodriguez (CLE) - .364/.402/.542, 17 R, 4 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 7 for 9 SB, 8 BB, 19 K
Francisco Lindor (CLE) - .314/.369/.451, 16 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 for 12 SB, 9 BB, 14 K
Lindor is already starting to show that there may be a few teams who will be kicking themselves for passing on him in last year's draft. The guys on the Up-and-In podcast mentioned that Lindor may be too advanced for Low-A despite being just 18 years old.
Archie Bradley (ARI) - 3 W, 2.08 ERA, 26 IP, 8 H, 14 BB, 30 K
Joe Ross (SD) - 7.17 ERA, 21 1/3 IP, 26 H, 10 BB, 20 K
Justin Nicolino (TOR) - 0.00 ERA, 15 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 17 K
Aaron Sanchez (TOR) - 3 W, 0.00 ERA, 15 IP, 5 H, 8 BB, 20 K
Noah Syndergaard (TOR) - 2 W, 1.84 ERA, 14 2/3 IP, 11 H, 7 BB, 20 K
The trio of Blue Jays prospects have all pitched extremely well to this point, and it would not surprise me to see any of them moved up by midseason to High-A Dunedin.