We’re down to the final weekend, wondering not who the big club will play in the NLDS, but when. Is it okay to root for an odd start time in hopes of snagging a ticket on the resale market? Asking for a friend.
Alas, plenty o’ places to discuss that, but we’re just little ol’ minors site…
BA TOP 20 LISTS
As expected, Victor Robles also made the Carolina League Top 20, albeit as only the #2, and was joined by Daniel Johnson at #18. Double-dipping is what BA does, and thus Johnson also made the Sally Lg. top 20 at #13. Carter Kieboom’s incumbency and an impressive showing in an abbreviated season (210 of 255PA at Hagerstown) made him the #8 pick. For those who obsess over the departed, Sheldon “Come On Feel The” Neuse was the #20 pick but McKenzie Mills was not ranked.
A couple of tidbits from yesterday’s chat:
Noel (Portland): Is Kieboom likely a 2b in the bug leagues?
J.J. Cooper: More likely a 2b or 3B than SS, but he has enough feel to maybe make SS work for a while.
Nats Fan (DC): When comparing Victor Robles to Juan Soto, it’s obvious that Robles is the far superior defender. However, when comparing them offensively, is it fair to say that Robles profiles as a #2 spot hitting CF who will hit .280 with 12-15 HRs a year while Juan Soto is your prototypical #3/#4 who in his prime should be hitting .300+ with 25-30 HRs?
J.J. Cooper: I’d say that’s fair. A lot of projection involved here, but Robles’ value comes more from speed/defense. Soto is a bat-first prospect.
Soto did not have enough at-bats to qualify for the list.
It’s a Yukon Cornelius week.
THE 2017 GCL NATIONALS
Thanks to the suggestion to stop covering the Chiefs, the G-Nats were watched the most closely since 2014. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was another playoff run, as they made it to the GCL Finals but lost the best-of-three series 2-1 to the G-Yankees East. Pitching carried this team, as they were the fifth-best team at 3.95 R/G and had just a slightly-better-than-league-average offense (4.57 vs. 4.51 R/G) while the defense was below-average.
What’s perhaps most encouraging is that the four most-used players on offense were 17 or younger and were in their first professional season. Two of them were even better than the league average, which is impressive for any first-year player, never mind one too young to vote in this country (if he was a U.S. citizen, natch). And while Yasel Antuna may have been a running joke for his 20 errors in 21 games at SS, methinks they’ll find position for his .301/.382/.399 bat stay in the lineup.
Now, for the reminder that the sample sizes here are small, as are the odds of many of these guys to rise above Low-A.
|TOP 5 BATS||TOP 5 ARMS|
|1. Justin Connell, LF
.274 GPA, .407 OBP
|1. Tomas Alastre, RHSP
2.55/3.38/1.02, 6.2 H/9IP
|2. Yasel Antuna, SS
.272 GPA, 23BB
|2. Angel Guillen, RHRP
3.42/3.00/1.18, 1.9 BB/9
|3. Luis Garcia, 2B
.245 GPA, .387 SLG%
|3. Jackson Stoeckinger, LHSP
4.73/2.49/1.31, 10.46 K/9IP
|4. Jamori Blash, 1B
.237 GPA, .985 FA
|4. Darly Infante, LHRP
4.43/3.69/1.39, 10.48 K/9IP
|5. Juan Evangelista, RF
.235 GPA, 3HR
|5. Jose Jimenez, LHRP
1.35/3.87/1.13, 1.9 BB/9
The hype went to the IFAs but the most production came from 18-y.o. Justin Connell, an 11th Rd. pick from Pembroke Pines, FL. Honorable mentions go to 35th-Rd. pick Jackson Cramer, who turns 23 in December, and 22nd-Rd. pick 19-y.o. Nelson Galindez at 1B and RHSP respectively. The full team’s statistics can be viewed here.