Sunday, September 3, 2017

Month-End TTM Roundup: 8/7-9/3

Here in the month of August, I'll really need to bring it with only one more month of MiLB left.

Received On: 08/07/2017

My first return this period came from Reggie Lawson.
Reggie Lawson was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, curveball and changeup, Lawson is beginning his journey to the big leagues by refining his changeup and adding on a few pounds and muscle. He's still a work in progress as his stats will show you. Lawson can strike out the best of them but he also tends to walk several runners as well. But there is still time and potential for the Padres righty to turn into a very useable arm at the big leagues (especially at Petco Park).

Received On: 08/10/2017

Next up is Luke Wakamatsu.
Wakamatsu was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 20th round of the 2015 MLB Player Draft. The son of former MLB manager Don Wakamatsu, the shortstop's main attribute at the moment is his solid hitting. He has shown that he can hit in his career thus far and the question will be whether he can tap into his power to be able to hit the ball to all fields going forward. Thus far he looks to be on the right track. Then again with Francisco Lindor entrenched at SS, Wakamatsu may end up being moved to second.

Received On: 08/10/2017

Here is Nats prospect, Austin Voth.
Austin Voth was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, slider and changeup, the righty is finally on the cusp of a big league callup. Voth was one of the Nationals' best pitching prospects before 2017 started and he found himself taking a few steps back. Voth still has the potential to be a very good pitcher (possibly not a starter just yet due to the Nationals' depth) but if he can shake off whatever is ailing him here in 2017, he could have a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2018.

Received On: 08/17/2017

Here is Royals shortstop prospect, Nicky Lopez.
Nicky Lopez was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Lopez won't appear on too many prospect rankings (not even for top Royals prospect lists) but he does have some potential and buzz as an all around player. While he has no stand out tools, his ability to get on base has gotten the attention of several scouts. His approach is patient as heck. In 691 total at bats (as of the time of this writing) in the minors, Lopez only has 76 strikeouts total. Meanwhile he has 81 walks. Good grief. Maybe Lopez can be the rare player who can walk/not strikeout his way to the big leagues.

Received On: 08/21/2017

Next up is a wonderful threesome courtesy of Oswaldo Cabrera.
Oswaldo Cabrera was signed out of Venezuela by the New York Yankees as an non-drafted international free agent back in 2015. Cabrera destroyed the DSL and he's since come stateside and made major strides as a player. The infielder (primarily second baseman although NYY has/will move him around) has made some key changes to his approach that has helped him greatly. Cabrera has done fairly well stateside, even including his slow start to the 2017 season, considering that the 18 year old was one of the youngest in the entire league. Cabrera was dropped to Staten Island for a bit but was then sent back up later. Add Cabrera to the very extensive list of middle infield prospects the Yankees are loaded with.

Received On: 08/21/2017

Next up is Alexander Vargas.
Vargas was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2014. Vargas is armed with a low-90's fastball, a changeup and a work in progress curveball. Vargas is making up for lost time after spending pretty much all of 2016 on the shelf due to injuries but he started the season in Staten Island before moving up to Charleston fairly quickly. Vargas' Charleston debut was quite good, so good that Baseball America's Josh Norris even wrote about it. Fun stuff. Anyway Vargas could be a sleeper arm going forward, if you're a hardcore Yankees prospect nut like me, keep an eye on him.

Received On: 08/21/2017

Next up is Braves lefty, Drew Harrington.
Harrington was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, curveball and changeup, Harrington is a reliever-turned-starter who projects to be a back of the rotation arm going forward. The Braves will no doubt give him many chances to start until they view him as a valuable middle reliever (which would be a huge downgrade in terms of value).

Received On: 08/23/2017

Here's my first big leaguer in a while, Johnny Giavotella.
Johnny Giavotella was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 2008 MLB Player Draft. He went on to have an interesting career with the Royals where he was yo-yo'd up and down between the bigs and triple-A between 2011 and 2014. Looking back the arguments for his Royals tenure came down to either the Royals saying he needed to be more consistent or the Royals needed to keep him up to have him be more consistent. Either way people were laughing at the Royals anyway in those years since they were relying on the likes of Jeff Francoeur and Yuniensky Betancourt. Eventually the Royals gave up and traded Giavotella to the Angels where he finally cracked the Opening Day roster and went on to play 129 games for the Halos. He was a little above replacement level for the Halos in 2015 and 2016 and he wound up as a free agent prior to 2017. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles who had him play in triple-A for most of this year. He's been on the DL since July.

Received On: 08/24/2017

Here is Brewers righty, Josh Pennington.
Josh Pennington was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2014 MLB Player Draft. Pennington impressed scouts within the Red Sox org prior to the draft and he might've gone higher had an unfortunately elbow injury come into the picture. Pennington spent all of 2014 and most of 2015 recovering from Tommy John Surgery and came back onto the mound in 2016. Armed with a fastball that's been recorded to be faster than it was pre-TJS, a dominant curveball and a work in progress changeup, Pennington projects to be quite the useful starter if he ever pans out. Pennington was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Tyler Thornburg trade and although he's dealt with injury issues this season as well, he's done very well in the time he's spent on the mound. I wish Pennington the best of luck and hope he makes the trade look much worse for Boston than it already has (isn't that right Travis Shaw?).

Received On: 08/25/2017

Here's a return from former big leaguer, Cedric Hunter.
Cedric Hunter was originally signed by the San Diego Padres in the third round of the 2006 MLB Player Draft. Hunter had some decent prospect buzz during his time in the Padres org, noted for being able to hit and being an all around likable guy. Hunter made his MLB debut with the Padres back in 2011 and notched his first MLB hit but didn't stick around after that. He spent time with the A's, Braves, Phillies and Reds (of which he only saw MLB action with the Phillies). Hunter started the season with the Reds but he's now currently working his way back to affiliated ball with the Kansas City T-Bones in indy ball. He's kind of a quad-A guy but I see a team giving him a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training one last time next year.

Received On: 08/25/2017

Hark, an O's return courtesy of Alex Wells.
Alex Wells was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a non-drafted international free agent in 2015. The Newcastle, Australia native is armed with a high-80's fastball, a curveball and a really good change-up. Wells won't be flashy but he projects to be a very serviceable back-end-of-the-rotation starter going forward. If not he and his fastball-change-up combo would be more than enough to be efficient in a relief role. Fun fact, his brother Lachlan Wells plays in the Minnesota Twins org.

Received On: 08/25/2017

Another O's return, this time from Matthias Dietz.
Matthias Dietz was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, slider, changeup and curveball, Dietz projects to be anything between a good back end of the rotation starter to an effective late inning reliever. Where he ends up depends on whether his changeup and curveball can improve and add to his fastball-slider combination. Good luck Dietz.

Received On: 08/26/2017

Here is Cleveland righty, Shane Bieber.
Shane Bieber was drafted by the Clevelanders in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, slider and changeup, Bieber projects to be anything between a solid starter or an effective reliever. And yes, his last name should remind you of someone else, but before you say any jokes, he's heard all of them.

Received On: 08/28/2017

Next up is A.J. Puckett.
The Kansas City Royals drafted Puckett in the second round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, curveball and changeup, Puckett projects to be a relatively safe bet as a major league starter. At best a number two and at worst a number six starter. Puckett was recently traded to the Chicago White Sox as part of the Melky Cabrera trade which means that they'll definitely be able to develop him into a competent MLB starter.

Received On: 08/30/2017

Here is Tigers outfielder, Reynaldo Rivera.
Rivera was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the 2017 MLB Player Draft out of Puerto Rico. The lefty hitting outfielder (potential infielder?) has the tools and raw power to succeed but it will take some time (probably a good 2-3 years) to develop him. His best attributes are his power and his incredibly strong arm that works well in the outfield. We may be looking at the Tigers' next long term outfielder since the only long term piece the team actually has is Mikie Mahtook, although the development of others higher up on the food chain like Christin Stewart, Derek Hill, Mike Gerber and JaCoby Jones.


Mr. Rivera wrote me this cool note BTW (which was destroyed by delivery and put back together using tape). Thanks!

Received On: 09/01/2017

Next up is Mets outfield prospect Jose Miguel Medina.
Jose Miguel Medina was signed by the New York Mets as a non-drafted amateur free agent back in 2013. Medina is a young but incredibly promising outfielder who can hit for both contact and power (although the power is just coming since he's now 20 years old). Defensively he has the speed, range and glove to be very capable in right field going forward. Think of him as a prime "honorable mentions" candidate for top Mets prospect rankings.

Received On: 09/01/2017

Here is Royals catching prospect Meibrys Viloria.
Meibrys Viloria was signed by the Kansas City Royals as a non-drafted international free agent back in 2013 out of Columbia. Viloria is a shortstop-turned-catcher who projects to be a really solid catcher going forward. Viloria has the arm to stay behind the plate but blocking and receiving are the key issues for him at the moment, although I'm sure he'll get better with time. Offensively Viloria can hit to all parts of the field and as more power comes in he could swat several line drives between the gaps. Best case scenario he could be a solid MLB catcher whose defense isn't 100% perfect, but the bat can make up for whatever he lacks.

Received On: 09/01/2017

Here is Nationals prospect Branden Boggetto.
Branden Boggetto was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 25th round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft. Although he won't appear on too many top prospect lists Boggetto has quietly had a very nice 2017 campaign. The second baseman hit very well during his time with the Auburn Doubledays in the New York-Penn League, and was selected to the NYPL All Star Game. He could be an interest bat to keep and eye on as he climbs the ladder upwards.

And those were my returns this past month. Big thanks to Mr. Lawson, Wakamatsu, Voth, Lopez, Cabrera, Vargas, Harrington, Giavotella, Pennington, Hunter, Wells, Dietz, Bieber, Puckett, Rivera, Medina, Viloria and Boggetto.

And as always thank you (the readers) for stopping by :).

Take care.

2017 TTM Count: 113

Sources:
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=666156#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=sd
*http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa917951&position=P
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=663788#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=cle
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=608723#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=was
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=670032#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*https://www.royalsreview.com/2017/6/1/15638068/better-know-a-prospect-nicky-lopez
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=665828#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/alexander-vargas-establishes-himself-in-yankees-system/#wDfHL7ubAI3qpzkx.97
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=641666#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=atl
*https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/giavojo01.shtml
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=543213#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=656837#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2016/07/21/red-sox-gamble-josh-pennington-paying-off/Eh4iWqh19973WvhFor1xCP/story.html
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=501986#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*https://federalnewsradio.com/sports-news/2017/07/saturdays-sports-transactions-363/
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=649144#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=bal
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=663990#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=669456#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=643494#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016/?list=kc
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=663513#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=det
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=656017#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://metsminors.net/mmn-top-100-prospects-76-80-led-by-jose-medina/
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=650619#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=kc
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=670444#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL

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