After a short break the Top 20s continue with the South Atlantic League. The league is how to 14 teams so getting just one or two players on the list can be quite the accomplishment. Lakewood had two prospects made the Top 20, however the two chosen leaves some puzzlement with shortstop Malquin Canelo and first baseman Rhys Hoskins making the list over Ricardo Pinto and Carlos Tocci.
14. Malquin Canelo (SS)
Canelo’s glove has been praised since he appeared on the scene in 2013 for Williamsport. Last year he was a bit stunted by being behind J.P. Crawford on the shortstop depth chart. He hit well in his short time in Lakewood last year. This year he put on a bit more strength and was able to impact the ball more, hitting .311/.354/.466 for Lakewood and leading the league in doubles in his time in the league. He probably won’t have more than poor power and he has some approach issues. But he has good bat speed and some feel for contact. On defense the Phillies have said he is the best defensive shortstop in the system. He is very instinctual in the field, but can be a bit rough at times, his plus arm can make up for some mistakes. His likely outcome is as a utility infielder, but there is enough here that he could be a starting shortstop. He finished the second half in Clearwater and likely makes a return trip there.
20. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
After a slow start in Williamsport last year, Hoskins has just hit. His power numbers were suppressed by playing in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball, but he mashed on the road. He lacks elite bat speed and while his raw power is plus it plays more as above average in games. There is a lot of risk to Hoskins’ profile because his floor is so low, and because his tools aren’t elite he is not going to shed that until he hits his way to the majors. IF he keeps hitting he could be a major league average first baseman providing much needed right handed power. He should start 2016 in Reading and could force his way to the majors before the end of the year.
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