Canelo and Hoskins on BA’s Top 20 SAL Prospects

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.

Image by Baseball Betsy

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. Romus

    As I expected Hoskins at 20, one notch below also 2014 draftee collegiate first baseman Ryan O’Hearn, who’s metrics (26%K and 10%BB…both A and A-high levels) and lower OPS, were not favorable to Hoskins.
    BA must be consistent with their assessment of Hoskins with swinging through average fastballs and additionally with a slow bat.
    O’Hearn had more HRs and bats lefthanded which seem to favor, so slightly, in the rankings between the first basemen..

  2. spongehead

    wow, that 5 years ago list reminds you how volatile prospects are. 6 from Lakewood and 5 in the top 11.
    Singleton #1, Brody Colvin #4, Cosart #7, Villar #8, May #11 and Valle #19.

    • Steve

      What do you mean by volatile? Granted, Colvin is certainly dispointing, and im not sure why he ever made the list. Cosart, May, and Villar are all playing in the majors at a better than replacement level. Cosart and May could easily develop into strong mid/front of the rotation arms, but probably not ace calibur. Singleton has flaws, but has seen time in the Majors, and prospect rankings always seem to appreciate raw power in young players. I dont think too much stock should be put into who is ranked 1 vs 5 vs 11 etc, but rather the collection of prospects as a whole. 5 years ago they identified 6 20yr old minor leaguer as some of the best prospects in the league, now half of them are making significant contributions at the major league level. I would consider 50% to be a pretty good success rate when dealing with prospects this young.

  3. Philly SF

    It seems like it is only Phillies fans and probably less than half of us that just don’t see Tocci as anything more than defense replacement CF when all is said and done, with average speed , and 20 power ranking, Pinto on the other hand has some potential and imo was over looked

    • Philly SF

      I worded that weird, sorry, meant to say no body nationally thinks anything of Tocci

      • Romus

        And with Tocci….one constant that continually is brought up, is his youthfulness and the very favorable age-to-level aspect. That would be the ‘pro’ vs the ‘con’. I have seen national write-ups bring this up.

        • Philly SF

          Yeah , I have too but not many people , there are definitely a few , making blanket statements like that is wrong of me