Unless you are completely off the grid, you heard that I have taken over as the Managing Editor of Crashburn Alley. That does mean some of the bigger and deeper minor league pieces will be moving there, but I am not abandoning this place. So I am going to jump back in with my thoughts on some of the early hot starts in the system in a rapid fire manner. It is only 10-12 games so there isn’t a ton to go off, so I won’t go too deep.
Rhys Hoskins – .324/.452/.676
Hoskins for hitting power isn’t really a surprise and 6 XBHs in 11 games isn’t especially impressive. However, he has 7 walks to 7 strikeouts through 42 plate appearances, which is much less than his AAA collegues. Hoskins’ phyical gifts are not as pronounced as other top prospects in the system, so he needs to maximize those skills to be successful, and so far he is passing with flying colors.
Scott Kingery – .286/.409/.714
Much like Hoskins, the plate discipline numbers (6 BB, 8 K, 2 HBP) draw the eye first. Kingery’s home runs have no been bombs, and while he leads the org with 4 of them, it doesn’t seem sustainable. If some of them were doubles instead of home runs, his start would still be impressive.
Daniel Brito – .392/.456/.588
Brito was a trendy sleeper among evaluators I talked to this winter, because he can really hit and he has a good glove at second. His home run power has been surprising, and he has been driving the ball in most of his at bats, not just the ones leaving the park. The one blemish is 13 strikeouts in 59 PAs.
Andrew Pullin – .325/.386/.625
Pullin has started just where he led off in AA. He has 8 XBHs, and he has hit 6 of them to the pull side, along with all of his ground balls. There is nothing wrong with this approach for Pullin, just expect to see him shifted often by teams. He needs to work counts more and adjust to offspeed pitches. He has plenty of time to do it, because he is stuck in Reading for the time being.
Malquin Canelo – .269/.387/.385
Canelo’s line does not stand out on this list, but unlike the rest of the players on the list he is a plus glove shortstop. After a poor 2016 season, Canelo needed a bounce back, and he has already dialed one up. Canelo is probably a utility player long term, but there is a chance he is something similar to pre power surge Freddy Galvis, and that is interesting.
Jorge Alfaro – .361/.395/.528
In 2016, Alfaro played 8 games before going down with an injury. Over that time he hit .500/.526/.750. His encore is less impactful, and still only came with one walk, the but the 23 year old catcher is off to a good start. The key for Alfaro is whether he can start drawing some walks as the season goes on and still tap into his power. He has gone on hot streaks before, but now those hot streaks are going to come with fans calling for him to replace Rupp and Knapp.