Hitter Spotlight #1: J.P. Crawford 6-13 2 2B HR BB K SB
There was a justifiable letdown when Crawford was injured to start the year. However, his season to date has been everything but a let down. He destroyed the Florida State League before finally making his AA debut to start June. There were some concerns about his lack of power, but after Sunday he now has 5 extra base hits in 9 AA games. His approach is one of the best in the minor leagues, and he always puts himself in a position to hit at the plate. With the Astros promoting Carlos Correa to the majors, there are only two prospects in the minors who I would absolutely take over Crawford (Byron Buxton and Corey Seager) and a debate between Crawford and Francisco Lindor would be very interesting. He is really good folks.
Hitter Spotlight #2: Roman Quinn 3-13 3B BB K 3 SB
At some point this offseason the narrative switched on Roman Quinn. At shortstop he was going to need to outhit his defense. In centerfield, Quinn’s defense projects to be a plus carrying tool. This means that Quinn’s offense is a bonus, and the offense looks up to the task. His hit tool is average and is power is below average at best, but his speed is elite enough to make all the other tools play higher. Quinn doesn’t have the superstar ceiling of Crawford, but as he showed on Sunday he can be a disruptive force at the top of a lineup.
Pitcher Spotlight #1: Yacksel Rios 5 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K
Yacksel Rios has bounced back and forth between the bullpen and rotation for years now. The big difference this year has been a velocity jump to now sit 93-95 over multiple innings. His full arsenal lends itself better to the bullpen than the rotation, but he has the arm to be an impactful multi inning reliever. I would like to see the Phillies begin to use him more in that role has the rotations start to solidify.
Pitcher Spotlight #2: Miguel Nunez 1 IP 0 H 0 R 0 BB 0 K
Based on a strong end to the year I thought Miguel Nunez had a chance to emerge as a back end starter. The big righty struggled with control while working out of the rotation. In May they moved him to the bullpen where he has been dominant (14.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 4 BB 10 K). His control is much better, and the quality of contact against him has fallen off. At 91-94 he lacks the fastball of Rios or Edubray Ramos, and he doesn’t have the off speed of Ramos either. But he is giant and gets good plane on his pitches, and will use a full three pitch mix. There is a chance his arsenal continues to tick up in relief, but he could emerge as a solid middle reliever with his current arsenal.
Pitcher Spotlight #3: Yoel Mecias 2 IP 1 H 0 R 1 BB 0 K
I rated Yoel Mecias as the #4 prospect in the system entering the year so I don’t need to say how much I like him as a prospect. Which is why I find his usage this year so confusing. Mecias had some soreness and a velocity drop this spring as he still works back fully from Tommy John surgery (important reminder that Tommy John isn’t 100%). Upon his return they began to use him out of the bullpen, which made some sense if they were working him back slowly. It appears he is cleared for 2 innings at a time, but the time between his outings has been sporadic at best. Personally I think that Mecias should be starting as he has one of the highest upside of any arm in the organization. We will see how his usage is going forward, but it is worth watching closely.
There will be a big announcement very soon about this, but I am excited to say that the new player profiles are rolling out very quickly. They still have some clean up to be done (and more to be added). But you can now click any player name in new articles (such as this one) to jump to a player’s page where there will be constantly updating information such as pitch velocity and eventually up to date scouting reports.
Reading Rotation Watch: