MLB Top Prospect Update: AL West

MLB Top Prospect Update: AL West

by June 9, 2021 0 comments

As we continue to look at what top prospects across the major leagues have done so far, let’s look at the American League West. The minor league season is officially a month old, so we have a lot more to go on to properly rank these prospects.

Houston Astros

*Forrest Whitley is number one, but since he is out until next summer (Tommy John surgery), he was not included in our initial 2021 rankings.

1. Freudis Nova – SS

The 21-year-old shortstop out of the Dominican Republic has struggled to start the year for High-A Asheville. In 16 games, he is slashing .137/.254/.235 with one home run and two stolen bases in 51 at-bats. He has tremendous speed and a great glove while looking for his bat and power to break out more. This year is his first season playing above Low-A after being signed for $1.2 million in 2016, so he will need some time to develop.

Stock: —

2. Bryan Abreu – RHP

The right-hander from the Dominican Republic is officially no longer a prospect after making 32 appearances the last three seasons in Houston. In 21 appearances this season, Abreu has worked on harnessing his control as he has struck out 23 while walking 13 in 25 2/3 innings. He also has picked up a save and has allowed just a .374 slugging percentage.

Stock: Dropped Off – Graduated

3. Jeremy Pena – SS/2B

The infielder drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft, is out for the season after sustaining a left wrist injury at the alternate site that required surgery. It is an unfortunate injury for Pena and the organization to lose out on a second straight year of development for the potential Carlos Correa replacement. Correa is a free agent in the offseason.

Stock: —

4. Pedro Leon – OF/SS

The Astros signed the Cuban outfielder just this past January for $4 million and he already started his professional career in the states at Double-A Corpus Christi. So far, he has struggled to adjust to U.S. pitching, striking out 35 times to just nine walks in 25 games while having a mere .670 OPS.

Stock: +

5. Luis Garcia – RHP

The Venezuelan-born right-hander has been outstanding for the Astros this season and is no longer a prospect. In 12 games – 10 starts – Garcia has struck out 68 while walking just 19 and allowing 18 runs in 59 innings.

Stock: Dropped Off – Graduated

New Top 5: Nova, Leon, Pena, Korey Lee, Jairo Solis

Lee and Solis join the top five with a couple of graduations. Lee is the Astros top catching prospect and has been hitting very well in High-A Asheville. The 2019 first-rounder is slashing .320/.377/.464 with three homers in 25 games. Solis will be out until about August after undergoing surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow last month. The right-handed pitching prospect was added to the 40-man roster last offseason.

Los Angeles Angels

1. Brandon Marsh – OF

The second-round pick in 2016 has so far struggled at the plate through 16 games at Triple-A Salt Lake. Over 60 at-bats, he is slashing .183/.338/.317 with one homer and one stolen base.

Stock: —

2. Reid Detmers – RHP

The Angels drafted Detmers 10th overall out of the University of Louisville in last year’s draft. He was assigned to Double-A Rocket City out of the alternate site and has pitched well. In six starts, the right-hander has struck out 40 and walked nine over 25 innings while allowing a .245 average.

Stock: —

3. Jordyn Adams – OF

The 2018 first-round pick played great in three games to start the season before he sustained a leg injury that has kept him out since. He had gone 3-for-10 with a homer and four RBI through those first three games for High-A Tri-City.

Stock: —

4. Jeremiah Jackson – SS

The shortstop drafted in the second round in the 2018 draft has started this season in Low-A Inland Empire. In 28 games, Jackson is hitting .212/.303/.433 with five homers and 29 RBI over 104 at-bats.

Stock: —

5. Chris Rodriguez – RHP

The right-hander drafted in the fourth round in 2016 returned Monday after missing nearly a month with shoulder irritation. Rodriguez allowed one run on three hits while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings of work. Overall, he has had a strong rookie campaign outside the injury. He has pitched to a 1.18 WHIP and 18-8 strikeout-to-walk rate over 17 innings over nine appearances.

Stock: —

Oakland Athletics

1. Tyler Soderstrom – C

The 26th overall pick last year is off to a great start for Low-A Stockton. In 29 games, the 19-year old catcher from California is slashing .283/.383/.469 with three homers, 18 RBI, and two stolen bases in 113 at-bats.

Stock: —

2. A.J. Puk – LHP

The sixth-overall pick in 2016 made one appearance for Oakland in April before being sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas. In the one major league appearance, Puk went 3 1/3 scoreless while striking out four, walking three, and giving up a hit. In his nine appearances at Las Vegas, the southpaw has struck out 16 and walked just three in 10 2/3 innings.

Stock: —

3. Nick Allen – 2B/SS

The third-round pick in 2017 has hit well in 18 games for Double-A Midland. Over 69 at-bats, Allen is slashing .275/.358/.377 with one homer, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, and three stolen bases.

Stock: —

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4. Daulton Jefferies – RHP

After facing some setbacks, the 2016 37th overall pick has developed quickly through the system. So far in Triple-A this season, Jefferies has given up just three runs while striking out 13 and walking none over 19 2/3 innings in four starts. The right-hander made one start for Oakland last season and will likely get another call-up soon.

Stock: —

5. Logan Davidson – SS

The 29th overall pick in 2019 jumped up to Double-A Midland to start this season. The former Clemson Tiger has started to hit better of late, as he recently got over the Mendoza Line. He has gone 13-for-36 over his last ten games while driving in 11 runs.

Stock: —

Seattle Mariners

1. Jarred Kelenic – OF

The former Met prospect made his major league debut on May 13 but has since been sent back down to Triple-A Tacoma after hitting just .096 in 23 games for the Mariners. Kelenic will need more seasoning down in Triple-A before he has a shot to go to the majors again.

Stock: —

2. Julio Rodriguez – OF

The Mariners signed Rodriguez for $1.75 million in July 2017 and he has been raking to start the season in High-A Everett. In 21 games, the 20-year-old is hitting .322/.404/.575 with five homers and five stolen bases over 87 at-bats.

Stock: —

3. Emerson Hancock – RHP

The right-hander was one of the top pitching prospects in last year’s draft and the Mariners took him sixth overall out of the University of Georgia. Hancock has been masterful for High-A Everett. In four starts, the former Bulldog has struck out 11 and walked six while giving up three earned runs over 12 1/3 innings.

Stock: —

4. Logan Gilbert – RHP

The 2018 14th overall pick from Stetson University was called up on May 13 after making one start in Triple-A Tacoma. Gilbert went five innings while giving up one run on four hits while striking out five in the one minor league start. In his five major league starts, the right-hander has struck out 23 while walking seven in 21 2/3 innings.

Stock: —

5. George Kirby – RHP

The right-hander was drafted 20th overall by the Mariners in 2019 and has been very good for High-A Everett so far. In three starts, the Elon University Alum has struck out 16 while walking only three and allowing six hits over 11 innings.

Stock: —

Texas Rangers

1. Josh Jung – 3B

The Rangers’ first-round pick at eighth overall in 2019 has yet to make his season debut. Jung suffered a stress fracture in his left foot prior to the season but is expected to return soon. The former Texas Tech Red Raider was expected to start the season at Triple-A Round Rock, so that is where he will likely be assigned.

Stock: —

2. Dane Dunning – RHP

The Rangers acquired Dunning as a part of the Lance Lynn trade to the Chicago White Sox this past December. The right-hander has been solid in 12 starts on the season, as he holds a 2.92 FIP and 61/19 strikeout-to-walk rate across 57 innings. All those starts came for the major league club, so he is no longer a prospect.

Stock: Dropped Off – Graduated

3. Sam Huff – C

Huff is another Ranger prospect yet to play this season. He had surgery on his right knee in late April to clear a loose body from the joint. The seventh-round pick in 2016 was expected to be out two months which means he should be back soon. Huff played in 10 games for Texas last season, but will likely be assigned to Double-A or Triple-A.

Stock: +

4. Leody Taveras – OF

Taveras is hitting a mere .087 and has struck out 23 times in 50 plate appearances for the Rangers. He is no longer considered a prospect, but he would certainly benefit from more seasoning in Triple-A to get his swing right.

Stock: Dropped Off – Graduated

5. Cole Winn – RHP

The 15th overall pick in 2018 has been fantastic for Double-A Frisco. In five starts, the right-hander has allowed only a .112 average against while striking out 32 and walking 10 over 27 2/3 innings. Winn is by far the top pitching prospect in the system with the graduation of Dunning.

Stock: +

New Top 5: Jung, Huff, Winn, Maximo Acosta, Justin Foscue

Acosta has yet to be assigned to a level after just turning 18 in October. The Venezuelan stud shortstop was signed for $1.65 million in 2019 by the Rangers. The youngster has a mature approach at the plate and has drawn comparisons to New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres. Foscue was the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2020 and he has made his pro debut with High-A Hickory. The third baseman has two homers in 44 at-bats so far this season.

Stay tuned for the National League side of these prospect updates next.

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