RANKINGS: Latest Top 40 Prospects Update | MLB: UPDATED 2020 Draft Order

(Photo of Jake Fraley by Mark Wagner/Arkansas Travelers)

Here’s how the top prospects performed down on the farm:

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)– Pacific Coast League

No. 1 Justus Sheffield, LHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 45 IP, 38 H, 19 ER, 29 BB, 34 SO, 3.89 ERA

5.22.2019: Sheffield showed better control and better command Wednesday — though still not where it needs to be. His slider was fringe-average and his changeup was below average, perhaps explaining the low strikeout total, but this may be a sign of something fixed in the delivery.

The lefty threw 94 pitches, 57 for strikes, and generated 13 ground ball outs.


No. 8 Shed Long, 2B/3B/OF
SUN: Recalled 5.21.2019
2019: .293/.362/.510, 6-2B, 4-3B, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 16 BB, 35 SO


No. 11 Braden Bishop, CF
SUN: 2-4, 2B, BB
2019: .301/.388/.503, 11-2B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 20 BB, 34 SO

NEW: Just call him up already, for crying out loud. Is he a star? No. Is he one of the best 25 players in the org right now? Maybe not, but he’s close. And he’s part of the future. Ya know who’s not? Jay Bruce, Ryon Healy, Dee Gordon, Edwin Encarnacion.


No. 12 Erik Swanson, RHS
SUN: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
2019: 3 GS, 11 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 14 SO

NEW: For the second start in a row Swanson went just three innings, and since last time out Rainiers skipper Daren Brown said it was planned, this one probably was, too, unless an injury is involved.

I’d guess the Mariners are strongly considering calling up Swanson to either pitch out of the bullpen or to specifically piggyback Yusei Kikuchi‘s next short-script, which could be this next time around.


No. 23 Gerson Bautista, RHR (rehab)
SUN: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
2019: 9 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 15 SO, 3 WP

NEW: Bautista looks pretty good, but there’s no guarantee he’s activated and called up to the bigs when his rehab is up June 8, despite how battered the Mariners’ bullpen has looked at times this season. There’s still work to be done here, mostly in terms of control, not as much command.

He throws 95-100 mph, but does fall behind too often and forced to battle back into counts. His slider is about average, flashing above average, but its effectiveness takes a dive when he’s behind in the count..


No. 24 David McKay, RHR
SUN: Recalled 5.20.2019
2019: 14 G, 5.91 ERA, 21.1 IP, 17 H, 14 BB, 34 SO


No. 27 Luis Liberato, CF
SUN: DNP
2019: .288/.363/.444, 5-2B, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 20 BB, 41 SO, 4 SB

5.25.2019: Liberato was added for need after all the recent roster shakeup due to injuries to the Mariners 25-man roster as well as the Rainiers’ own issues.


No. 33 Matt Festa, RHR
SUN: DNP
2019: 10 G, 4.85 ERA, 13 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 17 SO


No. 37 Tim Lopes, 2B
SUN: 2-4, 2 RBI, BB
2019: .313/.371/.506, 15-2B, 3B, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 16 BB, 29 SO, 8 SB

NEW: We might have to have a conversation at some point about Lopes being a contender for Dylan Moore‘s role with the club. But right now, neither are necessary in Seattle. If Jerry Dipoto trades Tim Beckham or Dee Gordon this summer, that will change.


MLB Sam Tuivailala, RHR (rehab)
SUN: DNP
2019: 8 G, 8 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO

NEW: The Mariners can keep Tui’s rehab going after transferring him from the 10-day IL to the 60-day version and it appears that’s still the plan. Tui has pitched back-to-back (in Modesto) but otherwise has been pitching every 2-3 days. He last went Friday, so if he doesn’t pitch Monday in Salt Lake, there may be a status change.

For the record, Tuivailala was placed on the IL March 17, so the 60-day transfer did nothing to push back his timetable for return.


Arkansas Travelers (AA) — Texas League

No. 3 Justin Dunn, RHS
SUN: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
2019: 43.1 IP, 40 H, 17 ER, 12 BB, 54 SO, 3.53 ERA

NEW: Dunn threw 88 pitches, 65 for strikes and induced nine swinging strikes. His overall control remains very good but at times his fastball command gets him into trouble.

Scouts are telling me the slider is effective but needs to be sharper to get swings and misses in the big leagues, so coupled with his fastball command Dunn has things to work on the rest of 2019, despite the strong numbers.

Dunn is No. 4 in Double-A in K% and his 25.5% K-BB is strong. Dunn’s FIP also ranks in the Top 25 for pitchers above Advanced-A.


No. 6 Kyle Lewis, OF
SUN: 1-4, SO
2019: .216/.323/.333, 8-2B, 3B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 25 BB, 53 SO, 2 SB

NEW: Lewis broke a 20 at-bat hitless streak with a backside ground ball in the fifth inning Sunday. Too many swings and misses. Too many bad takes. Not enough hard contact. When Lewis makes contact, it’s good contact — he’s batting over .290 on balls in play — there’s just not enough of it right now, and not enough damage being done, thanks to a 48% ground ball rate.


No. 7 Evan White, 1B
SUN: 1-4, SO
2019: .234/.323/.324, 4-2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 14 BB, 31 SO

NEW: White hasn’t found his stroke yet and it might just be that simple. There’s never been much doubt as to whether White could hit enough — at least .260-.270 with league average OBP — and we haven’t seen that yet in 2019.


No. 16 Ricardo Sanchez, LHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 49 IP, 56 H, 22 ER, 13 BB, 41 SO, 4.04 ERA


No. 17 Dom Thompson-Williams, OF
SUN: 0-4, SO
2019: .255/.337/.448, 4-2B, 3-3B, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 17 BB, 42 SO, 9 SB


No. 18 Jake Fraley, OF
SUN: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, SB
2019: .324/.398/.519, 11-2B, 2-3B, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 16 BB, 41 SO, 12 SB

Fraley is in the top 20 in all of Double-A in wRC+, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. He’s running on a very high BABIP right now, but it’s one of the more misunderstood statistics, particularly when discussing developing young players.

Good hitters have high BABIP — Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge all carry .350+ BABIP marks.


No. 26 Wyatt Mills, RHR
SUN:
1 IP, BB, SO
2019: 20
.1 IP, 25 H, 11 ER, 10 BB, 20 SO, 2 SVS


No. 25 Art Warren, RHP
SUN: DNP (IL)
2019: 1-0, 5 SV, 1.04 ERA, 8.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 10 SO, 5 SVS


No. 29 Darren McCaughan, RHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 9 GS, 3.42 ERA, 52.2 IP, 51 H, 3 BB, 44 SO


Modesto Nuts (A+) — California League

No. 5 Logan Gilbert, RHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 35 IP, 25 H, 8 ER, 9 BB, 49 SO, 2.63 ERA

5.25.2019: Gilbert induced 12 swings and misses, flashed a plus curveball and average changeup to go with 93-96 mph with the fastball. The heater showed some armside run and the right-hander did a good job mixing upper-zone life with downward plane, helping him maximize his fastball value.

Gilbert is No. 5 in all of the minors in K-BB% at 31.6, a category led by Ljay Newsome at 34.2%. Gilbert ranks No. 7 in K% and is No. 18 in FIP at 2.40.


No. 9 Cal Raleigh, C
SUN: 0-4, SO
2019: .227/.304/.429, 12-2B, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 17 BB, 40 SO

Raleigh has three homers and six doubles in his last 13 game,s with seven walks and nine strikeouts. It’s a small sample that alone means zilch, but four of his last seven hits have been at 100 mph or more. He’s still looking to get things going as a right-handed batter (only 32 ABs) but as a lefty he’s up to .244/.314/.457 with 9 doubles and six homers in 130 at-bats.

Despite uninspiring numbers thus far, Raleigh ranks in the Top 10 across all Advanced-A leagues in wRC+ for catchers.


No. 15 Ljay Newsome, RHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 10 GS, 58.1 IP, 46 H, 13 ER, 7 BB, 82 SO, 2.01 ERA

5.22.2019: Newsome threw 77 of 94 pitches for strikes (81.9%), which is ridiculous. Striking out 10 batters while pounding the zone like that strongly suggests his combo of stuff and command may not be challenged enough in the Cal League.

Fully expect Newsome to see Double-A Arkansas in 2019 and it may come before the All-Star break.


No. 20 Jake Haberer, RHR
SUN: DNP
2019: 14 G, 18.2 IP, 10 H, 10 BB, 30 SO, 4.12 ERA


No. 21 Joey Gerber, RHP
SUN: DNP
2019: 15 G, 17 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 27 SO


No. 36 Joe Rizzo, 3B
SUN: 2-4, SO
2019: .321/.382/.419, 12-2B, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 34 SO


No. 40 Connor Kopach, 2B
SUN: 2-4
2019: .284/.351/.419, 7-2B, 2-3B, 3 HR, 13 BB, 38 SO, 11 SB


UR J.T. Salter, RHR
SUN:
DNP
2019: 5 G, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB 9 SO

UR Sam Delaplane, RHR
SUN:  DNP
2019: 27.2 IP, 19 H, 11 BB, 53 SO, 3.90 ERA

Delaplane is rocking a 1.33 FIP — No. 1 among all Advanced-A pitchers — and a 48.6% strikeout rate, which is No. 2.


West Virginia Power (A) — South Atlantic League

No. 2 — Jarred Kelenic, OF
SUN: 2-5, HR, RBI
2019: .304/.394/.558, 13-2B, 3-3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 25 BB, 45 SO, 7 SB

Kelenic is heating up again and ranks No. 3 in Class-A in wRC+ and is one of two teenagers to rank in the top 10.


No. 4 — Julio Rodriguez, OF
SUN: (IL, wrist)
2019: .355/.429/.452, 3-2B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO

NEW: Contrary to what I wondered in the latest Baseball Things, Rodriguez is swinging a bat and is expected to take BP this week. All this suggests a return sometime the first half of June.


No. 15 Damon Casetta-Stubbs, RHS
SUN: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 3 SO
2019: 29.2 IP, 40 H, 22 ER, 6 BB, 23 SO, 8.01 ERA


No. 22 Ryne Inman, RHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 10 GS, 49 IP, 38 H, 18 ER, 18 BB, 63 SO, 3.31 ERA

Inman is No. 9 in Class-A in K% at 30.1 and his 2.96 FIP ranks No. 12.


No. 31 Nolan Hoffman, RHR
SUN: DNP (IL)
2019: 9 G, 1.08 ERA, 4 SVS, 8.1 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 SO


No. 34 Joseph Rosa, 2B
SUN: DNP
2019: .268/.389/.356, 7-2B, 2 HR, 23 BB, 34 SO, 5 SB


No. 35 Dean Nevarez, C
SUN: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 SO, 5 RBI
2019: .231/.315/.538, 5-2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 21 SO

NEW: Nevarez hit a grand slam in the righth to tie the game and drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th to force home the winning run.


No. 38 Elias Espino, RHR
SUN: DNP (IL)
2019: 5 G, 2.77 ERA, 13 IP, 7 H, 9 BB, 17 SO


UR Deivy Florido, RHS
SUN: DNP
2019: 4 G, 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 14 SO

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