by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Which prospects are tearing it up down on the farm? Obviously we can’t name them all, but here are three names that are currently streaking and need to be on all radars:
Christin Stewart – Detroit Tigers – Outfielder
We’ve been beating the Stewart drum for weeks, the question now is when he ultimately forces the Tigers hand? Injuries to Nick Castellanos and Jemeir Candelrio (who has now hit the DL) could expedite the process. That said maybe the team finally decides to move on from Victor Martinez (who entered Monday hitting .233 with 3 HR) and free up AB that way?
For his part Stewart is hitting .304 with 11 HR and 27 RBI over 125 AB, including 3 HR over his past two games. He entered play on Sunday with a 10.2% SwStr% and 16.7% strikeout rate, a huge step up from last year’s 12.2% and 24.9%, respectively, at Double-A. There also had been questions about his defense, but by all reports he’s improved in that regard as well.
If you missed out on Franmil Reyes, Stewart could quickly prove to be a good “consolation” prize.
Josh Rojas – Houston Astros – Utility
He has the ability to play across the diamond, seeing time at 1B (7 games), 2B (13 games), SS (2 games), 3B (4 games) and the outfield (5 games). That type of flexibility alone is going to make him an intriguing option, in the mold of a Marwin Gonzalez, but splitting time between High-A and Double-A this season he’s posted some intriguing results:
- Average – .320
- Strikeout Rate – 12.1%
- Walk Rate – 13.4%
- SwStr% – 4.5%
- Stolen Bases – 15-for-16
He’s not a big threat for power, though he has 15 doubles, 3 triples and 2 HR so it’s possible he matures into a 10 HR type hitter. When coupled with his clearly solid approach and the ability to steal bases, what is there not to like? At 24-years old he could come quickly, especially after his recent promotion to Double-A.
Chris Paddack – San Diego Padres – Right-Handed Pitcher
There was a time that Paddack was among the hottest pitching prospects in the game, after he posted a 0.85 ERA, 71 K and 5 BB over 42.1 IP at Single-A in 2016. However he fell victim to Tommy John surgery, costing him a good portion of 2016 and all of 2017. That likely caused him to fall off many radars, but he’s taken the mound three times for the Padres’ High-A team in 2018 and he has quickly thrust himself back into the spotlight:
- April 30 – 6.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
- May 6 – 4.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K
- May 12 – 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 10 K
You add that together and he has 26 K vs. 1 BB over 16.0 IP. It seems like he hasn’t missed a beat, though how hard the Padres push him remains to be seen. Paddack has just 103.2 professional innings under his belt, never throwing more than 45.1 in a season.
He’s not on the Major League radar for 2018, though could he reach Double-A and be a factor at some point in 2019?
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs
Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings? Make sure to check it out by clicking here. Also don’t miss all of our 2018 Preseason Positional Prospect Lists: