Minor league report: Mancini heats up and international prospects

July is here and there is a lot to go over. This won’t be a typical week of the minor league report. Rather than the typical 7-10 player that are either seeing their stock rise or fall there will be a few less.

In lieu of the extra players this week there will be some of my favorite international signings eligible for the July 2nd international signing period.

Top-100

Trey Mancini

  • June 19-July 3: .421/.468/.667, 2 2B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 9 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .300/.378/.527, 16 2B, 17 HR, 35 BB, 80 K, 1 SB

Mancini has hit for average at every stop, his only sub .300 stop was a 69 game stint in 2014 where he hit .251. Mancini has yet to really show the big time power a lot of people hope to get out of a first baseman, he topped out at 21 homers in 136 games last season. In most seasons Mancini will probably be a 20 to 25 homer per season player and can get an average around .300. The first base only designation will scare people away from investing in him, but don’t let it. He could put up Freddie Freeman like numbers pretty soon. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him moved for starting pitching help at the deadline. At age 24 he needs to get to the big leagues soon.

Outside the top-100

Gavin LaValley

  • June 19-July 3: .378/.420/.689, 6 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .263/.335/.467, 11 2B, 5 HR, 16 BB, 34 K, 0 SB

I was kind of high on LaValley in our preseason positional rankings. After May I had pretty much left him for dead prospect wise. He has picked it up lately, but not in the way I expected. LaValley is 6’3” 235 pounds and has a lot of raw power to tap into. If he can consistently make contact like he has recently he can start to tap into his 25 home run potential. LaValley is still a long way from being a contributor in fantasy leagues, but keep an eye on him for now.

Domingo Acevedo

  • Last three starts: 17 innings, 3.18 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22 K, 5 BB
  • 2016: 65 1/3 innings, 2.20 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 74 K, 13 BB

Acevedo is building on a breakout 2015 season where he had a 1.69 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 48 innings playing in the New York-Penn League. The numbers this season are just as good. After a brief stint in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, he got promoted again and is having even more success. His fastball can reach 100, and reportedly topped out at 103 last year. The worst case scenario is he becomes a devastating reliever with an electric fastball. The strikeout rate has been exceptional, with a 100 mph fastball that is no surprise. What is great to see is his 6.5% walk rate in his minor league career, and he is brining it down even lower this season, it is just over 5% through 65 1/3 innings this year. Acevedo needs to be owned in leagues where 150 prospects or are owned at a minimum, and monitored in shallowed leagues.

Antonio Santillan

  • 2016: 17 1/3 innings, 3.63 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 32 K, 9 BB

There is very little sample size to go off of with Santillan, he has only made four abbreviated starts this season. He was a second round pick last year so he only got 19 2/3 innings of work. This year, in even less innings, he has had an absurd strikeout rate, 42.1 percent. Not shockingly for a 19-year-old with a crazy strikeout rate, the walk rate is also high at 11.8 percent. Like a lot of other players included in the outside the top-100 group this season he is a wait and see. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue with his limited time in the majors.

Demarcus Evans

  • 2016: 13 innings, 0.69 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 23 K, 8 BB

Like Santillan he was drafted last season and hasn’t gotten a lot of work in the minors this season. He doesn’t come with a great pedigree, he was a 25th round pick last year. He was used primarily as a reliever last season and has started two of his three appearances this season. Obviously I want to see a lot more from him before I would invest, but even in rookie ball a 47.9 percent strikeout rate in 13 innings is intriguing.

International signees

Lets remember many of these players are probably four or five years away from a promotion, even longer if you want to factor in when they will actually be helping your team win a title. There are no Gourriels here; they aren’t subject to this signing pool.

Kevin Maitan – SS (Signed with Braves)

He has a cannon, but that doesn’t matter to fantasy players. The hit and power tool are both plus already. He is probably the best prospect of this class. There have been both Miguel Cabrera and Chipper Jones comparisons thrown his way. Those are loft expectations for a 16-year-old, but it also shows what people are expecting of him. He isn’t the best with the glove, that along with his bat might push him over to third.

Luis Almanzar – SS (Padres)

He can hit and hit for power as a shortstop. Similar to Maitan I don’t know if he sticks at short. His bat should still play at second or third if he does move off the position. He could give Maitan a run for the best prospect of this group. With little to go on, I will go with the guy that has drawn comparisons to two Hall of Fame players in Maitan.

Lazaro “Lazarito” Armenteros – OF (Athletics)

He might be the best all around talent from this group, however I would give a slight nod to Almanzar. His hit tool is currently his weakness but is still, at worst, an average tool for him. There is some pretty enticing five-tool potential with Lazarito. If he does reach his potential he could be a top-20 player at his ceiling. There are off-field concerns with Lazarito, most notably death threats to his former agent, to worry about.

Victor Garcia – OF (Cardinals)

Garcia is the best power prospect of this group by a good margin. He has a lot of risk. The hit tool isn’t great, and the speed is even worse. I am willing to put a bet on a guy with the best power in a group of players and hope that he can become average to above average with his hit tool.

Frauds Nova – SS (Astros)

Nova is a little ways down a lot of international signings list because he doesn’t play defense. He should be a top-five player based on his fantasy potential. There is a nice power speed combination with an already solid hit tool. The offensive tools aren’t far off from the big three group at the top of my list. Compared to the shortstops above him the might be moved off of the position is going to be a will move off the position.

Vladimir Gutierrez – RHP (Unsigned)

The only real pitching prospect to note from the international signing group, and he has his warts. He was mostly a bullpen arm during his two most recent season in Cuba. Scouts think he can be a starter in the majors. The downside to him being a good reliever already is teams have an easy fallback option if he does struggle, rather than have him try to pitch out of it. There is already a lot of risk with a prospect succeeding, when you factor in he might also be a reliever I am most likely passing on Gutierrez.

Stay tuned for a midseason updated prospects list coming soon.

 

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Andy Germani
I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.
Andy Germani

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