Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa, the consensus top prospect on the International circuit, held a showcase for all 30 teams yesterday at Marlins Park with his brother Victor Mesa, Jr., and made a strong impression, reports Jesse Sanchez of mlb.com. Victor Victor, the older of the two by five years, posted top marks in the 60-yard dash, flashed plus arm strength, and hit “with authority” during a live batting practice session against current Marlins minor leaguers. One top-level American League scout left unimpressed with the eldest’s power projection and noted that Mesa, Jr. could have higher upside, though the prevailing notion, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, is that Victor Victor is the superior prospect and may only need “a year” in the minor leagues. The Orioles, who boast the most international bonus pool money for the upcoming signing period at $6.7MM, are considered the “likely” favorite to sign the 22-year-old Victor Victor, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, though the market remains nebulous.
In other news from around the league . . .
- The Giants haven’t yet been bit by the returns for offseason acquisitions Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria, writes Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The McCutchen trade was dually headlined by reliever Kyle Crick, whose substantially improved command still falls short of the threshold for sustained success, and outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds, who turned in a solid, if unspectacular season as an old-for-the-level 23-year-old for Double-A Altoona. Reynolds, who dealt with hamate issues at the beginning of the season, still faces questions about his ability to stay in center field and whether or not he’ll possess enough thump should he be confined to a corner. For Longoria, the Rays’ lot was headlined by the 23-year-old Christian Arroyo, who again struggled this season after a disastrous MLB debut in 2017. Arroyo’s strikeout rate ballooned to a career-high 27.1% at Triple-A Durham, and his coveted versatility won’t much matter if he continues to be inept at the plate.
- The Rays are preparing for an about-face this offseason, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tampa’s startling turnaround, headlined by an embarrassment of pre-arbitration riches and unanticipated minor league breakouts, has left the team with a litany of options as they enter the winter. “The expectations are up,” GM Erik Neander said. “We go into next year off the season we had, we want to improve. And to improve on the number of wins we had this year should put us in the territory where we’re expecting playoffs.” Neander did add that the club isn’t necessarily expecting an “active winter,” but with only $32MM in payroll commitments for the upcoming season, the Rays figure to be a team to watch as we enter the Hot Stove.
- Sean Newcomb will start tomorrow’s game three for Atlanta, reports Mark Bowman of mlb.com. The club had originally tabbed righty Kevin Gausman for the outing, but abruptly changed plans after dropping the first two games in Los Angeles. Newcomb, who was shaky at best for the Braves in the season’s final weeks, perhaps will get the nod merely for his status as a left-handed arm: the Dodgers, after all, destroyed right-handers to the tune of a 117 wRC+ this season, the top mark in the league.