A hearty welcome to Pete Crow-Armstrong. We discussed his case for promotion last week. Though he had seven hits in 10 plate appearances over the weekend, this promotion is all about his glove. Anything he adds with his bat is gravy.
We’ll cover more recent and potential call-ups in today’s edition of Big Hype Prospects.
Five Big Hype Prospects
Jackson Holliday, 19, SS, BAL (AAA)
(A/A+/AA) 520 PA, 10 HR, 23 SB, .326/.444/.504
As I noted last week, Holliday’s promotion to Triple-A means we finally get access to public exit velocities. Those go a long way to influencing when a prospect earns his first promotion to the Majors. His 89.6 mph average and 103.7 mph max EVs in 30 plate appearances aren’t particularly impressive. They suggest the Orioles are better off with their existing middle infielders. Overall, he’s hitting just .200/.333/.280 in Triple-A. One silver lining, he’s posted more walks than strikeouts. Of course, we’re also talking about a tiny sample. That should go without saying.
Before anyone frets about his lack of pop in 30 plate appearances, an acquaintance was nice enough to pass along his Double-A data. His 109.7 mph max EV is excellent for a 19-year-old at any level. The chart I received doesn’t list an average, but it’s visually somewhere between 90 and 93 mph – also excellent.
Junior Caminero, 20, 3B/SS, TBR (AA)
(A+/AA) 486 PA, 30 HR, 5 SB, .330/.391/.604
Wander Franco left the Rays in a tough spot, relying on the soft-hitting Taylor Walls and Osleivis Basabe to handle shortstop. Caminero represents a “go-for-power” alternative. Though he mostly plays third base these days, that decision was at least partly in deference to his expected future role. Caminero might not be much of a downgrade defensively – Walls isn’t exactly a superstar defender. Caminero is still athletic enough to cover shortstop at present. Since August 25, he batted .354/.436/.917 with eight home runs in 55 plate appearances.
Evan Carter, 21, OF, TEX (MLB)
(AA/AAA) 513 PA, 12 HR, 25 SB, .288/.413/.450
An injury to Adolis Garcia opened the door for Carter to join the Rangers roster. He was reportedly already under consideration, the injury merely turned “when” to “now.” Oft-compared to Brandon Nimmo (they’re eerily similar), Carter plays within himself. Not all scouts appreciate this – the current meta is all about chasing extreme outcomes. In particular, he looks like he should be able to hit for power, but he maximizes for on base percentage rather than slugging. That’s just the first of many commonalities with Nimmo. The Rangers have a reputation for forcing their prospects to produce pulled, fly ball contact. That Carter reached the Majors despite eschewing organizational preferences suggests there’s an interesting behind-the-scenes tale to tell.
Jordan Lawlar, 21, SS, ARI (MLB)
(AA/AAA) 490 PA, 20 HR, 36 SB, .278/.378/.496
Questions about Lawlar’s hit tool mostly fly under the radar thanks to heady results and plus shortstop defense. He’s considered one of the best athletes in the sport. The most optimistic scouts consider him a 70 overall on the 20-80 scale. Aside from consistency of contact, Lawlar offers the total package. He’s an above-average runner, fields and throws well, and already flashes 30 homer upside as part of a discipline-forward approach. Though he’s not as extreme as Anthony Volpe, there’s a chance Lawlar’s early outcomes follow a similar track.
Mason Miller, 25, SP, OAK (MLB)
23.1 IP, 9.64 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 3.09 ERA
Miller returned from injury on September 6. He’s scheduled to make his first start since April on Monday. A hard-thrower with a limited repertoire and a long injury history, Miller has rare potential to overpower Major League hitters. Developed as a starter, evaluators remain split on his ultimate role. A proactive conversion to relief could help to lengthen his career – or at least improve his effectiveness. As a starter, the range of outcomes looks something like Tyler Glasnow to Michael Kopech with a real chance that he’s usually too hurt to contribute.
Jackson Ferris, CHC (19): I knew there was a fifth Jackson I forgot last week. Ferris is the also-ran among the prominent Jacksons in baseball, but he still tracks as a potential Top 100 prospect within the coming years. The southpaw has a repertoire of four average or better offerings backed by presently poor command. He’s posted a 3.38 ERA with 12.38 K/9, 5.30 BB/9, and a 53.4 percent ground ball rate in Low-A.
Brooks Lee (22): The Twins are relatively deep in the middle infield or else Lee would be on the shortlist for a promotion. He’s a well-rounded player who lacks standout tools or notable shortcomings. He’s posted above-MLB-average EVs in Triple-A.
Luisangel Acuna, NYM (21): Since joining the Mets organization, Acuna has cut his swinging strike rate nearly in half. He also cut his power in half. The net result is a sharp decline in offensive value. For now, this has the look of a step back for (hopefully) two steps forward.
Did I miss a detail or nuance? DM me on Twitter @BaseballATeam to suggest corrections.