41. Kyle Wright, RHP ATL
Considered to be one of the top college arms in the 2017 MLB Draft, Wright has one of the highest ceilings of the pitchers taken. At 6’4 and 220 lbs, Wright attacks hitters with a mid 90’s FB that has natural sink. He can locate the FB in all four quadrants of the zone while keeping hitters off-balance with two plus breaking pitches. He is slated to begin the 2018 season at AA and could see time in Atlanta by August.
42. Adrian Morejon, LHP SD
Morejon’s bread and butter is a 70 grade change-up that he can throw in any count. His CB is emerging and a mid 90’s FB with late life. A scout who has seen both him and Gore, told me he prefers Morejon, due to his ability to attack with his CH.
43. Franklin Perez, RHP DET
A lat strain will cost Perez three months but all reports say the injury isn’t significant. Despite the missed time, the 20 year remains the Tigers top prospect. Acquired in the Verlander trade, Perez throws four pitches with 3 above average. His FB and CB have a chance to be plus. Perez excelled at AA as a teenager in 32 IP but did see his K rate decrease while his BB rate increased compared to his time in High A. Perez has a solid floor as a middle of the rotation starter.
44. Justus Sheffield, LHP NYY
Sheffield’s 2017 numbers won’t wow anybody. But between the numbers, there is a lot he brings to the table, justifying his selection as a Top 50 prospect. His FB is graded above average, but I saw him consistently sit at 94-96 in the Arizona Fall League. He pairs his FB with a SL that has a chance to be plus. This spring, Sheff has worked with C.C. Sabathia on refining his slider and using it on both sides of the plate and in all counts. Sheffield is a competitor that maximizes his abilities.
45. Keston Hiura, 2B MIL
Hiura is a hitting machine. Taken 9th overall in 2017 MLB Draft, Hiura uses all fields and barrels everything. Scouts have praised his mature approach at the plate. His gap power should translate to increased long balls as he matures. Defensively, the Brewers are trying him at second base with positive results so far.
46. Kolby Allard, LHP ATL
Allard excelled at AA as a 19-year-old, however, he has seen his name fall off numerous top prospects lists going into 2018. The reason is a below average FB that sat at 88 toward the end of 2017. Call it fatigue, call it pitching below max effort. Whatever the reason, Allard was able to get outs without the FB due to a CB that has the chance to be plus-plus. He commands the zone and keeps the ball in the park. Allard also still has some projection physically which may lead to an uptick in velo going into 2018. Teenagers that excel at advanced levels of the minors shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly.
47. Keibert Ruiz, C LAD
Speaking of teenagers excelling, Ruiz is a defensive stud behind the dish that rakes. He may never hit for power, but his ability to block balls in the dirt and frame pitches sets him apart at such a young age. On the offensive side, Ruiz is a switch hitter with an advanced approach that yields high contact rates and .300 average. Catchers are hard to project long-term due to the rigors of their position.
48. Anthony Alford, OF TOR
The Blue Jays system has ascended to one of the top organizations in baseball thanks to Vlad, Jr. and Bichette. However, the best athlete of the system and possibly in all of the minor leagues is Anthony Alford. Injuries dogged him in 2017 limiting him to 77 games and 8 big league at bats. Alford is a plus defender in CF with 70 grade speed, 60 raw power, and an elite eye at the plate.
49. Leody Taveras, OF TEX
Stat hounds may look at Taveras’ 2016 numbers and wonder why so much hype surrounds this kid. In context, the teenage switch hitter, will play 2018 at 19 years old and has already reached full season ball. Couple that with plus defense and arm, a 60 grade hit tool, 60 grade speed, and emerging in-game power, and we are looking at a legit 5 tool talent that has yet to scratch the surface of his potential. Taveras still has a lot of projection and growth and could end 2018 as a top 15 prospect.
50. Franklin Barreto, SS OAK
In 29 big league games, Barreto slugged .352 with a .250 OBP. That’s the bad. The good: 60 grade speed and arm with emerging power. Barreto excelled at AAA to the tune of double-digit HR/SB while hitting .290. There isn’t much left for Barreto to learn at AAA. he should spend quite a bit of time in Oakland, likely at second base. Barreto’s swing does tend to get long at times and there is some swing and miss.