In a league that is starving for more offense which young players might step up to add more pop to their teams? Here is a partial list:
Phil Joyner at 22 years of age has already logged 74 games in the outfield, mostly in CF and LF. However, it is his fielding that stands out more than his bat. With a ZR of +3.2 he covers ground in Center for the Comets but his bat challenges the fact that he is the #1 prospect as rated by OSA. .198/.247/.304 are stats that belong to a one Mario Mendoza and not the likes of a second coming of Tony Gwynn. Phil’s AAA stats only reached a .652 OPS which begs the question, ‘does he belong at the top level’? Time will tell as his starting duties have been decreased of late.
Juan Ibarra signed a minor league contract out of Mexico with the Sea Gull organization in 2017. The ceiling is sky high on this 18 year old SS from Juchitlan now in his second year in AA ball. One of the younger players in AA he has experienced a modest step forward improving his OPS from .552 to .664 but has strung together 4 multi-hit games in his last 6 indicating he may be catching up with the rest of the competition. The prototype 5 tool player will be fun to watch.
22 year old SS Geoff Boyd has graduated from AAA .313/.360/.403 and joined the Hamilton Mounties and actually improved his numbers this season, .318/.359/.464. The switch hitting SS from Germantown, Wisconsin brings an even tempered disposition to the team belying his mantra of ‘winning is not everything, it’s the only thing’, a little tidbit he picked up from another Wisconsin legend back in the day. This athletic SS can play his position with the best (+2.5 ZR), can swipe bases, bunt for hits, and will flash some occasional power.
Fred ‘Bad Company’ Darrach is another 22 year old that is already on the GLBL scene as teams desperate for offense, any offense, are hoping that the young players can do what many of the journeymen players cannot…generate offensive productivity. Fred had a .720 OPS in AA and made the jump straight to the Caribou parent team apparently without a blip as he’s posted an identical .720 OPS having moved up two levels, pretty impressive. He smacked 10 round trippers last year in the minors and has already hit 9 this year while raising his SLG. average to .409. He’s a spray hitter and while his BB/K is a weak 21/83 most scouts think that will change as he matures and learns how to hit the dominant pitchers of the league.
Ray ‘Glance’ Blue was the #1 overall pick in last years rookie draft. The 22 year old had a .827 OPS in 199 AB’s in AA ball and was promoted to AAA ball where he posted a decent .744 OPS in 257 AB’s. Collectively he hit 15 dingers and 31 doubles. This season in AAA with the Bay City Rollers Ray 13 homers and 31 doubles (pretty consistent) and is batting .265 with a .770 OPS. Like many young players his BB/K is tilted 40/127 but he projects to be a bat on the ball guy as he matures. Slow afoot Scouts consider Ray smart, motivated, and not a guy who will accept playing for a .500 team, something the T-Birds desperately need in their locker room. Blue is yet another of the promising SS’s to be waiting in the wings although his future may be 3b down the road. Blue is popular nation wide so the T-Birds best look for additional pieces if they want to keep ‘Glance’ in the fold beyond his required years.
Harry Norman, at 22 years of age, is a player who this season started out AAA a ‘house of fire’ with his .329/.407/.600 line and got the promotion to the Neptunes. In 344 AB’s he is standing up to the league pitching by virtue of his .247/.328/.416 line as he is one of the many left handed batters that traditionally fill out the Toledo line up. Norman has collected 39 RBI’s while belting 14 homers near the bottom of the line-up yet it won’t be long before he moves up if his progress continues.