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Capra's Top 50 Prospects Season 27

*Prospects qualified for the list if they're no older than 26 and have not spent 50 games in the majors as a position player or 15 games as a pitcher

1. Fritz Doumit- C New Britain, 21
- The top pick in the season 25 draft, Fritz was a pretty easy choice for the top spot on this list. A catcher with his complete skill set has not entered this league in a long time. A well rounded hitter who likely end up with 95+ rated contact once he is finished developing, to go along with his power that is already rated 96. That kind of bat would be very valuable at the catching position even if Fritz were a below average defender. But what sets Fritz apart is his excellent defensive ability. He has the arm strength, pitch calling ability, and durability to contend for gold gloves in the future should his owner decide to keep him at the position. He hasn't disappointed in his time in the minors thus far with 60 home runs in a season and a half and a .430 OBP. It is safe to say that this is a future perennial MVP contender. His arrival time is a bit difficult to predict as he could play in the majors right now if necessary. But based on his current developmental track, I would estimate we'll see Fritz in the majors late in season 28.

2. Trenidad Gonzalez- SP Cleveland, 21
Trenidad just barely meets the qualifications for this list as he made 12 starts last year for the big club after a midseason call-up straight from AA. He proved his worthiness though with a 3.44 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in those 12 starts. Combined with a 1.95 ERA in his minor league career and a well rounded repertoire of pitching attributes and we've got the top pitching prospect in Capra. Gonzalez's health rating of 99 likely means a long career pitching at a high level and at 21 years old, he likely still has another season or two of consistent development. Count on Gonzalez securing a place in the Cleveland rotation right out of spring training this season.

3. Tuck Dydalewicz- SP New Britain, 22
- If I made this list before last season, Tuck probably comes in as the top pitching prospect in the world. But after an injury plagued season and a somewhat disappointing performance in AA, Tuck couldn't hold onto that distinction. Still, his current ratings are strong enough that he doesn't fall far at all on the list. The man with a last name nobody knows how to pronounce, Tuck fits the profile of a staff ace. Hard throwing, high stamina, with excellent make-up, and left/right splits that will both likely end up rated in the 80s, Tuck should find himself in the New Britain rotation full time in season 28, assuming he gets back to form in AAA this season.

4. Miguel Castillo- SP Hartford, 21
- The most coveted player on the season 26 international market, Castillo shouldn't take long to make his way up through the minors. Castillo looks on pace to end up with excellent control and splits versus right handed hitters. With a 2.41 ERA in rookie ball last season, Castillo looks to be the future ace in Hartford. Considering this is the franchise that traded away Junior Hernandez, no doubt there are similar expectations for Castillo's career to play out in a similar fashion, just not with another franchise. His arrival time likely depends on the speed of the rebuild in Hartford. I would expect a season 29 arrival for Castillo.

5. Del Skinner- 1B Pittsburgh, 23
- The gold standard for hitters in Capra these days would have to be Norfolk's Hub Kaye. And Del Skinner is probably the closest comparison to Hub in the minor leagues right now. In his minor league career he's hit 145 home runs with a 1.042 OPS. A switch hitter with light tower power, Del should continue to develop his contact rating and splits versus LHP and RHP. All of this combines to a 1.000 OPS hitter in the majors. Skinner should develop into a serviceable defender at first base, plenty good enough considering the type of bat he'll bring to the lineup. After a full year in AAA last season, Skinner should see the majors in season 27.

6. Mateo Trajano- SS Norfolk, 21
- A highly sought after SS from the loaded international market of season 24, Trajano has shown a knack for driving in and scoring runs in his minor league career. While opinion differs on the importance of the RBI and runs scored stat, 257 RBI and 240 runs scored  in 234 career games must mean Trajano is doing something right at the plate and on the bases. A .977 OPS should satisfy the sabermetricians and with another season of development, Trajano should be ready to take over the starting SS job in Norfolk by season 28.

7. Wiki Iglesias- C Ottawa, 19
- No doubt the bargain of the season 26 international market Ottawa managed to sign Iglesias for 6.5 million and ended up with a top 10 prospect out of the deal. With a power rating that should settle in right around 100, Iglesias will crush LHP and still hit plenty well against RHP to put up multiple .900+ OPS seasons once he reaches the majors. While he's not Johnny Bench behind the plate, Wiki should still develop into an above average defensive catcher. Count on his arrival in Ottawa in season 30.

8. Al Rivera- SP Jacksonville, 25
-After four seasons in AAA, Rivera awaits his full-time opportunity in the majors. A brief stint in the bigs in season 25 did not yield tremendous results, but a dominating season 26 at AAA with a 2.63 ERA likely showed the front office what they were looking for to give him a rotation spot this season. Rivera is one of the hardest throwing starters in the game but he still has excellent control to go with that velocity. Season 27 could be his breakout year.

9. Livan Hernandez- SP Rochester, 22
- The hard throwing south paw should end up dominating left handed hitting over the course of his career. But solid ratings across the board will make Hernandez one of the top starters in the game. A 2.57 ERA across two minor league seasons has shown the potential and Hernandez is likely to find his place in a major league rotation by season 29, if not sooner. Also, sharing a name with a former World Series MVP can't hurt either.

10. Lyle Cox- 2B Florida, 24
- The 6th overall pick in season 25, Cox combines solid range and fielding ability with a power bat and a solid batting eye. His bat should profile very well to the 2B position where he will be among the leagues top hitters at that spot. With a 1.013 OPS and 27 plus plays at 2nd base over the course of his minor league career, Cox could play in the majors right now. But Florida may want to let him fully develop before starting that arbitration clock. Look for an arrival late in season 28.

11. Olmedo Gutierrez- 3B Cleveland, 21
- Often left with a late first round pick, and sometimes no first rounder at all, Cleveland has had to rebuild its minor leagues through the international market. As seen with Trenidad Gonzalez and now Gutierrez, the future remains bright in Cleveland. Olmedo won't hit for a high average in the majors with his low contact rating. But excellent power and solid batting eye should still leave him with an OPS approaching .900 with 30-40 home runs a season. He has the range and glove necessary to play 3B, but one wonders where his future position lies in Cleveland with former top prospect set to play 3B for the foreseeable future. Olmedo's future could lie at 1B or a corner outfield spot. Look for his arrival in season 28.

12. Willie Mesa- C Atlanta, 19
- A part of a strong crop of international catchers from season 26, Mesa already posses a power rating of 88 at the age of 19. A contact rating that likely won't get above 50 will keep Mesa from being among the most well-rounded hitters in the league. But solid splits, a batting eye approaching a rating of 90, and the excellent power will be more than enough to settle into a middle of the order spot in Atlanta. With a very strong arm and above average pitch calling ability, Mesa should be able to stay at catcher, making his bat all the more valuable. Atlanta likes to move quick with their prospects. Look for a possible arrival late in season 28 should Mesa continue to develop on schedule.

13. Felix Laird- SP Pittsburgh, 22
-Season 24's top overall pick, Felix looks to have his career on the fast track to the big leagues after some early shoulder problems. Shoulder injuries are always worrisome but Felix's development hasn't suffered and with a 2.80 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 22 AAA starts last season, he should get the call to the majors sometime this season, if not right out of spring training. Felix's best attribute is his knee buckling curve ball that should torture right handed hitters throughout his career.

14. Christy Marte- SP Oklahoma City, 24
- Marte was the victim of some neglect and over work after being drafted by his former owner. It's hard to say whether that has affected his development, as he only gained four points in his 2nd professional season, typically the season where a prospect improves the most. However, while Marte looked like a future top five prospect when drafted, he's still good enough to come in at 14 this season. Marte went through an odd season 26. He pitched to a 6.21 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in 13 Low A appearances before a call up to High A, where he had a 1.12 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in 11 starts. If Marte starts this season in AA, look for his arrival in OKC at some point during season 28

15. Charles Lee- SS Rochester, 21
- Lee's gaudy overall rating has yet to produce the dominating numbers one may expect. But the left handed hitting shortstop has still produced, driving in 138 runs last season in his 2nd year in High A. His bat should develop to roughly an .800 OPS level in the majors with 15-20 home run power. But it remains to see if his range and glove will develop enough to warrant staying at shortstop. Could be a future 2B or 3B with a full-time arrival in season 29

16. Alexei Infante- RP Norfolk, 22
- Norfolk is another team that has shown deep pockets in the international market and Infante, the top reliever on the list, is a product of that. Strong ratings against both right and left handed hitting and a top notch split finger fastball have Infante on track to be the future closer in Norfolk and a full time spot in the major league bullpen this season seems likely after a dominating stint in AAA last season with a 1.02 ERA. 

17. Jeremy Maduro- C Hartford, 19
- Maduro requires a bit more projection than some other prospects as he's currently rated at 57 overall. But he looks to be a catcher that will be capable of hitting for a high average with decent power and a good batting eye. Maduro's best attribute may be his strong throwing arm which will throw out plenty of base runners. Also, strong durability and health ratings will allow Maduro to catch nearly every game at a high level, a rare attribute in Capra.

18. Rich Falk- SS Washington, 22
-Excellent contact rating, solid power, and a great batting eye, Rich Falk figures to be a middle of the order for the Expos for many seasons to come. A 93 speed rating also presents an interesting wrinkle to his offensive game. The question, as it is for most shortstops out of the draft, is whether his defensive abilities will develop enough to play an effective shortstop. His future may lie at 3B. Look for Falk in the majors by season 29.

19. Tony Underwood- C Jacksonville, 21
-The 5th catcher to appear in the top 20, the catching position appears well stocked for Capra's future. Underwood boasts power that should settle in high 90s for a rating. A switch hitter, but more effective from the right handed hitter, Underwood will crush LHP in his career. He has developed well as a pitch caller, improving 12 points over the past two seasons. It remains to be seen whether Underwood will start the season at AAA where he hit 33 home runs last season, or in the majors where he could win the starting job out of spring training. Regardless, I would expect to see him in the majors at some point this season.

20. Elmer Farrell- OF Atlanta, 20
-Farrell possesses the skill set of a "three true outcomes" hitter with a power and batting eye rating that should approach 100.  But his contact rating has progressed enough since being drafted that he should be able to become a more complete hitter than the Adam Dunn's of the world. Farrell gained 11 points on his overall rating since last season and will start the season in AA. Count on his arrival at some point during season 28 in all likelihood. 

21. Nap Price- SP Pittsburgh, 23
-Nap burst onto the scene with a 1.94 ERA in 111 rookie ball innings two season ago and has steadily progressed since then. He is a true workhorse, front of the rotation type starter with a stamina rating that will likely develop into the mid-90s. A health rating of 98 bodes well for his future. Nap should be a full-time fixture in the Pittsburgh rotation by season 29.

22. Jeremi Dorsey- 1B Oklahoma City, 20
-One of my favorite prospects from this past season's draft, I would expect Dorsey to make a steady climb up this list over the next season or two. Dorsey reminds me of Seattle 1B Randy Hull in their size, position, defensive ability, and in the type of hitter each projects to be. With a power rating that should approach 100, Dorsey looks like a future 50 home run slugger. a .721 slugging percentage in 215 rookie ball AB's last season gives no indication he has fallen off of that path. I'd expect to see Dorsey in the majors by season 30 at the latest.

23. Boots Woods- SP Charlotte, 21
-With one of the more unique names in the game, Boots put together an excellent season 26 which started in High A and ultimately ended up in a short stint in the majors. A lower stamina will keep Boots from being a true workhorse starter but he'll be a solid #2 type once he's fully developed. He'll likely start the season in AAA but could the first pitcher called up to Charlotte if need be.

24. Raul Martinez- SP Norfolk, 21
- Another product of the Norfolk international scouting system, Martinez put together a dominating season 26, ending up with a 0.93 WHIP in 11 AA starts. Martinez's best attribute is his control as evidenced by a strikeout to walk ratio of over 4:1. Count on a full-time big league arrival in season 28.

25. Slash Herndon- 1B New Britain, 22
-A beneficiary of the always creative hardball dynasty name bank, Slash is not among the most heralded prospects in the New Britain system, but his minor league numbers speak for themselves. A slash line of .353./.448/.647 at AA last season stands out among four seasons of excellent production since being drafted 19th overall by Syracuse in season 23. A split versus RHP that likely will stay in the 60s will prevent Slash from replicating his minor league numbers in the majors. But he'll still be plenty productive. Look for his arrival in season 28.

26. Miles Newsome- OF New Orleans, 21
- Switch hitter, though considerably better from the right side, Newsome broke out after spending another year at AA and posted a 1.024 OPS. Newsome improved 8 points overall last season and figures to gain another 5-6 points this season so there is a fair amount of development left for him. He'll start this season at AAA and will likely arrive in the majors in season 28.

27. Alex Lorenzo- OF Ottawa, 21
- It was difficult to differentiate Lorenzo from Newsome for these two spots but Lorenzo slots in here mostly because of a slightly lesser performance than Newsome at AA last season (908 OPS) and also projects as a below average outfielder. Still, Lorenzo is a polished hitter with solid ratings across the board and should see another season of steady development with 2-3 points likely to be added on to his overall rating.

28. Pete Price- SS Sante Fe, 22
- Last season's number 1 pick, Price has all the tools to make a steady rise up this list in future seasons. With power already rated as a 91, Price hit 25 home runs in only 78 games after being drafted. My main concern would be a 44 batting eye that doesn't figure to improve much. Also, reports of a drinking problem have followed him around lately. However, if he's putting up these type of numbers while drinking heavily, Sante Fe may not want him to stop.

29. Harry Figureoa- C New Britain, 22
- Very well rounded hitter which should prove valuable if he is able to stay at catcher. That is the question though as his pitch calling rating is only 44 and doesn't project to improve much. Still, his .429 minor league on base percentage will help him find his way into a lineup somewhere, it just remains to be seen if it'll be at catcher. Likely arrival time in season 28

30. Ronn Hawkins- CF Jackson, 19
- Despite a prolonged contract hold out after being drafted and a head shot that suggests he hasn't left his high school substance abuse behind, Hawkins' ability cannot be ignored. If he reaches his potential, we're looking at a perennial gold glove centerfielder who consistently hits .300 and steals 40 bases a season. In other words, a very valuable player. Thus far, Hawkins has fulfilled his lofty hype as he hit .357 once he reported to rookie ball after being drafted. Look for a season 30 arrival to the big leagues.

31. Norm Rhodes- SP Pittsburgh, 21
- Left handed pitcher with excellent stamina and velocity. There's a bit of a concern whether his splits versus right handed hitting will improve enough to become a top of the rotation starter. But a 1.93 ERA in his first season of pro ball has helped to alleviate some concerns. He's also one of the few pitchers still utilizing a screwball. That has to be worth a few spots on the list at least. Count on seeing him in season 29

32. Jair Carerra- SP Cleveland, 20
- A bit less celebrated than some of Cleveland's other prospects, but arguably just as effective, Carrera could end up being on the more underrated players on this list. In 32 Low A starts since signing he's posted a 2.07 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP. With a stamina rating in the mid 80s and a split versus right handed hitting likely to get into the 80s as well, Carerra profiles as a strong #2 starter in a contending rotation. Given Cleveland's track record for taking it slow with prospects, we may not see Jair until late in season 29 or 30.

33. Ramon Lee- SP New Britain, 24
- Lee's journey to the major leagues has seen a number of stops between minor league levels and franchises. At age 24 he's essentially a finished product, but he's still a solid middle of the rotation option for the Squids this season. He should finally see the major leagues this season.

34. Jim Russell- CF Scranton, 21
- Scranton's top prospect, you can just about pencil in Russell for multiple gold gloves in his career in center field. 96 rated range is Russell's top attribute and while he'll never dominate with the bat, he should hit enough to still be a decent part of the lineup. I'm thinking high .600s to low .700 OPS once he gets to the majors. But Russell's defense on its own will make him a valuable commodity. He could see the major leagues this season.

35. Chris Gil- RP Rochester, 22
- Gil projects as the closer of the future in Rochester. His strong ground ball to fly ball ratio helps him keep the ball in the ball park and with a control rating and left/right split that should all end up in the mid 80s, Gil will be among the more valuable relievers in the league. He'll likely start this season in AAA and should get the call up to the majors by season 28

36. Brett Alexander- OF Washington, 21
- A herniated disk in his neck sent Alexander to the 60 day DL and ended his season prematurely. And while he had posted solid numbers up until that point, I would say he hasn't quite lived up to the expectations of being the #4 overall pick in the draft. A contact rating in the mid 40s that likely won't improve much could be to blame. Still, good power and a good range rating will make Alexander a valuable contributor to the Expos once he arrives, likely in season 28.

37. Michael Matsui- Jackson, 20
- The high priced season 25 intentional signing went through a difficult season 26 after bursting onto the scene the season before. Matsui posted a .978 OPS across two levels in his first season, but that number dropped to .742 in a full season at high A in season 26. Matsui's development did remain on a steady track as he gained nine points overall. But the Five will be looking for more production on the field as he moves up to AA this season. The other issue with Matsui is whether or not he has a strong enough glove to remain at shortstop. I'd say no. His future likely lies at 3B where his strong arm will play well for that position. Count on a season 29 arrival for Matsui if all goes well

38. Nate Iannetta- SP Scranton, 22
-A hard thrower with good stamina, Iannetta's main issue is a control rating of 48 that doesn't figure to improve much. He's walked 277 hitters in 611 minor league innings. Which isn't an egregious number, but still not good. It hasn't affected his overall numbers however. He's posted a career ERA of 2.84 in the minor leagues. But Iannetta figures to see the major leagues this season, and his control will remain a concern.

39. Lorenzo Duran- C Hartford, 23
- Duran Doesn't have the excellent power of some of the other catchers on this list, but he remains a very solid overall hitter with strong contact, left handed split, and batting  eye ratings. Good durability will allow him to catch just about every game, although a below average pitch calling rating is a concern. He should see the major leagues in season 28 after spending the season in AAA

40. Harry Diaz- C Rochester, 20
- Diaz possesses a strong combination of power, contact, and plate discipline. He'll also crush lefties and more than hold his own against RHP. Lack of exposure and experience is the only thing keep Diaz down on this list. With another season of development, likely starting at high A, Diaz should start to make his way up this list. Although we may not see him in the majors until season 29 or 30.

41. Logan Brooks- SP Anaheim, 24
- Standing tall at 6'6" out of Oklahoma, Brooks certainly sounds like your classic right handed flame throwing pitcher. But with a velocity rating of 17, Brooks gets it done in other ways. With excellent control and solid splits versus righties and lefties, all of which are still improving at a steady rate, Brooks has posted a career minor leagues ERA of 2.54 with a 1.19 WHIP. The only drawback may be his stamina rating of 60 which calls into question his ability to give the rotation 200 innings a season. Still, Brooks projects as a solid middle of the rotation starter with a likely arrival time of season 28.

42. Alex Reed- 1B St. Louis, 22
- At 6'4" 225 pounds, Reed certainly fits the profile of the slugging first baseman. And while 43 homers over a season and a half is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a .431 OBP that makes Reed stand out. A moneyballer's dream, Reed currently has a batting eye of 89 which figures to ultimately settle somewhere in the mid-90s. Another season or two of minor league development should see Reed develop into a very solid overall hitter, though without the great power potential you'd like to see from the 1st base spot. However, if he can get on base at a clip anywhere close to what he's already done in his professional career, he'll still be a valuable part of the lineup. Likely arrival is season 29.

43. Roosevelt Sherman- 2B Monterrey, 23
- The 5th pick in the season 26 draft, Sherman came into the league with a reputation as a speedster. With 99 rated speed he did not disappoint, swiping 21 bases in short season rookie ball. But his 1.035 OPS stood out as well. As he progresses through the system, we'll find out if those gaudy numbers are simply a product of being a 23 year old in rookie ball, or if he actually has a solid bat to go with his speed and defense. I tend to lean towards him settling in as a low to mid .700 OPS hitter, but his defense which projects to very good at 2nd base or possibly CF, will make him a valuable asset. Likely arrival time is season 29.

44. Tony Iglesias- 2B Ottawa, 22
- An international signing just last season, Iglesias came to Capra nearly fully developed and did not disappoint, slugging 29 home runs in just 414 AB's at AA. International prospect development does tend to stall around age 22, so it should be interesting to see how much he improves from here, but his bat is major league caliber right now. Only issue is what position suits him best. Will his range and glove develop enough to allow him to play 2nd base or is he better suited for corner outfield? Could see time in the majors this season before becoming a full-time fixture in season 28

45 Wesley Wilson- C Syracuse, 22
- A switch hitting power hitter with enough pitch calling skill to play catcher, Wilson projects as a very valuable future piece of the puzzle in Syracuse. Wilson could hit in the majors right now if necessary. But there is still a decent amount of development left for him as he gained 7 points on his contact rating, 4 versus lefties, and 7 versus righties since last season and figures to add 3-5 points on all of those ratings with another year in the minors. Count on a season 28 arrival but he could see time in the majors at some point this season if he slugs as expected at AAA.

46. Miguel Maradona- 1B Anaheim, 22
-A season 26 AA all star and futures game participant, the slugging first baseman out of the Dominican Republic has posted a career minor league slash line of .321/.396/.615. With strong left handed hitting being somewhat of a rarity in Capra, Maradona figures to be the first baseman of the future for the Anteaters. He plays a passable defense at first base, which is important for a NL franchise like Anaheim and his power rating of 82 projects well to the position. Maradona seems likely to arrive in the majors in season 28 if all goes well in AAA this season.

47. Carl Ramirez- SP Anaheim, 21
-Somewhat of a sleeper prospect as a late first rounder in season 24, Ramirez's work on the mound speaks for itself. With 15 points worth of improvement on his overall rating over the last two seasons and a 2.20 ERA in 155 innings at High A last season, Ramirez appears on track for a rotation spot in a few seasons time. Ramirez does have worrisome splits against lefties at a rating of 50. However, if he can continue to improve his rating versus righties, which currently stands at 66 and should see an improvement of approximately five points this season, Ramirez projects as a solid #3 or 4 starter in the rotation. Likely major league arrival time is season 29

48. Darryl Knapp- CF Monterrey, 23
- The 15th pick of the former Texas franchise in season 22, Knapp projects as one of the rarer commodities in Capra: a center fielder that can field his position at an above average level while also holding his own with the bat. A switch hitter with solid splits against righties and lefties, as well as a range rating of 88, Knapp figures to be a key fixture in the rebuild in Monterrey. A career .875 OPS to go with 69 plus plays in center in the minor leagues, Knapp figures to see the big leagues at some point this season, possibly right out of spring training.

49. Omar Romero- SS Atlanta, 19
- Purchased for 13 million in the international market of season 26, Romero has solid ratings across the board and adjusted very well to a late season call up to High A where he slugged .753 in nearly 100 AB's. Signed as a shortstop, his future may lie in center field or a corner outfield spot unless his glove can develop to an acceptable level for shortstop. Romero gained nine points on his overall rating since signing last season and currently sits at a 62 overall at the age of 19. He figures to see the majors at some point in season 29

50. Napoleon Maroth- OF Sacramento, 24
- Napoleon gets the nod at #50 due, in large part, to two monster seasons in Low A and High A. No one hitting attribute sticks out but a career minor league slash line of .324/.400/.682 sure does. Although a 99 speed rating must have his coaches wondering why he was only 12 for 21 stealing bases last season and only has a range of 50. Therein lies the question for Napoleon: does that range improve enough for him for him to play a serviceable LF where his bat would likely feature as a plus attribute for his position? Or is he more suited for a 1B/DH role where his hitting attributes settle into the middle of the pack? Questions surround him as he heads to AA this season with a likely major league arrival time of season 29.

*New Britain leads the league with five prospects in the top 50. Pittsburgh and Rochester come in 2nd with four each.


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