MLB Prospect Watch: Checking in on Wander Franco, MacKenzie Gore, and every team's top prospect
The season is more than halfway over now, meaning it's a good time to check in on everyone's progress
With the halfway point of Major League Baseball's season passing last week, we decided this week's Prospect Watch would be dedicated to checking in on the status of every team's No. 1 prospect. For the purpose of determining who is No. 1 in each system, we're using MLB.com's set of rankings. You can find the entire set of MLB.com's rankings by clicking here.
Now, onto the Watch.
|Shortstop Jazz Chisholm continues to post an ugly slash line in Double-A. He is only 21, however, and his plethora of average or better tools should keep him near the top of Arizona's list heading into the offseason.|
|Cristian Pache is a 20-year-old center fielder with a well-above-average glove and an .887 OPS in Double-A. Yes, the Braves may have another star on their hands. |
|Teenage right-hander Grayson Rodriguez is dominating in A-ball. His stuff isn't quite as good as the numbers make it look, but he's a name to keep in mind as the Orioles continue their rebuild.|
|Triston Casas was Boston's first-round pick in 2018. He has the chance to be an above-average hitter. The question is which infield corner he'll end up at for the long haul.|
|Once shortstop Nico Hoerner recovers from injury, he's likely to jump back on the fast track to the majors. He's an instinctual player with a good hit tool.|
|Outfielder Luis Robert should reach the majors sometime next season. He could team with Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, and Yoan Moncada to give the White Sox the makings of a good young offensive core.|
|Taylor Trammell was a darkhorse pick to end the season as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. He isn't having a good enough year for that, but the tools are here for him to become an above-average player in due time.|
|Right-hander Triston McKenzie is still working his way back from a strained back. His athleticism and fastball-breaking ball combination give him a chance to develop into a frontline starter.|
|Brendan Rodgers' initial big-league run hasn't gone as planned. You should still bet on his bat heading forward. |
|Casey Mize remains out with an arm injury. He could've debuted in the majors later this season if he were healthy and the Tigers weren't a complete mess.|
|Forrest Whitley has had a brutal season. He still has big-time stuff and likely a big-time future, but first he struggled and now he's hurt. Horrible.|
|Brady Singer is already in Double-A after being the No. 18 pick in the 2018 draft. He has a lower release point than your typical starter, but also has a chance at being a high-quality starter sooner than later.|
|Yes, the Angels may have another star-level young outfielder joining them before long. Jo Adell is an explosive athlete who may have plus or better tools across the board.|
|Keibert Ruiz has a .664 OPS in Double-A, but he's also a 20-year-old catcher with more walks than strikeouts against competition that's older than him. There aren't many better backstop prospects in the game.|
|Sixto Sanchez has been a little too hittable in Double-A for our liking. But he should reach the majors next season thanks to his high-quality stuff.|
|Keston Hiura is back in the majors. All he does is hit. Then hit some more.|
|The No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, Royce Lewis entered the season looking like a safe bet to become the top prospect in baseball before season's end. About that -- he hasn't performed up to snuff in High-A. He's young and the tools remain, but it's fair to say this hasn't been a good season.|
|Speaking of young shortstops having so-so seasons: Andres Gimenez might be the Mets shortstop of the future. He's just not showing reason to think he's the Mets shortstop of the present, so long as the present is the 2019 season.|
|We covered Estevan Florial a few weeks back. He hasn't shaken off the rust in full just yet, but his secondary tools make him a relatively safe prospect overall.|
|Jesus Luzardo has a good chance at impacting the Athletics' rotation in the second half.|
|Alec Bohm is new to Double-A still, but we think there's a chance he reaches the majors before the end of 2020. Especially if he hits the way he has at his other minor-league stops.|
|You've seen Mitch Keller make a few appearances in the majors by now. He's turned his season around after a shaky start.|
|MacKenzie Gore is arguably the top pitching prospect in the minors. Expect the Clayton Kershaw comparisons to continue to roll in thanks to his delivery and curveball.|
|Catcher Joey Bart was the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft. He's San Francisco's catcher of the future and he should be on the rise now that he's returned from a broken hand.|
|Jarred Kelenic looked like a star prior to his promotion to High-A. He's scuffled a bit there, but he's a 19-year-old with good tools.|
|Speaking of talented teenagers needing to adjust to a new level: meet Nolan Gorman, who may end up being the steal of the 2018 first round thanks to his bat.|
|Shortstop Wander Franco is probably the best prospect in baseball. He has superstar potential, and he's taken to High-A with aplomb.|
|Hans Crouse has an unorthodox delivery. He's a big-bodied right-hander with a high-grade fastball-slider combination. Provided the changeup and command improve, he could be a front-of-the-rotation arm.|
|Bo Bichette's big-league debut has been delayed due to injury. He might just get to make it at some point in the second half.|
|Carter Kieboom struggled in his first big-league cameo. Rest assured, he'll get another crack. It'll be interesting to see if the Nationals shift him to second base, or do something with Trea Turner instead.|
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