Bonus Cape Cod Prospects: Nos. 11-20

I ranked the Cape Cod League’s Top 10 Prospects, but that didn’t even cover the number of first-round picks (14) that the oldest and best college summer circuit had in the 2016 Draft. So here are prospects 11-20 for your consideration, all of whom are eligible for the 2017 Draft with the exception of the two sophomores:

11. Garrett Cave, rhp, Hyannis (Tampa, Jr. in 2017): After an unsuccessful spring as a starter at Florida International, he led the Cape with 10 saves and rivaled Martin as the best pure arm in the league. Cave pairs a 94-96 mph fastball that can reach 98 with a power curveball, though he’ll have to find the strike zone more consistently to realize his upside as a closer. He’s transferring to NCAA Division II Tampa for his junior year.

12. Konnor Pilkington, lhp, Brewster (Mississippi State, So.): A rare 18-year-old in the Cape League, he pitched in Mississippi State’s weekend rotation as a freshman in the spring and fashioned a 1.37 ERA in the summer. Pilkington is a strong-bodied lefty whose sound delivery allows him to throw strikes with a low-90s fastball, a curveball and changeup that all can become above-average offerings.

13. Quinn Brodey, of, Cotuit (Stanford, Jr.): He overcame a slow start to bat .391 in the final four weeks of the season while showing the potential for solid tools across the board, with the exception of his arm. He barrels balls consistently and manages the strike zone well, giving him the chance to hit for power and average and profile as a regular left fielder. (more…)

Bonus Team USA Prospects: Nos. 11-20

I wrote about the U.S. collegiate national team’s 10 best prospects for MLBPipeline.com yesterday, but 10 was just an arbitrary cutoff to stop me from writing a 3,000-word article. There were more interesting players on Team USA and I have plenty more notes on them, so let’s rank prospects 11-20:

11. Evan Skoug, c, Texas Christian (Jr. in 2017): Team USA’s best all-around catcher has an effective left-handed bat and the strength for double-digit home run power. Skoug has worked hard to make himself an adequate to average defender with a quick release on throws.

12. Jake Burger, 3b, Missouri State (Jr.): Though he slugged just .373 and went homerless in 59 at-bats after going deep 21 times during the spring, scouts still took note of his plus right-handed raw power. USA Baseball officials praised Burger as a quality defender, while scouts liked his hands and arm but weren’t as enthused about his range.

13. Keston Hiura, of, UC Irvine (Jr.): Though he couldn’t play the field because of an elbow injury and was only a part-time starter at DH, he led the team with three homers in 38 at-bats and pinch-homered to clinch the series win over Cuba. The recipient of some Rob Refsnyder comparisons, Hiura might be as pure a hitter as there was on Team USA and could raise his stock if he shows he’s capable of playing second base next spring. (more…)

Callis Self 10-Round Drafts, 2003-16

Here’s my complete list of self 10-round Drafts, dating back to 2003. I believe I’ve gotten better with more experience, though my 2012 effort doesn’t necessarily support that line of thinking.

Through late June 2016, I had picked 34 big leaguers (indicated in boldface), with 2009 draftees Jabari Blash and Ryan Schimpf the latest to make it. That total doesn’t include Luke Hochevar, whom I failed to sign in 2005.

The columns where I explain my thinking can be found in Baseball America’s archives (2003-13) and at MLBPipeline.com (2014-16).

2016 Hypothetical Draft (Padres picks)
Round Player, Pos, School Real Life
1st (No. 8) Kyle Lewis, of, Mercer Sea, 1st
1st (No. 24) Dakota Hudson, rhp, Mississippi State StL, 1st
1st (No. 25) Joey Wentz, lhp, HS/Kansas Atl, supp. 1st
2nd Bryan Reynolds, of, Vanderbilt SF, 2nd
Supp. 2nd Cole Stobbe, 3b, HS/Nebraska Phi, 3rd
3rd Jon Duplantier, rhp, Rice Ari, 3rd
4th Jameson Fisher, 1b, Southeastern Louisiana CWS, 4th
5th Conner Capel, of, HS/Texas Cle, 5th
6th Ulysses Cantu, 3b/c, HS/Texas Cle, 6th
7th Garrett Williams, lhp, Oklahoma State SF, 7th
8th Ryan Moseley, rhp, Texas Tech Bal, 8th
9th Boomer White, 3b, Texas A&M SD, 10th
10th Chris Hall, rhp, Elon Tor, 14th
2015 Hypothetical Draft (Brewers picks)
Round Player, Pos, School Real Life
1st (No. 15) Jon Harris, rhp, Missouri State Tor, 1st
Supp. 1st Donnie Dewees, of, North Florida ChC, 2nd
2nd Michael Matuella, rhp, Duke Tex, 3rd
3rd Trey Cabbage, 3b, HS/Tennessee Min, 4th
4th Demi Orimolye, of, HS/Canada Mil, 4th
5th Blake Hickman, rhp, Iowa CWS, 7th
6th Steven Duggar, of, Clemson SF, 6th
7th Jaret Hellinger, lhp, HS/Georgia Atl, 20th
8th Travis Maezes, 3b, Michigan KC, 13th
9th Austin Byler, 1b, Nevada Ari, 11th
10th Cole Bauml, of, Northern Kentucky Det, 10th
Note: Supplemental first-rounder was 40th overall choice.

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Callis Self 10-Round Drafts, 2003-15

Here’s my complete list of self 10-round Drafts, dating back to 2003. I like to think I’ve gotten better over time. Through the end of June 2015, I had picked 31 big leaguers (indicated in boldface), not including Luke Hochevar (whom I failed to sign in 2005). My blog post about my 2014 selections is here.

2015 Hypothetical Draft (Brewers picks)
Round Player, Pos, School Real Life
1st (No. 15) Jon Harris, rhp, Missouri State Tor, 1st
Supp. 1st Donnie Dewees, of, North Florida ChC, 2nd
2nd Michael Matuella, rhp, Duke Tex, 3rd
3rd Trey Cabbage, 3b, HS/Tennessee Min, 4th
4th Demi Orimolye, of, HS/Canada Mil, 4th
5th Blake Hickman, rhp, Iowa CWS, 7th
6th Steven Duggar, of, Clemson SF, 6th
7th Jaret Hellinger, lhp, HS/Georgia Atl, 20th
8th Travis Maezes, 3b, Michigan KC, 13th
9th Austin Byler, 1b, Nevada Ari, 11th
10th Cole Bauml, of, Northern Kentucky Det, 10th
Note: Supplemental first-rounder was 40th overall choice.
2014 Hypothetical Draft (Rockies picks)
Round Player, Pos, School Real Life
1st (No. 8) Kyle Freeland, lhp, Evansville Col, 1st
Supp. 1st Forrest Wall, 2b, HS/Florida Col, supp. 1st
2nd Sean Reid-Foley, rhp, HS/Florida Tor, 2nd
3rd Jakson Reetz, c, HS/Nebraska Was, 3rd
4th Trace Loehr, ss, HS/Oregon Oak, 6th
5th John Curtiss, rhp, Texas Min, 6th
6th Greg Allen, of, San Diego State Cle, 6th
7th Trenton Kemp, of, HS/California Bos, 15th
8th Dean Deetz, rhp, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC Hou, 11th
9th A.J. Vanegas, rhp, Stanford LAD, 11th
10th Richard Prigatano, of, Long Beach State Col, 11th
Note: Supplemental first-rounder was 35th overall choice.

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The Top 100 Financial Report, 2015 Edition

If you want scouting reports and videos for the most talented players in the Minor Leagues, check out MLBPipeline.com’s just-released Top 100 Prospects list. If you want to know what it cost to sign those prospects, you’ve come to the right place.

The Top 100 Financial Report is back for the second straight year (the 2014 edition can be found here.)

The 2015 Top 100 Prospects received a total of $222,453,430 in bonuses. Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy got Major League contracts — which no longer can be given to drafted or foreign amateurs under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement — that included an additional $26,225,000 in guarantees. That brings the total to $248,678,430, an average of nearly $2.5 million per prospect and just slightly less than the Dodgers’ record payroll of $257,283,410 last year.

Seventy-two of the prospects landed seven-figure bonuses, while 10 of them topped $5 million in guarantees. Below are the financial highlights from the Top 100, including some recognition for the agents who orchestrated the biggest deals and the scouts who stretched their teams’ dollars the furthest:

The Five Highest Guarantees

1. Cubs OF Jorge Soler, No. 22 on the Top 100 ($6 million bonus, $30 million guarantee). If he had waited another three days to sign in 2012, the Cuban defector would have been subject to the current CBA and unable to receive a big league contract. Soler already has collected $10 million and can void the final three years and $12 million on his deal if he’s arbitration-eligible. Agency: Praver Shapiro Sports Management.

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Close-But-Not-Quite-Top-100 Prospects To Watch

We released the MLBPipeline.com Top 100 Prospects list on Friday, and as always, there wasn’t enough room to include everyone I like. With that in mind, I’ve listed below (alphabetically) 20 more prospects who have caught my eye, some of whom made my personal Top 100 but couldn’t crack the official list once I combined my choices with Jonathan Mayo’s and we got feedback from industry sources.

A year ago, I identified 15 prospects as the Cream Of The Not-Quite-Top-100 Crop. That group included Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford, Reds outfielder Jesse Winker, who have soared all the way to Nos. 21 and 26 on the current Top 100.

Ozhaino Albies, ss, Braves. A younger version of Jose Peraza — with a stronger arm that would enhance his chances of staying at shortstop if Andrelton Simmons weren’t in Atlanta — who hit .364/.446/.444 when he made his U.S. debut at age 17 last year.

Garin Cecchini, 3b/of, Red Sox. He’s blocked in Boston and uncharacteristically struggled at times in 2014, but he’s still one of the best pure hitters in the Minors.

Michael Feliz, rhp, Astros. He’s a work in progress but it’s hard not to like his combination of a mid-90s fastball, power breaking ball, promising changeup and sturdy build. (more…)

The AFL Not-Quite-Top-25 Team

The talent in the Arizona Fall League was better than usual this year — and it’s usually pretty good. As a result, we increased the MLBPipeline.com AFL Top Prospects list from 20 to 25.

That still wasn’t enough to include all of the intriguing players I saw in 2 1/2 weeks in Arizona, however. So I’ve put together the team below of the best prospects who couldn’t crack our Top 25 (Jonathan Mayo also breaks down his favorite AFL extras at his blog here):

Peter O’Brien, c/1b, Diamondbacks (Salt River)
He was one of the most dangerous power hitters in the AFL, finishing third with five homers, and also has a strong arm. I’d like O’Brien more if he didn’t swing and miss so much and didn’t look so rough defensively at catcher and first base.

Patrick Kivlehan, 1b, Mariners (Surprise)
I like Dan Vogelbach’s (Cubs/Mesa) bat and approach, but the baserunning and defense were such negatives that I’m going with Kivlehan here. The former Rutgers defensive back topped the AFL with 22 RBIs, has enticing raw power and fits better at first base than third base. So does fellow Mariners slugging prospect D.J. Peterson.

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AFL Prospects To Watch

If you’re not ready for the baseball season to end after the World Series, the Arizona Fall League is a godsend. Many of the game’s top prospects continue to play through mid-November in Arizona, which made identifying which AFLers I’m looking forward to seeing the most a difficult task because I was limited to just one position player and one pitcher.

So I’ve decided to expand on my choices of Twins outfielder Byron Buxton and White Sox right-hander Francellis Montas, and pick an entire team of AFL players worth watching:

Justin O’Conner, c, Rays (Peoria)
O’Conner has a cannon arm and promising power potential as well. In a light AFL year for backstops, slugging Peter O’Brien (Diamondbacks/Salt River) also stands out but probably won’t stick behind the plate for the long term.

Josh Bell, 1b, Pirates (Scottsdale)
How are the Pirates going to sort out their outfield logjam? One way is to see if Bell can handle first base. Mesa is loaded at first base with Matt Olson (Athletics) and Dan Vogelbach (Cubs), Nos. 2 and 4 on the MLBPipeline.com First Base Top 10.

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Bickford Will Attend CC Of Southern Nevada

Phil Bickford, a former first-round pick projected to go very early in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, will attend the Community College of Southern Nevada next spring, according to a source familiar with the situation.

After starring in the Cape Cod League this summer, Bickford left Cal State Fullerton after one season to make himself eligible for next year’s Draft. Had he returned to the Titans, he would have had to wait until after his junior season in 2016 to turn pro.

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Combining The Cape Lists

I’ve spent the last two weeks ranking the top 10 pitching prospects and the top 10 hitting prospects in the Cape Cod League. The most prestigious summer collegiate circuit has produced more than 1,000 big leaguers — including more than 200 who have been active this year — and 13 first-round picks in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. It’s a terrific destination to see many of the stars of tomorrow today.

I pushed my word counts to give detailed scouting reports of those 20 players, but my notebook is full of much more information. So I’m going to present an overall Cape Top 30 list here, combining the arms and bats. If a player was covered in one of the two Top 10s, I’ll let you click the links above to check out his details. If he’s new on this list, I’ll provide a quick report.

All of the players below are eligible for the 2015 Draft, with the exception of Garrett Williams (No. 19).

1. Walker Buehler, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (Vanderbilt, Jr. in 2015).

2. Phil Bickford, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (CC of Southern Nevada, So.).

3. Ian Happ, of, Harwich Mariners (Cincinnati, Jr.).

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