Posted May 1, 2014 12:08 pm

Daily Prospect Report: April 30

Games of April 30:



Joc Pederson, Dodgers AAA: 3-4, HR, RBI, BB. I don't know how Pederson plays into the Dodgers' future, but he should play in some team's future. He's hitting .398/.504/.663 with six home runs, nine stolen bases and 21 walks in 119 plate appearances. I think it's safe to say his batting eye has passed the upper-levels test. He walked 14% of the time last year in Double-A and it's 18% so far this year.


Micah Johnson, White Sox AA: 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB. Johnson stole his eighth base in this game, and he's hitting .364 in his first full taste of Double-A. He's showing an impressive eye, and his power continues to develop.


Kaleb Cowart, Angels AA: 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI. The former first-rounder out of Adel, Ga., is repeating Double-A and isn't faring that much better so far, but he is walking and running more this season. He's still young for the Texas League and has time to get back on track. He has the potential for above-average power and a great defensive profile.


Cheslor Cuthbert, Royals AA: 2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Cuthbert has been young for all of his assignments, but he's reaching the age and level where he needs to take a step forward with the bat. He's already halfway to last year's six home runs, and he's showing a better eye at the plate in his second trip to Double-A. Cuthbert has above-average raw power and the body for more, but plate discipline has hampered his in-game power. Maybe this season will be the turning point for Cuthbert.


Kyle Farmer, Dodgers A: 3-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI. The Dodgers turned Farmer into a full-time catcher after playing shortstop every day for Georgia. I've been told his defense is better than expected right now, including a good arm that played on the left side of the field for the Bulldogs. He has a ways to go defensively behind the plate, but the bat has been steady in the Midwest League, hitting .323/.356/.452 with 10 extra-base hits and four stolen bases. The potential for an athletic catcher with some barrel ability makes Farmer intriguing if the defense develops further.


D.J. Davis, Blue Jays A: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI. Davis has elite speed and the potential for above-average power from a strong frame, but the going has been rough so far for the teenager because of his raw all-around game. He's an athlete still learning to utilize his tools, so it might take a while.



Noah Syndergaard, Mets AAA: 7 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 7 K. I'm sure anyone involved with the Mets is chomping at the bit to get Syndergaard in New York permanently. He still has work to do on the changeup, and it'd be nice to see his curveball spin a little more consistently, but Syndergaard has true 2 potential behind a plus-plus-potential fastball and huge frame.


Aaron Northcraft, Braves AA: 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K. Northcraft should probably be in Gwinnett, but at this point it doesn't really matter. He's likely as ready for the majors as he'll ever be at 23 years old and a full season of Double-A under his belt. Northcraft limits walks and generates ground balls, but he's not going to miss bats, and poor location can hurt him. He has an average fastball and above-average changeup, but the curveball lags some. He has back-end potential similar to David Hale.


Julio Urias, Dodgers A+: 3 IP, 5 K. It's probably worth noting Urias is 17 years old in the California League, in case you didn't already know. Scouts salivate at the sound of his name, and he has emerged as a frontline prospect very quickly. Urias' fastball can work low-90s and touch high-90s with different variations of movement, and he can equally manipulate a curveball that projects as a plus pitch. His changeup flashes above-average, giving him the arsenal to start and likely be a frontline arm. Urias may reach the majors as a teenager, which tells you plenty about his advanced feel for pitching.


Kyle McGowin, Angels A+: 7 IP, 4 H, 4 K. Urias' counterpart was McGowin, who continues to show an advanced feel for pitching that is keeping the California League off balance through six starts. McGowin, a Savannah State product, shows a feel for three pitches, including a plus-potential slider and average changeup. He needs command to overcome what will likely be average strikeout stuff in the upper levels, but he has back-end potential.


Buck Farmer, Tigers A: 7 IP, 5 H, R/ER, BB, 12 K. Farmer should advance through the lower levels with relative ease as a Georgia Tech product. He has 43 strikeouts in 29.2 innings in the Midwest League. There's little projection left in Farmer's frame, and his fastball is probably tapped as average. The curveball and changeup flash plus potential, so he has the arsenal to start. Farmer projects as a back-end innings eater, which is a nice grab for the Tigers in the fifth round.


Evaluations are from personal observations, sources, video, and reports by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.