Colorado’s starting pitchers have combined for an NL-worst 5.75 ERA, so the Rockies are calling up a pair of prospects to join the rotation.
Alex White, who was acquired from the Indians along with Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last season, will start tonight. Christian Friedrich, who was the 25th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will make his big-league debut tomorrow night.
White got knocked around in his first taste of the majors last season, posting a 7.01 ERA while serving up 15 homers in 51 innings, but the 23-year-old right-hander’s numbers in the minors have consistently been very impressive. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA at every stop, including a 2.42 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio with just one homer allowed in nine starts at Triple-A.
Friedrich’s minor-league numbers aren’t so pretty, as his ERA was above 5.00 both last season and in 2010, but his secondary numbers have remained strong and the 24-year-old left-hander posted a 3.00 ERA and 27/4 K/BB ratio in 30 innings at Triple-A to earn the call-up.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.