Coming into the season Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Matt Moore were the consensus top-three prospects in baseball, but now that they’re all in the majors to stay who are the minors’ most promising players?
Baseball America just released its midseason rankings update. It’s worth reading in full, so I won’t share too much, but Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy holds the top spot after annihilating the competition in low Single-A to earn a promotion to high Single-A, and Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar rates as the top position player.
Royals outfielder Wil Myers, who has been perhaps the most impressive hitter in the minors this season and is now one step from the majors at age 21, ranks third. Between Double-A and Triple-A he’s hit .328 with 27 homers and a 1.083 OPS in 82 games.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”