MLB.com prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis released their top 100 list yesterday and to absolutely no one’s surprise 20-year-old Twins center field prospect Byron Buxton is in the top spot.
Buxton split last year between two levels of Single-A, batting .334 with 49 extra-base hits, 76 walks, and 55 stolen bases in 125 games in his first full pro season. He’s expected to begin this season at Double-A.
Buxton–who also ranked as the No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and basically everywhere else–is followed by infielder Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox, outfielder Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals, third baseman Miguel Sano of the Twins, and right-hander Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks.
Click here for the entire MLB.com list, which includes write-ups for each player.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.