Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have claimed Henry Owens off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.
Owens, 25, posted a 5.19 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 44 walks in 85 innings between 2015 and 2016. Based on that he spent all of last season in the minors, compiling a 4.21 ERA between Double-A Portland (57 innings) and Triple-A Pawtucket (69 innings).
Owens was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2013-15 seasons but has had serious command issues. Still, he’s worth a shot. The man giving it to him — Dbacks GM Mike Hazen — was with the Red Sox back in 2011 when he was drafted, so he must still see something there.
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.