With the draft now easing into it’s third day, rounds 11-40, it’s a good time to look at some of the guys that ended May with a full stat line and might be looking at a promotion for themselves up to the majors soon


International League


Bobby Bradley , 1B CLE – The Indians sixth-ranked prospect is off to a hot start at Triple-A Columbus with 16 home runs, 45 RBI and 30 runs scored in 53 games while hitting .282/.353/.589. Those home runs are important to his game as power is the only real tool he has going for him and he will likely DH at the MLB-level since his defense at first base is below-average. The issue for Bradley has always been getting the average high enough as his past two best marks for full seasons was .269 in 108 games at A-Ball in 2015 and then .251 in 131 games at Double-A in 2017. While he has shown he can hit the ball to all fields this year, there are some unsustainable parts of his hot start, namely the 34.0-percent HR/FB rate, nearly twice his career mark, and his 33.2-percent K-rate in his 85 games at Triple-A dating back to last season. The Indians do need some oomph in their lineup but Bradley might have to show a bit more before getting the call to the bigs to be that oomph.

Ryan Mountcastle , 3B/1B BAL – Mountcastle has been progressing pretty smoothly through the O’s system since being drafted in 2015, but this year, his first at Triple-A, the corner infielder is exceeding expectations. In 48 games, the 22-year-old is slashing .328/.351/.567 with a 11 home runs, 41 RBI, 34 runs, and a steal. Now certainly the new ball at Triple-A is helping to a degree, however in an abbreviated 102 games at Double-A last year, he slashed .297/.341/.464 with 13 home runs, 63 runs, 59 RBI, and two steals after missing the start of the year with a fractured right wrist, which surely took some power out of the bat. Mountcastle has made the switch to almost exclusively playing first base this year and has shown adequate defense to play there in the majors. This is a lost season for Baltimore obviously but with the start to the year that Mountcastle has had, a second-half call-up could be in his future as the O’s continue to see what they have in the way of rebuilding with.

Willi Castro , SS DET – Castro is a switch-hitting defensive wizard of a shortstop that Detroit pried from Cleveland in the Leonys Martin deal in July of last year. Defense isn’t his only tool though as the bat plays well in a quintessential shortstop sort of way. He will hit for average and steal bags but the power is a bit sub-par (10-12 homers a year) and he’s showing that with his start at Triple-A Toledo, slashing .337/.411/.495 with three home runs, 35 runs, 26 RBI, and eight steals in 50 games for the Mud Hens. Detroit is likely just going to let him get seasoned down at Triple-A for much of this year and use their stopgap signings this offseason to hold down the shortstop spot in the bigs.


Mitch Keller, RHP PIT – After coming up for a spot start as the 26th man on the roster for the Pirates doubleheader a week ago, Keller is back at Triple-A Indianapolis picking up right where he left off. He’s now pitched 53 innings on the farm this year with a 3.40 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 10.36 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, 27-percent K-rate, and a 1.36 WHIP. Now for the caliber of pitching prospect he is, those numbers aren’t great, but they are using the same ball as the big-league arms are and that has inflated ERAs across the board. I have broken down Keller before, so this is more of an update, but he still possesses the raw stuff to be a future ace of the Pirates rotation, he just needs some work on command in the minors first.

Dylan Cease, RHP CWS – Cease’s name has been bandied about most of the season as the next guy to come up, not just for Chicago, but as the next starter to come up. Meanwhile at Triple-A Charlotte, Cease has pitched 52 innings while posting a 3.46 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 10.21 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, 26.9-percent K-rate, and 1.37 WHI, and no I didn’t just copy Keller’s stat line. Since he was the centerpiece of the José Quintana trade in 2017, he has been considered the top pitching prospect for the White Sox even when he was in A-Ball. He has three plus-pitches in the fastball, curveball, and slider and a major-league average changeup that has improved the last couple of seasons, all of which make a repertoire good enough to be an impact number-two pitcher. The only reason he won’t be an ace is because of control issues that continue to be a problem for him, though they have improved with a more repeatable delivery, especially this year.

Pacific Coast League


Luis Urías , 2B SD – Urias was up with the Padres earlier this year, however after posting a lowly .083/.241/.125 slash line in 24 at-bats (just two hits in that span), he was sent back to Triple-A El Paso. As a member of the Chihuahuas though, it’s been a different story for the 22-year-old as he’s slashing .361/.456/.717 with 14 home runs, 11 doubles, three triples, 40 runs, 32 RBI, and four steals in 42 games. Now keep in mind that again, Triple-A is using the juiced ball, and that the Pacific Coast League is a hitter’s league but that start is still better in most categories than his 2018 season at Triple-A over 120 games. He’s also showing a better approach at the plate with a lower K-rate and a higher BB-rate than his last time at El Paso indicating he may have found his groove again and a call-up is likely not too far away considering San Diego’s second base position ranks near the bottom offensively across baseball.

Yordan Alvarez , OF/1B HOU – Alvarez is already having the best year of his pro career and we’re just 53 games into the Triple-A season at Round Rock. His .355/.451/.765 slash line with 22 homers, 68 RBI, 46 runs, and two steals have him in the top two spots of the PCL in every category except steals, clearly, and batting average where he’s fifth. Perhaps the reason the Astros haven’t called him up yet is because this is a career year for him, despite him having the tool set to keep the power and a relatively high average going at the major-league level. He has yet to commit an error in the outfield this year so it shouldn’t be much longer until Alvarez is patrolling left field at Minute Maid Park.

Jorge Mateo , SS OAK – Mateo has been a guy that’s been a name for a while now, he had that 82-steal season four years ago already, but he’s really coming to the forefront of A’s prospects with his start to the 2019 season. In 54 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, Mateo is slashing .335/.369/.565 with eight home runs, 46 runs, 45 RBI, and 13 steals with a .410 BABIP and .389 wOBA. This is his second season at Triple-A and last year didn’t go nearly as well with a .230/.280/.353 slash in 131 games with three long balls, 50 runs, 45 RBI, and 25 steals, so as you can see he’s already equaled or surpassed a few of those stats in 2.5 times fewer games. Even though he’s been a name for a while, he’s still just 23 years old and it was thought, when he was in the Yankees system, that Mateo would have enough pop to hit 12-15 homers a year while stealing 30-40 bags in the majors. Now even with the hot start there are a few issues with his line, namely the 4.6-percent walk rate and the seven times caught stealing. If he can walk more and keep that gap-to-gap power (15 doubles and nine triples this year) Mateo could be leading off for the A’s while playing up the middle in Oakland in the second half.


Zac Gallen, RHP MIA – Gallen was mentioned in the previous Who’s Hot piece for the end of April and his stat line is just as good this time around too. The 6’2” 191-pound, 23-year-old righty has been absolutely dominant in the PCL this year, a league in which the league-wide ERA two weeks ago was 5.70. Gallen, over 81 innings, has a 1.67 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 11.0 K/9, 1.67 BB/9, 0.78 HR/9, 33.9-percent K-rate, 0.69 WHIP, and a .149 BAA. This is his third time at Triple-A between the Cardinals and the Marlins and over those 235 innings, Gallen’s posted a 2.95 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 9.88 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 27.2-percent K-rate, and 1.17 WHIP so this year isn’t necessarily a big-time fluke. He fits the role of a number-three starter with a nice four-pitch mix that he can move inside and outside and get batters guessing on the run of what pitch is coming next between his cutter, fastball, curve, and change. Miami should be calling him up later in June.

Jake Woodford, RHP STL – One guy that the change in balls has really helped for the better is Woodford, the 24th-ranked prospect in the Cardinals organization. In 64 innings at Triple-A Memphis last year, Woodford posted a 4.50 ERA, 4.81 FIP, 5.48 xFIP, 6.33 K/9, 3.80 BB/9, a 15.9-percent K-rate, and a .254 BAA. This year in 70 innings at Triple-A Memphis, he’s posted a 3.06 ERA, 4.81 FIP, 5.95 xFIP, 8.02 K/9, 4.71 BB/9, 22.0-percent K-rate, and a .194 BAA. So in nearly the same innings, his FIP is the same but his strikeouts have gone up and the batting average against dropped, all indicating he’s getting benefit from more movement in the MLB ball compared to the lack of movement in the Triple-A ball from last year. If Génesis Cabrera doesn’t stick in the rotation and they keep Alex Reyes in the pen, Woodford might get a peak at the final rotation spot, but he’s nothing more than a fifth starter in the majors.