By Jim Brown
The Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday has a wide variety of UTR pitchers on their roster. It was fun breaking down the vast collection to follow, who will no doubt overshadow the few top prospect pitchers also on the roster.
Tejay Antone (Dayton – Cincinnati) 21 years old
- A fringy UTR prospect as a 5th round pick in 2014, Antone was limited as a starter in the rookie leagues last season. Half of his starts were four innings or less which would have kept him from my daily tracking. Thats not the case for 2015, as the right-hander has made 5 UTR Mentions. Most came in May when Antone posted a 1.80 ERA with a 6.0 K/BB ratio in 35 innings.
Shane Dawson (Lansing – Toronto) 21 years old
- A true homegrown product is Dawson, who hails from Canada and was drafted out of a Alberta high school in the 17th round in 2012. The left-hander is steadily progressing through the Blue Jay system and has had success at every level. He is also building an impressive UTR resume in earning a 2014 UTR-OAS for the Jays and has been named as a 2015 Top AL UTR Pitcher for April and May. The TPS system loves Dawson when I selected him at the start of the 2014 season as “One To Watch“
Thomas Dorminy (Fort Wayne – San Diego) 23 years old
- Its nice to see the Rangers UTR “One To Watch” for 2015 make the All-Star roster. He’s been up and down this season, but had a solid month of May where he earned the Top UTR AL Pitcher of the Month for the Rangers system.
James Farris (South Bend – Chicago Cubs) 23 years old
- The right-handed Farris was taken in the 9th round in 2014 and saw limited action which wasn’t enough to make my post-season list. He’s the closer for South Bend and has picked up 8 saves over 20 appearances.
Brian Hunter (Dayton – Cincinnati) 22 years old
- Another 9th round pick from 2014 that closing out games. Hunter has 7 saves over 21 appearances.
Joe Jimenez (West Michigan – Detroit) 20 years old
- Jimenez was a 2014 “One To Watch” and lived to that billing in the New York-Penn League. He went 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA over 23 appearances and collected 4 saves. He struck out 41 and walked only 6 in 26.2 innings and earned a spot as a UTR-OAS for the Tigers system.
Tyler Mahle (Dayton – Cincinnati) 20 years old
- Mahle is ranked as the Reds #26 prospect with Baseball America. It was this notoriety that kept him from being named as a “One To Watch” in the Cincinnati system, which went to Jacob Constante who’s with Pioneer League Billings Mustangs. Either way, Mahle should be tracked closely based on the data within my system. The left-handers TPS score has held constant since coming out of the DSL (.098) and completing the AZL in 2014 (.102). Mahle has a .101 TPS coming into the All-Star Break and if he holds that rate thru the second half, he should receive consideration as a top prospect. He was recently mentioned as a top NL UTR Pitcher for May.
Jeremy Null (South Bend – Chicago) 21 years old
- This 15th round pick in 2014 didn’t put up the numbers to receive notice in my daily tracking scheme. He came out of the gates in April like American Pharoah in getting 3 UTR mentions out of his 4 starts. In 22.2 innings, the righty posted a 0.79 ERA and 23 strikeouts without issuing a walk. These kind of stats, no doubt, had him placed as the top NL UTR Pitcher for the Cubs.
Chris Pike (Bowling Green – Tampa Bay) 22 years old
- The 9th round in 2014 appears it was prime for finding UTR prospects. Pike is the third pitcher on the East squad that was selected during that round. At the Break, he’s 6-2 with a 3.65 ERA which took a spike after giving up 7 earned runs during his last outing on June 16th.
J.D. Underwood (Great Lakes – Los Angeles Dodgers) 22 years old
- We started the East Division with a 5th rounder, so we will end the lineup with another, in Underwood (2013). Again, the 5th round contains my fringy UTR’s, as they sit on that fence of top-prospectdom. The right-hander should provide the Dodgers’ organization with a serviceable arm in their future bullpen. He’s currently 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and two saves over 18 appearances.
Cameron Booser (Cedar Rapids – Minnesota) 23 years old
- Booser is another pitcher that found lots of love within the TPS system. He was the top ranked relief pitcher within the Twins system. The undrafted free agent from 2013 is experiencing some control issues (6.8 BB9), but once he zeros-in…he’ll be lights outs. Keep an eye on Booser.
Austin Chrismon (Lancaster – Houston) 22 years old
- Speaking of lights out control, Chrismon put-up a 6:1 K:BB rate in eleven LoA appearances. He was recently promoted to HiA Lancaster, so its unlikely he will making an All-Star appearance.
Ethan Elias (Kane County – Arizona) 22 years old
- Elias stated last month “If you get outs, you stay. If you don’t get outs, guess what, nobody’s safe. The Canadian native was drafted in the 22nd round by the Cubs back in 2011 and found himself on the latter part of that statement after 2013. Really, it wasn’t about getting outs (his peripherals were solid), it was more about not holding baserunners with a 52% strand rate. The Cubs parted ways and the right-hander found himself floundering in the Indy Leagues in 2014. The Diamondback’s plucked numerous Indy League players during the off-season, including Elias. Going back to his quote, Eilas found himself getting a restart on his career, but this time as a starter, when Jeferson Mejia dropped from the rotation.
Cody Geyer (Kane County – Arizona) 23 years old
- As a relief pitcher, Geyer didn’t have the greatest of seasons in 2014. But he did decrease his TPS rate from 2013 by.050 points, which raised some hope for improvement for 2015. He has further cut is TPS score by another .030 going into the Break. The 14th round pick in 2011 still has some control issues (4.1 BB9) to work out, but the 0.882 WHIP is where he’s made vast progress.
Trevor Hildenberger (Cedar Rapids – Minnesota) 24 years old
- I mentioned how those drafted in the 5th round are my fringy UTR prospects. Hildenberger falls into another category… as a 24 year old pitching at the LoA level and will turn 25 later this year. This being that he is usually 2+ years older than the hitters he’s facing. Some tolerance must be given, and in the case of the right-handed Hildenberger, his 22nd round selection in 2014 receives consideration. So acknowledge his stats (2-1, 7 Saves, 0.52 ERA, 34.1 IP, 5 BB, 43 K) that Hildenberger may be a late-bloomer.
Felix Jorge (Cedar Rapids – Minnesota) 21 years old
- Cedar Rapids third pitcher to make the A-S roster would be their best. Jorge took over the role of staff ace when Stephen Gonsalves was promoted to HiA Fort Myers. One area of concern for right-hander would be the recent rash of HR’s surrendered (6 over his last 5 starts).
Luis Perdomo (Peoria- St Louis) 22 years old
- Perdomo bounced through 3 levels last season, but in the wrong direction. He started at HiA Palm Beach, was demoted to Short-Season State College, before ending up at LoA Peoria. Back in Peoria for 2015, Perdomo hopes for some stability to continue his development in a full-season environment. His upper 90’s fastball may be best reserved for the bullpen though.
Daniel Poncedeleon (Peoria- St Louis) 23 years old
- 2014….9th round….equals another UTR. Enjoy this one, because Poncedeleon won’t be under the radar much longer. Ive touted the right-hander numerous times already this season. It started with a successful debut season when he made the UTR-OAS list for the Cardinal system. This parlayed into being named as a 2015 “One To Watch”. He started the 2015 season with multiple UTR mentions (4) and the Cards Top NL UTR Pitcher for April.
Lukas Schiraldi (Clinton – Seattle) 21 years old
- Schiraldi leapt on scouts radar after a very successful 2013 Cape Cod performance. It didn’t translate into the collegiate season with the Texas Longhorns and the big-bodied right-hander slipped to the Mariners, where he was taken in the 15th round in 2014. He made several watch lists prior the draft and one blog comped Schiradi as the next Adam Wainwright. Heady and lofty prediction that we will watch very carefully. With a current TPS score of .134, Schiraldi has a lot of work to do.
Markus Solbach (Kane County – Arizona) 23 years old
- Solbach has been around since 2011 when he was with the Twins organization. Minnesota released the right-hander in the middle of the 2013 season and he signed with Windy City of the Indy League. As I stated with fellow A-S selection Ethan Elias, the Diamondback scouts were scouring the Independent Leagues for talent and found Solbach in June 2014. The D-Backs have to be proud that two of those signings are MWL All-Stars.