2016 AL “Ones to Watch” Report Card

As we pass the midway point of the MLB season and into the finals weeks of my minor league tracking period, its a good time to pause to see how the 2016 “Ones to Watch” are faring. Twenty four of my 30 MLB choices are either at the LoA or HiA level, and a host of those have been promoted to Double-A . I believe the American League OTW’s have the most to offer. There are several solid choices that follow that will have relevancy in fantasy in the coming years. If you missed the National League OTW Report Card…it can be found here.
 
Baltimore
RHP Cristian Alvarado – 21 years old
Report Card : B+
Alvarado has been solid with LoA Delmarva this season and has been on-fire since late May, sans a couple hiccup outings. He is currently 7-7, 3.56 ERA, 101 IP, 40 ER, 21 BB, 113 K
 
Boston
RHP Roniel Raudes – 18 years old
Report Card : B
Raudes is now on everybody’s radar, but has been on mine since his time in the DSL. But I didn’t know how special he could be until those 4 starts in the Gulf Coast League which vaulted him onto my “One To Watch” list for this season. Facing hitters almost 4 years older and not turning 19 until January 2017, the Nicaraguan is at LoA Greenville (8-3, 4.50 ERA, 80 IP, 85 H, 40 ER, 16 BB, 80 K) and could see a test stint at HiA Salem before the season ends. Look for him to crack the Top 10 within the Red Sox organization.
 
Chicago White Sox
RHP Thad Lowry – 21 years old
Report Card : C+
Lowry is one of those pitchers that’s tough to grade. He’s been a steady performer and has held his peripheral stats in check from his UTR-OAS mention after the 2015 season. He doesn’t miss many bats (71 K in 106.1 IP), but an increase should be forthcoming once he works out some delivery issues and improves his slider.
 
Cleveland
LHP Thomas Pannone – 22 years old
Report Card : B+
Like Lowry, Pannone also doesn’t average a strikeout per inning( 90 K in 101.2 IP), but receives a higher grade due to overall production. He has scored within my system in 12 of his 19 appearances and has been consistently in the running for the best UTR pitching prospect of the month for Indians. Matt Esparza has been one trying to push Pannone off the radar, but the lefty is making a strong case for July with his promotion to HiA Lynchburg.
 
Detroit
LHP Matt Hall – 23 years old
Report Card : A
Hall totally destroyed LoA hitters during his time at West Michigan going 8-0 with a 1.09 ERA in 12 starts. He now joins top prospect Tyler Alexander after being promoted to Hi-A Lakeland in last June. He has been the TOP UTR Pitcher for the Tigers each month this season, but his stats have grounded somewhat against the more advanced hitters at HiA, which will open the door for another UTR to take the title for July.
  
Houston
RHP Rogelio Armenteros – 22 years
Report Card : A-
Armenteros is the only UTR to make just one top mention so far this season, but somehow pulls off an A-minus grade. He was the Astros Top UTR pitcher in April and then was promoted to HiA Lancaster. I mention all the time about how the California League can blow-up one of my UTR pitcher picks, but Cuban native is holding his own. Since the late April move, he has posted a 6-2 record with a 3.31 ERA and a good upward bump in his K9 (11.2), but a bad upward trend in his BB9 rate (4.1).
 
Kansas City
LHP Jorge Rodriguez – 20 years old
Report Card : B
Rodriguez is back in the Arizona League after spending time there during the latter part of the 2015 season, after coming over the the DSL. His current stats are: 3-1, 2.70 ERA, 20 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 18 K in 5 appearances with 4 starts
 
Los Angeles Angels
RHP Jaime Barria – 20 years old
Report Card : C+
Just recently turning 20 years old, Barria has been consistent with LoA Burlington. He hasn’t tallied many punchouts (56 K) but not many free passes either (14 BB) in 86 innings. Barra hasn’t pitched past the 5 inning in any of his 18 starts. Over his last 6 starts though, Barria has posted a 2.70 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 4 walks in 30 innings.
 
Minnesota
RHP Williams Ramirez – 23 years old
Report Card : B-
Ramirez is the first of my OTW picks (NL/AL) that has been working exclusively out of the bullpen. In 18 appearances, he has a 2.43 ERA, 4 saves in 33.1 innings with 40 strikeouts and 18 walks.
 
New York Yankees
RHP Gilmael Troya – 19 years old
Report Card : C
Troya is another pitcher that saw a state-side promotion last season from the DSL, then to the Gulf Coast League. He’s repeating the GCL in 2016 with a 0-3 record, 3.98 ERA, with 19 K’s and 6 BB over 20.1 innings.
 
Oakland
RHP Angel Duno – 22 years old
Report Card : B-
I been waiting all season for Duno to crack into making a daily mention, but it just hasn’t happened. He missed a month of season which cost him the opportunity to pitch in the Midwest League All-Star game. He was proving that he was a One To Watch prior to the injury (5-3, 2.28 ERA, 67 IP, 66 H, 17 ER, 9 BB, 44 K) and is slowly working his back. In 3 of his last 4 starts, Duno was pulled after the 3rd inning, but just recently threw 5.2 scoreless innings.
 
Seattle
LHP Anthony Misiewicz – 21 years old
Report Card : C
This 18th round pick from 2015 made the jump from his debut year (Short-Season Everett) to HiA Bakersfield. With only having 46.1 innings in his short career, Misiewicz is doing OK in the Cali League. In 20 starts, he has posted a 4.47 ERA, going 5-8 in 114.2 innings with 70 strikeouts and 26 walks.
 
Tampa Bay
RHP Adrian Navas – 20 years old
Report Card : B+
Navas is currently with Short-Season Hudson Valley and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 16 innings of work. For the season he’s 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 28 IP, along with 16 strikeouts and 8 walks.
 
Texas
RHP Pedro Payano – 21 years old
Report Card :B
Payano was the Rangers Top UTR Pitcher for April and June. Payano hammered my radar with his successes in the AZL after coming over from the Dominican Summer League. With LoA Hickory this season, his current stats are: 3-3, 2.08 ERA, 73.2 IP, 59 H, 17 ER, 29 BB, 82 K. He’s holding opponents to .218 batting average with RISP that translates to 78% strand rate.
 
Toronto
RHP Yennsy Diaz – 19 years old
Report Card : D
Oh no…..as Payano has been holding runners, the Blue Jays’ Diaz has been doing the opposite and grades the lowest of all AL OTW’s. He’s allowing opposing hitters a .340 BA with runners-on and a strand rate of 55% to inflate his ERA to 6.26 with Appy League Bluefield. Besides allowing runs across the plate, his stats are comparable to his time with GCL Blue Jays in 2015, in the same amount of work. Diaz has the tools (mid-high 90’s fastball and promising curveball), so he will continue to be One to Watch.
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