Archive for the ‘September Call Ups’ Category

MLB Network Announces Top-50 Prospects In Baseball

January 28, 2010

Last night, announced their top-50 prospects in baseball through a special on the MLB Network. While there were few surprises on their list, there were a couple of players that caught my eye.

No. 8: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Pirates promoted Andrew McCutchen to the major leagues last season, Alvarez became the jewel of the Pirates’ farm system. The Pirates really need Alvarez to become the player they think he can be.

No. 24: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays. Beckham was the No.1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. As a matter of fact, Alvarez was the No.2 pick in that draft.

The Rays took a chance on the less polished Beckham and he struggled somewhat in his first year of professional baseball. Beckham is only 19, so he has plenty of time to figure things out, but 2010 is a big year. The Rays could have drafted Buster Posey.

No. 28: Casey Kelly, Boston Red Sox. Kelly and the Red Sox organization were faced with a big decision in 2009. Where was Kelly going to play full-time moving forward? Shortstop or pitcher? Kelly is now a full-time pitcher and it was the right decision.

Kelly had a 2.05 ERA in 95 minor league innings last year. He could be in the Red Sox starting rotation by 2012.

No. 30: Yonder Alonso, Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are going to be faced with an interesting decision a year or two from now. Alonso is a first baseman and the Reds already have a star in waiting at first in Joey Votto.

Alonso isn’t as athletic as Votto, so I suspect Votto will be moved to the outfield. A broken bone in Alonso’s hand limited his power in 2009, but this guy can rake. Once he figures out how to hit lefties, he will be good to go.

No. 40: Drew Storen, Washington Nationals. Not only is Storen fun to follow on Twitter, but he is also on heck of pitcher. Stephen Strasburg is getting all the hype, but Storen isn’t far behind him.

Storen is being groomed at the Nationals’ closer of the future. He could be their closer by 2011.

The Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals led the way with four players in the top-50. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets (Ike Davis could have been on this list), and St. Louis Cardinals were the only teams not to have a player in the top-50.

You can find’s complete list of top-50 prospects here.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Florida Marlins Chris Coghlan Making A Strong Case For NL ROY

September 25, 2009

Over the last 10 years, the Florida Marlins have probably produced more young talent than any team in the major leagues. Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, AJ Burnett, Dontrelle Willis (at the time), Derek Lee, Mike Lowell, Juan Pierre, and Miguel Cabrera all became stars wearing teal and black.

As we all know, because the Marlins have a payroll that hovers around the $55.00 mark, they have not been able to keep any of their star talent. However, just because the Marlins can’t keep their talent (Hanley Ramirez might be the exception), doesn’t mean they have to stop producing talent.

The Marlins’ latest player to eventually-play-for-a-big-market-team — Chris Coghlan. Coghlan, went from so-so prospect to perhaps the favorite for National League Rookie of the Year.

Coghlan is having a great year

Coghlan is having a great year

In case you haven’t noticed, Coghlan leads all major-league rookies in hits (146), runs (75), average (.314), and OBP (.385). Coghlan also leads all of baseball in hits in the second half with 97.

While his defense hasn’t been stellar in leftfield (.980 fielding percentage, -10.3 UZR), you have to take into account that Coghlan played a grand total of one game in left in the minor leagues. Coghlan is a natural second baseman.

If you really think about it, Coghlan has become everything the New York Mets thought Daniel Murphy would be. Coghlan has become as solid hitter, who at least looks the part of a leftfielder.

If I had a vote for NL ROY, I would give it to Coghlan over Dexter Fowler, Colby Rasmus, Garrett Jones, or JA Happ.

Here are some other facts about Coghlan…

Age: 24

College: University of Mississippi

Drafted: 36th pick of the first round of the 2006 draft

Minor League Stats:

2006 Low Single A & Rookie: .297 with zero HR’s, 15 RBI, and a .368 OBP in 30 games.

2007 Single A+ & Single A: .287 with 12 HR’s, 82 RBI, a .378 OBP, and 24 SB’s in 115 games.

2008 Double A: .298 with seven HR’s, 74 RBI, .396 OBP, and 34 SB’s in 132 games.

2009 Triple A: .344 with three HR’s, 22 RBI, a .418 OBP, and nine SB’s in 25 games.

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: N/A

Analysis: N/A

Wade Davis Goes The Distance Against The Baltimore Orioles

September 18, 2009

How does a guy who is 6’5″, 220 lbs respond to getting roughed up in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox? He pitches a complete game shutout in his third major-league start against the Baltimore Orioles.

I finally got to watch heralded prospect Wade Davis pitch last night as the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Orioles at Camden Yards. The first thing I thought to myself when I saw Davis in the first inning was, man this guy is a big dude.

Wade Davis

Wade Davis

Between Davis and Jeff Niemann (6’9″, 280 lbs), the Rays have their version of Akeem and The Big Boss Man — AKA: The Twin Towers. That being said, Davis was extremely impressive last night.

He was mixing up his pitches well and most importantly was throwing first-pitch strikes. Out of the 31 batters Davis faced, he throw first-pitch strikes to 20 of those batters. Life as a pitcher is much easier when you get ahead of the batters.

Here is what I loved most about last night’s game. Despite being over 100 pitches heading into the ninth inning (Davis threw 124 pitches total last night), Joe Maddon let Davis finish the job. Letting a pitcher finish a game builds confidence.

Good job by Maddon last night.

It has taken Davis a little longer to reach the majors than the Rays had hoped, but you can see why they would trade Scott Kazmir to make room for him.

Here are some other facts about Wade Davis…

Age: 24

College: None. Went to Lake Wales High School in Lake Wales, Florida

Drafted: Third round of the 2004 draft

Minor League Stats:

2004 Rookie: 3-5 with a 6.09 and 38 K’s in 57.2 IP

2005 Low Single A: 7-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 97 K’s in 86 IP

2006 Single A: 7-12 with a 3.02 ERA and 165 K’s in 146 IP

2007 Single A & Double A: 10-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 169 K’s in 158.1 IP

2008 Double A & Triple A: 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA and 136 K’s in 160.2 IP

2009 Triple A: 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 140 K’s in 158 IP

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 33 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Davis’ stock slipped a little this year with a mid-summer lull where his velocity was down and he changed his own approach, throwing too many two-seamers and ignoring his own destiny as a power pitcher. He did recover the lost velocity and improved his pitch selection in the second half of the season, carrying it through a promotion to Triple-A in July.

Davis sits 92-95 with two good breaking balls, a hard downer curveball and a sharp slider with good tilt in the mid-80s. His changeup has improved but still is below-average, and he has a tendency to pitch around lefties rather than go after them, which could be the result of a lack of confidence in the changeup.

Like a lot of young power guys, his command and control lag behind his stuff, and he wasn’t challenged enough at lower levels to have to improve them. A good half-year or more in Triple-A should help, and the Rays are fortunate enough to have the depth to allow Davis to develop on his own schedule.”

Move Over Brian Schneider, The Bell Thole(s) For Thee

September 12, 2009

The New York Mets aren’t rich with position prospects. Sure they have Fernando Martinez and Wilmer Flores, but that’s really it for top prospects. So when the Mets called up C Joshua Thole it caught me by surprise.

I wasn’t surprised the Mets were trying to find an internal replacement for the incumbent Brian Schneider. Schneider is a free agent at the end of this year and doesn’t figure to be back with the Mets in 2010. Here is what surprised me.

Thole got the call up

Thole got the call up

Thole, a converted catcher, has only been catching full-time since last May.  The position of catcher is by far and away the hardest position to learn how to play. Regardless if Thole is ready or not, for Thole to make the majors after spending roughly a year and a half at the position is pretty impressive.

Thole doesn’t have much power as his eight homeruns in five minor league seasons indicates. However, he does have a good eye (.379 minor league OBP) at the plate which he hasn’t shown in the major leagues yet. Thole hasn’t walked in 14 AB’s with the Mets.

If you were to ask me, I think he looks like a left-handed Jason Kendall. Kendall with the Brewers, not the Pirates.

Here are some other facts about Joshua Thole…

Age: 22

College: None. Went to Mater Dei High School in Illinois

Drafted: 13th round of the 2005 draft

Minor League Stats:

2005 Rookie: .269 with one HR, 12 RBI, and a .406 OBP in 35 games

2006 Rookie: .235 with one HR, 12 RBI, and a .300 OBP in 36 games

2007 Single A: .267 with zero HR, 36 RBI and a .372 OBP in 117 games

2008 Single A+: .300 with five HR, 56 RBI and a .382 OBP in 111 games

2009 Double A: .328 with one HR, and 46 RBI and a .395 OBP in 103 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: N/A

Analysis: N/A

Madison Bumgarner Makes Debut For San Francisco Giants

September 11, 2009

This has been a busy month for top prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization. First, Buster Posey was called up and then the other day, Madison Bumgarner was called up to take the place of an injured Tim Lincecum.

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

The left-handed phenom made his major-league debut on Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres. Bumgarner gave up five hits, two runs, walked one, and struckout four in 5.1 innings of work. That is a pretty solid debut.

If there was a blemish in Bumgarner’s debut, it was that his velocity was down to around 88-90 mph. I for one, am not concerned about this. The name of the game is to get people out and to win games. Just for the record, Bamgarner’s career record in the minor leagues is 27-5.

If Bumgarner can do that throwing 88 mph, then good for him. There were many pitchers who threw 99 mph who couldn’t get anyone out.

Bumgarner should be a factor in the Giants’ rotation in late 2010. Bumgarmer pitching to Posey behind the plate is a nice vision for Giants fans.

Here are some other facts about Madison Bumgarner

Age: 19

College: None. Went to South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina

Drafted: 10th pick of the first round of the 2007 draft

Minor League Stats:

2008 Single A: 15-3 with a 1.46 ERA with 164 K’s and 21 walks in 141.2 IP.

2009 Single A+ & Double A: 12-2 with a 1.85 ERA with 92 K’s and 34 walks in 131.1 IP.

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 6 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “A year ago, Bumgarner was a live arm, a projectable body, and a name to file away for the future. He only started throwing breaking balls late in his high school career, and the rudimentary secondary stuff plus his low arm slot had scouts — including me — assuming he was a long way away from the majors.

His slider made enormous strides in his first full year in pro ball, and his changeup is now solid-average, no small feat for a pitcher who throws from a low 3/4 slot. He’s unusual for pitchers of his ilk in that his arm action is fairly short and compact; many pitchers who throw from below 3/4 get long in the back, almost slinging the ball, and have trouble turning over a changeup or staying on top of breaking balls as a result.

His command and control are both above-average, and he was aggressive in going after South Atlantic League hitters, who stood little chance against him. The Giants were careful with Bumgarner in 2008, but there’s a good chance he finishes this year in Double-A and shows up in the majors at some point in 2010.”

San Francisco Giants Strike A Pose(y)

September 3, 2009

How good is the 2008 MLB Draft shaping up to be? In just a little over a year, we have already seen Gordon Beckham, Brian Matusz, Ryan Perry, and Daniel Schlereth make contributions at the major league level.

In 2010we could see Brett Wallace (Oakland A’s), Pedro Alvarez (Pittsburgh Pirates), Jason Castro (Houston Astros), and Justin Smoak (Texas Rangers) all get the call up from their respective clubs. With this influx of talent, the 2008 draft is shaping up to be one of the better drafts in quite some time.

Well, yesterday, the 2008 draft class added another member to a major league roster. The San Francisco Giants called up C Gerald “Buster” Posey from Triple-A Fresno.

Buster Posey

Buster Posey

Doesn’t “Buster Posey” sound like a classic Florida State linebacker? Gerald Posey? Not so much. Posey wasn’t a linebacker at Florida State, he was a catcher — and a very, very good one.

By the way, one note on Florida State University. My sister went there and I went to go visit her a couple of times. For you guys out there, if you want to go a college football game with a great atmosphere and see smoking hot girls — FSU is the place to be.

Back to Posey.

I think Posey has the potential to be one of the best catchers in the game. In three-to-four years we will be talking about Posey as the right-handed version of Brian McCann. Yes, he is that good.

If and when Posey impresses for the Giants, he could be in-line to be the Giants’ starting catcher in 2010. Bengie Molina is a free agent after the 2009 season.

Here are some other facts about Buster Posey…

Age: 22

College: Florida State University

Drafted: Fifth pick of the first round of the 2008 draft

Minor League Stats:

2008 Rookie & Single A: .351 avg. with one HR, six RBI, and a .467 OBP in 10 games

2009 Single A+ & Triple-A: .325 avg. with 18 HR’s, 80 RBI, and a .416 OBP in 115 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 8 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Posey presents a very balanced set of tools that, given his position, make him among the most valuable properties in the minor leagues. A recent convert from shortstop who also pitched a little in college, Posey is a plus defensive catcher with a plus arm (he pitched in the low 90s), soft hands, and a lot of energy at a position that demands it.

At the plate, he has a compact stroke, excellent bat control, and a good eye, so while he doesn’t project to hit for more than average power, he should make plenty of hard contact and end up a doubles hitter with 15-20 home runs per year.

The combination of a projected plus hit tool and currently plus defense make him a very high-probability prospect — he plays in the big leagues no matter what, be it as a quality backup if he never improves at all or as a star everyday catcher if he reaches his offensive ceiling.”

Drew Stubbs Arives In Cincinnati…

August 20, 2009

Thankfully the Cincinnati Reds placed OF Willy Taveras on the 15-Day DL. I know that’s harsh, but I know Reds’ fans and myself could no longer watch Dusty Baker play him on a regular basis for reasons only known to Baker.

Then again this is not surprising considering Baker thought Corey Patterson was the Reds’ answer in centerfield at one point.

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Hopefully Reds’ fans no longer have to worry about the Taveras’s and Patterson’s of the world patrolling centerfield because top prospect Drew Stubbs has arrived in Cincinnati.

First, Stubbs has no relation to legendary Los Angeles Dodgers’ OF of the 1980’s Franklin Stubbs for obvious reasons. If you watch a Reds’ game from now until September, you will what I am talking about.

Second, Dusty Baker has already said Stubbs will play on a regular basis from here on out. Stubbs is the future starting centerfielder for the Reds and has some serious speed to burn. Stubbs is lightning quick and should be at the top of the Reds’ lineup for years to come.

With Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and now Drew Stubbs the Reds have a nice core to build on for the future.

Here are some other facts about Drew Stubbs…

Age: 24

College: University of Texas

Drafted: Eighth pick of the first round of the 2006 Draft

Minor League Stats

2006 Rookie: .252 with six home runs, 24 RBI, 19 SB’s, and a .368 OBP in 56 games

2007 Single A: .270 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, 23 SB’s, and a .364 OBP in 129 games

2008 Single A+, Double A, & Triple A: .277 with seven home runs, 57 RBI, 33 SB’s, and a .371 OBP in 131 games

2009 Triple A: .268 with three home runs, 39 RBI, 46 RBI, and a .353 OBP in 107 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 89 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Stubbs has been a different player since the middle of 2007, when he started squaring the ball up more consistently and showing the raw power that has always been in his bat but was barely evident when he was an amateur.

He will always strike out often because his swing is long and he expands the zone significantly when he gets behind in the count. Stubbs’ athleticism shines through on the bases and on defense; he’s a 70 runner and a 70 fielder in center with an above-average arm.

If everything clicks, he could be Mike Cameron with even more speed, although there’s a more probable scenario where he hits less than Cameron but still provides baserunning value and plus defense.”

Welcome To The Majors Neftali Feliz…

August 6, 2009

The Texas Rangers develop pitchers about as often as people from Nebraska order the vegetarian special at a restaurant. I mean, if you really think about it who was the last top pitching prospect that the Rangers developed and actually pitched for Texas? Roger Pavlik? Bobby Witt?

Even some of the pitchers they do develop, like Edison Volquez and John Danks don’t even end up pitching for the Rangers. It hasn’t been pretty when it comes to pitching in Texas. Well, I think that might all just change with Neftali Feliz.

Feliz knows how to make an entrance

Feliz knows how to make an entrance

The Rangers acquired Feliz in 2007 along with Elvis Andrus, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones in the Mark Teixeira trade (now you know why teams are holding on to their prospects these days). Since then, the Rangers have developed Feliz into one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

Feliz made his major-league debut on Monday against the Oakland A’s and what a debut it was. Throwing fastballs that touched 100 mph on occasion, Feliz struck out the first four batters he faced in the majors. Talk about making an entrance.

Feliz has started for the most part in the minors, but started pitching out of the bullpen this year in Triple-A and that will be his role with the Rangers. Perhaps Feliz can have the same impact on the Rangers that Francisco Rodriguez had with the Los Angeles of Anaheim in 2003.

Here are some other facts about Neftali Feliz…

Age: 21

College: None

Drafted: Not drafted. Signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves in 2005.

Minor League Stats

2006 Rookie: 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA and 42 K’s in 29 IP.

2007 Rookie & Single A: 2-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 55 K’s in 42.1 IP.

2008 Single A & Double A: 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 153 K’s in 127.1 IP.

2009 Triple A: 4-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 75 K’s in 77.1 IP.

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. Four out of the top 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Feliz was something of a known quantity last offseason, having come over to Texas in the Mark Teixeira trade, but he was just a very live arm with no full-season experience and only 72 pro innings in total. He started 2008 by obliterating Midwest League hitters and continued to miss bats after a two-level jump to Double-A.

Coming from a low 3/4 slot, Feliz has some of the easiest velocity you will ever see, mostly 94-97 mph but dialing up and down a little as needed. He turns his changeup over well, especially considering his arm slot, and gets good fading action on it, so it’s not surprising that his strikeout rate against left-handed hitters was 28 percent higher than it was against right-handed hitters.

His slider is still inconsistent; it’s short, a good sign for someone who has a little bit of sling in his delivery, but the pitch can back up on him. He’ll have to return to Double-A this year and refine his command and control, since he can’t just blow it by hitters as he did in low A, but he could also show up in the majors at some point in 2009 depending on his own progress and the Rangers’ place in the standings.”

So Just Who Is The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Garrett Jones?

July 19, 2009

Can you guess which Pittsburgh Pirates’ player has hit seven HR’s in his last 12 games going into last night’s action? Adam LaRoche? No. Did you guess the recently returning Ryan Doumit? Not him either. Did you think it was there rookie phenom Andrew McCutchen? A logical guess but he only has two HR’s on the year. Nate McLouth? Sorry, but he was traded last month. If you guessed Garrett Jones then you were correct.

Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates has hit seven HR’s in his first 12 games of the 2009 season. *Going into last night’s action against the San Francisco Giants, Jones had hit a HR in four straight games and hit five HR’s total in that span. Pretty impressive stuff.

Thanks to the All-Star game festivities, the Roy Halladay trade rumors, and because Jones plays on a team that only a select few care about this feat has gone pretty much unnoticed. Could you imagine for Jones hit seven HR’s in his first 12 games of the season while on the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, or Chicago Cubs? He would already have a statue outside of all three stadiums.

So you are probably wondering, just who is Garrett Jones? The natural assumption would be that since he plays for the Pirates, he must be an up-and-coming prospect? Well, he is not. Jones is actually 28-years old.

Jones has been killing the ball

Jones has been killing the ball

Garrett Jones was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 14th round of the 1999 draft. Outside of a cup of coffee with the Minnesota Twins in 2007 where he hit .208/2/5 in 31 games, Jones has been your classic Quadruple-A player.

A Quadruple-A player is a player who is good enough to carry in your minor league system, but not good enough to be a permanent fixture on a major league roster. Think Jeff Bailey of the Boston Red Sox or Jeff Manto, who is in the Quadruple-A Hall of Fame. Jones has spent the last 11 seasons in the minor leagues and the last five in Triple-A Indianapolis.

In those 11 seasons, Jones has hit .258 with 158 HR’s, a .312 OBP, and 629 RBI in 1,038 AB’s. As you can see, he never tore up the minor leagues and there is nothing there to suggest that Jones would get off to the start he has with the Pirates.

Not only does Jones have seven HR’s, but he has also hit .313, scored 11 runs, has nine RBI, an OBP of .365, three SB’s, and has a Pujolsian 1.199 OPS. So question is – can Garrett Jones keep this up? I would say it is very unlikely. Usually these things have a way of evening themselves out. However, in Jones’ favor is that everyone thought the Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz was a Quadruple-A player as well. I think things have worked out pretty well for him recently.

Regardless of whether or not Jones keeps this up or not, he has been a great story in the last two weeks and is already more successful than Corey Myers and BJ Garbe. They were the fourth and fifth picks of the first round in the 1999 draft who never even made it to the major leagues.

Just goes to show, you never know.

*Jones went 1-4 with a double in last night’s game against the San Francisco Giants ending his four-game HR streak.

Tommy Hanson Chopping Down The Competition…

June 29, 2009

Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s the Atlanta Braves were rolling out quality starting pitchers like the Colorado Rockies were rolling out guys who could hit 30 HR’s. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Kevin Millwood, Jason Schmidt, Denny Neagle, Jason Marquis, Damian Moss and even Odalis Perez were winning  games for the Braves in their glory years.

However, things have changed over the last couple of years. The Braves have struggled to produce the type of pitcher that made them successful in the 90’s – until now. Top prospect Tommy Hanson’s hot start is giving Braves’ fans flashbacks of aces past.

Hanson has been lights out so far

Hanson has been lights out so far

Tommy Hanson has won his first four decisions in the major leagues and has a 2.48 ERA in five starts. And it’s not like Hanson has been pitching against cream puff offenses either. In his first five starts, Hanson has pitched against the  Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Brewers, Orioles, Yankees and Red Sox all rank in the top 15 in offense in baseball.

What I have seen from Hanson in his last two starts against the Yankees and the Red Sox, is a pitcher who is very sure of himself. It’s very rare that you see a pitcher at such a young age to have a gameplan on the mound and stick to it no matter what is going on around him. Very impressive.

Here are some other facts about Tommy Hanson… 

Age: 22

College: Riverside Community College

Drafted: 22nd round of the 2005 Draft

Minor League Stats

2006 Rookie Ball: 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 56 K’s in 51.2 IP

2007 Single A: 2-6 with a 2.59 ERA and 90 K’s in 73 IP

2007 Single A+: 3-3 with a 4.20 ERA and 64 K’s in 60 IP

2008 Single A+: 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA and 49 K’s in 40 IP

2008 Double A: 8-4 with a 3.03 ERA and 114 K’s in 98 IP

2009 Triple A: 3-3 with a 1.49 ERA and 90 K’s in 66.1 IP

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 9 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Hanson made the top 100 last year as a bit of a sleeper whose upside made him worthy of the relatively high ranking, but in 2008 he cemented his status as one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Hanson projects as a potential No. 1 starter, with a four-pitch arsenal headlined by a 92-95 mph fastball and a plus curveball with great depth.

He’s 6-6 and gets good angle on his pitches, thanks in part to the work of the late Myrtle Beach pitching coach, Bruce Dal Canton, in keeping him over the rubber. He still has room to fill out physically and perhaps add a little velocity, and adding a slider last year gave him yet another weapon to miss bats.

Hanson has a few areas for improvement — his changeup is below average, so he doesn’t have a real out pitch against lefties; his command and control are both below average, although he can just overpower minor league hitters, which keeps him below the top 10.

He’s probably less than a year from contributing in the majors.”