It's officially Prospect Week here at The Crawfish Boxes. What a better way to start out than to discuss guys that won't get the love of being named to the ever
prestigious meaningless Top 30.
I'm going to go through my personal Top 30 and discuss some that didn't make the TCB list.
First off is the fourth rounder in the 2015 draft class, Anthony Hermelyn. He's a catcher out of the University of Oklahoma and played three years there and was named team captain this past season. He was an All-Star in the Big 12 as well as the Cape Cod League.
The Cape seems to be a pretty big deal for the Astros scouting department as they consistently target guys who perform well there. Hemelyn is no exception.
The detractors will point to his offensive statistics to say that he doesn't deserve to be a top thirty guy, and I won't argue against that. It's a very real part of his game. He didn't walk much in college. But, he did in the NYPL at clip near 12%. He didn't strike out much college, but he did in the pros. This key here is that he's shown he can draw a walk. It's not abnormal for role players in the college game to have some statistics that are not really of their true personality. I'm not saying he's going to be the Greek God of Walks. But, there's hope for some improvement there.
The key with catcher prospects is defense. This guy can do that. He handles a pitching staff with the best in college ranks and is knows as a plus framer. That's hidden value in the minors and fits exactly what the Astros are looking for. I think his defense carries him and his offense, is just good enough to carve out a role as a back up in the majors.
Next up is a guy I'm extremely high on. Franklin Perez.
I've been driving the band wagon since I first saw his delivery. Plus athleticism and frame. I have him around the 15th range which is extremely aggressive for a kid that has fifteen innings in the states. But, I'm willing to go there.
He signed for a million dollars and at the age of 16 he was able to hit 93 mph. As he develops he could be a guy with easy plus velocity with a plus curve. In his time in the DSL this year he had a 29.5% K% and 7.4% BB%. Then in the states he had a 24.6% K% and a 4.4% BB%. Now those are in a 35 inning and 15 inning sample respectively. But, we're talking about a 17 year old at the time doing that. It's very impressive and I expect nothing but more continued success.
Both of these guys are easily top thirty for me. And I understand easily why they aren't for everybody. Hermelyn is a high floor and I believe high probability guy. I don't see an every day role, much less star, but very few catchers are that level. I think he fits the modern catcher and can be very undervalued. Perez carries a lot of risk. He's going into his age 18 season and is in rookie ball. But, I'm personally all in on this guy.