Top 10 Appalachian League Players

Ranking

JW

Brenden

1.

Mitch Stallings, P, ATL
(Danville Braves)

Bryce Ball, 1B, ATL
(Danville Braves)

2. Bryce Ball, 1B, ATL
(Danville Braves)
Logan Porter, 1B, KC
(Burlington Royals)
3. Yoendrys Gomez, P, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)
Chandler Redmond, 3B, STL
(Johnson City Cardinals)
4. Prelander Berroa, P, NYM
(Kingsport Mets)
Ryder Green, OF, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)
5. Ryder Green, OF, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)
Miguel Hiraldo, SS, TOR
(Bluefield Blue Jays)
6. Michael Otanez, P, NYM
(Kingsport Mets)
Michael Otanez, P, NYM
(Kingsport Mets)
7. Logan Porter, 1B, KC
(Burlington Royals)
Francisco Alvarez, C, NYM
(Kingsport Mets)
8. Saul Torres, C, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)
Jhonathan Munoz, P, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)
9. Diego Infante, OF, TB
(Princeton Rays)
Matt Walner, OF, MIN
(Elizabethton Twins)
10. Chandler Redmond, 3B, STL
(Johnson City Cardinals)
Saul Torres, C, NYY
(Pulaski Yankees)

Remember Wander Franco? What about Vlad Guerrero Jr.? Even Cristian Pache? They all three have one thing in common. They each passed through the Appalachian League at one point in their career.

First the first time in the three-plus years I’ve spent covering the Appy League (this year being year number 4), I decided to partake in a Top 10 ranking.

With that in mind, I asked for some help from my colleagues at Baseball Farm. The one who stepped up immediately was Brenden Gorzelski.

His transcribing is below:

JW asked one of us at BaseballFarm to help in creating an Appy League top 10 so far this season. I decided to pick up the challenge in ranking out young players. To start, I decided to rank these guys almost only statistical performance as I haven’t seen any of these guys live and good video isn’t readily available for a lot of these guys, especially in-game video.

There are a couple of guys I’ve spent time watching video for in the Appy. Two of them made the list but I tried not to let my personal biases lead me astray in these rankings. Thus, why you won’t see former Next Phenom Antonio Cabello on my list despite being extremely high on the teenage outfielder.

I started my list off with a pair of 1B-only prospects who are simply raking. Either of them could’ve taken the top spot in all honesty and there’s a solid argument for Logan Porter to take it since he has a higher OPS than Bryce Ball, but I gave it to Ball. The reason being the higher power output and lower K% but I’d be lying if Porter doesn’t have my attention.

After I sorted out the top 2 in this list, it was another tough choice for me for the 3rd spot between Chandler Redmond and Ryder Green. Green is probably the better prospect with a dangerous power/speed combination that any organization would salivate over. Redmond gets the nod for the third only because of better power output and better plate discipline numbers but if I was looking at a prospect for a dynasty league, Green is getting the nod well before Redmond.

Now we get to the fun part of the list with two guys I’ve looked at plenty over the last year and the only two pitchers to make the list. Miguel Hiraldo and Francisco Alvarez are both young international prospects that have intrigued me since they signed, and neither will probably stick at the position they’re currently playing.

Hiraldo is probably a better fit at 3B or 2B but is an intriguing hit over power guy who should grow into more power as he matures.

Alvarez is a bat-first catching prospect. I usually keep away from catching prospects as a general rule in fantasy, but Alvarez’s bat is legit and even if he moves away from catcher, it’s a bat that plays well wherever his future defensive home is. The pitching was disappointing in the Appy (at least from qualifying pitchers about 25 IP), but I found a pair of young arms doing work so far. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about their arsenals or where they best profile but with both striking out batters and limiting walks, they get the nod in this list filled to the brim with hitters.

To round out the list are Matt Wallner OF MIN and Saul Torres C NYY which both have positives that I felt had to be mentioned on this list. So far, the Appy league is in its early stages but there are some guys making the most of their time there to potentially make a name, whether it be recent draftees or international signees. This was a fun exercise and potentially I can come back with a more player evaluation view of these young kids.

Brenden brought the stats with him on this ranking, I will be bringing the analytical side of it. On my end of the prospect ranking, I went with the teams I’ve seen in person, which is all 10 and the players that stood out during those games and throughout the first half of the season.

We agreed on only one player’s current ranking, and that was Michael Otanez, pitcher for the New York Mets organization, currently with the Kingsport Mets. We both ranked him outside of the top five, coming in at sixth.

For me, two Braves prospects have lit it up this season, Mitch Stallings and Bryce Ball. I had Stallings ranked first, Ball ranked second — Brenden did not have Stallings ranked and had Ball coming in first in his ranking.

Next up for me was Yoendrys Gomez, a solid flamethrower and consistent ace for the Pulaski Yankees. His heater reached mid-upper 90s with nice, slick movement on his off-speed pitches. He came in ranked third on my ranking. The last couple of games have been impressive for Gomez. He will likely earn a promotion to Single-A ball soon and it will be well deserved.

Prelander Berroa — remember that name. He slides in fourth in my ranking. The current Mets prospect has been mowing down Appalachian League foes all season. Berroa has tallied 32 strikeouts this season, third-most recorded by pitchers this season behind Otanez (NYM) and Stallings (ATL).

Ryder Green makes both of our lists. He comes in at fourth in Brenden’s and rounds out the top five of my list. At the beginning of the season, Green was struggling to find composure at the plate. That all changed when he hit for the cycle. Currently, he has six homers and is batting .286 for the Pulaski Yankees.

As mentioned above, Otanez is ranked in both lists at the sixth spot.

Logan Porter has been on fire as of late for the Burlington Royals, but he wasn’t doing that well earlier in the season. This is why he is ranked number seven on my list. All of that could change by seasons end, especially if he gets a promotion to Single-A. He ranked out in Brenden’s list as the second-best player in the league.

Another Yankee makes my Top 10. This time it was catcher Saul Torres. This is now Torres’s third stint with the Pulaski Yankees and by far his best to date. He’s hit five home runs, the most he hit was six in 2017 and has 19 runs batted in on the season. Torres is agile behind the plate and doesn’t let much get past him and he has a strong arm and can throw out almost any baserunner trying to steal.

Diego Infante of the Princeton Rays comes in ninth in my ranking and to finish off the Top 10 is Chandler Redmond of the Johnson City Cardinals. Infante has hit eight bombs this season along with 19 runs batted in while slashing .273/.328/.527. In just 28 games, Infante has collected 58 total bases, the most in his pro career. With 41 put out chances he has 40 with a perfect fielding percentage through 23 games started in the outfield.

As for Redmond, he could’ve been bumped up in the ranking and rightfully so. He does sit in third in Brenden’s ranking. Either way, regardless of where he sits in the Top 10, Redmond will be a key player for the Cardinals in the future.

Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 32nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Redmond has accomplished a lot in just his little time in the Appalachian League. He has seven home runs and 24 runs batted in just 27 games played this season. His versatility to play any position in the infield will be key to a quick promotion through the Cards’ system. This season he has played 16 games at third, five at second and two at first. While playing third, Redmond has had 43 chances with 15 putouts, 27 assists and four double plays along with just one error. At second he has 14 chances with eight putouts and six assists with two double plays turned. Redmond is perfect at first with 12 putouts on 12 chances as well.

Once the season is over and a champion is crowned, I will go back through and do a ranking of the Top 50 players in the league. The list will likely not feature any players that have been promoted throughout the season.

 

 

 

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