21) Jung Ho Kang, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates – Kang is a shot in the dark. He was a massive power hitter in the KBO in Korea, but how does that translate to Major League Baseball? Kang has struggled in the spring, posting an OPS under .500 in 11 games thus far. He has a big leg kick that will likely be exploited early on, but if he can put up even a fraction of the numbers he posted in Korea, he will be a massive value. Kang will likely start the season behind Jordy Mercer, and could even lose playing time to Sean Rodriguez, but the potential of 20 home runs from a shortstop is worth a flyer and could turn out to be a real steal in the late rounds.
22) Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies – Based on pure stuff, there are only a handful of pitching prospects I like better than Butler. He has a massive fastball and excellent slider. He is one guy who may be able to put up solid numbers despite his home games coming in Coors Field. The only thing keeping Butler from being a potential top ten guy in this list isn’t the ballpark, but the shoulder. He pitched just under nine big league innings before injuring the shoulder and being shut down for the year. Shoulder injuries are always incredibly worrisome for a pitcher, so threat of re-injury is keeping him down the list.
23) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks – I love Bradley’s stuff, he is one of those few whose stuff I like better than Butler. He is a future innings eater that will also be able to put up crooked strikeout numbers, but there is also a risk of crooked walk numbers. There is not a clear fit for Bradley in the Diamondbacks rotation currently, but when he does get there the upside is fantastic, although he may hurt WHIP and ERA at times, and there won’t be many wins coming out of the desert this year.
24) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets – With Zach Wheeler going down to injury for the year, it seemed a perfect spot for Syndergaard to step in, however it appears Dillon Gee will get that rotation spot instead. Another problem for Syndergaard is he is not the sure-fire pick to be the first man called up when rotation depth is needed. The Mets Triple-A rotation will also feature Rafael Montero, who seems to have been given stronger consideration for the number five job than Syndergaard. He has the stuff to be a very good pitcher, he just doesn’t have the opportunity. With the depth of pitching talent, if the Mets are in the hunt for a playoff spot come trade deadline, and I believe they will be, don’t be shocked to see Syndergaard moved for offensive help, and there are few other rotations he wouldn’t crack today, much less another few months of seasoning.
25) Steven Moya, OF, Detroit Tigers – At 6’6” and 230 lbs., Moya is certainly an interesting prospect. His swing can be as long as his body at times, but when he makes contact, it quickly turns from a long swing to a beautiful swing. It is smooth and the ball really jumps off the bat, but elite fastballs will beat the bat through the zone. He has a good arm and will be a solid right fielder, which could earn him some playing time given J.D. Martinez will start the season in right. Martinez had a shockingly productive second half of the season with the Tigers, but he was also waived by the Houston Astros in the first half, so a poor start to the season could certainly open up a spot for Moya. Moya could fit in perfectly in a lineup behind Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Yoenis Cespedes. There is 30 home run power in Moya’s bat, but based on current skill level, and the projectable playing time, 10-15 might be more realistic, but those will come in limited playing time. The trick will be picking him up at the right time.
Just Missed: Devon Travis, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays (Has a chance to be a starter on Opening Day, but the fact Ryan Goins might beat him out speaks enough to his lack of upside); Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Excellent hit tool, but on a rebuilding team, the Reds will likely be slow to promote him to preserve service time); Nick Tropeano, RHP, Los Angeles Angels (Angels like him, but mid-rotation guy at best and it is a tough rotation to crack); Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians (Fantastic defense, but won’t produce much offensively); Carlos Rodon, LHP, Chicago White Sox (Elite stuff, but just over 24 innings to his name, may be a while before he is in the big leagues).