Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers

Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers

This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.

The wildest trade deadline in recent memory has resulted in plenty of new faces in new places, both at the big league and minor league levels. In this week's article, we'll take a look at some of those prospects who changed organizations and analyze who has been helped or hurt by the plethora of moves. In addition, we'll profile other prospects who stayed put and are either surging or floundering at their respective levels.

UPGRADE

Austin Martin, SS/OF, MIN – Martin's inclusion in the Jose Berrios deal along with Simeon Woods Richardson came as a bit of a shocker. However, the Jays have committed long-term to George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez was an All-Star this season and pitching was deemed a much bigger priority with a power-packed infield already featuring Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette and Marcus Semien. Martin goes from potentially being blocked in the Jays organization to becoming one of the centerpieces in the rebuild for the Twinkies and could make his MLB debut as early as September.

Josiah Gray, P, WAS – Gray goes from having to fight to stay in the starting rotation with the Dodgers to a much longer leash with the Nats. He and Keibert Ruiz were the top two prospects sent in exchange for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in what can only be called a blockbuster. Gray battled a minor shoulder ailment earlier in the season, but had returned to health prior to the trade and even made two starts for the Dodgers prior to

The wildest trade deadline in recent memory has resulted in plenty of new faces in new places, both at the big league and minor league levels. In this week's article, we'll take a look at some of those prospects who changed organizations and analyze who has been helped or hurt by the plethora of moves. In addition, we'll profile other prospects who stayed put and are either surging or floundering at their respective levels.

UPGRADE

Austin Martin, SS/OF, MIN – Martin's inclusion in the Jose Berrios deal along with Simeon Woods Richardson came as a bit of a shocker. However, the Jays have committed long-term to George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez was an All-Star this season and pitching was deemed a much bigger priority with a power-packed infield already featuring Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette and Marcus Semien. Martin goes from potentially being blocked in the Jays organization to becoming one of the centerpieces in the rebuild for the Twinkies and could make his MLB debut as early as September.

Josiah Gray, P, WAS – Gray goes from having to fight to stay in the starting rotation with the Dodgers to a much longer leash with the Nats. He and Keibert Ruiz were the top two prospects sent in exchange for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in what can only be called a blockbuster. Gray battled a minor shoulder ailment earlier in the season, but had returned to health prior to the trade and even made two starts for the Dodgers prior to the deadline. He fanned 13 batters in only eight innings to show his vast potential and should now become a staple of the Washington rotation.

Glenn Otto, P, TEX – Let's go a little outside the box here, as Otto was arguably the least highly touted prospect to go from the Yankees organization to the Rangers in the trade for Joey Gallo.  That being said, he's the closest to the bigs and has posted an impeccable strikeout rate this season with 120 Ks over 80.2 innings across three teams at Double and Triple-A. The current Texas rotation is filled with underperforming young arms (Dane Dunning, Kolby Allard) as well as veteran innings eaters (Jordan Lyles, Mike Foltynewicz). With the Rangers playing for 2022 and beyond, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Otto get a couple of starts before the year is completed. It's worth noting Texas also acquired Spencer Howard from the Phillies, who boasts the much higher prospect pedigree.

Max Meyer, P, MIA – The Marlins dealt free-agent-to-be Starling Marte to the Athletics in exchange for former top prospect Jesus Luzardo, but Meyer still offers the most upside of any hurler in the organization. At only 22, he's posted a 1.93 ERA and 74:30 K:BB in 70 innings at Double-A and has proven he's more than met the challenge despite being one of the younger hurlers at this level. Perhaps most importantly, Meyer walks have come down of late issuing just three free passes over his last three starts. If his control remains on the upswing, the Fish will have a difficult time keeping him out of the starting rotation in 2022.

CHECK STATUS

Alexander Canario, OF, CHC – Canario was shipped to the Cubs along with Caleb Kilian in exchange for Kris Bryant. While Kilian put himself on the prospect map with a standout 2021 campaign, Canario has been on the radar for a while as a project. The 21-year-old has slashed .235/.325/.433 in 65 games at Low-A, though he did hit nine home runs and swipe 15 bags. That intriguing power/speed combination makes Canario a prospect to watch, yet his hit tool has lagged behind and strikeouts remain a concern. The Cubs are in full rebuilding mode, so they should be patient with Canario.

Angel Martinez, SS, CLE – Cleveland has a new nickname – The Guardians – as well as a nearly unrecognizable big league squad following the trade deadline. Jose Ramirez and Robert Perez are pretty much all that remain from Cleveland's recent playoff runs. Martinez is one of many promising prospects coming through the pipeline, although he's a ways away from making an impact. Still, the teenager is hitting .277/.346/.450 with five home runs, 30 RBI and 10 steals in 63 games at Low-A. The switch-hitter isn't afraid to take a walk and uses an advanced approach at the dish. If Martinez can tap into some power - which already appears to be coming around - he could become a hot commodity, even with Tyler Freeman hitting the big leagues first.

Liover Peguero, SS, PIT – After a slow start to July, Peguero ended the month on an absolute tear with five homers from his last four contests at Double-A.  As a result, he's hitting a respectable .266/.328/.465 with 11 home runs and 17 steals in 58 games. Expected to stick at shortstop, Peguero's power surge vaults him into the conversation to becoming the shortstop of the future for the Pirates with his speed already considered a viable weapon.

Shea Langeliers, C, ATL – Langeliers has shown standout power this season by swatting 17 home runs in 64 games at Double-A. He's been hitting better lately batting .375 over the last seven days.  However, he's only produced a .251 on the season with a .328 OBP. Strikeouts remain a concern considering Langeliers has fanned 69 times in those 64 contests. The Braves just dealt Alex Jackson at the deadline and Travis d'Arnaud is still hurt, leaving Kevan Smith and Stephen Vogt as the only current healthy options. While it's unlikely Langeliers sees the big leagues this season, the lack of depth in front of him certainly makes him a worthy dynasty option.

Everson Pereira, OF, NYY – Pereira's first taste of full-season ball has gone swimmingly, as he's hitting .361/.446/.667 with five home runs, 22 RBI and four steals through 19 contests. Held back a tad due to a combination of youth and injuries, he now appears primed for a breakout. Although strikeouts may always be a part of the equation, Pereira's walks are up at Low-A to show he's seeing the ball well. Other than Jasson Dominguez, Pereira may be the best outfield prospect in the Yankees organization right now.

DOWNGRADE

DL Hall, P, BAL – Instead of possibly making his MLB debut before the end of 2021, Hall has been shut down for the remainder of the year due to a stress reaction in his throwing elbow. The O's top pitching prospect along with Grayson Rodriguez, Hall has been out since the middle of June with what had previously been termed elbow soreness. Baltimore has a dismal track record in developing pitching prospects in recent memory, so hopefully this is merely a blip on the radar for Hall and not a sign of things to come. The southpaw posted a 3.13 ERA and an impressive 56:16 K:BB in only 31.2 innings at Double-A prior to the injury.

Pedro Leon, SS, HOU – Leon fractured his left pinky finger last week, an injury that will sideline him for the next six weeks. While this doesn't change the narrative for 2022 and beyond, it all but ends any chances of him seeing the big leagues this season. Leon was surging at Triple-A prior to the injury slashing .317/.462/.512 with one homer, five RBI and five steals in 11 games with almost as many walks (nine) as strikeouts (10). With Carlos Correa's status up in the air for next year, Leon could have a clear path to the big leagues. However, his 2021 campaign may be finished.

George Kirby, P, SEA – Kirby has not pitched since Jul. 10 due to shoulder fatigue. Deemed the most MLB-ready pitching prospect in the 2019 Draft, he missed out on some development in 2020 due to COVID and now it doesn't seem he'll make the big leagues in 2021. That may have been premature thinking anyway, though Kirby was impressive at High-A prior to the injury with a 2.56 ERA and 50:8 K:BB across 38.2 frames. Expect the M's to be cautious with him, but he'll already be 24 when camp opens in 2022. In other words, next season will be the barometer for Kirby and his future path.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jesse Siegel
Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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