Minor league affiliates start today and tomorrow, so we’re starting to see rosters.
Nothing incredibly surprising with who is on the roster. Mike Soroka, Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Kolby Allard, and Lucas Sims appear to be the rotation with no real relief prospects to speak of unless you consider pitchers like Jesse Biddle or Philip Pfeifer prospects. Rio Ruiz and Dustin Peterson are your prospects to watch on the position player side. Oh, and Ronald Acuna Jr. manages to crack the roster. Hopefully he can hold his own.
The rotation is pretty stacked considering the quality both above and below it in the system. Kyle Wright is obviously your headliner prospect and begins his first stint at AA. Max Fried repeats AA after struggling at AA for most of last year. Tyler Pike, Touki Toussaint, and Ricardo Sanchez round out the rotation. Really a solid rotation. Watch for Adam McCreery, Corbin Clouse, and Josh Graham out of the pen. The position player side is also very talented. Alex Jackson will be behind the plate, Austin Riley will man third base, and Travis Demeritte is now listed as an outfielder on the roster. Tyler Neslony, a college draft pick sleeper, will also be at AA.
More studs in the rotation: Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Bryse Wilson, Tucker Davidson, and Jeremy Walker. I can’t decide which rotation I like the most. It’s noteworthy that Mauricio Cabrera, who we saw in 2016 at the major league level able to dial it up 102mph+, will begin the year at A+. Drew Harrington doesn’t seem to have a spot in the rotation, so I suppose we either see a 6-man rotation at times, or he gets some work in long relief. Brett Cumberland and Cristian Pache highlight the position players prospect, and another interesting position change is Braxton Davidson listed as a first baseman.
This will be yet another year where you can check the box scores on a nightly basis to see at least one, if not three, starting pitching prospects toeing the rubber for A+ through AAA. Our position player prospect depth is starting to catch up to the pitching side too, so there’s plenty to watch this year!