Vincent Valasquez, RHP, Houston Astros
14 IP, 1.93 ERA, .128 BAA, 12/3 K/BB (3 G)
The 6’3” right-hander continues to improve following Tommy John surgery in 2011 and has only allowed six hits over his three outings for Low-A Quad Cities.
Roberto Osuna, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
9.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, .182 BAA, 14/1 K/BB (2 GS)
Currently the youngest pitcher in Low-A, Osuna, 18, is off to an excellent start this season after registering a 2.27 ERA and .201 BAA in his stateside debut in 2012.
Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
7 IP, 0.00 ERA, .095 BAA, 5/1 K/BB (2 GS)
The 24th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Guerrieri showcased extraordinary command last season in the Short-Season New York-Penn League with 45/5 K/BB over 52 innings. The 6’3” right-hander has been equally as impressive through the first two starts of his professional debut, allowing only three baserunners and posting a 6.00 GO/AO.
Joe Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres
10 IP, 0.00 ERA, .063 BAA, 12/2 K/BB (2 GS)
One of the more underrated arms in the minor leagues, the 19-year-old’s development was impeded by a bout of shoulder tendinitis in 2012, though his performance so far suggests he’s fully healthy.
Dakota Bacus , RHP, Oakland Athletics
11 IP, 1.64 ERA, .154 BAA, 16/2 K/BB (2 G)
A ninth-round selection out of Indiana St. last June, Bacus, a 6’2” right-hander, has allowed only six hits while fanning 16 batters through his first two outings.
Max Fried, LHP, San Diego Padres
9 IP, 1.00 ERA, .138 BAA, 13/6 K/BB (2 GS)
After walking four batters in his full-season debut for Low-A Fort Wayne, Fried, the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft, was excellent his second time out: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8/2 K/BB.
Josh Hader, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
11 IP, 0.82 ERA, .111 BAA, 10/3 K/BB (2 GS)
Selected in the 19th round of the 2012 draft out of a Maryland high school, Hader, 19, features an above-average-to-plus fastball as well as a curveball and changeup that both flash above-average potential.
Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
10 IP, 5.40 ERA, .289 BAA, 2/5 K/BB (2 GS)
Jenkins may have one of the higher ceilings among pitching prospects in the Cardinals’ system, but he’s still a long way from the major leagues. The 6’4” right-hander is repeating the Low-A level after logging 82.1 innings (and 5.14 ERA) there amidst two stints on the disabled list last season.
Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
8 IP, 12.38 ERA, .382 BAA, 6/5 K/BB (3 G)
An over-slot second-rounder in 2011, Norris didn’t make his professional debut until 2012 when he registered an 8.44 ERA with 58 hits allowed and 18 walks over 42.2 innings. His inability to retire hitters has carried over into the current season, as he’s already allowed 11 earned runs on 13 hits and five walks over three starts.
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
12.2 IP, 7.11 ERA, .339 BAA, 20/3 K/BB (3 GS)
With a mid-90s fastball that reaches 98 mph and a pair of very promising secondary pitches, Stephenson should dominate Low-A hitters. However, in his start on Sunday, the 19-year-old right-hander allowed six earned runs on eight hits over 2.2 tumultuous frames.
Clay Holmes, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
8.2 IP, 4.15 ERA, .219 BAA, 9/8 K/BB (2 GS)
The 6’5” right-hander has proven to be difficult to barrel, but a lack of command has prevented him from working deep into starts.
Mauricio Cabrera, RHP, Atlanta Braves
7.2 IP, 4.70 ERA, .267 BAA, 2/8 K/BB (2 GS)
The 19-year-old pitched significantly better in his second start of the season for Low-A Rome, though his control problems have been amplified against older competition.