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Stock Up, Stock Down on MLB's Top 10 Prospects After Week 3

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterApril 22, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down on MLB's Top 10 Prospects After Week 3

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    It was an eventful week for some of baseball’s top prospects. For others, not so much.

    Xander Bogaerts has been impressive as the Boston Red Sox’s everyday shortstop, batting .270/.403/.349 through his first 18 games, and the 21-year-old is making an early case for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

    Meanwhile, fellow shortstop Carlos Correa and outfielder Oscar Taveras are both off to hot starts in the minor leagues, with Correa batting .281/.338/.469 with 14 RBI at High-A Lancaster and Taveras batting .297/.348/.500 at Triple-A Memphis. 

    Unfortunately, a pair of top-10 prospects—as determined by Prospect Pipeline's End-of-Spring Top 100 Prospects—are currently on the disabled list with injuries, as Byron Buxton (left wrist sprain) and Addison Russell (right hamstring tear) are currently on the seven-day disabled list for their respective Double-A teams. Meanwhile, Taijuan Walker’s shoulder flared up prior to a Triple-A rehab start, forcing the right-hander to be shut down once again.

    Here’s a look at how the rest of baseball’s top-ranked prospects fared during the third week of the minor league season.

     

    *All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and reflect games through Sunday, April 20.

10. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets

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    Carlos Osorio

    2014 Stats

    Triple-A Las Vegas (4 starts): 20 IP, 4.95 ERA, 8 BB, 15 K

     

    Overview

    Syndergaard turned in three good-but-not-great starts to begin his season, logging at least five innings and allowing no more than three earned runs in each outing. However, that changed with the 21-year-old’s outing Saturday, when he allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks in just four innings. The right-hander fanned three batters before departing the game.

    While his 4.95 ERA and .291 batting average aren’t surprising considering the hitter-friendly nature of the Pacific Coast League, his 15/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 20 innings has been unexpected.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    9 IP, 11 H (2 HR), 8 R (6 ER), 5 BB, 8 K (2 starts)

     

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9. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners

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    Tony Gutierrez

    2014 Stats

    High-A High Desert/Double-A Jackson (2 starts): 9.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R (ER), 2 BB, 17 K

     

    Overview

    Taijuan Walker was expected to open the season in the Mariners’ starting rotation, but after he dealt with shoulder inflammation for most of the spring and failed to appear in a major league game, the organization ultimately sent the right-hander to the minor leagues to build arm strength and get back on track.

    After a pair of impressive starts at High- and Double-A, the 21-year-old was supposed to throw for Triple-A Tacoma last week but was a last-minute scratch with shoulder stiffness, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com. Walker was subsequently shut down for two weeks but could begin playing catch later this week if all goes well in his follow-up examination Wednesday, per The News Tribune:

    Walker is tentatively scheduled to be examined Wednesday by Dr. Edward Khalfayan, the club’s medical director, and could be playing catch by the end of the week.

    That could position Walker for a swift comeback because he built endurance during two previous rehab starts. He threw 91 pitches on April 9 in a 10-strikeout performance at Double-A Jackson.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    N/A

     

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8. Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    Double-A Midland (2 games): 5-for-7, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB, K

     

    Overview

    Russell, 20, recovered from a right hamstring injury suffered during spring training in time for the start of the Double-A season, and he made an immediate impact by going 5-for-7 with a double and home run in his first two games.

    Unfortunately, Russell’s hamstring injury flared up once again during that second game, this time resulting in a Grade 3 strain and trip to the disabled list, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

    Most expected Russell to reach the major leagues later this season, but his injury is a major setback that could potentially push back his debut to 2015.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    N/A

     

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7. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    2014 Stats

    Triple-A Reno (3 starts): 16.1 IP, 3.31 ERA, 6 BB, 12 K

     

    Overview

    Archie Bradley was one of several pitchers competing for a spot in Arizona’s Opening Day rotation, but a few shaky starts toward the end of spring training ultimately led to his assignment to Triple-A Reno to open the season.

    After a pair of strong starts (12 IP, 2 ER), Bradley, 21, was roughed up this week against Lehigh Valley, as he allowed four earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. Even though Bradley failed to complete five innings for the first time this year, he still struck out four batters in the outing and generated seven ground-ball outs.

     

    Last Week’s Stats 

    4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (1 start)

     

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6. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians

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    Paul Sancya

    2014 Stats

    Double-A Akron (15 games): .250/.328/.400, 9 R 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB, 6 BB, 10 K

     

    Overview

    Lindor had an outstanding showing this year during spring training, as the 20-year-old batted .316/.350/.579 with three extra-base hits and five RBI while appearing in 11 games.

    The switch-hitting shortstop got off to a hot start at Double-A Akron this season, hitting safely in four straight games and posting a .353 batting average. However, Lindor has cooled off as of late, as he batted .250 last week with no extra-base hits.

    After an impressive showing at Akron during the second half of the 2013 season, Lindor is on the fast track to the major leagues and may not require much time this year in the minors.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    5-for-20, RBI, SB, 4 BB, 3 K (6 games)

     

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5. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs

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    Mark Duncan

    2014 Stats

    Triple-A Iowa (9 games): .133/.188/.367, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K

     

    Overview

    Javier Baez has been a slow starter for most of his professional career, whether to open a season or following a midseason promotion to a more advanced level. It just takes him some time to find his rhythm and timing at the plate.

    So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 21-year-old shortstop began his highly anticipated campaign at Triple-A Iowa by striking out 10 times in his first 26 at-bats (and also getting in an altercation with catcher Eli Whiteside following his ejection from a game).

    To make matters worse, Baez suffered a strained hamstring on April 10 and landed on the seven-day disabled list, according to MiLB.com. The injury wasn’t serious, and Baez returned to action Sunday, striking out three times in four at-bats.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    0-for-4, 3 K (1 game)

     

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4. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Jeff Roberson

    2014 Stats

    Triple-A Memphis (17 games): .297/.348/.500, 12 R, 4 2B, 3 HR 12 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K

     

    Overview

    The Cardinals cut Oscar Taveras from spring training due to a hamstring injury, but the 21-year-old outfielder has since recovered and began the minor league season on time at Triple-A Memphis.

    Taveras has swung a hot bat as of late, as he entered Monday riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he’s batting .320. He hit safely in all six games last week and notched his third home run of the season on Saturday.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    7-for-24, 5 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB, K (6 games)

     

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3. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

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    Pat Sullivan

    2014 Stats

    High-A Lancaster (16 games): .281/.338/.469, 12 R, 2 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB, 6 BB, 9 K

     

    Overview

    Correa enjoyed a red-hot first week at Lancaster this season but cooled down shortly thereafter. However, the 19-year-old’s mini slump was short-lived, as he got back on track last week by batting .346 with four extra-base hits in six games, four of which featured multiple hits.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    9-for-26, 7 R, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 2 BB, 4 K (6 games)

     

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2. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

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    Elise Amendola

    2014 Stats

    MLB (18 games): .270/.403/.349, 8 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 11 BB, 17 K

     

    Overview

    Opening the season as the Red Sox’s everyday shortstop, the 21-year-old Bogaerts has held his own through the first three weeks of the season, showing an excellent eye at the plate (.407 on-base percentage) while hitting safely in 14 of 19 games.

    Since going 0-for-4 on April 15 against the White Sox, Bogaerts has put together a five-game hitting streak during which he’s homered (his first of the season) and coaxed five walks. He’s not tearing the cover off the ball by any means, but Bogaerts nonetheless has been very impressive.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    4-for-17, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K

      

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1. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

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    Jeff Roberson

    2014 Stats

    Double-A New Britain (0 games): N/A

     

    Overview

    Buxton suffered a left wrist sprain on March 19 while diving for a ball in minor league camp and hasn’t played since.

    The injury has forced Buxton to begin the season on the seven-day disabled list, and it may be May before he returns to action. “He will play when he heals,” said Mike Radcliff, Twins director of player personnel, speaking to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Potentially that could be May. It’s hard to forecast.”

    The injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but the Twins obviously will play it safe with the game’s No. 1 prospect.

     

    Last Week’s Stats

    N/A

     

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