Stock Up, Stock Down on MLB's Top 10 Prospects After Week 8
Javier Baez is back.
The Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect has finally awoken from an epic slump, but the past week didn't go quite as well for a number of other top MLB prospects.
Outfielder Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins, starting pitcher Archie Bradley of the Arizona Diamondbacks, shortstop Addison Russell of the Oakland Athletics and starter Taijuan Walker of the Seattle Mariners all remain on the sidelines. Plus, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets is the latest injury casualty.
Now, let's take a look at the Week 8 installment of Stock Up, Stock Down for MLB's top 10 prospects from Bleacher Report's preseason rankings.
1. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Last Week's Stats: N/A
Byron Buxton, the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, remains in extended spring training as he works his way back from a wrist injury.
The Minnesota Twins' outfielder originally sprained his wrist back in spring training. The 20-year-old then re-aggravated the injury on May 8 while playing in a High-A game, which led to him getting an MRI, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
As Bollinger reports, the club still has no timetable for when Buxton will return to the field.
2014 Stats: .150 (3-for-20), .150 OBP, .350 SLG, 5 G, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
2. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
Last Week's Stats:* .400 (8-for-20), 6 G, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 5 BB, 3 K, 3 SB
Just 19 years old, Carlos Correa is enjoying all sorts of success in the California League in 2014.
That trend continued over the past week as he hit .400 in six contests. The shortstop also added a pair of home runs, giving him four on the season. Correa has now driven in 39 runs in 42 games and has been battering right-handed pitching. Against righties, the No. 1 pick from the 2012 draft owns a .394 average and a 1.049 OPS.
2014 Stats: .314 (54-for-172), .379 OBP, .471 SLG, 42 G, 9 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 10 SB
*Note: Stats cover games from May 20-26.
3. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week's Stats: .500 (15-for-30), 7 G, 3 2B, HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Suffice it to say that Oscar Taveras had an excellent week.
The outfielder collected five multi-hit games and has 15 overall. The 21-year-old also connected on his seventh home run and added nine RBI. So, when will he arrive in the big leagues?
General manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he thinks Taveras could play in the majors right now. As Mozeliak explained, though, the question is figuring out how to fit his bat into the lineup every day.
2014 Stats: .323 (60-for-186), .369 OBP, .527 SLG, 47 G, 15 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 40 RBI, SB
4. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
Last Week's Stats: .466 (14-for-30), 7 G, 7 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, SB, BB, 9 K
After a glacial start to the season, Javier Baez torched the Pacific Coast League last week.
The 21-year-old was named the PCL Player of the Week, per MILB.com. Baez hit .466, smashed seven doubles, connected on three home runs and drove in 11 runs. The shortstop is now in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak.
As Jaron Madison, the Chicago Cubs' director of player development, put it to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Baez is "starting to lock in."
2014 Stats: .225 (34-for-151), .287 OBP, .437 SLG, 39 G, 9 2B, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 4 SB
5. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
Last Week's Stats: .280 (7-for-25), 6 G, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB, 4 BB, 5 K
Francisco Lindor hit safely in all but one of the games he appeared in last week for the Double-A club of the Cleveland Indians. However, none of those hits went for extra bases.
On the season, the 20-year-old is now batting at a clip of .289. Lindor has demonstrated excellent on-base skills with a .371 OBP and has also piled up 11 steals. It seems like it's only a matter of time before the shortstop will be on his way to Triple-A or possibly even the major leagues.
2014 Stats: .289 (52-for-180), .371 OBP, .417 SLG, 46 G, 5 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 11 SB
6. Archie Bradley, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week's Stats: N/A
Archie Bradley is slowly working his way back from a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow, which has kept him off the mound since April 26. After being shut down for three weeks, the No. 7 pick from the 2011 MLB draft has resumed throwing, according to Zach Buchanan of AZCentral.com.
However, the elbow problem is not the only issue that Bradley has to contend with.
In a recent interview on MLB Network Radio, Arizona Diamondbacks roving pitching instructor Dave Duncan scorched the 21-year-old, according to Buchanan. Duncan remarked that Bradley "still has a lot to do to be a legitimate guy to consider for the major-league rotation."
For his part, Bradley told Buchanan that he "hopes" to return to games by July and arrive in the big leagues before the end of the season. The starter also tweets that he's aiming to throw a bullpen later this week and that he's "feeling strong and healthy!"
2014 Stats: 1-4, 5.18 ERA, 5 GS, 24.1 IP, 26 H, 14 ER, 12 BB, 23 K
7. Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics
Last Week's Stats: N/A
Like Byron Buxton and Archie Bradley, Addison Russell is currently on the shelf.
Back on April 4, the shortstop tore his hamstring in just the second game of the season and has been out of action since then. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the 20-year-old has been fielding grounders and taking batting practice since the middle of May. Still, there's no "date" for when Russell will rejoin the Oakland Athletics' Double-A club.
2014 Stats: .714 (5-for-7), .714 OBP, 1.286 SLG, 2 G, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB
8. Taijuan Walker, SP, Seattle Mariners
Last Week's Stats: N/A
Add Taijuan Walker to the list of sidelined super prospects.
The 21-year-old has only appeared in two minor league games in 2014 as he has dealt with ongoing shoulder issues. However, the starter is definitely moving in the right direction. Walker told Adam Jude of The Seattle Times that he felt "strong" after throwing a three-inning simulated game at Safeco Field on May 23.
According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the next step for Walker will be to pitch a rehab game for the Seattle Mariners' Triple-A affiliate on Wednesday. The right-hander is slated to throw 70-75 pitches.
2014 Stats: 1-0, 0.96 ERA, 2 GS, 9.1 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 17 K
9. Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
Last Week's Stats: 5.40 ERA, GS, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 6 K
It's not looking good for Noah Syndergaard.
The pitching prospect for the New York Mets has landed on the Triple-A DL with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow, according to CBS New York. The 21-year-old will be examined by team doctors in New York and undergo an MRI.
The injury can be a "precursor" for Tommy John surgery, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York explains. However, for now, the team isn't describing the injury as "overly concerning," per Rubin.
Syndergaard last pitched on May 21. In five innings of work, he racked up six strikeouts, one of which you can watch above.
2014 Stats: 5-2, 4.02 ERA, 10 GS, 53.2 IP, 59 H, 24 ER, 6 HR, 19 BB, 57 K
10. Kevin Gausman, SP, Baltimore Orioles
Last Week's Stats: 1-1, 3.24 ERA, 2 GS, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, HR, BB, 9 K
Kevin Gausman finally earned his first win of 2014 in his ninth start of the season on May 25.
The Baltimore Orioles prospect worked 6.1 scoreless innings and allowed just four hits. As Ashley Marshall of MiLB.com notes, the outing was the first time this season that Gausman hasn't walked a batter.
However, the 23-year-old enjoyed considerably less success when he took the mound earlier in the week. On May 20, Gausman was the losing pitcher as he served up four runs in five innings. Still, he did manage to punch out six batters.
2014 Stats: (MLB) 0-1, 11.25 ERA, GS, 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; (Triple-A) 1-2, 2.41 ERA, 8 GS, 37.1 IP, 33 H, 10 ER, 2 HR, 15 HR, 35 K
Note: All stats courtesy of MiLB.com.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.
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