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

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

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

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Another week, another promotion of a top prospect to the major leagues.

    With Kevin Gausman called upon to join Baltimore's rotation, the rankings of MLB's top-10 prospects have changed for the second consecutive week, resulting in a new face entering the mix.

    Not only does Week 10 have us welcoming a newcomer to the party, but it also has us welcoming back Addison Russell, who only recently returned to action after a more than two-month layoff.

    Lets take a look at how Russell and the rest of the top 10 fared in the newest edition of "Stock Up, Stock Down," based upon Bleacher Report's preseason rankings.

      

    Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of MiLB.com and current through games as of June 8.

1. OF Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Last Week's Stats

    N/A

     

    Overview

    The wrist injury that Byron Buxton originally suffered in spring training and aggravated in early May continues to keep baseball's best prospect off the field.

    While its shown improvement, Buxton's wrist is still sore, and he's not able to swing a bat, Brad Steil, Minnesota's director of minor league operations, told La Velle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune. According to Neal, Buxton remains on a cardio-only program in Fort Myers, Florida, until the soreness subsides.

    That his wrist is improving, albeit slowly, is good news. But until Buxton is actually able to pick up a bat, much less get into a game with Single-A Fort Myers, his stock will continue to stay flat.

     

    2014 Stats

    5 G, .150 (3-for-20), .150 OBP, .350 SLG, 2B, HR, 2 RBI

     

    Stock: Even

2. SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

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    Last Week's Stats

    7 G, .417 (10-for-24), 4 XBH, 4 RBI, 10 R, 12 BB, 3 K, 6-for-7 SB


    Overview

    Carlos Correa is quickly playing himself out of a job with High-A Lancaster.

    The 19-year-old shortstop continues to destroy Cal League pitching, putting together a stat line for the week that stands out for multiple reasons. You could point to the dozen walks that he drew, the 10 runs that he scored or the fact that nearly half of his hits for the week went for extra bases.

    Lest we forget, swiping six bags in seven games isn't shabby, either.

    While the Astros have no reason to rush Correa through the farm system, he's making it pretty clear that his current level of competition doesn't pose much of a challenge.

     

    2014 Stats

    55 G, .330 (73-for-221), .419 OBP, .507 SLG, 24 XBH (5 HR), 52 RBI, 20-for-24 SB, 31 BB, 38 K

     

    Stock: Up

3. SS Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

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    Last Week's Stats

    5 G, .333 (5-for-15), 2B, HR. 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 1-for-1 SB

     

    Overview

    After avoiding serious injury after getting hit on the wrist on June 3, Javier Baez returned to Triple-A Iowa's lineup with a vengeance.

    Heading into action this past Friday, Baez was in the midst of a miserable slump, having picked up only one hit in his previous 21 at-bats. From Friday through Sunday, Baez went 5-for-11, a three-game hitting streak that accounted for all of his Week 10 offense.

    It's not the first time this season that we've seen Baez struggle mightily, only to bounce back with a short burst of awesome and falter again. Case in point: After going 1-for-23 in seven games from May 7 to May 15, Baez embarked on an 11-game hitting streak, hitting .422 (19-for-45).

    Shortly thereafter, the 1-for-21 slump began.

    If we've learned anything from Baez during what has been a disappointing season, it's that he's incredibly streaky. He's going to have to produce on a far more consistent basis than he has for the Cubs to seriously start considering his promotion to the big leagues.

     

    2014 Stats

    50 G, .230 (42-for-183), .292 OBP, .426 SLG, 19 XBH (8 HR), 29 RBI, 8-for-9 SB, 14 BB, 70 K

     

    Stock: Up

4. SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

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    Rob Tringali/Getty Images

    Last Week's Stats

    5 G, .200 (4-for-20), 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R, BB, 2 K, 5-for-6 SB

     

    Overview

    June hasn't been a great month for Francisco Lindor at the plate, with the 20-year-old hitting only .227 (5-for-23) in June. However, things have picked up over the past week, as Lindor picked up four of his five hits on the month, including his only extra-base hit.

    While he's scuffling a bit at the plate, Lindor remains an integral piece of the puzzle for Double-A Akron and Cleveland's future. His manager, former major leaguer Brian Daubach, reaffirmed as much to the Patriot News' Geoff Morrow:

    He's not swinging the bat great right now, but he's an exciting player. He made a huge double play [Friday night]. This guy can really pick it at short. He loves playing the game. He's got a lot of energy. He's fun to watch. He's an exciting player with a bright future.

    One of the youngest players in the Eastern League, Lindor is still a prime candidate for a late-season promotion to the big leagues, though how the Indians fare between now and the July 31 trade deadline will play a large role in dictating just how late his arrival will be.

     

    2014 Stats

    57 G, .271 (60-for-221), .363 OBP, .380 SLG, 13 XBH (4 HR), 34 RBI, 17-for-23 SB, 32 BB, 38 K

     

    Stock: Down

5. SP Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Last Week's Stats

    N/A

     

    Overview

    Archie Bradley has made enough progress as he works his way back from a mild flexor strain in his pitching elbow for Arizona's Director of Player Development Mike Bell to give a vague timeline for when the team's top prospect might be ready to get back on the mound.

    "He should be ready to go probably the last week in June," Bell told told the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro. "That's kind of what we have our sights set on. We'll let how he's feeling dictate what we do. I think everybody feels pretty confident with how he's doing."

    Bradley faced live batters for the first time in weeks this past Friday, after which the 21-year-old took to Twitter to give an update:

    It was great to throw to hitters today! Felt strong and healthy! Excited with the way things at going!

    — Archie Bradley (@ArchieBradley7) June 6, 2014

    After more than a month of waiting for his elbow to heal, things are finally looking up for the 21-year-old, who will look to leave his disappointing start—and injury woes—in the past when he does finally take the mound for Triple-A Reno again.

     

    2014 Stats

    5 GS, 1-4, 5.18 ERA, 24.1 IP, 26 H, 14 ER, 12 BB, 23 K

     

    Stock: Up

6. SS Addison Russell, Oakland Athletics

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    Last Week's Stats

    1 G, .667 (2-for-3), BB, SO, 1-for-1 SB

     

    Overview

    Addison Russell showed no ill effects from the torn hamstring that kept him out of action for more than two months in his return to action on Sunday, going 2-for-3 in his first game since April 4.

    Making his first appearance with the High-A Stockton Ports since late 2013, Russell tested his hamstring early, swiping second base in the first inning without issue.

    That his first game back came in familiar surroundings may have played a part in his success, as he explained to Bay Sports Net's (and B/R's) Karl Buscheck“It feels great," Russell said. "Especially in Stockton where I’m pretty familiar with the area, familiar with some of the guys that I've played with, familiar with the fans. I love this ballpark. So, it feels great to be back.”

    Pulled after seven innings, Russell said there was no timetable for him to return to Double-A Midland, where he began the season, though Ports manager Ryan Christenson indicated before the game that he expected the 20-year-old shortstop to remain with the club through Saturday.

     

    2014 Stats (Double-A)

    2 G, .714 (5-for-7), .714 OBP, .1.286 SLG, 2 XBH (HR), 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, 1-for-2 SB

     

    Stock: Up

7. SP Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 4.50 ERA, 2.0 IP, H, ER, 4 BB, 4 K, HBP

     

    Overview

    While there have been no reports to indicate that his injured right shoulder is giving him problems, Taijuan Walker was thoroughly disappointing in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma. Walker needed 56 pitches to get through two innings, walking four and hitting a batter in the process.

    It was an ugly enough performance for Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon to wonder just how close the team's top pitching prospect was to rejoining the major league rotation.

    "Taijuan didn't throw very well," McClendon told MLB.com's Greg Johns. "I'll talk to Jack (Zduriencik, Seattle GM) today and see what happens. We've got an off-day tomorrow and a chance to rest some guys, and then we'll see where we go from there."

    Walker has made a pair of rehab starts for Tacoma, and neither one has been particularly encouraging. Two weeks ago, the 21-year-old was lit up for four earned runs and five hits—including a pair of home runs—in only three innings of work.

     

    2014 Stats (minor league rehab)

    4 GS, 1-1, 3.77 ERA, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 24 K

     

    Stock: Down

8. SP Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Last Week's Stats

    1 GS, 40.50 ERA, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER

     

    Overview

    Making his first start for Triple-A Las Vegas since coming off of the disabled list with a right forearm strain, injury has forced Noah Syndergaard to the sidelines again.

    New York's top pitching prospect injured his left shoulder as he tried to make a play at home plate after throwing a wild pitch in the first inning:

    (GIF courtesy of @MetsKevin11 via Twitter)

    According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, the official diagnosis was a sprained A/C joint in his non-throwing shoulder. Considering how bad things could have been, that Syndergaard will rest for a week before being re-evaluated should be considered good news.

    That said, Las Vegas manager Wally Backman was none too pleased with his ace. “He was fighting to save a run, but you don’t want your pitchers diving into home plate like that, because stuff like that can happen,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Todd Dewey after the game.

    As for how much further this latest setback will push Syndergaard's expected arrival date in the major leagues, Backman thinks people need to stop asking the question:

    Everybody thinks he’s on the Wheeler-Harvey type of system. I think he’ll stay here a little bit longer than those guys did, just to develop. He’s a 21-year-old kid who’s got a very special arm. I think the organization wants to make sure that he’s right when he goes to the big leagues.

    He'll have to prove that he can stay on the mound first before the Mets tell Backman to get Syndergaard on a plane to LaGuardia Airport.

     

    2014 Stats

    11 GS, 5-3, 4.47 ERA, 54.1 IP, 62 H, 27 ER, 6 HR, 19 BB, 57 K

     

    Stock: Down

9. 3B Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Last Week's Stats

    N/A

     

    Overview

    According to MLB.com's Alex M. Smith, Twins Director of Scouting Deron Johnson said that Miguel Sano could be taking at-bats in the minor leagues by August. That reaffirms what assistant GM Rob Antony told the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino back in March, only days after Sano underwent Tommy John surgery.

    Minnesota has absolutely no reason to rush Sano back, but if he can get some at-bats late in the season and begin to shake off some of the rust before he heads to the Dominican Winter League, which typically begins in mid-October, that wouldn't be a bad thing.

     

    2014 Stats

    N/A

     

    Stock: Even

10. C Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres

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    Last Week's Stats

    5 G, .250 (5-for-20), HR, RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K

     

    Overview

    With every passing week, the more distant a memory Austin Hedges' brutally slow start to the season becomes.

    After hitting only .220 (18-for-82) over his first 21 games of the season, Hedges has raised his season average nearly 40 points, hitting .288 (32-for-111) since. That includes an impressive 16-game stretch in May that saw him hit .379 with 10 extra-base hits.

    Hedges, who hit his fifth home run of the season last week, has already surpassed his season total from 2013 and sits halfway to matching his career-high of 10, which he set in 2012 with Single-A Fort Wayne.

    Defensively, Hedges continues to prove that teams shouldn't bother running against him, throwing out half of the baserunners who were foolish enough to challenge him last week, which is right in line with his 40 percent caught-stealing percentage on the year.

     

    2014 Stats

    51 G, .259 (50-for-193), .309 OBP, .409 SLG, 19 XBH (5 HR), 24 RBI, 0-for-3 SB, 11 BB, 37 K

     

    Stock: Even