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Hot Prospects To Watch - Seth Corry, Ryan Mountcastle And More

As we approach the end of the minor league seasons, we'd like to point out a few of the notable players at the Single-A level. Young players in Single-A ball don't always get the notoriety in this space, mainly because they're at least several years away from potentially cracking a big league roster. But that doesn't mean some of them don't have extremely high pedigrees.

The South Atlantic League announced their All-Stars Tuesday morning. Rockies shortstop Terrin Vavra (team's No. 7 prospect) and Giants pitcher Seth Corry (No. 9) were named MVP and Most Outstanding Pitcher. Orioles pitcher Grayson Rodriguez (No. 2) was named Most Outstanding MLB Prospect. The O's righty ranks as the No. 45 prospect in all of baseball.

Some of the others named to the All-Star team include Red Sox corner infielder Triston Casas (No. 1), Pirates first baseman Mason Martin (No. 19), Orioles middle infielder Adam Hall (No. 14), Yankees outfielder Canaan Smith (No. 26) and Braves outfielder Justin Dean (No. 23).

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Giants Have A Most Outstanding Pitcher

Seth Corry - SP, San Francisco Giants

Back to Corry. The Giants No. 9 prospect and top left-hander's 1.66 ERA (second-lowest in the minors) at Single-A Augusta earned him Most Outstanding Pitcher honors in the South Atlantic League this year. The 20-year-old also leads the league with 168 strikeouts, a 1.04 WHIP, a .160 average against and a 34.4 percent strikeout rate. It's been a good year, to say the least.

The third-round pick in 2017 has been to slow develop, though, as this has been his first full professional season. The southpaw hits the low-90s with his fastball, but his bread-and-butter pitch is his 12-to-6 curveball. Something to watch as he advances to the higher levels of the minors is his command. Corry walked 6.86 hitter per nine last year and lowered it to 4.31 BB/9 this season.

Some scouts have compared him to Matt Moore, but Corry still has plenty to prove and must continue to get better at throwing consistent strikes in order to pan out as a real option for San Francisco's rotation in a few years. He's just one to watch for now and into the 2020 minor league season.

 

Ryan Mounting His Way Toward Majors

Ryan Mountcastle - 1B, Baltimore Orioles

Mountcastle was named the Most Valuable Player of the Triple-A International League on Tuesday. The team's No. 4 prospect and No. 68 overall leads the league with 154 hits and 264 total bases and is among the league leaders in extra-base hits (59), RBI (80), runs scored (79) and slugging percentage (.528). His 25 home runs are a career-high, and he's hitting .308 (154-for-500).

The 22-year-old was a first-round pick (36th overall) back in 2015 as a potential impact bat at the major league level. He's pretty much hit at each of his stops in the minor leagues, which is something he needs to do because of his below-average defense. Mountcastle's quick hands and ability to barrel the ball to all fields has shown itself as he gets closer to Baltimore.

It remains to be seen if he'll be a September call-up for the well-out-of-contention Orioles, but he'll certainly need to adopt some more patience at the plate if he's to hit for a useful average and on-base percentage. Mountcastle has 124 strikeouts and only 22 walks this year at Triple-A Norfolk. Because of questions surround his glove, he's likely to stick at first base at the next level.

 

Angels Could Be Stacked In Outfield Soon

Brandon Marsh - OF, Los Angeles Angels

With Jo Adell likely joining Mike Trout in the Angels outfield in 2020, could Marsh be right behind? He's hitting a cool .299/.383/.429 with seven home runs, 42 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 92 games for Double-A Mobile, including going 30-for-83 (.361) with three long balls, 17 RBI and four steals in 22 games in August.

The 21-year-old left-handed hitter was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft and is already LA's No. 2 prospect behind Adell. Marsh, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, is definitely behind Adell in terms of tools and readiness, but he's getting closer. The outfielder struck out 158 times in 503 at-bats in 2018 but has fanned only 88 times while drawing 45 free passes in 345 at-bats this year.

Not only should Marsh be able to hit for power and steal bases at the next level, but his defense will play at all three outfield spots. He could be a very intriguing fantasy asset for his ability to contribute across most categories. The question will be if there is any room alongside Trout and Adell in a year or two. But this outfield certainly has the potential to be one of the best in the game in the very near future.

 

Marquez Putting Himself On The Map

Brailyn Marquez - SP, Chicago Cubs

This left-handed Dominican product has become Chicago's top pitching prospect in 2019. After getting the promotion from Single-A South Bend to High-A Myrtle Beach, Marquez has gone 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 20 strikeouts and only six walks in 20 1/3 frames over his four starts. Overall this year he has a 3.23 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and impressive 11.2 K/9 in 21 starts.

The 20-year-old has become one of the hardest throwing left-handers in the minors with his ability to regularly hit triple digits with his heater. He's ranked as the Cubbies' No. 4 prospect this year, but he could become one of the more attractive left-handed arms in all of baseball if he continues to grow. If Marquez's curveball continues to show promise, you're looking at a potentially dominant southpaw.

So far in the minors, Marquez has shown solid command, although he has walked 4.5 hitters per nine innings in 2019. His low arm slot and inconsistent mechanics could cause some issues with his ability to throw strikes regularly, but that's about the only concern right now. Marquez has some developing to do and won't be rushed by Chicago. He might become an option for the rotation in a couple seasons.

 

Hayes The Bucs Third Baseman Of Future?

Ke'Bryan Hayes - 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh's No. 2 prospect and No. 37 overall, Hayes is hitting .262/.330/.414 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 104 games for Triple-A Indianapolis this year. Those aren't numbers that jump out, but it's what he's done in the second half that has turned heads (.288 average, seven homers, 23 RBI, four steals).

Hayes was a first-round pick (32nd overall) in 2015 and was an Eastern League All-Star and played in the Futures Game in 2018. The 22-year-old has a contact-oriented approach at the plate and also has a solid knowledge of the strike zone, so he should be able to continue hitting for a high average. He's not your typical power-hitting corner infielder, but his pop should improve as he gains strength and grows into his 6-foot-1, 210-pound frames.

With Pittsburgh not really set at the hot corner in the big leagues, we could see Hayes stake his claim to third base at some point in 2020. There's a lot to like about Hayes' future progression, and it helps that he's also one of the best defensive third basemen in the minor leagues already.

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