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Arizona Diamondbacks: RP Colin Poche, Double-A
(6 G, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP, 1 BB, 19 K, 8.0 IP)
A fifth-round pick out of high school in 2012, Poche signed with the D-backs as a 14th-round pick four years later following a standout season as the ace of the Dallas Baptist staff.
The left-hander moved to the bullpen to begin his pro career and announced himself as a prospect to watch last year, when he posted a 1.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 50.1 innings. His solid three-pitch mix makes him more than just a situational lefty, and he could wind up in a setup role if he keeps missing bats.
Colorado Rockies: C Tom Murphy, Triple-A
(74 PA, .359/.432/.672, 12 XBH, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R)
At 27 years old, Murphy has fallen into the dreaded Quadruple-A category.
This is not the first time he’s crushed Triple-A pitching, but he’s managed just a .214/.289/.485 line over 114 plate appearances in the majors during the past three seasons.
With Rockies catchers hitting a paltry .191/.288/.286, it might be time for Colorado to give Murphy another look.
Los Angeles Dodgers: C Connor Wong, High-A
(54 PA, .396/.463/.979, 12 XBH, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 16 R)
Despite already boasting two of the best catching prospects in baseball in Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith, the Dodgers grabbed Wong in the third round last June.
An elite athlete, Wong was the starting shortstop for the University of Houston during his freshman season. His receiving skills are still a work in progress, but there’s reason to believe he can be an above-average defender.
Meanwhile, his bat has already far exceeded expectations, as he posted an .823 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 108 plate appearances last year. He’s already launched eight home runs this season.
Los Angeles could opt to develop him as an Austin Barnes-type utility player given the other catching options in its system, but either way, he’s a prospect to watch.
San Diego Padres: 1B Josh Naylor, Double-A
(78 PA, .354/.449/.708, 9 XBH, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 14 R)
Naylor possessed some of the best raw power in the 2015 draft, and the Marlins picked him 12th overall. One year later, he was traded to the Padres for Andrew Cashner in a deal involving five other players.
The 20-year-old is still working to turn his raw pop into over-the-fence production, and after hitting just 10 home runs in 488 plate appearances last year, he already has seven long balls in 2018. It’s not clear exactly where he would fit following the Eric Hosmer signing, but his bat should carry him to the majors in short order.
San Francisco Giants: SP John Gavin, Single-A
(3 GS, 1-0, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 4 BB, 19 K, 14.2 IP)
The Giants selected Gavin in the eighth round last June out of Cal State Fullerton, and he didn’t allow an earned run in his first pro season, striking out 22 over 16 innings in rookie ball.
The 6’6″, 230-pound left-hander will need to refine his curveball as a third viable pitch alongside his low-90s fastball and solid changeup if he hopes to remain a starter, but he’s missed more bats than expected to begin his career. His stock is trending upward.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and the Baseball Cube and accurate through Monday.