Top 115 Prospect Recap; 95-100


Aug 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d

We continue our recap of the pre-season top 115 prospects with Numbers 95 through 100. 101-110 and 111-115 can be found here and here.

#100 – Henry Owens, left-handed pitcher, Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’6”, 205

Born: July 21, 1992 (age 21)

2013 Stats: 11-6, 2.67 ERA, 26 GS, 135.0 IP, 169 SO, 1.126 WHIP

Repertoire: Owens throws a fastball that rests in the high 80s to low 90s, and also throws a curveball, and changeup.

Heading into 2013… Owens moved up to the Carolina League after a mediocre 2012 season in the South Atlantic League. In 2012 Owens posted a 4.87 ERA and a 1.446 WHIP. Owens was added to the Red Sox organization in return for Victor Martinez being lost in free agency before the 2012 season. Expectations were for a strong season in the Carolina League, with a possible stint at Double AA.

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… As the 2013 season comes to a close, Red Sox fans will look at Owen’s production optimistically. With a low ERA and high strikeout number, Owens performed well in single and double A. Even more promising was that Owen went from an ERA of 2.92 in Single A to a 1.78 ERA in Double AA. Owens finished the year with a stellar last six starts, in which he only gave up a combined six runs.

Looking ahead…. As the possible best pitching prospect in The Red Soxs’ organization, there will be much more pressure placed on Owens next season. Owens will most likely start the season in Portland, but will have a great chance at moving up to Triple AAA later on in the season. A shot at the big leagues still looks to be about a year away for the 21 year old.

Feb 20, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Manny Banuelos (67) during photo day at Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

#99 – Manny Banuelos, left-handed pitcher, New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 5’11”, 200

Born: March 13, 1991 (age 22)

Repertoire: Banuelos throws a fastball that rests in the high 80s to low 90s, and compliments it with a changeup and curveball.

Heading into 2013… Banuelos underwent Tommy John surgery in October, 2012 and was expected to miss the entire season. A former top prospect, the surgery was a serious to set back that plummeted his already waning stock

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… Banuelos was forced to miss the entire 2013 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

Looking ahead…. Previously touted as the Yankees best minor league starter, Banuelos will have to prove himself in 2014. If all goes as plan, he will be ready to return to the mound in Triple AAA when the season begins, and if he is successful could see time at the major league level. 

July 17, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals first round draft pick Lucas Giolito in the dugout before a game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

#98 – Lucas Giolito, right-handed pitcher, Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’6”, 225

Born: July 14, 1994 (age 19)

2013 Stats: 2-1, 1.96 ERA, 11 GS, 36.2 IP.

Repertoire: Giolito has a fastball that’s sits in the mid 90s and even a 100 MPH heater his first game of 2012. Giolito also has breaking ball and changeup.

Heading into 2013… After being named Baseball America High School Pitcher of The Year in 2011, Giolito had to get Tommy John Surgery after only one start. Giolito was not expected to play much in 2013, if at all.

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… As the 2013 season comes to a close, Nationals’ fans will not have much to judge Giolito with. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Giolito was able to return to baseball at the end of the year for 36.2 IP in Rookie Ball and Single A. The Nationals organization made sure that not much pressure was put on Giolito’s arm as he was held to a little over 3 innings per start.

Looking ahead…. As the 16th overall draft pick in the 2011 draft, immense pressure was put on the youngster. Most likely, Giolito will begin his first full year in Single A, where he will probably stay for most of the year. If he is fully recovered from his surgery, Giolito, who was once predicted by scouts to be first overall pick, could be a force to be reckoned with in Washington for years to come.

Sep 17, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) hits an RBI double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

#97 – Wilmer Flores, third baseman, New York Mets

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 190

Born: August 6, 1991 (age 22)

2013 Stats: Triple AAA: 107 G, 15 HR, 86 RBI, 69 R, .321 AVG, .

Major Leagues: 22 G, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, .211 AVG

Heading into 2013… Flores spent 2012 in Single and Double A. He batted about a combined .300 AVG, 18 HR, and 75 RBI. After a good year, Flores was expected to start the year in Triple AAA, and possibly make a contribution to the big league club as a late call up in September.

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… Flores had a great year in The Mets’ Triple AAA affiliate, Las Vegas. He tore up the league with his .321 average and 86 RBIS in only 107 games. After a stellar season in the minors, Flores was called up the big league club in early August after The Mets’ starting third baseman, David Wright, was sidelined by a hamstring injury. Flores began his career in the majors by hitting for 9 RBIs in his first 27 games. After this successful beginning, Flores cooled off and has begun to struggle of late, and is only hitting at a .211 average through 22 games.

Looking ahead…. Wilmer’s future has become murkier as not only he has played poorly towards the end of the season, but also The Mets seem to be set at their infield positions. The Mets have sure players in David Wright at third base and Daniel Murphy at second. Ike Davis is questionable at first, but it seems that The Mets will give Davis another chance next year. Questions still surround the shortstop position which Flores played a lot of early in his minor league career, but which he has not played since 2011. Most likely Flores will be battling in next years spring training for a job with The Mets as a utility man and pinch hitter.

#96 – Cody Buckel, right-handed pitcher, Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’1”, 185

Born: June 18, 1992 (age 21)

2013 Stats: 0-6, 21.09 ERA, 10.2 IP

Repertoire: Buckel’s fastball is in the low 90s range. Along with his fastball, he throws a curveball, changeup and slider.

Heading into 2013… Buckel had a very good 2012 season in which he went 10-8 and had a combined 2.49 ERA in 13 games in each Single A and Double AA. After this respectable year, Buckel went to The Rangers’ spring training with an outside shot of making the big league ball club. Buckel eventually missed the team, but was expected to contribute big for the Double AA team and eventually move on to Triple AAA and The Major Leagues.

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… The 2013 season was a complete disaster for Cody Buckel. In 5 starts at AA Frisco, he was only able to stay in the game for 9.1 innings, while walking 28 batters and giving up 27 runs. After this catastrophe, Buckel was re-assigned to extended spring training in Arizona. After staying in Arizona for most of the season, Buckel returned to the minors in Rookie Ball, where he gave up 4 runs in only 1.1 IP in two starts.

Looking ahead…. Buckel’s struggles have left his future with The Rangers very uncertain. Most reports out there make it seem as if Buckel’s promblems are more due to his mental state than his mechanics. Whether this means that he can be fixed quicker, remains to be seen. The Rangers will reevaluate him at spring training next year.

#95 – A.J. Cole, right-handed pitcher, Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’4”, 180

Born: January 5, 1992 (age 21)

2013 Stats: 10-5, 3.60 ERA, 142.2 IP, 151 SO, 1.121 WHIP

Repertoire: Cole has a fastball that travels from the 92-95 MPH range, which he complements with a knuckle curveball and changeup.

Heading into 2013…. 2012 was a very mediocre year for Cole as he posted a 3.70 ERA in 133.2 innings. He posted these numbers in Single A, and was expected to play next year in both Single A and Double AA. After being drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cole has been a little disappointing. He had posted pretty average numbers and the Nationals hoped that the 2013 season would be his breakthrough year.

Now that the 2013 season is (almost) over… Cole’s 2013 season was another ordinary one. He allowed a little over three and a half runs for nine innings, and had strong strikeout numbers. He was able to throw these stats in Single A, but was able to advance to Double AA. He even lowered his ERA when he moved from Single A (where he threw a 4.25 ERA) to Double AA (where he had a 2.18 ERA). His season was not superb, but was definitely efficient.

Looking ahead…. As a 21 year old prospect, Cole’s future is still bright. While it does not seem that he is going to be a star in the Majors one day, it is definitely plausible that he good be an effective Major League starter one day. If he can bring his minor league numbers, which he has been pretty consistent with, he can be a positive contributor to the big league club one day.