Minor League Baseball 2017 League Top 10 Prospects – Midwest League

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Bo Bichette /
2 of 6

10. Hudson Potts, 3B, San Diego Padres

Many were confused when the Padres backed up their early selection of righty Cal Quantrill with lesser-known high-school infielder Hudson Potts when they had a huge pool in the 2016 draft. Potts was considered a likely college commit to Texas A&M, so for the Padres to get him and to get him for a below-market deal was impressive, though still confusing as to why they went with Potts versus other options in that spot.

Then Potts went out in his first season with the Arizona Rookie League and couple of weeks in the Northwest League in his draft season, hitting .280/.338/.366 with 12 doubles and 10 stolen bases, flashing more ready power and athleticism than was assumed to be there.

Potts simply built on that this season with Fort Wayne, hitting .253/.293/.438, with 23 doubles, 4 triples, and 20 home runs. The big issue that he showed this season was an aggressive approach that led to a 4.4% walk rate and a 26.8% strikeout rate.

Potts has legit raw power that could rate as plus, but he has a bit of load into his swing and he struggles with his lower half getting out of position in his swing due to pitch recognition issues, so his contact skills lag behind his power currently, but there is the bat speed there to believe he could have average contact skills once he builds on that pitch recognition.

The impressive move was how well he played defensively at third base. A high school shortstop, Potts played around the infield last season, but moving to third this season was quite natural. Potts has the arm to handle the position certainly as well as quick-trigger movements at third.

Potts does have solid athleticism, but he filled out plenty into his frame over the last year, likely bumping his speed to below-average, but he still shows solid instincts at the hot corner.

He’ll likely open next to his infield mate Tatis in high-A in 2018.

9. Lewin Diaz, 1B, Minnesota Twins

A 2013 signing out of the Dominican Republic, Diaz has worked his way up the system slowly before exploding with Elizabethton in 2016, where he hit .310/.353/.575 with 9 home runs over 46 games. This season’s numbers at first glance may not inspire, as Diaz hit .292/.329/.444 with Cedar Rapids.

A deeper look at Diaz shows that while he only had 12 home runs, he was the league’s leader in doubles with 33. He has a swing that can punish the ball, yet Diaz is not someone who has big strikeout rates, whiffing in just 15.7% of his plate appearances.

Seeing him hit is where you immediately see what the Twins love in Diaz. He could be an absolute dead ringer for another lefty-swinging hitter that came up through the system before the organization made the regrettable decision to let him head to Boston and become a legend there.

Diaz is much more athletic than Ortiz ever was, however, and he’s a legit fringe-plus defender at first base in the way he can move around the bag and ensure nothing gets past him from his fielders in the infield. He’ll not likely ever be stolen base threat, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t athletic for a 1B.

Diaz is still completely growing into his power and turns 21 in the offseason, so the Twins would like to see him jump a couple levels soon, but he’ll likely open with high-A Fort Myers in 2018.