24) Brendon Sanger, 21, OF: 2.0 WAR. .300/.420/.456 with 4 HR's and 13 SB's
Key Number(s): 17% BB Rate/14% K rate
Our 4th round pick from last year's draft immediately flashed the strike zone command prized by Dipoto-era scouts. Short on big power and speed tools, Sanger currently presents as tweener 4th outfielder, but I also get the sense that his broad base of skills could develop in a couple of different directions. Look for him to partner with fellow on-base machine Taylor Ward and score runs by the bucket load next year while anchoring what should be a very, very good Inland Empire offense.
23) Chris Ellis, 22, rhsp. 2.1 WAR. 3.90 ERA over 140.2 IP pitched, 132 K/63 BB with 130 hits allowed.
Key Number: 4.98 FIP in AA (78 IP)
Losing Sean Newcomb, whose suffocating presence on the mound screams budding star, rankled me, even while I must acknowledge that he brought back a fantastic return. Ellis, on the other hand, seemed overrated. We've seen guys dominate the California League, like Ellis, only to see their peripherals tank in Double A. For some of them, it foreshadowed the wheels coming off of the bus. Think Trevor Reckling, Mark Sappington, and Nick Maronde. With other guys, the indication was that they would need more seasoning. Tyler Chatwood, for example. Ellis strikes me as more similar to the former than the latter. I hope that I'm wrong, and that Ellis succeeds with the Braves.
22) Tim Arakawa, 22, 2b: 2.1 WAR. .278/..377/.393 with 4 HR and 2 SB's
Key Number: 132 wRC+ in the Midwest League
Wow. Arakawa is 2015 draftee, so he put up these numbers in just over half a season's worth of play. He transitioned into pro ball beautifully, becoming arguably the second best hitter in Burlington's line-up upon joining the team. He doesn't have much in the way of tools or projection, so this may be the best slash line that we see from him, but he will certainly play an important, if quieter, role near the top of the Sixers' lineup next year.
21) Chad Hinshaw, 24, OF. 2.2 WAR. .291/.399/.374 w/ 1 HR and 30 SB
Key Number(s): .437 OBP against lefties, 88% SB success rate
Hinshaw's aggregate numbers would be even more impressive if an injury hadn't shelved him for two months, or if I had included his very impressive AFL line (.357/.413/.548 with two more dingers). As it was, Hinshaw put up an excellent season, putting him squarely on the organizational depth chart. While I am no fan of calling the current left field platoon any kind of solution to the Halos' most glaring need, it does leave the door open for Hinshaw, who might provide the Halos' with their very first stolen base threat since Trout decided to stop running. He and Rafael Ortega might be the Gentry and Nava of 2017...
Does it hurt to read that?
My hope is that he settles in as a competent fourth outfielder after a legit left-handed hitting left fielder takes over.
20) Alfredo Marte, 26, OF. 2.2 WAR. .318/.381/.469 w/ 7 HR's and 7 SB's
Key Number: Projected .667 MLB OPS in 2016, courtesy of Marcel
I'm bored typing this. Are you bored reading this? No offense Alfredo. Good luck with the Orioles.
19) Bo Way, 23 OF. 2.3 WAR. .277/.349/.371 w/ 2 HR and 27 SB
Key Number: 128 games started in Center Field
Can he keep up his 101 RC+ ways in Double A? The world is dying to know.
18) Michael Bolaski, 23, rhsp. 2.3 WAR. 3.63 ERA through 143.2 IP. 73 K/55 BB with 143 hits allowed
Key Number: 4.6 K/9
After hitting .203 as a third baseman in the Midwest League back in 2013, Bolaski converted to the mound and earned another few years of professional baseball. He has a very good curveball and spotted his fastball sufficiently down in the zone to post a 59% groundball rate last year, but his k%-bb% was a pathetic 3% (even with all of the walks, Sean Newcomb hovered around 18% by this metric for most of the year). I don't think that Bolaski survives as a starter in Inland Empire next year, but would absolutely love to be proven wrong.
17) Jose Saurez, 17. Lhsp. 2.4 WAR. 2.96 ERA over 73 IP, 46 K/12 BB and 71 Hits allowed
Key Number (s): 60.4% Groundball Rate & 0 HR allowed
The Halos signed Saurez, then just 16, last offseason out of Venezuela for $300,000. Due to the Baldoquin signing, we won't have a shot at a guy like this again until July of... 2017. Blah.
At any rate, check out the ground balls. Great, right? He was tough on righties, posting a 61% GB rate and decent 16% k-rate. All good if not dominant signs. Will he show enough in spring training to make a full season squad? In all seriousness, with this farm, that's one of the big questions for me.