Checking in with some sleeper prospects

On Tuesday, I took a look at the early-season performance of some of the Yankees’ top prospects across the minor leagues, but particularly in Charleston.  Today, I will be looking at the performances of some guys who have flown under the  radar.

Adam Warren, who should be motivated by the presence of longtime rival David Phelps in the major leagues, is off to a bit of a slow start to the season.  He got rocked in his first outing, giving up 6 runs in 3 innings of work, but settled down in his second outing, surrendering just 2 runs in 6 2/3 innings.  Overall, in 9 2/3 inning, Warren has given up 14 hits, 6 walks, and struck out only 2 batters.

DJ Mitchell has had more success in the Scranton rotation so far.  Overall, Mitchell has put up a 2.12 ERA over his 3 starts (including 8 innings of shutout ball last night) with 15 strikeouts against just 5 walks.

In the Scranton lineup, DeWayne Wise, while old for a prospect, has torn the cover off the ball.  Wise is batting .517/.548/1.034 with 3 homers on the year, and could wind up in the bigs at some point if Brett Gardner is out for a while.

Down in Trenton, Melky Mesa is off to a great start for the Thunder.  Mesa has posted a .283/.340/.587 line thus far, with 4 homers, 3 stolen bases, and good reports on his centerfield defense.  Probably the most encouraging sign so far is that Mesa only has 6 strikeouts on the season, as this has been a big problem for him throughout his career.   While Mesa is old for a prospect at 25, his raw tools are still worth getting excited about.

Abraham Almonte, a longtime favorite, has put up a solid .283/.340/.478 line on the season, with 2 homers and 3 steals.  The 10 strikeouts in 12 games are a little higher than you would like to see, but not a deal-breaker if the other productio is good.  Although it seems like he has been around forever, Almonte is only 23, and has the speed to play centerfield long-term.

Shaeffer Hall has been up-and-down in the Trenton rotation, sandwiching a 7-inning 1-run outing between 2 mediocre efforts.  Overall, Hall has posted a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings of work, with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks.

Jose Mojica, once a big name on the Latin American free agent market (under a different name and age) is off to a great start in Tampa.  The 23 year-old shortstop is putting up a .361/.410/.583 line in the early going, and if he continues to hit well, he could establish himself as a legitimate prospect going forward.

Nik Turley has probably been the most impressive Tampa pitcher so far, as he has given up just 2 earned runs in 18 innings of work.  The 6’6″ lefty, taken in the 50th round of the 2008 draft, could be in for a breakout season.  Turley has 20 strikeouts so far against 5 walks, and at age 22 still has plenty of time to establish himself as a legitimate prospect.

Relief ace Mark Montgomery has largely performed as expected, giving up 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings of work, with 10 strikeouts and 4 walks.  He was one of my picks to be a fast riser this season, and if the strikeout rate stays that high, he very well could be.

For Charleston, Caleb Cotham to be bouncing back strong from his previous injury problems.  In 13 innings of work, the righty from Vanderbilt has given up 3 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 10.  I still think he probably ends up a reliever long-term due to his health history, but it is nice to see him having success as a starter.

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