Today at the Stock Watch we look prospects in the Oakland, Toronto and Houston minor league systems.
Cavan Biggio, 2B, Blue Jays: As the son of Craig Biggio, Cavan’s name stuck out when he was selected in the fifth round of the 2016. He wasn’t really on many people’s radar, though, and was seen as more of a way for the Jays to keep the budget down so they could afford second rounder Bo Bichette (son of Dante Bichette). Now, he’s more than just a name. He’s a legitimate prospect leading the double-A Eastern League in homers and tying for the third overall in the entire minor leagues. Along with the pop, Biggio also has 25 walks in 36 games. His 39 strikeouts are an issue and could prevent him from hitting for average at higher levels where the pitching will pick apart the holes. Defensively, he’s stiff as a middle infielder but the power will play at first base or maybe even left field. He might eventually become a platoon or part-time player in The Show but that’s still a crazy increase in value from a year ago.
J.D. Davis, 3B/OF, Astros: To say Davis has been hot would be an understatement. He’s now hitting .415 in 33 triple-A games and has 17 doubles in 33 games. He’s also taken a much more patient approach since his demotion from a nine-game stint in The Show with six walks in 10 triple-A games (He previously only had seven). With three straight seasons of 20+ homers, Davis also has more than enough over-the-fence pop despite having just four homer runs in the early going. His recent stretch suggests he’s becoming a smarter hitter who knows he doesn’t need to grip-and-rip to be a strong contributor. Davis is no gold glover but his ability to play three positions increases his value — especially for a club that might lost Marwin Gonzalez to free agency at the end of the year.
Jesus Luzardo, SP, Athletics: A 2016 third rounder of the Nationals out of a Florida high school, Luzardo has rocketed through the minors — especially since joining the Athletics in a trade (aka steal) for a couple of veteran relief arms late last season. Despite playing in short-season ball last year, the A’s started him in high-A ball and he’s already been promoted to double-A. He has an unusually-advanced approach for a 20 year old and that is enhanced by his mix of power and control. The lefty can easily work in the mid-90s but it will be the development of his breaking ball that ultimately determines his ceiling. With Tommy John surgery in the rearview mirror (his senior year of high school), the A’s will need to be cautious with his gem.
Lazaro Armenteros, LF, Athletics: It took until early May for Armenteros to make his 2018 debut but the Cuba native is looking good in A-ball. The soon-to-be-19-year-old outfielder has 13 hits in his first 12 games and five of those have already gone for extra bases. The seven walks are impressive, too, but the 16 strikeouts are not — including the fact that 10 of those have come in the last five games. Armenteros oozes raw potential and could eventually develop into a true five-tool talent (His arm isn’t very strong but he fields well). He may very well be among the A’s Top 3-5 prospects by the end of 2018 and could be a Top 100 prospect by the middle of 2019.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.