Today at the Prospect Stock Watch, we take a look at a former Red Sox prospect making good in the Brewers system, a Dodgers prospect that no one is talking about (but should be) and a top-of-the-rotation arm on a collision course with the Indians big league staff.
Mauricio Dubon, SS, Brewers: Dubon was on my list of 2017 sleeper prospects as a guy that might sneak up into the majors and help the Brewers this year. A career .306 hitter, the former Red Sox prospect already has 53 hits on the year in just 45 games in double-A. He hasn’t hit for much power — just 11 extra base hits — but he’s made a ton of contact and struck out just 24 times. Putting the ball in play is a good approach for this fleet-footed infielder; he already has 23 steals (in 29 attempts). The club’s starting infielders up the middle — Jonathan Villar and Orlando Arica — have struggled but backups Hernan Perez and Eric Sogard have been very good, which is bad news for Dubon. Still, he has to added to the 40-man roster at the conclusion of the season anyway so the club will likely give him at least a cursory look later in the year. He has a chance to be a solid table-setter at the top of the order for the club.
Kyle Farmer, C, Dodgers: Farmer is far from the most discussed catching prospect — especially considering he plays in one of the strongest minor league systems in the game — but I’ve been talking him up for a few years now and he’s about ready to hit The Show. The former eighth rounder has had an unreal season so far in double-A with a .339 average and BB-K rate of 16-13 — and he has a history of being a strong pro hitter. Much like current Dodgers backup Austin Barnes (whom I’ve also been a huge fan of for years), Farmer has the ability to play multiple positions and has split his time this year between catcher and third base (while also dabbling briefly at second base). He’s not a great defensive catcher but he can hold his own and he’s a little more versatile than, say, an Evan Gattis (albeit with much less power). I don’t know if this catching prospect fits on the Dodgers but another smart NL club could scoop him up to act as a third-catcher, back-up third baseman and pinch hitter.
Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians: Selected 42nd overall in 2015, McKenzie is looking like a steal and might just be the most promising arm taken in the first 50 picks of that draft. Through his first 27 pro games, the right-hander has a 1.86 ERA with just 86 hits allowed 140.1 innings. So far this year, at the age of 19, he’s struck out 58 batters and allowed just 24 hits in 45 innings at the high-A ball level — a level he’s very much young for. Although he’s been tough to hit, McKenzie does still have some work to do with his control; he’s issued 20 free passes. Once he finds the plate more consistently, he’ll no doubt make his way up to double-A and could be on a collision course with The Show before his 21 birthday. He has the ceiling of a top-rotation arm and is easily the top arm in the Indians system.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.