The Prospect Stock Watch: Armenteros, Johnson, Siri

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch looks at an Astros triple-A starter who might be able to help out the big league club’s bewildered bullpen, and two very toolsy athletes.

Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Astros: Houston has been as aggressive as any organization in snapping up Cuban pitching talent with the likes of Cionel Perez ($2 million) and Elian Rodriguez ($1.9 million) but the best results have come from a hurler that cost just $40,000. Armenteros, 23, isn’t as flashy as the other two arms mentioned above but he has a much greater chance of impacting the big league product — and in the near future. He opened the 2017 season in double-A but has now made nine triple-A starts and he keeps getting better. He’s flirted with no-hitters in his last two appearances with just two hits allowed in 15 innings – along with three walks and 17 Ks.

He’s not overpowering but Armenteros knows how to change speeds and eye levels to keep opponents off-balance. His heater works in the 90-93 mph range and his go-to offering is a changeup. Long-term, he looks like an innings-eating No. 4 starter but, if I were the Astros, I’d consider trying him in the bullpen when rosters expand in September. He might just succeed (along the lines of Joe Musgrove) where the likes of Francisco Liriano and Tyler Clippard have failed.

Daniel Johnson, OF, Nationals: Johnson, 22, has seen his stock rise as much as any prospect in the Nationals system in 2017. A fifth-round selection out of New Mexico State University in 2016. After a solid pro debut, he’s had a breakout season in ’17 with a .300 average and a 20-20 season (HR-SB). He’s very athletic and displays potentially-plus defence in center field with a rocket-arm. He has the potential to steal 40+ bases with some refinement (He’s been caught 10 times in 31 tries). The power has been unexpected, although it’s come almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. With a BB-K of 34-95 in 122 games, Johnson has some improvements to make at the plate to find ways to get on base without relying solely on his batting average – especially if he wants to take full advantage of his speed. He has a shot at opening 2018 in double-A and gives the Nationals a pretty exciting crop of outfield prospects when you also consider Victor Robles and Juan Soto.

Jose Siri, OF, Reds: Siri made headlines earlier this summer when he went on a 39-game hit streak but his hit tool is actually his least impressive tool right now given his swing-and-miss tendencies (124 Ks in 120 games). An ultra-athletic player, he has an intriguing mix of power and speed with 23 homers and 41 steals. The 22-year-old center-fielder — who also displays excellent defence and a powerful arm — needs to tone down his aggressiveness (just 31 walks) to take full advantage of his speed as he moves up the organizational ladder. It will be interesting to see if the Reds protect Siri from the Rule 5 draft this November. His profile will be extremely attractive to some organizations (like the Padres, who don’t hesitate to mine the lower levels of the minors) but he’s just one year removed from a BB-K of 10-100 in 86 games). If he can put it all together, the Dominican native could be an all-star type player and his speed/defence should get him to the Majors for at least a taste of The Show.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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I am assuming this was written up prior to today, but Siri stole three bases this weekend pushing the season total to 44.