Baseball Factory Alumni on Baseball America 2017 Top 10 Prospects List: NL West
In our final installment of Factory Alumni on Baseball America top 10 prospects list, we take a gander at the NL West, which features a loaded system in Los Angeles and a reloaded system in San Diego. Much like previous weeks, there are many Baseball Factory alumni present.
Rankings are prioritized by Baseball America and numbered 1 through 10 for each team. This week there are 12 Baseball Factory Alumni on NL West Top Prospects lists.
Anthony Banda – LHP (BA Rank: #1)
Banda, a 10th round pick of Milwaukee back in 2012, had a breakout 2016, splitting time between dominating AA Mobile (6-2 with a 2.12 ERA and 84 Ks) and more than holding his own at AAA Reno (4-4 with a 3.67 ERA). Ranked the #88 prospect by Baseball America coming into 2017, Banda features a plus curve ball and a fastball that touches 96 with solid arm side run. Banda is in big league camp and has a chance to make his debut in 2017.
Banda came to a Baseball Factory National Tryout in 2009 and participated in the 2009 Under Armour Recruiting Classic, where he had a simple delivery and smooth arm action. His off-speed pitches were all above average, allowing him to feature an advanced approach to attacking hitters.
Taylor Clarke – RHP (BA Rank: #7)
Clarke, the 76th overall pick in 2015 out of College of Charleston experienced three levels in 2016, starting in Lo-A and reaching AA Mobile where he started 17 games. At Mobile, Clarke posted a record of 8-6 and an ERA of 3.59 His 1.94 BB/9 was up slightly from his low number of 1.71 in 2015. On the bump, Clark features a fastball that has reached 96 and has great command. He also has a slider and a change that are above average to average. Look for him to move up to AAA in 2017. Clarke attended a Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout back in 2010.
Brad Keller – RHP (BA Rank: #8)
An 8th rounder in 2013, Keller spent 2016 at HI-A Visalia, where he went 9-7 with a 4.47 ERA. A ground ball pitcher, Keller features a sinker and a fastball that can touch 95, with the two-seamer running in under the hands of righties. Keller also has both a change and slider that could become average pitches. Based on his struggles, he may repeat Hi-A ball, with the chance to move up to AA in 2017. Keller attended a Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in 2012.
Riley Pint – RHP (BA Rank: #2)
The 4th overall pick in 2016, Pint struggled to see results in a very limited workload, however the tools that made him a high pick were evident. His fastball consistently reached 100 MPH while his plus curveball and plus changeup flashed quite a bit at Rookie Level Grand Junction. Ranked as the 46th overall prospect by Baseball America going into 2017, Pint will begin the year at Low A Asheville and will be slowly moved up the ladder. Pint was a 2015 Under Armour All-America Game participant in 2015, where he sat in the upper 90s with a sharp curve and a changeup that had good sink to it.
Ryan Castellani – RHP (BA Rank: #6)
Castellani spent the year at Hi-A Modesto, where compiled a 3.81 ERA and a 7-8 record. The 2014 2nd rounder features a fastball that sits 90-93 and can touch 95, with the opportunity to add more velocity as he fills out his frame. His changeup and slider both are not fully developed as weapons yet, but could rank as above average when all said and done. His Achilles heel so far appears to be walks, as he had a 2.68 BB/9 in 2016. He will likely look to correct this at Hi-A Modesto again, before possibly moving up to AA in 2017.
Castellani participated in both Team One events and the 2013 Under Armour All America Pre-Season Tournament, where he topped out at 91 with loose arm action and some arm side run to his fastball. His sharp breaking ball and plus change made him a nightmare for prep hitters.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Alex Verdugo – OF (BA Rank: #3)
The #3 prospect in arguably the most talented organization in baseball, Verdugo didn’t disappoint as a 20-year-old in AA last year, hitting .273/.336/.407 with 13 home runs. His line drive swing projects for 15-20 homers at the big-league level, but he has good bat speed. He is also lauded for a plus plus arm. His lack of speed could force him to a corner spot, but that shouldn’t be a problem if his bat continues to carry him. He will be in AAA Oklahoma City with a big league call up not out of the question in 2017.
In addition to other events, Verdugo was the MVP for his team in the 2013 Under Armour All America Game. He pitched an inning, reaching 94 MPH and a slider at 79. He also mashed a double to the opposite field.
Austin Barnes – C/2B (BA Rank: #9)
Barnes is a bit of a late bloomer, as the 9th rounder in 2011 finally reached the big leagues in 2016, hitting .156 in 21 games. He is known as an above average defensive catcher, with good blocking and receiving skills in addition to solid pitch framing skills. He hit 6 homers to go along with a slash line of .295/.380/.443 in 2016. Look for him to split between AAA and the big leagues again in 2017. Barnes attended a Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout all the way back in 2017.
San Diego Padres
Michael Gettys – OF (BA Rank: #8)
The 51st overall pick in 2014, Gettys mashed in 2016, hitting .304/.369/.416 in his second go round at Lo A before playing the last 60 games at Hi A Lake Elsinore, where he hit .306/.356/.468. Strikeouts continue to be an issue, but he makes up for it with his above average power, evident in the 9 homers he hit in the last 60 games of 2016. He is a plus center fielder, as he has incredible speed and a plus plus arm. He will move up to AA in 2017.
A 2013 Under Armour All-America Game participant, Gettys started in CF and reached base twice. He stole 2 bases and knocked in one run. In the home run derby, he put several balls onto Waveland and had the top overall arm at the event.
Josh Naylor – 1B (BA Rank: #10)
The 12th overall pick in 2015, Naylor was acquired for Andrew Cashner. He was immediately promoted to Hi-A ball where he hit .242/.2.64/.353 for Lake Elsinore. He has plus plus raw power and great bat speed and strength. He will have to stay at first base due to below average speed, but his hit tool and power should make allow for that to not be an issue. He will likely see some time at AA in 2017.
At the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game, Naylor showed an extremely advanced approach. His raw power was on display and he showed great barrel consistency.
San Francisco Giants
Tyler Beede – RHP (BA Rank: #1)
Beede is unusual in the fact that he was drafted in the first round twice, 21st overall by Toronto in 2011, and again as the 14th overall pick in 2014 after a career at Vanderbilt. In his second try at AA in 2016, Beede led the Eastern League in ERA at 2.81, had 135 strikeouts and had a BAA of .248. His plus fastball would reach 97 and he has a plus curve. His cutter sits between 87-90 and also is above average. He will be at AAA Sacramento in 2017 with a call up to San Francisco possible. Beede came to a national tryout back in 2009 when he was a shortstop and a pitcher and it was evident that he was going to be a top pitching prospect, with his fastball touching 92 MPH.
Bryan Reynolds – OF (BA Rank: #4)
Reynolds, a 2016 2nd rounder, fared well in his first pro season out of Vanderbilt, slashing .313/.363/.484 over 2 levels. After 40 games in the short season Northwest League, Reynolds showed off his advanced approach at Lo A Augusta. A switch hitter, Reynolds has plus raw power from both sides of the plate. He will move to HI A ball in 2017 and is on the fast track to AA. Reynolds attended a PREP event in 2011 and went on to be an Under Armour Pre-Season All-American Tournament participant in 2012 where he flashed gap to gap power and great range defensively.
Steven Duggar – OF (BA Rank: #10)
The 186th overall pick in 2016, Duggar continued to build on a tremendous offensive season in 2015 by tearing up HiA San Jose and then doing even more damage at AA Richmond, where he hit .321/.391/.432 in 60 games. He has plus plus speed and great bat control. He has the ability to play both center and right field, but would be a better fit up the middle as he has well below average power. He will spend 2017 at AA and AAA as he looks to refine his in-game skill set. Duggar came to a Team One event in 2011 where he displayed his elite athleticism and speed. His arm displayed life and accuracy as his thrown carried to his target on a line. Offensively, he showed great barrel feel.