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Baseball Factory Alumni on Baseball America’s 2018 Top 10 Prospect List: AL Central

This week’s article focuses on 22 Baseball Factory alums who make up Baseball America’s 2018 Top 10 Prospect List from the American League Central. Rankings are prioritized by Baseball America and numbered 1 through 10 for each team.

Chicago White Sox

Michael Kopech

Michael Kopech – RHP (BA’s Rank #2)

Combined 2017 stats: (AA, AAA) 25 starts, 9-8, 2.88 ERA, 134 1/3 IP, 65 BB, 172K

Baseball Factory events: Kopech attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in 2012 and was a 2013 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-American.

Dane Dunning – RHP (BA’s Rank #5)

2017 stats: (A, High-A) 26 starts, 8-8, 2.94 ERA, 144 IP, 38BB, 168K

Baseball Factory events: Dunning attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout and the Under Armour Memorial Day Classic in 2012.

Zack Collins – C (BA’s Rank #6)

Jake Burger

2017 stats: (High-A, AA) 113 games, .224 BA, 20 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, 53 RBI, 87 walks

Baseball Factory events: 2010 Team One Futures, 2011 Team One Futures East, 2012 Team One Florida, 2012 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

Jake Burger – 3B (BA’s Rank #7)

Selected 11th overall out of Missouri State University in last year’s Draft. Attended a 2011 Under Armour Baseball Factory College PREP event in St. Louis, MO.

2017 stats: (Rk, A) 51 games, .263 BA, 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 29 RBI

Blake Rutherford – OF (BA’s Rank #8)

Traded from the New York Yankees to the White Sox at last year’s trade deadline. Was New York’s 18th overall pick in 2016 out of Chaminade College Prep School in West Hills, CA.

2017 stats (with NYY and CWS – A-level) .260 BA, 25 doubles, 35 RBI, 10 stolen bases

Baseball Factory events: 2013, 2014 Southwest Championships, 2013 Futures Texas Showcase, 2014 Ryan Lemmon Invitational, 2014 Futures West Showcase, 2014, 2015 Under Armour SoCal Classic

Gavin Sheets – 1B (BA’s Rank #9)

2017 stats (Rk, A) 56 games, .279 BA, 12 doubles, four homers, 28 RBI, 23 walks

Baseball Factory events: 2013 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2013 Kelly Kulina Classic

Dylan Cease – RHP (BA’s Rank #10)

Pitched to a 3.28 ERA at two A levels last season, splitting the year between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox organization, where he struck out 126 hitters. Has carried that into this spring, where he’s made two starts (three appearances), pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing only three hits and striking out nine.

Baseball Factory events: 2013 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

Cleveland Indians

#2 Triston McKenzie – RHP (BA’s Rank #2)

2017 stats: (A+) 25 starts, 12-6, 3.46 ERA, 143 IP, 45BB, 186K

Baseball Factory events: McKenzie attended the Under Armour Memorial Day Classic in 2013 & ’14, Under Armour Fall Classic in 2013 and the Under Armour Southeast Championships in 2015.

Will Benson

#5 Shane Bieber – RHP (BA’s Rank #5)

2017 stats (A, High-A, AA) 28 starts, 10-5, 2.86 ERA, 173 1/3 IP, 10 BB, 162 K.

Yes, you read that right. Bieber posted a ridiculous K/BB rate in 2017, firmly establishing himself as one of the best in all of minor league baseball in terms of control. He has a career K/BB ratio of 15.25.

Baseball Factory events: 2012 Under Armour SoCal Classic

#10 Will Benson – OF (BA’s Rank #10)

2017 stats: (Short Season A) 56 games, .238 BA, eight doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 36 RBI

Baseball Factory events: 2014 Baseball Factory Futures South, 2015 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

Detroit Tigers

#2 Alex Faedo – RHP (BA’s Rank #2)

Beau Burrows

2017 stats: (Did Not Play – Signed Late) With Florida: 19 GS (20 appearances), 9-2, 2.26 ERA, 123 2/3 IP, 42BB, 157K

Baseball Factory events: Faedo attended the 2012 Under Armour Invitational.

Daz Cameron

#4 Beau Burrows – RHP (BA’s Rank #4)

2017 stats: (High-A, AA) 26 starts, 10-7, 3.20 ERA, 135.0 IP,  44BB, 137K

Baseball Factory events: 2012 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2012 Team One Futures Texas, 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

#6 Daz Cameron – OF (BA’s Rank #6)

Came to the Detroit Tigers organization from Houston Astros in the Justin Verlander deal. At two Single-A levels last season, hit .271 with 29 doubles, eight triples, 14 homers, 74 RBI and 32 stolen bases in 123 games.

Baseball Factory events: 2012 Team One Futures East, 2013, 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

Kansas City Royals

Nick Pratto

#1 Nick Pratto – 1B (BA’s Rank #1)

14th overall selection by the Royals in the 2017 Draft out of Huntington Beach High School in California. Played in 52 games with Rookie-level Royals in Arizona, hitting .247 with 15 doubles, three triples, four homers and 34 RBI. Pratto was part of the West squad at the 2011 Little League World Series and his walk-off single with the bases loaded beat Japan in the Championship Game giving his Huntington Beach team the 2011 crown. He later attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory College PREP event in early 2016. Later that summer, he was an Under Armour All-American. Spent some time with the big league club during spring training, hitting a home run.

Khalil Lee

#2 Khalil Lee – OF (BA’s Rank #2)

Royals third-round selection out of Flint Hill HS in Oakton, VA in 2016. Showed power potential in 2017, hitting 17 home runs at Single-A Lexington, along with 24 doubles and six triples.

Baseball Factory events: 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2015 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament

#6 M.J. Melendez – C (BA’s Rank #6)

2017 stats (Rk) 47 games, .262 BA, eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, 30 RBI and 26 walks

Baseball Factory events: 2015 Baseball Factory Team One Futures East Showcase, 2016 Under Armour Memorial Day Classic, 2016 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

#9 Hunter Dozier – 3B (BA’s Rank #9)

2017 stats (High-A, AA, AAA) 33 games, .243 BA, eight doubles, four home runs

Injuries derailed the 2017 season for Hunter, after he hit .296 with 23 home runs in 2016. The Royals are playing it slow and want to get Dozier as many at-bats as possible to make up for the lost season. He’ll start the season at AAA-Omaha.

Baseball Factory events: 2009 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

#10 Foster Griffin – LHP (BA’s Rank #10)

2017 stats (High-A, AA) 28 starts, 15-7, 3.35 ERA, 161 1/3 IP, 54BB, 141K

Baseball Factory events: 2013 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game

Minnesota Twins

Royce Lewis

#1 Royce Lewis – SS (BA’s Rank #1)

Combined 2017 stats: (Rk, A) 54 games, .279 BA, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs, 27 RBI

Baseball Factory events: Lewis shined in the 2016 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game, hitting a home run.

#3 Alex Kirilloff – OF (BA’s Rank #3)

2017 stats (Did not play – Tommy John surgery)

Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff looks to have a bounce back 2018 after quite a debut in ’16 where he hit .306 with seven homers and eight doubles for the rookie-level Elizabethton Twins, where he was league MVP.

Baseball Factory events: 2013 Kelly Kulina Classic

#8 Nick Gordon – SS (BA’s Rank #8)

2017 stats: (AA) 122 games, .270 BA, 29 doubles, 8 triples, 9 home runs, 66 RBI, 13 stolen bases

Baseball Factory events: Gordon was part of the 2012 Team One Futures East Showcase and the UA Memorial Day Classic in 2013. That same year, he was an Under Armour All-American.

#9 Blayne Enlow – RHP (BA’s Rank #9)

2017 stats (Rk) 6 games, one start, 3-0, 1.33 ERA, 20 1/3 IP, 4BB, 19K

Baseball Factory events: 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2015 Baseball Factory Omaha National World Series

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