Baseball Factory Alumni on Baseball America’s 2018 Top 10 Prospect List: AL East
This week’s article focuses on 15 Baseball Factory alums who make up Baseball America’s 2018 Top 10 Prospect List from the American League East. Rankings are prioritized by Baseball America and numbered 1 through 10 for each team.
Ryan Mountcastle – 3B (BA’s Rank #2)
The Orioles have switched Mountcastle from short stop to third base as he continues to learn the position. The question isn’t about Mountcastle’s bat – which is advanced – instead, will his defense at third come along quickly as well?
Between High-A and Double-A Bowie, Ryan hit .287 BA with 48 doubles, 18 home runs and 62 RBI. This spring as he continues to get many looks from Showalter and other coaches, the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game MVP has collected three doubles, a home run and two RBI.
Chance Sisco – C (BA’s Rank #3)
Sisco’s bat, overall hitting approach and power draw extremely positive reviews from Baltimore’s front office, but, yet another question remains: Is Sisco better off being in the majors as a backup to Caleb Joseph or starting every day and continuing to learn the tools necessary in becoming an every day catcher, defensively at Triple-A Norfolk?
Chance hit .267 with 23 doubles, seven home runs and 47 RBI in 97 games at Norfolk. Called up to Baltimore on September 2nd, Sisco hit .333 with two homers and four RBI in the month. Sisco participated in an Under Armour Baseball Factory College PREP event in 2010.
Hunter Harvey – RHP (BA’s Rank #4)
Harvey has been impressive all spring long, earning praise from O’s skipper, Buck Showalter, as he continues to work his way back from injury that has derailed his potential the last few seasons. Harvey could open the season in the rotation at Double-A Bowie, but has been impressive facing major league hitters in camp this spring.
DL Hall – LHP (BA’s Rank #5)
DL was selected 21st overall by the O’s in 2017 and made five starts for the Gulf Coast League Orioles. He struggled in limited action to end the year, but the organization loves the lefty’s fastball, change and curve (two above average pitches), control and his tenacity to compete on the mound. Hall was the first high school pitcher Baltimore had taken in the first round since 2013 (Hunter Harvey). DL will likely begin the 2018 season in the rotation at Single-A Salisbury. He was a 2016 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-American.
Boston Red Sox
Cole Brannen – OF (BA’s Rank #5)
Brannen, a decorated Factory alum, started at our intro-level National Tryout, improving each step of the way, through Baseball Factory’s All-America Pre-Season Rookie Tournament, Arizona Freshman Fall Classic and National East/Futures South Showcases, to the top as an Under Armour Baseball Factory All-American in 2016.
Brannen hit just .224 with two doubles, a triple and eight RBI in 42 games between Boston’s Rookie League team and Short-Season Lowell (where he only played in three games). The Red Sox love his competitiveness and overall skill set, and, he won’t turn 20 until August 4th. Sky is the limit for Cole.
Alex Scherff – RHP (BA’s Rank #9)
Scherff was the Bo Sox fifth round selection last year out of Colleyville Heritage HS in Colleyville, TX but did not see action to rest his arm. He will be a prospect to watch for sure in 2018. Scherff played in the 2016 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game.
Tampa Bay Rays
Brent Honeywell – RHP (BA’s Rank #1)
It’s been a rough spring for the Rays and Honeywell, who is lost for the season due to injury, and will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Honeywell, who took home MVP honors in last year’s MLB Futures Game after striking out four hitters in two scoreless innings, put together a solid 2017 season, essentially spending the entire year at Triple-A Durham, where he averaged a shade over 11 strikeouts per nine innings. He finished the season 13-9 overall with an ERA of 3.49, striking out 172 in just 136 2/3 innings between Durham and Double-A Montgomery. He attended an UA BF Factory National Tryout in 2011 and was a 2013 UA BF Pre-Season All-American.
Anthony Banda – LHP (*BA’s Rank #2 with Diamondbacks)
Banda was originally a 10th round pick of Milwaukee back in 2012. He made his major league debut last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, appearing in eight games (four starts) with a 5.96 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. *Banda’s ranking was listed as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks before he was part of the three-team deal between the D-Backs, Rays and Yankees and is now a member of the Tampa Bay organization. The left-hander struggled in the minors in 2017, but is looking to bounce back in ’18 with his three-pitch arsenal that is drawing rave reviews this spring with the Rays.
Banda attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in 2009 while also participating in that year’s Under Armour Recruiting Classic.
Brendan McKay – LHP/1B (BA’s Rank #3)
McKay got out of the gate well after becoming a pro in 2017. He was drafted by the Rays as a two-way athlete, and did just that in his first taste of pro ball, hitting and pitching for short-season Hudson Valley. The 4th overall pick is being allowed to continue pursuing pitching and playing first base in the Rays organization. According to reports, McKay could move to Single-A Bowling Green or Advanced A Charlotte this season to give him more of a challenge. McKay participated in the 2013 Kelly Kulina Classic.
Jake Bauers – 1B/OF (BA’s Rank #4)
The 21-year old played the entire season at Triple-A Durham and 2018 could be the year he breaks through to the major league club with Tampa Bay. In 132 games at Durham, he hit .263 with 13 home runs, 63 RBI, 79 runs, 31 doubles, and he also stole 20 bases. Bauers played in the 2013 Ryan Lemmon Invitational.
Lucius Fox – SS (BA’s Rank #8)
Initially signed by the San Francisco Giants in 2015 as an international free agent, Fox played at two levels in Tampa Bay’s minor league system in 2017, hitting .266 with 16 doubles, three triples, three homers and 30 stolen bases between Class-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte. Fox attended a UA BF National Tryout in 2012 and Baseball Factory’s Team One Florida Showcase in 2014.
Justin Williams – OF (BA’s Rank #9)
Williams jumps onto the list after a solid 2017 campaign where he hit .301 in 96 games, showing power potential with his 21 doubles and 14 home runs at Double-A Montgomery. Justin played in the 2012 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game.
Toronto Blue Jays
Bo Bichette – SS (BA’s Rank #2)
Bichette played at two different levels last season, first with Class-A Lansing and then a promotion to High-A Dunedin, hitting a combined .362 with 41 doubles, 14 home runs, 74 RBI, 22 SB and an OPS of .988. The Blue Jays have continued to challenge Bo, inviting him to camp this spring at 20-years-old. He provided Toronto a glimpse of the future when he made his debut on March 8th against Baltimore, plating two runs on two RBI singles to go along with a stolen base.
Bo participated in the 2015 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament and was also an Under Armour Baseball Factory All-American the same year.
Anthony Alford – OF (BA’s Rank #3)
Another exciting OF prospect for the Blue Jays, Alford collected his first major league hit (a double) against Milwaukee on May 23rd. In the minors, Anthony hit .299 between three levels in 2017. The 3rd round draft pick in 2012 also played well this offseason in the Mexican Winter League, hitting .352 in 26 games. He’s carried that into the spring, where he’s currently hitting .320 with three doubles, two triples, a homer and five RBI in 11 games. It’s a bit of a crowded outfield at the moment in Toronto, but if he continues hitting at this pace, they may not be able to head north without him.
Alford played in the 2011 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Game.
Danny Jansen – C (BA’s Rank #7)
Jansen split time between three levels in 2017 (Dunedin, Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo) hitting .323 with 25 doubles, 10 homers, 48 RBI and 41 walks. Jansen, who was drafted in the 16th round of the ’13 draft out of West HS in Appleton, WI, attended a UA BF National Tryout in Kenosha, WI back in 2013.