Byron Buxton, 19, CF, Minnesota Twins
I see a right-handed Carl Crawford in Buxton. Crawford played most of his minor league games in centerfield but also got a lot of time at other outfield positions. Buxton has played a vast majority of his games in center so far. He’s also showed more power than Crawford. By now you’ve probably heard of Buxton. The fact that he looks like a more powerful, more centerfield-capable Carl Crawford confirms what kind of player he could become. Obviously this should excite Twins’ fans.
Albert Almora, 19, OF, Chicago Cubs
Almora is only 19 and hasn’t played above A-ball, but he’s dominated. He has a lean, athletic frame at 6’2″, 180 lbs. He looks a lot like a right-handed Curtis Granderson. While his slash line is impressive, he hasn’t hit a lot of homeruns or stolen a lot of bases so far in his young career. But his tools and athleticism are obvious at his young age.
Jorge Soler, 21, OF, Chicago Cubs
Soler reminds me of Vladimir Guerrero with how quiet he is before he starts his swing. It’s almost as if he doesn’t load, he just sets up ready to attack the pitch. He’s big (6’4″, 215 lbs.) but athletic enough to play a good rightfield.
Alex Meyer, 23, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Meyer’s leg kick and quickness to the plate makes him an obvious Max Scherzer comp. He kind of folds his leg so his foot is directly underneath his butt in his leg kick and then he explodes quickly to the plate. Meyer however is 6’9″ to Scherzer’s 6’3″. He relies on a mid-to-high 90′s fastball and a plus slider. He’ll mix in a change-up rarely.
Addison Russell, 19, SS, Oakland Athletics
Russell’s lower half reminds me of Mike Aviles, the way he leans back on his back (right) leg and straightens out his front (left leg) to load up. Defensively Russell has a tremendously quick first, crossover step, which would seem to give him excellent range. For a defensive comp, I’ll go with Alcides Escobar. They are around the same size and Russell’s range might match Escobar’s.
Austin Hedges, 21, C, San Diego Padres
Hedges looks like a catcher, his name sounds like a catcher’s and he’s built like a catcher. His offense definitely hasn’t stood out in the low minors but he’s still very young and, if he reaches the majors, he’s going to make his living with the glove. He has a quick feet and a quick release. I see a lot of Brad Ausmus in Hedges.
Kris Bryant, 21, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Bryant’s size (a slender 6’5″, 215 lbs.) and ability to hit for power to rightfield, as a right-handed hitter, reminds me of Dale Murphy. It seems as though he tries to shoot the ball to center or rightfield, and he has enough power to make it work. This allows him to wait a little longer on the pitch before committing, and could make him a better hitter than his present hit tool would seem to indicate. But there is no question about his power.