One cannot simply go to a bunch of Minor League games and just walk away with a ticket stub and a program. Each one of my Summer Baseball Tour stops also resulted in a stop by the team store to check out the baseball cards. In some cases I struck out and other places I found some really cool stuff. I decided it would be fun to take a week and share some of the different sets that I found.
Today I am starting with a set I found at the Greensboro Grasshoppers game. I was hoping to find a set from the team, but they have not issued their 2015 cards yet. However, they did have a copy of this 2015 South Atlantic League Top Prospects set. If you have ever dabbled in Minor League sets these can be really cool finds and offers a look at some really good players. For this post I am going to pick out three to watch, but I scanned the whole set for your viewing pleasure:
1. Tyler Kolek- Since Brady Aiken did not sign with the Astros Kolek was basically the top pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft. He's a really big kid, he sat in front of me charting pitches at the Greensboro game, and throws really hard. The Marlins seem to be limiting him to five innings, or so, per start. His walk rate has been a little high, but the guy throws in the high nineties. If you search out some different takes on him you can find a few prospect watchers who love him and a few that do not. I believe SB Nation's outlook on him was number one starter or Jeff Juden. Hmmmm.
2. Yoan Moncada- The Red Sox signed this Cuban defector last off season. I am never sure what to think of foreign players. Sometimes they work out great and other times the do not. Moncada is still only 20, so there is plenty of time for him to develop into an impact player. Currently, playing in the South Atlantic League, Moncada is hitting .263/.354/.388 with 13 extra base hits in 150 at bats. The Sox are playing him as a 2B. Not sure how this one is going to work out, but for 31.5 million dollars I am intrigued.
I will go out on a limb for pick number 3.....
3. Sam Coonrod- The SUI-C alum was drafted in the fifth round by the Giants last year. In 102 innings of pro ball he has struck out 103 batters, allowed less than a hit per inning, and given up exactly one home run during that time. There is not a lot of hype or talk surrounding Coonrod, but all he's done is produced since he was drafted. Hard to ignore results.