The draft came and passed nearly 50 days ago and with that, a handful of the first round picks have signed and are kicking off their professional careers. Of the 33 picks, seven have signed.
Now let’s take a look at how each player is doing.
Cory Spangenberg: The 20 year old, left handed hitting second baseman signed quickly and made his professional debut on June 17th for the Low-A Eugene Emeralds in the NW league. He performed very well at this level posting a triple-slash line of .384/.545/.535 in 121 plate appearances. He had one homerun, 20 RBI, 10 stolen bases and a very impressive 25.6% BB%. This earned him a promotion to the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps in the Mid West League. Spangenberg has not performed as well at this level hitting .158/.238/.184 but in only 42 PA’s. He should figure things out soon at this level and with his terrific speed, and excellent hitting abilities, he figures to end up at the top of a major league lineup in the future.
C.J. Cron Jr.: Cron made his debut July 1st for the Orem Owlz in the Pioneer Rookie League at the age of 21. The 6’4 235lb right-handed hitting first baseman has performed well thus far showing off great power. He his hitting .291/.361/.500 over the course of 97 plate appearances. He has an impressive 5 homeruns and 18 RBI to go with but his 25% strikeout rate needs to come down. Cron not only has outstanding power, but he also has above-average hitting abilities too. The slugging first baseman could move pretty quickly through the system and add some huge pop to the Angels lineup.
Kolten Wong: The small 5’9” 190lb Wong has had a great start to his career. He made his debut June 27th for the Quad Cities River Bandits in the Mid West league. At the Class-A level he has hit .320/.393/.474 in 112 plate appearances. He has 2 homeruns, 4 stolen bases, and 13 RBI as well. Wong, already at Class-A, should advance pretty quickly through the system. The left-handed hitter should be an above-average hitter and could add some surprising pop. He also has great defense and is a very versatile player.
Sean Gilmartin: Gilmartin signed July 15th but has yet to make his minor league debut. The 6’2” 195lb lefty was one of the safest picks in the first round. At 21 years old, he has a very smooth, clean delivery and should be moved along through the system pretty quickly. His fastball sits in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s and he has pretty good control of it. His best pitch though, is his changeup which is a plus pitch. He also throws a curveball and a slider which are both average. Many people have compared Gilmartin to fellow Brave, Mike Minor. While Gilmartin does not have a very high ceiling, he is a safe bet to be a solid number 3 or 4 starter in the future.
Joe Panik: Panik has gotten of to a quick start in his professional career after debuting June 17th. The 6’1” 195lb left-handed hitting shortstop is playing for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the NW league. He is hitting .339/.399/.441in 143 plate appearances. He has 3 homeruns, 26 RBI, and 4 stolen bases. Panik, in the early stage of his career, has been showing off his best tool, which is his bat. He has a short, compact swing with a good approach at the plate. He doesn’t have too many plus tools other than his bat but he should be a nice number two hitter with good gap power moving forward.
Jake Hager: At the young age of 18, Hager made his debut July 4th for the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian Rookie League. He has not gotten of to the best start but this is in a very small sample size. He is hitting .224/.255/.286 but in only 51 plate appearances. Hager is a solid hitter with the ability to line the ball well, all over the field. He has solid speed and profiles to be a good fielder and should stick at short. Hager is a solid all around player and will be a valuable piece to any big league team.
Kevin Matthews: Matthews does not have the biggest build for a pitcher at 5’11” 180lb but the lefty has gotten of to a good start for the Rangers Arizona League Rookie Team. He has only pitched in 5 innings thus far in four appearances. He has made 3 out of the bullpen and has started one game. Matthews has a 1.80 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks. He has given up 3 runs but his only earned run was on a solo homerun. He has a very clean delivery that he repeats it very well. His fastball has touched 94-95 but he usually sits in the lower 90s. He has a solid curve with a good tight break as well as an average changeup with solid sink to it. He figures to be a mid to back end of the rotation starter in the future.
With only 7 first round picks signed, expect a large majority to be signed at the August 15th signing deadline.
Filed under: On the Farm - Prospects | Tagged: C.J. Cron Jr., Cory Spangenberg, Jake Hager, Joe Panik, Kevin Matthews, Kolten Wong, Mike Minor, MLB Draft, Sean Gilmartin | 4 Comments »