Sometimes you gotta look back before you can move forward. Here’s the next installment of out 2013 Top-115 Prospects Recap. Before checking out Nos. 91-94, you might want to check out the recaps for Nos. 95-100, 101-110 and 111-115. And here’s the link to the original 2013 Top-115 Prospect List that was published in January.
94 – Nick Franklin, 2B, Seattle Mariners
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
Born: March 2, 1991 (Age 22)
2013 Triple-A stats: .324/.440/.472, 4 HR, 7 SB, 30 BB, 20 K, 39 G, 117 PA
2013 MLB stats: .227/.305/.388, 12 HR, 6 SB, 40 BB, 107 K, 97 G, 394 PA
Heading into 2013: Franklin split time between both middle infield positions in 2012, but was moved permanently to second base for this season. He faltered in his first test against Triple-A pitching and had a lot to prove at that level in 2013.
Now the 2013 is (almost) over: Franklin destroyed PCL pitching, earning him a call-up to the majors. On the plus side, the former first-round pick socked 12 home runs in 97 games. On the flip side, he also struck out 107 times. The power’s legit, and that’s tough to find in a switch-hitting second baseman.
Looking ahead: While he’ll have plenty to work on this winter, Franklin has certainly performed well enough to earn another look as the Mariners’ everyday second baseman again in 2014. Things haven’t worked out so well for a lot of Mariners’ hitting prospects in recent years. They’re hoping he’ll end up more like Kyle Seager than Dustin Ackley.
93 – Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 220 pounds
Born: May 9, 1991 (Age 22)
2013 Triple-A stats: .313/.426/.594, 10 HR, 2 SB, 22 BB, 37 K, 38 G, 155 PA
2013 MLB stats: .254/.308/.436, 14 HR, 1 SB, 23 BB, 113 K, 95 G, 373 PA
Heading into 2013: With the Twins’ solid depth in the outfield, Arcia figured to spend another full season learning the ropes in the minors. He entered the year with his most advanced experience being only a half season of Double-A ball.
Now the 2013 is (almost) over: An injury to Josh Willingham opened the door for Arcia to make an early arrival at Target Field. He performed admirably for the Twins, though he was prone to over swinging. He struck out in 32.7 percent of his at bats. Still, between Triple-A and the majors he hit 24 home runs with 73 RBI.
Looking ahead: Arcia figures to be one of the early building blocks in Minnesota’s upcoming youth movement. The coaching staff appeared to just let him rip this season, possibly in fear of not wanting the young Venezuelan to over think things at the plate. Some extra instruction over the winter and spring is going to do nothing but help.
92 – Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 170 pounds
Born: Nov. 4, 1990 (Age 22)
2013 Triple-A stats: .422/.536/.600, 1 HR, 6 SB, 11 BB, 9 K, 15 G, 57 PA
Heading into 2013: Lee was starting to look a little rough around the edges both at the plate and in the field in 2012, possibly being exposed a bit by the Double-A competition. After being on the prospect radar for a few years, his stock took a bit of a hit.
Now the 2013 is (almost) over: The good news is Lee was spectacular when healthy. The bad news is that period only lasted 15 games. Lee suffered torn knee ligaments in a collision at second base. Not much you can take away from that small a sample size.
Looking ahead: Lee will likely spend all of next year in Triple-A. The Rays have modest $5 million team options on starting shortstop Yunel Escobar for the next two seasons, so they’re in no hurry to rush Lee along.
91 – Kyle Crick, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 220- pounds
Born: Nov. 30, 1992 (Age 20)
2013 High-A stats: 3-1, 1.57 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 12.5 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, 68 ⅔ IP
Heading into 2013: Crick had been dominant in Class-A, but had some questions about his command. Still, he entered the season as the Giants’ top prospect.
Now the 2013 is (almost) over: Crick had a similar performance this season, both good and bad. He actually lowered his ERA and increased his K/9, both to eye-popping numbers. He also still had issues with walks, however, averaging 5.1 BB/9. Over 187 innings, he has given up just two home runs in his professional career.
Looking ahead: Crick clearly has the pure stuff to be a top prospect. The question is can he learn to harness his pitches? He’s still just 20-years-old and only made 14 starts this season. The Giants might want to see him smooth out some of those control issues before testing him against Double-A hitters.