By Todd Johnson
It is getting to be that time of the year. MiLB rosters change as May gets a little warmer and the draft gets a little closer. Injuries play a part as well as major league promotions. We have only seen a few promotions so far. Pitchers Kyle Miller and Marc Huberman moved from South Bend to Myrtle Beach. Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny were yo-yos over last weekend. In addition, some prospects came off the DL like Todd Glaesmann and Chris Dominguez.
Today, Eddie Butler gets a crack starting in the show.
Here are six prospects I think will get the call to move up a level in the next month.
1. Michael Cruz
He is just punishing balls in the desert in Extended Spring Training. While he is there to work on his defense, Cruz has taken the time to make impressions with his bat. I think he could be in South Bend by the MiLB All-Star Break
2. Dakota Mekkes
He finally gave up another run the other day. It was his second one in 17.2 IP this year. His ERA is now a sparkling 1.02. Another great stat he has going for him is that he has struck out 24 batters in those same 17.2 innings. A 0.79 WHIP screams promotion. His deceptive delivery allows his fastball to sneak up on a hitter. I think he could skip Myrtle Beach, but he likely won’t.
3. Craig Brooks
While Mekkes has been outstanding, Brooks has been better. He’s thrown 17.1 IP with only 1 ER for an ERA of 0.52. He’s struck out 26 and only walked five while throwing in the mid-to-upper 90s. At 24-years-old, Brooks might be the first prospect to move.
4. Dillon Maples
It’s all about the curve, the curve, the curve… Maples is spinning his breaking ball with great success in 2017. He’s a reliever now The only difference between Brooks and Maple at Myrtle Beach is Maples has given up 1 more this year and his groundout/air out ratio is 1.56, triple that of either Brooks or even Mekkes. He turned 25 on Tuesday and could move quickly this year…finally!
5. Jed Carter
Carter has been out in EST and has been doing well. The 22-year-old righty out of Auburn-Montgomery has been putting together shutout inning after shutout inning. If he does make it to Eugene, he likely won’t be there for long.
6. Dylan Cease
I see him making it through May at South Bend. After that, all bets are off. He still needs that changeup to come around before going to Tennessee.
There could be a few others, but I think relievers are on a faster track. Two other position player names you might hear would be Jason Vosler and Daniel Spingola.