USA TODAY Sports Weekly

TOP FIVE PROSPECTS

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Ex­cerpted from Base­bal­lHQ.com’s 2016 Mi­nor League Base­ball An­a­lyst. To or­der: base­bal­lhq.com/mlba16.

1. Corey Seager, SS: Seager is a dy­namic player who more than held his own in his big-league de­but. He sports plus bat speed and lev­er­age that will bring out his raw power. He moves well for his size (6-4, 215 pounds), and his range and plus arm will work at ei­ther short­stop or third base, which might be his long-term desti­na­tion. The 21-year-old is pen­ciled in as the start­ing short­stop for the Dodgers in 2016.

2. Julio Urias, LHP: Urias was lim­ited to 801⁄ in­nings af­ter opt­ing to have surgery to re­move a mass un­der his left eye. When healthy, he at­tacks hit­ters with a plus 9295-mph fast­ball that tops out at 97 and mixes in a plus changeup and a hard curve­ball with plus po­ten­tial. Though 19, he un­der­stands how to change speeds and keep hit­ters off bal­ance. He could de­but late this sum­mer.

This 2013 24throunde­r con­tin­ues to im­press. De Leon, 23, at­tacks hit­ters with a 91-94-mph fast­ball, an 83-85-mph curve and an im­proved changeup. He showed an abil­ity to miss bats and limit his walks in 2015 (163 strike­outs, 37 walks in 1141⁄ in­nings). He pitches up in the zone, but the de­cep­tive late life on his pitches keeps him out of trou­ble. He’ll join Urias at Class AAA.

4. Frankie Mon­tas, RHP: The 22year-old im­pressed in a short late-sea­son trial (20 strike­outs in 15 in­nings). Though he can hit triple dig­its, he loses ve­loc­ity late in games, which might lead to a bullpen role. But he keeps the ball down and can wipe out hit­ters with a nasty slider. Im­prov­ing his changeup and refining his re­lease point and com­mand are key. He’ll likely start at Class AAA in 2016.

5. Grant Holmes, RHP: The strong­bod­ied starter pos­sesses a plus 92-95-mph fast­ball, a plus power curve­ball that is his best of­fer­ing and a changeup that shows po­ten­tial. He showed im­pres­sive fast­ball com­mand in his pro de­but as a 19-year-old, which bodes well for his de­vel­op­ment.

Rob Gor­don

 ??  ?? 3. Jose De Leon, RHP:
3. Jose De Leon, RHP:

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