Franklin Barreto is the 25th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America.
Three members of the 2014 Vancouver Canadians landed on Baseball America‘s latest Top 100 prospects list. The player who was in Vancouver the longest is the one ranked the highest as shortstop Franklin Barreto made the list at #25. The 21 year-old from Caracas, Venezuela is anxiously awaiting a call up to Oakland as he has torn it up with the Nashville Sounds in the Pacific Coast League so far in 2017. The 5-foot-10 right-handed hitter is on a 10-game hitting streak in which he has hit .372 to put his overall slash line at .347/.396/.529. He has four doubles, three triples, four home runs and 18 runs batted in. According to FanGraphs, his line drive rate is just over 25 percent.
One wart in Barreto’s game has been making contact as he has struck out just over 28 percent of the time in 135 plate appearances. That’s up just over 10 percent from his time with the Double-A Midland RockHounds in 2016. He could also stand to draw a few more ball fours as he has walked just less than seven percent of the time this season.
Also, Barreto has not been as active nor as effective on the basepaths in 2017 as he has swiped just three bases in seven attempts with Nashville after stealing 30 bases in 45 tries in Double-A last year.
Franklin Barreto has stolen 80 bases so far in his minor league career.
Despite that, it appears it is only a matter of time before Barreto gets to don an Athletics uniform and help Oakland save face in the Josh Donaldson trade. It was thought a call-up was imminent when A’s shortstop Marcus Semien went on the disabled list with a wrist injury but management felt Barreto needed more time to develop.
Scott Osler of the San Francisco Chronicle believes Barreto will be in Nashville for a while yet.
The A’s won’t promote super-prospect Franklin Barreto for at least five more weeks, even though he’s tearing up Triple-A, because that would make him eligible for arbitration one year sooner. What diff does it make? If Barreto turns out to be a solid big-leaguer, he’ll be long gone by then.
On the other hand, Athletics Nation believes Barreto’s potential call-up may depend on Oakland’s ability to contend this season.
“If the A’s hit the skids or if Barreto continues to look “talented but still raw,” I see the A’s keeping him at AAA longer — not for “super 2” reasons but rather for development reasons and in order to align him with windows of possible competitiveness for the team.
In other words, if the A’s are looking potentially competitive and believe Barreto is ready, even if they are only a matter of weeks away from getting out of “super 2 purgatory” I think the A’s will not keep Barreto down just to keep him down.”
Defensively, Barreto looks to improve with the leather. He has seen some time at second base but has been a shortstop the majority of the time. So far, he’s made three errors in 91 chances to give him a .967 fielding percentage.
Sean Reid-Foley is rated 70th among Baseball America’s 2017 Top 100 prospects list.
The second highest-rated former Vancouver Canadian on the BA Top 100 list is pitcher Sean Reid-Foley. The 70th best prospect in the game is coming off his most encouraging outing at the Double-A level in which he threw five innings of one-run ball for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to earn his second win of the season. The 21 year-old native of Guam limited Hartford to just three hits and more importantly, issued zero walks while striking out seven and inducing five groundouts. He threw 80 pitches, 54 of them for strikes. Both of his wins this season have come against the Yard Goats after turning in a one-run, five-inning effort at home April 23.
Reid-Foley has struggled against the rest of the Eastern League by losing three starts and walking 14 batters in 20 innings with an opponents batting average of .305. FanGraphs shows he’s getting hit harder as evidenced by a line drive rate of just over 27 percent and his groundball percentage is near 34 percent, which has hovered from 43 to 57 percent over his three-year career. The Guam native’s home run per fly ball rate is over eight-and-a-half percent, which is well above his career norms.
On the positive side, his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a way above normal .377 so some batted ball luck may be on his way. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) is 4.59 which is well below his 6.30 ERA. He is also maintaining a healthy strikeout rate of 10.3 per nine innings.
In its 2017 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America says Reid-Foley throws a fastball in the 92-94 MPH range with a mid-80’s slider and an upper 70’s curveball and both breaking pitches have flashed plus at times. His older brother David, who pitched in the Los Angeles Dodgers system in 2016, taught him how to throw his Uncle Charlie. The younger Reid-Foley also throws a changeup that has the potential to be average. The 6-foot-3 righty also worked on his leg kick to smooth out his delivery to the plate. If Reid-Foley improves his command, he could be a future No. 2 starter.
Rowdy Tellez is ranked 89th on this year’s Top 100 prospects list by Baseball America.
The third and final Vancouver Canadian to make BA’s Top 100 prospect ranking is first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who comes in at number 89. The 6-foot-4 lefthanded hitter homered twice on Opening Day for the Buffalo Bisons but he scuffled to a .194 batting average in April. The good news is Tellez starting to come around by hitting .292 so far in the month of May, including a key two-run double that went off the fence in the right-field corner in Wednesday’s victory at Syracuse. He’s hoping to increase his extra-base total which stands at six with three home runs and three doubles.
Tellez has struck out just over 22 percent of the time but his batting eye remains sharp as he has worked the count to ball four just over 14 percent of the time. His line drive rate checks in above the 22 percent mark but his flyball rate has dropped more than seven percent from last year in Double-A to a tick below the 32 percent barrier while his groundball rate is nearly 46 percent, up from six percent from his 2016 total with New Hampshire.
Still considered the most advanced hitting prospect in the Blue Jays system, Tellez remains on track to get to Toronto in 2017. Given the parent club’s current injury woes, that call to the bigs could be coming sooner rather than later.