I was going to avoid writing a prediction piece on the minor league season but the major league season has gotten off to a depressing enough start that I started writing some predictions for the minor league season. I will limit these to positive predictions as it is the time of year for optimism.
1. As the big league club struggles and prospects get more attention, Reading, Lehigh Valley, and Lakewood all continue to see attendance boosts and coverage by mainstream media as casual fans learn more about the farm system.
2. Shane Watson dominates Lo-A hitters with his curveball but the Phillies leave him in Lakewood all year to work on fastball command and building arm strength.
3. Larry Greene arrive in Lakewood before the end of April. He doesn’t dominate but the power comes along with a drop in walk rate.
4. Franco’s homerun numbers suffer in Clearwater, but the scouting reports and stat line have people trying to figure out where Asche goes to make room, especially after Franco is promoted to Reading at the beginning of August.
5. Carlos Tocci’s stat line is just average in Lakewood but he holds his own enough to make it through the season there.
6. The Reading team is exciting to watch as Cameron Rupp, Jim Murphy, Sebastian Valle, and Anthony Hewitt use it as a launching pad.
7. Jose Pujols leads the GCL in homeruns and strikeouts.
8. Dylan Cozens’ power is not suppressed in Williamsport because he hits the ball so far the park dimensions don’t matter. He surprisingly steals over 10 bases as well.
9. Roman Quinn doesn’t steal 100 bases but his 80+ steals put him second only to Delino De Shields in the minor leagues (Billy Hamilton has combined lead after his June promotion).
10. Yoel Mecias jumps to being a borderline Top 10 prospect in the system (I say borderline because I don’t think much of the current group graduates) as the combination of control and changeup with his mid-90s fastball allow him to dominate hitters.
What does everyone else think well happen this year? Minor league games start tonight so be ready to scout some box scores listen for every scouting report you can.