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6 Pitching Prospects On the Rise in Double-A

Injuries are mounting in the major leagues forcing clubs to pull players from double-A and triple-A. As of writing this article, Bryan Woo is being called up to debut on Saturday for the Mariners in Marco Gonzalez’s place. Hope you guys grabbed Bryan Woo after my article “Standout Pitching Prospects In Double-A” back in May. For now, let’s take a look at fsix top pitching prospects making waves in double-A.

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Rising Pitching Prospects in Double-A

Texas League

Emmet Sheehan, RHP LAD

At this point, I’m about to have a weekly article on Dodgers pitching prospects. To be honest, I’ve wanted to write about Emmet Sheehan almost every week. He’s a prospect I was very high on coming into this season and he has not disappointed. The 23-year-old Sheehan has been lights out for double-A Tulsa as he has had a staggering 15.55 K/9 so far. In 10 appearances (eight as a starter) Sheehan has struck out 76 batters in 44 innings while holding batters to a .114 average with a 1.64 ERA.

The only question for Sheehan for me going into this season was whether he could limit the walks. So far he has done better this season than last year but with a 3.68 BB/9 there is still some room for improvement. What has concerned me has been the increase in his home run to fly ball rate jumping to 16.1% up from the 4.1% he had in high-A last year. Sheehan will have some regression coming his way at some point this season as his left-on-base percentage is extremely high at 97%, which is obviously unsustainable.

Regardless, I’m still bullish on Sheehan and hope the Dodgers continue to develop him as a starter and give him the bump to Oklahoma City here soon.

Blayne Enlow, RHP MIN

Blayne Enlow is getting it done in his return to double-A Wichita. The 24-year-old right-hander has worked exclusively as a starter this season and has improved in almost every category. Over nine starts for the Wind Surge, Enlow has 58 strikeouts in 46 innings with a .230 average against and posting a solid 3.13 ERA. Enlow has limited the walks per nine to 2.35 while increasing the strikeout rate over last season to 11.35 K/9.

We have also seen the ground ball rate jump back to 45.2%, which is closer to his career norm. Blayne Enlow looks like an obvious promotion candidate for the Twins to triple-A St. Paul. If he can continue to progress he could push for a late-season call-up or debut in 2024.

Eastern League

Clayton Beeter, RHP NYY

One of the main pieces in the Joey Gallo to the Dodgers trade last season, Clayton Beeter has continued to impress after the trade to his new organization. Beeter has been known for his high strikeout numbers since being drafted in 2020. That trend has continued this season with the Somerset Patriots. In nine starts Beeter has struck out 52 batters in 44 innings while keeping batters to a .215 average and has a 2.66 ERA. Clayton Beeter has done a good job of keeping the ball on the ground and out of the air as he has a solid 8.1% HR/FB rate with a 41.7% ground ball rate in his 44 innings.

The only thing that makes me question if Beeter will remain a starter is his walk rates. This season he has 5.11 BB/9 which has been the second-highest of his minor league career but he typically sits at 3.91. Regardless, the Yankees should be looking to promote Clayton Beeter to triple-A Scranton soon as he seems to have mastered double-A so far. This could be a solid late-season call-up for the Yankees as a starter or bullpen arm.

Mike Vasil, RHP NYM

The Mets selected a solid organizational arm in the 2021 draft out of the University of Virginia. Vasil had a solid season in 2022, moving across three levels and striking out 85 batters in 71.1 innings while holding batters to a .195 average with a 3.53 ERA in 17 starts. It looks like Vasil has improved this season in double-A Binghamton. In eight starts with the Rumble Ponies, Vasil has struck out 48 in 41 innings pitched with a .174 average against and a 3.29 ERA. With a solid 10.54 K/9 this season and an improved walk rate of 1.32 Vasil has been steady.

The only concern this year over last season has been the increased home run per nine (1.32 HR/9) and subsequently, the ground ball rate (35% GB%) has dropped as well. If the ground ball rate can get back to his career average of 49.67 that should right the ship. This is all nitpicking though as Vasil has been solid and is not showing signs of slowing down. As an advanced pitcher, he could be a candidate for a promotion to Syracuse or an injury call-up for the often-injured Mets rotation.

Southern League

Justin Jarvis, RHP MIL

The Milwaukee Brewers continue to find ways to get the most from their pitching prospects and so far you can add Justin Jarvis to your Brewers watch list. Jarvis has been in the Brewers organization since 2018 but seems to be taking a step forward in his age-23 season. This year in double-A Jarvis has struck out 60 batters in 49.2 innings pitched keeping batters to a .239 average and has a 2.72 ERA in nine starts. With the left-on-base percentage high at 83.6% it shows Jarvis has benefited from a stellar defense behind him.

Justin Jarvis has improved his ground ball rate from his career average while limiting his home run to flyball rate to 7.5% indicating solid gains that can transcend the level. While all these rates are encouraging for Jarvis, I’m happy to see his walk rate down to 2.90 BB/9 down from a career 4.34 BB/9. Right now Justin Jarvis is making his case as a major piece of the future Brewer’s rotation and should be monitored by dynasty managers.

Jordan Wicks, LHP CHC

Chicago has to be impressed with Jordan Wicks’ season so far for the double-A Tennessee Smokies. Over 10 starts, Wicks has struck out 53 batters in 46.1 innings pitched keeping batters to a .211 average, and has a 2.91 ERA. Wicks appears to be getting a bit lucky with the ERA as his FIP is 4.37 and the strand rate seems high as well. For Jordan Wicks, the solid strikeout rate of 28.8% and the lower walk per nine of 2.33 are encouraging so far.

The only thing to monitor is the home run to fly ball rate for Jordan Wicks as it was high in double-A last season (21.7% HR/FB) as well as this year at 15.4%. Wicks is among the top pitchers in the Cubs organization and should be monitored as the season goes on.

Are you on board with The Hawk’s take on these rising pitching prospects? Then you’ll probably want to check out his Top 400 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings.

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