In this new column, I, Ed “The Irish” will be highlighting some of my favorite unknown prospects with flattering and outrageous Hall-of-Fame comparisons. I don’t take life too seriously and want you to have fun while gaining winning knowledge to give you the edge. This is (drumroll) The Irish Prospect Report.
The season is not here yet, but why not get a head start and jump in a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Get a jump on the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put some green on the line with a new season-long league to try and conquer. There’s no better time than now to get your baseball on!
The Week 1 Irish Prospect Report
Robert Perez Jr, Mariners
Currently in High A in the Seattle Mariners farm system, this former international prospect wasn’t very high on any team’s radar and only got around 75,000 dollars in a signing bonus. He can play a little outfield but may have to stick to first base. I see a lot of comparisons to Yordan Alvarez. Not a plus fielder but the best of comparisons is the bat. Perez can launch the ball. He should be able to move quickly through the system. He hit .342 in 120 ABs at High A and even won the Arizona Fall League Home Run derby.
Marc Church, Rangers
Your prayers have been answered in the form of a church. Marc Church. The Rangers’ farm system, especially when it comes to relief pitching, is a bit of a mess. Yerry Rodriguez and Jonathan Hernandez are two of my favorite relief pitchers and are in the system. Who will be closing in the future though? Church is already being used almost exclusively in relief and for good reason. This is your first time with me but there is something I say about prospect pitchers. If you have a plus fastball/slider combo it’s unlikely you’re heading anywhere but the bullpen. It’s a fact. Depending on the success of Jose Leclerc, Church could be up very early this season.
Brandon Lewis, Dodgers
Despite strong power numbers, including a 24-home run season last year at Double-A and 30 home runs between A and High A in 2021, Lewis hasn’t even cracked a lot of the team’s top 30 lists. Lewis only hit .209 last year and just didn’t show the patience he needed to take that next step to the next level. He is also an older prospect at 24 years old. Taking a breath and not trying to kill the ball could help as he has produced high OBP seasons in the past, but his .271 OBP from last season won’t get it done at the major league level. A quick start though, and with injuries we could see him up fairly quickly filling the void.
Alek Jacob, Padres
I’ve had my eye on Alek Jacob for a couple of years now. He has been putting up almost video game-like numbers since being drafted and has been very hard to hit. The key to the success is an almost submarine or three-quarter delivery that allows for a deceptive arm angle which forces minimal hard contact. While watching film, the slider is just a great pitch and could be a put-away pitch. I think you’re looking at a future top 20 relief pitcher in the league in a year or two.
Xavier Edwards, Marlins
Normally in my reports, I will be trying to feature prospects you may have not heard about. If you have heard about Xavier Edwards, it’s because he has been hanging out around the top 100 of most lists for a couple of years now. With a plus hit tool, Edwards has hit .300 in over 1300 at-bats at the minor league level. A very patient hitter it’s only a matter of time before the 23-year-old is called up and playing a utility role. Edwards does have an outside shot of making the main roster out of camp.