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Minor League Prospect Report, Week 11

We’ve got everything you need to know about the week that was in the Minor Leagues, featuring Andrew Abbott, Bryan Woo and Will Warren.

Andrew Abbott of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the seventh inning during the 2022 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, July 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

This season has been defined by rookies making a splash, and while that train slowed for a bit this past week — with apologies to Seattle Mariners righty Bryan Woo getting roughed up in his first career start against the Texas Rangers — we’re set to get out first look at even more top prospects over the next few days. Top Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Andrew Abbott is set to make his MLB debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night, while Atlanta Braves youngster A.J. Smith-Shawver is already throwing smoke out of the bullpen and could find himself in the starting rotation as soon as this coming weekend.

Of course, you wouldn’t have been shocked by any of this if you’d been keeping up with our weekly prospect reports, in which every single one of those guys was highlighted before reaching the Majors. (All those graduations have opened up a few new spots on our list of prospects to stash for fantasy baseball, too.) Want to know who’s next? Here’s everything that’s happened on the farm last week.

Prospect report for week of Monday, June 5

Andrew Abbott, SP, Cincinnati Reds

After two months of laying waste to multiple levels of the Minor Leagues, the wait is finally over: With Hunter Greene nursing a sore hip, Abbott has been called up to start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night in Cincinnati. We’ve been telling you to pay attention to the fast-rising lefty all season, but here’s the skinny: a second-round pick out of UVA in 2021, command problems held Abbott back in his first taste of pro ball, but a mechanical tweak improved his control of his fastball dramatically — and he’s been on a meteoric rise ever since. With a plus slider and curve to supplement that heater, he profiles as a sturdy mid-rotation arm even in a tough home park.

Bryan Woo, SP, Seattle Mariners

Well, that was ugly. Marco Gonzales’ forearm injury caused the Mariners to run back the Bryce Miller playbook, calling Woo up straight from Double-A to make his MLB debut against the fearsome Texas Rangers. Things ... did not go well: The righty was roughed up to the tune of six runs allowed in just two innings of work.

Don’t give up on him just yet, though; jumping two levels is obviously a tall order, and facing the league’s hottest lineup on the road certainly didn’t help matters. Woo is still one of the breakout arms of this young season, having torn up Double-A with a 2.05 ERA and 59 strikeouts in just 44 innings. He’s avoided much prospect hype thanks to Tommy John surgery that delayed his pro debut until the middle of last year, but with the rust shaken off, he’s made immense strides with his secondary pitches and his command in a short time.

Edouard Julien, 2B, Minnesota Twins

It has to be frustrating for fantasy owners who’ve gone in on Julien to watch the top-100 prospect get yo-yoed between Minnesota and Triple-A St. Paul, especially as the Twins lineup continues to struggle to score runs. He’s a victim of a roster crunch at the moment, but the barrel skills that had him rocketing up prospect lists over the past year is still there, and he has nothing left to prove in the Minors. (He homered again on Sunday to up his Triple-A slash line to .294/.447/.513.) He put up a respectable .738 OPS over his most recent two-week stint in the Majors, showing impressive oppo power.

That’s a big league swing, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets more extended run.

Will Warren, SP, New York Yankees

With Luis Severino’s velocity dipping in his last start, Nestor Cortes likely needing a stint on the IL with shoulder soreness and Carlos Rodon still not right, the Yankees could find themselves in need of more rotation help soon — and Warren could be the guy they turn to. New York has made a habit out of finding underrated pitchers later in the draft, and Warren is next in line, a former eighth-round pick out of Southeast Louisiana University whose stuff jumped almost as soon as he got into the Yankees’ pitching development machine. He boasts a mid-90s sinker and one of the nastiest, sharpest sliders you’ll see:

That wicked frisbee helped earn him a promotion to Triple-A last month, and while he’s had some growing pains trying to conquer a new level, the results have been better lately, namely an eight-strikeout effort over six innings last week. He’ll need to work on his command, but if it all comes together, he could be a real difference-maker.

Coco Montes, 2B, Colorado Rockies

A 15th-round pick way back in 2018, Montes wasn’t on really anyone’s radar to start the year — but when a prospect who’ll call Coors Field home starts putting up video-game numbers in the Minors, it’s best to pay attention. The infielder has been on a heater all season, slashing .317/.398/.551 with 11 homers and three steals across 55 games, and he’s starting to display power to all fields that scouts previously didn’t know was there.

The Rockies are historically allergic to letting their prospects play, but with Nolan Jones and Brenton Doyle seeing everyday time of late, that appears to be changing. They’re currently running out a combination of Alan Trejo and Harold Castro at second base, so there’s obvious room for Montes in the Majors if he keeps hitting like this.

Emmet Sheehan, SP, Dodgers

Much like New York, the Dodgers’ rotation has been leveled by injuries, and Sheehan could be next in line to make his MLB debut after recent call-ups Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller. A sixth-round pick after an underwhelming career at Boston College, Sheehan has busted out at Double-A this season, with a 1.64 ERA and downright silly 93 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. What he lacks in a premium out pitch, he makes up with in sheer quantity, with a change, slider and curve that are all usable offerings alongside a fastball that sits 95 consistently. It remains to be seen whether he has the command to get it done at the highest level without that kind of eye-popping stuff, but the results so far speak for themselves:

Samad Taylor, OF, Kansas City Royals

The Royals are undertaking a full-on youth movement this year, with Maikel Garcia, Michael Massey and Nick Pratto all trying to carve out regular roles — and Taylor could be next in line. The former 10th-round pick has always been an elite athlete; the question was whether he could hit enough to get that athleticism into games. Kansas City bet that the answer was yes, acquiring him in last year’s trade that sent Whit Merrifield to the Toronto Blue Jays, and so far it seems like a wise decision. Taylor is slashing .290/.387/.425 at Triple-A this season, and if he runs OBPs like that, he’s going to run wild — he’s already got 27 steals in his first 54 games. The defense in center field is as elite as you’d expect, and it should only be a matter of time before he gets the call in place of the disappointing Drew Waters and Nate Eaton.

Top 25 prospects to stash for fantasy baseball

Week of 6/5

Rank Name Position Team ETA
Rank Name Position Team ETA
1 Elly de la Cruz SS Reds July
2 Jordan Westburg 2B/3B/SS Orioles June
3 Ronny Mauricio SS Mets June
4 Colton Cowser OF Orioles June
5 Gavin Williams SP Guardians July
6 Christian Encarnacion-Strand 1B Reds May
7 Kyle Manzardo 1B Rays June
8 David Hamilton SS Red Sox May
9 Oswald Peraza SS Yankees June
10 Eduoard Julien 2B Twins April
11 Grayson Rodriguez SP Orioles July
12 Bo Naylor C Guardians June
13 Oscar Colas OF White Sox June
14 Endy Rodriguez C/OF Pirates May
15 Ben Brown SP Cubs June
16 Coco Montes 2B Rockies June
17 Curtis Mead 2B/3B Rays June
18 Brandon Pfaadt SP Diamondbacks July
19 Connor Norby 2B Orioles June
20 Kyle Harrison SP Giants June
21 Will Warren SP Yankees July
22 Henry Davis C Pirates July
23 Dominic Canzone OF Diamondbacks June
24 Emmet Sheehan SP Dodgers July
25 Samad Taylor OF Royals July