Today kicks off the 2014 Top 25 Prospect List. Each day I will have five prospects listed each day to work through the list all week. On Friday there will also be a chat to discuss the list, though I will also answer some questions each day in the comments section. All listed ages are the official age during the season, which is calculated by their age as of June 30th of the playing year. Subscribers will get to see the best tool for each player.
25. Ryan LaMarre | Outfielder | 2013 teams: Pensacola Blue Wahoos & Louisville Bats
Acquired: 2nd Round, 2010 Draft | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 205 lbs. | Age: 24
LaMarre seemed to struggle during the 2013 season, but his season was essentially night and day between the first and second halves. From April-June the outfielder hit .220/.311/.307 with 13 steals for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. However once July began he turned the season around and hit .281/.351/.459 with 10 steals, mostly with Pensacola and with a small amount of time with Louisville.
24. Sal Romano | Right Handed Pitcher | 2013 Teams: Dayton Dragons
Acquired: 23rd Round, 2011 Draft | Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 250 lbs. | Age: 19
Romano struggled with consistency during the 2013 season where he led all Midwest League teenagers in innings pitched with 120.1 innings. He was just one of a handful of teenagers who threw 100 innings in the league this season. The right handers strikeout rate picked up in the second half of the season,though his walk rate also went up.
23. Neftali Soto | First & Third Base | 2013 Teams: Louisville Bats & Cincinnati Reds
Acquired: 3rd Round, 2007 Draft | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 215 lbs. | Age: 24
Soto rebounded some in 2013 with Louisville as he hit .271, but his walk rate dropped off from a career best 8% in 2012 to 5.3% this past season. His power output also dropped off some. On the good side of things, he made a transition back to third base defensively after past struggles at the position and more than held his own at the position.
22. Reydel Medina | Outfielder | 2013 Teams: Did Not Play
Acquired: International Free Agent, 2013 | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 200 lbs. | Age: 20
The Reds signed Reydel Medina out of the Dominican Prospect League where played in 2012 and 2013 after defecting from Cuba in 2011 and establishing himself in Haiti to become eligible to sign. He showed off strong bat speed and above-average power potential in workouts and also showed off good speed in workouts. He will make his debut in 2014.
|Did Not Play in 2013 | Will make his professional debut in 2014|
21. Junior Arias | Outfielder | 2013 Teams: Dayton Dragons & Bakersfield Blaze
Acquired: International Free Agent, 2008 | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 200 lbs. | Age: 21
After a few years of flashing big power potential, 2013 was the year where Arias began to translate it to games a little more often as he hit 24 doubles, 6 triples and 15 home runs. He performed better with Dayton than in Bakersfield, but it was a large step forward.
25. Ryan LaMarre
Best tool: Defense. LaMarre could make the argument as the best overall defensive outfielder in the system. He has above-average speed that he uses very well in center field. The speed plays up at the position because of good reads off of the bat and because of outstanding routes to the ball.
24. Sal Romano
Best tool: Fastball. Romano brings a 91-94 MPH sinking fastball that generates a lot of groundballs. The pitch features good sinking action as well as some armside run.
23. Neftali Soto
Best tool: Power. While Soto hasn’t had the power output that he showed in 2011 when he hit 31 home runs, the power potential is still there. He has plus power potential.
22. Reydel Medina
Best tool: Power. Medina hasn’t been in any games as a professional yet, so all of his tools are based off of workouts and games against lesser competition, but his bat speed shows up and projects good power in the future.
21. Junior Arias
Best tool: Speed. While we talked above about his power potential, Arias has plus-plus speed that rates out as an 80-grade tool that helped him steal 60 bases in 2013.