Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been organizing my notes in preparation for our team-by-team 2015 Top 10 lists. To give you a flavor, I’ve written up my notes on the Pittsburgh Pirates uber-prospect, Tyler Glasnow and the Milwaukee Brewer’s 2014 second round draft pick, Monte Harrison. While Glasnow has become a house-hold name in prospect circles, Monte Harrison is relatively unknown. Based on what I’ve seen and heard, that could change very quickly.
The Top 10’s will start in late September with the Chicago Cubs kicking off our coverage. Warning…it might be a mini-novel.
Tyler Glasnow (Pit, RHP)
I’ve been staring at my screen for 20 minutes not knowing where to start with Tyler Glasnow. I’ve had a chance to scout him several times across both levels of A-Ball and have a good sense for the player and the areas of development he still needs. Quite frankly, the list is long on both sides of the equation but the end result could be very, very special.
When you first see Glasnow, it’s hard not to notice the body. It’s the definition of long and lanky. Not only are his limbs long, but so is his torso. In fact, it’s very common to see his jersey come un-tucked and flap in the wind as he completes his delivery. His jersey issues could be solved by finding a belt that actually works, but also contributing is the “all out” effort he puts into the delivery. He gets outstanding momentum on his stride and this combined with his long levers provide incredible torque and drive to the plate. The violence leads to significant balance issues and ultimately control issues. However, the delivery allows his plus stuff to play up even more and is one of the reasons batters don’t make great contact; when they are able to make contact.
As messy as the delivery is, it’s much improved from 2013. Glasnow is more in control with better balance and this should only improve as he learns to manage his 6-foot-7 frame. If and when these lines cross, Glasnow has the upside to be a dominating pitcher. The Pirates clearly want this to be in the starting rotation, but it could also be in relief.
The arsenal is special and begins with an explosive fastball that sits 94-96 MPH and can touch higher. The curveball is a true swing and miss pitch with tight spinning action that drops off the table. I’ve seen numerous hitters flail at the pitch. The change-up also has nice deception and with time, could be another above-average pitch. While he does pitch with downward plane, he’s not an extreme ground ball pitcher as his fastball is a true four-seamer that he elevates up in the zone. For Glasnow, it works, because the plane make it difficult to square, therefore most of the flyballs become weak outs.
Fantasy Impact: Glasnow has the raw stuff to be an ace but the control will be a problem unless he learns to control his body better. If he does, it could be special. Regardless, it’s going to take time and a level-a-year progression could be in the cards. This will put his arrival in Pittsburgh at 2017. I also used the word “relief” in the capsule and believe that’s a possible outcome for Glasnow. 6-foot-8 Dellin Betances of the New Yankees had a similar profile to Glasnow and was exposed once he moved to the upper-minors. He moved to the bullpen and has become a monster. As a fantasy owner, it’s a win-win situation.
Monte Harrison (Mil, OF) – Milwaukee Brewers emerging prospect
If Jacob Gatewood wasn’t toolsy enough, the Brewers drafted one of the few players with more raw ability than Gatewood in Monte Harrison. Simply go to youtube and type in his name and you’ll see an impressive array of basketball dunks and acrobatic catches on the football grid. The athleticism is extremely impressive.
Harrison has bat speed, raw power, crazy arm strength (rumors are that he hit 98 MPH from the bump in high-school), and 80-grade running speed. The missing/unknown skill is the ability to hit. While the reports I have received show a very raw hit-tool, he does appear to have an approach with a better than anticipated understanding of the strike zone. The stats seem to back that up with a 39K/21BB strikeout-to-walk ratio so far in rookie-ball.
While I don’t have specific criteria for our emerging prospect, one could argue that Harrison has the highest upside in the system and should be a Top five prospect for the Brewers. However, and maybe I’m cheating, Harrison has the talent to go from relative obscurity to one of the more talked about and hyped prospect in the minors. For me, that also defines an emerging prospect.