In the interest of keeping things fresh in Future Rookies, deserving regulars such as Wil Myers, Travis d’Arnaud, and Nick Franklin were omitted this week. The Rangers are well represented with a hot-hitting third baseman and a starting pitcher that has been exceptional of late. A recently promoted Tigers farmhand earns his inclusion this week as well.
Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers, 23 years old
Olt is hitting the ball with authority this year, and that hasn’t been more true than of late. He opened June with a bang, hitting two home runs in each of the first three games of the month. In his last 10 games he is hitting a blistering .475/.533/1.125 with eight home runs. Strikeouts haven’t been a problem in that 10 game stretch either, as 11 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances is acceptable for a power hitter. He is hitting left-handed pitching and right-handed pitching nearly equally well, and is crushing the ball both at home and on the road. Olt is well on his way to a promotion to Triple-A.
Justin Grimm, SP, Texas Rangers, 23 years old
It’s debatable as to who is the hottest Frisco player, and given how well the aforementioned Olt is playing, that’s saying something about the other candidate for that designation. The other player that has a case to be made for title of hottest Frisco player is Grimm. In his last three starts, which have spanned 20 innings, he has pitched no fewer than six innings in any turn, allowing no more than one walk, all while allowing zero runs. Let me repeat that, that’s 20 innings of scoreless work across three starts. Grimm has demonstrated superb control with a walk rate of 1.7 BB/9, and a propensity for inducing groundballs with a 47.8 percent groundball rate. He isn’t the most heralded prospect arm in the Rangers system, but he has a power arm and some upside of his own.
Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers, 20 years old
Since joining the professional ranks as the 44th selection in the 2010 amateur draft, Castellanos has raked. He had little trouble with Low-A pitching last year, hitting .312, and was even better in High-A to start this season, hitting .405. That play prompted a promotion to Double-A Erie. Fans of advanced stats, such as myself, expected his sky high .402 BABIP of last season to regress this season. However, his BABIP has instead shot up to .485 this year in spite of moving up the minor league ladder. All that said, at some point his BABIP will regress. That isn’t a knock on Castellanos as a hitter, as he is clearly not just getting lucky, but it is something worth keeping in mind.
At just 20 years of age, it is impressive to see the gains Castellanos has made as a hitter while moving up a level. He is walking more often this year, and striking out less often. His isolated power (ISO) is up as well. The Tigers drafted Castellanos for his bat, and he has yet to disappoint with the stick in his hand.
Bryce Brentz, OF, Boston Red Sox, 23 years old
Brentz fits your classic corner outfield archetype. He’s a power hitter with some swing-and-miss in his game who will need his bat to carry him to The Show. After a slow start, Brentz has heated up. His line in May was a pathetic .216/.266/.318. His slash sky rocketed to .388/.439/.633 in June, though, and he seems to be settling in. The Red Sox have gotten surprising production out of their right fielders this season, but Brentz could get his opportunity to lay claim to the position as soon as next season.
Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 23 years old
Marte has steadily moved through the Pirates system and has hit at every stop. He’s a free swinger, and his walk rate leaves a lot to be desired, but Marte has made his approach work for him. His home runs don’t adequately illustrate his pop. In addition to his five taters, he has hit seven triples and 10 doubles this year. Marte is a plus runner, but he hasn’t been an efficient base stealer. He has been caught stealing eight times, and his stolen base success rate is a poor 63.6 percent. If he hopes to maximize his impact on the bases, he’ll need to clean that up. Marte brings an intriguing blend of skills to the table, and the struggles of the Pirates left fielders this year could open the door to a summer call-up.
Josh is a graduate of SUNY Cortland's Sport Management program, and an aspiring fantasy writer. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe Forums where he posts as B-Chad. You can also follow his work at The Hardball Times and follow him on Twitter (BChad50).
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