Tracking Top Prospects from the Sunshine State
Man On Second Baseball is keeping track of the top prospects from the state of Florida who have yet to play in an MLB game
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
Baseball in the Sunshine State is as strong as ever.
The state of Florida has long been a hotbed for producing baseball talent, and the pipeline of young players tracking toward the big leagues remains full.
To help you keep up with them, Man On Second Baseball will be tracking some of the top prospects from the state of Florida throughout Spring Training. Our focus right now will be on prospects from the state who have not yet to reach the Majors. Specifically, MO2 (Man on Second) will focus on players who went pro immediately out of a Florida high school, or players who attended Florida colleges.
Our attention also is on those currently playing Spring Training in the state of Florida, so we’re looking at the Grapefruit League, and not including Florida players based in Arizona right now, playing in the Cactus League.
MO2 has zeroed in on players drafted from 2017-20. If we missed anyone, we will add them to future lists. All eight of those players are non-roster invitees invited to Major League Spring Training.
Here we go:
OF Connor Scott, Miami Marlins: A first-round pick in 2018, Scott attended Plant High School in Tampa. The 21-year-old is a left-handed hitter with plus speed and defender. He’s already gained some Grapefruit League experiences. On Wednesday, Scott had a sacrifice fly and an RBI single in the Marlins’ 8-5 win at the Nationals.
Plant High School has a storied history of producing great players. Hall of Famer Wade Boggs attended there. Scott worked out in the offseason with Kyle Tucker of the Astros. Tucker also attended Plant.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly has already spoken out about the advancements Scott has made in the offseason. He’s getting physically bigger, and is getting to the point where he will be seriously considered for Double and Triple-A promotion.
OF Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers: Ranked 21st on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, Greene was the fifth overall pick in the 2019 Draft. Just 20, the left-handed hitting outfielder has the makings of being a star. He’s an advanced hitter, who is on the fast track.
Greene attended Hagerty High School in Oviedo. Entering the Draft, he reminded at least one scout of being a Cody Bellinger-type hitter. Greene isn’t as athletic overall as Bellinger, but he can flat out hit. The other day against Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, one of the best pitchers in the sport, Greene worked a six-pitch walk to open the game. He added a line drive single a couple of innings later (not off Cole).
1B Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox top prospect, Pipeline ranks Casas 44th on Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Casas attended American Heritage High in Plantation, and was a first round pick of Boston in 2018. A middle of the order power threat, the 21-year-old Casas had been taking live batting practice early in Spring Training.
But on Thursday, the Red Sox announced their top prospect is in Boston being treated with an undisclosed medical issue. The team said it was not baseball related. We’ll keep you posted for any further developments.
INF Jeter Downs, Boston Red Sox: The 22-year-old Downs attended Miami Pace High School, and was a Competitive Balance A Round pick of the Reds in 2017. He is ranked 49th on Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Downs has already been traded twice, initially from the Reds to the Dodgers. He was sent to Boston as part of the Mookie Betts trade. The Red Sox are getting a good look at Downs in Spring Training, as he gets closer to making his MLB debut.
INF Xavier Edwards, Tampa Bay Rays: A speedster from North Broward Prep, Edwards was taken in the Competitive Balance A round by the Padres in 2018. He was dealt from San Diego to the Rays as part of the Tommy Pham trade. A switch-hitter with game-changing speed, Edwards has terrific bat-to-ball skills. He shows patience at the plate, and draws his share of walks. He’s showing some glimpses of his potential in Grapefruit League games.
OF Cody Wilson, Washington Nationals: A native of Jupiter, Fla., Wilson is right at home in Spring Training. The Nationals train in West Palm Beach. Wilson attended Jupiter High School, and attended Florida Atlantic University. The 24-year-old was a 13th round pick in 2018. He’s arguably the fastest runner and best defensive outfielder in the Nationals’ system.
RHP Tyler Dyson, Washington Nationals: The 23-year-old was a fifth-round pick by Washington from the University of Florida in 2019. Dyson is still looking to log innings. He threw 33 2/3 innings in 2019, and had a 1.07 ERA combined at two levels.
RHP Thad Ward, Boston Red Sox: A University of Central Florida standout, Ward was a fifth rounder by the Red Sox in 2018. The right-hander from Fort Myers is at Spring Training in his home town. In his pro career, he has logged 157 1/3 innings, he has 184 strikeouts and 69 walks.