Guppies are (according to the Tom Brennan lexicon) very young players and rookie ball dudes.  Let's draw the line at 21 years of age - sorry to you 22 and older dudes.

Who are the greatest guppies right now? 

Quite a few hitters, happily, as noted by me last Friday.

I'll highlight arms this week (stats thru Sunday).


Jaison Vilera (21 year old righty, 6'0", 190) - superb for the Clones: 2-1, 1.37 in 5 starts, 26 IP, 0.87 WHIP, 34 Ks!  An international signee who began pitching professionally in 2016, Vilera in his career is 10-3, 1.67 ERA in 145 IP with an 0.97 WHIP.  Wow. 

On Mack's pitching prospects radar screen, for good reason.

And two more:

Christian James (20 years old, and a 2016 14th round 6'3" 210 righty high school selection) and Kevin Smith (21, and a 6'5", 210 lefty drafted in the 7th round this year). 

James is 1-1 in 8 starts, with a stellar 2.08 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 39 innings.  Nice indeed. 

Smith has been super so far - 3-0, 12 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 Ks and just 1 earned run.  Give him a ticket to Queens NOW!

Three other 21-and-under 2018 draftees assigned to Brooklyn who have not pitched much yet, but so far, so good:

Tommy Wilson, Ryley Gilliam and Adam Hill - combined, 7 innings, 5 hits, 0 earned runs, 2 BB, 10 Ks.


Two 21 and under youngsters starting out well:

Jose Butto - 20 year old RHP, 1-0, 1.25, 4 starts, 21.2 IP, 20 Ks, 1.06 WHIP.  Last year in the DSL, sweet, too: 1-1, 1.44 in 50 IP.

Willie Taveras, another sensational 20 year old righty international signee.  This year, 3-1, 1.33, 27 IP, 29 K, 1.04 WHIP.


Early on, but the best of the 21 and unders are Jender de Jesus, Ramon Guzman, Malky Mena, Hector Rodriguez, Oscar Rojas, and Ronnie Taylor Jr.  

The "Superb Six" have combined for 89 IP, 8-2, 2.42, 75 Ks.

My take on the above?  These gents have done well, but I don't yet see any future Jakes or Thors here.  Let's see who continues to excel and who don't keep the current pace in a future article.  And let's think long and very, very hard before we trade Jake or Thor away.


Mack Ade said...


The kid on my radar right now is 19-year old Kingsport outfielder Raul Beracierta.

24-61, .393/.519/.656/1.175

Tom Brennan said...

Funny that you skipped right past the pitchers and on to Beracierta. None of the pitchers have been eye-popping so far, although several are doing very well, so it is easy to skip past them at this point.

Beracierta is looking absolutely awesome. Eighteen games without any sort of a dip in his tremendous output is extremely encouraging.

I looked back and Fangraphs wrote this about Raul 18 months ago in Feb. 2017 - I love the "explosive power/speed" part - he is sure putting it together. Doesn't fan much at all either.

FANGRAPHS: Raul Beracierta, OF – An explosive power/speed prospect who is wholly unrefined, Beracierta was surprisingly competent in center field last year and might hang there for longer than initially expected. He needs a lot of game speed reps in Rookie ball before he’ll even be ready for an affiliate.

Interestingly, in the Feb 2017 same article, they touched on Dom Smith. After saying some positive things, the author wrote some "take off the rose-colored glasses thoughts":

"There are scouts who do not like Smith at all. He often appears aloof, he can single-handedly disrupt the pace of games just because of how long it takes him to sashay from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, and I’ve clocked Smith, full-effort, from home to first in the 4.9- to 5.0-second range.

Smith’s physique has long been a contentious subject among scouts as well and, while he’s arrived at camp looking less rotund than in the past, his mobility remains limited. If he hits, and I think he’s going to, I couldn’t care less about any of that.

Defensively, Smith’s range at first is poor, but he’s a sneaky athlete for his build, has an above-average arm and very soft hands. Because such a significant aspect of defense at first is scooping bad throws and fielding awkward hops, he projects as a plus defender at first."

Lastly, that same Fangraphs article said Nabil Crismatt touched 95 MPH back then. Faster than I expected. Crismatt may turn out to be Dillon Gee +.

Mack's Mets © 2012