Catching up with Under-the-Radar prospects

By Robert Emrich

At the start of the season, the staff at MiLB put together their preseason picks for prospects in each Minor League full-season league who were considered under-the-radar. Any player not in a MLB organization’s top 10 prospects according to MLB.com was eligible. One month into the season, it’s time to see where those picks stand.

Alex Colome, Durham Bulls: Colome has been as good as advertised (or unadvertised depending on your view) for the Bulls. Though the 24-year-old right-hander was just 1-3 in April,  he leads the club with a 2.28 ERA through the season’s first month and limited International League hitters to a .200 average. On April 11 he picked up his first Triple-A win with six scoreless innings and took the Triple-A lead with his double-digit strikeout performance Monday vs. Lehigh Valley.

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Alex Colome won his first Triple-A game on April 12 for Durham. (Al Drago/Durham Herald-Sun)

Chase Anderson, Reno Aces: Anderson has struggled in his first trip through the Pacific Coast League. He allowed 24 runs — 19 earned — in five April starts, and though he fanned 23 batters, he’s also yielded 35 hits, including four homers, in 27 1/3 innings.

Nik Turley, Trenton Thunder: Turley’s first two Eastern League starts did not go well (he allowed nine earned runs combined), but the California native showed signs of turning it around.  Over his last three starts in April, he allowed six earned runs while notching a pair of wins for the Thunder.

Stefen Romero, Tacoma Rainiers: Romero skipped right over Double-A after a five-game stint in Class A Advanced High Desert. He hit in eight of the nine games he’s played in the season’s first month with the Tacoma Rainiers and batted .324 with five extra-base hits through that time frame.

Domingo Santana, Corpus Christi Hooks: Though his average sat at .241 in April, Santana showed the power that put him on this list, going deep three times and smacking five doubles in 16 Texas League games. He also posted a healthy .343 on-base percentage and stole three bases.

Clayton Blackburn, San Jose Giants: Blackburn is another player that has been as good as advertised early on, going 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five California League starts through the end of April. He racked up 33 strikeouts in 28 innings while allowing just 25 baserunners.

Keury De La Cruz, Salem Red Sox: The 21-year-old outfielder had an uneven first month, batting .256 while posting a .706 OPS for the Red Sox. He did drive in 19 runs in 22 games and stole five bases.

Steven Moya, Lakeland Flying Tigers: Moya played five games before succumbing to an arm injury. He has not played a game since April 9 and was batting .238 at the time of the injury.

Dan Vogelbach, Kane County Cougars: Vogelbach began to heat up as the season’s first month came to a conclusion, going yard in each of the final three games of April. He finished the month batting .315 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 22 games for the Cougars.

C.J.  Edwards, Hickory Crawdads: Edwards has been just about lights out early on, holding South Atlantic League hitters to a .176 average in April and not allowing a homer this season. He was also 1-1 while compiling a 1.93 ERA for the Crawdads.

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