Top prospects pop off at camp

March 18th, 2021

Marlins prospect Jazz Chisholm and Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec could each add some power to a big league lineup during the regular season this year, but why wait? On Wednesday, Chisholm slugged his second homer of Spring Training, and Dalbec belted his second grand slam.

Chisholm, the No. 66 overall prospect with 55-grade pop, went yard with a 112.7 exit velocity during the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Mets. In the fifth inning, the 23-year-old middle infielder worked a 2-0 count against right-hander Robert Gsellman, then swung at and missed a 95 mph sinker. Gsellman followed the strike with the same pitch, which Chisholm deposited 366 feet away, over the right-field fence.

"I was really trying to just put balls in play hard early in the spring, work from the ground up," Chisholm said during a postgame Zoom call. "The last two games, me and a couple of the hitting coaches were just like, 'All right, time to let it loose. The season's almost around the corner. Let's get it going and take some hacks, you know?' So today, [I] just was letting some loose and letting the hands work. I know they were big hacks, but I was working more hands still."

A left-handed hitter with a legitimate shot at the Marlins' second-base job, Chisholm flied out to right with a ball that left the bat at 105.7 mph in the seventh inning. He's 5-for-22 (.227) with a walk and a stolen base over 11 Grapefruit League games this year and played in 21 games for the Marlins last year, hitting two homers and swiping two bags but going 9-for-56 (.161).

Dalbec has amassed eight total bases over seven at-bats over the last three days, putting a jolt into his numbers with a second-inning grand slam in Boston's 9-1 win over Minnesota on Wednesday. The No. 93 prospect boasts 60-grade power and has five round-trippers over 12 games this spring. With his most recent, he took righty Matt Shoemaker deep with two outs on a 2-2 pitch.

The 25-year-old third baseman exited after the grand slam, wrapping up a scheduled short day in camp. He has a .333/.419/.926 slash line in the Grapefruit League, and he socked eight homers for Boston over 23 games last summer.

Wander Franco, SS, TB (MLB No. 1 prospect)
Two days after being reassigned to the Minors, baseball’s top prospect returned for a game with Tampa Bay. In his first at-bat, Franco ripped a single up the middle. At 104.1 mph off the bat, the ball ricocheted off the glove of pitcher Mitch Keller. Franco was retired in his next four trips, grounding out to first, flying out to center and lining out to third twice. Prior to being reassigned, the 20-year-old shortstop was 5-for-15 in seven big league camp games. Gameday »

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC (MLB No. 7)
The 20-year-old No. 2 overall pick from 2019 lined a ninth-inning single to left field off the A's Reymin Guduan for his 10th hit in 32 Spring Training at-bats this year, giving him a .303/.343/.576 slash line over 13 games. Witt posted a .317 on-base percentage with eight extra-base hits over 37 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League the summer he was drafted. Gameday »

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT (MLB No. 9)
Batting second, Hayes continued his hot spring with a productive game against Tampa Bay. The top Pirates prospect beat the shift with a 108.6 mph RBI single to right, then stole second. His next time up, Hayes worked a walk and came around to score. In nine Grapefruit League games, Hayes is batting .423/.483/.769 with six extra-base hits and five RBIs. Gameday »

Tarik Skubal, LHP, DET (MLB No. 24)
Skubal twirled his third straight scoreless outing of the spring. The Tigers’ No. 4 prospect utilized his plus fastball, which touched 97 twice, to work around a hit and three walks with six strikeouts over three frames against the Phillies. Skubal fanned Bryce Harper twice, including on an 86.2 mph slider. The southpaw now has yielded three hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts in eight innings across the three outings in Grapefruit League action. Gameday »

Nick Gonzales, SS, PIT (MLB No. 43)
With the Bucs facing the Rays, Gonzales picked up his first career Spring Training hit, then added another. The 2020 seventh overall pick knocked an RBI double to right-center with an exit velocity of 99.6 mph. Gonzales then lofted a shallow RBI single just beyond first base to bring the Pirates within one in the ninth. The 21-year-old shortstop was 0-for-6 entering Wednesday’s contest. Gameday »

Triston McKenzie, RHP, CLE (MLB No. 51)
The 23-year-old righty posted a spring-high four strikeouts, going three innings against the Reds. He gave up a pair of homers -- one to Nick Castellanos in the first inning and another to Mike Freeman in the second -- but when he got into trouble with two hits and a walk in the third, he buckled down to fan two straight and end the inning with the bases loaded. McKenzie was 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA over eight games -- six starts -- for Cleveland last year. Gameday »

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/OF, BAL (MLB No. 77)
Mountcastle drilled another double -- his fourth this month -- and scored a run against the Braves. The right-handed hitter cracked the sixth-inning two-bagger to center field, giving him 12 total bases in 10 Grapefruit League games. Although he's only 5-for-28 (.179), his one hit that did not go for two bases was a home run. Mountcastle batted .333 with five jacks over 35 games for Baltimore last year. Gameday »

Dane Dunning, RHP, TEX (MLB No. 91)
Duning, whom the Rangers acquired from the White Sox as part of the offseason Lance Lynn trade, kept his Spring Training ERA pristine as he fired three scoreless innings against the D-backs. The 26-year-old yielded one hit and struck out three in his second outing of the year. Dunning made his debut last season and pitched to a 3.97 ERA over seven starts (34 innings). More »

Ryan Boldt, OF, TB
A 2016 second-rounder, Boldt has yet to appear in a Major League game but showed standout potential against the Pirates on Wednesday. The outfielder went 4-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. He entered the day with one hit over 13 plate appearances this spring. Boldt missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery that May. Gameday »

A.J. Puk, LHP, OAK
Making his 2021 Cactus League debut, Puk was charged for a couple runs over two innings -- the Royals' Ryan McBroom swatted a two-run homer against him in the first -- but recorded four punchouts and allowed two hits and a walk. Puk, who has a 70-grade fastball, underwent shoulder surgery in September and worked in the low 90s in his return to spring action, turning in a 1-2-3 second inning capped with his fourth strikeout. Gameday »

Will Wilson, SS, SF; Jaylin Davis, OF, SF
Wilson and Davis combined for two RBIs and three runs against the Rockies, with Wilson scoring twice. The 22-year-old shortstop singled and walked to boost his Cactus League OBP to .300. Davis, who singled, has four knocks over eight games this spring. Gameday »

Ryan Vilade, SS, COL
Vilade went 2-for-2 with an RBI double against the Giants, making him 7-for-19 (.368) over 15 spring games. The 22-year-old shortstop hit .303 with 12 homers and 10 triples over 128 games for Class A Advanced Lancaster in 2019. Gameday ».