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Bahamians Among Mlb Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

#By RENALDO DORSETT

#Tribune Sports Reporter

#rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

#MAJOR League Baseball Pipeline began its annual practice of revealing its top 30 prospects for each franchise and Bahamians have been featured as the division-by-division analysis made its 2020 debut.

#Among the list of three American League divisions, familiar names like Lucius Fox (Tampa Bay Rays), D’Shawn Knowles and Trent Deveaux (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) remained on their teams’ Top 30 prospects list while Keithron Moss (Texas Rangers) was named to the list for the first time.

#Knowles was named the Angels’ No.9 prospect and is currently with the club in Spring Training.

#“As a 17-year-old making his pro debut in the United States in 2018, Knowles set the expectations bar very high by putting up ridiculous numbers in two levels of rookie ball,” his analysis said.

#“Still one of the youngest players at his level, he did improve his approach beyond those numbers, cutting his strikeout rate and showing progress with his overall plate discipline. As the switch-hitter continues to refine that, he has the chance to be a solid hitter and there’s power to come, with most of it showing up now from the left side of the plate.”

#Knowles returned to the Orem Owlz for his first full season with the club in the Pioneer League. After 30 games in the Arizona League in 2018, Knowles was promoted to the Owlz.

#“A plus runner, Knowles is still learning how to steal a base. That speed helps him in the outfield and he’ll continue to get reps in all three spots, though he has the skills to play centre full-time if needed,” his analysis said.

#“The Angels love his work ethic and his baseball IQ, providing confidence his performance will catch up to his tools as he plays all of 2020 at age 19.”

#Deveaux is listed as the Angels’ No. 15 prospect.

#He advanced to the Pioneer League for the first time after 52 games in the Arizona Rookie League. He hit.241 with 53 hits, 23 RBI, 15 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 14 stolen bases, a .332 OBP and a .994 OPS. He improved on his 2018 AZL tenure when appeared in 44 games and hit .199 with a .309 OBP, .556 OPS with 11 RBI, 20 runs scored, seven stolen bases and one home run.

#“The Angels are thrilled with the progress Deveaux made in 2019, especially late in the year. The right-handed hitter started to get more rhythm in his swing, getting comfortable with his timing at the plate and his swing path. That resulted in him driving the ball better than he ever has in his brief career, with an ISO approaching .200 in the AZL to show for it. He’s still very raw and needs to cut down on his strikeouts to show more consistent impact with the bat, but there were enough glimpses to know it’s in there,” his analysis said. “An elite-level athlete with top-of-the-scale speed, Deveaux will continue to get better on the bases as he learns more about the craft. The same can be said for his outfield defence, which is plus at times but inconsistent.”

#Moss was listed as the No.30 prospect in the Rangers’ organisation.

#In 34 AZL games, he hit .308 with a .425 OBP, .442 slugging percentage, and an .866 OPS. He totaled 37 hits, including four doubles, three triples and two home runs with 14 RBI, 27 runs scored and eight stolen bases.

#“He scuffled in his 2018 pro debut but starred as a 17-year-old in the Rookie-level Arizona League last summer, hitting .429 in the playoffs to lead his club to the championship,” his analysis said.

#“Moss exhibits an innate feel for hitting from both sides of the plate, showing a quick swing, advanced understanding of the strike zone and a willingness to use the entire field. As he gets stronger, he should hit the ball with more authority and get to most of his average raw power. He possesses solid to plus speed and will bunt for hits and steal bases.”

#Fox is currently in Spring Training with the Rays and has seen time at centrefield for the first time in his career.

#“He’s maintained strong on-base skills as he’s climbed the ladder thanks to a penchant for walking and knows how to use his plus speed on the bases. After recording at least 25 steals in each of his first three seasons, Fox swiped a career-high 39 bags in 2019,” his analysis said.

#“One of the better athletes in Tampa Bay’s system, Fox is a rangy, above-average defensive shortstop with good hands and an above-average arm. That the Rays began to increase his versatility with reps at both second (13 games) and third base (nine) in 2019 suggests a potential bench role for Fox.”

#Fox received league wide recognition and was awarded “Best Hustler” for his baserunning ability when the league announced its Postseason Awards.

#He spent 15 games last season in Triple-A with the Durham Bulls, but has spent the bulk of the year with the Montgomery Biscuits in the Double A Southern League.

#He went on to lead the Southern League with 39 stolen bases.

#In 112 games this season across both leagues (104 with the Biscuits) Fox hit .221 with a .331 OBP and a .657 OPS. He totalled 90 hits including 16 doubles, nine triples, three home runs, 34 RBIs and scored 66 runs.

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