Syndergaard, Graveman, and the top Lugnuts prospects who are elsewhere
Yesterday's post was about the Toronto Blue Jays' Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America (a list that included 18 former Lansing Lugnuts).
Today, we'll focus on those former Lugnuts who are top prospects in other organization:
RHP Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets' #1 prospect: 8-5, 2.60 ERA with 122 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings for the Lugs in 2012, dealt with Travis d'Arnaud for R.A. Dickey in the offseason, and now on the cusp of the Majors after spending all of last year in Triple-A. He won't begin the season in New York, but he'll get there sooner rather than later. Reading material: "Mets' Noah Syndergaard looks to build on disappointing season."
LHP Justin Nicolino, Miami Marlins' #3 prospect: 10-4, 2.46 ERA with the Lugnuts as part of that terrific 2012 rotation, traded to Miami in the offseason as part of the Jays' massive deal for Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others. Last year, he was named the Double-A Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher. Projected by BA's Juan Rodriguez to start the season in Triple-A with a likely 2015 MLB debut. Reading material: "Marlins prospect Nicolino excelling in spite of modest strikeout numbers."
RHP Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics' #7 prospect: Cinderella story, went from Lansing on Opening Day 2014 to the Major Leagues by September; traded in the offseason for All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson. At the least, he's a starter for the Nashville Sounds on Opening Day this year, with a ticket to the Majors not far away from his grasp. At the most, he's an Athletic in April. Reading material (including the key, correct description of Kendall as a "Southern gentleman"): "A's newcomer Kendall Graveman has team intrigued."
LHP Sean Nolin, Oakland Athletics' #8 prospect: After joining the Blue Jays' organization out of shape, worked hard to improve his conditioning and stuff, earning a (disastrous, unfortunately) Major League start in 2013. Traded with Graveman to the A's and much better suited for pitcher-friendly Oakland rather than hitter-friendly Toronto. Reading material: "Sean Nolin eager to help new team after surgery."
C Carlos Perez, Los Angeles Angels' #25 prospect: Played for Lansing in 2011 and 2012, whereupon he was traded to Houston in midseason; traded from the Astros to the Angels in November 2014 and now has the chance to be L.A.'s #2 catcher on Opening Day. No pertinent reading material yet.
Others, unranked but not forgotten: SS Gustavo Pierre, traded to the Philadelphia Phillies; LHP David Rollins, Rule 5 draftee of the Seattle Mariners; LHP Tyler Ybarra, traded to the Colorado Rockies.