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Big Hype Prospects: Brennan, Cavalli, Malloy, O’Hoppe, Capel

Big Hype Prospects: Brennan, Cavalli, Malloy, O'Hoppe, Capel

This week on Big Hype Prospects, I play it fast and loose with “big hype” in order to focus on some Spring Training battles.

Five BHPs In The News

Will Brennan, 25, OF, CLE (MLB)
(AAA) 433 PA, 9 HR, 15 SB, .316/.367/.471

A favorite of mine and my main contact with Baseball America, Brennan is in a roster battle with Oscar Gonzalez and Myles Straw this spring. Between average discipline and a strong feel for contact, he’s the Guardians latest candidate to walk more than he strikes out. The left-handed hitter looks like a future doubles machine even if his home run output is a tad underwhelming. His defense is solid in the corners and passable in center. With Straw on the roster and a fly ball-oriented pitching staff, he’s not ideal for center field. The lack of home run potential is an odd look in an outfield corner, yet his feel for hard contact implies a three- or four-win player in a similar mold to teammate Steven Kwan. After Gonzalez shatter expectations last season, it will be interesting to see how the Guardians distribute playing time.

Cade Cavalli, 24, SP, WSH (MLB)
(AAA) 97 IP, 9.65 K/9, 3.62 BB/9, 3.71 ERA

Cavalli made his debut last fall and struggled in his only appearance. He flashed his impressive repertoire of four above average offerings, but his below average command was also on display. This is a profile that tends to experience success in the Majors after a sometimes lengthy adjustment period. The Nationals will be looking to build him up after throwing only 101.1 total innings last season. He’s expected to break camp with the club. Don’t be surprised if they take opportunities to give him extra rest or restrict his innings per start. The plan should look similar to the usage of Josiah Gray last season. He threw 148.2 innings across 28 starts. As a stuff-over-command starter, he has some of the same markers as Dylan Cease.

Justyn-Henry Malloy, 23, 3B, DET (AAA)
(A+/AA/AAA) 591 PA, 17 HR, 5 SB, .289/.408/.454

After lighting up three levels in 2022, the Braves included Malloy in the Joe Jimenez trade. Atlanta’s recent track record with prospect trades is rather incredible. For the most part, they’ve kept the winners and dealt away the laggards. Malloy’s inclusion in a trade for a reliever with a checkered past could be viewed as a negative mark. I polled two scouting contacts and received different takes. One doesn’t believe Malloy impacts the ball enough to be a high-probability regular. The other is more optimistic…

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