Minor League Baseball

Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Crawford, Jimenez headline roster moves

Phillies', Cubs' top prospects among cuts from Major League camps

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com

Major League teams continue to pare down their rosters as Spring Training winds down, and two of MLB.com's top 15 prospects were among the reassignments Friday.

Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford, the No. 6 overall prospect, and Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, ranked 13th overall, were sent to Minor League camp after disparate spring performances.

After a tough 2016 season in which he posted an OPS under .780 for the first time in his professional career (.688), Crawford batted .207/.281/.241 in 12 Grapefruit League games.

"They told me they want to get me ready," the 22-year-old Crawford told MLB.com. "They want me to start playing a lot more innings with a lot more at-bats. So I think I can do that down there and just get ready for the season."

Jimenez produced a .321/.355/.607 slash line with two homers and four RBIs in 16 Cactus League games and impressed Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

"What he showed to me was a tremendous understanding of the swing as a 20-year-old," Maddon told MLB.com. "The velocity off the bat is incredible. He'll look awful on one pitch and then come back and hit a screaming line drive and make quick adjustments. He's really sophisticated and beyond his years at 20 ... He's not many, many years off."

The Phillies also assigned two other top prospects -- catcher Jorge Alfaro (No. 3) and outfielder Nick Williams (No. 4) to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Ben Lively, ranked 25th in the system, was sent to Minor League camp.

While Jimenez is awaiting his assignment, a handful of Cubs prospects -- outfielders Mark Zagunis (No. 7) and Jacob Hannemann (No. 29), infielder Chesny Young (No. 14), catcher Victor Caratini (No. 13) and right-handers Felix Pena (No. 21) and Pierce Johnson (No. 24) -- will start the season with Triple-A Iowa.

The Brewers also were busy Friday as they sent top prospect Lewis Brinson (No. 18 overall), No. 10 prospect Brett Phillips and No. 16 prospect Ryan Cordell to Triple-A Colorado Springs, forming a talent-laden outfield.

"All three of them are still at places where they need to be at Triple-A and they have development left," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told MLB.com. "They have lots of room for growth still. It's not like a finished product with any of them."

The Red Sox sent their 20th- and 21st-ranked prospects, right-hander Kyle Martin and left-hander Luis Ysla, to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Pirates assigned right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas, their No. 24 prospect, to Triple-A Indianapolis and outfielder Barrett Barnes (No. 30) to Minor League camp.

Infielder Jorge Mateo, the fifth-ranked Yankees prospect, was sent to Class A Advanced Tampa, while the Nationals assigned outfielder and No. 13 prospect Rafael Bautista to Triple-A Syracuse.

The Royals sent four players to Triple-A Omaha: outfielders Hunter Dozier (No. 2) and Jorge Bonifacio (No. 12), right-hander Andrew Edwards (No. 23) and catcher Cam Gallagher (No. 30).

The A's assigned their top prospect, shortstop Franklin Barreto, along with infielder Chad Pinder (No. 10) and outfielder/first baseman Matt Olson (No. 18) to Triple-A Nashville. Right-hander Chase De Jong and outfieldere Boog Powell -- the Mariners' 15th- and 25th-ranked prospects -- were sent to Triple-A Tacoma, while the Marlins assigned left-hander Jarlin Garcia (No. 4) and right-handers Drew Steckenrider (No. 9) and Tayron Guerrero (No. 20) to Triple-A New Orleans.

Catcher Tomas Nido, the Mets' No. 11 prospect, was sent to Minor League camp, and the D-backs optioned infielder Dominigo Leyba -- their No. 2 prospect -- to Double-A Jackson while assigning infielders Jack Reinheimer (No. 18) and Ildemaro Vargas (No. 28) to Triple-A Reno.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi.