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MiLB Report: Is Oscar Gonzalez Baseball’s Biggest Sleeper?

MiLB Report: Is Oscar Gonzalez Baseball’s Biggest Sleeper?

MiLB Report

Far outside most Top-100 lists, Oscar Gonzalez has quietly put together an incredible 2021 season and should be a fantastic piece for Cleveland moving forward.

Read about Gonzalez and four other prospects in this week’s MiLB Report:

Jordan Nwogu, SS, Chicago Cubs (88th overall pick in 2020)

Height: 6’3 | Weight: 230 | Age: 22

Season stats: .251/.354/.760; 10 HR

Last week’s stats: .571/.647/1.647; 2 HR

MLB comparison: Jose Canseco

Scouting ReportHit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 40

Cards to Watch: 2020 Bowman Chrome Autograph | 2020 Bowman Chrome | 2020 Bowman Chrome Sapphire 

Nwogu is an athletic specimen — 230 pounds of all muscle. He dominated at the University of Michigan and was a well-deserved 3rd-round selection in 2020. Another Cubs prospect who has had a very slow start to his pro career, Nwogu is now heating up in a big way with one of the best weeks we have seen all year from a player. Nwogu shows 20/20 upside, with plus power and speed. 

Nick Gonzales, 2B/SS/CF, Pittsburgh Pirates (7th overall pick in 2020)

Height: 5’10 | Weight: 195 | Age: 22

Season stats: .303/.375/.947; 17 HR 

Last week’s stats: .400/.444/1.564; 5 HR 

MLB comparison: Jose Altuve

Scouting ReportHit: 60 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Cards to Watch: 2020 Bowman Chrome Autograph | 2020 Bowman Chrome | 2020 Bowman Chrome Sapphire 

Nick Gonzales was a walk-on in college. He was also “too small” to be a D1 athlete. Regardless of the barriers others set for him, Gonzales has excelled. This is a player who can flat out hit. It comes easy to him and his power plays far above his size. Over his past 30 games, Gonzales is slashing an incredible .354/.423/1.163 OPS with 11 HR. Gonzales’ history of success seems to be continuing through his minor league experience, and is giving Pirates fans something to be very excited about. 

Michael Busch, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers (31st overall pick in 2019)

Height: 6’1 | Weight: 210 | Age: 23

Season stats: .260/.383/.860; 19 HR

Last week’s stats: .520/.548/1.628; 3 HR 

MLB comparison: Robinson Cano

Scouting ReportHit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Cards to Watch: 2019 Bowman Chrome Autograph | 2019 Bowman Chrome 

The former No. 1 Dodgers prospect continues to improve as the season goes on. Since August 1st, Busch is slashing a .289/.371/.902. He excels at getting on base — even when he was hitting .220 in the first half of the season he was still getting on base 36% of the time. The Dodgers have the best offensive development system in baseball, so I expect Busch to get better with every at-bat in that organization.

Triston Casas, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox (2017 International Signee)

Height: 6’4 | Weight: 252 | Age: 21

Season stats: .283/.387/.869; 12 HR

Last week’s stats: .429/.538/1.681; 5 HR

MLB comparison: Jason Giambi

Scouting ReportHit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 30 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Cards to Watch: 2018 Bowman Chrome Autograph | 2018 Bowman Chrome 

In my opinion, Sam Huff is the only Minor League baseball player who has more power than Triston Casas. When Casas connects, his home runs are no-doubters nearly every single time. Most recently this week, Casas hit a ball 472 feet with an exit velocity of 111 MPH. I have been high on Casas since the 2018 draft, and he shows 30-plus home run power annually. He can struggle against lefties at times, but with his short swing and good approach I expect to see continued improvement in that department. 

Oscar Gonzalez, OF, Cleveland (2014 International Signee)

Height: 6’4 | Weight: 240 | Age: 23

Season stats: .313/.352/.921; 26 HR

Last week’s stats: .263/.333/1.228; 4 HR

MLB comparison: Nelson Cruz

Scouting ReportHit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

Cards to Watch: 2020 Bowman Chrome Autograph | 2020 Bowman Chrome | 2020 Bowman Chrome Sapphire 

Oscar Gonzalez is the most slept on MLB prospect in baseball. He lands far outside most top 100 lists, and is not on Cleveland’s top 30 either. With that said, Gonzalez has always been consistent (.284 BA over 500 games), but has broken out in a big way in 2021. At only 23 years old, it’s safe to say he has found his in-game power and is looking like an awesome offensive piece for this Cleveland organization. 

Ryan R. covers minor league baseball prospects for Sports Card Investor and writes a weekly MiLB Report column. Follow his other content on his YouTube channel.

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