American League Central Top 20 under 26: No. 20-No. 16
No. 20: Matt Foster, RP, Chicago White Sox
2020 Stats: 8 G, 12.1 IP, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 17-3 K-BB, 0.6 WAR
He’s young, but Matt Foster has the tools to be an absolutely stellar bullpen weapon. He has absolutely excellent control, as he walked just 53 batters over 182 IP in the minors. Over that same period? He struck out 218. It’s been more of the same.
Since Foster reached the Majors earlier this year, he’s pitched in just eight games this year, that trend has continued. Foster has seventeen strikeouts and just three walks in only 12.1 innings for the White Sox. He might not be a closer, but he’s got high-leverage set-up man written all over him.
No. 19: Jorge Alcala, RP, Minnesota Twins
2020 Stats: 6 G, 12 IP, 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 15-4 K-BB, 0.4 WAR
Career Stats: 8 G, 13.2 IP, 1-0, 1.32 ERA, 16-5 K-BB, 0.5 WAR
The Minnesota Twins decided that Jorge Alcala was best used as a reliever, and since they made that move he has turned into a bullpen star (even if they’re a little reluctant to use him). He tops Foster because of his pure stuff.
As he is still young, he tends to get lost in the shuffle of the Minnesota Twins’ other bullpen aces, but Alcala is elite in his own right. Armed with a 99 MPH fastball and a nasty slider, Alcala has the stuff to be the closer of the future. Our No. 21 prospect has been excellent so far.
No. 18: Victor Reyes, OF, Detroit Tigers
2020 Stats: 24 G, .274/.312/.736, 12 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 SB, 31 TB, 0.2 WAR
Career Stats: 193 G, .269/.296/.673, 76 R, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 23 SB, 211 TB, 0.6 WAR
This may be a surprise for those unfamiliar with the Tigers, but Victor Reyes is an absolutely solid young player. He has all the tools of a successful corner outfielder. He’s not talented enough to stick in the middle, but if his homer stroke shows up, he’s got talent.
He’s only gotten better this year. If he were playing a full season, he’s on pace for about 13 homers, 40 RBI, and 31 stolen bases. That’s a pretty good stat line, and if he gets any better at all, the Tigers have a legitimate star on their hands.
No. 17: Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox
2020 Stats: 5 G, 5 GS, 4-1, 3.16 ERA, 17-9 K-BB, 25.2 IP, 0.0 WAR
Career Stats: 19 G, 19 GS, 5.11 ERA, 98-44 K-BB, 98.2 IP, -0.2 WAR
I don’t quite believe in the Dylan Cease breakout just yet, as his 6.16 FIP and 0.0 WAR suggest he still isn’t the future star the White Sox wanted to acquire when they traded away Jose Quintana. That being said, Cease’s 8.9 K/9 number is very solid, and it was even better last year. He’s still sorting himself out, but he’s got a lot of life in that arm and will be dangerous.
No. 16: Nomar Mazara, OF, Chicago White Sox
2020 Stats: 16 G, .224/.321/.607, 5 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 14 TB, 0.0 WAR
Career Stats: 553 G, .260/.320/.751, 258 RBI, 79 HR, 311 RBI, 7 SB, 878 TB, 1.3 WAR
Nomar Mazara was once a star prospect, but he has never been able to live up to that billing. On the flip side, Mazara has still been far better than average, hitting .260 and averaging 20 homers, and 77 RBI per season. He’s been very useful.
His defense hasn’t been good, and an injury has nagged him in 2020, but he’s still got elite potential. He’s just 25, so he can still get better, but if this is his ceiling, Mazara is a Top 100 player in this division.