Every year, many minor league players make changes that improve their standing in the eyes of evaluators. We're far enough along now that teams have updated reports on breakout statistical performers and have an idea as to whether the newfound success is fact or fiction. Below are notes on a player from each MLB team who is outperforming his preseason projection and whether I think the player has made substantive changes or is just enjoying a prolonged period of good fortune.
Arizona Diamondbacks: C Daulton Varsho. Varsho was crushing the ball at high-A Visalia before he fractured his hand last week. He's a twitchy, athletic catcher with plus speed and doubles power. Varsho's offensive and athletic abilities were known when he was drafted, but over the past year his athleticism and makeup have enabled him to develop as a catcher (where amateur scouts were skeptical he'd remain). He could be the first catcher to swipe 20 bags since Jason Kendall in 2000.
Atlanta Braves: RHP Odalvi Javier. Javier has accrued an impressive 75 K's in 67 innings as a 20-year-old in A-ball by consistently locating an above-average slider down and away to right-handed hitters. His velocity also sits around 90-94 mph, but Javier's mature 6-foot frame indicates little, if any, future fastball growth, and his cross-bodied, low-slot delivery might create platoon issues against lefties unless he develops a changeup. He's a prospect, just probably one ticketed for a relief role.