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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) Addison Russell is going to be a hot commodity at fantasy drafts, and it’s not only because he posted gaudy numbers last season.  Instead it’s people looking towards the upside and the potential that he lives up to the hype that has often been bestowed upon him.  Does that necessarily make him a good selection?  With a current ADP of 135.20 in NFBC formats, making him the 8th shortstop coming (read more...)

3) Willy Adames – Shortstop
Grade – A-
ETA – 2017

It would be easy to argue that Adames and Honeywell are 1 and 1a, as they both have significant upside.  Adames is still developing, but he has shortstop of the future written all over him for Tampa Bay.  His power isn’t there yet, though he took a step forward in 2016 (31 doubles, 6 triples, 11 home runs), and he’s shown a good command of the strike zone (walk rates of 11.8% and 13.0% over the past two seasons).  The patience and willingness to draw a walk may be helping to lead to his increased strikeout rates (27.0% and 21.3%), so for now it’s something that we’re willing to overlook.

Adames certainly has the potential to develop into a 20/10 type middle of the order hitter, something that obviously can’t be ignored.  If he sticks at shortstop he’ll look that much better, though there are some who are concerned he will ultimately need to be moved off the position.  Time will tell, but there’s an awful lot to like.

4) Casey Gillaspie – First Baseman
Grade – B
ETA – 2017

You could call him a “safe” prospect, but there’s some upside potential.  Splitting time between Double and Triple-A last season Gillaspie hit .284 with 18 HR (as well as 34 doubles and 2 triples) and 64 RBI.  He’s also shown a good command of the strike zone at each stop, which is important for a player with his type of power potential:

Double-A (357 PA) – 22.1% strikeout rate, 16.2% walk rate Triple-A (203 PA) – 18.7% strikeout rate, 10.8% walk rate

The fact that he’s a switch hitter who produced solid slashes against both RHP (.313/.387/.515) and LHP (.289/.396/.533) at Triple-A adds to the appeal.

5) Joshua Lowe – Third Baseman
Grade – B-
ETA – 2019

The 13th overall selection in 2016, Lowe was highly regarded both as a hitter and pitcher entering the draft.  He showed a great command of the strike zone (37 BB over 173 AB) across two levels of Rookie Ball, though he needs to improve his strikeout rate (59 K).  He’s only 18-years old, though, so that shouldn’t come as a significant surprise and he will need time to develop.  We’ll have a much better idea of his upside value after the 2017 campaign.

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Dodgers finally landed their second baseman yesterday, when they traded top prospect Jose De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Logan Forsythe.  Does De Leon immediately sit atop the Rays system?  If not, where does he fall?  Let’s take a look: 1) Brent Honeywell – Right-Handed Pitcher Grade – A- ETA – 2017 Generally known for an ability to develop young pitching, Honeywell is a name that people need (read more...)

Earlier
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) Second base was once viewed as a shallow positon, but no longer.  Not only has there been an infusion of young talent, but there are numerous top players who have eligibility at other positions (like Trea Turner, Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy).  That versatility adds additional value while expanding the depth of the high quality options. Who are the best options available?  Who could be overvalued?  Let’s take a look: 1. Jose (read more...)

3) Mickey Moniak – Outfielder
ETA – 2020
Grade – B

You would think the #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft would be ranked a bit higher in his own system, but it’s easy to argue that he wasn’t the best player available in the draft and circumstances led to his selection (like asking prices and injuries).  That’s not to say that Moniak doesn’t have value, as he can hit, but he doesn’t have blazing speed nor does he project to have significant power.  For Philadelphia’s sake hopefully he proves us wrong, and at 18-years old he has the time to develop.

4) Nick Williams – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – B

Just when we thought Williams had solved his strikeout issues, unlocking his potential, he took a significant step backwards at Triple-A in ’16:

2015 (Rangers, Double-A) – 18.6% 2015 (Phillies, Double-A) – 20.0% 2016 (Phillies, Triple-A) – 25.8%

When coupled with a 3.6% walk rate it calls his plate discipline into question, especially at 23-years old.  He does have power and speed, though those skills failed to present themselves with 13 HR (though he added 33 doubles and 6 triples) and 6 SB (in 10 attempts).  The Phillies have enough depth to give him another extended look at Triple-A to see if he can figure it out and unlock his potential.

5) Jorge Alfaro – Catcher
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B

Alfaro is looking like your prototypical power catcher, as he hit 15 HR at Double-A but also proved to be extremely strikeout prone (24.1%) and lacking in his overall plate discipline (5.1% walk rate).  The defense is a plus, and that’s going to give him ample opportunities and a full-time role, and the power could take another step forward (think 20+ HR potential).  It could come courtesy of a poor average, in the range of .250 or worse, which puts him in the same category as many backstops around the league.  There’s a lot of hype and the potential to be a Top 10-15 catcher, thanks to the power, but to be one of the elite he needs to develop his approach.  With Cameron Rupp in the Majors, the Phillies should give Alfaro time at Triple-A this season in order to do so.

 

6) Franklyn Kilome – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2018
Grade – B

While there is a little bit of concern in his control (3.92 BB/9 in 114.2 IP at Single-A in ’16), he has time to iron it out.  The stuff is clear, with a 10.20 K/9, while flashing enough groundball stuff (1.02 GO/AO in ’16, 1.17 for his minor league career) with the likelihood that he improves that mark.  If he doesn’t find his control he could transition and be a lights out reliever, but there’s no rush for the Phillies’ to make that type of move.

The Rest:

7) Cornelius Randolph – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
8) Sixto Sanchez – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
9) Kevin Gowdy – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
10) Dylan Cozens – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
11) Rhys Hoskins – First Baseman (Grade – B-)

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MLB.com

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking 

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) For a rebuilding franchise you’d hope that they’d be stocked with high upside prospects, but that’s not currently the case in Philadelphia.  That’s not to say that there aren’t some intriguing names or players who could make an impact in the Major Leagues, but the overall upside is lacking.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Top 10 currently looks (actually it’s a Top 11): 1) (read more...)

by Ray Kuhn Entering the 2017 season there is a considerable buzz surrounding Wil Myers. Formerly a top prospect, he was on the verge of being classified as bust prior to 2016. Due to a few factors (mainly his move to first base and his health), Myers finally lived up to his expectations. His success was enough for a rebuilding Padres team to commit $83 million to him over the next six seasons via a heavily back (read more...)

It’s that time of year again! Sure football season is in full swing and the World Series is kicking off, but it’s never too early to start planning for 2017. As a loyal Rotoprofessor reader/supporter, we wanted to give you the first opportunity to reserve your copy our 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide! The price will be increasing this year to a whole $7.00 (I know, inflation). This may be the best value you get to help (read more...)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Oakland A’s have Stephen Vogt penciled in as their starting catcher, but the lineup is fluid and it’s easy to envision him seeing a lot of time as the designated hitter.  That’s not a bad thing, as it would open playing time for 26-year old Bruce Maxwell. Maxwell got his first taste of the Majors in ’16 (101 PA), hitting .283 with 1 HR and 14 RBI.  Those numbers aren’t (read more...)

3) Tyler Kolek – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2019
Grade – B-

His 2016 was lost due to Tommy John surgery and prior to the injury there were questions about his control (5.05 BB/9 over 108.2 IP at Single-A in ’15).  With concerns about that prior to the surgery, will he be able to find it after?  Throw in a pitcher who was supposed to bring strikeout stuff, yet mustered a 6.71 K/9, and there’s reason for skepticism.  There’s obviously talent, as the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, but there are significant concerns.

4) Austin Dean – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – C+

There’s potential for Dean to develop, though there are also a lot of questions that need to be answered.  He spent ’16 at Double-A, hitting .238 with 11 HR over 480 AB.  He saw his strikeout rate rise (13.1% at High-A in ’15 to 20.5%), his speed disappear (18 SB in ’15 to 1 in ’16) and the 23-year old has yet to tap into his power (he had 32 doubles, 2 triples and 5 HR in ’15).  That doesn’t form an especially impressive outlook, though there is still hope.

5) Jarlin Garcia – Left-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2017
Grade – C+

In theory Garcia was on the Marlins roster for a short-time in 2016, though he never appeared in a game and ultimately a triceps injury limited him to 50.2 IP across three levels (Double-A being the highest).  He’s shown good control throughout his minor league career (2.2 BB/9 over 479.1 IP) and pitching in Miami will help him to keep the ball in the ballpark.  His strikeout stuff appears to be limited (7.6 K/9, including 7.3 at Double-A), and ultimately that’s going to limit his appeal (though there is upside).  There is potential as he develops, but for now he appears to profile more as a back of the rotation starter.

 

The Rest:

6) Thomas Jones – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
7) Stone Garrett – Outfielder (Grade – C)
8) Jordan Holloway – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)
9) Dillon Peters – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)
Note – He was highly impressive splitting time between High-A & Double-A, with a 2.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 1.92 GO/AO over 128.2 IP.  However we need to keep our outlook in check, as he is 24-years old and stands at 5’9”.
10) Isael Soto – Outfielder (Grade – C)

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MLB.com

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking 

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Marlins surprisingly traded away Luis Castillo as part of a three-player package to acquire Dan Straily though it shouldn’t have been.  It was the second time he has been included in a trade in the past few months (Castillo was sent to the Padres as part of the Andrew Cashner trade, but returned to Miami after the injury to Colin Rea was discovered).  Where does that leave an already (read more...)


3) Dominic Smith – First Baseman
Grade – B+
ETA – 2017

The question with Smith has always been if he will be able to tap into his power potential, something he finally started to do in ’16 as he hit 14 HR over 484 AB at Double-A (while adding 29 doubles and 2 triples).  It’s still not a big number, but it’s a start and gives hope that he can continue to evolve into a 20-25 HR threat.  If he can, when coupled with his strong approach (he hit .302 courtesy of a 13.7% strikeout rate and 9.2% walk rate), you are looking at a strong option.

4) Thomas Szapucki – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2018

A fifth round pick in 2015, Szapucki burst onto the scene in his 9 starts last season split between Rookie Ball and Low-A:

Rookie (29.0 IP) – 14.59 K/9, 2.79 BB/9 Low-A (23.0 IP) – 15.26 K/9, 4.30 BB/9

We aren’t talking about the biggest sample size and there’s work to do with his control, but the stuff is apparent.  It will be interesting to see how far the Mets push him in ’17, but it’s possible he takes a significant step forward and emerges as one of the better left-handed pitching prospects in the game.

5) Justin Dunn – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2019

The team’s first round pick in 2016, Dunn impressed in his first taste of professional baseball with 35 K vs. 10 BB, as well as a 1.22 GO/AO, over 30.0 IP.  Having worked as a reliever in college and not being the ideal size (6’2”), it’s possible the team shifts him to the bullpen where he could develop into a lights out closer. For now they will certainly see if he can thrive as a starter, and the early results are positive.

 


The Rest:

6) Desmond Lindsay – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
7) Andres Gimenez – Shortstop (Grade – B-)
Note – He has a long ways to go, having turned 18 in September, but the early results from the Dominican Summer League (most notably his 22 K vs. 46 BB over 214 AB, for a player his age) are impressive.  May not be a source of power, it’s clear he can hit and he has some speed as well.
8) Thomas Nido – Catcher (Grade (B-/C+)
9) Brandon Nimmo – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
10) Gavin Cecchini – Shortstop (Grade – C+)

Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Reference

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking 

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The New York Mets system isn’t quite what it once was, thanks to trading off assets to help with their past two playoff pushes along with a few graduations.  At the same time, that certainly doesn’t mean that they are void of talent and potential.  As has become the norm there are some highly intriguing pitchers, who could bolster what is already one of the best starting five in baseball.  (read more...)


3) Brian Anderson – Third Baseman
ETA – 2017
Grade – B

When you look at a third baseman who hit .265 with 11 HR and 3 SB over 483 AB between High-A and Double-A, you wonder why he’d be on our radars.  However his plate discipline in 301 AB at Double-A was impressive:

Strikeout Rate – 17.1% Walk Rate – 10.4%

He hit .243 at the level, but a .274 BABIP was the reason why.  At 23-years old he shouldn’t be far from arriving, though he’s still young enough to expect some more power to develop (he’s likely a 15-20 HR type in the Majors).  He’s seen some time at 2B in the past, a spot that his bat would profile better, though he only manned 3B last season.

4) Tyler Kolek – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2019
Grade – B-

His 2016 was lost due to Tommy John surgery and prior to the injury there were questions about his control (5.05 BB/9 over 108.2 IP at Single-A in ’15).  With concerns about that prior to the surgery, will he be able to find it after?  Throw in a pitcher who was supposed to bring strikeout stuff, yet mustered a 6.71 K/9, and there’s reason for skepticism.  There’s obviously talent, as the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, but there are significant concerns.

5) Austin Dean – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – C+

There’s potential for Dean to develop, though there are also a lot of questions that need to be answered.  He spent ’16 at Double-A, hitting .238 with 11 HR over 480 AB.  He saw his strikeout rate rise (13.1% at High-A in ’15 to 20.5%), his speed disappear (18 SB in ’15 to 1 in ’16) and the 23-year old has yet to tap into his power (he had 32 doubles, 2 triples and 5 HR in ’15).  That doesn’t form an especially impressive outlook, though there is still hope.

 


The Rest:

6) Jarlin Garcia – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
7) Thomas Jones – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
8) Stone Garrett – Outfielder (Grade – C)
9) Jordan Holloway – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)
10) Dillon Peters – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)
Note – He was highly impressive splitting time between High-A & Double-A, with a 2.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 1.92 GO/AO over 128.2 IP.  However we need to keep our outlook in check, as he is 24-years old and stands at 5’9”.

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MLB.com

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking 

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Marlins’ system certainly isn’t one of the more impressive in the game, especially when it comes to high upside hitters.  There are a few intriguing pitchers, but there are questions hanging over many of them as well (like Tyler Kolek, who struggled before ultimately needing Tommy John surgery).  Are there any players with enough upside that they are worth watching?  Let’s take a look: 1) Luis Castillo – Right-Handed (read more...)