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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) Outfield is hardly a shallow position, especially with numerous young players either breaking out (Mookie Betts) or having the potential to emerge (Gregory Polanco).  Throw in some players who will likely play at other positions, yet have eligibility (like Kris Bryant, Trea Turner and Ian Desmond), and there is ample options to pick from.  Who are the best?  Let’s take a look: 1) Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels 2) Mookie Betts (read more...)

3) Alex Verdugo – Outfielder
Grade – B+
ETA – 2017

The left-handed hitter has potential and is starting to tap into it.  In 477 AB at Double-A he hit .273 with 13 HR while demonstrating an impressive approach:

Strikeout Rate – 12.7% Walk Rate – 8.3%

That type of strikeout rate will give him the ability to routinely hit .280+ (with the potential to put up a .300 average) and he should continue adding power (he had 23 doubles and 1 triple last season).  He also should add a few SB, despite picking up 2 in 2016, as he had 14 in 19 attempts in 2015.  He may not be a burner, but with his average he could pick up 10 SB at his peak.

4) Willie Calhoun – Second Baseman
Grade – B
ETA – 2017

Listed at 5’8”, there’s going to be concerns about his ability to maintain the power (he had 27 HR at Double-A in ’16).  The fact that he also added just 25 doubles and 1 triple adds to it, though all reports believe that he can.  Couple that with the ability to make consistent contact (11.6% strikeout rate in ’16) and there’s a lot to like.  Sure he hit .254 last season, but he wasn’t swinging for the fences (0.94 GO/AO) and should improve on his .242 BABIP.  There may not be speed, but that’s hardly a reason to downgrade him.

5) Andrew Toles – Outfielder
Grade – B
ETA – Already Arrived

Toles is a minor league career .309 hitter who has stolen as many as 62 bases in a season (2013).  Throw in a little bit of power and it would seem like there was a lot to like.  However the lack of walks at each level he played in ’16 is a bit of a concern, despite making consistent contact (Strikeout Rate // Walk Rate):

High-A – 13.0% // 6.0% Double-A – 15.8% // 6.3% Triple-A – 13.6% // 3.4% Majors – 21.7% // 7.0%

For a player who profiles more as a top of the order bat, that’s going to be something to watch.  He also could be limited to a platoon role, as the Dodgers sheltered him against southpaws a year ago (13 AB in the Majors).

 

The Rest:

6) Yusniel Diaz – Outfielder (Grade – B)
7) Walker Buehler – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
8) Brock Stewart – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
9) Jordan Sheffield – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
10) Gavin Lux – Shortstop (Grade – B-)

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) While the Dodgers traded one of their top prospects during the offseason (sending Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay for Logan Forsythe), the team isn’t void of talent on the horizon (and this excludes Julio Urias, who has graduated from eligibility on this list).  Part of that is due to their aggressive approach to the international market in recent seasons, though they’ve been quietly developing their own prospects as well (read more...)

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Mon, Feb 20, 2017 Category: BASEBALL
This season Rotoprofessor will be sending out a free newsletter (which will start in the preseason)!  While we are still finalizing the details, included will be: Links to recent articles Closer in Waiting Power Rankings And More! Make sure to sign up today to stay up-to-date with all of the latest Rotoprofessor has to offer! Sign Up Now For Email Marketing you can trust. (read more...)

Earlier
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Los Angeles Angels appear primed to enter the spring with a competition for ninth inning duties with three candidates in the mix.  While they may not yet be ready to name a closer, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a clear leader, or should we say  “best option”.  Of course when it comes to closers the best candidate isn’t always the one who gets the job.  With that in (read more...)

by Ray Kuhn At one point in the not too distant past Nick Castellanos was considered a top prospect. He will turn 25 about a month before Opening Day, so is it too soon to write him off as a player who didn’t live up to his once lofty expectations? Judging from his current ADP, 207, which has him being selected as the 20th third baseman, fantasy owners aren’t expecting all that much. While he will not challenge to (read more...)


3) Jeff Hoffman – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – Already Arrived

A 2014 first round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, Hoffman was acquired as part of the Troy Tulowitzki trade.  He made 22 starts at Triple-A last season, posting a 9.40 K/9 and 3.34 BB/9, displaying the strikeout stuff that was expected of him (he averaged 94.0 mph in the Majors).  He’s shown the ability to generate groundballs (1.19 GO/AO over his minor league career), which will be important if he wants to excel in Coors Field (he displayed it in the Majors as well, with a 50.0% mark).  He’s long been a hyped prospect, and it’s possible that he’s finally healthy and recovered from his 2014 Tommy John surgery.

4) Raimel Tapia – Outfielder
Grade – B
ETA – Already Arrived

The question is where Tapia’s fit in to the Rockies’ future plans?  Their outfield is already full (Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon & David Dahl), and they are planning on utilizing Ian Desmond at first base (and you can argue that he’s a better fit in the outfield).  There’s going to need to be an injury/trade in order to free up a spot, with the latter being something that’s always being rumored.

Tapia brings speed (he’s stolen as many as 33 bases in a minor league season) and power potential (especially playing in Colorado).  While he’s proven capable of making consistent contact, as displayed by the 2016 numbers, you have to wonder in MLB pitchers will exploit his aggressiveness (Strikeout Rate // Walk Rate):

Double-A – 10.7% // 5.5% Triple-A – 10.9% // 1.8%

5) Tom Murphy – Catcher
Grade – B
ETA – Already Arrived

Murphy has the potential to be your prototypical all power, no average catcher.  He displayed it at Triple-A last season (19 HR over 321 PA), as he was a strikeout machine (24.3%).  While he hit .327, he needed an unrealistic .386 BABIP in order to get there.  Spending time in the Majors over the past two seasons (88 PA), he’s shown both the power (8 HR) and strikeouts (33.0%).  There’s value in that, of course, as he could be a similar player to Russell Martin or Brian McCann, but there also is limited potential unless he can learn to make more consistent contact.

 


The Rest:

6) Kyle Freeland – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
7) Forrest Wall – Second Baseman (Grade – B-)
8) Ryan Castellani – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
9) Antonio Senzatela – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
10) German Marquez – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

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

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

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) The Rockies are a team that are quickly on the rise.  They saw two young pitchers emerge in 2016 in Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson, helping to show that it was possible for the team to develop pitching who have the potential to thrive in Coors Field.  They aren’t alone, though, as they have a few more prospects on the way (some of which could potentially be elite).  Who are (read more...)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) While the attention has fallen to Michael Wacha in the wake of the Alex Reyes news (click here for our look at him), St. Louis has three pitching prospects who have already made their MLB (either with the Cardinals or for another organization) currently on the 40 man roster.  They have another who was a minor league free agent signing, but at 25-years old there’s little doubt that at some (read more...)


3) Socrates Brito – Outfielder
Grade – B-
ETA – Already Arrived

Brito has already seen time in the Majors (131 PA), and brings both power and speed to the table.  The problem is his approach, posting a 22.9% strikeout rate as compared to a 2.3% walk rate.  He’s chased outside the strike zone far too much (41.9%) and in ’16 he showed an inability to make consistent contact against offspeed pitches (26.92%) and breaking balls (18.57%).  It’s an adjustment he needs to make, or MLB pitching will continue to take advantage of him (eliciting memories of Drew Stubbs).  He was particularly bad against left-handed pitching (5 K over 12 AB), though it’s also a miniscule sample size.

4) Dawel Lugo – Third Baseman
Grade – B-
ETA – 2018

Lugo played ’16 as a 21-year old, reaching Double-A and hitting .311 with 17 HR over 488 AB across two levels.  While he does have some power, he needs to continue developing and it’s possible that there’s a cap on his potential (1.44 GO/AO over his minor league career, 1.30 at Double-A in ’16).  His strongest skill is an ability to make consistent contact, though that doesn’t mean a strong eye at the plate (strikeout rate // walk rate):

High-A (315 AB) – 12.3% // 4.5% Double-A (173 AB) – 8.5% // 2.3%

As he continues to advance more developed pitchers will be able to take advantage of his aggressive approach, and that could lead to a spike in strikeouts (and a regression in his average).  Monitor that closely, as it will obviously have a negative impact on his value.

5) Domingo Leyba – Shortstop
Grade – B-
ETA – 2018

Leyba is a solid, though unspectacular, prospect who is solid across the board but lacks a true standout tool.  Listed at 5’11” and 160 lbs., he showed a little bit of power (32 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR) between High-A and Double-A, but it’s hard to imagine him developing into much more than that.  He has a touch of speed, though over his minor league career he’s just 37-for-58 and can’t be expected to swipe much more than 8-12 in a given season (he had 9 last season).  Considering he’s not projected to be a .300 hitter (84 K vs. 46 BB last season), there’s nothing to get overly excited about.

 


The Rest:

6) Anfernee Grier – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
7) Brad Keller – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
8) Taylor Clarke – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
9) Alex Young – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
10) Jon Duplantier – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

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

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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) Some ill-advised trades (most notably the move to acquire Shelby Miller), as well as some prospects failing to reach expectations (like Archie Bradley) has left the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system in shambles.  There’s a new regime that will be tasked with rebuilding from the ground up, but they are inheriting what could be the worst farm system in the game in regards to high-end impact talent.  Is there anyone that (read more...)


3) Luke Weaver – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – Already Arrived

A 2014 first round pick, Weaver got 36.1 innings of MLB experience in 2016 after posting a highly impressive line over 77.0 innings at Double-A (1.40 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 88 K, 10 BB).  Listed at 6’2” and 170 lbs. there is room for him to continue to grow and mature, though at 22-years old it’s fair to wonder if he will fill out.  He’ll need to if he wants to maintain his strikeout rate (9.8% SwStr% in the Majors, 91.9 mph on his fastball) and the lack of groundballs could make him extremely home run prone (0.87 GO/AO in his minor league career).  While he brings potentially elite control, he may ultimately turn out to be more of a mid-rotation starter.

4) Dakota Hudson – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2018

It’s easy to overlook Hudson among the other pitching prospects in St. Louis, but the 2016 first round draft pick showed tremendous ability in his first 13.1 innings of professional baseball:

19 strikeouts 7 walks 50 GO/AO

Obviously it’s a miniscule sample size, but he has the size we look for (6’5”, 215 lbs.) and at 22-years old could move extremely quickly.  There are concerns that he ultimately needs to be transitioned to the bullpen (it’s possible he’s moved there in ’17 as a way to get him to the Majors if there’s a need), though St. Louis should give him an opportunity to develop in the rotation.  The hard-thrower with a strong secondary arsenal, there’s reason to be optimistic.

5) Magneuris Sierra – Outfielder
Grade – B
ETA – 2019

Sierra spent the season at Single-A, hitting .307 with 31 SB.  Listed at 5’11” and 160 lbs., obviously he’s never going to profile as a power hitter.  Instead he could develop as your prototypical top of the order bat, utilizing his top-end speed to make things happen.  He does need to make some adjustments at the plate, as he needs to draw more walks (3.9%) to fit the profile.  At 20-years old (he’ll turn 21 in April), he does have time to get there.

 


The Rest:

6) Jack Flaherty – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
7) Sandy Alcantara – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
8) Harrison Bader – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
9) Edmundo Sosa – Shortstop (Grade – B-)
10) Paul DeJong – Third Baseman (Grade – B-)

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

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

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) When you think of the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system all eyes fall on Alex Reyes, who is the premier prospect in the system.  However he’s not alone, as there are a few other potentially impact prospects (like Delvin Perez, who may be a few years away but immediately showed signs).  Who else should be getting attention?  Let’s take a look: 1) Alex Reyes – Right-Handed Pitcher Grade – A ETA – (read more...)