Prospect Report: Who Is Max Muncy & Could He Hold Fantasy Appeal?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Ben Zobrist going on the DL the A’s recalled Max Muncy to take his place on the roster.  It’s a little bit of a surprise that it wasn’t Joey Wendle, who could’ve stepped into the starting 2B job, but it’s not like Muncy has no chance of playing.  He started at 3B yesterday and we have to remember that Brett Lawrie has a history of playing 2B (38 games in the Majors, 250 games in the minors).  The question is, can Muncy actually force his way into the lineup?

Prior to his recall he was hitting .293 with 1 HR and 10 RBI over 15 games (58 AB).  Strikeouts were an issue (25.8%), though that hasn’t been his history (16.5% in the minors) and he clearly has an impressive eye (15.2% walk rate).

Scouting reports certainly back up his ability to hit the ball, including this from Rich Wilson of Prospect 361: Read more

Three Hitters Not To Push The Panic Button On & Keep In Your Lineup (Mookie Betts & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yes, we are getting a bigger sample size and therefore are starting to be able to formulate more “realistic” opinions on players.  Whose struggles are simple poor luck?  Who should we be looking to buy low on?  Who should we be sticking with in our lineup and who should we be moving towards our bench?  Here are three hitters we’re sticking with, despite their slow starts:

 

Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox – Outfielder
Remember when he was all the rage?  Sure he was only hitting .229, but after April 14 he had 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R and 3 SB.  Since then he’s struggled, going 4-27 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R and 2 SB (through Thursday).  Of course there is no risk of him losing his job (especially now with Shane Victorino hitting the DL), but fantasy owners have to be wondering if/when he’s going to get right at the plate.  The batted ball profile definitely brings some questions:

  • Line Drive Rate – 19.5%
  • Groundball Rate – 40.5%
  • Fly Ball Rate – 40.0%
  • Infield Fly Ball Rate – 13.1%

Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2015: April 27 – May 3: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

During the upcoming week the calender will turn to May and that is when it is time to officially look at the standings. Of course you have been checking the standings at least once a day, and I am with you there, but now is the time when you really should start looking. After a month you have a clear body of work to analyze and move forward towards the top of the standings.

With that in mind let’s take a look at the pitchers who will be taking the mound twice this week and see where there could be an opportunity for fantasy owners:

Tier 1:

  1. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals – at Atlanta; at NY Mets
  2. Clayton Kershaw – LA Dodgers – vs. San Francisco; vs. Arizona
  3. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – at Baltimore; at Minnesota
  4. David Price – Detroit Tigers – at Minnesota; at Kansas City
  5. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Milwaukee; at Atlanta
  6. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians – vs. Kansas City; vs. Toronto
  7. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants – at LA Dodgers; vs. LA Angels

Read more

Bullpen Notes: April 25, 2015: Romo’s Time Is Coming, Uehara/Reed On Watch List & More

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/25/15 Box Scores: Is Jimmy Paredes For Real, Strasburg Struggles Again & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was another day full of injuries yesterday, including what could potentially be a serious injury for Adam Wainwright.  They certainly appear to be mounting, making things more and more difficult for fantasy owners.  Who are viable replacements?  Who is impressing and worth our consideration?  Let’s take a look at the biggest stories coming out of yesterday’s games:

1) Alfredo Simon continues to roll, but should we care…
That doesn’t mean we should fully buy in, but we can ride this while we can.  He allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 6.2 IP to defeat the Indians.  Of course, before we get too excited we have to keep in mind that the control will likely regress (0.87 BB/9 entering the day), he’s a lackluster strikeout option (5.23 K/9 entering the day) and he was benefiting from a lot of luck (.250 BABIP, 85.2% strand rate, 23.3% line drive rate entering the day).  In other words, while he clearly has a little value we also shouldn’t do anything dramatic to acquire him.  The fact is he simply can’t maintain this. Read more

Prospect Report: Why The Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz Belongs On Our Radars

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It may have been a surprise to see the Braves Mike Foltynewicz ranked so highly on our recent Prospect Power Rankings, but this quote from MILB.com’s Danny Wild (click here for the article) has got to catch your attention:

“Mike Foltynewicz’s fastball lit up the Norfolk radar gun at 99 mph in the eighth inning Monday night as the right-hander eclipsed the 100-pitch mark.”

Any pitcher who can throw that hard that late in the game has to jump out at us. Ranked by Baseball America as the 59th best prospect prior to 2014, Foltynewicz was traded to the Braves in the offseason as part of the Evan Gattis deal. While he failed to crack the rotation to open the season, he may not be far away given the inclusion of Eric Stults & Trevor Cahill at the back of the rotation.

Foltynewicz made his Major League debut last season and swing and miss stuff does not appear to be an issue (9.3 K/9 over 119.1 innings at Triple-A). He’s also proven capable of generating enough groundballs, with a 44.9% mark since 2011. The question has always been if he can avoid the walk, something he’s clearly struggled with in recent years: Read more