Archive for Player News

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (June 25, 2015)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Which prospects are on the verge of making an impact in the Major Leagues? This weekly column will rank the ten who are closest (as well as other names that are being closely considered). Keep in mind that while talent is factored in opportunity plays a major role, so there may be some “lesser” prospects who rank fairly highly on the list (the number in parenthesis is their ranking from last week and all statistics are through Monday unless otherwise notes):

1) Miguel Sano – Third Baseman – Minnesota Twins (2)
The Twins have been passed by the Kansas City Royals and have the Detroit Tigers looming behind them, so you have to wonder how long it will be before the team continues promoting its top talent? Byron Buxton has not only arrived, but was slotted atop the lineup on Monday and you would think that their other top prospect could soon join him. While the thought was that Trevor Plouffe had third base locked down, he’s hitting just .244 overall and has really stumbled in June (.167, 1 HR over 78 AB). Throw in the issues at designated hitter and there is ample room to get Sano into the lineup. Read more

Prospect Report: Steven Matz Is On The Precipice Of The Majors, But How Good Is He?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Dillon Gee being designated for assignment the speculation has grown stronger and stronger that the Mets will recall Steven Matz. His Triple-A performance certainly justifies it, with a 2.11 ERA and 1.14 WHIP despite playing in the Pacific Coast League. Matz, a southpaw who has often been overlooked, is finally garnering the attention he deserves. The question is, how good can he be?

He has done a tremendous job in all three key metrics that we focus on:

  • Strikeouts – 9.07 K/9
  • Control – 3.27 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 54.8%

You can argue that the control is better than he’s shown, given his 2.24 BB/9 split between High-A and Double-A last season. In fact after posting a 4.30 mark in April he had it down to a 2.08 in six May starts. With a 3.20 in 2012, control is hardly a question. Read more

Fantasy Training Room: How To Proceed With Jose Altuve, Quick Hit Updates & More

by Jeremy Tiermini

“If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that. When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, and that’s your fault. For whatever reason, Robbie chose not to. I’m pretty sure Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80 percent, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98 percent of the time, it creates a perception.”
– Former Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long, when talking about Robinson Cano

When writing this week’s report I immediately started thinking of the numerous instances where Cano was criticized for his lack of hustle. Of course, there were two players who WERE injured because they hustled down the line. I am sure that Cano is sitting in Seattle, sipping some coffee, reading Rotoprofessor and this report and smiling. Well, maybe not…on to this week’s report:

Jose Altuve (HOU 2B)
The Astros second baseman missed his second straight start on Sunday because of a right hamstring issue. Altuve injured the leg during Houston’s offensive onslaught against Felix Hernandez on Friday. During his second at bat of the first inning he hit the ball to short and tried to beat out the infield single. In a quote from The Houston Chronicle he stated: “It’s not that bad. I’m going to come back tomorrow and they’re going to (look) at it. See what happens tomorrow. I think (it happened) after I passed the bag. Was trying to run hard and…I don’t know.” Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Will Jose Altuve Rediscover His 2014 Form?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After hitting .341 with 56 SB in 2014 the expectations surrounding Jose Altuve were high entering 2015. However he’s fallen relatively flat this season, hitting .289 with 5 HR, 27 RBI, 26 R and 17 SB over 246 AB. The question facing fantasy owners is if he can get back to the elite levels he posted a year ago or if this is the “real” Altuve…

The issues have really cropped up over the past 30 days, as he’s hitting .230 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 9 R and 6 SB over 119 AB. In April he appeared to be the same player as in 2014 (.367 with 9 SB), so there is hope. The bulk of his underlying numbers, even during his struggles, are also promising including an 11.8% strikeout rate and 23.8% line drive rate (though just a .250 BABIP).

The real issue has been his popups (9.9% in ’14), making us think that maybe an early season power surge has gotten into his head a bit:

  • April – 14.3%
  • May – 26.9%

Read more

Bullpen Notes: May 31, 2015: New “Next Up” Emerging In SF, Reed Coming On Strong & 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

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Does Randal Grichuk Warrant Our Attention?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one thought much of the Cardinals’ Randal Grichuk entering the season, especially after the acquisition of Jason Heyward. He appeared destined for Triple-A or the role of a fifth outfielder, making little impact along the way. However he’s forced us all to pay attention over the past few days and could potentially claim the starting centerfield job moving forward.

Considering these extra base numbers, in just 34 AB entering Friday, it certainly makes sense:

5 doubles
2 triples
1 home run

The question facing fantasy owners is that if he is playing regularly, does he deserve our attention?

His big asset is his power potential, as the extra base hits have shown. He posted 47 HR in the minors between 2013 (22 HR at Double-A) and 2014 (25 HR at Triple-A). Those marks came courtesy of HR/OFB of 16.1% and 21.6%, respectively, so there is a lot to like and he has the upsides to hit 20+ home runs a year. Read more