Archive for Prospects

Prospect Report: Could Henry Owens Emerge As Boston’s #5 Starter?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Red Sox could still acquire a true ace to front their rotation, but with each passing day that seemingly becomes less likely. Max Scherzer landed in Washington. Rumors are that Cole Hamels will open the season in Philadelphia. James Shields is the best name left available, but that’s not necessarily the type of splash Boston was looking for nor have they been at the forefront of the rumors.

As it stands right now Joe Kelly would likely open the year as the team’s fifth starter, though he’s hardly a given. Whether he loses the job in Spring Training, struggles early on or an injury to another starter opens the door, the Red Sox have young depth who can make an immediate impact. Front and center is Henry Owens, who likely will be first in line when a need arises.

A first round pick in 2011, Owens reached Triple-A in 2014 and is on the precipice of reaching the Majors. The 22-year only saw 38.0 innings at the highest level, posting a 4.03 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The numbers are deceiving as he featured a 10.42 K/9 and 2.84 BB/9. Read more

Prospect Report: Should Fantasy Owners Forget About Danny Hultzen?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, among others, in the mix to produce for the Mariners in 2015 it’s easy to forget about Danny Hultzen. Once viewed among the premier prospects in the game (prior to 2012 Baseball America had him ranked #21 and MLB.com #16), Hultzen missed most of 2013 and all of 2014 due to what ultimately was a serious shoulder injury.

On October 1, 2013 Hultzen underwent surgery on his shoulder where the doctor (according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, whose article you could read here):

  • “cleaned up damage to the labrum”
  • “repaired a partial tear to the rotator cuff”
  • “repair a torn anterior capsule”

It’s the third issue that represents the biggest obstacle. Read more

Prospect Report: Will The Angels’ Kyle Kubitza Prove Valuable In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Kyle Kubitza is not a name many baseball fans know. Even after being traded a few days ago, he’s more of a footnote than anything. That said, he was poised to be included in our Top 5 prospects for 2015 for the Atlanta Braves and will now be included as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.

Since being selected in the third round of the 2011 draft Kubitza has slowly climbed through Atlanta’s system taking it one level at a time. He spent all of 2014 at Double-A, hitting .295 with 8 HR, 54 RBI, 76 R and 22 SB.

Obviously the power, from a third baseman, wouldn’t excite you. However he did add 31 doubles and 11 triples. He also continued to post a viable OFB of 31.4%, helping to indicate that there is certainly more power potential there for him to tap into.

Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 has his doubts, saying:

“While he has size at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds and enough bat speed for future power, his swing path is more built for contact. Some evaluators believe he’ll have average power but if he doesn’t, he’s a fringy option at third base.”

Read more

Prospect Report: Is The White Sox’ 2B Micah Johnson Primed To Contribute In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s possible that the White Sox’ Micah Johnson may have gotten a taste of the big leagues in September of 2014, but a hamstring injury ended his season prematurely. That said, with just Carlos Sanchez standing in his way at this point would it really be a surprise if Johnson were to quickly get his shot in 2015?

A ninth round pick in 2012, he got 302 PA at Triple-A last season (he also spent time at Double-A) hitting .275 with 2 HR and 11 SB. His power definitely is not his strong suit, with 16 career home runs, as he relies on his wheels.

While he only totaled 21 stolen bases in 2014, in 2013 he swiped 83 in 108 tries. There’s just no doubting that part of his game, as here is what others are saying:

Baseball America:

“He focuses more on being a top-of-the-order igniter, with double-plus speed and reasonable contact skills, as well as a discerning-enough eye for a leadoff man.”

Rich Wilson of Prospect 361: Read more

Prospect Report: Who Is Dian Toscano, The Braves’ Signing Out Of Cuba, And What Is His Upside?

There isn’t much known about the Braves’ recent signing out of Cuba, Dian Toscano. The 25-year old is listed at 5’10″ and 200 pounds and is a left-handed hitter.

Not enough to make any decisions on? Here’s a little scouting report courtesy of David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (click here for the full article):

“In five seasons in the National Series, Toscano had a .300 average and .396 OBP with seven triples and 13 homers in 614 at-bats.”

“Toscan hasn’t hit for much power in the past, but has reportedly gotten stronger and in better overall shape since leaving Cuba.”

Ben Badler of Baseball America adds:

“is a lefthanded hitter with good bat control and strike-zone awareness.”

Read more

Prospect Report: Will J.T. Realmuto Breakout Before We Know It?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one should be under the illusion that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the Marlins’ long-term solution at catcher. In fact, you could argue that he isn’t even the 2015 answer. So who could be? J.T. Realmuto, selected in the third round in 2010, has the potential to claim the job before we know it.

While he actually saw a little bit of time in the Majors last season, he spent the bulk of the year at Double-A. In 375 AB he hit .299 with 8 HR, 62 RBI and 66 R. The number that should open our eyes, though, were the stolen bases. He swiped 18 in 23 attempts, the third time in four seasons that he’s stolen at least 13.

His upside, which is rare for any catcher, is Russell Martin circa 2008 (.280, 13 HR, 18 SB).

While it may not be a ton, let’s put it in a little bit of perspective. Among catchers with at least 200 PA in 2014, no one stole more than 4 bases. In 2013 only two catchers had more than 5 (Russell Martin and Jonathan Lucroy each had 9). A catcher who can contribute stolen bases is a hidden gold mind, and one that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Read more