Archive for Prospects

Prospect Report: Could Dariel Alvarez Make An Impact In Baltimore’s Outfield?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Nelson Cruz now in Seattle and Nick Markakis in Atlanta, the Orioles suddenly find themselves with a pair of gaping holes in their outfield. They could use Steve Pearce in one spot (though he is a regression candidate himself), as well as some combination of David Lough and Alejandro De Aza… In other words, there is little appeal. While there is a good chance the team imports at least one player, we also shouldn’t overlook Dariel Alvarez.

Signed out of Cuba in 2013, Alvarez has hit .311 with 19 HR and 99 RBI in 611 AB in the minor leagues. He spent the bulk of 2014 at Double-A, but also got his shot at Triple-A:

  • Double-A (359 AB) – .309, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 52 R, 7 SB
  • Triple-A (173 AB) – .301, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 23 R, 1 SB

While the power did dip upon his promotion, and he does struggle to draw walks (3.9% for his minor league career), there’s still a lot to like. Most noticeably is his consistent ability to make contact. The strikeouts “spiked” to 14.8% at Triple-A, after posting a highly impressive 9.2% mark at Double-A. Read more

Prospect Report: Could Christian Bethancourt Develop Into A Viable Option In ’15?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are a lot of rumors surrounding how the Braves will proceed this offseason, but most have them trading away Evan Gattis and turning their catching job over to Christian Bethancourt. Time will tell but it’s worth taking a look at Bethancourt, who is far more known for his defense than his offense.

Appearing in 31 games for Atlanta last season, Bethancourt hit .248 with 0 HR and 9 RBI over 113 AB. If that wasn’t bad enough, he posted a 22.2% strikeout rate vs. a 2.6% walk rate.

He certainly isn’t a player who draws many walks, with a 3.5% walk rate in the minors since 2011. The strikeouts were a bigger jump, given his 15.5% mark in the minors since ’11 and a 16.7% mark at Triple-A in 2014. Of course, even if he does improve there it’s not going to represent a significant improvement in his average.  A .270 career hitter in the minors, he simply isn’t going to be an asset there. Read more

Prospect Report: Is Andrew Heaney’s Disappointing Debut A Sign Of Things To Come?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Marlins first round pick in 2012, Andrew Heaney got his first taste of the Major Leagues in 2014 but failed to impress. A 5.83 ERA and 6.14 K/9 over 29.1 IP certainly leaves a lot to be desired, so should fantasy owners ignore him heading into 2015 or were these simply growing pains?

Let’s start with the strikeouts, since they were likely the biggest disappointment. Over his minor league career he owned a 9.08 K/9 and in the Majors he showed significantly more upside. His O-Swing% (31.6%) and SwStr% (9.6%) were both roughly league average, though his K/9 was significantly below average (7.73 K/9). Those numbers alone should indicate that better days are on the horizon.

Just look at this scouting report from Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 as further proof of his stuff: Read more

Prospect Report: Will The Twins’ Alex Meyer Make An Impact In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Twins’ Alex Meyer was often discussed in our Prospect Power Rankings this past season, given the issues in the Twins rotation and strong season he was having. It was never to be, though, as a shoulder injury helped shorten his season. Instead the 2011 first round selection threw 130.1 innings at Triple-A, posting relatively impressive numbers.

Obviously it’s his 10.57 K/9, and 10.45 for his minor league career, that grabs our attentions. Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 certainly gave a positive review of his arsenal recently:

“Meyer’s arsenal is impressive with a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s, a plus slider that really gets a lot of swing and misses, and a change-up that looks pretty good as well. Given his size, he throws with tremendous downward plane and can induce a ton of ground balls. The ground ball rate did back-up in 2014 but was still strong at a 1.83 G/F ratio.”

Read more

Prospect Report: Could The Tigers’ Steven Moya Be A Viable Source Of Power In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that power is at a premium in the Major Leagues and that’s going to put the Tigers’ Steven Moya on all fantasy radars. When you launch 35 HR (as well as 33 doubles and 3 triples) in 515 AB at Double-A, it makes sense that you grab people’s attention. That said, even if he is given an opportunity it doesn’t mean that he is a lock to produce.

There very well could be a hole open in the Tigers’ outfield, depending on what the team does this offseason, and at 23-years old Moya should be in consideration. On the surface you would think he was a lock, given the power to go along with a .276 average.

It gets even better when you look at the left-handed hitters splits:

  • vs. RHP – .284/.315/.570
  • vs. LHP – .262/.289/.529

That’s an extremely promising split and could take a platoon situation out of play. In other words, it’s music to fantasy owners ears. So where’s the problem? Read more

Prospect Report: Can Randal Grichuk Emerge As A Starter In St. Louis?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When Randal Grichuk was sent to the Cardinals as part of the David Freese trade, little was thought of the move. St. Louis already had a lot of young outfielders, so why should we expect anything to come of him? Buried behind Oscar Taveras and others, many assumed Grichuk would simply later be used as trade bait to strengthen the team elsewhere.

That never happened, as Grichuk erupted at Triple-A. In 472 plate appearances he hit .259, but with 25 HR and 8 SB. The line led to him getting 116 PA in the Majors, adding another 3 HR.

While we can point to the PCL as being partly responsible for the power surge, he has increased his HR/OFB each of the past three years in the minors:

  • 2012 (High-A) – 11.8%
  • 2013 (Double-A) – 16.1%
  • 2014 (Triple-A) – 21.6%

Read more