Archive for Prospects

Prospect Report: Could Luis Severino Be A Viable Fantasy Option In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The New York Yankees find themselves battling for a division title, but in desperate need of starting pitching. Their ace, Masahiro Tanaka, is on the DL. CC Sabathia looks like a shell of his former self. Most of the remainder of the rest of the rotation (outside of Michael Pineda), headlined by Nathan Eovaldi, is hard to depend on.

Could the Yankees look from within to solve the issue? Enter Luis Severino, regarded as one of the premier pitching prospects in the game.

Standing at 6’0″ and 195 lbs., here’s what others were saying about him prior to the season:

MLB.com:
Severino has a loose, quick arm that makes up for his lack of physicality. It allows him to maintain a mid-90s fastball throughout his starts and reach a peak velocity of 99 mph. When he doesn’t try to overthrow his heater, it features nice sink that results in a lot of groundouts and keeps the ball in the park (just six homers allowed in 221 2/3 innings through three pro seasons). Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (April 30, 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):

 

1) Rusney Castillo – Outfielder – Boston Red Sox (2)
If he were healthy he’d already be in the Majors, now that Shane Victorino has landed on the DL.  Castillo is on the road to recovery and could conceivably be ready to go in a week to ten days, depending on his ability to play the field.  He needs to prove that he can stay healthy for the long-term, as he constantly has been sidelined with minor injuries.  That said, he’s shown just how productive he can be and, if Mookie Betts doesn’t heat up soon, could get slotted into the top of the order once he’s deemed ready. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (April 23, 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):

 

1) Maikel Franco – Third Baseman – Philadelphia Phillies (9)
He’s been seeing time at first base over the past week, which has to indicate that if Ryan Howard doesn’t get things turned around (and one home run isn’t a turnaround) the Phillies are going to make a move. Entering play on Wednesday Howard was hitting just .209 with 1 HR and 4 RBI over 43 AB, being dropped to seventh in the order on the occasion. Franco, meanwhile, has apparently figured things out at Triple-A hitting .352 with 1 HR (as well as 8 doubles and 1 triple) through his first 54 AB. He’s also the complete opposite from Howard, as a player who has consistently proven he can make contact (14.1% strikeout rate since 2011). It certainly seems like a move may not be far away. Read more

Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is The Mets’ Kevin Plawecki Worth Owning Immediately?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the Mets losing Travis d’Arnaud to a broken hand, the team will turn to highly touted Kevin Plawecki to fill the void.  Obviously they aren’t going to call him up to simply sit on the bench and the team has already confirmed it as per this tweet from Adam Rubin:

Terry Collins said Kevin Plawecki will be the No. 1 catcher assuming he’s coming.”

So we know he has a job, but the question facing fantasy owners is if he could have any appeal.  He was struggling with the bat at Triple-A early this season, hitting .216 with 0 HR over 37 AB.  He was hitting the ball hard (28.1% line drive rate) and making consistent contact (4 K), so obviously there was some poor luck at play.

He hit .309 last season, splitting time between Double and Triple-A, and owns a .293 career average in the minors.  However, is that really enough? Read more

Happy Addison Russell Day! What Should Fantasy Owners Expect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all knew that Kris Bryant would join the Cubs soon after the start of the 2015 season.  We all also knew that Addison Russell would make an impact this season, though most thought his arrival would come later in the season.  Apparently that wasn’t the script in Chicago, as less than a week after Bryant was summoned to the Majors comes word that Russell will join him.

Considered one of the elite prospects in the game, the Cubs acquired Russell last season in the deal that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell to Oakland.  Through 11 games at Triple-A this season he was hitting .318 with 1 HR and 9 RBI.

Even more impressive was his 7 K in 44 AB, which is important when looking at Cubs’ prospects.  While strikeouts always appear to be a concern (just look at Bryant and Javier Baez), Russell posted a 17.1% strikeout rate in 68 games in 2014. Read more

Scouting Report: Could The Nationals’ A.J. Cole Make An Impact In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s rare that you watch a pitcher throw two perfect innings, yet walk away utterly impressed.  That was my thoughts as I watched the Nationals’ A.J. Cole pitch recently, and by the end of the outing the line backed it up:

4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 K

The walk was intentional, so we can say that he at least had good control.  Or could we…  He actually threw first pitch strikes to just 10 of 18 batters, so he was falling behind early and then ultimately getting the job done.

Other than that?

His fastball had movement, often running away from left-handed hitters, but the velocity appeared to be down.  Maybe it was a slow gun?  While he touched 93-95 on occasion, he instead was sitting around 89-91 for most of the outing.  That’s not in line with what most scouting reports have had him at: Read more