Archive for Prospects

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (June 18, 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) Hector Olivera – Third Baseman – Los Angeles Dodgers (4)
All he’s done over his first 9 games in the minors (splitting time between Double and Triple-A) is hit .382 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 5 R. Throw in just 6 K vs. 3 BB and you know it isn’t going to be long before the 30-year old reaches the Majors. The question is going to be where he plays, with most thinking Alexander Guerrero should be getting an opportunity to man the hot corner. However Don Mattingly has other ideas (as per this quote courtesy of MLB.com):

“It’s pretty much Justin,” Mattingly said, now that it appears Callaspo gets second call and Alex Guerrero has become essentially a pinch-hitter — with $62.5 million Cuban signee Hector Olivera arriving soon. Read more

Prospect Report: Could The Twins’ Jose Berrios Soon Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this point does anyone really see that at a prospect is sitting at Double-A and reach the conclusion that there’s little chance he arrives in the Majors in short order? We’ve recently seen it numerous times from the Houston Astros (Lance McCullers, Vincent Velasquez) and last season saw it from the Minnesota Twins (Kennys Vargas). Heck, Delino Deshields was forced to skip Triple-A as well thanks to being selected in the Rule 5 draft. It’s the Twins, though, who should be garnering our attention.

Like the Astros, Minnesota is surprisingly battling for a division title. Entering play on Friday they found themselves 2.0 games behind the Royals, though it was days ago that the Twins were actually sitting atop the division (they were on a 3 game losing streak while Kansas City had won 4 straight). In fact they were 3-7 in their past 10 games, and if they don’t shake things up all that they worked for could quickly disappear. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (June 11, 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) Byron Buxton – Outfielder – Minnesota Twins (2)
With Carlos Correa recalled, we wait and wonder when the Twins will follow suit and bring their best talent to the Majors. The Twins are surprisingly right there battling for the AL Central lead, yet they continue to tolerate virtually no production from their centerfielders (.297 SLG, 1 HR, 7 SB entering play on Wednesday). It’s possible they are waiting for the Super 2 deadline to come and go, but at this point it would be surprising if Buxton doesn’t arrive before long as his bat is heating up once again (8-19 over current five-game hitting streak). Also, as we’ve continued to say, getting Buxton exposed to Torii Hunter and learning under him makes too much sense. Why add the veteran presence if he isn’t going to be used to help the top young talent grow? Read more

Prospect Report: Why The Astros’ Vincent Velasquez Needs To Be On Our Radars

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Vincent Velasquez was not one of the more talked about pitching prospects in the game entering the year, especially after his season got off to a late start thanks to a lat injury. Since returning, though, he’s made a quick impact posting a 1.37 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 12.65 K/9 and 3.08 BB/9 over 26.1 IP at Double-A. Suddenly there’s talk about him potentially help the Astros this season, meaning he needs to be on fantasy radars.

The 2010 second round pick has shown strikeouts (10.6 K/9) and control (3.0 BB/9) in the minor leagues. He has never shown the ground ball rate that would make him the “complete” starter, with a 43.0% mark since 2012 and a 37.0% mark in 2015. While he hasn’t had home run issues at this point, that’s going to be something we need to watch.

The real question we are all asking, though, is if the strikeout rate is for real. Let’s take a look at what others were saying prior to the season: Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (June 4, 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) Carlos Correa – Shortstop – Houston Astros (1)
Entering play on Tuesday the Astros’ division lead had shrunk to 4.0 games over the Angels, so you know the pressure is building to make a move. Unfortunately for the team Correa has picked the wrong time to get ice cold, hitting .139 over his past 10 games (5-36) and posting a line of .241/.307/.430 while at Triple-A. If he was hitting at all we’d likely see him over Jonathan Villar/Marwin Gonzalez already and it may not take much from him in the minors to get recalled. As it is there are positives, despite the struggles:

  • Strikeout Rate – 13.6%
  • Walk Rate – 9.1%
  • Line Drive Rate – 19.1% (league average is 19.9%)

Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 28, 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) Carlos Correa – Shortstop – Houston Astros (1)
The Correa watch continues for the Astros and fantasy owners alike. Sure you can argue that he’s “struggled” at Triple-A, hitting .268, but that’s a stretch. In his 56 AB he’s shown a good eye at the plate (9 K vs. 7 BB) and overall this season is slashing .347/.421/.636 with 9 HR and 18 SB. The longer the Astros remain atop the AL West, though watching the Los Angeles Angels and others creep closer, the more likely it is that Correa is brought up to help the Major League squad. They simply can’t continue running the combination of Jonathan Villar and Marwin Gonzalez out there, especially when you have one of the elite prospects in the game marinating in the minors. Read more