Archive for Prospects

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 20, 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 Tuesday unless otherwise notes):

1) Byron Buxton – Outfielder – Minnesota Twins (5)
Yes he struggled in his first taste of the Majors, but he’s healthy and raking since coming off the DL and being optioned to Triple-A. In 12 games (51 AB) he’s hitting .412 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R and 2 SB with at least one game in each game he’s played. Sure there’s luck at play, with a .526 BABIP, but that’s hardly a reason for caution. He struggled to make contact in the Majors (38.5% strikeout rate), which isn’t in his nature (22.2% at Triple-A) and he likely just needed time to adjust.

(Note: This article was written prior to the news that Buxton was being recalled to replace the injured Aaron Hicks) Read more

Potential September Call-Up: Could The Brewers’ Brett Phillips Become A Viable Fantasy Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When the Brewers traded both Carlos Gomez and Gerardo Parra at the trading deadline they left centerfield to a combination of Shane Peterson (.289, 0 HR, 0 SB in 38 August AB) and Logan Schafer (.214, 0 HR, 0 SB in 14 August AB).  That’s not exactly an impressive combination, and you have to think that the team will try to see if their 2016 solution is already in the system.

Acquired from the Astros as part of the Gomez trade, Brett Phillips could easily be the answer.  Bringing both power and speed, here’s what some of the prospect experts have been saying about him:

MLB.com (currently has him ranked as the Brewers’ second best prospect):
“In his first two years in the Minor Leagues, Phillips looked more like a top-of-the-order hitter, thanks to his patience, contact-oriented approach and speed. He tweaked his swing in 2014, allowing him to tap into newfound power, and he hit 17 home runs after not homering in his first two years as a professional. He’s also an above-average runner, giving him an intriguing power-speed combination.”

Prospect 361:
When you see Phillips play, he’s just one of the guys you want on your team.  He plays the game extremely hard but also has the athleticism to become a solid major league contributor.  He has enough bat speed to eventually hit 12 to 15 home runs at the big league level and above average foot speed to steal 20 plus bases.  His plate discipline and contactability also took a step forward this past year and projecting him with an above-average hit tool is reasonable.” Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 13, 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 Wednesday unless otherwise notes):

1) John Lamb – Starting Pitcher – Cincinnati Reds (5)
Maybe this is a bit of a cop out since he’s going to be recalled today, but he would’ve been highly ranked regardless.  Lamb’s surprisingly struggled with his control in three starts since the trade (7 BB over 17.0 IP), but that hasn’t been the norm as he has 36 BB over 111.1 innings at Triple-A this season.  Couple that with 117 K and there’s obviously a lot to like.  As we’ve said before, it’s easy to forget that Lamb was once considered a top prospect (before injuries derailed him) and this type of performance should not be that big of a surprise.

There also should soon be an opportunity, considering the rag tag group the team is currently utilizing in their rotation: Read more

Prospect Report: Could The Phillies’ Aaron Altherr Emerge As A 2015 Sleeper?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Phillies’ outfield certainly lacks an impact bat at this point.  While Odubel Herrera has emerged, they continue to run out a rag tag group around him with Domonic Brown, Cody Asche, Jeff Francoeur and Darin Ruf all getting chances.  While Brown is starting to show signs and Francoeur has produced in a limited role, there’s obviously ample opportunity for another youngster to step up.

Enter Aaron Altherr, who isn’t a highly touted prospect but is on the 40-man roster and has shown an ability to produce both power and speed in the minors.  Splitting time between Double and Triple-A this season he’s hitting .295 with 13 HR (as well as 28 doubles and 5 triples) and 16 stolen bases.  Put those numbers in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark and there obviously is potential to produce.

He has also shown an ability to make consistent contact at both levels that he’s played, while also being able to draw a walk (strike out rate // walk rate):

  • Double-A (260 PA) – 15.4% // 10.8%
  • Triple-A (181 PA) – 22.1% // 9.4%

Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 6, 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 Wednesday unless otherwise notes):

1) Jose Berrios – Starting Pitcher – Minnesota Twins (NR)
The Twins continue to surprisingly battle for a playoff spot, though the odds of maintaining it got a lot tougher after the Blue Jays added a pair of superstars at the deadline. The Twins stood pat, which means they need to look from within for reinforcements. We’ve seen the Yankees do it with Luis Severino (and his impressive debut last night) and the Twins shouldn’t be far behind with Berrios.  The pressure to promote him is only going to grow after Tyler Duffey got rocked yesterday, albeit at the hands of the Blue Jays.

Berrios hasn’t missed a beat at Triple-A (37.2 IP), with a 3.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.12 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9. Between Double and Triple-A he owns a 1.02 GO/AO, so there is enough there as well. Sure the Twins weren’t supposed to compete this season, but that doesn’t mean that you ignore the opportunity that’s been given to you. They simply can’t keep running someone like Mike Pelfrey or Duffey out there when you have someone better waiting in the wings.  Berrios threw 140.0 innings last season and is at 128.2 thus far in 2015. That gives him roughly 45 innings to play with and it would be a shame if Minnesota wasted them in the minors. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (July 24, 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 Tuesday unless otherwise notes):

1) Michael Conforto – Outfielder – New York Mets (NR)
Depending on the day determines whether the rumor is that the Mets are willing to bring Conforto to the Majors or whether they are not willing to do so. With Cuddyer’s trip to the DL seeming inevitable and the Mets offense continuing to look pathetic, it appears that the Mets are finally open to the move. All the 2014 first round draft pick has done since being promoted to Double-A is hit .317 with 5 HR over 164 AB. Yes there has been some luck (.376 BABIP), but he has also made contact (18.2% strikeout rate) and shown a good eye at the plate (11.8% walk rate). Throw in 12 doubles and 3 triples (overall this season he has 24 doubles, 3 triples and 12 HR) and the upside is obvious. Whether he gets a long look or if the team ultimately goes outside the organization remains to be seen, but at this point it’s obvious that they need to give him an opportunity. Read more