Archive for Prospects

Prospect Report: Scouting The Phillies’ Aaron Nola & Looking At His Potential Arrival

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Aaron Nola, the seventh overall selection in the 2014 draft, recently got to face the New York Yankees.  With many considering him the most advanced arm in last season’s draft, there’s a good chance that he arrives in the Majors this season so the experience was a good one.  The Yankees trotted out nearly their regular season lineup including Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Brett Gardner.

So how did he look?  Here are my thoughts from his performance:

Control – This is expected to be his strong suit, and he didn’t disappoint.  He didn’t walk a batter in his three innings and only went to a three ball count against one of the 15 batters he faced.  He did occasionally leave the ball up in the zone, but it didn’t hurt him and is something he should be able to correct.

Fastball – He had good movement on the pitch, which sat between 91 and 93 mph (touching 94).  He did a very good job using it to back people off the plate.  Reports are that he does throw the pitch harder, so maybe once his arm is up to speed he’ll tack on another mph or two (though he certainly could get by at this speed given his control). Read more

Prospect Report: Could the A’s Billy Burns Provide Value In 2015?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

That’s a tidbit that’s easy for fantasy owners to have overlooked.  While the general feeling is that Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry will see time in centerfield, neither are guarantees to make an impact.  It’s also not like Coco Crisp or Josh Reddick are pillars of health, meaning there should be an opportunity for a youngster to emerge…

Billy Burns has opened up eyes this spring and could quickly emerge:

.345 (20-58), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 15 R, 4 SB

He also has been producing extra base hits (2 doubles, 3 triples) while making consistent contact (6 K).  Those are impressive numbers and, as a natural centerfielder, he could be forcing his way into the mix. Read more

Prospect Report: Scouting Carlos Rodon & Determining If He’s A Must Draft For ’15

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are certainly questions at the back of the White Sox rotation, even when everybody is healthy, with John Danks and Hector Noesi penciled into the final two spots.  Does anyone truly believe that either will be successful?  Is it hard to imagine that either will be replaced before long?  Enter Carlos Rodon, the southpaw who was the third pick in the 2014 draft.

There had been rumblings that he could be pushed all the way to the Majors in ’14, and while that didn’t happen he did reach Triple-A and there’s little doubt that he’ll arrive at some point in ’15.  When, exactly, is not yet known but it may not be long.

Rodon has been impressive this spring, with a 3.65 ERA, 19 K and 3 BB over 12.1 innings of work.  I’ve been lucky enough to watch his last two outings (a total of 5.0 innings of work) and here’s a few of my thoughts: Read more

Prospects to Watch: When Might Blake Swihart Arrive & Should Fantasy Owners Care?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Fantasy owners know the name of Blake Swihart, the Red Sox catching prospect who has drawn comparisons to Buster Posey. When he arrives he will likely hold value, even to those in one-catcher formats, the question really is when that will be.

It’s impossible to say for sure, but it likely won’t be before the Super Two cutoff (generally sometime in May/June, but there is no clear date as of yet). Of course, Boston has shown that it’s not a team that’s going to nickel and dime things, just look at their offseason spending spree as evidence. Should the team be struggling offensively, their current catching duo will be looked at as a place to potentially upgrade (Christian Vazquez & Ryan Hanigan).

There also is the threat of injury, especially behind the dish. Should Vazquez go down, would the team really look towards an inferior option due to service time? It seems unlikely, especially from a team with World Series aspirations. Read more

Dynasty Dash: Why The Rays’ Ryan Brett Should Be On Our Radars

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

In our search for under-the-radar fantasy potential we land on the Rays’ Ryan Brett. A player that may not have the raw tools to get scouts or fantasy owners excited, sometimes the sum is more than the individual parts.

Brett spent all of 2014 at Double-A where he hit .303 with 8 HR, 42 RBI, 64 R and 26 SB. Nothing there stands out for the now 23-year old, but what if we were to tell you that he could develop into a 10/30 second baseman? Is that something that would interest you?

Brett had 25 doubles and 6 triples last season, showing a little bit more pop than just his home run number represents (though not much). Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 adds this, though:

“While his swing is contact-oriented, he does have enough strength and bat speed to project to hit 8 to 10 home runs once he arrives in the big leagues.”

Read more

Prospect Throwdon: Jose Peraza vs. Micah Johnson: Who Is The Better Choice For 2015 & Beyond

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are a few young second baseman who have the potential to make an impact this season, among them being the White Sox’ Micah Johnson and the Braves’ Jose Peraza.  Both players could bring value, especially in the speed department, but both franchises have brought in at least short-term solutions (Alberto Callaspo and Emilio Bonifacio).  Which player has the most long-term upside?  Who is the better gamble for this season?  Let’s take a look:

 

Jose Peraza
2014 Statistics – .339, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 78 R, 61 SB (499 PA)

Peraza split time between High-A and Double-A, showing the potential to hit for a strong average and steal a lot of bases.  He made consistent contact at both levels, with a 9.4% strikeout rate (10.8% since ’11 in the minors), and also showed the ability to hit the ball hard (in parenthesis is the league average): Read more