Archive for Prospects

Dynastic Direction: 1B With Power: Greg Bird, Joey Gallo & Matt Olson

by Ivar G. Anderson

This is the final Dynastic Direction article this season. I am going to see some Arizona Fall League games at the end of October/beginning on November, so if I do see something interesting out in the desert you may get a bonus article (or have to suffer through another of my dry pieces about players that may never amount to a hill of beans). I plan on returning next spring or perhaps late winter, so if you want to know about anybody particular, drop me a note and I will do my best.

 

Greg Bird 1B NYY (Double-A Trenton Thunder/Eastern League)
Bird’s OBP is a point in his favor, which plays well with his plus power. He stroked 20 homers in 458 AB in 2013, although that slugging aspect was not so evident in 2014 where he only managed to put up 14 dingers over 369 AB.

He has a good eye, working walks out of the opposing hurler. He also hits for a good average for a power hitter, based on excellent bat speed. He does not also have any speed in legs, unfortunately, and he is not very athletic as he is said to lack agility in the field. Think Adam Dunn, if that helps. Read more

Prospect Report: Could The Orioles’ Christian Walker Prove Viable Over The Final Week?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On Wednesday the Orioles recalled 1B Christian Walker. With the division already in hand, it makes sense for the team to give him a try and see if he could potentially fill the hole left by Chris Davis’ suspension. Will he play every day? Probably not, though it’s also not out of the question.

Walker enjoyed some success at both Double and Triple-A this season, though there were obvious questions facing him entering the season. Falling short of all of the major Top 10 prospect lists, John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked him #17 among Orioles prospects saying:

“Polished University of South Carolina product ripped A-ball pitching, hit .300/.362/.453 overall despite Double-A slump. Scouts wonder if he’ll have enough power for a big league first baseman.”

His time at Double-A this season helped to answer the power question, as he slashed .301/.367/.516 with 20 HR in 411 PA. The power did regress upon reaching Triple-A (6 HR in 188 PA), but it wasn’t his HR/OFB that fell it was simply the number of balls he put in the air (below is OFB // HR/OFB): Read more

Dynastic Direction: Detroit Tiger Outfielders: Tyler Collins, Daniel Fields & Austin Schotts

by Ivar G. Anderson

There is not much time left in the regular season and, since we are in September, some of those prospects that I examine in this corner are gracing the benches in Major League ballparks these days. That includes one that is featured this week, although I would not expect most of them to make the Opening Day rosters in 2015 out of spring training. I picked my hometown team to examine this week, just for the chance to talk about what a depleted minor league system looks like. Time to get to it, then, and see what is in store for the future of the Tiger outfield:

 

Tyler Collins OF DET (Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens/International League)
Collins was added to the Major League roster when the rosters expanded September 1, but he was on the team earlier this year coming out of spring training (although he was quickly demoted to Toledo after failing to impress in seven games). For the balance of the season he will serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a pinch runner, although he may get a rare start or two before the season winds down. Read more

Dynastic Direction: Prospect Outfielders: Frazier, Mazara & Moya

by Ivar G. Anderson

If you are still reading this you have not yet abandoned baseball for football and that is a good thing, especially in dynasty and deep keeper leagues. This column is here to help you get a leg up on your competition for 2015 and beyond. Today, let’s take a glance at some outfielders you may want to target when your prospect drafts come around after the end of football in February and beyond.

 

Clint Frazier OF CLE (Low-A Lake County Captains/Midwest League)
A five-tool outfielder, he currently is playing centerfield and has the speed and athleticism to excel there in the future. The 19 year old was drafted fifth overall in the 2013 draft and played 44 games out of the gate in the Arizona Rookie League. While there, he put up a slash line of .297/.362/.506, although he did manage to rack up 61 strikeouts over 172 at bats, with only 17 walks.

He has above average speed, will assist in his defensive abilities and once he gets a better grasp of how to read pitchers will also allow him to become a stolen base threat. He demonstrates great bat speed, but is overly aggressive at the plate and needs to plug the holes in his swing to improve his contact rate and take advantage of his speed. His bat hints of plus power, but it is a work in progress with the prospect at this point. Read more

Dynastic Direction Young Southpaws: Rob Kaminsky, Henry Owens & Eduardo Rodriguez

by Ivar G. Anderson

If I had it to do all over I would have taught my eldest son, a natural left hander, how to throw a baseball much earlier in his development since teams always have a need for left handed pitchers. That is except for maybe the Rockies, as they rolled out a lefty starter for 20 consecutive games this summer, but that is an aberration. Normally teams are searching for left-handed starters for their rotations, and their bullpen too. That is how we got the term LOOGY. So, this week, we are taking a look at some left handed pitchers showing promise in the minors.

 

Rob Kaminsky LHP StL (Low-A Peoria Chiefs/Midwest League) Kaminsky is not an overwhelming presence on the mound, standing 5’11” and tipping the scale at 191 pounds, but has the stuff to turn heads. He was drafted out of high school and can dial up his fastball to 94 MPH, but typically throws his hard stuff in the high 80s/low 90s. He also possesses a superb curve and an average change up, so he has the three pitches scouts want to see in a starting pitcher.

He does throw strikes, witnessed by his 76:30 K/BB ratio over 95.2 innings in 2014. He has a stellar 1.69 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this season, and has been allowing hits at a rate of .69/IP. I like my pitchers to allow less than a run per inning, and he certainly fits the bill. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 Prospects On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 26, 2014)

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 the prospects ranking from last week):

 

1) Jorge Soler – Chicago Cubs – Outfielder (2)
There’s been a bit of an adjustment for Soler at Triple-A, though we also know that he was playing over his head at the lower levels.  Still, a slash of .262/.356/.563 is respectable in 103 AB and we all know he’s part of the future plans for the Cubs.  They’ve already shown us Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez, and there’s a good chance Soler joins the duo come September.

He’s shown a good eye at the plate all season long, with a 13.6% walk rate.  Maybe his Triple-A average is more believable, and the power will likely regress (25.0% HR/FB), but there’s more than enough upside to like.  He is a lesser talent than Pederson, long-term, but he’s more likely to get regular AB in September.

(Update – It’s now been reported that Soler will be recalled and join the Cubs) Read more