Prospect Tracker: Castro, Posey, Stanton & More

We are moving closer and closer to the full fledged prospect season, though that hasn’t stopped teams from already making some moves.  The Cubs have recalled Starlin Castro, as we mentioned earlier, and there certainly could be more moves on the horizon.  Let’s take a look at how some of the brightest prospects are currently performing (for previous Prospect Trackers, click here and here):

Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs – Shortstop
Double-A: .376 (41-109), 1 HR, 20 RBI, 20 R, 4 SB
He makes good contact (11 Ks), but doesn’t draw many walks (9 BBs).  He’s also enjoyed a tremendous amount of luck, with a .404 BABIP.  That’s not too encouraging for his lofty average, but even with a decrease there he should post a solid average.  He also needs to work on his efficiency on the base paths, successful on just 4 of 9 stolen base attempts.  His how start has, however, has led to his recall to the Major Leagues.  Obviously he’s up to play, so he could have value in leagues that require a middle infielder, especially with all the recent injuries to shortstops of late.  Pick him up if you’re in need of some speed, but be ready to endure some bumps along the road.  (For my preseason outlook on Castro, click here)

Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants – Catcher
.343 (34-99), 3 HR, 16 RBI, 19 R, 1 SB
With him off to a roaring start, the talk is coming about him possibly being recalled to see time at first base.  The Giants certainly could use the help in their order and he has little left to prove in the minor leagues.  We all know he can hit and has moderate power.  He’ll have catching eligibility, so he certainly will have value in all formats upon being recalled.  (For my preseason outlook on Posey, click here)

Mike Stanton – Florida Marlins – Outfielder
.340 (34-100), 14 HR, 31 RBI, 27 R, 1 SB
He is destroying Double-A pitching, and with the troubles some of the Marlins outfielders have had in the early going you have to wonder just when the Marlins will make the move to bring him up.  He has 5 HR in his last ten games, hitting .343 over that span.  He’s hitting .409 vs. lefties and .321 vs. righties.  It really just doesn’t matter, he is absolutely raking.  If you have room on your bench and need help in the outfield, he certainly should be stashed immediately.

Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants – Pitcher
Triple-A: 5.25 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 16 K, 8 BB, 1 W, 24.0 IP
He’s suffered from a below average BABIP (.335), but the bigger concern is the home runs.  He’s allowed 4 home runs, though none have come in his last two starts.  In fact, he’s allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts (17 IP), so could it be that he was disappointed in not making the big league club in the early going?  Possible, but I’m not putting much weight in that.  He certainly has turned it around, however, with a WHIP below 1.00 in the past three starts (15 base runners in 17 innings).  With Todd Wellemeyer pitching unspectacularly (5.55 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) and being skipped when possible, it’s certainly possible that the Giants opt to make a change sooner rather then later.

Yonder Alonso – Cincinnati Reds – First Baseman
Double-A: .237 (18-76), 2 HR, 8 RBI, 11 R, 2 SB
Weren’t people talking about the Reds moving Joey Votto to the outfield to accommodate him?  His early season struggles certainly aren’t doing anything to push that move.  It’s early, but you have to start wondering about the production of the former first round pick.  He hit just 9 HR over 295 AB last season, across three levels, and once again has not shown much punch in his bat.  Hopefully he starts to heat up as the season progresses, so it certainly isn’t time to write him off.  He has not had much luck at the plate (.267 BABIP) and has shown a solid eye at the plate (14 K vs. 13 BB).  If you are in a long-term keeper league obviously sit tight, but don’t look for any type of impact in 2010 barring significant changes.  (For my preseason outlook on Alonso, click here)

Christian Friedrich – Colorado Rockies – Pitcher
Double-A: 2.81 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 16 K, 4 BB, 0 W, 16.0 IP
His first stint at Double-A has been solid, though the Rockies appeared to be inching him along prior to having to put him on the DL with elbow soreness.  He hadn’t gone longer than 5 innings in each of his first three starts.  Among the top prospects in baseball heading into the season, we now just have to sit, wait and hope the injury does not keep him out for too long.  Initially you would have thought he could get a look early if an injury opened the door, but now who knows.  (For my preseason outlook on Friedrich, click here)

Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds – Pitcher
Triple-A: 3.12 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 30 K, 13 BB, 2 W, 26.0 IP
His electric fastball has lived up to the hype at Triple-A, with a 10.4 K/9 through his first five starts (and that includes a 5 innings start where he managed just 1 K).  As feared, however, he has struggled with his control, with a 4.5 BB/9.  While 9 of his 13 walks came in two starts, there still is cause for concern.  Obviously we all know it’s a when, not if, Chapman makes his Major League debut, but unless he gets his control in order he could produce more like a Jonathan Sanchez then an ace.  Of course, with his strikeout potential, he’s worth owning, just be warned.

Jay Jackson – Chicago Cubs – Pitcher
Triple-A: 2.48 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 20 K, 7 BB, 2 W, 29.0 IP
Before we get too excited about his tremendous start to the Pacific Coast League season, his success has come courtesy of a .185 BABIP.  We all know that’s not going to happen for long.  You also have to wonder if the excellent control he’s shown thus far (2.2 BB/9) can continue, considering he posted a 4.1 mark over 82.2 innings at Double-A last year.  If he can maintain it, then he clearly has turned a corner and could be productive.  We’ll have to continue watching that closely over his next few starts.  (For my preseason outlook on Jackson, click here)

Josh Bell – Baltimore Orioles – Third Baseman
Triple-A: .253 (25-99), 4 HR, 13 RBI, 14 R, 0 SB
He hit .295 with 20 HR across two levels in 2009, causing people to think he had a chance to make an impact in 2010.  The acquisitions of Miguel Tejada & Garrett Atkins put a damper on those thoughts, as has his early season performance.  He has 28 Ks vs. 3 BBs.  That’s just not going to cut it, not matter how you slice it.  There’s hope for the average to increase, given his current .228 BABIP, but you still want to see him able to draw a few more walks.  The switch hitter has also gone 0-8 against lefties (meaning he’s hitting .275 vs. righties), but that’s an awfully small sample size to draw any conclusions from.  For now, he’s likely a little ways away, but keep your eye on him.  (For my preseason outlook on Bell, click here)

Wilkin Ramirez – Detroit Tigers – Outfielder
Double-A: .277 (28-101), 7 HR, 21 RBI, 16 R, 1 SB
At 24-years old, Ramirez was sent back to Double-A, after spending 2009 between Triple-A (.258, 17 HR, 51 RBI) and getting a cup of coffee with the Tigers.  If he produces, he could once again get a look in 2010.  One problem has been hitting righties (.247 average), something that he needs to improve upon before he can potentially get a recall.  Another problem is his ability to make contact, with 35 Ks on the young season.

Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals – Third Baseman
Double-A: .418 (23-55), 6 HR, 19 RBI, 18 R, 0 SB
What a start for the 2007 first round selection.  Obviously, we all know he’s going to slow down (he’s sporting a .405 BABIP), but it’s encouraging to see him tearing the cover off the ball (he’s on a 9-game hitting streak).  His fly ball rate is on the higher side (52.3%), but that has helped him hit home runs at his current pace.  At 21-years old, it is possible that he’s added power (his career fly ball rate is 45.9%), but like the average, you’d have to expect him to slow down here as well.  Still, thanks to the hot start and the demotion of Alex Gordon, would it surprise anyone if Moustakas arrived in the Major Leagues at some point in the second half?  Those in keeper leagues (and AL-only leagues) should certainly have him on their radars immediately (if he’s not already owned).

Hector Rondon – Cleveland Indians – Pitcher
Triple-A: 8.94 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 30 K, 9 BB, 1 W, 28.2 IP
He’s been brutalized by the long ball, having allowed 12 HR in 6 starts, and he’s in the International League, not the homer happy Pacific Coast League.  Of his six starts, he’s allowed 5 earned runs or more in four of them.  In his last start (May 6), he allowed 4 home runs.  He’s not giving up significantly more fly balls (43.0% prior to yesterday’s start vs. 40.0% for his career), so you have to think there’s a little bit of bad luck at play.  There’s more bad luck, with a .393 BABIP.  The numbers are terrible, but don’t give up hope yet.  He strikes out plenty and has good control, once the luck turns the numbers will get significantly better.  While others may start to ignore him, you should overlook the numbers and keep a close eye on him.

What are your thoughts on these prospects?  Who is the most likely to make an impact in 2010?  Which are you highest on?

For more looks at prospects, you can check out the following articles:

2 comments

  1. jb says:

    I really like Castro. I am in a keeper league and drafted him. I don’t think he will hit for much power right away bit think his power potential tops out at 15-20. I think he will hit for high average and he has succeeded against older comp. Cubs never expected him to be this good so early. I think he can hit 300 now in majors and cubs should hire Ricky Henderson to show him the ropes and get the most out of his speed.

  2. GT says:

    Any thoughts on Stanton’s home/road splits? I am wondering if a promotion to AAA would dampen his power outside of the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

    2010 numbers
    Home (15 games): .490 avg, 11 hr, 1.265 slg (!!), 1.888 ops
    Road (12 games): .196 avg, 3 hr, .431 slg, .736 ops

    Maybe if some doubt associated with these splits hit the web his value would drop in my league.

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