Obviously there are always prospects whose stock is rising and falling, given their performances. While it’s impossible to pinpoint all of them, here are a few players whose early season numbers are sending them to either soar or sink:
Logan Gilbert – Right-Handed Pitcher – Seattle Mariners
Selected 14th overall in 2018, Gilbert didn’t make his debut until 2019 due to a battle with mononucleosis as well as toe surgery. Over his first three starts he’s proven to be worth the wait, pitching at Single-A and allowing 4 ER on 9 H and 5 BB over 19.2 IP. Even better? His 30 K. It’s been impressive, and it would be easy to get overly excited, but there are a few things to remember regarding the soon to be 22-year old:
- He’s older and more advanced than most of his opponents
- He has struggled to generate groundballs (0.27 GO/AO), including allowing home runs in each of his past two starts
Can he keep the ball in the ballpark against more advanced competition? Will his stuff continue to play this well against more experienced hitters? That’s going to be something to watch, and it wouldn’t be surprising if we got an answer in the not too distant future. Until we get answers to those questions, his stock remains steady instead of on the rise.
Stock – Steady
Richardson – Right-Handed Pitcher – New York Mets
He’s already made five starts at Single-A, though he hasn’t thrown more than 4.0 innings in any outing. That makes it clear that the Mets are limiting him thus far, but that doesn’t take away from the impressive results over his 14.2 IP as he’s compiled a 1.42 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Those numbers alone would grab your attention, but how about these marks:
- Strikeouts – 22
- Walks – 0
- Groundballs – 43.3%
Obviously there are questions in regards to his ability to work deeper into games as well as if he’ll be able to develop his changeup enough to stick in the rotation. At 18-years old he has time to try and answer those questions, but with a 17.0% SwStr% there’s obviously a lot to like. Consider his stock on the rise, as he could quickly develop into the team’s best pitching prospect.
Stock – Rising
Spencer Howard – Right-Handed Pitcher – Philadelphia Phillies
He appeared to figure something out in the second half of 2018, pitching to a 2.67 ERA with 81 K over 64.0 IP at Single-A. If he could carry that to High-A to open 2019 was a question, but he’s answered it with flying colors over his first four starts (20.0 IP). Not only has he shown a much greater ability to generate groundballs (2.25 GO/AO), but he’s racked up 30 K vs. 4 BB en route to a 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
He’s getting a significant number of swings and misses (19.6% SwStr%), and while he’s 22-years old at High-A the results are extremely impressive. He appears to be figuring it out and developing quickly, and it’s time to pay attention. The Phillies have a lot of pitching prospects, even after jettisoning Sixto Sanchez in the J.T. Realmuto deal, but if Howard continues on this path he has the potential to emerge as the best of the bunch.
Stock – Rising Significantly