Top 10 Prospects (2017): San Francisco Giants: Is There Upside In A Fairly Underwhelming System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Giants have never been afraid to trade away prospects in order to strengthen their Major League roster.  While those moves haven’t left them void of potentially impact talent, the system isn’t as deep as it could’ve been (and you have to wonder who will be the next prospect to be jettisoned).  Who is left that is worth our attention?  Is there anyone who can truly make an impact?  Let’s take a look:


1) Tyler Beede – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – 2017

Beede spent the year at Double-A (147.1 IP), posting a 2.81 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in the process.  The underlying skills were also impressive, giving a sense of hope: Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): San Diego Padres: Intriguing Pitching Fills The Rankings

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While a pair of outfielders get the most attention, given their proximity to the Majors, the Padres have accumulated a significant amount of high upside pitching through trades, draft picks and international signings.  While the pitchers may not quite be ready, a year or two from now it’s possible the team possesses a tremendous young staff ready to take the NL West by storm.  Who are the intriguing prospects that fill the system?  Let’s take a look:


1) Manuel Margot – Outfielder
Grade – A-
ETA – Already Arrived

One of several former Red Sox prospects who reside on this list, Margot finally arrived in the Majors (37 AB) after spending the year at Triple-A.  His power is still developing, though with his other skills all he needs to do is develop into an 8-12 HR hitter to be a superstar.  Last season he totaled 39 extra base hits, so it’s not a significant number, but at 22-years old it’s not a stretch (he had 6 HR). Read more

Prospect Watch: Could Austin Voth Be The 2017 Version Of Michael Fulmer?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last season we saw Michael Fulmer take the American League by storm, ultimately winning the Rookie of the Year Award and putting up an impressive line across the board (159.0 IP, 3.06 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 132 K, 42 BB).  You can argue that no one saw those types of numbers coming (though he was on our radar), and now we have to wonder if there is a pitcher who could follow in his footsteps and make a similar splash in 2017.

The Washington Nationals tried to acquire Chris Sale in the offseason, but ultimately fell short (and didn’t add another starter).  Instead they shipped off two of their top pitching prospects, who also were MLB ready, to acquire Adam Eaton.  Those decisions cleared a path for Austin Voth as next man up.  Sometimes they say that the best trades are the ones you don’t make, and could failing to get Sale and ultimately turning to Voth work out?

Voth isn’t going to be Sale, but could he emerge as this year’s Fulmer?  First let’s take a look at what we said about Voth in the Rotoprofessor Draft Guide: Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): Los Angeles Dodgers: Will Yadier Alvarez Emerge As An Ace & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While the Dodgers traded one of their top prospects during the offseason (sending Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay for Logan Forsythe), the team isn’t void of talent on the horizon (and this excludes Julio Urias, who has graduated from eligibility on this list).  Part of that is due to their aggressive approach to the international market in recent seasons, though they’ve been quietly developing their own prospects as well (with many who should help the team in 2017).  Let’s take a look at how things currently stands:


1) Cody Bellinger – First Baseman
Grade – A-/B+
ETA – 2017

Bellinger has evolved into one of the better prospects in the game, showing the potential to hit for power while kicking in at least a few stolen bases (he’s had 8+ every season).  There are at least a few concerns that shouldn’t be overlooked, however.  There’s no questioning the power potential, he had 26 HR last season, but he only added 17 doubles and 1 triple.  With a 0.49 GO/AO while at Double-A, it indicates that he’s swinging for the fences and focusing on hitting for power.  That could lead to a diminished average, despite the improvement he made in his strikeout rate: Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): Colorado Rockies: Brandan Rodgers Heads Up A Developing System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Rockies are a team that are quickly on the rise.  They saw two young pitchers emerge in 2016 in Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson, helping to show that it was possible for the team to develop pitching who have the potential to thrive in Coors Field.  They aren’t alone, though, as they have a few more prospects on the way (some of which could potentially be elite).  Who are they?  When will they arrive?  Let’s take a look:


1) Brendan Rodgers – Shortstop
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018/2019

The third overall selection in the 2015 draft presented himself well in his first full season of professional baseball (which was spent at Single-A), hitting .281 with 19 HR and 73 RBI over 491 PA.  He added 31 doubles, as the power is evident, and while we’d like to see a better contact rate (20.0% strikeout rate) it’s not a significant red flag yet.  His home/road split is something that needs to be monitored, though: Read more

Which St. Louis Pitching Prospects Could Emerge In Alex Reyes’ Absence?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While the attention has fallen to Michael Wacha in the wake of the Alex Reyes news (click here for our look at him), St. Louis has three pitching prospects who have already made their MLB (either with the Cardinals or for another organization) currently on the 40 man roster.  They have another who was a minor league free agent signing, but at 25-years old there’s little doubt that at some point he’ll see time in the Majors.

Any one of these prospects could emerge and make an impact, as the team will likely be forced to go seven or eight starters deep.  Let’s take a quick look at each of them and try to determine who the best of the bunch is: Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): Arizona Diamondbacks: Is There Upside In A Rather Lackluster System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Some ill-advised trades (most notably the move to acquire Shelby Miller), as well as some prospects failing to reach expectations (like Archie Bradley) has left the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system in shambles.  There’s a new regime that will be tasked with rebuilding from the ground up, but they are inheriting what could be the worst farm system in the game in regards to high-end impact talent.  Is there anyone that possesses upside?  It’s hard to find, but let’s take a look:


1) Anthony Banda – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2017

Banda split time between Double and Triple-A last season, showing upside at both levels:

  • Double-A (76.1 IP) – 2.12 ERA. 1.28 WHIP, 9.90 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 1.09 GO/AO
  • Triple-A (73.2 IP) – 3.67 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 8.31 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 1.16 GO/AO

Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): St. Louis Cardinals: The System Is More Than Just Alex Reyes

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When you think of the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system all eyes fall on Alex Reyes, who is the premier prospect in the system.  However he’s not alone, as there are a few other potentially impact prospects (like Delvin Perez, who may be a few years away but immediately showed signs).  Who else should be getting attention?  Let’s take a look:


1) Alex Reyes – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A
ETA – Already Arrived

Reyes arrived in the Majors in 2016 with much fanfare, and while he did spend some time pitching out of the bullpen (12 appearances, 5 starts) he showed off his electric stuff en route to a 10.17 K/9.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t questions, as he continually has struggled to find his control:

  • High-A (2015) – 4.38
  • Double-A (2015) – 4.67
  • Triple-A (2016) – 4.41
  • Majors (2016) – 4.50

Read more

Transaction Review: Looking At The Prospects Involved In The Brandon Phillips Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After a lot of speculation, the Cincinnati Reds were finally able to trade away Brandon Phillips as they sent him to the Atlanta Braves for a pair of “prospects”.  In this case we use that term loosely, though would this be the first time that a player who wasn’t highly regarded proved capable of making an impact.  With that in mind, let’s take a look and try to determine if there is any upside:


LHP Andrew McKirahan
Now 27-years old, there are two significant issues hanging over him:

  • He missed the start of the 2015 season due to an 80-game PED suspension
  • He missed all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery

A career reliever, he does have impressive peripherals over his 127.0 innings in the minors with a 9.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 1.53 GO/AO.  He also has MLB experience (27.1 IP for the Braves in ’15) and could be a factor as a left-handed specialist if he could return to health.  That’s not a guarantee, however, and he’s unlikely to ascend to a late inning impact reliever. Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2017): Pittsburgh Pirates: Glasnow, Bell Lead A System Ready To Make An Impact

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Pirates are best known for their ability to take veteran castoff starters and help them enjoy a renaissance.  We’ve seen it time and time again, though they also have the ability to develop starters from within (i.e. Gerrit Cole).  There are a few new names on the precipice of joining the Pittsburgh rotation, while they also have several intriguing hitters, led by Josh Bell.  It”s an impressive system and one that could pay dividends in 2017:


1) Tyler Glasnow – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A
ETA – Already Arrived

Glasnow got his first taste of the Majors in 2016 (23.1 IP), after appearing in Double and Triple-A, struggling with his control at every stop:

  • Double-A (6.0 IP) – 9.00 BB/9
  • Triple-A (110.2 IP) – 5.04 BB/9
  • Majors (23.1 IP) – 5.01 BB/9

Read more