Archive for Rotoprofessor

Getting To Know: Sam Travis: Can He Emerge As More Than Just A Platoon Player?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a bit of a surprise that the Red Sox summoned Sam Travis to the Majors, though it shows that they aren’t going to sit back and watch the season disappear.  It’s not like first base was a glaring area of need, with Mitch Moreland producing relatively well (.261/.357/.459), though there is room for improvement (and this move will only add to speculation of a Rafael Devers promotion, since third base is the obvious hole that needs filling).  Is Travis a step up, though?  Can he make an impact?  Let’s take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Red Sox #5 Prospect

Hits – Right-Handed

Age – 23

What We Said In The Preseason:
“A torn ACL limited him to 173 AB in ’16 at Triple-A, hitting .272 with 6 HR.  As a first baseman he’s going to need to hit for more power if he wants to be a viable option (10 HR in ’15), though he did have 42 doubles so the potential is there.  Of course there also is the potential for strikeout issues, with a 21.1% mark in his limited AB last season, which also is something to watch.  There’s potential, but his ceiling doesn’t seem to be all that high.” Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 24, 2017)

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 (please note all stats are through Monday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

1) Franklin Barreto – Oakland A’s – Shortstop (5)
After a fast start Adam Rosales’ production has plummeted (.219 with 1 HR in 64 AB in May).  There’s still no timetable for Marcus Semien’s return, and with the Super 2 deadline quickly approaching that should mean that Barreto’s arrival could be near. Read more

Prospect Report: Identifying A Pair Of Catching Prospects On Rise

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Catchers are often slow to develop offensively, and even when they arrive the wear and tear on the position makes it harder to produce.  That doesn’t make it impossible, though, and there are a pair of catchers currently improving their stock in fast order while playing at Double-A.  Who are they and just how high of a ceiling do they have?  Let’s take a look:

 

Tomas Nido – New York Mets
Prior to the season we were aggressive with our ranking of Nido, ranking him as the seventh best catching prospect (click here to view).  In April it wasn’t looking like it was a good decision, though as the calendar turned to May his bat has heated up at Double-A:

  • April – .196 (11-56) with 1 HR, 8 RBI and 4 R
  • May – .321 (17-53) with 2 HR, 11 RBI and 8 R

Overall he is hitting .257 with 3 HR, and he’s continuing to show the signs that caught our attention in ’16.  While he’s moved up to tougher competition, he’s continued to make regular contact with an 11.4% strikeout rate.  That’s going to be the key, because it’s definitely possible that he grows into his power, something that he was expected to produce when he was drafted. Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Identifying The Next D.J. LeMahieu & Jonathan Schoop

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

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 then to either soar or sink (all stats are through Saturday):

 

Max Schrock – Second Baseman – Oakland A’s
Playing at Double-A he’s hitting .276 with 5 HR, 15 RBI, 17 R and 3 SB over 152 AB.  His most impressive mark is his ability to make consistent contact, with an 11.11% strikeout rate.  After striking out 42 times over 534 AB across four levels in ’16, it’s obvious that it’s an attribute that will allow him to produce a strong average.

It doesn’t come with much power, at least not yet, though he did hit 32 doubles, 2 triples and 9 HR a year ago.  We can’t expect significant power, considering he’s listed at 5’8” and 180 pounds, though as MLB.com noted prior to the season there is a little bit of pop in his bat: Read more

Getting To Know: Rio Ruiz: With Freddie Freeman Sidelined, Can He Seize Opportunity?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Freddie Freeman lost for the foreseeable future and Adonis Garcia also on the DL, there is playing time available at the corner spots in Atlanta.  The team signed James Loney to a minor league deal, and it likely won’t be long before he arrives, but that shouldn’t mean that the recently recalled Rio Ruiz won’t get an opportunity.  For a rebuilding team it makes sense to see what the former fourth round draft pick can do.

Is there a chance he makes an impact?  Let’s take a quick look and try to figure it out:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Hits – Left-Handed

Age – 22 (turns 23 on May 22)

Thoughts:
Ruiz has never shown much power as he’s worked his way up through the minors, including hitting 10 HR in 465 AB at Triple-A in ’16.  Nothing has changed thus far in ’17, at least on the surface, as with 4 HR over 141 AB.  However he’s added 12 doubles and 1 triple, leading to a .447 SLG, and he’s seen his fly ball rate rise significantly: Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 17, 2017)

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 (please note all stats are through Monday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox – Second Baseman (1)
After showing improvements in his strikeout rate things have taken a turn in the wrong direction, with 6 K over 14 AB in his past three games (10 K over 31 AB in his past seven games).  That continues to hang over him and his 27.4% strikeout rate is a significant red flag.  He also continues to struggle to generate extra base hits, with just 11 overall (4 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs) and only three in his past 12 games (two of which came in one contest). Read more

Prospect Report: Will The Cardinals’ Luke Weaver Make An Impact In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After missing time early on this season due to a back injury, the Cardinals’ Luke Weaver has quickly made his presence felt (in three starts since returning he’s allowed 1 ER on 13 H and 1 BB, striking out 18, over 20.0 IP).  While the Cardinals’ rotation has been among the best in the game (they entered play on Monday with the second best ERA, at 3.42), sooner or later they are going to need an extra arm.  Could Weaver be ready to step into a role?

His time in the Majors last season was less than impressive, with a 5.70 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over 36.1 IP.  It’s easy to point towards poor luck as the reason for his struggles (.386 BABIP, 61.8% strand rate), but that wasn’t the only issue:

  • Line Drive Rate – 36.6%
  • Home Runs – 1.73 HR/9

Home runs are one of the biggest concerns he faces, with a minor league career 0.94 GO/AO.  Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 added a little bit more fuel to the fire prior to the season, as he said: Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Is Hoskins Emerging As An Elite Prospect & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

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 then to either soar or sink (all stats are through Saturday):

 

Chance Adams – New York Yankees – Right-Handed Pitcher
When it comes to Yankee prospects most of the attention generally goes to the hitters (Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, etc.), but Adams is doing what he can to grab our attention.  Recently promoted to Triple-A, Adams dominated Double-A hitters over 6 starts:

4-0, 35.0 IP, 1.03 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.23 K/9, 3.86 BB/9

They are impressive numbers, but there are a few important notes to make before simply pushing him towards the most intriguing pitching prospects in the game: Read more

Closers of the Future: Identifying Two Sleepers Who Could Emerge In 2017

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s not easy for a prospect to make the leap all the way to the closers role shortly after arriving in the Majors.  Teams tend to want some type of experience at the back of the bullpen, though there are times that pitchers have been able to force the issue (assuming the back of their team’s bullpen is in shambles).  There are a few relievers that are in situations where they could arrive quickly (due to recent injuries), so let’s take a look at who we should be watching:

 

Alberto Baldonado – New York Mets
The injury to Jeurys Familia has put a new spotlight on the Mets bullpen.  While Addison Reed is going to step into the closers role, at least for now, the rest of the group hardly makes you feel secure.  The bullpen owns a 4.29 ERA overall, though it has come with a 1.44 WHIP and 53 BB over 126.0 IP.  There is going to be opportunity for someone to rise, maybe even as far as the ninth inning, and Alberto Baldonado is an intriguing arm that is making a strong push. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 10, 2017)

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 (please note all stats are through Monday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox – Second Baseman (1)
Tyler Saladino continues to underwhelm, helping White Sox second baseman to own the fourth lowest SLG in the league (.300) and be tied for the second fewest RBI (5).  The team is starting to utilize Yolmer Sanchez at the spot, which really should be all you need to know. Read more