Archive for Rotoprofessor

Prospect Report: Will 2018 Be A Lost Season For Austin Hays, Or Does A September Impact Loom?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s been a miserable season for the Orioles’ Austin Hays, as he’s missed time with an ankle injury and struggled miserably when he’s been on the field.  On August 10 he was hitting just .224 with 6 HR over 192 AB at Double-A, but since then he’s potentially found his footing.  It’s not that he’s suddenly put together a big hitting streak, but he’s had two of his biggest games of the season:

  • August 14 – 3-3, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R
  • August 17 – 4-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R

Those two games have helped to raise his average to .246 (through August 17), though he’s been hitting better in August since returning from the DL (.364/.364/.667 over 8 games and 33 AB).  It’s not a very large sample size , but at least it gives us something the hang our hats on for a player who hit .329 with 32 HR just a year ago. Read more

Prospect Report: Can The Pirates’ Kevin Newman Deliver In ’18 Or Should He Be Ignored?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With shortstop Jordy Mercer hitting the DL with a calf strain the Pirates have decided to give 2015 first round pick Kevin Newman his first taste of the Majors.  Newman has shown a lot of promise at Triple-A this season hitting .302 with 4 HR, 35 RBI, 74 R and 28 SB, though there are also some concerns.  Let’s take a minute to get him to know him a little bit better and try to see if he could make an impact in ’18, or if he’s simply there to be a depth option and little else:

 

Power
Newman has never hit more than 5 HR in a season, though he’s added 30 doubles and 2 triples this season.  That shows that there could be a little bit of room for growth, though it’s not like he puts many balls in the air (32.9%) and that alone would limit his potential. As MLB.com notes:

The high contact rate has come with almost no power and it doesn’t appear likely that it will ever be a big part of his game. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 16, 2018)

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 Tuesday):

 

1) Eloy Jimenez – Chicago White Sox – Outfielder (1)
How much more does he have left to prove at Triple-A?  In 36 games he’s hit .348 with 11 HR and 26 RBI, showing an ability to make consistent contact (19 strikeouts).  The White Sox have said his promotion was coming close, and while they could keep him down until September it’s going to start to be harder and harder to justify.

We took a look recently at what we should expect from Jimenez upon his promotion to the Majors, which you can read by clicking hereRead more

In A “Lost” Year, Can Victor Robles Still Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It must pain Victor Robles to be sitting at Triple-A, staring at a virtually lost season, while Juan Soto is entrenching himself as a star in the Majors.  That was supposed to be Robles’ opportunity but injuries took it from him (a hyperextended elbow sidelined him for around three months), and now back on the field you would think that the Nationals could look toward him to inject a little more life into a team that’s quickly falling out of relevance.

The problem, of course, is that the surface numbers at Triple-A have been ugly for Robles:

.231 (18-78), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 R, 10 SB

Obviously we like to see that the speed is there, but how disappointed should we really be?  Is there hope in the underlying numbers that he can turn it around and still hit his way into a role in the Majors? Read more

Rest of the Season Projection: Taylor Ward Is Set To Arrive, But Can He Be A Difference Maker In 2018?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yesterday the news broke that Taylor Ward was being recalled by the Los Angeles Angels, likely taking over the full-time third base job.  There had been speculation of a callup over the past few days, but now that he’s officially set to join the team we need to determine what type of impact he could make over the rest of the season.

Considering the numbers he posted at Double and Triple-A, it’s easy to get excited:

  • Double-A – .345 (51-148), 6 HR, 25 RBI, 26 R, 8 SB
  • Triple-A – .352 (80-227), 8 HR, 35 RBI, 42 R, 10 SB

A catcher prior to 2018, Ward has seen an offensive explosion after being transitioned to third base this season.  While the pure numbers are impressive, his approach and underlying metrics only add to the appeal.  Just look at his SwStr% // LD% at each level as proof: Read more

Waiver Wire Guidelines: Touki Toussaint Will Debut Today, So What Should We Expect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Reports have the Braves’ Touki Toussaint being the team’s next young pitcher getting an opportunity to make his MLB debut.  Set to pitch Game 1 of Atlanta’s double header against the Marlins, he has made a strong case for the promotion considering his numbers pitching at both Double and Triple-A this season:

  • Double-A (86.0 IP) – 2.93 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 11.20 K/9, 3.77 BB/9
  • Triple-A (31.1 IP) – 2.01 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9.19 K/9, 3.73 BB/9

There’s no questioning the pure stuff or the ability to generate swings and misses, with an overall 12.6% SwStr% on the year.  He’s developed an impressive three pitch mix that gives him the stuff to thrive when he’s on, as MLB.com describes his arsenal by saying:

“He has a plus fastball that can touch the upper 90s at times and one of the best curveballs in the system, a true hammer that misses a ton of bats when he lands it for strikes. His changeup has gotten better and should be a solid third weapon for him.”

That’s where the “definitive” positives end, as the stuff and upside are there if he can show even decent control and enough groundballs.  The question is can he develop in both areas? Read more

Rest of Season Projection: With Eloy Jimenez’ Debut Imminent, What Can We Expect In 2018?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Eloy Jimenez has not been promoted yet, the White So are on record saying that is time is growing close.  As soon as he’s healthy (he’s been sidelined the past few days due to an illness) it’s not going to be long before he’s roaming the Chicago outfield.  With that in mind let’s take a look at what he’s done in ’18 and what type of production we can expect for his first taste of the Majors.

First, his numbers split between Double and Triple-A:

314 At Bats
.338 Batting Average (106 Hits)
18 Home Runs
60 RBI
52 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.388 On Base Percentage
.599 Slugging Percentage
.355 Batting Average on Balls in Play Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 9, 2018)

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 Tuesday):

 

1) Eloy Jimenez – Chicago White Sox – Outfielder (1)
Quite a stir was created recently when Jimenez was held out of the lineup at Triple-A, but it turned out that he was suffering from flu-like symptoms and not being promoted to the Majors.  That said a promotion appears to be imminent as he’s hitting .376 with 8 HR (and 9 doubles) over 109 AB while also making consistent contact (14 K).  Further flaming the fire is this quote from the White Sox player development director Chris Getz, courtesy of Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune: Read more

After Struggling In The Majors, What Should We Expect From Kyle Tucker Moving Forward?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After struggling in the Majors (.156 with 0 HR and 1 SB over 45 AB) it would’ve been easy for the Astros’ Kyle Tucker to slump upon being demoted to Triple-A.  He understandably could’ve been disappointed, having hoped that he’d never be returning back in the minor leagues.  However he’s done just the opposite, posting three multi-hit games in his first five (7-22 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R and 2 SB) since his demotion.  It gives a sense of hope that he can recover and return with a vengeance, though that’s not to say that the production hasn’t come without it’s questions.

He’s already struck out 7 times, compared to just 2 walks.  That has always been a risk, as he owns a 12.4% SwStr% at Triple-A this season though just a 19.4% strikeout rate.  It’s something to watch, because entering the season that was the biggest concern hanging over him after posting a 13.2% SwStr% between High-A and Double-A a year ago. Read more

Fantasy Waiver Worthy: Will The Rays’ Brandon Lowe Be Able to Make An Impact In The Majors?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After thriving at both Double and Triple-A the Rays’ recalled Brandon Lowe.  The question is, will he be able to make an impact?  Before we answer that let’s look at the numbers he’s posted thus far in the minors:

  • Double-A (199 AB) – .291, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 37 R, 8 SB
  • Triple-A (181 AB) – .304, 14 HR, 35 RBI, 36 R, 0 SB

He only hit 11 HR over 410 AB last season, so it would be easy to say that the power isn’t sustainable.  However he added 39 doubles and 4 triples last year and already had 31 doubles and 1 triple this season.  With that type of extra base power it’s hard to argue against the pace he set at Double-A (which would be in the 23-27 HR range).

For a player who posted HR/FB of 9.2% and 8.0% at High-A and Double-A, respectively, last season he’s seen the mark balloon to 14.3% at Double-A and 25.0% at Triple-A.  He is 24-years old and clearly has extra base power, so seeing him grow/mature into an improved mark is believable.  The Triple-A mark seems extreme, but we’re buying all the same. Read more