Archive for Rotoprofessor

Trade Deadline Fallout: Is There Any Value In the Giants’ Return For Eduardo Nunez?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It should come as no surprise that the Red Sox acquired a player capable of manning 3B, though early indications are that they will still give Rafael Devers an opportunity to claim the spot (and he took a step towards that yesterday, connecting on his first home run).  Eduardo Nunez provides depth, in case he struggles, but also can play across the diamond and be utilized in a key utility role.  As far as the cost, let’s take a quick look at who Boston had to part with in return:

 

Shaun Anderson – Right Handed Pitcher
A 2016 third round pick, Anderson has the prototypical size for a starting pitcher (6’4”, 225 lbs.) and has fared well across two levels of Single-A.  Over 97.1 IP he owns a 3.42 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.  However the process of turning him into a viable starter could be a long one, as he was utilized as a reliever in college.  The stuff is there, as MLB.com described:

“Anderson has enough pitches to make it as a starter and the Red Sox want to see what he can do in that role. He has some feel for a fading changeup and can mix in a decent curveball to give hitters a different look. He lives in the strike zone and is tough to hit when he uses his tall frame to create downhill plane.” Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (July 26, 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 Sunday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

 

1) Lewis Brinson – Milwaukee Brewers – Outfielder (2)
Milwaukee finally grew frustrated enough with Keon Broxton to send him down to Triple-A to work out the issues.  While Brett Phillips is currently getting a chance to fill the void, it shouldn’t be long until Brinson’s time comes.  The Brewers are freefalling, and while Brinson hasn’t been hitting for power he is hitting .364 over his past 10 games and more importantly has just 7 K vs. 5 BB over this stretch (44 AB). Read more

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: Is There Still Reason To Believe In Lucas Giolito?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just when we thought Lucas Giolito had finally figured things out, the once hyped prospect has quickly regressed once again.  Over his past two starts he’s allowed 8 ER on 10 H and 7 BB over 6.2 IP, and while one start does skew the numbers a bit (5 ER over 1.2 IP) it’s been an ugly stretch overall…

In fact it’s been an ugly season for Giolito, who owns a 5.38 ERA and 1.49 WHIP over 19 starts at Triple-A.  We always talk about three skills we look for from a starting pitcher, and Giolito has flashed just one of them this season:

  • Strikeouts – 9.84 K/9
  • Walks – 4.45 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 40.5%

The lack of groundballs is a bit of a change, as he had consistently shown more in that regard in previous seasons in the minors (GO/AO): Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Is The Diamondbacks’ Daulton Varsho The Next J.T. Realmuto?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Often times we overlook recent draft picks, especially those selected after the first round.  Clearly they don’t have the necessary pedigree to thrive immediately, right?  While the Diamondbacks’ Daulton Varsho wasn’t a 30th round draft pick, the catcher selected #68 overall in the 2017 draft is quickly trying to establish himself as one of the premier prospects from the draft class.

Through Friday the 21-year old catcher was hitting .349 with 3 HR, 24 RBI, 14 R and 3 SB over 86 AB at Low-A.  Obviously outside of the average nothing there is going to particularly stand out, but as you dig a little bit deeper things get more and more impressive (and none of them include his pedigree, as he’s the son of former MLBer Gary Varsho).

While he hasn’t hit a significant number of home runs, he’s added 7 doubles and 2 triples (leading to a .581 SLG).  It shows that there’s more power to tap into, and while he may not profile as a 30+ HR catcher he could certainly mature into a 12-15 HR option (with maybe 20 HR possible). Read more

Grading the Prospects: Is There Any Value In The Four Prospect Package In The David Phelps Trade?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Marlins got plenty of quantity in exchange for David Phelps, netting a four player package from Seattle.  However is there any quality in the group?  Let’s take a look:

 

Brayan Hernandez – Outfielder
Current Grade – C

You can call him the headliner, as he was our preseason #8 prospect for the Mariners.  Of course he was graded as just a C+ prospect so it would’ve been impossible to call him a “jewel” and things have gotten worse.  He’s only played in 31 games (28 at High-A and 3 at Triple-A this season) but he’s clearly underwhelmed, hitting .259 with 8 extra bases hits (2 doubles, 4 triples and 2 home runs) and 5 SB.  He’s still just 19-years old (he’ll turn 20 in September) so there is time for him to develop, but a 23.2% strikeout rate vs. a 6.3% walk rate at High-A is a bit concerning. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (July 20, 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 Sunday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

1) Amed Rosario – New York Mets – Shortstop (1)
We continue to wait for his arrival, and while it’s frustrating his time should come before we know it.  There appears to be little reason for being pinned at Triple-A, as he’s in the middle of a 12-game hitting streak (22-54, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 15 R, 4 SB).  He’s not going to be much of a source of power (17 doubles, 7 triples, 7 home runs), but his value comes from his speed and pure ability to hit.  While you can argue that his .329 average isn’t realistic (.371 BABIP), he’s hitting the ball hard (21.7% line drive rate) and showing enough of an ability to make consistent contact (10.4% SwStr%, 14.9% strikeout rate). Read more

Grading the Prospects In The Yankees/White Sox Blockbuster

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For a team not expected to compete for another year or two, it was a mild surprise that the Yankees were willing to trade away four players (three prospects) in an effort to take advantage and go for it in ’17.  That said, both David Robertson (2018) and Tommy Kahnle (2018-2020) are more than rentals and Todd Frazier represents an obvious upgrade, even with his lackluster numbers, over the mess that the team has been marching out at 1B.

New York also has plenty of depth in their system, and were able to swing the deal without giving up the true top prizes they’ve accumulated.  There is still a lot of upside in Chicago’s return, so let’s take a look:

 

Blake Rutherford – Outfielder
A first round pick in 2016, Rutherford was ranked #7 on our preseason Yankee prospect list and has fared well at Single-A in ’17 hitting .281 with 2 HR and 9 SB over 274 AB.  Still just 20-years old he has driven the ball into the ground a lot (51.4% groundball rate), but there is reason to believe that the left-handed hitter will grow and mature into power in time.  Just look at the description of his approach/swing courtesy of MLB.com: Read more

Grading The Prospects In The J.D. Martinez Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yesterday we learned that J.D. Martinez was sent to Arizona for a three prospect package.  Martinez is a rental, which is going to limit the return, and helped Arizona to acquire him despite a relative lack of upside in their system.  That said, even in receiving just one of Arizona’s Top 10 prospects there is some intrigue heading to Detroit.  Let’s take a look:

 

Dawel Lugo – Third Baseman
Lugo is the best of the trio of prospects that the Tigers acquired, ranking as Arizona’s fourth best prospect prior to the season.  That said, there were concerns about his power potential and eye at the plate and that hasn’t changed much despite a strong performance at Double-A (.282, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 40 R, 1 SB).  He has added 21 doubles and 4 triples, while also reducing his groundball rate (45.3% in ’17), so there are at least signs of him tapping into the power. Read more

Why The Twins’ Nick Gordon Fell Short Of Our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospect List

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Twins’ Nick Gordon has often been a hyped prospect, which makes sense as the fifth overall selection in the 2014 draft.  It’s been a slow climb through the system, though the 21-year old has reached Double-A this season and it would appear that he’s started to put things together:

.301 (102-339), 6 HR, 48 RBI, 53 R, 10 SB

Considering those numbers and his pedigree, why is it that he fell short of our Midseason Top 50 prospect rankings?  There are actually several reasons where it would appear that the underlying metrics do not support the surface numbers.

The first problem, and probably the biggest, comes from his average.  While he’s hitting .301 he entered Sunday benefiting from a .382 BABIP.  He has the speed to maintain an elevated mark (though not elite), but this is extreme and is likely to regress.  When coupled with the rise in strikeouts, the warning bells should be ringing:

  • Single-A (2015) – 16.4%
  • High-A (2016) – 17.6%
  • Double-A (2017) – 22.5%

Read more

2017 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects: Three New Names In Top 5 & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the second half of the MLB season underway, now is the perfect time to update our Top 50 prospect rankings.  As you would expect there have been significant changes from the preseason, as there have been several graduations as well as some breakout performances.

Whose stock is rising?  How does the top of our rankings shake out?  Let’s take a look: Read more