Archive for Rotoprofessor

Updated Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects: An Elite System Just Got Better (Including New #1)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

By now we all know that the White Sox pulled off another coup, getting a prospect bounty in exchange for Jose Quintana (among the four prospect package were the top two from our preseason Chicago Cubs rankings).  You can argue that their pitching prospects are among the best in baseball, after the slew of talent they’ve acquired since the offseason, and they also now have two of the top offensive prospects in the game.  Just how do the new prospects fit into the team’s Top 10?  Let’s take an updated look at the group:

 

1) Eloy Jimenez – Outfielder
Current Grade – A

This is a mild upset, and most will disagree.  He’s been limited to 42 games at High-A this season, but the newest acquisition has as much upside as anyone in the game.  His power is still developing, though he’s coming off a season where he had 57 extra base hits (40 doubles, 3 triples, 14 HR) and it’s just a matter of time before the 20-year old fully taps into it.  More impressive is his improving plate discipline, as he’s posted a 20.1% strikeout rate vs. 10.3% walk rate thus far.  The walks are a big jump from his mark in ’16 at Single-A (5.4%) and helps to show his development.  He is a year or two away, but he could be special. Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Why Walker Buehler May Not Be A Top 20 Prospect Yet

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Dodgers’ Walker Buehler may have seen his stock rise more than any player in baseball thus far.  Our preseason #7 Dodgers’ prospect (B- grade) has seen his name included in many of the mid-year Top 50/Top 100 lists (and in many cases ranking inside the Top 20), and for good reason.  Just look at the impressive numbers he’s posted:

LevelIPERAWHIPK/9BB/9GB%
High-A16.11.100.8014.882.7653.6%
Double-A45.12.981.0811.122.3852.3%

That’s the full skill set that we look for, though it doesn’t mean that there aren’t questions facing the soon to be 23-year old.

The big thing that we’ll watch is his ability to work deep into games.  Thus far he hasn’t gone more than 5.1 innings, as the Dodgers limit his workload after he missed most of ’16 due to Tommy John surgery (5.0 IP).  It’s not a major red flag at this point, given the circumstances, but it’s also not something to ignore since there were already questions about his ability to handle a starters workload. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (July 12, 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 (3)
With all the talk of how poor the Mets infield defense has been and the team having little reason to continue rolling the likes of Jose Reyes out there every day, a promotion for Rosario should be imminent (should is the key word here, as most would argue it should’ve come weeks ago).  Viewed as a plus defender, he also has little left to prove at the dish.  Currently hitting .327 with 7 HR (as well as 16 doubles and 7 triples) and 16 SB, including hitting .378 over his past 10 games and a 15.5% strikeout rate, and the time has come for his arrival.  If he’s not up right after the All-Star Break, you would think it wouldn’t be long after. 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:

 

Jimmie Sherfy – Arizona Diamondbacks
The questions are growing regarding Fernando Rodney, and while the Diamondbacks already have an alternative in the Majors (Archie Bradley) this is his first season operating in a relief role.  That’s not necessarily a knock, but the team is lucky enough to have a potential late inning reliever blossoming at Triple-A.

Over 32.1 IP in ’17 Sherfy has 41 K vs. 3 BB, with the strikeouts coming courtesy of a 12.6% SwStr%.  Those numbers have led to a 1.39 ERA and 0.74 WHIP, making you think that he’s a lock to produce upon reaching the Majors.  That said, there are some questions that need to be answered: Read more

Preseason Top 10 Third Baseman Rankings Review: Has Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Emerged As Top Prospect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The minor league All Star games are starting to roll in, making this a good time to start taking a look back at our preseason rankings.  Whose value appears to be on the rise?  Whose value is plummeting?  Let’s take a look (please note all stats are through Thursday, unless otherwise noted):

 

 

1) Nick Senzel – Cincinnati Reds
Preseason Grade – A-
Current Grade – A-

After being drafted we all knew Senzel could move quickly through the Reds’ system and having already been promoted to Double-A he’s backing it up.  The home run power hasn’t shown up yet, with 5 HR  while splitting time between High-A and Double-A, but there’s room for growth considering 28 doubles and 2 triples.  He’s also shown a tremendous sense of the strike zone (SwStr% // Strikeout Rate):

  • High-A – 9.1% // 19.9%
  • Double-A – 10.8% // 24.1%

Freshly turned 22-years old, the power should continue to develop and with it will come value.  There’s no reason to change our grade at this point.  Read more

Forget Me Not: Has The Astros’ Colin Moran Re-Emerged As A Viable Prospect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a time that the Astros’ Colin Moran was viewed among the better prospects in the game.  While he disappeared from the upper echelon landscape, repeating Triple-A he’s suddenly reemerged on the map (.295 with 17 HR and 59 RBI over 264 AB).  Prior to 2014, when he was still part of the Marlins’ organization, Baseball America ranked him as the 61st best prospect in baseball.  While he fell short of Prospect 361’s Top 100 list, they had him ranked as the Marlins’ fourth best prospect saying:

“Assuming Moran stays at third base, he has a ceiling of a first division starter with a future projection of 15-20 home runs and a .300 average with a high on base percentage.  That’s the profile as a number two hitter, but based on his size and position, most managers will bat him down in the order.  Moran is a below average runner now and will only lose speed as he fills out.”

At the Trade Deadline that season Moran was dealt to Houston, along with Jake Marisnick, and things appeared to be trending in the right direction.  He had never developed power, but he hit .306 with a .381 OBP at Double-A in ’15.  While he did reach the Majors last season, the results in his first taste of Triple-A were hardly what had been expected: Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (July 5, 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) Rafael Devers – Boston Red Sox – Third Baseman (6)
After missing a few days with a minor injury Devers is back in the lineup and raking (9-17, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R over five games, before going 2-5 with 1 HR and 4 RBI on Monday).  He has little left to prove at Double-A, so the question is whether he will indeed get pushed to Triple-A or instead right to the Majors to see if he can fill the team’s obvious hole.  Boston has two veterans at 3B biding their time, but does anyone believe that they are the answer?  Just look at their slashes for the Red Sox’ Triple-A team:

  • Jhonny Peralta – .222/.211/.444
  • Pablo Sandoval – .220/.264/.340

Read more

Prospect Stock Report: 2016 First Round Selections: Senzel, Pint & 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 Sunday):

 

Nick Senzel – Cincinnati Reds – Third Baseman
The second overall pick in last year’s draft, there were high expectations entering the season.  While 4 HR over 246 AB at High-A may not catch your eye, the overall skillset was impressive and led to a promotion to Double-A.  In fact, outside of the actual home run total what is there not to excite us?

He’s added 26 doubles and 2 triples, showing that the potential is there to further tap into his power…

He hit .305, showing an ability to make consistent contact (9.1% SwStr%) and hit the ball hard (22.7% line drive rate, leading to a .350 BABIP)…

He showed an ability to steal some bases (9 SB in 11 attempts)… Read more

Preseason Top 10 Second Baseman Rankings Review: Moncada’s Stock Slips, But Others Also Disappoint

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The minor league All Star games are starting to roll in, making this a good time to start taking a look back at our preseason rankings.  Whose value appears to be on the rise?  Whose value is plummeting?  Let’s take a look (please note all stats are through Thursday, unless otherwise noted):

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox
Preseason Grade – A
Current Grade – A-

There’s a lot of talent and a lot to like, but there’s a reason Moncada has been pinned at Triple-A all season despite an obvious need in the Majors.  Yes he’s up to 10 HR and 15 SB, but he hasn’t had many extra base hits in general (9 doubles and 3 triples) and has struggled with strikeouts (12.5% SwStr%).  He’s also shown little growth in the strikeout department as the season has progressed:

  • April – 30 K in 86 AB
  • May – 20 K in 71 AB
  • June – 35 K in 103 AB

Read more

Getting to Know: Clint Frazier: Can The Newly Recalled Top Prospect Make An Instant Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

One of the Yankees big acquisitions at last year’s trade deadline, reports are that Clint Frazier will be summoned from Triple-A today (in the wake of Dustin Fowler’s season ending injury).  He’s shown a mix of power and speed, including 33 total extra base hits (19 doubles, 2 triples and 12 HR) over 272 AB, but is he a lock to thrive immediately in the Majors?  Let’s take a look and get to know him a little bit better:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Yankees’ #2 Prospect

Hits – Right-Handed

Age – 22

What We Said In The Preseason:
You know the Indians do not regret making the trade to acquire Andrew Miller at this point, though it’s possible that they come to at some point down the line.  Frazier was the centerpiece of the trade and he did show improvements this season to help get us excited.  Opening the year at Double-A he showed an improvement in his plate discipline, with a 22.0% strikeout rate and 10.5% walk rate.  The strikeouts did jump back up upon reaching Triple-A, both for the Indians (28.6% in 21 PA) and Yankees (27.8% in 108 PA), so it is something we will have to continue to monitor. Read more