Archive for Rotoprofessor

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Los Angeles Angels: Maitan Brings A Boost To A Still Lackluster System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Los Angeles Angels never seem to boast an impressive system, though they made a significant splash this offseason.  Not only did they add Shoei Ohtani (who you can argue isn’t truly a “prospect), but after Kevin Maitan became a free agent after the fallout in Atlanta they were able to scoop him up to.  The latter is a bit of a coup, giving them a true centerpiece for a farm system that still lacks upside depth.  Is there anyone worth watching beyond the top two or three?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Shohei Ohtani – Right-Handed Pitcher/Outfielder
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

We all know the story and you can argue that his inclusion on this list is more technicality than anything.  He comes to the U.S. after impressing in Japan, with the intrigue coming as to how he’ll produce spending time as both a hitter and pitcher.  There’s no questioning the upside, as he could be a Top 10 starter as soon as this season, though there’s obviously some risk involved as we’ve seen pitchers struggle upon transitioning before. Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Houston Astros: Is The Value Behind The Two Elite Prospects?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is no question that the Astros own two of the elite prospects in the game with a handful of other intriguing options behind them.  After that?  Things get murky, in part thanks to the trades they’ve made en route to a World Series title and the upcoming pursuit of another one.  Obviously no one is going to complain, as flags fly forever, but it’s something to keep in mind as we explore what’s left.  Who has the upside?  Who could take a step forward in ’18?  Let’s take a look at how things currently stack up:

 

1) Kyle Tucker – Outfielder
ETA – 2018
Grade – A

Splitting time between High-A and Double-A Tucker hit .274 with 25 HR and 21 SB.  He backed up the power with 33 doubles and 5 triples, showing that there’s potentially more upside (he could pop a 30 HR season at any time) and there’s little reason to think that the speed will completely disappear.  Maybe he doesn’t steal 20+ bases annually, but he has 10+ SB potential. Read more

Getting To Know: Heath Fillmyer: Is There Upside In The Royals’ Newest Prospect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Kansas City Royals are clearly a team in rebuilding mode, so it made sense to ship out Brandon Moss (you can argue Ryan Buchter, but he was unlikely to factor into a ninth inning role).  In return they obtained Jesse Hahn, a 28-year old who will challenge for a spot in the rotation (though holds little upside) and Heath Fillmyer.  Who is Fillmyer, the one prospect exchanged in the trade?  Let’s take a look and get to know him:

Rotoprofessor Rankings – Unranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 23

2017 Statistics:
Double-A – 149.2 IP, 3.49 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 6.92 K/9, 3.07 BB/9

What Others Have Said:
Fillmyer has a quick arm and typically throws his fastball in the 92-96 mph range with good sinking action that nets him ground-ball outs and results in few home runs. He has a pair of above-average secondary offerings in a curveball, which he throws with tight spin and late bite, and a changeup, a pitch he made big strides with last season. Improved feel for repeating his delivery has led to him throwing more strikes, though he regressed with both his control and command in his first full Double-A campaign. – MLB.com Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): San Francisco Giants: Finding Upside In An Underwhelming System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one is going to confuse the San Francisco Giants’ system as one of the better groups in the league, though there are some prospects that could see their stock rise significantly with a strong 2018.  Will they turn into “A” prospects?  Probably not, but both #2 and #3 on our list could enter the “B+” realm and prove to be potential difference makers at the next level.  Who are they?  Is there any other value?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Chris Shaw – First Baseman/Outfielder
ETA – 2018
Grade – B

Shaw’s calling card is his power, which he put on display in ’17 while splitting time between Double-A (154 PA) and Triple-A (360 PA):

  • Double-A – 10 doubles, 6 HR
  • Triple-A – 25 doubles, 1 triple, 18 HR

Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (2018): Milwaukee Brewers (Post-Yelich Trade): Who Steps Up For Depleted System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one was ever going to confuse the Brewers’ system with one of the elite in the game, and things took a further hit with their trade for Christian Yelich yesterday (not that it’s a bad thing).  Gone are two of the team’s previous Top 5 prospects, including the former #1 (Lewis Brinson).  Who steps up?  Is there any under-the-radar value?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Corbin Burnes – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018

It was an eye-opening season for Burnes, who split time between High-A and Double-A and posted a 1.67 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  Before we point towards luck concerns (.265 BABIP, 81.4% strand rate), it’s important to note that he displayed all of the skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 8.65 K/9
  • Control – 2.22 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 51.4%

Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (Post Yelich Trade): Miami Marlins: One Huge Leap For An Improved System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Marlins were already considered to own one of the worst farm systems in baseball, yet they still thought it was a prudent decision to trade Luis Castillo prior to ’17. How does that look today? After the trade of Christian Yelich he no longer would likely slot atop the system (though he’d be close).  It took awhile but the Marlins finally were able to get a big return from one of their assets, recouping an impressive four prospect package.  How do things now look?  Let’s dig in:

 

1) Lewis Brinson – Outfielder
Grade – A-
ETA – Already Arrived

The biggest question facing Brinson as he’s developed is his ability to command the strike zone and make consistent contact.  That took a step forward at Triple-A in ’17, with an 18.2% strikeout rate and 9.4% walk rate over 340 PA.  Those marks came courtesy of a respectable 10.2% SwStr%, a significant improvement over his 13.6% from ’16.  Considering the level it speaks volumes, and while he did struggle in the Majors (17.4% SwStr%, 40.2% O-Swing%) it was a short sample and we need to afford him time to adjust. Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): San Diego Padres: Pitching Dominates One Of The Elite Systems

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Through the draft, international signings and savvy trades the Padres have emerged as owning one of the premier farm systems in baseball.  They are loaded with impressive pitchers, giving hope that they could form a dominant rotation within the next 2-3 years.  In other systems someone like MacKenzie Gore or Cal Quantrill would be the clear top prospect, but not here as they also have found one of the budding young hitting stars in the game.  How do things rank?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Fernando Tatis Jr. – Shortstop
ETA – 2019
Grade – A

Tatis did get a taste of Double-A last season (57 PA), but he spent most of the year as an 18-year old at Single-A posting impressive numbers:

.281 (121-431), 21 HR, 69 RBI, 78 R, 29 SB Read more

Is Gleyber Torres Truly A Can’t Miss Prospect Or Could He Be The Next Addison Russell?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Everyone loves Gleyber Torres and there’s little question that he’s among the premier prospects in the game.  However no one should be assuming that he’s a lock to hit the ground running and emerge as a can’t miss option upon his arrival.  Why, you ask?  Let’s look no further than Addison Russell as a potential cautionary tale…

Remember Russell was long considered among the elite prospects in the game, but having spent time in the Majors over the past three seasons he’s generally underwhelmed (.240 with 46 HR over 1,506 PA).  Will Torres be better than Russell?  Is there a reason we are drawing this comparison?  Let’s take a look:

What has been the biggest issue for Russell since arriving in the Majors?  A 13.2% SwStr%, which has led to a 24.9% strikeout rate over his career.  Obviously both levels Torres played at in ’17 were short sample sizes and he played the season as a 20-year old, but we can’t overlook the numbers:

  • Double-A (139 PA) – 15.1% strikeout rate, 9.5% SwStr%
  • Triple-A (96 PA) – 27.1% strikeout rate, 16.0% SwStr%

Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Los Angeles Dodgers: Are The “Top” Prospects (Buehler/Verdugo) Over-Hyped?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one is going to say that the Dodgers’ farm system lacks talent, but that doesn’t mean that the players generally viewed as the “studs” aren’t over-hyped.  There are questions hanging over each of them, which is represented in their grades, but they are joined with a lot of intriguing talent that could ultimately prove to be better prospects long-term.  Who are the team’s best?  Where do Buehler and Verdugo fit?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Walker Buehler – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B+

Buehler saw his stock rise significantly in 2017, pitching across three levels in the minor leagues before making eight appearances out of the LA bullpen.  In 88.2 IP in the minors he showed impressive skills across the board:

  • Strikeouts – 12.69 K/9 (12.6% SwStr%)
  • Control – 3.15 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 54.3%

Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Colorado Rockies: An Emerging System Flush With Intriguing Bats

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When we talk about some of the better minor league systems in the league the Colorado Rockies isn’t generally one that garners much attention.  That’s a mistake, however, as they’ve started to develop a slew of intriguing young hitters who should start making an impact in 2018.  While the pitching is a little bit behind, that’s something we’ve come to expect (and they also graduated a few of their more intriguing arms in recent years).  Which young hitters are most intriguing?  Let’s take a look:

 

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

Rodgers has long been viewed as the heir apparent to Troy Tulowitzki, and while Trevor Story’s breakout changed the narrative a few years ago that no longer is a deterrent.  Rodgers looked the part in ’17, splitting time between High-A and Double-A:

.336 (125-372), 18 HR, 64 RBI, 64 R, 2 SB Read more