Archive for Rotoprofessor

September Callups 2017: Hitter Six-Pack: Who Will Get An Opportunity (Verdugo, Candelario & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Whether you like the September roster expansion or not, there’s little doubt that it affords some opportunity to young players who may not get it otherwise.  Of course all situations aren’t created equal, and just because a young player is recalled doesn’t mean that they are going to get a chance to play regularly.  Let’s take a look at a few players who we’d expect to be recalled and determine what type of potential opportunity they will be given:

 

Jeimer Candelario – Detroit Tigers
There has been talk about Nick Castellanos shifting to the outfield, which obviously would be one way to get Candelario into the MLB lineup.  However with Victor Martinez potentially lost for the season there’s another avenue available, not to mention the suspension/struggles for Miguel Cabrera.  It would appear like Candelario is a lock to find his way into the MLB lineup not long after September 1, and he is one of the few who have the potential to see regular AB down the stretch. Read more

Is The White Sox’ Alec Hansen Emerging As A Top Pitching Prospect Or A Disaster In Waiting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The White Sox have accumulated a lot of prospects, and that depth has allowed 2016 second round pick Alec Hansen to fly relatively under-the-radar.  That’s about to change, as he’s recently been promoted to Double-A and has posted gaudy strikeout numbers in his first full professional season.  Among the minor league leaders, he has shown his stuff at two levels of Single-A thus far:

  • Single-A (72.2 IP) – 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 11.39 K/9, 2.85 BB/9
  • High-A (58.1 IP) – 2.93 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 12.65 K/9, 3.86 BB/9

The 22-year old always had the potential to move quickly, with the biggest question being whether or not the 6’7” righty could consistently throw strikes.  As MLB.com stated:

“Hansen doesn’t always show that kind of arsenal and has little history of throwing strikes because his upper and lower halves get out of sync in his delivery and he doesn’t stay online to the plate. Chicago kept things simple in his pro debut, having him focus on staying taller and getting the ball out of his glove more quickly, and the results were impressive.” Read more

Getting to Know: Will The Reds’ Tyler Mahle Make The Most Of His Opportunity?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Reds’ rotation has been a bit of a carousel all season long, as the team takes a look at both veterans and an array of rookies.  While they’ve found some potential gems (like Luis Castillo), there are still obvious rotation opportunities for 2018 and beyond.  The next up to get a look is Tyler Mahle, who has thrived between Double and Triple-A this season and will be recalled to start on Sunday.  Can he make the most of his opportunity?  Let’s take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Reds’ #7 Prospect

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 22

2017 Statistics:
Double-A – 85.0 IP, 1.59 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 9.21 K/9, 1.80 BB/9
Triple-A – 59.1 IP, 2.73 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 7.74 K/9, 1.97 BB/9

What Others Have Said:
Mahle is a command and control specialist, albeit it one with decent stuff. His fastball typically sits in the low 90s, but he adds and subtracts frequently, reaching as high as 96 mph when he wants to. He throws two distinct breaking balls and has good feel for a changeup, though all of his secondary stuff grades out as Major League average. When he’s at his best, he sets up hitters and mixes his pitches well, though he can rely on his plus-plus fastball command too much at times. Read more

Pushing For A Promotion: J.P. Crawford’s Second Half Resurgence Deserves Our Attention

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a lot of hype surrounding J.P. Crawford heading into the season, but he was horrendous in the first half stumbling to a .211 average with 6 HR, 34 RBI and 40 R over 279 AB.  It was easy to write him off and forget about him, but things dramatically changed in the past few weeks.

Since the Triple-A All-Star Break he’s slashing .292/.374/.519, and you can argue that his success goes back even further than that:

  • July – .281 with 8 HR, 18 RBI, 21 R
  • August – .297 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R

He had hit just 2 HR over the first three months, but since the calendar turned to July he’s been an extra base machine (9 doubles, 4 triples and 11 HR).  The development of his power has helped to spike his rebound, because he’s actually shown good plate discipline all season long (17.4% strikeout rate, 13.6% walk rate entering play on Wednesday) with his 5.3% SwStr%. Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Angels Edition: Is A Top 50 Prospect Emerging From The Weak System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We often overlook the Angels’ farm system, as it certainly isn’t one of the more impressive in baseball.  That said there is a potential gem emerging, though another potential productive player fading, so let’s take a quick look and identify who deserves our attention:

 

Jahmai Jones – Outfielder
He was our preseason #1 ranked prospect in the system, though he received just a “B” grade.  However he’s outperformed that as he’s split time between two levels of Single-A and looked good at each:

  • Single-A (346 AB) – .272 with 9 HR, 30 RBI, 54 R and 18 SB
  • High-A (122 AB) – .344 with 4 HR, 13 RBI, 26 R and 8 SB

He’s added 27 doubles and 6 triples, showing that he’s tapping into his power more than expected.  As MLB.com said, “He’ll use a refined up-the-middle approach and he’s already starting to grow into his power, showing the ability to backspin balls into the right-center field gap.” Read more

Ace Emerging? Could The Astros Forrest Whitley Develop Into A Top Starter?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

In his first full season of professional baseball, 2016 first round draft pick Forrest Whitley is making quick work of the minor leagues.  He’s already pitched at three levels, including making his Double-A debut on Thursday, and has impressed with each step.  Over 83.2 IP all he’s done is post a 2.80 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 13.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

His first start at Double-A may have been his post impressive, striking out 11 over 6.0 shutout innings.  Just to put his stamp on the performance he gave up just 2 H without walking a batter.  The most impressive number we can point to this season is that walk rate, as it is generally the last thing to develop for a 6’7” pitcher, especially one who was drafted out of high school.  However he’s actually improved with each promotion:

  • Single-A – 4.1 BB/9 over 46.1 IP
  • High-A – 2.6 BB/9 over 31.1 IP
  • Double-A – 0.0 BB/9 over 6.0 IP

Only twice has he walked more than 4 batters in a game this season, just further bringing belief that he can maintain the mark. Read more

Could The Twins’ Mitch Garver Make An Impact In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Twins’ catcher Mitch Garver may have been a surprising inclusion in our recent Top 10 Prospects on the Cusp list, but his strong showing at Triple-A this season warranted his inclusion.  Over 87 games (315 AB) he’s hitting a solid .289 to go along with 17 HR and 44 RBI, and with the lack of production that the team has received in the Majors the 26-year old has to be under consideration for a promotion.

A ninth round draft pick in 2014, he appears to be maturing and growing into his power.  He’s added 28 doubles this season, after hitting 42 extra base hits in 434 AB a year ago (30 doubles and 12 HR).  He entered Tuesday with a 20.5% HR/FB, so it’s fair to question whether or not he can maintain this type of pace, but he’s been fairly consistent:

  • First Half – HR every 17.75 AB
  • Second Half – HR every 20.40 AB

Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 16, 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) Willie Calhoun – Texas Rangers – Second Baseman (NR)
Acquired as part of the Yu Darvish trade, the biggest news is that since arriving in Texas Calhoun has been utilized almost exclusively in left field.  With Rougned Odor entrenched at second base and Texas left fielders holding the third worst SLG in baseball (.354), to go along with equally miserable .230 AVG and .323 OBP, it makes sense that the Rangers hope to create an alternative. Read more

Pushing For A Promotion: Why We May Not See Brent Honeywell In 2017, Despite His Success

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that the Rays are notoriously cautious with their pitching prospects, requiring them to spend ample time at Triple-A before summoning them to the Majors.  Considering Brent Honeywell has now made 21 starts (112.0 IP) at the level you would think that he has reached the mandated limit, but even if he hadn’t you would think that he’s forcing the issue.

After twirling 6.0 shutout innings on Sunday he’s now posted seven straight starts allowing 2 ER or fewer (and he’s allowed 0 ER in four of them).  This stretch has brought his ERA down from 4.91 on June 29 all the way to 3.54.  Over these 38.2 IP all he’s done is post 50 K vs. 7 BB, while also generating more than enough groundballs:

  • July – 1.46 GO/AO
  • August – 1.00 GO/AO

Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Just How Impressive Is Eloy Jimenez & 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):

 

Eloy Jimenez – Outfielder – Chicago White Sox
We all knew the type of potential and upside he has, but Jimenez has taken it to another level since being acquired as part of the Jose Quintana deal.  Just look at the numbers, split between two different High-A teams:

TeamABAVGHRRBIRSLG
Cubs155.27183223.490
White Sox100.38082620.750
Read more