Archive for Rotoprofessor

Breakout Prospect: Will The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins Emerge As A Top Prospect In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Orioles are not a team particularly deep on high level prospects and things will get even shallower with Trey Mancini (#5 ranked prospect) in the Majors and set to graduate from the listing.  With injuries continually derailing their high-end pitching prospects and a lackluster group of hitters (aside from Chance Sisco), it’s easy to overlook any bright spot that could present itself.  Enter Cedric Mullins, a player who has the potential to leap into the team’s Top 5 by year’s end.

It’s a bit surprising that he isn’t generating more attention than he has, coming off an impressive full season debut.  A 2015 13th round draft pick, the 22-year old switch-hitter showed off both power and speed at Single-A:

517 At Bats
.273 Average
14 Home Runs
30 Stolen Bases
55 Runs Batted In
79 Runs Read more

Getting to Know: Jordan Montgomery: Can He Help Solidify The Yankees’ Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor

While the Yankees lineup features high upside youngsters who are expected to be future building blocks, the current rotation isn’t quite so lucky.  When discussing the Yankees’ timeline to relevance the question always is where will the pitching come from.  However, could Jordan Montgomery be forcing his way into the conversation as part of the solution?  It’s surprising that he wasn’t getting more love prior to this spring, but he’s put his name in the mix for ’17 rotation and as a future cog.  Let’s get to know him:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 24 (turns 25 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A102.12.551.278.533.170.99
Triple-A37.00.971.009.222.161.41

Thoughts:
All told he owns a minor league career 8.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 1.21 GO/AO, so he clearly has all of the makings of a strong starter.  Generally taller pitchers (he’s listed at 6’6”) have control issues early in their career, but Montgomery hasn’t and that’s a great sign.  He also has seen an uptick in his velocity, further helping him develop his overall stuff.  Just look at how MLB.com described his repertoire: Read more

Prospect to Watch: Why Juan Soto Could Emerge As A Top 20 Prospect In ’17

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s been a groundswell in the hype of the National’s Juan Soto, with many expecting him to emerge as a Top 20 prospect or better by year’s end.  While he did fall short of our Top 50 list (though not by much), it’s hard to argue against the potential that he owns.

We ranked him as team’s third best prospect (click here for the full Top 10) as we said:

“Playing at 17-years old, Soto was highly impressive during his time in Rookie Ball (183 PA) as he hit .361 with 5 HR and 5 SB.  Adding 11 doubles and 3 triples shows his power potential and a 13.7% strikeout rate for a player his age shows an impressive approach.  He obviously has a long way to go and a lot can happen, but he seems to be in the same type of situation as Victor Robles a year ago (though without the elite speed).”

The level doesn’t matter when you show that type of strike zone command at that age.  Sure the strikeouts will rise as he moves up against more advanced pitching, but his approach and swing are a thing of beauty and may only get better as he matures and develops. Read more

Getting to Know: Kyle Freeland: Why He Can Overcome Coors & Thrive In The Majors

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The rebuild of the Rockies’ rotation has been expedited, with rookies expected to hold down the final two spots in the rotation (joining the emerging Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson).  While many may not have expected Kyle Freeland to be a candidate to open year in the rotation, the 2014 first round draft pick (eighth overall) deserved the opportunity after holding his own at both Double-A and Triple-A last season.  Let’s take a minute to get to know him a little bit better:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Rockies’ #6 Prospect

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 23 (turns 24 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A88.13.871.235.202.551.47
Triple-A73.23.911.366.962.321.63
Read more

Why The Twins’ Adalberto Mejia May Be Nothing More Than A Place Holder

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When the decision was made to send Jose Berrios to Triple-A to start the season, most figured his rotation spot would be handed to Tyler Duffey. Instead the Twins have tabbed Adalberto Mejia, who we ranked sixth among Twins’ prospects, to act as the Opening Day placeholder.

Acquired as part of the Eduardo Nunez trade, Mejia split time between Double and Triple-A last season and pitched to an impressive 3.00 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 132.0 innings. He showed strikeouts (8.6 K/9) and control (2.0 BB/9), both of which are promising marks. Control has always been his strongest skill, with a 2.1 BB/9, but strikeouts are a bit of a new thing (7.7 K/9 for his career) and hardly a guarantee to continue.

Here’s how MLB.com described him recently, which certainly calls into question his ability to maintain the strikeouts: Read more

Prospect Watch: Could The Royals’ Eric Skoglund Make An Impact In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A third round pick in 2014, the Royals’ Eric Skoglund put his name on the map in 2016 while pitching at Double-A.  The 24-year old southpaw may not blow you away with any one number, but the sum of the parts looks like it could produce in the Major Leagues:

156.1 Innings
3.45 ERA
1.11 WHIP
134 Strikeouts (7.71 K/9)
38 Walks (2.19 BB/9)
0.97 GO/AO

Standing 6’7” you would think that he’s a flame-thrower who is going to blow people away, though that’s not the case.  Prior to last season MLB.com described his arsenal by saying:

“Though Skoglund lacks a plus offering, his 88-92 mph fastball plays above its velocity because he gets great extension in his delivery. His mid-70s curveball and fading changeup are reliable if not overpowering.” Read more

Breakout Potential: Could The Dodgers’ Keibert Ruiz Emerge As An Elite Prospect?

The Dodgers have plenty of prospects that draw our attention, so it’s easy to overlook an 18-year old catcher who hasn’t played above Rookie Ball. However Keibert Ruiz, signed out of Venzuela, deserves our attention.

He got 222 AB last season, split between two levels of Rookie Ball, hitting .374 in the process. While maintaining that type of mark isn’t feasible, his ability to make consistent contact, at his age, is noteworthy:

  • Arizona League – 11.2%
  • Pioneer League – 10.3%

There is a question regarding his power and if he will develop any after hitting just 2 HR last season. He did add 22 doubles and 3 triples, and he obviously has plenty of time to continue developing physically (he’s listed at 6’0″ and 165 lbs.). Time will tell, but if he can continue to show his strong approach all he will need is to develop into a 10-14 HR type hitter. Especially as a switch-hitter, the value would be there.

MLB.com recently gave a good report on his approach and his power, indicating that there was the potential for him to reach that type of mark:

“Ruiz shows more pop from the left side and a more contact-oriented approach from the right side. He has precocious feel to hit and makes consistent contact rather than trying to do too much. As he gets stronger, he could develop double-digit home run power.”

He should get an opportunity thanks to his defense, which is said to be good already (outside of his arm). As per John Sickels:

“threw out just 20% of runners and arm is just so-so but defense is otherwise extremely good, very reliable and mobile, strong leadership ability”

Obviously he has plenty of time and the Dodgers will have to be patient. This season will be telling towards his development, but even a step back shouldn’t be a significant concern. Keep a close eye on him, as he has the potential to fly up prospect rankings with another strong campaign.

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Minor League Ball

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

Prospect to Watch: Could The Reds’ Sal Romano Make An Impact In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Cincinnati Reds have been trying to stockpile young pitching, with names like Amir Garrett and Luis Castillo garnering a lot of attention.  It’s easy to overlook a former 23rd round draft pick back in 2011, Sal Romano, but he’s starting to open some eyes.

The 23-year old righty has slowly been working his way up the ranks, spending all of 2016 at Double-A.  The results certainly justify our attention:

156.0 IP
3.52 ERA
1.22 WHIP
8.31 K/9
1.96 BB/9
1.17 GO/AO

Over his minor league career he owns a 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9, so it’s obvious that last season was a significant step in the right direction.  Here’s how MLB.com recently described his repertoire, highlighting the improvements that he’s made: Read more

MLB’s Top 50 Prospects (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve broken down the top prospects for each team (click here for the index) and we’ve broken them down by position (click here for the index), so all that’s left to do is throwdown our Top 50 Prospects!  There’s little question regarding who the top prospects around the game are, but how do they rank?

It shouldn’t be surprising that the list is once again dominated by Pitchers, Shortstops and Outfielders, as that is clearly where the talent is focused.  With that said, how do things shake out?  Where do the top prospects at the other positions fit in?  Let’s take a look: Read more

With His Demotion To Triple-A, Is There Reason To Give Up On Dan Vogelbach?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yesterday Greg Johns, via Twitter, reported:

“Mariners option Vogelbach to AAA. Surprising move.”

“Surprisimg” may not be the right word, as Vogelbach was fully expected to share first base duties starting from Opening Day. Instead an extremely poor spring showing, hitting .228 with 1 HR in 57 AB, appears to have cost him that role. While we obviously aren’t about to give up on him, you have to at least wonder…

Vogelbach struggled with strikeouts this spring, with 19 K. That had not been a problem coming up through the minors, showing a good command of the strike zone for two different Triple-A teams in 2016 (strikeout rate // walk rate):

  • Cubs (365 PA) – 18.4% // 15.1%
  • Mariners (198 PA) – 17.2% // 21.2%

Read more