Archive for Rotoprofessor

Prospect Report: Does Alex Jackson Still Have Potential Upside?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Alex Jackson was drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft as a catcher, though the Seattle Mariners shifted him to the outfield due to his bat.  However it never came together for him, as he owns a .242 career average in the minors and never hit more than 11 HR in a season.  That led to an offseason trade to Atlanta, where they have decided to shift him back behind the plate.  Off to a quick start (.291 with 9 HR over 117 AB), it’s fair to wonder just how quickly he’s going to be able to rise through the system.

Obviously there were questions in regards to both his offense and defense, and answering those questions at High-A is going to be difficult.  It’s been years since he’s caught, and the Braves are being conservative with their approach.  Over his first 29 games played only 13 came behind the dish, while he was deployed as the DH in the other 16 contests.

Opposing teams are trying to test him, with 25 SB attempts.  He’s caught 7 of 25, which isn’t a terrible number, but he’s also suffered from 3 passed balls and has been charged with 4 errors overall.  You knew it would be a work in progress, but it’s also going to slow the development of the 21-year old overall. Read more

Getting to Know: Magneuris Sierra: Can He Thrive After His Unexpected Promotion?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Cardinals’ outfield has been hammered by injuries over the past few days, leading to the surprising promotion of Magneuris Sierra directly from High-A.  It’s not to say that the 21-year old doesn’t have the ability, but with just 81 AB above Single-A it’s easy to wonder if he’s going to quickly be overmatched by the aggressive promotion.  With that in mind, let’s get to know him a little bit better and see where his upside lies:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Cardinals’ #5 prospect

Hits – Leftt-Handed

Age – 21

2016/2017 Statistics:

SeasonABAVGHRRBIRSB
2016 (Single-A)524.3073607831
2017 (High-A)81.27209163

What We Said:
Sierra spent the season at Single-A, hitting .307 with 31 SB.  Listed at 5’11” and 160 lbs., obviously he’s never going to profile as a power hitter.  Instead he could develop as your prototypical top of the order bat, utilizing his top-end speed to make things happen.  He does need to make some adjustments at the plate, as he needs to draw more walks (3.9%) to fit the profile.  At 20-years old (he’ll turn 21 in April), he does have time to get there. Read more

Prospects On The Verge: Three Starting Pitchers Close To Arriving (Sean Newcomb & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We are all always looking for the next great pitcher who will hit the ground and dominate.  Given the injuries around the league it would certainly appear like there’s another wave of youngsters coming, the question is how productive can they be upon arrival?  Let’s take a closer look at three pitchers who may not be long for the Majors and determine their potential outlook:

 

Jacob Faria – Tampa Bay Rays – Right-Handed Pitcher
The Rays are known for developing pitching, and when you think of the current crop it’s Brett Honeywell who steals the spotlight.  However Faria has quietly pitched well at Triple-A and could get the first opportunity when a need arises.  Just look at the numbers over his first six starts of ’17:

31.2 IP, 4-0, 3.13 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 45 K, 13 BB

He’s struck out at least six in each of his starts, including an 11 K outing on April 28.  It’s easy to say that the strikeout mark is a bit inflated, but he owns a minor league career 9.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.  He also has seen his groundball rate increase thus far, with a 1.00 GO/AO (0.80 for his career).  If he can maintain that, along with the other skills, the upside is there. Read more

Prospect Report: Is The Cardinals’ Paul DeJong Primed To Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Over the course of his career the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong has seen the bulk of his playing time at third base, though this season he’s been utilized more at shortstop (20 games) and he’s also seen time at second base (3 games).  It’s an interesting development, considering the makeup of the infield.  Could the team be preparing for Jedd Gyorko to assume full-time AB, with DeJong stepping in to a utility type role?

Perhaps, or they want DeJong to be prepared to step into any void (though they said prior to the season that the plan was for him to see the bulk of his AB at shortstop).  Regardless of what their visions are, his bat appears primed to play regardless of the position.  Over 90 AB he’s hitting .300 and showing great extra base power (8 doubles, 5 HR).  After racking up 53 extra base hits a year ago, there’s a lot to like.  The big question is if he’s going to be able to improve his command of the strike zone:

  • Double-A (2016) – 26.1% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate
  • Triple-A (2017) – 28.4% strikeout rate, 3.2% walk rate

Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Renato Nunez Deserves Our Attention & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that many prospects fail in their first opportunity in the Majors.  That doesn’t mean that they won’t learn from their struggles, ultimately becoming a good (if not great) player.  We’ve seen it time and time again, so today let’s look at a pair of players who have already gotten their feet wet in the Majors and are potentially nearing another opportunity:

 

Renato Nunez – Oakland A’s – Third Baseman
He’s certainly enjoying a strong start to his season, hitting .270 with 7 HR (as well as 7 doubles) over 89 AB.  Things are going particularly well right now, including home runs in four straight games and riding an eight-game hitting streak (11-27, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R).  Even more impressive is his sudden strike zone command, with 7 K vs. 8 BB over this stretch.

His current Triple-A hitting coach Eric Martins was recently quoted by MILB.com as saying: Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 3, 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 Monday and the number in parenthesis is the ranking from last week):

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox – Second Baseman (3)
Jumping back up to the top spot doesn’t mean that we no longer have concerns, because Moncada continues to struggle with strikeouts (15 K over 42 AB in his past ten games).  He also continues to be more of a singles hitter, as opposed to generating extra base hits, with 2 doubles, 1 triple and 4 HR over his first 21 games.  In his past 10 games he’s been even worse, with 1 double, 1 triple and 1 HR, though at least he’s been stealing bases (4 SB in the 10 games, 5 SB overall). Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Is The Red Sox’ Michael Chavis Worth Buying & 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 Saturday):

 

Mario Feliciano – Milwaukee Brewers – Catcher
A few days ago the numbers looked even better, but Feliciano went 1-14 with 4 K over a three game stretch.  That said the 18-year old continues to put up impressive numbers considering he’s playing at Single-A:

.292 (19-65), 1 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 1 SB

He’s added 4 doubles and 1 triple, showing some power, but the most impressive mark has been his ability to consistently make contact.  With just 11 K, good for a 15.3% strikeout rate, he’s showing a strong command of the strike zone given the aggressive assignment to start the season.  Read more

Prospect Report: Despite An Opportunity, Arizona’s Anthony Banda Continues To Disappoint

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

I’ll-advised trades have left the Diamondbacks’ farm system relatively barren. Sure if you look close enough you can find some upside, but overall they are viewed as the owners of one of the weaker systems in the league. With Shelby Miller set to undergo Tommy John surgery, the depth of the farm system is certainly a prime concern.

That said left-hander Anthony Banda was supposed to be not only the best the team had to offer, but on the verge of arriving in the Majors (13 starts at Triple-A in 2016). However, his start to the season certainly has to leave us wondering:

23.2 IP, 4.94 ERA, 1.65 WHIP

Those numbers alone would give us concern, but he’s struggled in almost every area. His walks are up (6.08 BB/9) and his groundballs are down (1.00 GO/AO). Sure he is striking out a few (25), but the other numbers are highly concerning. While it has come in the PCL, which justifies the ERA somewhat, it doesn’t help explain the other metrics. Read more

Getting to Know: Nick Pivetta: Will His Triple-A Success Translate To Philadelphia?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While his Major League debut was delayed a few days due to a rainout, Nick Pivetta is going to be joining the Phillies’ rotation.  Initially it is expected to be a short stint, with Aaron Nola likely coming off the DL quickly, but you never know if he’ll be out longer than expected.  You also can’t necessarily count on Zach Efflin to continue pitching well, so it’s easy to envision an opportunity to stick in the rotation presenting itself.  If that were to happen should we care?  Let’s take a look and get to know him a little bit better:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Unranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 24

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A124.03.411.208.062.981.08
Triple-A24.22.551.229.853.651.00
Read more

Prospects On The Rise: Two Under-the-Radar Prospects Bursting Onto The Scene

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We are all looking to find the next big thing, and in the prospect world that’s not always easy.  Often there’s a lot of hype on players coming into the league and we know who has the highest upside or who we should be watching.  However there are times that someone emerges who we may not have been paying much attention to.  The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins, who we’ve already discussed, is one example in the early going.  Here are two more low-level prospects who deserve our attention, as it may not be long before people start talking:

 

Marcus Wilson – Outfielder – Arizona Diamondbacks
He was the 69th overall selection in the 2014 draft (a second round competitive balance selection), though he hadn’t shown much over his first few seasons in professional baseball.  Last season, his first season above Rookie Ball, saw him struggle mightily with strikeouts:

  • Low-A – 22.6%
  • Single-A – 27.8%

Read more