Archive for Baseball

Updated Top 10 Prospects (2018): Philadelphia Phillies: Where Does Enyel De Los Santos Fit?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When a system graduates Rhys Hoskins, among others, you would think that it would be hurting for top end talent.  That’s not the case for the Phillies, who have another wave of talent primed to arrive in the not too distant future.  Considering there is talent both on the mound (which they further added to in the Freddy Galvis trade) and in the field, the future looks brighter than it has in some time and they could morph into a playoff contender a lot sooner than anyone expected.  With that said, let’s take a look at the talent on the horizon:

 

1) Scott Kingery – Second Baseman
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018

There were calls for him to arrive in 2017, but it never made sense for the Phillies to push the envelope when they didn’t have to add him to the 40-man roster in the offseason.  That’s going to change this season, and you have to think that the Phillies will clear a spot to give him an opportunity after he dominated at both Double and Triple-A last season: Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects: St. Louis Cardinals: The Fallout From The Ozuna/Piscotty Trades

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s pretty obvious where the organizational strength of the St. Louis Cardinals lies, as they have a plethora of young outfielders (some of which are already in the Majors and a few more intriguing names on the way).  They may not be the elite prospects in the system, but it will allow them to capitalize and trade from the surplus to fill other needs (though this apparently isn’t the plan, yet, as they used some of their prospect depth to acquire Marcell Ozuna).

There are some top prospects, but there are significant questions whether it’s health or playing time.  Let’s take a look at their outlook, as well as all the rest:

 

1) Alex Reyes – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A-
ETA – Already Arrived

It’s easy to forget about Reyes, after he missed all of ’17 due to Tommy John surgery.  Obviously that adds a few more questions, as there’s never a guarantee that he will return to 100% (as much as you want to believe that he will).  That said there’s no questioning the upside he possesses. Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (Post Ozuna Trade): Miami Marlins: A System Slowly Improving

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? If he were still part of the system he would be the clear top-rated prospect, and even after trading away Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton that remains the case. The two moves did add a few new names to the Top 10, including a new #1, but the system still is lacking. Let’s take a look:

 

1) Nick Neidert – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2020

Selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, Neidert appeared to take a significant step forward in High-A as he posted a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 104.1 IP while showing enough in all three skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 9.40 K/9
  • Walks – 1.47 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 42.4%

Read more

Top 10 Prospects: Toronto Blue Jays: There’s More To The System Than Just Guerrero/Bichette

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t generally viewed as a possessing a farm system flush with talent, though they are buoyed by a highly impressive pair of second generation players.  Throw in an under-the-radar pitching prospect and a long hyped prospect who could finally be putting things together and the outlook is a lot better than you may think.  Who is the future in Toronto?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Third Baseman
Grade – A
ETA – 2019

The son of potential Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, as an 18-year old who split time between Single-A and High-A he showed a highly impressive ability to make consistent contact:

  • Strikeout Rate – 11.8%
  • Walk Rate – 14.4%
  • Swinging Strike Rate – 8.4%

Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects: Miami Marlins: New Names, But Still An Underwhelming 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? If he were still part of the system he would be the clear top-rated prospect, and even after trading away Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton that remains the case. The two moves did add a few new names to the Top 10, including a new #1, but the system still is lacking. Let’s take a look:

 

1) Nick Neidert – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2020

Selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, Neidert appeared to take a significant step forward in High-A as he posted a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 104.1 IP while showing enough in all three skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 9.40 K/9
  • Walks – 1.47 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 42.4%

Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees: The Impact Of The Giancarlo Stanton Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The transformation of the New York Yankees was swift, and even with the emergence of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez they own one of the best farm systems in the game. That’s not to say that they are loaded with “A” prospects, but they have a slew of intriguing in the “B” range and many of them could take another leap forward in ’18 (though there are questions). You would’ve thought that ta move to acquire Giancarlo Stanton would’ve taken a chunk out of the system, but they only had to give up two prospects in the deal, and only one of those had been among our Top 10. How do things now stand? Let’s take a look:

 

1) Gleyber Torres – Shortstop
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

You can easily argue that Torres would’ve arrived in 2017 (to fill the void at 3B), had injury not ended his season in mid-June. Prior to the injury he was showing his talent, hitting .287 with 7 HR and 7 SB over 202 AB split between Double and Triple-A. Playing at those levels at 20-years old (he turns 21 in December) just adds to the potential upside. Read more

Prospect Grades: The Marlins Traded Dee Gordon, But Did They Get Value Back?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Seeing Dee Gordon traded shouldn’t have been surprising, though the locale was.  It’s especially surprising considering many viewed their farm system as being rather weak, so did the Marlins extract any value?  Let’s take a look at the prospects acquired and their potential upside:

 

Nick Neidert – Right-Handed Pitcher
Selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, Neidert appeared to take a significant step forward in High-A as he posted a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 104.1 IP while showing enough in all three skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 9.40 K/9
  • Walks – 1.47 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 42.4%

Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Tampa Bay Rays: A System Full Of Potential MLB Options

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Tampa Bay Rays have generally been viewed as a team built around a solid farm system that they’ve consistently been able to tap into.  Things are a little bit different these days, though there is still some impressive talent at the top.  After an impressive Top 3, there is a definite falloff and while there are some productive options they may never develop into difference makers.  That said there’s a lot of intriguing talent, and it should continue to supplement the Major League team.  Who are the players we need to know about?  Are there any emerging sleepers?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Brent Honeywell – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

There were cries for Honeywell to be promoted last season, but the Rays opted to keep him in the minors (mostly at Triple-A) where he thrived:

  • Double-A (13.0 IP) – 2.08 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 13.85 K/9, 2.77 BB/9, 47.4% GB%
  • Triple-A (123.2 IP) – 3.64 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 11.06 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 41.2% GB%

Read more

Grading The Prospect: Is There Any Upside To St. Louis’ Newest Outfielder, J.B. Woodman

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A second round pick (57th overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in ’16, outfielder J.B. Woodman was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for Aledmys Diaz yesterday.  Obviously being selected that early in the draft means that there was some upside, but after spending all of 2017 at Single-A as a 22-year old, we have more questions than answers:

.240 (87-362), 7 HR, 45 RBI, 44 R, 8 SB

The biggest issue is his strikeout rate, as he posted a 37.9% mark.  Considering his age and the level, as well as a 17.9% SwStr% (after a 20.7% mark in his ’16 debut), it’s a significant concern.  How high can the number climb as he moves up against more advanced pitching?

That was the concern after debuting in 2016, despite some other skills, as Minor League Ball described him prior to ’17 by saying:

“lefty hitter with solid tools including 50 or 55 speed, power, and arm strength; good surface numbers in pro debut but strikeout rate was extremely high and contact issues must be addressed going forward; has potential to be a regular outfielder but may also end up as a tweener if skills develop unevenly”

Just to further steer things in the wrong direction, there was a distinct split in his production:

  • LHP – .324 SLG, 0 HR
  • RHP – .402 SLG, 7 HR

So not only are there strikeout concerns, but we are also currently looking at a platoon player at best.  Maybe he figures it out and can tap into some of his power or speed, but right now that’s going to be a tough sell.  You can’t take advantage of those tools unless you are making contact, and until Woodman proves capable he’s a virtual non-prospect.  Maybe a new voice helps, but for an organization rich in outfield prospects Woodman doesn’t appear to have much potential to advance into a prominent role.

Grade – D

Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, Minor League Ball

 

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Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:

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

Top 10 Prospects (2018): New York Yankees: A Deep System, But There Are Question

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The transformation of the New York Yankees was swift, and even with the emergence of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez they own one of the best farm systems in the game.  That’s not to say that they are loaded with “A” prospects, but they have a slew of intriguing in the “B” range and many of them could take another leap forward in ’18 (though there are questions).  Who are the most intriguing?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Gleyber Torres – Shortstop
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

You can easily argue that Torres would’ve arrived in 2017 (to fill the void at 3B), had injury not ended his season in mid-June.  Prior to the injury he was showing his talent, hitting .287 with 7 HR and 7 SB over 202 AB split between Double and Triple-A.  Playing at those levels at 20-years old (he turns 21 in December) just adds to the potential upside. Read more