Archive for Baseball

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

Introducing Bryse Wilson, The Unheralded Braves’ Prospect You Need To Know

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Atlanta Braves are rich in prospects, especially pitching prospects. As part of their rebuilding effort they’ve targeted high level pitchers, and they’ve done well to stock the system with potential MLB contributors. That’s why it’s easy for someone to get lost in the shuffle and that appears to be the case for 2016 fourth round draft pick Bryse Wilson, though don’t expect that to last much longer.

On Tuesday the 19-year old righty tossed 7.0 shutout innings, allowing 4 H and 1 BB while striking out 11. It’s an attention grabbing stat line, but one that just highlights was he’s done all year at Single-A:

112.1 IP, 2.48 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 114 K, 26 BB, 1.47 GO/AO

Granted it’s the lower levels of the minors, but that’s the full skill set we look for on full display. There have been questions about his ability to stick as a starter, mostly because he’s generally worked as a two-pitch pitcher (though that’s not uncommon for a pitcher drafted out of high school). MLB.com has described his repertoire but saying: Read more

Imminent Arrival: Projecting The 2017 Production For Rhys Hoskins Upon His Arrival

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Phillies’ first base, turned outfield, prospect and if the rumors are true he will finally reach the Majors any day. Speculation has been running rampant, and rightfully so, now the question is what should we expect upon his promotion? Obviously there will be the impulse to expect monster numbers, with dreams of the next great slugger dancing in our heads. Let’s try to be a little more objective than that, though, as we dive in and get to know him a little bit better.

Recent Statistics:

2016 (Double-A) – .281, 38 HR, 116 RBI, 95 R in 589 PA
2017 (Triple-A) – .280, 28 HR, 86 RBI, 76 R in 470 PA

The most impressive statistics may be the reduction in his strikeout rate, despite moving to a more advanced level, as he has seen it dip from 21.2% to 16.0%. Considering his highly impressive 6.4% SwStr% behind it, as well as his stellar eye at the plate (13.6% walk rate) there’s every reason to believe that he can continue posting a strong mark. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (August 9, 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) Dominic Smith – New York Mets – First Baseman (1)
Smith isn’t up yet, but it’s just a matter of time before he arrives.  Maybe the Mets are hoping to clear a roster spot with an August trade, and they have plenty of candidates, but one way or another Smith will be brought up to the Majors within the next few weeks. Read more