Archive for Baseball

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

Breakout or Bust: Could Jacob May Seize The White Sox CF Job?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Entering the spring the assumption was that Charlie Tilson would open the season as the White Sox centerfielder.  The addition of Peter Bourjos on a minor league contract clouded the issue, at least somewhat, but could another youngster be forcing his name into consideration?  With Tilson looking like he’s going to open the season on the DL, there should be room for Jacob May and he’s done everything he can this spring to earn the job (stats are through Monday):

.349 (15-43), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 8 R, 4 SB

At this point his battle was with fellow prospect Adam Engel, who he has out-performed (Engel is hitting .222 with 1 SB and was recently optioned to the minors).  There seems to be a good chance that May, a 2013 third round pick, breaks camp with the White Sox and should get some playing time.  Can he take advantage of it, though? Read more

Top 20 Right-Handed Pitching Prospects: #11-20 (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor

Earlier this week we kicked off our rankings of the Top 20 Right-Handed Pitching Prospects (click here to view).  Who fills out the rankings?  Let’s take a look:

 

11) Triston McKenzie – Cleveland Indians
Grade – B+
ETA – 2019

We can nitpick and say that we’d like to see more groundballs, having posted a 0.66 GO/AO between two levels of Single-A.  We also have to hope that he adds a little bit more bulk to his frame (listed as 6’5” and 165 lbs.), as there will otherwise be questions asked about his ability to handle a full workload.  That said, in his 83.1 IP he racked up 104 K vs. just 22 BB as he already has a trio of pitches that he can rely on.  He has the potential to develop into a top of the rotation starter, so make sure to keep a close eye on his development. Read more

Overhyped Prospect Alert: Is Nick Gordon Destined To Disappoint?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We often talk about players whose name value may outweigh their on-the-field production, though generally that’s geared towards long established veterans.  However, the Twins’ Nick Gordon has the potential to be that type of player, butthe 21-year old still has time to put things together.

The son of former MLB pitcher Tom Gordon and the brother of Miami’s Dee Gordon, Nick doesn’t fit the same 50+ SB as his brother.  If that’s the type of player you are looking for, you would be wise to look elsewhere.  Sure he stole 25 bases at Single-A in ’15, but he showed some issues last season at High-A:

19 Stolen Bases
13 Caught Stealing
59.3% Success Rate
Read more

Top 20 Right-Handed Pitching Prospects: #1-10 (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As you would expect, some of the premier prospects in the game can be found on this list.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be questions, especially when it comes to control, and the injury to Alex Reyes does put a damper on things a little bit.  Still, when you start looking at the names you see the future and it’s bright.  Let’s take a look at how they stack up heading into 2017:

 

1) Lucas Giolito – Chicago White Sox
Grade – A
ETA – Already Arrived

Giolito made his debut in 2016, though it was rather underwhelming (6.75 ERA, 4.64 K/9, 5.06 BB/9).  No one is about to question the pure stuff, including a minor league career 9.7 K/9, though he did have some issues with his control while at Double-A (4.3 BB/9 over 71.0 IP).  That raised a bit of a red flag, though it hasn’t been the norm (3.0 BB/9 for his career).  At 6’6” it is possible that it takes him a little bit of time to fully harness his stuff, but last year’s issues should not be viewed as a significant red flag. Read more

Quick Hit: Could Tyler Jay, Now A Full-Time Reliever, Emerge As Minnesota’s Closer?

Thoughts:
Jay had operated as a closer in college, though when the Twins selected him in the first round of the 2015 draft it was with an eye towards starting.  However it took 102.0 innings, including 14.0 at Double-A, for that to change.

There is no questioning the stuff, considering his career minor league marks as a starter:

  • Strikeouts – 8.7 K/9
  • Control – 3.0 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 1.29 GO/AO

Read more

Top 10 Left-Handed Pitching Prospects (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This past year’s draft saw two potentially elite southpaws be selected in the first round, though they are hardly the only high-end left-handed pitching prospects.  With a few potentially impact starters set to debut in 2017, as well as potentially the “next Julio Urias”, there are some impressive names on this list.  Let’s take a look:

 

1) A.J. Puk – Oakland A’s
Grade – B+
ETA –2018/2019

The sixth overall selection in the 2016 draft presented himself extremely well in his first taste of professional baseball, with 40 K vs. 12 BB over 32.2 IP.  Many felt that he had the best stuff of any pitcher in the ’16 draft, and there was a time he was expected to be the first overall selection.  At 6’7” he certainly has the size and if his changeup develops as expected, he’ll carry three above average pitches with him. Read more

Will The Brewers’ Lucas Erceg Emerge As A Top 10 Third Base Prospect?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Brewers’ Lucas Erceg has opened eyes this spring, with a big game coming about a week ago against the Cleveland Indians (2-2, 2 HR, 5 RBI).  The 2016 second round pick (46th overall) didn’t take the biggest names in that game (Hoby Milner and Nick Pasquale), but that has done little to damper the excitement.

The opponent doesn’t matter, when you hit a blast where few others have accomplished.  According to Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Erceg, 21, became something of a spring training legend Monday when he homered twice in a game against Cleveland at Goodyear, including a grand slam that landed on the roof of the right-field pavilion, one of the few drives ever to do so.”

Of course one game shouldn’t be enough, but he also made a splash after being selected hitting .327 with 9 HR (as well as 17 doubles and 4 triples) and 9 SB over 295 PA between Rookie Ball and Single-A.  Those numbers helped lead to this scouting report, courtesy of MLB.com: Read more

Top 20 Outfield Prospects: #11-20 (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Earlier in the week we kicked off our Top 20 Outfield Prospect list (click here to view).  Who joins them among the best outfield prospects in the league?  Let’s take a look:

 

11) Corey Ray – Milwaukee Brewers
Grade – B+
ETA – 2018

The left-handed hitter was selected fifth overall in the 2016 draft and could arrive quickly (he’s already 22-years old).  The Brewers were aggressive, giving him 254 PA at High-A, and he showed his power (13 doubles, 2 triples and 5 HR) and speed (9 SB) backing up the thought that he could develop into a 20/20 weapon.  He does need to prove that he can handle southpaws, as there was a distinct split:

  • RHP – .261/.303/.438
  • LHP – .218/.315/.282

Read more

Meet The Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela, A Prospect Primed To Make An Impact

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Through three spring outings the Colorado Rockies’ have a young pitcher who should be garnering our attention (note, he had his fourth and possibly most impressive outing yesterday as he tossed 4.1 scoreless innings).  No, it’s not Jon Gray or Tyler Anderson or Jeff Hoffman…  Nor is it German Marquez or various other young pitchers the team has been accumulating.

The name to know is Antonio Senzatela, the 22-year old right-handed starter who was ranked #9 on our Rockies’ Top 10 Prospect list (click here to view).  It’s easy to overlook him, after injuries limited him to 34.2 innings at Double-A in ’16.  However he’s shown an ability to thrive since joining the Colorado organization in 2012:

3.11 ERA
1.06 WHIP
6.6 K/9
2.0 BB/9
1.23 GO/AO Read more