Archive for Baseball

Getting to Know: John Hicks: Could He Offer Under-the-Radar Value?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Miguel Cabrera being forced to the DL with a strained groin John Hicks was summoned from Triple-A and immediately inserted into the starting lineup.  Even this season he had seen the bulk of his time catching (9 of 10 games), and he’s also made 14 starts behind the plate in the Majors.  Still, he appears primed to get some AB at first base (13 appearances there in the minors) over the next few days.  What type of upside does he have?  Let’s take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Unranked

Bats – Right-Handed

Age – 27 (turns 28 in August)

2016 Statistics:
.310 (100-323), 10 HR, 47 RBI, 46 R Read more

Getting to Know: Brent Honeywell: Now At Triple-A, Is He Long For The Majors?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Tampa Bay Rays are known for developing young pitchers, with Blake Snell the most recent to hit the ground running.  However could there be an even better prospect working his way towards the Majors?  Often overlooked, Brent Honeywell was embarrassing Double-A hitters, leading to a promotion to Triple-A, and could be on the fast track to the Majors.  How long will it be before he debuts?  He may be closer than we think, so let’s take a look and get a better understanding of what he brings to the table:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Rays’ #1 Prospect

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 22

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
High-A56.02.410.9610.291.770.58
Double-A59.12.281.108.042.120.41
Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (April 19, 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) Bradley Zimmer – Cleveland Indians – Outfielder (4)
The Indians have gotten poor production out of their corner outfielders, so the fact that Zimmer has started getting some time in RF (Cleveland right fielders have posted a .277 SLG, fourth worst in the league) is telling.  There’s obviously still work to do, but he’s taken a step in the right direction with a 23.9% strikeout rate (28.3% at Double-A in ’16).  He’s hitting for extra bases (3 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run) and stealing (4-for-4) as he’d add another dimension to Cleveland’s offense.  There may be a few bumps along the way, especially with a potential spike in strikeouts, but it seems like only a matter of time before he takes over in RF at least as part of a platoon (he slashed .277/.379/.535 against RHP last season).  Now would be a good time to stash him if you can. Read more

Closers of the Future: Identifying Two Who Could Claim Role In ’17

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s not easy for a prospect to make the leap all the way to the closers role shortly after arriving in the Majors.  Teams tend to want some type of experience at the back of the bullpen, though there are times that pitchers have been able to force the issue (assuming the back of their team’s bullpen is in shambles).  There are a few relievers that are in situations where they could arrive quickly, so let’s take a look at who we should be watching:

 

Jimmy Herget – Cincinnati Reds
The 23-year old righty has been stellar at Double-A, earning a save in all five of his appearances in ’17.  While that is impressive alone, his 13 K vs. 1 BB over 6.0 IP makes it look even better.  It comes a year after posting a 12.31 K/9 and 3.26 BB/9 over 60.2 IP at High-A in ’16, so it’s hard to consider it an aberration. Read more

Prospect Stock Report: Mateo Rising Again, Unknown Mets Pitcher Emerging & 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):

 

Stock Rising
Jorge Mateo – New York Yankees – Shorstop
His value sagged last season, despite stealing 36 bases, as he hit .254 and the SB total was less than half of what he posted in ’15 (82-in-99 attempts).  With the addition of Gleyber Torres and talk of attitude issues, where Mateo fit in the Yankees’ plans was a significant question.  Over the first two weeks of ’17 he’s proving that the organization needs to find a spot for him once again. Read more

Getting to Know: Sal Romano: Does He Have The Upside To Stick In The Reds’ Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all knew that the Reds’ rotation would be fluid this season, and an injury to Rookie Davis has already caused some change.  The team has announced that Sal Romano will make his MLB debut on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.  He had gotten off to a strong start at Triple-A (1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8 K, 1 BB over 13.0 IP), but can he carry that into the big leagues?  Let’s take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 23

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A156.03.521.228.311.961.17
Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (April 13, 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:

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox – Second Baseman
We all know he’s among the top prospects in the game and he’s off to a scorching start.  The White Sox will likely play the Super 2 game, which is part of the reason he’s still in the minors, but he also has continued to struggle with strikeouts (10 K over 27 AB, including four multi-strikeout games over his first six).  That’s something that he needs to work on and does give the team an excuse to keep him down in the minors.  Sooner or later he will likely force their hands, however, it’s just a matter of how quickly. Read more

Could The Royals’ Jake Junis Help Solidify The Back Of The Rotation Before Long?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Royals need help in their starting rotation, that’s not a big secret.  Outside of Danny Duffy you could argue that there isn’t a trustworthy option among the starting five, so it’s just a matter of when they decide to summon someone from the minors.  One of the first candidates will likely be right-hander Jake Junis, who got off to a solid start and is already on the 40-man roster.

In his first outing he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 6.1 IP in a no decision.  He’s always shown strong control (2.1 BB/9 over 539.0 IP in his minor league career) and he also showed a significant spike in strikeouts at Double-A (8.8 K/9 over 123.0 IP).

It would appear that the 24-year old has the potential to maintain the improved strikeout stuff, as MLB.com described him by saying: Read more

Prospect Sleeper: Is The Rangers’ Anderson Tejeda A Guarantee To Emerge In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Texas Rangers have been aggressive with shortstop Anderson Tejeda, including promoting him from Rookie Ball to Low-A last year as an 18-year old (he’ll turn 19 on May 1).  In 94 AB at the level he opened some eyes by delivering 8 HR and 19 RBI, helping to lead to another aggressive placement to open 2017 (he’s playing at Single-A).  Does that mean that he’s a no-brainer breakout prospect?  It’s easy to dub him as such, though things aren’t quite that cut and dry.

There are two significant flaws that need to be monitored closely:

1) Strikeouts
It’s easy to chalk up his 33.3% strikeout rate at Low-A to his age and small sample size, but that’s also been a part of his game in Rookie Ball.  Regardless of his age, when we see that type of rate at that level there has to be some concern.  We generally expect the strikeout rate to rise as a player faces more advanced pitching, which means the number could become a significant negative. Read more

Getting to Know: Walker Lockett: Could He Solidify A Shaky San Diego Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that the San Diego Padres’ rotation is a debacle, and that should mean opportunities for any number of potential emerging starters.  On Opening Night 22-year old righty Walker Lockett made his case.  Never heard of him?  You likely aren’t alone, so let’s take a look and get to know a pitcher who could make an impact before long:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 22 (turns 23 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Single-A45.03.001.335.801.601.20
High-A66.12.981.047.601.631.75
Double-A34.22.080.846.750.523.29
Triple-A18.04.501.396.001.001.11
Read more