Archive for Baseball

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
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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

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Boston Red Sox: Is There Anything Left In A Decimated System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Boston Red Sox have been aggressive in trading away prospects in order to improve their product at the highest level, and they’ve also graduated an impressive group of players in recent years (like Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers).  While that has put a damper on some of the excitement surrounding their farm system, it doesn’t mean that it’s been left completely barren either.  There are still some attractive names, at least for now, so let’s take a look at how the system currently stacks up:

 

1) Jay Groome – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B+
ETA – 2019

He clearly has big-time strikeout ability, including an 11.71 K/9 and 11.5% SwStr% while splitting time between two levels of Single-A.  A 6.70 ERA and 1.56 WHIP at Single-A raised red flags, but it’s a small sample size (44.1 IP), was based off poor luck (.355 BABIP, 59.8% strand rate) and after missing time early with a strained lat he could’ve simply been rounding into form. Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (2018): Atlanta Braves: They Lost Their #3, But The System Remains Strong

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We finally got some clarity on the situation in Atlanta, and the penalty was steep.  Not only did it cost some people their jobs, as well as a future in the game, there were forfeited draft picks, limitations on their future international spending and most importantly a loss of prospects.  The biggest name set free was Kevin Maitin, who had been our #3 ranked prospect for the team, but all told there were 12 players declared free agents.  Obviously it hurts the depth of the system, but lucky for Atlanta they had built up quite a stockpile of talent.

Let’s take a look at how our rankings now stand:

 

1) Ronald Acuna – Outfielder
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

It was a meteoric rise for Acuna, as he nearly forced a promotion to the Majors as a 19-year old.  Playing across three levels of the minors he thrived at each one:

  • High-A – .287 (33-115), 3 HR, 19 RBI, 21 R, 14 SB
  • Double-A – .326 (72-221), 9 HR, 30 RBI, 29 R, 19 SB
  • Triple-A – .344 (76-221), 9 HR, 33 RBI, 38 R, 11 SB

Read more

Top 10 Prospects (2018): Baltimore Orioles: Don’t Let The Past Stigma Distract You

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Baltimore Orioles have a stigma hanging over them, especially when it comes to their pitching prospects.  However there’s a new class of prospects coming, and while you may want to be nervous about the pitchers it’s the hitters who are far more intriguing.  Austin Hays made a surprisingly MLB debut late in ’17, but he’s not alone.  Who are the players that are worth monitoring?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Austin Hays – Outfielder
Grade – B+
ETA – Already Arrived

To call 2017 a breakout campaign for Hays would be an understatement, as he hit .329 with 32 HR and 95 RBI between High-A and Double-A.  That earned him a late season callup, though to an extent those 60 AB helped to expose the one true red flag hanging over him.  While the average was highly impressive in the minor leagues, it came courtesy of a .341 BABIP and he showed a propensity to swing and miss (12.1% SwStr%).  In his cup of coffee in the Majors he posted a 25.4% strikeout rate, courtesy of poor plate discipline:

  • SwStr% – 17.9%
  • O-Swing% – 40.3%

Read more

Quick Hit: Looking At Alexander Campos, The A’s “Prize” In The Ryon Healy Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You can argue that Oakland’s key acquisition in the trade that sent Ryon Healy to Seattle is a bit of mystery.  Alexander Campos is a 17-year old shortstop, signed out of Venezuela for $575,000 in 2016, who is a long ways away from arriving in the Majors.  As it is, at this point there are questions as to what his ultimate ceiling is.

Here are a few scouting reports to draw from:

Campos is speedy shortstop who projects to be an above-average defender with a plus arm. Offensively he could be an average hitter but with very modest, well below-average power. He is very advanced for his age and may move quicker than most teenage shortstops when he comes to the United States in 2018. Campos projects as a potential solid-average everyday shortstop down the road, but he’ll need time and there’s a lot of development ahead. – Baseball America

Campos has started to grow into his athletic frame since signing and should continue to tack on good strength. His defense-speed combination at an up-the-middle position gives him a possible floor as a big league reserve, though further progress at the plate could very well thrust him into the conversation as an everyday player. – MLB.com Read more