Archive for Baseball

Top 20 Outfield Prospects: #1-10 (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Some of the best prospects in the game reside in the outfield, with a few who are primed to make a significant impact in 2017 and another wave coming close behind.  Of course there are questions, especially after we get past the first few names, but that’s to be expected.  Who has the highest upside?  Who is the next potential superstar?  Let’s kick off our Top 20 Outfield Prospects and find out:

 

1) Victor Robles – Washington Nationals
Grade – A
ETA – 2018

A popular breakout candidate heading into 2016, Robles lived up to the billing across two levels of Single-A:

  • Single-A (285 PA) – .305 with 5 HR, 19 SB and a 13.3% strikeout rate
  • High-A (198 PA) – .262 with 3 HR, 18 SB and a 16.2% strikeout rate

Read more

Top 10 Shortstop Prospects (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve seen a significant influx in talent at the shortstop spot in recent years, with names like Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Trevor Story bursting onto the scene.  They aren’t going to be alone for long, as there is another wave of talent on the horizon as the position is littered with some of the elite prospects in baseball.  Who are the best of the best?  Who can soon be making an impact?  Let’s take a look at the best prospects at the position:

 

1) Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
Current Grade – A
ETA – 2018

The key acquisition in the Aroldis Chapman trade, one of his best attributes is his willingness to draw a walk.  It’s something he displayed both before and after the trade at High-A:

  • Cubs – 10.3%
  • Yankees – 11.6%

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Fernando Romero – The Future Ace You’ve Never Heard Of

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that pitching is a risky investment, as each pitcher appears to be a ticking time bomb.  When analyzing a pitcher it feels like we should be asking when, not if, he will ultimately need Tommy John surgery and be forced to sit out a year (or more).  When someone needs that procedure early in their development it often leads to him falling under the radar, as he loses precious time on the mound.

That leads us to the Twins Fernando Romero, who missed nearly all of 2014 (12.0 innings) and all of 2015 after needing Tommy John surgery (and also injuring his knee during his rehab).  Obviously the Twins limited him in his first season back, but the results were eye-popping (yet didn’t generate much attention):

LevelIPERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Single-A28.01.930.828.041.611.45
High-A62.11.880.939.391.441.58
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Top 10 Third Baseman Prospects (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Third base has seen an influx of top options at the Major League level over the past few seasons, with the emergence of players like Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado.  The pipeline currently looks fairly shallow, though there are a few names emerging at the top who can make an impact before long.  There also are some intriguing options who may not be highly graded currently, but have the potential to put things together.  Who are the best third base prospects?  Let’s run them down:

 

1) Nick Senzel – Cincinnati Reds
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018

He may have been the second overall selection, but currently Senzel is the best prospect of the class.  Seeing a lot of time at Single-A (210 AB) he hit .329 with 7 HR and 15 SB, showing even more power potential by adding 23 doubles and 3 triples (.567 SLG).  The stolen base total is deceiving, as he’s not likely going to be a big-time contributor (though he should be able to chip in 10+ per season), and he also saw his numbers buoyed by a bit of luck (.392 BABIP).  Those two things should not take away from the performance, especially as he showed a strong command of the strike zone: Read more

Could The A’s Jaycob Brugman Develop Into A 2017 Impact Performer?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, rookie Jaycob Brugman (who was added to the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft) will get an opportunity to win a spot in the A’s outfield this spring.  It makes sense, as questions abound over the five men who appear to be the favorites for playing time:

Khris Davis
Rajai Davis
Matt Joyce
Jake Smolinski
Mark Canha

Either Khris Davis or Joyce could see a significant amount of time at designated hitter, and the latter is also primed to be part of a platoon.  Of course the left-handed hitting Brugman isn’t an ideal fit for that role (Joyce is also a left-handed hitter himself), but his defensive ability could help him find playing time. Read more

Top 10 Second Baseman Prospects (Preseason 2017 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

You can make the argument that the best prospect in the game resides at second base, and there are some exciting talents near the top of these rankings.  There’s also a steep falloff, right around #6, and while there is upside after that there are significant questions hanging over the field.  Who are the players we should be watching closely?  Who could step up and emerge?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – A

His MLB debut was a significant disappointment and may have fully exposed the warts to his game, as he struck out 12 times in 19 AB.  As he was hitting home runs (15) and stealing bases (45) in the minors it was an easy thing to overlook, but it is important to note that it was extremely prevalent there as well: Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (2017): Seattle Mariners: Can Vogelbach Live Up To The Hype & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Seattle Mariners isn’t necessarily a system that you’d think of when it comes to high end prospects, though they’ve seen a few develop as such in recent years.  They’ve also made a few intelligent, somewhat under-the-radar, acquisitions (like Mitch Haniger), further bolstering the system.  That’s not to say that they are a top end group (they are actually far from it, especially after jettisoning Luiz Gohara earlier this year), but Seattle is could be better off than you’d might think.  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Kyle Lewis – Outfielder
ETA – 2018
Grade – B+

The 11th overall selection in the 2016 draft quickly made his mark, hitting .299 with 3 HR and 3 SB over 117 AB.  Not impressed?  He added 8 doubles and 5 triples (.530 SLG), while also adding a good command of the strike zone (22 K vs. 16 BB).  At 6’4” and 21-years old, there’s a good chance that his power comes quickly. Read more

Updated Top 10 Prospects (2017): Atlanta Braves: Where Does Luiz Gohara Fit Into A Stacked System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Braves have rebuilt their system, with the focus being put on high upside arms (and the recent addition of Luiz Gohara further bulks up an impressive group).  There’s clearly a wave coming, and the addition of multiple veterans will afford them ample time to develop and mature without the spotlight or unrealistic expectations.  That said, their upside is clearly there and they aren’t alone as there are several impressive hitters filling up the system as well.  The Braves could become a force in the AL East in short order, making this system an intriguing one to spotlight:

 

1) Dansby Swanson – Shortstop
Grade – A
ETA – Already Arrived

He’s moved quickly, after being traded from Arizona in the doomed Shelby Miller deal.  Swanson got 145 PA in the Majors last season, as a 22-year old, hitting .302 with 3 HR and 3 SB.  He showed a good command of the strike zone, including a 9.7% SwStr%, so with experience we’d expect him to improve upon his 23.4% strikeout rate. Read more

Prospect Sleeper: Could The Cubs Have A Breakout Pitching Prospect In Jose Paulino?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When we think of top prospects developed by the Chicago Cubs it’s hitters that come to mind.  Not only do you have the group that led the team to a World Series title, but the next wave is filled with high upside bats (Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, etc.).  It’s easy to get distracted and overlook the pitching prospects, and that could be the case when it comes to Jose Paulino.  While he’s not the team’s top pitching prospect, and didn’t even find a spot in our Top 10 rankings for the team, is it possible he emerges by season’s end?

The 21-year old southpaw signed out of the Dominican Republic put up strong numbers across two levels of Single-A last season, albeit in relatively small sample sizes:

LevelInningsERAWHIPStrikeoutsWalksGO/AIO
Low-A35.00.510.633731.64
Single-A40.03.151.1532101.50
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Scouting The Prospects: Now In Seattle, Could Chase De Jong Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While they may not be household names, the Dodgers and Mariners completed a deal yesterday that saw a trio of minor leaguers change hands:

The Mariners Get RHP Chase De Jong
The Dodgers Get SS Drew Jackson & RHP Aneurys Zabala

Let’s break down the deal:

 

RHP Chase De Jong
Grade – C+
ETA – 2017

He spent the bulk of his season at Double-A (he had a one start cameo at Triple-A), where he posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.  While he’s continually shown strong control, with a 2.1 BB/9 over his minor league career (2.5 at Double-A), the other skills leave a bit to be desired.  While he has an 8.4 K/9 over his minor league career, he was at 7.9 at Double-A.  John Sickels of Minor League Ball highlights those concerns as he said: Read more