Archive for Player Profiles

Could Albert Almora Finally Be Living Up To Expectations? Don’t Be So Fast…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Cubs have become spoiled by their riches.  They are arguably already the best team in baseball, but they also have a slew of young prospects working their way up the ladder and could conceivably make an impact in ’16.  One such player is Albert Almora, who has long been on radars but has generally underperformed (at least offensively).

Things have changed a bit this season, as he’s posted solid numbers at Triple-A:

.333 (43-129), 3 HR, 19 RBI, 24 R, 4 SB

He’s always shown an ability to make consistent contact and this season has been no different, with a 12.3% strikeout rate, but that doesn’t mean that we should be falling in love with him.  He’s playing in the Pacific Coast League, so the continued lack of power is definitely a concern.  Sure he’s added a few additional extra base hits (7 doubles and 2 triples), but with 6 HR in 405 AB at Double-A last season there isn’t a lot to get excited about. Read more

Has The Time Come For Julio Urias To Arrive In The Majors?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The thought was that if the Dodgers’ Julio Urias, who is among the elite pitching prospects in the game, were to make an impact in 2016 it could come in one of two ways:

  1. Out of the bullpen
  2. Later in the season after he got more experience at Triple-A (4.1 IP at the level in ’15)

However, with the way he is dispatching of Triple-A hitters that outlook needs to be thrown out the window.  After going 6.0 shutout innings on Saturday night the 19-year old lefty has now thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings.  On the season the results have obviously been impressive:

36.0 IP, 1.25 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 39 K, 8 BB

Having thrown just 80.1 innings in ’15 (87.2 IP in ’14), an innings limit could be the only thing holding him back (and why the thought was that the bullpen could be where he was utilized).  At this point it’s hard to think that he isn’t ready for the next step, at least by the numbers alone.  His pitching coach at Triple-A, Matt Herges, appears to agree and for him it goes beyond the numbers.  Look at this quote, courtesy of MILB.com’s Michael Avallone (click here for the article) after his last outing: Read more

Getting To Know Tommy Joseph: The Phillies’ New First Baseman Who Could Make An Impact

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Originally Drafted
2nd round selection in 2009 (Giants)

How Acquired
Part of trade sending Hunter Pence to SF

2016 Production
.368 (32-87), 6 HR, 17 RBI, 11 R, 0 SB
(Note: all stats are through Tuesday)

There obviously has been a lot of luck in his average (.361 BABIP), but he’s also shown improved plate discipline (10.9% strikeout rate).  He’s added seven doubles and there was never a question about his power, hitting as many as 22 HR in a season (2011).

He’s also shown an ability to hit both RHP and LHP this season:

  • RHP – .362/.403/.586
  • LHP – .379/.367/.793

Read more

Outlook: Steven Moya Recalled, But Will He Get Playing Time?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It would appear like the Tigers outfield is already full, with J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton at the corners and Anthony Gose manning centerfield (until Cameron Maybin is healthy).  However Upton has been a disaster thus far, hitting .221 with 2 HR and 1 SB over his first 139 PA.  He is a notoriously streaky player so you try not to panic, but the Tigers are clearly sending a message with the news that they’ve promoted Steven Moya from Triple-A.

Moya has been on radars for the past few years, seeing time in the Majors in both 2014 and 2015.  While he’s failed to make an impact he was certainly off to a quick start at Triple-A this season and is deserving of an opportunity:

.310 (39-126), 9 HR, 24 RBI, 23 R, 0 SB Read more

Is The Padres’ Hunter Renfroe Primed To Soon Make An Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The addition of Manuel Margot from Boston knocked Hunter Renfroe from atop the Padres’ outfield prospect leader, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be the first to arrive in the Majors.  Playing at Triple-A he’s tried to make a strong case for a promotion, putting up the following line through Monday:

.297 (33-111), 5 HR, 18 RBI, 21 R, 3 SB

With names like Jon Jay and Melvin Upton Jr. currently starting in the outfield it certainly makes sense for the Padres to ultimately look for a younger option to make an impact.  Is Renfroe that player though?

Prior to the season Renfroe ranked as our #2 Padres prospect (click here for our Top 10) receiving a “B” grade.  At the time here is what we had to say: Read more

Is The Diamondbacks’ Cody Reed Primed For A Breakout Campaign?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After dealing a bounty to acquire Shelby Miller the Arizona Diamondbacks system was questionable, at best. Yet 2014 second round pick Cody Reed still failed to make our preseason Top 10 rankings, though thus far he’s making that decision seem foolish. Just look at the line over his first three starts of the year at Single-A:

17.2 IP, 0.51 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 31 K, 0 BB

The strikeout to walk rate is unbelievable, and with a 1.10 GO/AO the overall makeup seems to be impressive. The question is going to be if his success is going to be able to translate against more advanced hitters.

This writeup, courtesy of Baseball America’s Vince Lara-Cinisomo (click here for the article) doesn’t necessarily give much hope:

“Reed, Arizona’s second-round pick in 2014 out of high school, isn’t overpowering. His fastball topped at 91 on Thursday, and his changeup is an above-average pitch with good, late fade. What he has is deception by way of an unusual delivery, which makes it appear as though the ball is coming out of his hip.” Read more

After Working With Greg Maddux, Does Chase De Jong Belong On Radars?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Dodgers are loaded with higher profile prospects, in part thanks to their deep pockets and ability to go out on the international market.  Some of those have panned out and others have struggled, but their presence often helps to cause some other prospects to fall under-the-radar.  One example could prove to be Chase De Jong, who is coming off arguably his best start of the season.

Pitching at Double-A he tossed 7.0 innings of shutout, one-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 1.  Owner of a career 3.73 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, it’s easy to ask why we should care about just one outing against a less than impressive lineup (six of the players were hitting below .240).  Chances are we shouldn’t, but he has been working with Hall of Famer Greg Maddux of late (specifically prior to this past outing) and that’s going to grab our attention.

Here’s what De Jong had to say about that work (click here for the article): Read more

Could Houston’s Joe Musgrove Be The Next Pitching Prospect To Arrive In The Majors?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Houston Astros have proven willing to be aggressive with their prospects in the past, so seeing anyone thrive at Double-A means that they are going to be on radars.  The fact that he is already on the 40-man roster makes the move that much easier to envision.  Given the struggles that Houston has endured thus far, with their starters owning a 4.92 ERA entering play on Monday (fifth highest in the league), change has got to be looming.

One of the options could be promoting Joe Musgrove, a 23-year old former supplemental first round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has opened the year at Double-A.  Through his first four appearances (3 starts) all he’s done is pitch to a 0.52 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 21 K and 2 BB over 17.1 IP (he was one the mound yesterday, firing another 6.0 shutout innings).  Is he that good?  Obviously not, but ranked #8 on our Preseason Astros Top 10 prospect list (click here to view) there obviously is upside. Read more

Ozzie Albies Has Reached Triple-A, But That Doesn’t Mean He’s On The Verge Of Arriving

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Saturday it was announced that the Braves had promoted their top prospects one level apiece, with Ozzie Albies heading to Triple-A and Dansby Swanson assuming the vacated spot at Double-A.  While Albies is the younger of the two, just 19-years old, it would appear that he’s closer to arriving in the Majors.

Considering the start Albies was off to at Double-A the move made sense, as he was hitting .369 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 13 R and 2 SB.  Given a “B+” grade and ranked as the #2 prospect in a suddenly deep Braves system (click here to view), here is what we were saying about him:

Albies is quickly gaining attention as one of the better shortstop prospects in the game. Playing the entire season at 18-years old he thrived by hitting .310 with 29 SB over 394 AB at Single-A. His contact rate was impressive, with a 12.8% strikeout rate, and he also showed extra base power despite not hitting a home run (21 doubles and 8 triples).

He’s never going to be a slugger, nor does he profile as one, as he’s listed at 5’9” and 150 lbs. That said, with his speed and contact ability the potential is there to be a .300 hitter with 30+ SB every season. If he can develop into a 5-8 HR hitter as well, which seems possible, the value will certainly be there. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the Braves push him, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him make his debut as a 20-year old, though 2018 is probably more likely. Read more

With Raisel Iglesias Scratched for Today, Is The Reds’ Tim Adleman A Name To Know?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With Raisel Iglesias scratched from today’s start due to a shoulder issue the Reds will reach down to Triple-A for a spot starter, as Tim Adleman will make his Major League debut.  He’s gotten off to an inauspicious start at Triple-A in ’16 with a 4.24 ERA, though as we all know that doesn’t always tell the entire story (he does have a 1.00 WHIP, 2.12 BB/9 and 1.40 GO/AO).  Is there anything worth watching?  Let’s take a look:

Adleman has never shown the propensity to pile up the strikeouts, with a 6.78 K/9 last season and 6.88 to open this year.  His groundball rate this season has also exceeded what he has posted in the past (and can likely be credited to a small sample size):

  • 2014 – 1.18
  • 2015 – 1.03

Read more