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):
Chance Adams – New York Yankees – Right-Handed Pitcher
When it comes to Yankee prospects most of the attention generally goes to the hitters (Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, etc.), but Adams is doing what he can to grab our attention. Recently promoted to Triple-A, Adams dominated Double-A hitters over 6 starts:
4-0, 35.0 IP, 1.03 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.23 K/9, 3.86 BB/9
They are impressive numbers, but there are a few important notes to make before simply pushing him towards the most intriguing pitching prospects in the game:
- Luck – He benefited from a .228 BABIP and 91.2% strand rate while at Double-A, so it’s easy to imagine a regression coming
- Control – Obviously a 3.86 BB/9 isn’t going to excite anyone, and while he owns a 2.9 BB/9 over his minor league career a lot of it has come against low-level, inexperienced hitters
- Home Runs – They haven’t been an issue yet, but he posted a 0.82 GO/AO this season and a 0.94 for his career. As he moves up in levels there’s a good chance that it becomes a bigger issue.
Those are three important aspects to monitor, and it’s easy to imagine him stumbling upon reaching Triple-A. Maybe he does become a factor at the Major League level in ’17, but the 22-year old (he’ll turn 23 in August) still has a lot to prove.
Stock – Steady, with questions
Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies – First Baseman
Hoskins was considered a solid first base prospect entering the season, though he fell just shy of our Top 10 list. If we were re-ranking them now, there’s little doubt that he’d find himself among the Top 5 options (and maybe even Top 3, partially due to graduations). His start to the season is highly impressive on almost every level:
.339 (39-115), 8 HR, 26 RBI, 22 R, 0 SB
There were fair questions, be it that his numbers were fueled by his locale or whether or not he’d be able to adjust and make consistent contact (21.2% at Double-A last season). While we could point towards a .356 BABIP as a reason for skepticism, look at the plate disciple he’s showed:
- Strikeout Rate – 15.8%
- Walk Rate – 12.0%
So he’s remained patient at the plate (12.1% walk rate last season) while significantly cutting down on his strikeouts, despite the promotion to Triple-A. That’s always going to be a huge plus, and the fact that he’s continued to hit for power only reinforces it further (he’s also added 8 doubles and 1 triple). He should get an opportunity to make his MLB debut at some point, and it’s easy to envision him hitting the ground running.
Stock – Soaring
Chance Sisco – Baltimore Orioles – Catcher
Considered one of the better catching prospects in the game, you know that the spotlight started to shine brighter once Matt Wieters was allowed to leave via free agency. However Sisco hasn’t responded well thus far at Triple-A:
.239 (22-92), 0 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R, 0 SB
We knew the power was limited, at least at this point, but the complete lack of home runs (he has added 7 doubles) really spotlights the issue. It wouldn’t be as bad if he were hitting, but as it is he’s needed a .356 BABIP to even get to this poor mark as his strikeout rate has soared (29.0%).
No power + significant strikeouts? That’s a recipe for failure. He may need time to adjust to more advanced pitching, but something needs to change quickly.
Stock – Slipping
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference
Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings: