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):
Scott Kingery – Philadelphia Phillies – Second Baseman
After spending 37 mediocre games at Double-A a year ago (.250, 2 HR, 4 SB) the Phillies started Kingery back at the level in 2017 and he’s responded in a big way. Obviously the home runs are going to grab your attention (17 HR in 240 PA), but that’s not the only number that is eye-catching:
- Strikeout Rate – 21.7% to 16.3%
- Walk Rate – 3.0% to 10.0%
- Stolen Bases – 13-for-15
That’s not to say that it’s all perfect, as you can argue that his 52.7% fly ball rate and 20.2% popup rate could pose long-term issues (those numbers don’t support his current .312 BABIP). You also have the fact that he’s calling a hitter friendly ballpark home, though that notion can be dismissed given his performance on the road (.315 with 8 HR and 14 RBI).
Heading into the season he was thought to be more of a speed option, as opposed to a power hitter, as you can see from MLB’s profile:
“He sprays line drives to all fields, making consistent contact with a quick, short right-handed swing. He sees pitches and can draw walks and while he doesn’t have much power, his speed and instincts allow him to take extra bases, as well as steal them.”
Obviously the dramatic jump in his fly ball rate explains the power surge, and while he may not be able to maintain it that doesn’t mean it’s not promising. Instead of profiling as a 5-7 HR/30 SB hitter, maybe now we view him more as a 15ish HR hitter with the same type of speed. That’s a highly productive number, especially for a second baseman, so while a regression is likely his value remains on the rise.
Stock – Rising
Khalil Lee – Kansas City Royals – Outfielder
When you see that he’s hitting .242 at Single-A, courtesy of a 34.3% strikeout rate, it’s easy to be down on Lee. However the numbers are a little bit deceiving, as his 11.9% SwStr% isn’t an awful mark and shows that there should be an improvement as the soon to be 19-year old learns and develops.
He’s also continued to show power potential, with 11 doubles and 8 HR, and speed, with 13 SB in 21 attempts. Throw in an 11.1% walk rate and there is a lot to like, and even more potential in his future (especially if he can become more efficient on the base paths).
For now his stock is holding steady, but we could see it rise significantly in the near future as he matures and adjusts.
Stock – Steady
Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings: