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 Sunday):
Nick Senzel – Cincinnati Reds – Third Baseman
The second overall pick in last year’s draft, there were high expectations entering the season. While 4 HR over 246 AB at High-A may not catch your eye, the overall skillset was impressive and led to a promotion to Double-A. In fact, outside of the actual home run total what is there not to excite us?
He’s added 26 doubles and 2 triples, showing that the potential is there to further tap into his power…
He hit .305, showing an ability to make consistent contact (9.1% SwStr%) and hit the ball hard (22.7% line drive rate, leading to a .350 BABIP)…
He showed an ability to steal some bases (9 SB in 11 attempts)…
There was a reason he was our top ranked “new” dynasty prospect heading into the season, and he’s backed it up. The potential was there for him to move through the system quickly, and already playing at Double-A a late season cameo isn’t impossible (barring something unforeseen, he should definitely arrive in ’18). Either way the arrow continues to point up.
Stock – Rising
Riley Pint – Colorado Rockies – Starting Pitcher
We’ve seen Colorado suddenly start churning out some intriguing young pitchers, despite having to call Coors Field home. That would add to the intrigue of last year’s first round pick, though the right-handed pitcher has struggled in his first taste of Single-A with a 4.72 ERA and 1.72 WHIP over 47.2 IP. If that wasn’t enough, he’s been struggling in various areas of production:
- Strikeouts – 6.80 K/9
- Walks – 5.66 BB/9
While it would be easy to push the panic button off those base numbers, he is generating swings and misses (11.1% SwStr%) and that shows more upside in his strikeouts. He also has been a groundball machine (59.2%), which will help overcome the risks of Coors Field. The question is if he can find his control, but he’ll pitch the entire season as a 19-year old and we need to give him time to develop. While there are concerns, for now we’ll keep the stock steady as he has the stuff and plenty of time to figure it out.
Stock – Steady
Blake Rutherford – New York Yankees – Outfielder
The 18th overall selection, Rutherford has gotten off to a decent start at Single-A as he’s hitting .267 with 1 HR and 9 SB over 225 AB. He’s shown signs of a little bit more power (16 doubles and 2 triples) and also a decent command of the strike zone (20.4% strikeout rate, 9.6% walk rate), but is that really enough? An 11.3% SwStr% isn’t a terrible mark, but at this level and for a player without elite power it’s a number that needs to be monitored. We’ve also seen the numbers slowly slide as the season has progressed:
- April – .277/.388/.361
- May – .274/.312/.429
- June – .250/.278/.308
After drawing 15 BB in April he has 9 total since (only 2 in June, though it was in 13 games). His stock is sliding slightly, but there is still hope. Don’t push the panic button, but watch him closely.
Stock – Falling Slightly
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings: