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:
Austin Meadows – Outfielder – Pittsburgh Pirates
Considering the suspension to Starling Marte and the consistent injury issues for Gregory Polanco, we’ve been waiting for Meadows to emerge and rise to the Majors all season long. However things have been a complete disaster, failing to impress at the plate (.261, 5 HR, 11 SB over 318 AB) and consistently battling injuries of his own.
The latest blow was an oblique injury on Sunday, but that’s just the latest in what has been consistent theme throughout his minor league career. As Gerard Gilberto of MILB.com (click here for the article) documented Meadows:
“spent nearly two months on the disabled list after suffering a strained right hamstring running out a grounder in a game on June 21. The injury was similar to one that sidelined him for more than a month last season. He also missed three months during the 2014 season after straining his left hamstring.”
You couple that, along with never showing extreme power (career best is 12 HR) or speed (career best is 21 SB), and it’s fair to start wondering about his future. He has added 22 doubles this season and just 50 K over 284 AB is promising. It’s not to say that we should give up on him completely, but he needs to stay healthy and show us something. At this point his star is starting to fade.
Stock – Dropping
Danny Jansen – Catcher – Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays’ catching prospect has played across three levels in ’17, succeeding at every step:
- High-A (122 AB) – .369 with 5 HR and 18 RBI
- Double-A (179 AB) – .291 with 2 HR and 20 RBI
- Triple-A (51 AB) – .392 with 3 HR and 9 RBI
He’s hitting .332 overall, to go along with 37 extra base hits (25 doubles, 2 triples and 10 HR). The former 16th round draft pick had struggled in recent seasons, hitting .210 in 2015 and .218 in 2016. The change? According to Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet (click here for the article) the change is due to health (he missed time each of the past two years) and new glasses. As noted in the article:
This past off-season, he got those eyes checked out, and was told he has an astigmatism and needed glasses. “When I take ‘em off,” he says, sliding his dark-rimmed frames off his nose, “It’s like, wow. It’s kinda blurry.” So, seeing the ball clearly has helped him in the batter’s box. “Absolutely,” Jansen says, laughing.
His strikeout rate is down at each stop, including a miniscule 8.2% strikeout rate in his short sample at Triple-A. It goes to show what type of impact his vision has had, and the doubles show that he’s starting to tap into some power potential. Continue to watch him closely, but there’s a chance he arrives in short order (he should be up in 2018, if he doesn’t get added to the 40-man roster and get a September audition) and could make an immediate impact.
Stock – Soaring
Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs, Sportsnet
Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!