Declining Prospects: Is It Time To Write Off These Once Highly Touted Prospects (Moniak & More)?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While everyone wants to focus on prospects who are thriving and climbing up the rankings, what about those who are going the other way?  Let’s take a look at a few prospects who have been struggling and try to determine if it’s time to write them off or not:

 

Monte Harrison – Outfielder – Miami Marlins
2018 Statistics – .236 (48-203), 7 HR, 13 RBI, 39 R, 9 SB

It feels like Harrison has long been considered a high upside prospect, though injuries have consistently helped to derail him.  You could see the potential, at least a little bit, in his ’18 numbers at Double-A but the plate discipline is what has really sabotaged him.  In 54 games he’s amassed an astounding 88 K vs. 19 BB, including 18 K over his past 34 AB (9 games).

Entering play on Sunday, these metrics are downright ugly:

  • Strikeout Rate – 38.1%
  • Walk Rate – 8.5%
  • SwStr% – 16.8%

Last season he owned a 14.6% SwStr% (split between Single-A & High-A), and there’s the risk that the number continues to rise as he moves up against more advanced pitching.  Maybe if he were able to draw a walk (8.7% walk rate last season) we’d be a little bit more optimistic about his outlook.  However you can’t steal first base and he needs to almost get “lucky” to make contact and send the ball over the fence.

He’ll be 23-years old in August and the time for optimism is quickly closing.  It’s not impossible that he figures it out, but we aren’t willing to bank on it either.

 

Mickey Moniak – Outfielder – Philadelphia Phillies
2018 Statistics – .251 (50-199), 1 HR, 23 RBI, 22 R, 4 SB

The first overall pick in the 2016 draft, the day he was drafted there was a feeling that he wasn’t deserving of that type of spot.  Thus far he’s backed it up (and “exceeded” the expectations of being a disappointment).  He has been picking things up of late, including currently carrying an 11-game hitting streak, but is that remotely close to enough?

He’s not showing power (10 doubles and 0 triples)…
He’s not showing speed (25-for-36 on SB attempts since being drafted)…
He’s showing far too much swing and miss (15.7% SwStr% entering on Sunday)…

He is just 20-years old and playing at High-A, so we don’t want to completely write him off, but where is the positive sign?  It’s not like he’s drawing walks and getting on base (2.5% walk rate), so we at least could hang our hats on something.

Obviously the Phillies saw something in him, but at this point it’s hard to find out.  It’s a long-term play, at best, but the value simply isn’t there.

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  Also don’t miss all of our 2018 Preseason Positional Prospect Lists:

Catcher1-10
First Base1-10
Second Base1-10
Shortstop1-10
Third Base1-10
Outfielders:1-1011-20
Pitchers:1-1011-2021-30

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