Re-Grading The Prospects: How Has The Early Season Success Altered These Two Prospects Value?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are numerous prospects who have seen their stock rise in the minds of fans across the game over the first three months.  Let’s take a look at two of the bigger risers thus far and try to determine their overall outlook moving forward:

 

Adrian Morejon – San Diego Padres – Left-Handed Pitcher
Signed out of Cuba for $11 million, it’s easy to forget about the 19-year old Morejon considering the stockpile of prospects the Padres have accumulated.  That said he’s among the better names they have, as he has taken a big step forward this season in his skills:

  • Strikeouts – 10.30 K/9
  • Control – 3.12 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 54.4%

His impressive 13.0% SwStr% and groundball rate are both significant steps up from what he did last season (11.1% and 36.6%, respectively).  If he can maintain those rates it’s easy to imagine the sky being the limit, especially if he can continue to refine his control.

As Baseball America recently noted:

“His curveball shows above-average spin and power, but he gets rotational and his arm drags on the pitch at times, causing him to lose the strike zone. The same delivery flaw results in inconsistent fastball command.”

It hasn’t shown up in his walk rate yet, but as he advances up the ladder it will be something to watch closely.  He hasn’t pitched since June 15 due to a stiff neck, but at this point it shouldn’t be viewed as a major issue.

Preseason Grade – B+
Current Grade – B+

 

Griffin Canning – Los Angeles Angels – Right-Handed Pitcher
The 2017 second round pick has pitched across three levels in ’18, posting a 2.47 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 62.0 IP.  That includes a disaster in his second start at Triple-A (7 ER over 3.2 IP), but that does little to dampen the excitement.  Overall his skills haven’t been bad, though there are questions:

  • Strikeouts – 10.60 K/9
  • Control – 3.92 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 44.8%

Obviously the strikeouts are nice, with a 14.0% SwStr%, but whether he is going to struggle with walks and home runs is a very big concern.  He walked 5 batters over 7.2 IP in his first two starts at Triple-A and Prospect 361 touched on the potential home run issues prior to the season:

“Physically, Canning is not an imposing pitching standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 170 pounds.  His delivery is far from smooth but he does repeat his delivery.  The lack of plane will always be an issue and therefore, he could be a little homer-prone.”

Control wasn’t expected to be an issue, and we’ll have to see if he’s still just rounding into form (he didn’t pitch in the minors in 2017).  Time will tell, but if he can’t figure that out when coupled with his potential home run issues, he could ultimately disappoint.

Preseason Grade – C+
Current Grade – B-

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball America

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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