Getting to Know: Sal Romano: Does He Have The Upside To Stick In The Reds’ Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all knew that the Reds’ rotation would be fluid this season, and an injury to Rookie Davis has already caused some change.  The team has announced that Sal Romano will make his MLB debut on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.  He had gotten off to a strong start at Triple-A (1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8 K, 1 BB over 13.0 IP), but can he carry that into the big leagues?  Let’s take a look:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 23

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A156.03.521.228.311.961.17
Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (April 13, 2017)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Which prospects are on the verge of making an impact in the Major Leagues? This weekly column will rank the ten who are closest (as well as other names that are being closely considered). Keep in mind that while talent is factored in opportunity plays a major role, so there may be some “lesser” prospects who rank fairly highly on the list:

 

1) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox – Second Baseman
We all know he’s among the top prospects in the game and he’s off to a scorching start.  The White Sox will likely play the Super 2 game, which is part of the reason he’s still in the minors, but he also has continued to struggle with strikeouts (10 K over 27 AB, including four multi-strikeout games over his first six).  That’s something that he needs to work on and does give the team an excuse to keep him down in the minors.  Sooner or later he will likely force their hands, however, it’s just a matter of how quickly. Read more

Could The Royals’ Jake Junis Help Solidify The Back Of The Rotation Before Long?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Royals need help in their starting rotation, that’s not a big secret.  Outside of Danny Duffy you could argue that there isn’t a trustworthy option among the starting five, so it’s just a matter of when they decide to summon someone from the minors.  One of the first candidates will likely be right-hander Jake Junis, who got off to a solid start and is already on the 40-man roster.

In his first outing he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 6.1 IP in a no decision.  He’s always shown strong control (2.1 BB/9 over 539.0 IP in his minor league career) and he also showed a significant spike in strikeouts at Double-A (8.8 K/9 over 123.0 IP).

It would appear that the 24-year old has the potential to maintain the improved strikeout stuff, as MLB.com described him by saying: Read more

Prospect Sleeper: Is The Rangers’ Anderson Tejeda A Guarantee To Emerge In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Texas Rangers have been aggressive with shortstop Anderson Tejeda, including promoting him from Rookie Ball to Low-A last year as an 18-year old (he’ll turn 19 on May 1).  In 94 AB at the level he opened some eyes by delivering 8 HR and 19 RBI, helping to lead to another aggressive placement to open 2017 (he’s playing at Single-A).  Does that mean that he’s a no-brainer breakout prospect?  It’s easy to dub him as such, though things aren’t quite that cut and dry.

There are two significant flaws that need to be monitored closely:

1) Strikeouts
It’s easy to chalk up his 33.3% strikeout rate at Low-A to his age and small sample size, but that’s also been a part of his game in Rookie Ball.  Regardless of his age, when we see that type of rate at that level there has to be some concern.  We generally expect the strikeout rate to rise as a player faces more advanced pitching, which means the number could become a significant negative. Read more

Getting to Know: Walker Lockett: Could He Solidify A Shaky San Diego Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that the San Diego Padres’ rotation is a debacle, and that should mean opportunities for any number of potential emerging starters.  On Opening Night 22-year old righty Walker Lockett made his case.  Never heard of him?  You likely aren’t alone, so let’s take a look and get to know a pitcher who could make an impact before long:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Right-Handed

Age – 22 (turns 23 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Single-A45.03.001.335.801.601.20
High-A66.12.981.047.601.631.75
Double-A34.22.080.846.750.523.29
Triple-A18.04.501.396.001.001.11
Read more

Breakout Prospect: Will The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins Emerge As A Top Prospect In ’17?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Orioles are not a team particularly deep on high level prospects and things will get even shallower with Trey Mancini (#5 ranked prospect) in the Majors and set to graduate from the listing.  With injuries continually derailing their high-end pitching prospects and a lackluster group of hitters (aside from Chance Sisco), it’s easy to overlook any bright spot that could present itself.  Enter Cedric Mullins, a player who has the potential to leap into the team’s Top 5 by year’s end.

It’s a bit surprising that he isn’t generating more attention than he has, coming off an impressive full season debut.  A 2015 13th round draft pick, the 22-year old switch-hitter showed off both power and speed at Single-A:

517 At Bats
.273 Average
14 Home Runs
30 Stolen Bases
55 Runs Batted In
79 Runs Read more

Getting to Know: Jordan Montgomery: Can He Help Solidify The Yankees’ Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor

While the Yankees lineup features high upside youngsters who are expected to be future building blocks, the current rotation isn’t quite so lucky.  When discussing the Yankees’ timeline to relevance the question always is where will the pitching come from.  However, could Jordan Montgomery be forcing his way into the conversation as part of the solution?  It’s surprising that he wasn’t getting more love prior to this spring, but he’s put his name in the mix for ’17 rotation and as a future cog.  Let’s get to know him:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 24 (turns 25 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A102.12.551.278.533.170.99
Triple-A37.00.971.009.222.161.41

Thoughts:
All told he owns a minor league career 8.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 1.21 GO/AO, so he clearly has all of the makings of a strong starter.  Generally taller pitchers (he’s listed at 6’6”) have control issues early in their career, but Montgomery hasn’t and that’s a great sign.  He also has seen an uptick in his velocity, further helping him develop his overall stuff.  Just look at how MLB.com described his repertoire: Read more

Prospect to Watch: Why Juan Soto Could Emerge As A Top 20 Prospect In ’17

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s been a groundswell in the hype of the National’s Juan Soto, with many expecting him to emerge as a Top 20 prospect or better by year’s end.  While he did fall short of our Top 50 list (though not by much), it’s hard to argue against the potential that he owns.

We ranked him as team’s third best prospect (click here for the full Top 10) as we said:

“Playing at 17-years old, Soto was highly impressive during his time in Rookie Ball (183 PA) as he hit .361 with 5 HR and 5 SB.  Adding 11 doubles and 3 triples shows his power potential and a 13.7% strikeout rate for a player his age shows an impressive approach.  He obviously has a long way to go and a lot can happen, but he seems to be in the same type of situation as Victor Robles a year ago (though without the elite speed).”

The level doesn’t matter when you show that type of strike zone command at that age.  Sure the strikeouts will rise as he moves up against more advanced pitching, but his approach and swing are a thing of beauty and may only get better as he matures and develops. Read more

Getting to Know: Kyle Freeland: Why He Can Overcome Coors & Thrive In The Majors

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The rebuild of the Rockies’ rotation has been expedited, with rookies expected to hold down the final two spots in the rotation (joining the emerging Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson).  While many may not have expected Kyle Freeland to be a candidate to open year in the rotation, the 2014 first round draft pick (eighth overall) deserved the opportunity after holding his own at both Double-A and Triple-A last season.  Let’s take a minute to get to know him a little bit better:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Rockies’ #6 Prospect

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 23 (turns 24 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A88.13.871.235.202.551.47
Triple-A73.23.911.366.962.321.63
Read more

Why The Twins’ Adalberto Mejia May Be Nothing More Than A Place Holder

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When the decision was made to send Jose Berrios to Triple-A to start the season, most figured his rotation spot would be handed to Tyler Duffey. Instead the Twins have tabbed Adalberto Mejia, who we ranked sixth among Twins’ prospects, to act as the Opening Day placeholder.

Acquired as part of the Eduardo Nunez trade, Mejia split time between Double and Triple-A last season and pitched to an impressive 3.00 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 132.0 innings. He showed strikeouts (8.6 K/9) and control (2.0 BB/9), both of which are promising marks. Control has always been his strongest skill, with a 2.1 BB/9, but strikeouts are a bit of a new thing (7.7 K/9 for his career) and hardly a guarantee to continue.

Here’s how MLB.com described him recently, which certainly calls into question his ability to maintain the strikeouts: Read more