The Fringe Five is a weekly regular-season exercise, introduced a few years ago by the present author, wherein that same author utilizes regressed stats, scouting reports, and also his own fallible intuition to identify and/or continue monitoring the most compelling fringe prospects in all of baseball.
Central to the exercise, of course, is a definition of the word fringe, a term which possesses different connotations for different sorts of readers. For the purposes of the column this year, a fringe prospect (and therefore one eligible for inclusion in the Five) is any rookie-eligible player at High-A or above who (a) received a future value grade of 45 or less from Dan Farnsworth during the course of his organizational lists and who (b) was omitted from the preseason prospect lists produced by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, and John Sickels, and also who (c) is currently absent from a major-league roster. Players appearing on a midseason list or, otherwise, selected in the first round of the current season’s amateur draft will also be excluded from eligibility.
In the final analysis, the basic idea is this: to recognize those prospects who are perhaps receiving less notoriety than their talents or performance might otherwise warrant.
Yandy Diaz, 3B/OF, Cleveland (Profile)
Diaz possesses a number of traits common to many of the prospects who appear in this weekly column. Like above-average contact ability, for example. And like developing power. And like defensive tools that should allow him to produce runs in the field, as well. After exhibiting all those skills at Double-A, he’s continued to exhibit them at Triple-A Columbus, too, after receiving a promotion to that level in mid-May. He exhibited them all even harder this past week, over the course of which he produced a 3:2 walk-to-strikeout ratio and .238 isolated-power mark (on the strength of a triple and home run) in 25 plate appearances.
What else Diaz exhibited this week was an avant-garde approach to the sort of celebration one conducts following a game-winning hit. Indeed, rather than allowing himself to be mobbed by teammates, Diaz instead hoisted the leading member of that mob onto his own shoulder, as the following video footage reveals.