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 an updated prospect 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.
Chance Adams, RHP, New York AL (Profile)
Adams debuted among the Five proper last week on the strength (generally) of his season-to-date performance and (specifically) his two most recent starts. The first of those appearances was impressive for the outcome itself: against Pirates affiliate Bradenton, the 21-year-old Adams recorded a 10:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio against just 17 batters over 5.0 no-hit innings. The line from the second start was less conspicuously great (5.1 IP, 19 TBF, 3 K, 1 BB) but notable for another reason: it was the product of Adams’ first Double-A appearance. The right-hander recorded his second-ever Double-A start just last night (Thursday) at Orioles affiliate Bowie (box). Adams conceded six runs. Which, that’s not ideal. But he also produced a 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 25 batters. Which, more ideal. And where matters of projecting future success are concerned, it’s the latter of those marks on which one likely ought to dwell.