FanGraphs Prospect Stock Watch – 05/15/12

Justin Grimm, RHP, Texas Rangers
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: On the Rise

A former top prep pitcher, Grimm’s inconsistency in college slid him down the 2010 draft’s depth chart and he landed in Texas’ lap in the fifth round. The right-hander has been on cruise control since turning pro and reached double-A in just his second season (He signed too late to play in ’10). Grimm has shown above-average control and has walked just eight batters in 45.1 innings this season. He does a nice job of commanding the ball down in the zone and he has produced solid ground-ball rates. The 23-year-old prospect is not far from being MLB-ready and he could eventually settle in as a No. 3 starter. With some other higher ceiling arms in the system Grimm could eventually be trade fodder.

Angelo Gumbs, 2B, New York Yankees
Current Level: A-
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Sleeper Alert

The Yankees organization has one of the most prospect-laden teams in minor league baseball with its low-A affiliate in Charleston. Gumbs was overshadowed at the beginning of the season but he’s starting to come into his own. A second round selection out of a California high school from the 2010 draft, the infielder is enjoying his first taste of full-season ball. Just 19, Gumbs strikes out too much (32 Ks in 31 games) but he’s starting to turn his athleticism into baseball skills. He’s hitting .364 with 10 walks in his last 10 games. Overall, Gumbs is 19-for-20 in stolen base attempts. He’s a long way away from reaching his ceiling but could eventually become a solid big league regular.

Julio Rodriguez, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 14th
Current Value: Overrated

Rodriguez is a favorite of minor league stats watchers. The right-hander has posted very impressive numbers in his career despite an average repertoire and fringe-average fastball velocity. Rodriguez, 21, blew through the low minors due to his above-average command and solid control. He’s found the going a lot tougher in double-A in 2012 as his walk rate has jumped way up while facing more advanced hitters (5.00 BB/9). His ERA of 2.24 is midleading and his FIP sits at .378. An extreme flyball pitcher, the Puerto Rico native has given up just one home run this year. Rodriguez’s future will likely involve a role in a big league bullpen either as a middle or long reliever.

Jonathan Singleton, OF/1B, Houston Astros
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 1st
Current Value: Almost Ready

The Brett Wallace experience did not work out as well as expected but the Astros club likely has its first baseman of the future in the form of a former Philadelphia Phillies prospect. Singleton, 20, has spent the 2012 seaason in double-A and absolutely tore the cover off the ball. Fifteen of his 34 hits have gone for extra bases and he’s currently hitting .296. He also has 23 walks compared to 28 strikeouts. Singleton hit .350 in April but has found the going a lot tougher in May (.171). The left-handed hitter has also struggled against southpaws all year (.184 vs RHP/.351 vs RHP). Once he irons out his issues against same-handed pitchers Singleton could assume the starting first base job in Houston.

Cory Spangenberg, 2B, San Diego Padres
Current Level: A+
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 8th
Current Value: Treading Water

Spangenberg was taken in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Padres and is perfectly geared to succeed in San Diego’s home park thanks to his quickness, athleticism and line-drive swing. Moved from third base to second base the infielder already boasts a career batting average of more than .300 in parts of two seasons. Spangenberg has been playing in the California League (high-A) this year but the potent league has not inflated his power numbers; Only 11 of the 21-year-old prospect’s 46 hits have gone for extra base hits. He’s also not doing the best job of controlling the strike zone with seven walks and 26 Ks in 37 games, something he’ll want to focus on as he projects to develop into a top-of-the-order hitter and needs to get on base at a consistent clip to maximize his value. Spangenberg, a left-handed hitter, has not had the best luck against southpaws (.182 vs LHP, .355 vs RHP). He’s had success on the base paths, though, with 15 steals in 18 attempts.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


10 Responses to “FanGraphs Prospect Stock Watch – 05/15/12”

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  1. Preston says:

    The Charleston Riverdogs are a must follow team. Every position other than 1B is occupied by a legitimate big league prospect. Gary Sanchez (C) and Mason Williams (CF) were already top 100 prospects, Tyler Austin (RF) has been busting out in a big way the last two years. Dante Bichette (3B) and Cito Culver (SS) were both 1st round picks and Angelo Gumbs (2b) and Matt Gamel (LF) are both solid prospects with upside. Not to mention Jose Campos headlining the pitching staff.

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  2. Derek says:

    seems like Ethan Martin should be on there. He literally went from being a bust to one of the biggest surprises in the minors.

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  3. I am a Red Sux Fan says:

    Was Vance Worley not seen in a similiar light as Julio Rodriguez.

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  4. kv18schn says:

    Nice to see Angelo Gumbs turning it around. Last season in Staten Island, he looked pretty lost, along with Cito Culver. I think that Ben Gamel doesn’t receive enough credit for what he’s done so far.

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  5. Big Jgke says:

    I know you’re a Jays fan and a Canadian, so are you ignoring Jays prospects in these to prove that you’re without bias, or are the Jays on the farm just not doing all that much so far this season?

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    • John Verburg says:

      Jays prospects are doing plenty this year. Just look at what Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Nicolino are doing in low A so far. They are dominating. Yeah, a couple guys of theirs like McGuire and Wojo have struggled a little, but they have so many guys in extended with even more talent it’s ridiculous.

      They are going to add more this year as well.

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  6. Jon says:

    Just wanted to say nice call on Grimm, Marc.

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