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FanGraphs Prospect Stock Watch – 06/07/12

Posted By Marc Hulet On June 7, 2012 @ 2:00 pm In Minor Leagues | 5 Comments

Bobby Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 5th
Current Value: Leveled Off

Dylan Bundy‘s big brother started to realize his potential in 2011 at high-A ball but he’s found the going much tougher at double-A in 2012. Bundy, 22, posted a 2.75 ERA in 121 innings last year but his ERA has jumped to 5.46 in 59.1 innings this season. He’s been inconsistent with three good starts and three bad starts in his last six appearances. His strikeout rate has dropped more than 1 K per nine innings from 2011 and his walk rate has increased by more than one base-on-balls per nine. At 6’2” 215 lbs, and with a solid repertoire, Bundy has the chance to develop into a workhorse in a big league starting rotation but he could end up in the bullpen if he cannot become more consistent.

Chun-Hsiu Chen, 1B/C, Cleveland Indians
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 5th
Current Value: Heading Down

Chen was previously known as a bat-first catcher but he struggled on offense at double-A in 2011. Sent back to the same level in 2012, he’s made some improvements, such as a .308 batting average and an improved walk rate and a loss of 6% off his strikeout rate. On the down side he’s hit just one homer after knocking out 16 in 2011. With the potential to develop into a fringe-average receiver, Cleveland kept him behind the plate until 2012 but appears to have mostly abandoned the idea of keeping him behind the plate. He’s appeared in just five games as a catcher, as well as 32 at first base and 16 at DH. His power has chosen a bad time to disappear given that there has now been a higher expectation placed on the development of his bat. The 23-year-old right-handed hitter is looking more and more like a bench bat and third-string catcher.

Zach Collier, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Current Level: A+
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Volatile

A 2008 supplemental first round pick – the 34th overall selection in the draft – Collier has found pro ball to be quite challenging for a number of reasons. The outfielder, who was considered quite raw at the time of his entry into pro ball, missed the entire 2010 season due to surgery on his wrist and he then received a 50-game suspension at the end of 2011 after testing positive for a banned substance. It was bad timing as Collier was finally starting to make strides in his game. Still just 21 years old, the California native got a late start to the 2012 season – due to the carry over from his suspension – but he’s come out of the chute on fire and has 12 hits in his first eight games while playing at high-A. The athletic prospect still has impressive tools and the second half of the 2012 minor league season will go a long way in helping Collier establish himself as a legitimate up-and-comer.

Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 2nd
Current Value: Skyrocketing

The Marlins’ first round pick from 2011, Fernandez has a reputation as a talented player that would have to watch his conditioning as he aged. But he was considered an advanced prep player at the time of the draft. That sentiment has been proven true as the right-hander has dominated low-A ball in 11 starts. The Cuba native, who went to high school in Florida, currently sports a 1.34 ERA in 67.0 innings of work. He’s walked just 16 batters while striking out an eye-popping 85. His fly-ball-out rate has been right around average but he’s allowed just one home run. Fernandez, 19, has a little work to do to combat left-handed hitters (.255 average vs LHB, .134 vs RHB) but he might be ready for the challenge of high-A ball. He has the ceiling of a No. 2 starter – although he now has an outside shot of becoming a No. 1. The Marlins got excellent value with their 2011 first round pick.

Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 7th
Current Value: Underrated

Rosenthal continues to post solid numbers in near obscurity. The right-hander caught the attention of prospect watchers after posting solid numbers in low-A ball in 2011, while also displaying an above-average repertoire. He’s been moved up to double-A for 2012 and currently has a 2.90 ERA in 59.0 innings. He’s struck out 53 batters but has struggled with his control (32 walks, after issuing just 39 all of last year). His above-average ground-ball tendencies have dried up and he’s close to producing an average rate. Rosenthal, 22, has obviously found that there is a steep learning curve when jumping over high-A ball and pitching against much more advanced hitters in double-A. He’ll likely remain in double-A all year with an eye on reaching the Majors in 2013. He could develop into a mid-rotation starter or a high-leverage reliever.


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