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FanGraphs Prospect Stock Watch – 07/03/12

Matt Dominguez, 3B, Miami Marlins
Current Level: AAA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 6th
Current Value: Down

Dominguez was a 2007 first round draft pick and one of three prep third basemen taken in the first 12 picks of that draft – including his high school teammate Mike Moustakas. The latter player is now the regular third baseman for the Kansas City Royals while Dominguez (and Josh Vitters of the Cubs) continues to struggle to reach his potential. Although he’s a good defender, the Marlins prospect just does not hit well enough to warrant a big league promotion; in his second year at triple-A he has a wRC+ of just 61. Perhaps it’s time to do something radical and try his strong arm on the mound?

Sean Coyle, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Current Level: A+
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Down

I received some flack when I chose to leave Coyle off my Red Sox pre-season Top 15 prospect list. His struggles in 2012 in high-A ball have caused him to slide even further down the prospect spectrum. Coyle, 20, has decent pop for his size but it’s gap power and he strikes out far too much (27.8%). His walk rate is also headed in the wrong direction and has plummeted this year (cut almost in half over 2011 from 12.9 to 6.6%). He’s showing some life in his last 10 games, hitting just below .300 but he’s also struck out 10 times with just one walk. Coyle needs to make some adjustments – and quickly – if he’s going to turn his season around.

Justin Nicolino, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 5th
Current Value: Levelling Off

Toronto had an outstanding 2010 draft that netted the organization the likes of pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, and Sam Dyson. Second-rounder Nicolino, 20, doesn’t throw as hard as those other pitchers but the southpaw has impressive command and control of his repertoire, which includes an average fastball. His ERA sits at 1.74 on the year but he’s struggled a bit as of late as the organization has loosened the reigns on his pitch/innings count. Even so, he still has 59 Ks and an above-average ground-ball rate in in 62.0 innings of work.

Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Current Level: SS
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 7th
Current Value: Underrated

The 2012 international market opened on July 2 and Heredia was the top arm available from the 2010 class. Still just 17 years old, the right-hander spent the first half of the year in extended spring training before being assigned to short-season ball. He’s made three starts and has allowed a total of just one earned run. Standing 6’6”, Heredia has a fastball that can touch the mid-90s and he’s made significant improvements with his secondary stuff. If all goes as hoped, the Mexico native has the ceiling of a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Enny Romero, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 5th
Current Value: Volatile

The Rays organization knows how to develop young arms and it’s been patient with Romero, whose results have not been as good as his 3.04 ERA might suggest. The lefty has allowed just 59 hits in 83.0 innings of work but his BABIP-allowed sits at a well-below-average .249. His strikeout rate has dropped significantly from 2011 (11.05 to 6.55 K/9) and his high walk rate has not improved. Romero, 21, produces just average ground-ball rates but he’s done a very nice job of limiting the home runs in his career. He needs a lot of polish but the Dominican Republic native has the skill to bounce back.