Archive for Prospects

The Freshmen Stock Watch: Peterson, Tomas, Herrera

We’re not even a month into the latest and greatest Major League Baseball season but it’s never too early to start focusing on the Rookie of the Year race and, more generally speaking, the freshmen class of 2015.

Jace Peterson, Braves: Peterson, acquired from San Diego during the off-season, won the Braves’ starting second base gig with a strong spring but he’s struggled early in the regular season. The fleet-of-foot infielder has struck out almost 30% of the time — an alarming number for anyone but especially for someone whose focus is putting the ball in play to utilize his speed. He’s been on base so inconsistently that he’s only been able to attempt two steals (with a 50% success rate). Peterson has a short window to establish himself as a big league starter with the Braves’ top hitting prospect, Jose Peraza, currently honing his craft in Triple-A (and he has also been struggling with the bat). [Value Down]

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Previewing the Freshman Hitters

The 2015 baseball season opened with some intriguing first-year names on the 25-man rosters fielded by the 30 MLB organizations. I began this miniseries by introducing the key freshman hurlers to know in the class of 2015 and I’m following up today with the top rookie hitters. This wave of first-year players is dominated by outfielders.

Micah Johnson/Carlos Sanchez, 2B, White Sox: Johnson is the favorite to start early in Chicago and has the base-running ability to be an impact player but Sanchez just might be the better player long term due to his natural hitting ability and better defence potential. Either way, the Sox are in a good position to have one of the two players run away with the gig. However, until that happens they’re likely to share the position, which will limit their value.

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Previewing the Freshman Hurlers

The 2015 baseball season opened with some intriguing first-year names on the 25-man rosters fielded by the 30 MLB organizations. Over the next few days I’ll be looking at key names to know in the freshman class of 2015, beginning with the rookie hurlers.

Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies: Butler probably doesn’t get enough love based solely on how good his stuff is… when he’s healthy. Unfortunately, he battled shoulder issues last year and missed time in the spring with shoulder weakness. He earned a roster spot nonetheless and his ground-ball tendencies (along with his strikeout stuff) make him a good fit for pitching in Colorado. If his body holds up, he could be one of the more successful Rockies starting pitchers in 2015.

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Round Up The Unusual Prospects

If you’re like us—we sincerely hope you aren’t, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably are—your soul is suffused with the sickness unto death as you contemplate how microscopic the attention you pay to baseball events must be if you hope to succeed in any moderately sophisticated Fantasy Baseball league. First, of course, you have to know how the players everyone knows and cares about are doing. Thus, it will matter to you when you see a headline like “Sean Doolittle plays catch.” We know that this fact has a measure of real-world significance that, say, “Khloe Kardashian plays catch” or “Mitch McConnell plays catch” doesn’t. Still, we keep expecting to see follow-ups: “Sean Doolittle walks the dog.” “Sean Doolittle takes his kids to P.F. Chang’s.” Nonetheless, we care. And just to set the record straight: Doolittle doesn’t have kids, or a spouse, though he does have a famously hot girlfriend.

And then, of course, you need to be completely familiar with the resumes and futures of guys that normal people haven’t heard of. We won’t insult you by telling you who Bruce Rondon is, because you already know. But believe us, there are plenty of hard-core baseball fans (as opposed to Fantasy addicts) who don’t. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 5 Prospects for 2015: Texas Rangers

This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.

In a Nutshell: The club suffered through a nightmare season in 2014 thanks to injuries but the club should be better positioned to weather the storm in 2015, thanks to the impending arrivals of a number of key prospects.

The Top 5 Freshman for 2015

1. Alex Gonzalez, RHP: The Rangers first round draft pick from 2013, Gonzalez will likely open 2015 back in Double-A but he’s a spring training invitee and a strong spring could help him earn one of the first promotions to offset an injury or disappointing performance. The Rangers have some pitching depth entering the year but the starting rotation has some question marks in the No. 4 and 5 slots, as well as a couple of other arms with injury concerns. Gonzalez is fairly polished and has good command/control, which helps his average-ish fastball play up. The young hurler also gets his fair share of ground-ball outs. He has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter.

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Top 5 Prospects for 2015: Seattle Mariners

This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.

In a Nutshell: Seattle has a lot of young players residing in the upper levels of the season that could provide a shot in the arm to the club throughout the season as it looks to take a shot at the playoffs in 2015.

The Top 5 Freshman for 2015

1. D.J. Peterson, 1B: The club’s first round draft pick from 2013, Peterson shouldn’t require much seasoning in the minors. He reached Double-A last season, slugged 31 home runs in the process, and has a .914 OPS in his pro career. Logan Morrison currently projects as the everyday first baseman in Seattle but his career has been derailed by injuries. He’s entering his prime so he had best take advantage of that or Peterson could wrestle the gig away by mid season. The prospect is a legit middle-of-the-order threat.

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Top 5 Prospects for 2015: Oakland Athletics

This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.

In a Nutshell: Four of the five players listed below joined the Athletics via trades during the recent off-season. There isn’t a superstar-in-the-making among the bunch but the club has impressive, young depth at a variety of positions — both on offence and on the mound.

The Top 5 Freshman for 2015

1. Sean Nolin, LHP: Traded to Oakland in the offseason Josh Donaldson deal, Nolin is a promising southpaw starter with the ceiling of a No. 4 starter. He should benefit from the move to a more spacious park where his fly-ball tendencies will be less detrimental. He’s probably been MLB ready for at least half a season but the upper level depth, as well as an injury, kept Nolin in the minors — except for one late season MLB appearance. With that said, he still has some work to do to reach his full potential, including improved command.

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Top 5 Prospects for 2015: Los Angeles Angels

This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.

In a Nutshell: The Angels system has been one of the worst for a while now (even though it produced Mike Trout) but things are starting to look up for the organization. There aren’t any high-ceiling players on the immediate horizon but there are some solid arms and role players that should begin surfacing in 2015.

The Top 5 Freshman for 2015

1. Cam Bedrosian, RHP: Bedrosian rocketed through the minors in 2014 after he began the year in A-ball. He spent the bulk of the year in Double-A but also made 17 big league appearances and set the stage for a larger role in 2015. The starter-turned-reliever is a hard-thrower that has high-leverage potential and could eventually rack up saves for the Angels like his father Steve Bedrosian did for the Braves, Giants, Phillies and Twins. Huston Street will certainly be handed the ball in the ninth inning in 2015 but Bedrosian could be the heir apparent as soon as 2016 and he might receive the odd opportunity in the year ahead.

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Hector Olivera Will Be An OK 2B Option

… if this nonsense with his agent(s?) ever clears up.

I feel like Debbie Downer from the classic Saturday Night Live sketch. I found reasons to dislike Yasmany Tomas, and now I’m here trying to find reasons to dislike Hector Olivera. It’s largely because I’m stubborn and would rather die by own fantasy baseball sword than someone else’s. But I haven’t seen any assessment of Olivera’s Cuban National Series (CNS) statistics beyond he hit an impressive .323/.407/.505 in his 10 years in Cuba, so I’ll attempt to expand on this.

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Top 5 Prospects for 2015: Houston Astros

This 30-part series will look at the projected Top 5 freshman contributors for each big league club for the year ahead. The rankings take into consideration a mixture of ceiling, readiness and potential playing time allocation, which is to say some players with lower ceilings may be ranked ahead of others with higher ceilings because they project to have a greater impact in the coming season.

In a Nutshell: The Astros don’t have many near-MLB-ready, high-ceiling arms but there are definitely some intriguing hitters on the cusp of reaching the Majors.

The Top 5 Freshman for 2015

1. Mark Appel, RHP: With the trade of Mike Foltynewicz to Atlanta, Appel becomes the pitching prospect in the system with the highest ceiling who is closest to the Majors. He’ll no doubt look to leave the injury concerns and drama from 2014 behind him… and also the dangerous confines of the California League, which led to a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts. Now established in Double-A, he should spend at least a half season there before challenging for a call-up to The Show. If he continues to show his top stuff and stays healthy, Appel has the ceiling of a No. 2/3 starter.

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