Today at the Prospect Stock Watch we take a look at a rising pitcher from the National League and a couple of shortstops on different ends of the development spectrum.
Mitch Keller | RHP | Pirates
Keller, 20, reminds me a little bit of Jameson Taillon — as a pitcher with some giddy-up on his fastball that has above-average control at an early stage of the development curve. The 2014 second-round pick is still working to polish his command but he could eventually possess three average or better offerings, including a fastball that currently touches the mid-90s. He’s not flashy but Keller has 112 strikeouts in 107.1 innings and does a nice job of keeping the ball in the park. He also has a strong frame that suggests he could develop into an innings-eater in the middle of the Pirates rotation. The club has some depth in the big league rotation so Keller can move at his own pace and won’t be rushed in this system.
Richie Martin | SS | Athletics
Martin was selected 20th overall in the 2015 draft and considered a fairly safe bet to develop as a solid but unspectacular all-around middle infielder. Unfortunately, the ’16 season has been a lost year for him. It began with missed development time due to a knee injury and, when he returned, the bat never got going. Pushed aggressively to high-A ball, Martin has hit just .198 with 58 strikeouts in 67 games — and the struggles at the plate have come while playing in a league that favors hitters. On the plus side, the 21-year-old infielder has been steady at shortstop and has the chance to be a very good fielder. Unfortunately for the A’s, though, it could come as a utility player if Martin cannot jumpstart his offence.
Christopher Torres | SS | Mariners
Value: Rising slowly
Recently, I’ve been trying to take a look at one deep sleeper in each segment of the Prospect Stock Watch and Torres is the latest name to know. This 18-year-old shortstop doesn’t have stats that jump off the page but he still has a lot going for him. A switch-hitter, he has the tools to be an above-average fielder up the middle, including a strong arm, and the speed to make an impact on the base paths. The hit tool is still coming along but he shows flashes of gap power to all fields and has excellent makeup, which could help him make the most of his abilities. The Mariners organization isn’t afraid to aggressively push prospects so don’t be shocked to see him in full-season ball next year as a 19 year old.
Print This Post