FanGraphs Prospect Stock Market – 06/29/12

Marc Krauss, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Improving

Krauss spent the first two years of his career destroying pitching in the low minors. Promoted to double-A in 2011, the now-24-year-old outfielder faced the first true, long-term struggles of his pro career which saw him hit .242 with a wRC+ of 109. Returning to the level in 2012, Krauss has shown steady improvements and currently sports a wRC+ of 168, as well as an ISO rate of .234. The left-handed hitter could carve out a solid career as a platoon left-fielder (and/or DH) who beats up on right-handed pitching but runs screaming like a school girl from southpaws.

Mike Montgomery, LHP, Kansas City Royals
Current Level: AAA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 2nd
Current Value: Down

It wasn’t too long ago that Montgomery was considered one of the best pitching prospects in the minor leagues. But then he hurt his elbow in 2010. He avoided the knife but he hasn’t been the same since (and getting pushed quickly through high-A and double-A didn’t help). In parts of two seasons in triple-A, Montgomery, soon to be 23, has an ERA of more than 5.00 and his once above-average control is now average-at-best. On the plus side, he hasn’t missed any time over the past year-and-a-half and has logged more than 230 innings during that time frame. Montgomery’s ceiling is now much lower and he should be considered a future mid-rotation starter at best.

Tyler Pastornicky, SS, Atlanta Braves
Current Level: AAA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 4th
Current Value: Undervalued

Technically no longer a rookie (or a prospect, I guess) since he’s surpassed 130 at-bats at the big league level, Pastornicky is back in the minors while watching Andrelton Simmons play the part of the shortstop-of-the-future in Atlanta. The opening day big league starter, Pastronicky proved to be too green for the assignment but his future remains bright. After all, he had just 27 triple-A games under his belt prior to 2012 and is still just 22 years old. The former Blue Jays draft pick (traded to Atlanta in the Yunel Escobar deal) was considered a stopgap measure until Simmons was ready anyway and is better suited to playing at second base. Although his ceiling is that of an average regular at second base, Pastornicky still has value as a decent defender with good speed and the ability to handle the bat and play small ball. He might be a great buy-low candidate for a team to try and pry away from Atlanta at the trade deadline.

Jean Segura, 2B, Los Angeles Angels
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 4th
Current Value: Static

After missing much of 2011 with a hamstring injury, Segura is back-on-track in double-A. The middle infielder has spent much of the year playing shortstop but is probably still a long-term second baseman. At the plate, he’s been overly aggressive at the plate and has just 15 walks in 75 games, good for a career-low walk rate. After stealing 50 bases in 2010, he’s back to running fairly well after his injury and has 27 steals but has been caught 10 times. Segura, 22, had a bit of a slow start to the year overall but he’s picked up his game in June. Four of his seven home runs have come this month and he’s significantly trimmed his strikeouts, which has helped him hit more than .300 in the last 25 games. He’s probably about a year away from helping the Angels.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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RE: Krauss vs lefties:

He has an OPS of .836 this year vs lefties…not great but hardly “screaming like a schoolgirl” .836 OPS OVERALL would place him 9th in the southern league right now