Archive for Prospects

Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Dodgers are said to be big players for Baltimore’s Manny Machado but this system isn’t as deep as it used to be due to promotions, trades, etc. A couple of so-so drafts in a row have not helped, either.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Alex Verdugo | OF | AAA —> With most organizations, Verdugo would be a starting outfielder — and would have been since the beginning of the year. With the Dodgers, though, he’s a handy player to have at triple-A to fill in for injuries. He’s an extremely advanced hitter for his age, as witnessed by his .352 average, and he rarely gives away an at-bat. The biggest knock on him is the modest power output (which is more a result of his all-fields approach than a lack of strength).

2. Keibert Ruiz | C | AA —> I’ve been leading the bandwagon on Ruiz for a couple of years now but, as he finally starts to get the attention he deserves, he’s having a down year with the bat. Now to be fair, he’s 19 and playing in double-A. Even with being a little overmatched he’s only struck out 20 times in 251 at-bats. Like Verdugo above, this switch-hitter has an uncanny knack for making contact, which can sometimes work against him if he doesn’t wait for a good pitch to hit (as he’s learning right now). Defensively, he needs some polish but should be able to stick behind the plate.

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Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects Updated

When I wrote the system up in the winter, it felt like it was starting to thin out after last year’s trades and recent MLB promotions. That’s not the case, though. The Astros have some of the best pitching depth in baseball, with a few potential everyday hitters sprinkled in.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Kyle Tucker | RF | AAA —> The Astros have recently promoted this 21-year-old outfielder after he produced excellent triple-A numbers. With Marwin Gonzalez under-producing in his walk year, this move will give the Astros a spark while also auditioning Tucker for a full-time gig in 2019. There will be some growing pains in ’18 if he sticks around but he has 20-20 (HR-SB) upside.

2. Forrest Whitley | RHP | AA —> Between a suspension and injuries, 2018 has mostly been a lost year for the Astros’ top pitching prospect. When he’s pitched, though, he’s continued to look like a potential top-of-the-rotation arm.

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Top-75 Stats-Based Hitting Prospects

It’s time for the bi-weekly look at under-the-radar hitting prospects. There seemed to be some confusion on the point of the rankings which is to find under promote good prospects. Today, I will try to clear up the and dive into a few hitters not represented on top-100 prospect lists.

The last time I ran this report, there was some questions on why some hitters were missing. After investing, I found out it’s was a database issue which missed some newly signed players, changed the position labeling, and mislabeled when players lost their rookie eligibility. I’ve made sure everyone is included but added a few adjustments.

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Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Mariners system is pretty thin on potential impact players but, nonetheless, have some interesting names littered throughout the system. I’m a big fan of the team’s 2018 first round pick.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Evan White | 1B | A+ —> White entered pro ball — after being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft — with the reputation for being a good hitter with a modest power output for a first baseman. That continues to be the case for the young hitter, even while spending most of the year in the California League, which tends to boost offensive numbers. He has the athleticism to play the outfield but the Mariners have kept him firmly entrenched at first base; White hasn’t played even one inning at another position in pro ball. Right now, he looks like a future average big league hitter with above-average defence.

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Texas Rangers Top 10 Prospects Updated

Amateur player identification and development has long been a strength of the Rangers organization but trades and promotions have thinned out the system badly. And an inexplicable onslaught of injuries has made matters much worse.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Willie Calhoun | DH/LF | AAA —> The book on Calhoun remains the same: He could be an everyday hitter in the big leagues right now but he can’t play defence. He should be up this summer if Texas can find a place to play him — perhaps after the trade deadline.

2. Leody Taveras | CF | A+ —> Just 19, Taveras is already in high-A ball, although I’m not really a fan of how quickly the Rangers have been moving him. He has yet to dominate at any minor league level. The raw tools are there, though, and he should be a plus center-fielder with above-average speed and at least line-drive pop. He could grow into 15-20 homer pop.

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Top-75 Stats-Based Pitching Prospects

It’s time for my latest computer based pitching prospects. In my last article, there was some confusion on how the rankings are to be used. Here’s a breakdown of what the rankings are and aren’t.

Are

  • A supplement to Eric’s and Kiley’s prospect rankings. This set utilizes stats, age, role, and some regression to find potential overlooked prospects before they start showing up on major prospect lists.

Aren’t

  • A complete list of every prospect. Some will be missed. I don’t care as I’m digging for one-offs. The most likely reason for not being on the list is they haven’t performed, not played much (major factor), or have graduated to the majors. Major league results are also not included.
  • The order doesn’t matter at all, at least to me. Why one person is #8 over some guy at #14 compared to other lists is irrelevant. These top prospects are already owned in most leagues. I feel the order only matters to desperate fan bases looking for some much-needed hope.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects Updated

Oakland’s minor league system is pretty thin in terms of potential impact players but there are some interesting names nonetheless.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. A.J. Puk | SP | INJ —> It looked like 2018 was going to be Puk’s coming out party at the big league level but, instead, he’s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

2. Franklin Barreto | SS | MLB —> Barreto has struggled with the bat this year but he has a good opportunity to solidify a big league job if he stops trying to hit a home run in each at-bat. If he gets back to using the whole field, he can be an impact hitter with the ability to hit for a solid average, get on base and generate extra-base pop.

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Top-75 Fantasy Hitting Prospects w/ Potts, Chang, & Santana

I’ve updated my hitter prospect rankings (any name ideas?) based on age, level, position, and production with some regression baked in to handle small samples (link to last pitcher rankings). Besides the top-75 list, I’ve included some additional information on three lesser-known players.

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Mining For Pitchers: Suarez, Littell, & Kennedy

Last week I re-introduced my hitter prospect finder and today, the pitchers take center stage. The process uses K%-BB%, age, and level as inputs to find potential off-the-radar prospects.

While the hitter finder finds all the top hitters from scouting sources, the pitcher is not as robust. It just looks at results which sometimes can be off with known fastball velocities and pitch quality. Even though it doesn’t replicate the top prospects, I find it’s great at finding lesser-known targets.

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Prospect Stock Watch: Solak, Duran, Romero

Today at the Prospect Stock Watch, we take a look at a hitter from the Rays’ system, and pitchers from both the Diamondbacks’ and the Phillies’ systems.

Nick Solak, 2B/LF, Rays: Tampa Bay is starting to build up some impressive middle infield depth. Joey Wendle has been a decent stopgap at second base but he’s not really an everyday guy and is better suited to being a back-up on a playoff calibre team (which the Rays are not). Solak, who has spent parts of the last two seasons in double-A, is probably ready for the test of triple-A and should be considered the Rays’ second baseman of the future — unless he’s their left-fielder-of-the-future. The former Yankees’ prospect has shown the ability to get on base at an excellent rate (He currently has a .402 on-base average), he can hit for average and he’s showing increased pop. He currently has 10 home runs through 64 games after going deep just 12 times in 130 contests. Solak’s versatility is even more impressive, although he’s not the most gifted fielder at second base (but he has yet to make an error there this year in 32 appearances). He should be ready for full-time MLB duty in 2019.

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