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Prospects Newsbeat

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Top Red Sox prospect Darwinzon Hernandez makes tremendous first impression

The Red Sox let Darwinzon Hernandez know how they felt about his future by pairing him with the five members of the starting rotation for one of his first official side sessions of spring training.

With Pedro Martinez in attendance, Hernandez threw immediately after Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi, and Eduardo Rodriguez in Fort Myers. Afterwards, manager Alex Cora noted that, “it takes more than 25 guys to win a World Series.”

The presumption on that day and throughout camp was that perhaps Hernandez could help this season in the bullpen. But here’s another thought. What if he’s meant to jolt life into the rotation?

Something to add to our list of great names.

 

QLE Posted: April 09, 2019 at 04:14 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: darwinzon hernandez, prospects, red sox

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Reds prospect Hunter Greene needs Tommy John surgery

CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene will have Tommy John surgery after medical tests found new ligament damage in his right elbow.

Greene was the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. He pitched in the Futures Game in Washington last year, hitting 100 mph with all of his 19 fastballs, one of them gauged at 103 mph.

Something to ponder- if the mound is moved back, is there a chance this will result in softer pitches and less arm wear and tear?

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter greene, prospects, reds, tommy john surgery

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nationals OF Victor Robles, 21, gets his turn to turn heads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Every team has a “next big thing” in the minors, waiting for the chance to dazzle in the majors, and Washington Nationals fans have been hearing about Victor Robles for years.

He’s an outfielder whose speed fuels his offense and defense. He’s shown power, too. “Toolsy” is the way new Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier described him. “Explosive,” was first baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s adjective.

Robles started in center field and went 0 for 3 in Washington’s exhibition finale Monday, a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees at Nationals Park. That’s also where he’s expected to be on opening day, finally getting his turn to begin a season in the big leagues, moving into an outfield that lost Bryce Harper to free agency.

Yes, but in what direction?

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, prospects, victor robles

Nick Senzel Suffers Ankle Injury

In some ways Senzel is Nick Johnson’s little brother.  Both OBP-heavy top prospects with decent power.  Unfortunately the similarity extends outside of the batter’s box, as they both seem to be made of glass.  And not even some shatter-resistant safety glass either.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, j.d. drew, nick johnson, prospects, rasputin, reds

Friday, March 22, 2019

Giants acquire Connor Joe, who has shot at making Opening Day roster

SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants swapped out a Rule 5 pick who wasn’t going to make the team for one who now very well might.

Drew Ferguson, an outfielder picked up from the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, was designated for assignment Thursday to clear a roster spot for Connor Joe, a utility man who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Joe is under the same restrictions, and given that the Giants picked him up one week from Opening Day, there seems a good chance that Farhan Zaidi will try to tuck the former Dodgers prospect onto the roster.

Joe, 26, has moved all over throughout his minor league career, primarily playing first base, third and the outfield. As a right-handed bat with a .363 career OBP in the minors, he fits a lot of what the Giants are looking for on their bench. That also could lead to some interesting decisions next week.

Benny Golson wrote a great jazz number about him, didn’t he?

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: connor joe, giants, prospects, rule 5

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Could Red Sox prospect Durbin Feltman help bullpen in 2019? Early results are promising

Durbin Feltman is quickly becoming one of the most intriguing prospects in the Boston Red Sox farm system, and you might be hearing a lot more from him later in the year.

The Red Sox bullpen took a hit this offseason when Joe Kelly left to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency and the team decided not to bring back free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel. Matt Barnes is one option to be the next closer, but he hasn’t proven to be the undisputed candidate in spring training so far. As a result, there’s still no clear-cut candidate for the closer role, so it’s possible the dreaded bullpen-by-committee approach could be the strategy to open the 2019 season.

If the bullpen struggles or lacks certain elements throughout the year, it’s possible Feltman could get some run at the Major League level to showcase his talents.

Are we sure this isn’t one of the fake prospects from one of those video games with dodgy character names, somehow running amok in the real world?

 

QLE Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: durbin feltman, prospects, red sox

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Top 39 Prospects: Houston Astros | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve mentioned this before but keeping their farm system so productive will require them to continue to churn through their prospects. As they reach the 40-Man bottleneck they will need to trade some of their excess AAA-ish prospects for other teams’ lower level prospects. This effort will only get more difficult as their front office people move around the league and more teams start valuing players similarly. It will be interesting to watch things play out over the next 5-10 years. How long will they be able to keep their competitive window open?

This is a good farm system even though there are some clear potential long-term pitfalls from having narrow criteria for the players the org targets. For one, the types of pitchers Houston seems to like are becoming more sought after by other teams as a better understanding of how pitching works permeates baseball. Fewer pitchers of this type will be available to Houston as a result, but of course, Houston is likely also identifying players who can be altered to become this type of pitcher, even if they aren’t one yet. One day, there might be repercussions for having a staff full of very similar pitchers, but there’s no way of knowing that.

The Astros are clearly ahead of other teams around the league in some other areas, too. In some ways, it’s becoming easier for those lagging behind to catch up because they can also look to Baltimore and Atlanta, both of which have former Houston employees in prominent roles, to spot trends. In other ways, it’s getting harder to learn about Houston from the outside, as paranoia and acrimony have begun to impact industry discourse about the Astros in a way that makes it difficult to know which rumors about them are true and which are BS. Some of the things that have been mentioned consistently, and which seem plausible and interesting, include experimentation with visual machine learning and work with topical substances to improve pitch spin/movement. Of course, all the Rapsodo and Motus sleeve stuff is already widely known or knowable with quick use of Google.

Expect the 40-man crunch to continue apace here as teams gobble up the overflow of Astros pitching that can’t quite crack their roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prospects

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

White Sox Option Eloy Jimenez To Triple-A - MLB Trade Rumors

What happens when the next ballyhooed prospect busts? We all assume the very top prospects will reach their potential. That’s not always the case though. Unfortunately, until the MLBPA and owners resolve this issue, a cloud of suspicion will hover over every decision to option a top prospect on the cusp of playing in the majors. Although this could wait until the current CBA expires, there is nothing that prevents both parties from resolving it sooner.

For the time being, Jimenez will be asked to continue honing his skills in the minors. Perhaps the Sox will opt not to call him up on the very first day on which he’d fall a year shy of big league service, using the delay as a means of further claiming that the move was a developmental decision rather than one driven by service time. It’s likely that they’ll point to Jimenez’s .154/.154/.346 slash in Spring Training as justification of the move, though few would find it plausible that 26 spring plate appearances are more indicative of MLB readiness than the 456 PAs during which Jimenez laid waste to minor league pitching in 2018. Furthermore, the move would surely have happened regardless of his performance; the White Sox, after all, declined to give Jimenez a September call-up in 2018 despite his aforementioned mastery of minor league pitching and despite the fact that he was already on the 40-man roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2019 at 06:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: eloy jimenez, prospects, white sox

Red Sox relief prospect Durbin Feltman compared to All-Star closer by American League scout

If 21-year-old relief prospect Durbin Feltman lives up to expectations, the bullpen won’t be an area of concern much longer for the Red Sox.

Boston’s third-round pick of last June’s MLB draft has turned heads at camp this spring. In fact, one American League scout even compared Feltman to a three-time All-Star closer after watching him take the mound in a minor-league game Monday.

“He was 94 [mph] with plus downer curveball,” the AL scout said, per WEEI. “Good aggressiveness. Arm action not the same, more effort, but the fastball and curveball shape remind me of a young [Mark] Melancon.”

Of course, this would mean more if there weren’t so many relievers in the All-Star Game.

 

QLE Posted: March 13, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: durbin feltman, mark melancon, prospects, red sox, relief pitching

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Varsho slowing down to get quicker behind plate

One of the main things scouts thought Varsho needed to work on most coming out of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was his throwing behind the plate. He’s already made good progress, having thrown out 39.5 percent of potential base stealers in 2018, but he continues to work hard with coaches like Robby Hammock on his throwing.

“Everything about my game I have to keep improving,” Varsho said. “Throwing was a really big thing, just learning how my timing and rhythm with being able to transfer the ball, just to slow it down so my transfer can be clean and quick and I can have an accurate throw.”

That might sound counter-intuitive, slowing down to be quicker, but Varsho’s tendency to rush his throws has been one of his biggest areas of focus.

“That’s my problem, I speed up way too much where I kind of jumble and my arm tries to catch up,” Varsho said. “Now it’s just slowing down a little bit to where I can have a quicker transfer and a really good throw.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: daulton varsho, diamondbacks, prospects

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Vlad Jr. strains left oblique, out 3 weeks | Toronto Blue Jays

OK, he’s out for three weeks then they have him rehab in AAA. Does this help them finagle his service time?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is expected to miss the next three weeks, after he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique muscle.
...
The 20-year-old third baseman technically was competing for a spot on the 25-man roster but all along the expectation was that Guerrero would start the year at Triple-A Buffalo. If the Blue Jays delayed his arrival in Toronto by a few weeks, the club would have gained an extra year of control, and this latest injury all but officially guarantees that will be the course of action.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2019 at 10:00 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, injuries, prospects, vladimir guerrero jr.

Jo Adell injured in Cactus League game | MLB.com

 

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2019 at 09:58 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, injuries, jo adell, prospects

Friday, March 01, 2019

What is the Value of a Prospect? An Updated Methodology - Driveline Baseball

Another look at valuing prospects.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 10:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, prospects

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mariners’ baserunning and situational hitting game offers a glimpse at the talent of two top prospects | The Seattle Times

Just call him Mr. Glass.

There was an injury on the first play of the base running/situational hitting game. Mariners prospect Kyle Lewis, who has been more than unlucky with injury issues, suffered a dislocated right pinkie finger on a slide into second base. Lewis, who is rated as the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America, dove headfirst into second, jammed his hand against the base and felt the pain. He stood up after being called safe, shook his hand and then looked down and saw his finger pointing at an odd angle. He motioned for the coaches and the trainers.

“It happens,” Servais said. “You can’t use kid gloves or wrap them up in bubble wrap, you have to play the game. Getting out and running the bases hard and playing like a real game is important.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, prospects

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2019 Top 100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

1. Vlad
2. Franco
3. Tatis
4. Whitley
5. Robles
6. Lewis
7. Senzel
8. Jimenez
9.Bichette
10. Tucker

Franco and Whitley a little higher than some of the other lists.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2019 at 11:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Phillies land Realmuto for 3 players, int’l signing money

Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, Will Stewart and $250k in international signing money.  I guess it’s better than what they could have gotten for Fakemuto.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 07, 2019 at 03:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects, trades

Sunday, January 27, 2019

MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list for 2019 | MLB.com

No surprise at #1.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2019 at 08:28 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Baseball America: 2019 Top 100 Prospects

Pair of sons of big leaguers at the top.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2019 at 01:32 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, January 18, 2019

Remember That Guy: Chris Snopek

Chris Snopek was born September 20, 1970 in Cynthiana, KY. He was a multi-sport standout in high school, averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 assists on the hardwood, as well as hitting .576 with 20 HR as a senior on the diamond. He was a standout third baseman/shortstop at Ole Miss, hitting .407/.491/.725 with 13 home runs and 62 RBI (a school-record at the time) in 54 games as a junior. The White Sox made him a 6th round draft pick in 1992.

In 1994, Snopek played for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, where he was one of two players on the team with 50+ RBI and 50+ walks. The other one was Michael Jordan.By 1995, Snopek hit .323/.402/.494 with 12 HR in 113 games for Nashville (AAA); that batting average good for second in the American Association. He made his MLB Debut on July 31, 1995, going 2 for 3 with a run, RBI, walk and stolen base as the starting third baseman. The 6’1” right-handed infielder drew a walk in each of his first five career MLB games; the first White Sox player to do so since Ray Morehart in 1924.

The White Sox had Robin Ventura at third and Ozzie Guillen at short, so Snopek had to settle for a start here and a start there. He was sent back down to the minors but returned in September. On September 20, 1995, Snopek connected for his first career home run; the blast coming off Indians starter Joe Roa. The milestone round tripper came on Snopek’s 25th birthday. He remains the only player in White Sox history whose first career home run came on his birthday. It was his lone homer of 1995, though Snopek did quite well in his first taste of MLB action, hitting .324 (22 for 68), .407 vs lefties (11 for 27) in 22 games.

A prospect’s tale, and one offering a chance to reflect on prospects of years past.

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2019 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: chris snopek, prospects, white sox

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects

Highest Ceiling: Luzardo
As a 20-year-old pitching for the first time since Tommy John, Luzardo showed all the ingredients needed to become a frontline starter in the big leagues—and possibly very soon. He has a premium arsenal in a fastball, curveball and changeup that all grade as above-average or better, as well as control and command that allow him to execute each pitch. If it all comes together for him, Luzardo could be one of the game’s best left-handed pitchers and a perennial Cy Young Award candidate.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019 Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects

Prospect ranking season is upon us.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2019 at 08:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, scouting reports

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bowden: Sizing up the rookies who are ready to make their mark in the majors in 2019 – The Athletic

Saw him pitch last year in Spring Training. He looked like he could pitch in the majors then.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Age: 21 Height: 6-1 Weight: 205 B: L T: L
Scouting Grades
FB: 60 CB: 50 CH: 60 CTL: 65

The Athletics showed great discipline in not bringing up Luzardo last September, instead opting to make sure he was fully developed, but they’re prepared to let him compete for a rotation spot in spring training. Based on their lack of starter depth, it would be a surprise if he didn’t make their team out of camp. Luzardo made 23 starts last year at three different levels, finishing with a 2.88 ERA with 129 strikeouts and 30 walks in 109 1/3 innings pitched. I got to watch him in the Futures Game, and all I could think about is what a great trade Billy Beane made in acquiring both him and their closer, Blake Treinen, from the Nationals in the trade that sent Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to Washington in July 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2019 at 09:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, prospects

Finding This Season’s Chris Paddack – Prospects365.com

Here’s a nice list of buy-low guys you might have available in your dynasty league.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2019 at 09:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, January 04, 2019

Chicago White Sox 2019 Top 50 Prospects | Prospects1500

A lot of effort going into this prospect site. I wish they would use the standard 20/80 scale instead of tiering prospects. If I have time I’ll add them to my prospects rankings sheet. It’s always interesting to me to see where there is consensus and to find outliers. Anyway, take a look.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2019 at 06:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

10 MLB Prospects We Hope Have A Healthy 2019 After Struggling With Injuries

Huge question mark.

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Phillies

After Astros righthander Forrest Whitley, Sanchez has a compelling argument as the next best pitching prospect in baseball. He sits in the mid- to upper 90s and can break triple-digits, doing it without much effort and while filling the strike zone.

Yet Sanchez threw just 46.2 innings last year, with his final outing coming on June 3 before he went on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. The Phillies say Sanchez is healthy and ready to go for spring training, but he was out longer than they initially anticipated and missed the Arizona Fall League. He’s still only 20, but his 95 innings in 2017 are the most he has ever thrown. If he can handle a starter’s workload, Sanchez has the potential to anchor a rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2019 at 11:27 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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