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Prospects Newsbeat

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Report: Amateur prospect Carter Stewart opts for Japan over MLB draft

One of the top amateur baseball prospects is making a unique career decision, forgoing his chance to be selected in this June’s Major League Baseball draft to play overseas. 

Right-handed pitcher Carter Stewart, who was the No. 8 overall pick by the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 draft, agreed to sign with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League, according to The Athletic. Terms of the deal are unknown, but it is likely to be more than he was asking from the Braves.

After failing to reach an agreement with the Braves in 2018 over concerns about a wrist injury, Stewart enrolled at Eastern Florida State Junior College, which made him eligible for this year’s draft.

Instead, his decision to play in Japan will make his path to MLB a bit more difficult.

Any comments on the broader significance of this move?

 

QLE Posted: May 22, 2019 at 08:00 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: carter stewart, draft, japanese baseball, prospects

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Brewers calling up top prospect Keston Hiura

Robert Murray of The Athletic reports that the Brewers are calling up top prospect Keston Hiura. He’s a second baseman.

Milwaukee started the season with Mike Moustakas playing second and Travis Shaw at third, but Shaw’s struggles — he’s hitting .163/.266/.281 (46 OPS+) and that just can’t happen to a team defending a division crown. With Hiura in Milwaukee, Moustakas should switch back to third more regularly while the kid gets a chance. Ken Rosenthal reports that Shaw will either go on the injured list or be sent down to Triple-A.

So, where does this rank in terms of great baseball names?

 

QLE Posted: May 15, 2019 at 05:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, keston hiura, prospects

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mets Double-A prospects combine for no-hitter

Two Mets prospects combined for a no-hitter with Double-A Binghamton in Wednesday’s 7-0 win against the Harrisburg Senators.

Harol Gonzalez struck out six batters in 6 2/3 innings while Ryder Ryan finished it off by retiring all seven batters he faced for the Rumble Ponies’ first no-hitter in 13 years.

“Pretty much everything was working for me,” Gonzalez said, according to MILB.com’s Michael Avallone. “I looked at video from my last start and then some from earlier. I got back to using my legs more, which helped my fastball and throwing it for strikes. My curve was in the dirt a little too much early on, but I got it working in the sixth and went from there.”

Gonzalez, a 24-year-old right-hander who has been in the Mets organization since 2014, walked just two batters. He was at 91 pitches before he was lifted for Ryan, a reliever who joined the Mets’ farm system in the 2017 Jay Bruce trade.

 

 

QLE Posted: May 10, 2019 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: double a, harol gonzalez, mets, no-hitter, prospects, ryder ryan

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Get to know Oregon State baseball’s star catcher Adley Rutschman

Meet Adley Rutschman, Oregon State’s star catcher who could soon be the future of Major League Baseball. The junior is coming off National College Baseball Writers Association National Player of the Month honors and could become the first pick in MLB’s first-year draft in June.

The 6-foot-2, 216 pound physical, switch-hitting backstop hit .455 over 18 games in April and recorded five doubles, seven home runs, and 23 runs batted last month. This season, he’s hitting .429 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI. Rutschman holds the OSU single-season record with 59 walks and leads the nation with a .579 on-base percentage.

So, what say we about his future?

 

QLE Posted: May 09, 2019 at 05:36 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: adley rutschman, catchers, oregon state, prospects

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Top Giants pitching prospect Logan Webb suspended 80 games for PEDs

Logan Webb, one of the San Francisco Giants’ top pitching prospects has been suspended 80 games for PEDs. The substance: Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Which I dare you to say three times super fast.

 

QLE Posted: May 02, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: logan webb, peds, prospects

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Report: Reds to call up top prospect Nick Senzel soon

Jon Heyman is hearing that the Reds are “contemplating” a call-up for top prospect Nick Senzel and that it could happen as soon as Friday. Friday would make sense as that’s when the Reds begin their next home stand.

Mind you, with Heyman one needs to take grains of salt so big they’d keep an entire deer park happy….

 

QLE Posted: May 01, 2019 at 05:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nick senzel, prospects, reds

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rays to call up first base prospect Nate Lowe

The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up first base prospect Nate Lowe.

Lowe, 23, a top-100 overall prospect and one of the best first base prospects in the game, was the Rays’ Minor League Player of the Year last year. In 2018 he hit .330/.416/.568 with 27 homers and 102 RBI over 130 games at three different minor league levels. So far this year he’s batting .300/.444/.543 with three home runs and 14 RBI through 21 games at Triple-A Durham.

Will they pull him after the first inning for strategic purposes?

 

QLE Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nate lowe, prospects, rays

Life after Vlad: Former No. 1 pick tosses no-hitter to enter top prospect conversation

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. finally in the majors where he belongs, it will soon be time to crown a new No. 1 prospect.

There are no shortage of possibilities for that title, though plenty of players who were top prospects entering this season have already joined Guerrero in the majors. That includes Baseball America’s No. 2 and 3 prospects in San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez. Four more members of the top 10 are also expected to debut this year.

So where does that leave us in the top prospect race? Well, we could start with one former top pick who has dominated the competition to a comical degree so far this season. And it got even better on Monday.

Riffing on the subject of prospects, using Casey Mize as a jumping-off point.

 

QLE Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, double a, no-hitter, prospects

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to make MLB debut Friday

April 24 (UPI)—Vladimir Guerrero Jr., considered one of the top prospects in baseball, is heading to the MLB.

The Toronto Blue Jays will call up Guerrero on Friday and he is expected to make his major league debut, the team announced Wednesday.

“We plan to call up Vladimir Guerrero for Friday’s game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters. “We’re planning to. Will he play? Yes.

“It’s a big moment for the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s the number one prospect in baseball and he’s coming on Friday. It’s a big moment for us. Hopefully he becomes what everybody thinks he can become and that’s gonna be good for all of us.”

Is this the dawning of the Age of Guerrero?

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, prospects, vladimir guerrero jr.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Ray’s Ramblings: April 22nd – Prospects365.com

Some good prospect updates.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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.


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

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