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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Prospects Newsbeat

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

KATOH’s Top 100 Prospect List for 2016 | FanGraphs Baseball

Prospects by the numbers.

I know you probably know this, but I’d like to reiterate that you shouldn’t think of this as “Chris Mitchell’s Top 100 List,” and certainly not “FanGraphs’ Top 100 List.” This is simply the output from a flawed statistical model that fails to take into account many of the factors that go into evaluating a prospect. As always, you should never choose between stats and scouting — or beer and tacos — if you don’t have to.

There are players on this list who feel way too high to me, and there are players who feel way too low to me. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Plus, there are fewer of those head-scratchers than there were in previous versions. I consider this to be a good sign, considering my new model takes into account more information. I’ll be going more in-depth on each of these prospects — and many others, as well — as I work my way through the team lists.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2015 at 12:59 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New York Mets prospects Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini bounced back in big ways in 2015 |

The Mets have a few other players in the pipeline.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Arizona Fall League Top 20 Prospects |

This year’s group of Arizona Fall League prospects couldn’t match those from 2013 and ‘14, though that’s a nearly impossible standard to live up to. The historic rookie crop that generated so much big league buzz this summer was fueled by several former AFL participants, including Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Roberto Osuna, Joc Pederson, Addison Russell and Corey Seager.

While there weren’t as many elite prospects in the Fall League this time around, there still was plenty of intriguing talent. As usual, the hitters stood out more than the pitchers—position players claimed 13 of the first 16 spots on our Top 20 Prospects list—because most clubs opt not to pile more innings on their best young arms.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Top 10 prospects: Cardinals still rich with pitching : Sports

Power “is one of the bigger problems in the system,” Manuel wrote in the chat. “We list (Paul) DeJong (as) ‘best power’ in the system currently.”

I advocated for DeJong to be in the Top 10 for that reason. He’s one of the few in the “best tools” section of the rankings not to crack the Top 10. But that “best tools” also illustrates the Cardinals’ situation with position players why and it’s the free-agent market for them this winter: Nick Plummer, just drafted, is considered the “best hitter for average” already in the organization. Magneuris Sierra, who struggled at Low-A before righting his season at rookie level, is the teams “fastest baserunner,” “best athlete,” “best defensive outfielder,” and “best outfield arm.” It’s worth noting here that in this Top 10 and these “best tools” surveys the Cardinals are compared only against themselves. Sierra might have the 11th-best outfield arm in the minors, but if none of the top 10 are in the Cardinals’ organization he’s the best here.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, prospects

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Top 10 prospects available in Rule 5 Draft |

Corey Black, RHP, Cubs (No. 19): Black made the move to the bullpen for the first time in 2015. Though he struggles with command, he throws hard and could stick as a reliever if he throws enough strikes with his fastball-slider combination.

Onelki Garcia, LHP, White Sox (No. 22): Garcia actually made it to the big leagues in 2013 with the Dodgers. He missed nearly all of ‘14, then the White Sox claimed him off waivers. He struggled this year, but a lefty who touches 95 mph is often a popular selection.

Reymin Guduan, LHP, Astros (No. 16): Speaking of lefties who throw hard, Guduan works regularly in the upper 90s now that he’s a reliever full-time. He doesn’t always know where it’s going, but the fastball-slider combo is intriguing.

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Astros (No. 17): The Astros have six from their top 30 eligible, a testament to how deep their farm system is. Hernandez is a toolshed with an exciting power-speed combination, albeit an unfinished one who needs to work on his approach.

Zack Jones, RHP, Twins (No. 23): The Twins have so many hard-throwing relievers in their system, they can’t keep them all. Jones is almost entirely all fastball, but it’s one that sits in the upper-90s with movement.

Luis Perdomo, RHP, Cardinals (No. 11): The 2015 Futures Gamer is another flamethrower, one who is developing as a starter. But if he’s put in a bullpen, he can run his fastball into the upper 90s, with a hard breaking ball and even a feel for a changeup.
T.J. Rivera, SS, Mets (No. 26): Though he may not be as exciting as a pitcher who can approach triple digits, all Rivera has done in the Minors is hit. He carries a career .318 average and .366 on-base percentage through five Minor League seasons, and he’s seen considerable time at all four infield positions.

Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (No. 27): The former Vanderbilt standout and second-round pick struggled as a starter when he started moving up the ladder, so the Royals moved him to the bullpen. He can touch 97 mph and his slider shows flashes of being a plus pitch, but he struggles finding the strike zone.

Dwight Smith, OF, Blue Jays (No. 13): Perhaps the choice as next year’s DeShields, if only because he is also the son of a former big leaguer. He has shown an ability to hit for average and draw walks, albeit without much power.

Alberto Tirado, RHP, Phillies (No. 14): Part of the return from the Blue Jays for Ben Revere, Tirado gave up just one earned run in 16 innings following the trade. He struck out 16 and held opponents to a .130 batting average, but he also walked 18. He’s yet to pitch above Class A Advanced, but if he can harness his upper-90s fastball, he has a chance.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rule 5 Draft Roster Deadline: Who’s Being Added

The 2014 Rule 5 draft was one of the best of all time, as 10 of the 14 players in the major league portion stuck with new teams. Two outfielders (Delino DeShields and Odubel Herrera) and one first baseman (Mark Canha) saw regular playing time and a number of pitchers (led by Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham) proved they were more than just players being stashed for the future. That list could eventually grow by one. Daniel Winkler spent most of the season on the disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery and therefore will still need to spend additional time on the Braves’ active roster to start 2016 to meet Rule 5 roster requirements.

It will be hard for this year’s Rule 5 draft to match that level of success, but it is a reminder why this matters.

JJ1986 Posted: November 20, 2015 at 01:28 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rosters, rule 5 draft

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Andrew Benintendi could be on fast track to majors with Red Sox - Sports - - Providence, RI

Why not also say he can walk on water?

“I wasn’t going to tell anybody because I wouldn’t want that kind of pressure on a guy that didn’t have a big-league at-bat yet,” Gamboa said. “But his swing is exactly the same as Carl Yastrzemski’s, and he’s built exactly like Carl Yastrzemski.”

More than his similarity to a Boston icon, however, it was the maturity Conforto showed that convinced the Mets they could push him aggressively—maturity in his plate approach as well as the all-around maturity that came from having played at a high-level college program at Oregon State, like Benintendi did at Arkansas.

“The Confortos and the Benintendis, they’re not as in awe,” Gamboa said. “Guys that have been in top-notch Division I programs, they’re a little more thick-skinned and ready for it than the average guy would be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2015 at 09:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew benintendi, prospects, red sox

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Breakout Candidates for 2016: Cincinnati Reds - Minor League Ball

I’m very high on Iglesias as well.

Top Candidate:  Raisel Iglesias. In his October report on Cincinnati’s rookie starters, John highlighted many of the reasons to be excited about Iglesias heading into 2016.  In 95.1 innings during his rookie campaign, the Cuban import registered impressive peripheral markers including 9.82 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, and a 3.28 xFIP.  His mediocre 4.15 ERA obscures his overall talent level.  Given all of the challenges he faced in his transition to pro-ball in the U.S., I am wildly optimistic about what his career could look like going forward.

In a seven game stretch from August through the start of September, Iglesias looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball.  That period culminated in three starts with double-digit strikeouts giving fans a sense of what Iglesias could be in the long run.  Ultimately, the Reds shut him down in mid-September as a precaution against the fatigue of an increased workload at the highest level.

It is clear that Iglesias is much better than the bullpen arm many people expected when he signed in the summer of 2014.  His ability to miss bats and dominate over extended outings gives him the highest ceiling of any Reds starter.  Lefties were tough on Iglesias in 2015, handling him to the tune of a .332 wOBA.  Pitch fX data indicates that his change up has the potential to be a serious weapon, but he only threw it 11.6% of the time last year.  It could be that Iglesias is an adjustment to his approach and pitch usage away from conquering lefties and cementing his place at the top of the Reds rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:44 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, reds

Cardinals’ Top Prospect Alex Reyes Suspended For Drug Use -

Put down the joint, kid.

Alex Reyes, the Cardinals’ fireballing righthander who is the team’s No. 1 prospect and was the top prospect in the Florida State League, has been suspended for 50 games for drug use, MLB said Monday.

Reyes was suspended without pay for testing positive for the second time for a drug of abuse, meaning recreational drugs rather than performance-enhancing drugs.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:30 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals, prospects

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Pirates’ young arms on mend after rash of Tommy John surgeries in 2015 | TribLIVE

Will Taillon and Glasnow live up to expectations?

The biggest boost will be the return of Jameson Taillon, who hasn’t pitched since an aborted, one-inning outing in the Arizona Fall League in 2013. Taillon, the second overall pick five years ago, had Tommy John surgery in April 2014 and hernia surgery in July.

Taillon, who will turn 24 next week, made it through Instructional League healthy and is expected to be full go at the start of spring training. He’ll anchor Indy’s rotation.

“Rehabbing the past two years was tough on Jameson,” Broadway said. “Now he can take a deep breath and clear his head. We’re hoping he can come in strong next year.”

Tyler Glasnow, who this year surpassed Taillon as the Pirates’ No. 1 prospect, also will begin the year at Indy after starting eight games there last season. Glasnow sat out a month at Double-A last season due to an ankle injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2015 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospects

Saturday, November 07, 2015

AFL Fall Stars Lineup -

Click the link to see the lineups.

The starting lineup for tonight’s AFL Fall Stars game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona. The game will be televised by MLB Network at 8:08 ET.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2015 at 05:50 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, November 06, 2015

Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects

More hitters are on the way, from Double-A Southern League batting champion Willson Contreras and Tennessee teammates Albert Almora and Billy McKinney to shortstop Gleyber Torres. The team took Ian Happ, another advanced hitter, at the top of the 2015 draft.

zonk Posted: November 06, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 122 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Milwaukee - Baseball Prospectus: NL CENTRAL’S TOP-50 PROSPECTS

Baseball Prospectus breaks down the Top 50 by division.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, cubs, pirates, prospects, reds

MiLBY: Houston Astros grow into best farm system | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

The Astros are clearly doing something right.

“The most important measure of a system is, ‘How does it graduate its players?’” Luhnow said. “We were able to do that pretty well this year, especially in the case of Correa. The guys who came up were much accomplished, and we think that’s because they had the experience of winning in the Minor Leagues. We’re always walking the fine line between winning and development, though, and when we can do both, it’s a reflection on the scouts and coaches we have. We’re pretty happy with how everything’s shaken out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2015 at 05:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prospects

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Tigers prospect JaCoby Jones suspended 50 games

Tigers shortstop prospect JaCoby Jones has been suspended 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Detroit acquired Jones from Pittsburgh in the midseason trade for reliever Joakim Soria and he finished the year at Double-A. Picked in the third round of the 2013 draft, Jones hit .257 with 16 homers, 25 steals, and a .737 OPS in 133 total games between Single-A and Double-A this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 05:18 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: drug of abuse, jacoby jones, prospects, suspensions, tigers

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Astros’ Prospect Reed Named MiLB Offensive Player of the Year

A.J. Reed, the No. 5 prospect in the Houston system and No. 91 in all of baseball, went on to win the Joe Bauman Award with 34 home runs, 113 runs scored and hit .340/.432/.612 across 135 games between Class A Advanced and Double-A ball. On top of his home run title, he led all Minor Leaguers with 127 RBIs and 320 total bases and all full-season players with the .612 slugging percentage and a 1.044 OPS. For all of these reasons, Reed was the unanimous staff choice for the Top Offensive Player MiLBY.

GrumpyFan Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prospects

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Full Count » Red Sox Minor League Notebook: 2015 end of year power rankings, No.’s 1-5

With the way the team has played recently and the amount of talent in the farm system, I can’t help but feel Cherington did not deserve his fate.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox

2015 Minor League Player Of The Year: Blake Snell -

Not bad for the Rays number eleven prospect entering the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, prospects, rays

Friday, September 11, 2015

MLB Pipeline 2015 Prospect Team of the Year |

The list shouldn’t be too surprising.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2015 at 02:56 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

2015 Minor League Classification All-Star Teams -

Some of these guys can play a little.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2015 at 12:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Marlins farm teams also struggling and have few MLB-ready prospects | Miami Herald

The Marlins aren’t a model franchise?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2015 at 12:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, prospects

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

BA: Minor League All-Star Team 2015

SS Corey Seager • Dodgers
Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast) • Double-A Tulsa (Texas)

The No. 1 prospect in the game at midseason, Seager stands above a crowded field of young shortstops with his combination of outstanding power (.194 isolated slugging) and strong contact skills (13.8 percent strikeouts). Only the Rockies’ Trevor Story, among minor league shortstops, hit more home runs than Seager (18), who was the youngest player to qualify for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League batting title. This combination of factors gives Seager an edge over worthy contenders including Orlando Arcia (Brewers), J.P. Crawford (Phillies) and Trea Turner (Nationals).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2015 at 12:18 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospects

Friday, September 04, 2015

Metsblog:  Dominic Smith Named FSL Player of the Year

What am I missing about his season.  These look to me like the numbers of a non-prospect first baseman.

First baseman Dominic Smith of the High-A St. Lucie Mets has been named the Florida State League Player of the Year (Sept. 3).

Smith, 20, is hitting .305 with a .354 OBP and .417 SLG to go along with six home runs, 33 doubles, and 79 RBI in 118 games so far this season for St. Lucie.

Adam Starblind Posted: September 04, 2015 at 05:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

J.P. Crawford, A.J. Reed highlight Arizona Fall League rosters | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Click to see all the players.

Baseball’s version of finishing school is about a month away from being in session, and now we know who will be on the class lists.

Top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford and No. 5 Astros prospect A.J. Reed highlight the 2015 Arizona Fall League preliminary rosters announced by the autumn circuit Tuesday. The season begins Oct. 13 and will culminate with a championship game Nov. 21.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2015 at 10:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Proposing a Callup Rule Change

MLB needs to enact a daily 22-man roster for September games. When a manager hands his lineup card to the umpire, he would also hand over his full 22-man squad for the day. There are still 40 roster-eligible players in the clubhouse, and the Major League experience is not cheapened at all for prospects.

Without starting pitchers on the bench, teams lose the occasional option of Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter or Andrew Cashner as a pinch-runner. But notice how we set the number at 22 instead of the 21 you’d have by subtracting four rotation members. If a pitcher is really that valuable to his team’s offense, he can stay on the roster with that extra spot. Or—even better—that spot could be used for someone who actually gets paid to pinch-hit or pinch-run.

With a 22-man roster, a manager’s options aren’t any more limited than they were on Opening Day. Plus, teams can choose to keep fatigued relievers off the daily roster entirely, meaning fresh bullpens every day. That eliminates any concern about pitching depth for a game that lasts, say, 15 innings.

It isn’t a perfect solution, but the way the game is played—and managed—hardly changes at all. Without a limitless supply of relievers, managers have the same tools at their disposal that they had over the first five months. The guess here is that teams would choose to put seven or eight men in the ‘pen—the same number most go with from April to August.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 30, 2015 at 09:38 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rules, september roster expansions

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