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June 2014 Prospect Checkup

We're roughly midpoint on the season, and I hate midseason lists, but I'm okay with a look at whether a player's stock has risen or fallen.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

First, some basics. I'm not going to touch recent draftees or GCL players, as the sample is way too small to make any real decisions from. I'm not against pointing out someone doing well in the GCL or even VSL or DSL, I'm just not going to speculate how their performance may affect their ranking. Also, I'm only talking prospects that would be considered for ranking, lest this be an 8000 word unreadable monster. All stats through 30 June.

Aaron Altherr - Altherr's overall line isn't great, but he's adjusted better to Double-A more recently. I'd peg his most likely ceiling right now as Mayberry, that said he's 23 so there's still some time for his BB rate to bounce from its current 5.3% closer to his previous average in the 7-8% range. For June his triple slash was .326/.386/.543. That's with a .422 BABiP, so it's likely to regress though his Line Drive rate is well up, which suggests harder contact and some legitimacy to the higher BABiP. His BB rate for June was also up to 6.9%, near career norms. Stock: Even

Willians Astudillo - I may be stretching the rankable part here a little, but Astudillo has his fans here. Astudillo's K and BB rates have barely risen as he's gone up the ladder. I keep expecting his approach to sink him, but the guy just knows how to hit. The drawback is there's no where to play him. He is, per scouting reports, really really awful behind the dish since his knee injury. Stock: even

Dylan Cozens - Cozens is more athletic and faster than I expected when I saw him play. He's tall and he'll be prone to K's (~26% on the season). He's suffering some bad luck right now with a .285 BABiP (legit low from his batted ball data). His triple slash of .225/.287/.391 does leave something to be desired and his June has been particularly bad (.188/.291/.313). the patience is great to see, but Cozens put too many balls in the air. Still that's only one month. I'm torn on his stock and the triple slash is awful, but the tools I saw in person show more promise, so I'm going to take the easy route and say Stock: Even

J.P. Crawford - Crawford is now 19 and about a dozen games into High-A. His AVG is down, but his ISO is way up. Of course, the sample size is tiny, so I'll look at both levels of A ball together. Crawford's overall triple slash of .282/.382/.396 for a .778 OPS is exactly what you love to see from a First Round pick in their first season as a Shortstop in the Pros. That he's doing it in leagues where he's 2-3 years younger than average is a nice bonus. Crawford's plate discipline is pretty awesome. He's had a few more errors than you'd like, but you really have to look to find things to complain about. Stock: Up

Kelly Dugan - He's got less PAs than some of the recent draftees. The numbers look great, but it's a small sample. A bunch of unrelated injuries have hit Dugan back to back to back and haven't helped his stock any. He hits well when he's healthy and he works hard. He's got most everything you want for a solid OF prospect, except a thin Medical Record. The thing you can hope on is that since the injuries aren't chronic, his luck will change and he'll take off. Through no fault of his own Stock: Down

Maikel Franco - Franco started slow, then didn't really speed up. His triple slash of .209/.267/.318 is pretty awful. His K rate and BB rates are really good, so that's one thing you can hang your hat on. Nothing beyond that though is particularly inspiring. He's got a 12.6% IFB rate. He does have a low BABIP, but much of that is due to IFBs. Remove those and his BABIP goes up about 40 points. The problem is overall weaker contact, not just bad luck. He hit well with hard contact in May, but June was awful, even worse than his terrible April. I suppose the benefit is that no one has called for his promotion is weeks, though it would be nice if he progressed during that time instead of struggling so bad. Stock: Down

Zach Green - The sample size isn't very large as Zach missed time with an injury and a reboot in XST. Green was on fire in June with a triple slash of .344/.371/.594 with a .250 ISO. His overall line stands at .268/.324/.415. His composite numbers are really good. Again the sample is only a little more than Dugan's and recent draftees. There are concerns about bat speed and pitch recognition, but he keeps hitting. I'm tempted to keep his stock even, but I'll learn towards Stock: Up

Deivi Grullon - Deivi is 18 and has split his time between Williamsport, Lakewood and Clearwater. He's young for every level.The sample at each level is small, so I'll look at overall line of .260/.302/.351 with a 12.9% K and 4.3% BB rates. The bat is the sub-story here, he hit fairly well at levels well above his expectations. I think the bat will end up average at best, but the glove and arm are his carrying tools. His arm is really, really impressive and is among the strongest in the system. The fact that he didn't have a 40% K rate and sub .200 AVG in levels he was very young for gives me hope that his bat could be good enough to start one day in the Majors Stock: Up (he'd probably be close to Top 5 for me right now)

Samuel Hiciano - I left Hiciano off my Top 30, but he was really close to being included. If I redid now, he'd be in there. His line is .257/.300/.404 with a .147 ISO. Hiciano's swing generates a lot of loft and he'll likely never have a great AVG, I would like to see his patience return as he previously had a BB rate closer to 10%, while he's currently about half that rate at 5%. A .260/.330/.400 rate would be fine if his Walks come back. Much like Franco though, Hiciano is hitting an absurd number of Infield Fly Balls (nearly 16%). So that would be the big red flag here. Stock: Up

Tommy Joseph - This grade would be incomplete, as Joseph has suffered another injury setback. Fortunately this time it's a wrist and not a concussion. His numbers were okay pre-injury, but, like Dugan, he just needs to stay healthy. Stock: Down

Andrew Knapp - I'm going to ignore Knapp's brief Clearwater appearance, it was a double jump neccesitated by injuries up the ladder and Knapp does not appear to have been ready for that challenge. That's a bit of a red flag, but not everyone can handle a double jump, plus with Knapp coming back from Tommy John and relegated to DH only that sample may not be as representative as you'd like. In Lakewood, he's hit .287/.340/.436 with 22.3% K and 6.8% BB rates. He's just started getting back behind the plate again and I haven't seen a Scouting Report yet for his defense post injury. Stock: Even

Cam Perkins - Dude just kept hitting, until he got to Triple-A, then he kind of ground to a halt. Overall his numbers look great: .310/.374/.442, but his number in LHV are less impressive: .231/.286/.308. No panic yet, he may need time to adjust and as hot as he was and inflated as his BABiP was he was bound to cool off. Assuming he turns it around Stock: Up

Andrew Pullin - Pullin's defense is still rough, his base running is a bit rough and his power is subpar, but his K rate (17.8%), BB rate (7.8%), and AVG (.275) are all respecatble. Pullin's on a tightrope, if he can't stick at Second, he doesn't have a career and the Defense and Power will be big indicators for him there. Stock: Down

Roman Quinn - Looking at a small subset since Quinn moved back to Centerfield, he's hitting .270/.391/.297. It's a really, really small sample size, but it shows progress over his numbers at Shortstop. Time will tell if it holds up. Some predicted the Hamstring Achilles injury was a death knell, but so far, so good. Stock: Up

Carlos Tocci - Tocci is making more solid contact at the plate and he's put on good weight. That said, he's still hitting .233/.286/.293, which is pretty bad. He's young for the level still and his BABiP seems lower than it should be for his batted ball profile and what I saw in person and have read others saw. The tools are still there, but I have no question where his stock is for me Stock : Down

Drew Anderson - Anderson's numbers are pretty good, good enough that right now, he may be putting up the best numbers in the system. His line of 44.0 IP, 3.68 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 3.42 SIERA, 9.41 K/9 and 3.07 BB/9 are really strong and his near 50% ground ball rateis very good. He doesn't project to be an Ace, but Anderson's been mostly good this year and could be a nice piece of a rotation in 2-3 years. Out with a minor finger injury at present. Stock: Up

Jesse Biddle - I won't spend much time here. Biddle's 2014 has been really bad, but there are bright spots like 2 starts in April where he recorded 21 K's and 2 BB's. His June was abysmal as he pitched 15.2 IP and gave up 22 Earned Runs, 14 BB and only 12 K's and that's with one Quality Start in there. Halladay is going to be meeting with Biddle, as Doc had similar problems early in his career. Maybe they can do a Freaky Friday thing, that would be nice. Stock: Down

Miguel Gonzalez - MAG's been good in recent BP outings and his velocity is supposedly back to 91-93. He's doing it against competition he should be beating though, so tough to figure anything out until it's a bigger sample against better players. Stock: Down

Severino Gonzalez - Sev is a largely pitch-to-contact type, with no Above Average pitches. His control is stellar, which is nice, but he's slightly built and doesn't really bring the heat. He was really successful last year when he missed a lot of bats, but hitters get more selective as you move up the ladder and pitch recognition improves and guys can better turn on mistakes. Sev is a largely flyball Pitcher (currently giving up over 1 HR per 9 innings). If Severino makes the Majors I am pretty confident it will have to be in the Pen. More likely he's somewhere between Austin Hyatt and Tyler Cloyd for a floor and a ceiling. Stock: Down

Other names to watch:

Ranger Suarez - That's like a 60 grade name. Also, he's pitching in the VSL at 18 (age appropriate) with the following line: 41.2 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1.93 FIP, 8.86 K/9, 0.22 BB/9 (not a typo). Suarez is also notable for already having served a 50 game suspension in 2012 (as a 16 year old) for a banned substance. This is Venezuela though so info is spotty I know he's 6'0" and He's a Lefty, so maybe a younger Severino. Scouting info is sketchy on the VSL though.

Cord Sandberg - A name everyone knows, it's too little data so far to ascertain where his stock ends up, but through a dozen games the numbers are right about where you'd want them. The Scouting Reports seem to note his flaw being that he's too patient at the plate. Good problem to have.

Brian Pointer - A stupid good BABiP inflated month (.581), his June line was .370/.446/.507. Make of that what you will. Maybe he adjusted to Clearwater and got somewhat lucky, maybe he just got really, really lucky.