The Roto Grotto: pitching prospects strikeout and walk ratesby Scott Spratt
September 05, 2013
For dynasty teams looking to rebuild or stash players for the future, the September waiver wire may be a bit barren, even for prospects. It has been a couple of months since most of the midseason prospect updates released, so that scramble of reassessment is behind us. Most of the news that casual deep-league owners receive between then and the offseason is bad news, such as Dylan Bundy’s Tommy John surgery.
One way to keep semi-informed is simply to check up on those prospects’ basic statistics. For fantasy purposes especially, prospect rankings do not always match up with the players with the greatest potential to help your team. Outliers, either good or bad, can give you a clue as to which prospects that may still be available are worth the acquisition or which touted prospects you should look to sell.
What follows is a table of prospects (as well as rookie-eligible pitchers that make for interesting comparisons) from Keith Law’s and Baseball America’s midseason updates. I’ve included only players with innings in A-ball or higher.
In general, I included their strikeout and walk rates from the level in which they threw the most innings this season. If two levels were fairly close, I went with the higher level. In many cases, the pitcher already has moved beyond the listed level. I sorted the table by level first, and then by strikeout-to-walk rate.
One final warning: do not lend more weight to this table than it deserves. Prospects use the minors to prepare for the majors, and so their goal is not always to perform as well as possible. Often, lower-level pitchers will stop throwing their best pitches to develop new ones.
For that reason, I put less stock in poor walk rates at lower levels. At higher levels, poor walk rates do worry me, and I expect prospects to miss bats at every level. For fantasy purposes, strikeouts are more valuable than they are in actual baseball. On the whole, use this list as a means to discover which available players or players on your team may merit a trade, or which ones you should look for more recent information on.
|Pitcher||Hand||Organization||Age (as of 9/1/13)||Level||IP||K/9||BB/9||K/BB|
|Allen Webster||RHP||Red Sox||23||AAA||105.0||9.9||3.7||2.7|
|Anthony Ranaudo||RHP||Red Sox||23||AA||109.2||8.7||3.3||2.7|
|Henry Owens||LHP||Red Sox||21||A+||104.2||10.6||4.6||2.3|
|Aaron Sanchez||RHP||Blue Jays||21||A+||86.1||7.8||4.2||1.9|
|Lance McCullers, Jr.||RHP||Astros||19||A||104.2||10.1||4.2||2.4|
Scott was named Newcomer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for his fantasy football writing at Pro Football Focus. In addition, he contributes to ESPN Insider as a research associate for Baseball Info Solutions. You can reach him on Twitter.
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