May 6: Thoughts on some of the best prospects in baseball

Hector Rondon / SP/RP / Cleveland
It’s been a shaky April, complete with eight home runs given up and a 9.13 ERA over five starts. The main culprit has been inconsistent command of his fastball, but, on top of that, he has also been experimenting with a new-look slider. I’ll let his performance pass for now.

Logan Morrison / 1B / Florida
Morrison was off to a solid start in New Orleans, but a bone bruise in his shoulder has sidelined him.

Jeremy Hellickson / SP / Tampa Bay
Hellickson had a very strong April as he continues to await his shot in Tampa Bay.

Jhoulys Chacin / SP/RP / Colorado
Injuries to Colorado’s pitching staff prompted Chacin’s promotion. He has responded remarkably well, allowing no runs and one hit over eight innings of work thus far. If you can afford the roster spot, Chacin is at least worth a short-term gamble, as a smoking-hot May could be in the works.

Mike Moustakas / 3B / Kansas City
Moustakas has joined the Texas League and has been punishing pitchers in a small number of at-bats. If you were down on him after a disappointing 2009, it’s time to upgrade his stock, even at this early-season stage.

Jacob Turner / SP / Detroit
A forearm strain has limited Turner to two starts, yet they have been very promising outings.

Jenrry Mejia / SP/RP / NY Mets
While he hasn’t overpowered major league hitters, Mejia has been an asset coming out of New York’s bullpen. I would prefer him starting down on the farm, but New York has pennant dreams and Mejia will play a role if he keeps up his current pace.

Brett Wallace / 1B/3B / Toronto
The question all along has been Wallace’s home run power, but his early performance—nine home runs over 97 at-bats—is helping to ease that concern.

Shelby Miller / SP / St. Louis
While his endurance hasn’t been tested yet, Miller is inducing ground balls and fanning batters at a tremendous clip in the early going. Those are great signs for anyone, let alone a teenager.

Tyler Flowers / C/1B / Chicago White Sox
The bad news is that Flowers is striking out at an extremely high rate. The good news is that the high strikeout rate has not hindered the rest of his offensive game. The great news is that, for the first time, I really feel like Flowers will remain at catcher long term. His defense isn’t even above average and has more room for improvement, but he has been solid this season.

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Comments

  1. Matt said...

    re: Wallace’s power surge in AAA.

    Las Vegas is a notoriously strong hitters environment/park, I haven’t looked at this road splits but I would assume Vegas has helped a tad.

  2. greenfrog said...

    Wallace has performed equally well at home and on the road:

    Home: 300/391/633
    Road: 310/362/643

  3. Detroit Michael said...

    Kevin Goldstein at BaseballProspectus.com just reported some negative comments about Flowers’ defense today, FYI.

  4. Doug said...

    Moustakas (50 AB @ AA) – .420/.508/.960 – 15 extra base hits
    Alvarez (100 AB @ AAA) – .260/.333/.500 – 11 extra base hits

    I know it’s a small sample size, but going into 2009 I was higher on Moustaskas than Pedro Alvarez.  Last year was disappointing, but I am sticking with it.  Moustakas is still my #1 3B prospect.

  5. obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

    Wallace:

    Home:  5 HR in 60 AB, 12 AB/HR
    Road:  4 HR in 42 AB, 10.5 AB/HR

    Home has not helped his homerun production.

    What has helped is that somehow he is now hitting a lot more flyballs than in his career before and much less groundballs.  The jump happened last season with Oakland, though he did do it at a lower level in a previous season.  Seems like he picked up something in Oakland that helped him start lofting more flyballs, and thus improving his HR power, as he was not able to reach that level for a whole year at lower levels and within the same season. 

    Also, he has jumped his HR/FB ratio, from roughly 15% previously to 33% this season.  Again, that appears to start from the A’s again, roughly 15% prior, about 20% with the A’s in 2009 (briefly), and now this.  Hard to tell if this is a new level, but I doubt that greatly, Ryan Howard had that rate early in his career, but now in the 20’s and Prince Fielder has been in the 20% range.

  6. alskor said...

    Park factors have indeed halped Wallace’s performance. You need to dig a little deeper.

    He’s hit ALL of his HRs in notoriously hitter friendly parks: Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs.

    Not impressed.

  7. anon said...

    Well, if you want to dig really deep, shouldn’t you find out how far each of his HRs travelled? If he’s hitting 450-foot bombs everywhere, who cares what parks he’s hitting them out of?

  8. Lepard said...

    Which pitcher would you rather have Hector Rondon or Michael Montgomery in a 14 team keeper?

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