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Category Archives: On the Verge: MLB Prospects

An Inside Look and Analysis of the top Baseball Prospects

The Top 250 MLB Prospects For 2017

PLAYERS LIKELY RISING THE TOP PROSPECT RANKING

RANK 218 – FRANKLIN PEREZ

Franklin Perez is a tough cookie to quantify. He is 19 years-old with a decent fastball and a curveball that shows hints of elite status and throws at plus on a bad day.

On the surface, I am in love with Franklin Perez and think he has the chance to be something magnificent long-term.

Question marks arise on pitches outside his curve and are primarily geared at the change up. He also needs to clean up his delivery and become more repeatable. He is very early on in the development for a transitional pitcher from third base.

Though this ranking is likely more passive than aggressive, the future for Perez could net him a top 50 grade by season’s end if he showcases improvement in the mentioned areas. At the moment he looks like a potential SP4 with the upside of an SP2.

With his current offerings and age in mind, he didn’t calculate out higher than other names who are younger or hold better offerings. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t beat them out quickly. Read the rest of this entry

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Washington Nationals Top 25 Prospects

Washington was one of two Major League clubs to send a highly touted prospect to the Chicago White Sox this offseason. The Nationals showed their faith in the current staff and future pitchers by trading away Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning, and Reynaldo Lopez for defensive superstar Adam Eaton. Pitching certainly comes at a premium in the current system with only 6 pitchers making these rankings, but a number of them appear well suited for this organization’s layout. Erick Fedde sits behind only Victory Robles as a likely mid-rotation arm in the future. Behind him are Austin Voth and A.J. Cole who, though limited in potential, will work their way onto the 25-man roster for spot starts and relief appearances either in the summer or during September call-ups. Koda Gloves is one of the lower ranking pitches in the system, but an uncertain closer role in Washington makes him a clear name to emerge over the next couple of seasons.

The limited nature of pitchers in the rankings come as a result of the Giolito trade, but also remarkable depth in the field. Washington has prepared for the potential loss of Bryce Harper with seven outfielders making the Top 25, Victor Robles taking the top spot. The teenage phenom remains a ways off of the 25-man roster, but rapid development since signing out of the Dominican Republic has scouts salivating across the league. Youngsters Juan Soto and Carter Kieboom follow suit given areas of need, but the Nationals have a slew of potential stars awaiting in the ranks. What separates this system from many others is that potential stemming from the lower spots. Players like Kelvin Gutierrez,  Jose Marmolejos, Spencer Kieboom, and Telmito Agustin all have things that they need to improve, but all profile as potential everyday players given the right situation.

Washington Nationals Top 25 Prospects In 2017

Los Angeles Angels Top Prospects

The Angels commitment to winning a World Series while Mike Trout is still affordable has led to a lot of money and prospects being spent, in most cases, unwisely. Among those lost included future starter and future bullpen piece Sean Newcomb and Victor Alcantara. Furthermore, the team’s hesitancy to draft high upside players in favor of high floor athletes has kept the team as the worst system in Major League Baseball. However, the team does have some promising players acquired via the draft. 2015 second rounder Jahmai Jones may have a ways to go, but the team has put a solid value on his toolsy approach. 2016 first rounder Matt Thaiss may be blocked by Albert Pujols and CJ Cron, but his bat has shown why he was taken with the 15th overall pick. And should 2016 picks Brandon Marsh, Nonie Williams and Chris Rodriguez show the upside that had the team sold on them, the system could start climbing out of the cellar.

Los Angeles Angels Top Prospects

St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospects

Right now the thing that jumps out at you about this system is the number of big arms that populate the various levels. I will rank Alex Reyes on this list, but he is far from the only guy who will light up a radar gun in this system. Sandy Alcantara, Dakota Hudson, Junior Fernandez, Rowan Wick, Ryan Helsley, and Ronnie Williams all are radar gun delights who can push triple digits in short spurts. The Cardinals philosophy in regards to pitching has always been to teach fastball command to all four quadrants first and foremost, so even if a pitcher is showing high strikeout rates and posting quality ERA’s, they may not move quickly if they cannot demonstrate fastball command first and foremost. They tend to favor athleticism in their pitchers first and foremost, believing they can teach consistent mechanics if they have the requisite athleticism. The Cardinals look for loose, fast arms, as they believe this is an indicator of an ability to create spin on a baseball- needed for great breaking balls. Finally, they look to the changeup as their secondary offering of choice. Pitchers who can locate a changeup and keep their deception are less prone to platoon splits against either right-handed or left-handed hitters.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS TOP PROSPECTS

 

Blue Jays Top Prospect Interviews

Jays From the Couch sits down with two of the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospects, Conner Greene and Rowdy Tellez

 

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This past weekend the Toronto Blue Jays organization put together a wonderful treat for their fans in Buffalo, NY. In a joint effort with the Buffalo Bisons the event on January 24th, was held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo. Luckily, we here at Jays From the Couch were granted access to the event, and able to secure some excellent interviews with a few players.

 

Our first interview features a conversation with pitching stud, Conner Greene. With Greene finishing each of the last two seasons with Double-A New Hampshire, it is not unreasonable to determine he could start the 2017 season with the Fisher Cats. Should his progression remain steady a trip to Triple-A Buffalo, and perhaps a Toronto September call-up could be warranted. Greene discussed his progress and his new mentor.

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW at Jays From the Couch

 

In our second interview, Rowdy Tellez talks to our Catherine Stem about his approach to hitting, coaching and much more! The addition of Rowdy Tellez to the Buffalo Bisons roster has some Blue Jays fans celebrating the talent coming up through the minor league system. Shaun Doyle wrote about his impressive season in New Hampshire with the AA Fisher Cats and The Toronto Blue Jays have certainly been keeping an eye on him. That has bred the hope that he could, sometime in the future, be a replacement of sorts for the power bat of Edwin Encarnacion, a point made by Ryan Mueller HERE.

CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW at Jays From the Couch

 

 

2017 Top-100 Major League Baseball Prospects

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As the baseball season quickly approaches, it’s time to take a look at the top-100 prospects for 2017. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to follow and tweet me @dynasty_digest. You can also find more of my articles at www.dynastydigest.sportsblogs.com.

 

Rank Player Team Position
1 Alex Reyes STL SP
2 Yoan Moncada CHW 2B/3B
3 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
4 Brendan Rodgers COL SS
5 Gleyber Torres NYY SS
6 Victor Robles WSH OF
7 Dansby Swanson ATL SS
8 Ian Happ CHC 2B/OF
9 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
10 Lucas Giolito WSH SP
11 Eloy Jimenez CHC OF
12 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B/SS
13 Tyler Glasnow PIT SP
14 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF
15 J.P. Crawford PHI SS
16 Austin Meadows PIT OF
17 Amed Rosario NYM SS
18 Clint Frazier NYY OF
19 Josh Bell PIT 1B/OF
20 Joey Gallo TEX 3B/OF
21 Manuel Margot SD OF
22 Francis Martes HOU SP
23 Brent Honeywell TB SP
24 Nick Senzel CIN 3B
25 Michael Kopech CHW SP
26 Kevin Maitan ATL SS
27 Willy Adames TB SS
28 Bradley Zimmer CLE OF
29 Jason Groome BOS SP
30 Anderson Espinoza SD SP
31 Jorge Mateo NYY SS
32 Yadier Alvarez LAD SP
33 Kyle Lewis SEA OF
34 Franklin Barreto OAK SS
35 Riley Pint COL SP
36 Blake Rutherford NYY OF
37 Josh Hader MIL SP
38 Corey Ray MIL OF
39 Alex Verdugo LAD OF
40 Hunter Renfroe SD OF
41 Lewis Brinson MIL OF
42 Isan Diaz MIL 2B/SS
43 Mickey Moniak PHI OF
44 Jose De Leon LAD SP
45 Erick Fedde WSH SP
46 Reynaldo Lopez CHW SP
47 Jake Bauers TB 1B/OF
48 Aaron Judge NYY OF
49 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR SS
50 Willie Calhoun LAD 2B
51 Luke Weaver STL SP
52 Francisco Mejia CLE C
53 Raimel Tapia COL OF
54 James Kaprielian NYY SP
55 Harrison Bader STL OF
56 Braxton Garrett MIA SP
57 Kolby Allard ATL SP
58 Tyler Jay MIN SP
59 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B
60 Kyle Tucker HOU OF
61 Tyler O’Neil SEA OF
62 Sean Newcomb ATL SP
63 David Paulino HOU SP
64 Derek Fisher HOU OF
65 Jeff Hoffman COL SP
66 Nick Gordon MIN SS
67 Nick Williams PHI OF
68 A.J. Puk OAK SP
69 Kevin Newman PIT SS
70 Luis Ortiz MIL SP
71 Mike Soroka ATL SP
72 Jesse Winker CIN OF
73 Zack Collins CHW C
74 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 3B
75 Amir Garrett CIN SP
76 Mitch Keller PIT SP
77 Jorge Alfaro PHI C
78 Dominic Smith NYM 1B
79 Ronald Acuna ATL OF
80 Bobby Bradley CLE 1B
81 Chance Sisco BAL C
82 Sean Reid-Foley TOR SP
83 Yusniel Diaz LAD OF
84 Matt Manning DET SP
85 Forrest Whitley HOU SP
86 Brady Aiken CLE SP
87 A.J. Reed HOU 1B
88 Brett Phillips MIL OF
89 Phil Bickford MIL SP
90 Walker Buehler LAD SP
91 Ian Anderson ATL SP
92 Tyler Beede SF SP
93 Richard Urena TOR SS
94 Sandy Alcantara STL SP
95 Max Schrock OAK 2B
96 Cal Quantrill SD SP
97 Triston McKenzie CLE SP
98 Carson Kelly STL C
99 Michael Gettys SD OF
100 Stephen Gonsalves MIN SP

Five Players to Watch in the Dominican Winter League

Tomorrow will be the fifth edition of Opening Day in the Dominican Winter League (DWL). The opening game will feature Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. their rivals from the northern region, Gigantes Del Cibao.

The DWL has functioned as a bridge to showcase players to major league clubs. This talent was on full display last year as the league produced quite a few notable storylines.

Joey Rickard was the league MVP during the DWL regular season and was deemed “MLB Ready” by scouts. Rickard was selected during the Rule 5 draft by the Baltimore Orioles serving as a part-time starter and backup role. Another interesting story was Tyler White, a Winter League MVP candidate, this performance helped him be considered for the starting job at first base for the Houston Astros. White ended up winning the position out of spring training and started the year off on a torrid pace before MLB pitchers figured him out.

The DWL has a competition level that is closely behind Japan. One of the keys to the league is making adjustments as the players face many different levels of pitching and batting. In one at bat you could be confronted with a 100 MPH fastball. Then next at bat you would be facing a veteran pitcher pitching low 80s with pinpoint accuracy and movement.

This article will cover the top 5 players to watch in the DWL, and then try to figure out who might be the next Joey Rickard or Tyler White.

To continue reading about the Five Players to Watch in the Dominican Winter League, please check out the full article at offthebenchbaseball.com

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings

Hello all you baseball fans. Below you can find my 2016 midseason top 100 prospects list. I will be posting daily articles highlighting and analyzing each prospect (in groups of 10) throughout the next week, so keep an eye out for those articles. To get email updates when these articles are published, please follow my blog (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com). If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@dynasty_digest).

1. Yoan Moncada (BOS, 21 Years Old, 2B)

2. Lucas Giolito (WSH, 21 Years Old, RHP)

3. Alex Bregman (HOU, 22 Years Old, SS/3B)

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS

The Time To Buy On Byron Buxton Is Now

 Byron Buxton

BY (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Website – rototargets.com) 

Byron Buxton is back in the majors after really disappointing in his first stint earlier this year. Chances are, after hitting .163/.212/.306 in the majors earlier this year, his owner in your league might be willing to part with him at a reduced cost relative to his status as a top-3 prospect.

Yesterday in a chat at Fangraphs, August Fagerstrom had this to say about Buxton:

august fagerstrom: Reports out of Minnesota seem to indicate that Buxton actually looked different in AAA. Sometimes guys are a little more willing to try something different when the games “don’t matter.” Maybe he found something.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Winter Work Paying Off For Yankee Farmhand Matt Marsh

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Sean Morash (BBBA Writer/Owner – offthebenchbaseball.com) 

To say the Tampa Yankees closer, Matt Marsh, is a friend of Off The Bench is a bit of an understatement.  I grew up with the kid, know his family, and my mother and uncle met up with him over the offseason to enjoy a college football game. 

There’s something about the bond forged in the dugout during all those U-16 tournaments that we played across the Southeast that is indescribable. I mention all this to make clear that I’m biased.  I root for Matt.  Hard. OTBB even published an extended interview with him this winter.

When I heard that he planned to train hard this offseason at a facility in the DC area where a teammate had trained recently and gained a few miles per hour, I was excited.  I knew Matt’s history of arm troubles had robbed him of the potential velocity that was evident from the time we were 12.  I knew that he had spent time at 3 different colleges on his way to being an undrafted right handed reliever out of Liberty University.

From my position as a blogger and baseball nerd, I know the success rate of that type of player.  I know 24-year old relievers in A-ball are often labelled “non-prospects.”  They’re usually organizational filler that take up space on rosters, and help minor league teams compete through their rigorous schedule.

I know that often times these guys are the footnote in scouting notebooks.  They’re the guys that the real prospects are supposed to hit home runs off of.  Matt’s baseball resume is impressive, but until this year was just impressive enough to be good enough to face the million dollar bonus babies, the Jorge Mateo’s of the world.

But all that just makes me more excited as I regularly check Matt’s baseball-reference page.  He started the season as a closer for the high-A Yankees.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Phenom Prospect, Julio Urias, Called Up To The Big Leagues And Ready To Shine

URIAS

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have called up top prospect, Julio Urias, to pitch against the New York Mets on Friday. Urias is ranked as the #2 overall prospect my MLB.com.

This left-handed pitcher is only 19 years old, which makes him the youngest pitcher to start in an MLB game since Felix Hernandez in 2005.

Urias might be 19 years old, but he pitches with the maturity of a 10-year veteran. His future for the Los Angles Dodgers and fantasy baseball owners should be very bright.

READ  THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

 

Boston Red Sox: 4 Under The Radar Prospects

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – baseballhistorianblogspot.com) 

The Boston Red Sox have enough top prospects to keep fan publications and websites interminably churning out content singing their praises. Despite the blue chippers that dot the team’s farm system there is also an extraordinary amount of secondary talent.

These are players who may not be as well known as some of their counterparts but could wind up matching or surpassing them when it is all said and done.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

 

Washington Nationals’ Top Prospect, Trea Turner, Could Be Called Up On May 30th

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Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

The Washington Nationals are currently sitting at the top of the National League East standings, but they are starting to slip. The New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins are all within two games of the first place spot in the East.

In order to hold onto their current position, the Nationals must start creating more run production opportunities. This problem can be easily fixed with one move, call up star prospect, Trea Turner.

In Triple-A, Turner is currently batting .324, with 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, 32 runs, 14 stolen bases, and a .387 OBP. These numbers scream run production. Not only are his numbers fantastic, but the player he would be replacing has done nothing but struggle at the plate.

Nationals’ starting shortstop, Danny Espinosa, is currently batting .208, with 3 home runs, 14 RBIs, 8 runs, 1 stolen base, and a .307 OBP. Based on these numbers, many people must be wondering why Trea Turner hasn’t gotten a promotion in 2016, but there is a simple answer to this, service time.

To view the rest of the article, click the link below:

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2016 MLB June Amateur Draft Rankings

a mlb draft

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

The 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft is quickly approaching and it’s time to make the first mock draft a few months out. The draft will be held on June 9th, 2016.

There is still two months until the draft, so these predictions are subject to change. If you have any questions or comments about this article, the draft, or baseball in general, please feel free to Tweet m. 

If you enjoyed this article, please follow my blog for more updates! You can find my top 100 rankings for the upcoming draft below:

  1. Jason Groome (LHP)
  2. Riley Pint (RHP)
  3. A.J. Puk (LHP)
  4. Blake Rutherford (OF)
  5. Forrest Whitley (RHP)

To see the rest of the rankings, click the link below:

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS

The Oakland A’s Call Up Top Pitching Prospect Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea

Jen Rainwater (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – bbstmlb.com) 

The Oakland Athletics had a choice to make. They had options for who would be their fifth starter this week and it’s not the more obvious of choices. It’s 24-year-old Sean Manaea, the A’s number two overall prospect and top pitching prospect.

According to multiple sources, including Sports Illustrated, MLB.com and the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s will call up Manaea to start Friday against the Houston Astros.

Manaea has barely spent time in the minors but vice president of baseball operations for the A’s Billy Beane has said that he wouldn’t bring him up unless he thought he was ready.

The A’s are likely just testing the waters, seeing if Manaea transition his unbelievable number of strike outs effectively in the majors.

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What To Expect From Minnesota Twins’ Right-Handed Pitcher, Jose Berrios

jose berrios

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Jose Berrios was one of my favorite prospects heading into 2016. He is finally getting his shot at the big leagues after getting called up today to make a start over the next week with the Minnesota Twins. He hasn’t thrown since last Thursday, so he is fresh and ready to go whenever the Twins need him.

He was called up because Ervin Santana and Tyler Duffey are both injured and Berrios could be needed to fill in for them. Also, starting pitchers, Kyle Gibson and Tommy Milone, have been pretty brutal since the start of 2016, so their rotation could use a jumpstart from Berrios.

This is the perfect opportunity for Berrios to prove he belongs in the Twins’ rotation permanently. Now that he is in the big leagues, what can we expect from Jose Berrios?

To read the rest of the article, click the link below:

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2016 Detroit Tigers Top Prospects; Where They Landed + How They’re Doing

Fulmer, Michael Tigers uniform

Shane Kay (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – sonsof84tigers.mlblogs.com) 

Now that we’ve gotten in to the Minor League season, let’s take a look where the Tigers Top 10 Prospects landed according to Baseball America and how their seasons are starting…

  1. Michael Fulmer, RHP – Fulmer (23), the key piece in the Yoenis Cespedes trade and former 1st round pick; started the season out at Triple-A Toledo. In 3 starts, Fulmer is 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA, giving up 3 home runs, walking 5 and striking out 20 in 15.1 innings.  The K per 9 (11.7) is strong, the homers per game should come down and the walks are manageable.  The concern right now is contact with 9.4 hits per 9 which leads to a WHIP of 1.370.  Fulmer was the only Tiger to make the Sons Of ’84 Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2016 list

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Five Minor League Prospects Who Will Be Fantasy Baseball Stars In 2016 And Beyond

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Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

1. Lucas Giolito (RHP; 21 Years Old; Washington Nationals): Giolito is commonly known as the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues. After recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012, he has done nothing but impress every baseball scout, fan, and especially the Washington Nationals organization.

Since his surgery, he has thrown 261 innings, with a 2.58 ERA, 83 walks (2.9 per nine innings), and 288 strikeouts (9.9 per nine innings). While his numbers are great, his physical projection is what makes him an elite prospect.

Giolotu stands 6’6 and weighs 255 pounds. His body-type projects for a hard fastball, a nasty slider, and an exciting future. He throws his fastball in the mid to high 90’s and compliments that with one of the most elite breaking balls in the minor leagues.

Assuming he can stay healthy, he has the ability to be a top 10 pitcher at his prime. He should get a promotion to the big leagues in 2016, but the Nationals will limit his innings this year as his career high (in 2015) is only 117 innings.

Before you know it, Giolito will be the household name in Washington, not Max Scherzer.

To see the other 4 potential stars, click the link below:

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

2016 MLB Mock Draft Version 1

a mlb draft

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter @mlbreports

The 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft is quickly approaching and it’s time to make the first mock draft a few months out. The draft will be held on June 9th, 2016. There is still two months until the draft, so these predictions are subject to change.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, the draft, or baseball in general, please feel free to Tweet me @dynasty_digest

  1. Philadelphia Phillies: Jason Groome (LHP; Barnegat High School)
  2. Cincinnati Reds: Riley Pint (RHP; St. Thomas Aquinas High School)
  3. Atlanta Braves: Alec Hansen (RHP; University of Oklahoma)
    To see the rest of the mock draft, click the link below:

READ THE REST OF THE ENTRY

Aaron Sanchez Joins The Toronto Blue Jays Rotation, But Does This Hurt His Fantasy Baseball Stock?

Aug 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) delivers a pitch during the Jays 2-0 win over New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Rose (Featured Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com)   

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Aaron Sanchez doesn’t lack for ability or elite pitches. His fastball is just about as good as they come and he has an above average curveball. His arsenal was put on full display this spring training.

He has thrown 20 innings this spring with a 1.35 ERA, 19 strikeout, and only three walks. Based on these numbers, it looks as if he has made many adjustments to put a lot of the concerns mentioned above to rest.

It is great to see that Sanchez is dialed in this spring, but it is important to take spring training statistics with a grain of salt. If Sanchez can continue to develop like he has shown in the small sample size this spring, he could become a very dominant arm in 2016.4

As for now, he should be drawing some attention in mixed leagues and definitely worth a waiver wire pickup. If for some reason this experiment with Sanchez in the rotation doesn’t work out, he still has the upside to be an elite closer in the future.

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Jose Berrios (RHP, MIN) – 2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

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Trey Rose (Featured Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com)   

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Jose Berrios has shown that he possesses potential ace-like pitch-ability in the minor leagues. In 2015, he threw 166.1 innings with a 2.87 ERA and 175 strikeouts. He proved that he is ready for the big leagues as he dominated Triple-A through 75.2 innings with a 2.62 ERA, 83 strikeouts, and only 14 walks.

While everyone loves to see an impressive strikeout rate (9.9 per nine innings in Triple-A), his walk rate is what could make him elite. He only walked 1.7 batters in Triple-A last year, which is an elite rate for starting pitchers.

Many baseball fans believe Berrios is more talented than most of the pitchers in the current rotation, but it looks as if the Twins will hold off on promoting him until later in 2016. The Twins will do this to limit his innings and get an extra year of team control in the future.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Odds To Win The American League Rookie Of The Year

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part _Owner – Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

1st off the Twins have the top 3 players listed for the category in Buxton, Ho-Park and Berrios.

All Minnesota youngsters could make the squad, although Buxton is posting just a .567 OPS  in Spring Training –  after only putting up a .576 OPS in his 129 AB for 2015. He will be given the starting job to either make it or not, after the trade of Aaron Hicks.  Don’t like the favorite status for most of these categories, this will ring true one more time.

Ho-Park has looked solid at the dish so far with a 3 Slash of .283/.306/.543 – with 3 HRs and 13 RBI in his 46 AB, and at 29 years of age – coming over from the KBO, he has years of experience next to his classmates.

Jose Abreu and Ichiro Suzuki both came over as later in life rookies to the Junior Circuit and took the honors  Ho-Park was a beast in Korea – blasting over 50+ HRs in each of the last 2 years there for his club team Nexen.

While you have to temper expectations coming overseas to North America from there, what I love is that the guy improved his numbers in each of the last 5 years.  This bodes well for him in Minny.

With a 4 year deal in his back pocket, Park will and should remain on the big roster based on his early success.

I am not sure he will win the Award, and I am not placing any cabbage on him too, but at least he won’t be subjected to service time restrictions like other rookies. Read the rest of this entry

Three Sleeper Boston Red Sox Prospects For 2016

a red sox logo

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Boston Red Sox enter the 2016 season with a revamped major league roster, having landed some significant talent this past offseason. At the same time they have been able to maintain a well-stocked farm system that no less an authority than Baseball America has ranked as fourth-best in baseball this year.

While many will be familiar with some of their better known prospects, their young talent pool is so deep that there are many who have largely flown under the radar thus far in their young careers but may start to get more recognition.

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2016 Houston Farm System Handbook

A HOUSTON ASTROS FARMBOOK

Jayne Hansen (Featured BBBA Baseball Writer/Owner – www.whattheheckbobby.blogspot.ca  ) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The 2016 Houston Farm System Handbook is now available for purchase and is already drawing great reviews! When I introduced the Houston Farm System Handbook in 2015, almost all of the reviews were of the 5-star variety (one person raved that they loved it but only gave it 4 stars).

Astros Announcer Bill Brown complimented me on doing “a masterful job cataloging tons of information on the Astros prospects” and really liked the portability of an e-book.

As good as that 2015 Handbook was, the 2016 version should prove to be even more valuable to prospect fans everywhere with the addition of a “Beyond the Top Prospects” depth chart.

Before last season I was touting prospects such as Matt Duffy, Tyler White, Jon Kemmer and Albert Abreu, all of whom landed in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook for the first time recently.

In my depth charts, I have identified a number of players who may very well debut in that publication next year, including RHP Dean Deetz, 1B Chase McDonald and many others.

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2016 MLB Farm System Rankings

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

2016 Farm System Rankings

Welcome! Just a reminder that I am biased against your team!

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: My #1 farm system of 2016 due to the hard work of Andrew Friedman and Co. This system begins with future superstars Corey Seager and Julio Urias whom should both be in the majors this season. Seager can do it all and may be able to stick at SS for a bit while Urias has a plus plus and 2 plus pitches at his disposal right now. Jose De Leon will slot in eventually behind Urias in that rotation and make for a quality #3 while Walker Buehler has boatloads of talent but will need to recover from TJ surgery he had in August. Yadier Alvarez, Yusnier Diaz and Starling Heredia were all part of the massive Dodgers international spending budget and have high ceilings especially Alvarez who I can see as a dominant closer. As for other bats Cody Bellinger has demonstrated his massive power and can potentially hold a corner OF spot while Alex Verdugo is a personal favorite and profiles as a power bat in a corner OF spot. I am not as high as others on Grant Holmes or Frankie Montas both as whom I see as relievers. Plenty of talent all around.

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Youngsters Making An Impact In 2016; National League West

a corey seager

Shane Kay (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – sonsof84tigers.mlblogs.com 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Position players are in camp and games are just around the corner!  For the last week, we;ve been taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016.

We started with theAmerican League East, moved to the AL Central, hit the AL West, swung it to the National League East, NL Central and today we take our final look at the NL West!

Arizona Diamondbacks

Archie Bradley, RHP – This one is part pipe dream and part reality as I’m not sure Robbie Raywill hold the 5th spot all year. 

Bradley had been on top prospect lists since 2012 and finally made his debut in 2015 with Arizona and started off with four strong starts where he was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, but was hit in the face by a line drive by Carlos Gonzalez that knocked Bradley unconscious for 3-minutes. 

Bradley made his way back two weeks later, but it was pretty clear he wasn’t the same pitcher.  His ERA ballooned to 5.80 by June 1st and Bradley was sent to the minors shortly after. 

The potential is there and Bradley showed it, if it wasn’t for bad luck, who knows what would have transpired last year and who knows if Bradley will be the pitcher he once was after this trauma.

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Youngsters Making An Impact In 2016; National League Central

Schwarber, Kyle

Shane Kay (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – sonsof84tigers.mlblogs.com 

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Spring training camps are up and running with games just around the corner and we’re taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016.

We started with the American League East, moved to the AL Central, hit the AL West, swung it to the National League East and today we touch on the NL Central. Keep on reading as we go division by division!

Chicago Cubs

Kyle Schwarber, OF – I’ve got Schwarber on this list for numerous reasons.  The first of course is his power potential and seeing that over the length of a season (played 69 games in 2015). 

Second, we’re going to see a more disciplined hitter I think.  Schwarber as a minor leaguer carried a .333 batting average in his two seasons, but only hit .246 with the Cubs, and struck out 28% of time in the Majors compared to 20% in the Minors, so adjustments will be made.  

Additionally, Schwarber had a very good .842 OPS for Chicago last year, but his Minor Leaguer career shows room for improvement as well where he had a 1.042 OPS. 

The main focus for Kyle this year though, will have to be working on hitting lefties much better, as he hit just .143 off of them, with just a .481 OPS in 61 plate appearances.  This is one guy I am seriously excited to watch grow this year.

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Perhaps It Is Time For The MLB To Adopt The ‘Boomerang Concept’ For Drafting Rounds In The Amateur Draft

The MLB should consider doing what all 'even level playing field' sports pools do and that is to use the boomerang method of each draft round. A team that drafts 1st in round one would draft last in round 2, before picking 1st in round 3 again and so forth. It wouldn't alleviate tanking altogether - with the best talent still being absorbed in the top 10 most times, but it would level out the middle rounds for sure.

The MLB should consider doing what all ‘even level playing field’ sports pools do and that is to use the boomerang method of each draft round. A team that drafts 1st in round one would draft last in round 2, before picking 1st in round 3 again and so forth. It wouldn’t alleviate tanking altogether – with the best talent still being absorbed in the top 10 most times, but it would level out the middle rounds for sure.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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We have all gone into pools/player drafts where we drew the worst card possible and then picked last.  To offset the sting of this a lot – in the ‘interest of fairness’, the draft worked like a boomerang.

If there are 30 guys picking, the 30th guy picks the last selection in the 1st round, but then he is able to pick 1st in the 2nd round.  Maybe it is time for the MLB to take this action for its Amateur Draft each year?

There has been so much talk about tanking by the teams like Phillies, Braves, Reds, Brewers, Padres and Rockies all following the path paved by the Cubs, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Nationals, Rays and Twins in yesteryear.

KC and Pittsburgh both had 2 decades of shame before they turned their franchises around to respectability.  The Rays (once named the Devil Rays) failed to top 72 wins for the first 9 seasons since their inception to the MLB in 1998. before showcasing 80 wins for every year since 2008. Read the rest of this entry

Youngsters Making An Impact In 2016; American League Central

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago Cubs

By Shane Kay  (Featured Baseball Writer/sonsof84.mlblogs.com)  

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

With spring training around the corner, we’re taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016. 

We started with the American League East yesterday and will move through division by division.  Today we look at AL Central…

Chicago White Sox

Carlos Rodon, LHP – The 23-year old first round (3rd pick) draft pick, had created a ton of buzz coming into last season. 

Rodon ultimately started out in Triple-A Charlotte before being called up to make his Major League debut on April 21st

Although shaky at times with control issues, Rodon really put it together at the end of the season in his last 9 starts; he was 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA, .209 average against with a 8.7 k per 9 rate. 

In total, Rodon was 9-6, with a 3.75 ERA, 1.443 WHIP in 139.1 innings, but it’s that last 9 starts that showed what he could really do.

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2016 NL Rookie Of The Year Candidates

a corey seager

Ground Rule Triple Blog (Featured Baseball Website/groundruletriple.com) 

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Now on to the Senior Circuit! In 2015, NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant led an impressive crop of players that included Maikel Franco, Randal Grichuk, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Duffy, Jung-ho Kang, Kyle Schwarber and Joc Pederson. Which 2016 NL rookies will break out this year? Let’s take a look…

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2016 AL Rookie Of The Year Candidates

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