Ray’s Ramblings: Rookie Outlooks
Estrada’s back still isn’t right. Ross and Trumbo are still looking for teams. Gattis had a heck of a season last year. Which rookies are the best according to GMs and scouts?
TOP PROSPECT TALENT
MLB Pipeline recently took a poll of some general managers and scouting executives.
Here is how the vote played out when the question was asked – who is the #1 hitting prospect in the game heading into the 2017 season. Survey said...
Andrew Benintendi – 10 votes
Yoan Moncada – 5 votes
Dansby Swanson – 3 votes
Gleyber Torres – 2 votes
I’m a big fan of Benintendi, really like the kids game offensively, but I’m completely shocked that he easily outdistanced the others, especially Moncada. Check out what this GM had to say about Yoan. "His upside at the plate is unparalleled for a middle infield prospect, and he has elite ability on the base paths." Yep, totally agree there. In terms of fantasy upside, zero doubt that Moncada blows doors on Benintendi because of those wheels and his infield eligibility.
Who is the #1 pitching prospect? According to the respondents...
Alex Reyes – 15 votes
Tyler Glasnow – 3 votes
Lucas Giolito – 1 vote
Reyes has a golden arm, one touched by Zeus himself. The 6’3” righty has a dominant fastball and a curve ball that impresses. His profile says potential big-league ace. Period. Totally understand him getting the top spot here. The one significant concern for Reyes in 2017 is workload. The righty hasn’t exactly piled up the innings on his 22 year old arm. Here are the innings pitched totals.
2013: 58.1 innings
2014: 109.1 innings
2015: 116.1 innings
2016: 111.1 innings
I would have to think that the high end would be about 170-innings this season. The high end.
Rookie rules, by the way, for a fella to be considered eligible for rookie status follow...
“... a player must not exceed 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Majors, or accumulate more than 45 days on the active roster of a big-league club (or clubs) during the 25-player limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service.”
THIS AND THAT
Marco Estrada will not pitch in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Why? Because of back woes. Listen to the soundbite. He certainly doesn’t sound overly confident in his back. Given that he ended last season pitching with a herniated disc, I don’t know how this news can’t be read with anything other than grave concern as we get ready to ramp up work in 2017. He’s never on my draft list anyway, I just don’t believe in the skills, but persistent back woes are a value killer.
I was looking at Evan Gattis this morning. He returned to catching last season appearing at the position 55 times, and that added qualification for him in the fantasy game is a massive boost to his outlook. Speaking of performance, some folks may have overlooked that he posted a career best .319 OBP and career best .508 SLG. The first number is barely league average, but the second number rocks. That SLG mark was exactly the same as Mookie Betts and better than the marks posted by guys like Jose Bautista (.499), Brian Dozier (.495) and Mark Trumbo (.495).
Tyson Ross appears to be closing in on a deal with either the Cubs (of course) or the Rangers according to Jeff Passan. A year after dealing with numerous shoulder woes, it’s unclear how much Ross will be able to help out any team, but if he’s able to be had on an incentive laden deal it’s totally worth it for the signing club. He made one start last season, on Opening Day.
Mart Trumbo is still looking for a home and it sounds like the latest suitor for his services are the Athletics. The club from the bay is apparently thinking about adding Trumbo to support Khris Davis in the middle of the lineup. For Trumbo’s sake, I hope that he doesn’t head to Oakland, though Davis showed last year that if you hit em far enough it doesn’t matter where you play (42 homers). Speaking of those homers with Davis, did you realize he is the first player in big league history to hit exactly 42 homers with exactly 42 walks in the same season? In three of his four big league seasons Khris has posted a HR/FB ratio of at least 24.5 percent. Moreover, the last two years he’s third in baseball with a 25.7 HR/FB ratio. The only two men with marks that were higher are Nelson Cruz (28.2) and the “other” Chris Davis (27.2).
Speaking of HR/FB ratios the past two years how about the 24.3 percent mark of Ryan Braun, 4th best in baseball. Wasn’t Braun supposed to be washed up as an elite level performer? The last two seasons, despite at-bat totals of just 506 and 511, Braun’s average effort was .295-28-88-84-20. That ain’t half bad now is it?