July 2, 2014
Futures Team Meet and Greet: World
With the MLB Futures Game rosters being announced last week, Craig and I thought it would be informative to take a look at the rosters and provide some base-level information on some of the prospects you might not necessarily know. Given that this column is geared toward deep and dynasty leagues, many of these names will be familiar, but there are always noobs getting into dynasty leagues that are out of their depth and tired of being pwned or whatever. This one’s for them.
Last week, Craig tackled Team USA and did an okay-ish job. This week, I break down the World Team, because I’m not a xenophobic monster.
Guys You Know: Jorge Alfaro (C - TEX), Javier Baez (SS/3B - CHC), Christian Bethancourt (C - ATL), Jose Berrios (SP - MIN), Carlos Correa (SS - HOU), Maikel Franco (3B/1B - PHI), Francisco Lindor (SS - CLE), Enny Romero (SP - TB), Domingo Santana (OF - HOU), Julio Urias (SP - LAD)
Guys You Might Not Know:
Edwin Escobar - SP (SF)
Escobar made Bret Sayre’s “honorary mentions” for his Top 101 preseason fantasy prospects list, and he’s probably still a borderline top-100 name today. Escobar’s having a rough season in Triple-A, posting a 5.00 ERA and a 4.49 FIP, but his strikeout and walk rates are decent and his ultimate upside as a no. 4 MLB starter remains intact. It’s not a super sexy profile, but a pitcher with his command in AT&T Park is likely to have fantasy value at some point in the future.
Michael Feliz - SP (HOU)
Feliz is following up a dominant 2013 run in Low-A with a pretty good season in Single-A this year, missing a ton of bats but allowing far too many free passes. Listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Feliz brings some serious #heft to the mound, but the 20-year-old will need to improve his command and control before progressing to the next stage of the minor leagues. There’s upside here, but he’s a long ways away and isn’t in top-100 fantasy consideration yet.
Domingo German - SP (MIA)
I’m going to be honest with you—I didn’t know who this was when I began this column. Jason Parks wrote about him in late May, so you should read what he had to say here. You can interpret his name as meaning “German Sunday,” which is unsettling.
Gabriel Guerrero - OF (SEA)
The definition of a high-risk, high-reward fantasy prospect, Guerrero is performing quite well in High-A this year. The nephew of Vlad, Guerrero is hitting .303/.348/.439 in 337 PA, and while is 23.7 percent strikeout rate is ugly, his 6.5 percent walk rate is actually quite an improvement. True to his family, Guerrero swings hard and swings often, and his upside as an offensive player with power and some speed is significant. That being said, so too is the risk that he flames out in the upper minors.
Rosell Herrera - INF (COL)
Another in a long line of intriguing Rockies MI prospects, Herrera is hitting .272/.324/.348 in High-A this year. That line underscores that Herrera is a better MLB prospect than a fantasy one, but still, he’s producing adequately for a 21-year-old in High-A. Herrera doesn’t have the upside some pretended he did after his great 2013 season, but he’s relevant for fantasy purposes nonetheless.
Jorge Lopez - SP (MIL)
Lopez is a big boy who’s putting up nice numbers in High-A this year, posting a 2.93 ERA while limiting his free passes and keeping the ball in the yard. As Jeff Moore noted in the Minor League Update last week, though, Lopez has yet to develop his changeup and is just getting by based on the strength of his fastball and curveball. He’ll need the third pitch if he wants to remain a starter.
Francellis Montas - SP (CHW)
He’s probably a reliever, but he throws super hard and has had a ton of success as a starter in High-A this year as a 21-year-old. He won’t pitch in the Futures Game because of a minor knee injury, but he’s significantly raised his fantasy profile so far this year. He’s still not really close to being a top-100 guy, but if you really want to gamble on upside, there are poorer choices.
Renato Nunez - 3B (OAK)
A high-profile international signing out of Venezuela in 2010, Nunez struggled in Single-A last year, but the A’s decided to promote him to High-A for the 2014 season anyway. It’s a move that’s paid substantial dividends, as Nunez is hitting .282/.349/.533 with 16 homers in 321 PA this season. The approach still isn’t all that great, but at least Nunez is showing the type of power in his bat we’ve been waiting for.
Jose Peraza - 2B/SS (ATL)
Peraza was one of my favorite relatively unknown prospects headed into the year, but he’s a much better-known name now. The middle infielder stole 35 bases in just 304 PA in High-A this year before a promotion to Double-A, where he’s more than held his own as a 20-year-old. There’s not crazy upside here, but he’s a no-doubt top-100 guy for me, and I’d probably have him in my top-75 fantasy prospects. He can run, he’ll contribute modestly with the bat and he could see the majors at some point next year. If you liked Arismendy Alcantara, you should like Peraza.
Dalton Pompey - OF (TOR)
One of 2014’s more notable “pop-up prospects,” Pompey first popped up on many radars when Jason Parks included him in a Monday Morning Ten Pack back in late April. We’ve received many Bat Signals about him since, and he’s proven to be a savvy pickup for owners with some MiLB space this year. Finally healthy after years of battling injuries, Pompey hit .319/.397/.471 in High-A and was recently promoted to New Hampshire. That means he’s on track to reach the majors at some point next year, potentially, and his speed and hit tools make him an attractive fantasy option. You should be an optimist about this (eh eh oh eh oh).
Luis Severino - SP (NYY)
Severino is young, good, and a Yankees prospect, and those three things—especially in tandem—will get you noticed in the prospect world. There were concerns about his ability to start long-term, and they’re still valid, but you can’t ask for much more than what the 20-year-old has done this year. After posting a 2.79 ERA, 25.3 percent strikeout rate and 5.4 percent walk rate in Single-A, Severino was recently promoted to High-A, where he’s also been quite good in two starts. The mid-to-upper minors will be more of a challenge for a player with Severino’s stuff, but he’s come a long way in a short time.
Kennys Vargas - 1B (MIN)
“Just say he’s basically the Jesus Aguilar of Minnesota.” —Craig Goldstein, Fantasy Scout.
Guys You Can Forget (For Now): Alfonso Alcantara (SP- CHC), Dariel Alvarez (OF - BAL), Tayron Guerrero (RP - SD), Steven Moya (OF- DET), Jose Rondon (SS - LAA)
Ben Carsley is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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