This week's Ten Pack looks at prospects who could wind up on the Top 101 next year.
Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets (High-A Port St. Lucie)
After an aggressive placement to start 2015saw Rosario skip Low-A and head right to the Florida State League, the 19-year-old shortstop's talent has been on display throughout the first half of the season. As the no. 78 prospect in our off-season Top 101, a case could be made for including him within the last couple slots of the just released mid-season Top 50, but regardless this prospect's stock has jumped forward as we hit the midpoint of the season.
Rosario is currently a top 101 prospect in the game, and barring some kind of unforeseen circumstances will be a shoe-in for our list this coming off-season. So, why highlight him? He is an interesting case study because of how advanced he is, with a good dose of physical development likely to come. Standing 6-foot-2, Rosario currently is on the wiry/thin side. Though the expectation isn't that he'll suddenly morph into a monster, strength is going to come in time, and with strength there's going to be an enhancement to the overall offensive game.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert.
With no International or Carolina League games on the schedule and torrential rains wiping out most of the Eastern League slate, the MLU is a little lighter than it would be on most Thursday mornings. Not to worry, however. It’s been 90 degrees all week down here in Florida, so there’s nothing stopping the Update from carrying on, even with a limited schedule.
Player of the Night: Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K.
The pair of home runs Cuthbert hit on Wednesday night matched his total in 60 games in Wilmington last season. It’s important to see Cuthbert develop some power if scouts are going to continue to project him as a potential impact bat. Cuthbert has been pushed aggressively, but that can only be a crutch for so long.
Notes on prospects who stood out on Thursday, including Tigers infielder Eugenio Suarez and Mets lefty Steven Matz.
Hitter of the Night: Eugenio Suarez, SS, Tigers (Erie, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K.
We were hoping to see more from Suarez’s bat in a return trip to Double-A, and while he’s still hitting just .250 and doesn’t walk much, his pair of home runs on Thursday gives him five, halfway to his previous career high.
Pitcher of the Night: Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K.
Matz used a fastball that sat 93-94 and a good changeup to carve through Palm Beach hitters on Thursday. He mixed in a hard curveball to keep hitters from both sides of the plate honest.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
The offensive bar is set high for these minor leaguers, but their defensive shortcomings won't hurt your fantasy squad.
Given all of the major-league talent and production that plays at first base, you’d think that there’s a veritable cornucopia of names that are lurking just below the surface, waiting to be promoted and produce. Well, you’d be wrong. So very, very wrong. And not the kind of wrong where you don’t want to be right, either.
Instead, what we find is a smattering of players who have a strong enough offensive profile to withstand the weight of expectations placed on a first baseman, while also featuring a lack of defensive ability so distinct that their teams aren’t even attempting to play them out of position with the hope that they could somehow not be a first baseman. Instead, the depth at the major-league level is created when teams ultimately give up on the guys they are playing out of position and transition them down the defensive spectrum, because, at this point, winning games starts to matter.
A fantasy-based look at how this position stacks up through 2016.
Everyone in fantasy sports loves the look-ahead. Even in the throes of a pennant race, you can fire up a conversation about next year’s first round and it will go on for an hour. With that in mind, the BP fantasy team will be taking a long view look at every position this offseason with three-year rankings (composite value at the position over the next three seasons). We continue our way around the diamond with first basemen today! First base is the storage locker for bad defenders who can hit, especially in the NL where there is no DH. The position is almost always adding staff, but their value at the position is mitigated until they’re done qualifying elsewhere.
For example, you would be insane to use a primary-catcher first-base-eligible asset anywhere but catcher. In no circumstance are they worth more playing first base, and if you carry two such assets and put one at first base, you’re not only robbing the value of this asset, but you’re also putting yourself behind in the counting categories of first base to teams who have full-time first basemen in their lineup. At any other position (though predominantly 3B and OF), they are never more valuable at first base. You could use them there in a pinch, but just like with the catcher, you’re sapping the value of the asset.