Notes on prospects who stood out in Cactus and Grapefruit League play, including Marlins outfieler Jake Marisnick and Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
Jake Marisnick, OF, Marlins: 2-4, 2B. Even rain in Jupiter and a delayed start to the afternoon couldn’t slow down Marisnick, who is now hitting .442 this spring. I’ll still argue that both he and Marcell Ozuna belong in Triple-A to start the season, but if he really was invited to camp to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster, it’s hard to do much better than Marisnick has this month.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals: 1-3, R. Piscotty finished strong in Double-A last season and is off to a hot start this spring before likely returning to Springfield. Piscotty is just a flat-out good hitter who controls the strike zone incredibly well. If the power develops, he could be extremely productive. Just don’t get caught in the group of people who think he’s better than Oscar Taveras. At least not yet.
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:
A look back at the teenage years of Byron Buxton, Courtney Hawkins, Francisco, Lindor, and other prospects in the division.
As part of Perfect Game's partnership with Baseball Prospectus, David Rawnsley, Todd Gold and Patrick Ebert will be conducting a “Before They Were Pros” series, providing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in baseball from when they were in high school attending PG events. This six-part series (one for each division in MLB) will appear once Baseball Prospectus has provided their own detailed scouting reports of the top prospects, team-by-team, as part of their “Prospects Will Break Your Heart” series.
We continue by looking at select top prospects from American League Central teams. Be sure to read Baseball Prospectus' features on each of these five teams: White Sox | Twins | Royals | Indians | Tigers
The Pale Hose might not contend in 2014, but that doesn't mean they won't have useful fantasy contributors.
When I think of the White Sox fantasy landscape, I tend to think more of The Badlands than I do the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia, children). Fear not though; there’s reason for hope on the South Side. Thanks mainly to Cuban import Jose Dariel Abreu, the Pale Hose have a little extra thump, and could see even more added if Paul Konerko returns. Free agency could well play a part in this too, as some have hinted that Abreu isn’t the only big-ticket item that Chicago will buy, but until we know how that shakes out, this is what the team looks like:
Scouting and fantasy takes on five pitching prospects promoted to the majors this month.
We’ve devoted full articles to the most promising prospects promoted to the majors late this season, but we’ll be offering scouting and fantasy takes on the best of the rest in a two-part series running today and tomorrow. First up: the pitchers, with position players to follow on Friday.
Brian Flynn, LHP, Marlins
Scouting Take: Flynn, a former seventh-round draft pick (2011) out of Wichita State, was one of the pieces the Marlins acquired at last season’s trade deadline in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, and is the last of the trio to make it to the majors (following Rob Brantly and Jacob Turner). The 6’8”, 240-pound left-hander has seen his strikeout rates spike this season, precipitating a rise through the Marlins system that saw him start the season in Double-A Jacksonville and end it at Marlins Park pitching in front of a similar-sized crowd. He has good control for a tall pitcher and features a low-90s fastball with a good downward plane to go with a pair of usable off-speed pitches—a slider and changeup—and a show-me curveball. The improvement in his changeup is what helped him jump from striking out 7.0 batters per nine innings in 2012 to 8.2 in the 2013 season, and it gives him a chance to stick as a back-end starter. He should compete with Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler, and others for a spot in the back of the Marlins rotation next season. —Jeff Moore
When rosters expand, American League clubs are likely to add these seven pitchers, who could also bolster your fantasy team down the stretch.
For the second straight week, the Sporer Report has an eye on September. On the one hand, I’m sad because we’re winding down the regular season. On the other hand, it’s been a tremendous season and the races to the finish in both MLB and my fantasy leagues should offer plenty of thrills, too. Speaking of those fantasy races, some of them will turn on guys who did little or nothing in the first five months of the season. I’ve got seven potential American League September call-ups—all pitchers—who could bring some solid value down the stretch.
This is some deep speculation, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to take the plunge. Those of your in 10- and 12-team mixers likely don’t need to pounce just yet and in fact shouldn’t pounce yet unless you’ve got remarkably deep rosters. Instead, use this as a cheatsheet of who to keep tabs on as we get closer to September 1. Those of you in deeper leagues might find a few of these guys already rostered, but otherwise should be available and if you have the roster space then you should consider getting the jump on your league mates. These are ranked in order of potential impact which accounts for the likelihood that they even get the call.