The minor-league season is upon us. After the pageantry of major-league Opening Day (and opening series, opening night, and more home openers to come), the minor-league season kicked off with a bang on Thursday night all across the country. With radar guns and rug rats in tow, scouts and parents alike descended on all levels of minor league parks to catch a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow.
Hitter of the Day Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 4-4, 3 R, HR. The only tool in which Betts is not above average is power, so when that’s on display, it’s really fun to watch.
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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:
Ben wades through a handful of uncertain third-base situations to help fantasy owners plan for 2014.
Some would say that forecasting 2014 rosters in September 2013 is a fool’s errand. These people either a) don’t know fools, b) don’t run errands, or c) don’t play in dynasty leagues. For as any experienced owner knows, if you’re not already thinking about your keepers for 2014, you’re doing it wrong.
With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to take a look at five tenuous third-base situations around the league. While there are some potential future fantasy studs listed below, many of these youngsters face uncertain playing time and roster security headed into next year.
Scouts' takes on Giancarlo Stanton, Jon Lester, Joey Gallo, Andrew Lambo, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Reeling from injuries and falling behind in the standings, the Diamondbacks turn to a powerful third-base prospect for help.
The Situation: With Eric Chavez hitting the disabled list due to knee and hip soreness, Arizona has called up third baseman Matt Davidson from the Reno Aces. Martin Prado was expected to see the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner during Chavez’s absence, with Davidson in reserve, but with Cody Ross now out with a dislocated hip, it remains to be seen whether the 22-year-old right-handed hitter is pressed into more consistent action.
Background: The Diamondbacks selected Davidson as a sandwich pick in 2009 out of Yucaipa High School (Yucaipa, CA). The third baseman immediately began to flash the power he had been touted for, belting 18 home runs in his first full professional season between A-Ball and High-A in 2010. After posting a .277/.348/.464 line in the California League with Visalia in 2011, Davidson was tasked with the challenge of Double-A and proving he wasn’t the product of a hitter-friendly league in 2012. He did not disappoint. Davidson put up a .836 OPS and launched 23 bombs with Mobile to begin solidifying himself as a prospect on the rise. The 22-year-old continued to prove the bat is trending in the right direction this year in Triple-A, and was named MVP of this year’s Futures Game after his go-ahead home run. Davidson entered the year ranked fourth on Baseball Prospectus’ Diamondbacks Top 10 Prospects list.
At the Futures Game, Bret saw many of the players ranked here firsthand. Revised notes on their fantasy potential and the updated rankings lie within.
There’s no doubt about it in my mind—the Futures Game is hands down the best event of All-Star Weekend. And with the entire experience being local for me this year, I was able to take advantage of my geography and head out to Citi Field to see seven members of this week’s Stash List with my own eyes. Of course, it also helped that I had the more finely tuned eyes of Zach Mortimer and Chris Mellen from the BP Prospect team, among others, with me for most of the game. And before we delve any further into this, if you haven’t checked out Zach’s Minor League Update from yesterday with notes from a number of Futures Game participants, just click there and then come back. I can wait.
It’s no coincidence that a number of the names you’ll see below were among the most impressive prospects I saw on Sunday, as Futures Game performances tend to swing toward the more advanced guys. Here are a few who caught my eye in particular for fantasy purposes:
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!