Everybody knows how Shelby Miller is doing in Springfield thus far unless of course you completely ignore the minor leagues, but I bet most don't know what Oscar Tavares or Joe Kelly or Nick Longmire are doing. Nearly every prospect has played at least a month of baseball to this point which is not necessarily relevant. However, a month can tell you a few things. It can dampen the shine of the prospect (Robert Stock?!) or raise your expectations (Martinez!).
So I will go through the Community's Top 20 prospects (21 technically) and show their stats. For pitchers, I will use IPs, ERA, K/9, BB/9, FIP, tRA, BABIP against, and LOB%. For hitters, I will use PAs, batting average, HRs, on base percentage, slugging percentage, wOBAr, isolated power (ISO), BB%, and BABIP. The stats were compiled via Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, and Statcorner (I used their park and batted ball adjusted wOBAr instead of fangraphs wOBA).
1. Shelby Miller - 20-years-old - #13 overall prospect by BA in 2011 - RHP
Palm Beach: 53 IP, 2.89 ERA, 13.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1.82 FIP, 2.06 tRA, .330 BABIP, 70.5% LOB
Springfield: 20 IP, 1.35 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 2.05 FIP, 3.63 tRA, .333 BABIP, 83.3% LOB
Obviously, Miller is right on schedule. Actually, ahead of schedule might be more appropriate. Miller dominated Palm Beach in every facet even getting unlucky with a .330 BABIP. He had a 14.7% line drive rate and only a 35.3% groundball rate. Usually groundball pitchers get hit with the BABIP disease, but Miller is not exactly a Dave Duncan protege. Also, a fun stat to know is that Shelby Miller induced a swinging strikeout in 25.7% of the batters he faced. For the record, the league average is a little over 11% for starters. Dominated.
At Springfield, he's been doing just as well as in Palm Beach. He started off shaky in his first two starts allowing hard contact and a high BABIP. But in his last start he improved his tRA from 5.23 all the way to 3.63. He is doing so well, look for him to be a possible #1 pitching prospect in all of baseball.
2. Carlos Martinez - 19-years-old - #52 overall prospect by Keith Law in 2011 - RHP
Quad Cities Stats: 32.2 IP, 2.48 ERA, 11.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.34 FIP, 2.51 tRA, .307BABIP, 79.8% LOB
The $1.5 million dollar man has so far lived up to his billing. We already knew he had electric stuff, which was good enough for Keith Law to barely leave out of the Top 50 despite never seeing him pitch. His stuff has translated well in America. It's a shame he had to toil in the Dominican Summer League for all of last year because he was so out of place. He had a 0.76 ERA, 1.79 FIP, and a 5.57 K/B ratio.
Statcorner reveals a bit more about the type of pitcher he could become. Dave Duncan, to say the least, would be pleased with his results (and probably is depending on how much he follows farm). Martinez has a groundball rate of 63.2%, a flyball rate of 19.7%, and a line drive rate of 10.5%. The main thing is that Martinez's stuff has done what we expected with a swinging strikeout rate of 23.4% per plate appearance.
3. Zack Cox - 22-years-old - #62 overall prospect by BA in 2011 - 3B
Palm Beach Stats: 180 PAs, .335/.380/.439, 3 HRs, .375 wOBAr, .104 ISO, 6.1% BB rate, .388 BABIP
Springfield Stats: 90 PAs, .238/.322/.363, 2 HRs, .316 wOBAr, .132 ISO, 8.8% BB rate, .309 BABIP
Well, these stats are underwhelming to say the least. He has shown a middling walk rate and little power while striking out a high rate. His high BABIP is the only reason his stats look even close to good. Even then, for a first round pick, you expect more. I'm a little surprised they promoted him so quickly. I guess they see the average and jumped at the chance, but everything else is very mediocre.
Cox, in order to be successful at the major league level, will have to either start walking more or gain more power, preferably both. His isolated power is as good as good Skip Schumaker which is not exactly a good thing. His defense is apparently nothing to write home about either. On the bright side, he's still young and has under 300 plate appearances in the minor leagues. The early returns are not great though.
4. Matt Carpenter - 25-years-old - 3B
Memphis: 227 PAs, .287/.428/.424, 4 HRs, .379 wOBAr, .136 ISO, 18.1% walk rate, .320 BABIP
St. Louis: 19 PAs, .067/.263/.133, 0 HRs, .293 wOBAr, .067 ISO, 21.1% BB rate, .091 BABIP
VEB's lovebird has pretty much lived up to expectations. Actually, he's maybe soared above them. I'm guessing a .428 OBP with a .320 BABIP was not expected. He doesn't have much power, but that's to be expected. His OBP skills have been his calling card. Oh and hey that's not a bad walk rate either (drools...)
In the MLB, I'm sure fans have not been pleased. Well if you haven't, we are getting what we expected with some bad BABIP luck. He has a ridiculous walk rate and while I realize it's 19 plate appearances, it's enough to give him more time in the majors. Unfortunately, the Cardinals' brass felt differently. Just like Allen Craig last year, I hope Carpenter proves them to be fools for sending him down when he gets back up.
5. Tyrell Jenkins - 18-years-old - RHP
Jenkins season starts this Friday on June 17 at short-season A Ball in Batavia. Since I can't speak about how he's done, here's a scouting report on him by the Penn League Report. A excerpt below:
He has a real loose arm and he at times dials his fastball up to 95 MPH. It has more tailing away action than sink. He's deceptive enough to throw it consistently enough without it getting hit. He repeats his delivery and throws all of his pitches at the same arm angle. His change up isn't close to being developed yet thus it's a particularly raw pitch but he has a feel for it. The other pitch Jenkins features is a 1-7 curveball with some good velocity on it. It's a go-to pitch of his and he uses it more than his change up.
While his command isn't great, he's still young and should improve a great deal -- There are few minor leaguers who have more upside than Jenkins. He's a real bulldog on the mound and shows great moxy regardless of how he's doing.
6. Lance Lynn - 24-years-old - RHP
Memphis - 69 IP, 3.78 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 2.78 FIP, 4.42 tRA, .353 BABIP, 69.9% LOB
St. Louis - 10.1 IP, 5.23 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.83 FIP, 3.38 tRA, .310 BABIP, 63.5% LOB
Lynn has been promising to start off the season. His upside is probably that of a #3 starter. "Michael" has had pretty much the same stats in Memphis as last year except he's lowered his walk rate a bit. He's also allowed a significantly less amount of homers from last year, although I suspect that his 1.15 HR/9 is not his true talent level much the same as his 0.15 HR/9 isn't either.
In the majors, Lynn was great in his first round. He allowed a few more runs than he probably deserved thanks to certain inefficiencies on defense (*cough* Ryan Theriot). I think it's fair to say that Lynn performed admirably in his short stint in the majors and I look forward to his next stint being much longer. (Of course being in 2012 since McCllellan's return proves to be the last injury in our rotation.)
7. Eduardo Sanchez - 22-years-old - RHP
St. Louis - 28.2IP, 1.88 ERA, 10.4 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, 3.10 FIP, 2.79 tRA, .213 BABIP, 85.4% LOB
I'm going to leave out his Memphis statistics because it includes all of three innings. Sanchez has probably not been as good as we think he has been. His tRA and FIP are pretty amazing for a 22-year-old in his first season. However, it hasn't been without flaws. He walks way too many batters than he should that not even his strikeout rate makes up for it. He allows a ton of flyballs yet has allowed just one home run thus far. That is reflected in his 3.99 xFIP which is much less impressive than his three other stats.
But he's 22-years-old so I'm not going to tell you to temper expecations. Because a 3.99 xFIP is still pretty good for a rookie that young.
8. Allen Craig - 26-years-old - RF/LF/2B (?)
St. Louis - 122 plate appearances, .336/.405/.523, 4 HRs, .346 wOBAr, .187 ISO, 10.7% BB rate, .395 BABIP
Raise your hand if you knew Craig was doing this good. Ok.. now raise your hand if you knew he was getting this lucky. Anybody who raised their hands both times probably looks at stats a lot more than the average person. I knew his .336 average wasn't going to stay, but I had no idea he had a better BABIP than Jon Jay. On the positive side, his power is coming out. He's also walking at a very high rate.
Here's something that may only interest me. Last year, Craig hit a line drive in 20.2% of his plate appearances. This year? 12.8%. (From Statcorner - Fangraphs is less extreme but basically the same message with only 14.1%) From a pure viewing remembering history, that sounds way off to me. Way off. And on the good side his four homers can safely be extrapolated to however many plate appearances you expect him to get because his HR/FB% is a very sustainable 12.5%. (500 plate appearances = 16 homers)
9. Joe Kelly - 23-years-old - RHP
Palm Beach - 60 IP, 2.70 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 3.48 FIP, 3.86 tRA, .282 BABIP, 74.8% LOB
Kelly is kind of old for Palm Beach but his results have been somewhat promising. His walk rate is way too high at this point. Even the most optimistic projection sees him making the majors at 25-years-old which isn't very appealing. He does have a 2.70 ERA so it's not all bad. I'd wait of course to move him to reliever but I don't see him making it as a starter and his future seems destined to be as a reliever.
According to Statcorner, he has forced a groundball 60% of the time so Dave Duncan would probably love him. He has also allowed a flyball 18.9% of the time so his 0.15 HR/9 is less lucky than it immediately appears. Oh and if you are convinced neither of those stats will stay, they will get close. Last year, his groundball rate was 52.6% and his flyball rate was 26.3%. \
10. Oscar Taveras - 18-years-old - OF
Quad Cities - 74 PAs, .426/.473/.574, 2 HRs, .403 wOBAr, .148 ISO, 6.8% BB rate, .509 BABIP
Wow I'm amazed that on June 19 Oscar will turn 19-years-old and he already has 602 plate appearances in the Cardinals system. I'm not really sure how to grade something like this. His stats last year were good especially so for an 18-year-old. He only walked 5.2% of the time, but showed good power with a .204 ISO. This year, I can't really say anything negative although BABIP-luck aside, it appears he hasn't changed much.
Of course, I think his luck is somewhat captured by a still great .403 wOBAr. He is crushing the ball right now. Do you bring him up? Maybe wait until he hits a cold spurt and see how he responds. When he starts being human, will his stats still look great? I'm not sure how Mo will or should approach this. Personally, I want to see how his stats look with a .350 BABIP instead of a .502 BABIP.
11. Deryk Hooker - 21-years-old - RHP
Springfield - 36.2 IP, 6.14 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 5.44 FIP, 6.48 tRA, .308 BABIP, 66.4% LOB
Well absolutely none of those stats are good in any form. Remember two things: his age and the fact that his park is a massive hitter's park. That's all I got other than that though. Another positive is I'm sure his 1.72 HR/9 is definitely not sustainable. He isn't even a flyball pitcher with 28.1% of balls going in the air. His homers per balls in air is 10.94 when the league average is 6.
Is AA a big jump from A? Hooker has become a much different pitcher and I'm assuming it has something to do with it being a big jump in talent. Although I'm sure once he settles and adjusts (Ha - announcer speak right there), his stats will go back to normal. He's soon to be 22-years-old which is still young for AA and he has some time. He may have to convert to a reliever though.
12. Seth Blair - 22-years-old - RHP
Quad Cities - 45.1 IP, 4.96 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 6.4 BB/9, 6.01 FIP, 7.37 tRA, .257 BABIP, 76.1% LOB
Yikes! Another player with some ugly statistics. Actually, I'd be insulting Hooker if I grouped him in the same level of suckage as Blair. Is it too early to call him a failed draft pick? (Yeah) Ugh anyway, these stats are not good in the slighest. His batted ball rates indicate he should be giving up more runs. So do his walks and strikeouts. Does he really have a 6.6 BB/9? (Yeah) Not much to work on here. He'll probably drop off the prospect list next year.
13. Bryan Anderson - 24-years-old - C
Memphis - 164 PAs, .224/.299/.327, 2 HRs, .313 wOBAr, .103 ISO, 8.5% BB rate, .279 BABIP
I'm still of the opinion that Anderson should have gotten the backup role at the beginning of the year. He seems like an average hitter with average defense. He must suck at calling a game or framing pitches because he's pretty good at throwing out runners. Either way, I still think that he could be a 1.0 WAR catcher behind Yadi. And it's not like we are hindering his development anymore.
Anyway, I'm sure his line isn't impressing anyone, but I don't see much in there to suggest he's fallen off a cliff randomly. He is striking out more, but that's about it and would explain his low average despite not a ridiculously bad BABIP. He's still just 24-years-old though.
14. Adam Reifer - 25-years-old - RHP
Memphis - 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 1.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 5.41 FIP, 5.31 tRA, .300 BABIP, 100% LOB
Well Reifer's year has sucked. He injured his knee and will likely miss the rest of the year. That's a tough blow for a pitcher as close as he is to the majors. He's had a weird line to date. He's allowed one homer which accounted for his lone run. He has only walked one and struck out one which is strange for a player who struck out 52 and walked 15 in 54 innings in Springfield last year. His injury probably had something to do with that.
15. Tony Cruz - 24-years-old - C
Memphis - 107 PAs, .232/.295/.389, 4 HRs, 364 wOBAr, .158 ISO, 7.5% BB rate, .265 BABIP
St. Louis - 23 PAs, .273/.304/.364, 0 HRs, .185 wOBAr, .091 ISO, 4.3% BB rate, .375 BABIP
For some reason, they brought up Cruz instead of Anderson. I thought it was his early statistics, but apparently not. These stats are not much better than Anderson's beside some more power. You could point to his wOBAr, but I seriously doubt that's the reason they brought him up because his actual wOBA is only .308. They're the same age except Anderson has actually had success in AAA unlike Cruz. Oh well, both likely won't do anything anyway, but I'm left wondering what happened to Anderson.
On to Cruz, he hasn't done good in the majors. He has a .279 wOBA with .375 BABIP. But it's only 23 plate appearances so it's kind of dumb for me to say anything else about his early going. I'm on the Bryan Anderson train as you can see.
16. Daniel Descalso - 24-years-old - 2B/3B
St. Louis - 193 PAs, .240/.294/.357, HR, .278 wOBAr, .117 ISO, 6.7% BB rate, .286 BABIP
Somehow I think he'll be more valuable than the +1.4 fielding he has been thus far. So his defense has been excellent and a huge surprise to me at least. His offense has been a huge downer however. He is pretty weak with the bat. If he can manage somewhere around a .310 OBP then I think he'll be a really valuable player. Something something about his clutchiness. He's here to stay though so you always like prospects that are like that.
17. Tommy Pham - 23-years-old - OF
Springfield - 166 PAs, .294/.372/.517, 5 HRs, .324 wOBAr, .224 ISO, 10.8% BB rate, .370 BABIP
Pham might strike out too much to make it to the majors but he certainly has the power and walk rate to succeed. He had 12.9% in Springfield last year and 14.7% in Palm Beach so Pham knows how to take a walk. His low wOBAr probably has a lot to do with the fact that he has a .370 BABIP and that he's in a hitter ballpark. I think he'll rise on the prospect boards next season even if that might have more to do with the sheer amount of graduates on the list. [Note: He's currently injured with a wrist injury suffered on June 6, his second time on the DL]
18. Adron Chambers - 24-years-old - OF
Memphis - 226 PAs, .249/.353/.376, 5 HRs, .358 wOBAr, .124 ISO, 12.7% BB rate, .295 BABIP
This is not the line I thought I'd see from Chambers. Some VEBers like to compare him to Jon Jay and his stats are eerily similar. Jay walked less but had better contact ability - basically on base skills were a near wash. They also have similar power. And I think they are similar speed-wise and I'm not sure about defense. But remember that Jon Jay wasn't really expected to be as good as he's done. So if Chambers has the same stats as Jay did in AAA (value-wise), I think that's more of a thumbs down than a thumbs up. I still am not of the opinion that Chambers = Jay.
19. Nick Longmire - 22-years-old- OF
Quad Cities - 202 PAs, .219/.272/.339, 4 HRs, .331 wOBAr, .122 ISO, 6.6% BB rate, .243 BABIP
Longmire, even with the bad luck, has shown less power and less patience than last year. Last year, he had an 11% walk rate and a .196 ISO. Still, he has a .243 BABIP so neither should deter you too much from your favorite prsopect (anyone?).
20. Jordan Swagerty - 21-years-old - RHP
Palm Beach - 30.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 6.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 3.27 FIP, 3.43 tRA, .300 BABIP, 74.5% LOB
Swagerty was supposed to be less polished and more raw than Blair right? Either the scouts completely whiffed or polish doesn't mean as much as I thought. Swagerty has done pretty good if I do say so myself. He has a good ERA, good FIP, and good tRA. That's about all you can ask for. Is luck is pretty neutral as well so I'm pretty pleased with his start.
21. Mark Hamilton - 26-years-old - 1B
Memphis - 112 PAs, .391/.509/.552, 2 HRs, .375 wOBAr, .161 ISO, 19.6% BB rate, .438 BABIP
St. Louis - 26 PAs, .120/.154/.160, 0 HRs, .161 wOBAr, .040 ISO, 3.8% BB rate, .200 BABIP
Those stats are fun to look at. 19.6% BB rate? It's really really unfortunately he can only play 1B and not only because Pujols is there. His stats wouldn't come across that great as a first baseman. He'd be probably at best a mediocre first baseman over there. His defense in the outfield is apparently not very good either. Either way, he's on a team that's stacked at the two positions he plays so that's never good.
John Sickels Top 20 Prospect Appearances
Cody Stanely - #15 - C - 22-years-old - Quad Cities - 214 PAs, .268/.332/.397, .315 wOBAr, .132 ISO, 7.7% BB rate, .325 BABIP
John Gast - #16 - LHP - 22-years-old- Palm Beach - 74 IP, 4.14 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 4.38 FIP, 5.53 tRA, .296 BABIP, 73.4% LOB
Trevor Rosenthal - #18 - RHP - 21-years-old - Quad Cities - 57 IP, 3.63 ERA, 11.1 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 2.53 FIP, 3.12 tRA, .353 BABIP, 70.1% LOB
Allen Craig, Dan Descalso, and Eduardo Sanchez are all definitely not going to be eligible for prospect status next year. Tony Cruz will come really close (using the 45 day on the 25 man active roster as the bar). I'll leave with a few questions. How many 2011 draftees will be on the list next year and name who you think will (except Kolten Wong - that seems obvious)?