Oct 10th The Arizona Fall League begins! Last year we saw some big time prospects on the cusp of the majors, as well some who have taken the league by storm! Cody Bellinger, Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Gleyber Torres, Yoan Moncada, Brent Honeywell and more! This year looks to be as stacked at the top end as last year! Oct 8th and 9th are the first practices for the 6 Arizona Fall League teams (with each AZFL team being made of up of players from 5 different teams), with it all starting Oct 10th. Below I am going to talk about some of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League, as well as some deep options you should be watching!
Making it easier for you though, is my Prospect Podcast, Prospect One! I will be out at a practice or two on Oct 8th. Then Oct 10th I tentatively plan to be out to see Glendale vs Peoria, which will then be followed up by a week of coverage Oct 16th – Oct 20th. Don’t miss any of the Podcasts, so make sure you subscribe today on iTunes HERE. We’re also on Soundcloud, TuneIn, Stitcher and any podcast app out there.
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Victor Robles and Ronald Acuña going to the Arizona Fall League.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) August 29, 2017
Ronald Acuna is the fire emoji version of prospects. In what is an incredible feat to my eyes, Acuna has only improved at each level he has advanced in 2017. Usually you might see some decline, but he has hit .20 points or higher than the next level. Speaking of which, he started at Advanced A and will finish the season at AAA. Acuna will be the talk of the town in the Arizona Fall League. He will be to this year what Eloy Jimenez was in 2016 for the fall league. Acuna will finish the 2017 season as a top 3 overall prospect for Fantasy with my Prospect One ranks. He will finish as one of only two players with 20+ homeruns and 40+ stolen bases (the other is Jose Siri. Fernando Tatis Jr with an outside chance to do it). Ronald Acuna looks to be a star, and even if he isn’t number 1 in fantasy as far as prospects go, he is single handedly the most valuable asset. Regardless of rank, he is not someone I would look to trade away unless it’s a kings ransom. I am very excited to get to scout King Acuna!
Prospect One Rating: Top 3
Victor shows up as a top 5 fantasy prospect in my rankings. I had Brent Hershey from BaseballHQ on Episode 31 of Prospect One where we talked about Victor at length. One comp I came up with, that Brent and I went with was Byron Buxton. There is much less swing and miss to Victor’s game though. He’s managed to stay in the .300 range for average, while stealing over 20, but the power is low (10 homeruns as this is being written). Will Robles figure it all out early in his career, or see similar Buxton struggles. Buxton is starting to show his power, but that is a question mark with Robles. Speed is not in question though, for either. Power is the last tool to develop they tell us, so between the good average, speed, OBP and ability to field his position to stay on the field, Victor is one of the few top prospects who’s “buzz” has simmered a little bit, and may be able to be had at a deal.
Prospect One Rating: Top 5
This is my 3rd top to fantasy prospect to make the Arizona Fall League, which re-states the point, that the top end talent this year is as good as it was last year. Tucker is a straight hitter. That isn’t the only tool though, as he’s stolen over 20 bases as of Aug 29th. What’s really interesting to me, is that Robles and Tucker are on the same team, because one move that I may make in this off-season is putting Tucker a head of Robles. Tucker is an OBP, middle of the order 5 tool player. The Average is a concern as it’s dipped, but he’s also shown the ability to adjust to the league he’s in. I don’t know if he’ll be a .280 hitter in the majors, but this will be a big test, and he’ll be teammates with Robles.
Prospect One Rating: Top 8
One of the more confusing moments of the Arizona Fall League roster announcements was surrounded by Francisco Mejia, as stated by FanRags Bernie Pleskoff
Confusion remains about position for #Indians Mejia in AFL. This is being clarified now. I will post when I hear anything. Very good sources
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) August 29, 2017
#Indians Mejia will be getting reps at 3B in addition to C in AFL to add versatility to his profile. A way to get him ready for MLB sooner.
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) August 29, 2017
So Mejia the catcher, looks to be Mejia the 3B as well! Now I will tell you, from a fantasy perspective, one of the plus points is him having catcher eligibility. He is a high average guy. Mejia is the guy who had a 50 game hit streak in 2016. The problem is he isn’t exactly a big counting stats guy. His career homeruns season is this year at 14 (Aug 29th) and is under double digit stolen bases. Those numbers won’t fly as a 3B, OF or 1B, but he’d be an interesting play at 2B. He is on the smaller size, listed as 5’10 180, so I will be on the lookout for how much he moves around. He might be the biggest rank rise or fall post AZFL.
Prospect One Rating: Top 25
I Paired these two guys together, because they seemed to be quick risers from the 2016 draft. They also were popular picks amongst rankers as guys they’d want over the high school bats in 2016, Corey Ray especially. Kyle Lewis was set back due to injury in 2016. He started 2017 out in the AZL, and then onto Modesto A ball. His numbers don’t look sexy, but I believe there is a lot to come for Kyle Lewis.
Prospect One Rating: Top 30
Corey Ray did a lot of what you would hope in a full season, outside of hit for a good average, well and strikeout. He showed some power, but less than hoped, but stole plenty of bases. This will be a shot for him to refine a little bit, going into next year where we could be a september call up in 2018.
Prospect One Rating: Top 40
There are quite a few more top fantasy prospects that might not be seen as BIG prospects coming out the the AZFL.
Michael Chavis – 3B – Red Sox: He’s had a career year that has been built around power. He doesn’t show in some top 100 lists, but he’s a head of Corey Ray for me.
Prospect One Rating: Top 50
Mitch Keller – SP – Pirates: Last year he jumped Tyler Glasnow as the top pitching prospect for the Pirates. He’s had a solid year with a just over 3 ERA, and though the Pirates love to slow roll prospects, this should help him to a mid 2018 call-up. Top 15 starting pitcher in fantasy for Prospect One.
Prospect One Rating: Top 15 SP
Estevan Florial – OF – Yankees: Some view Florial as a better prospect long term than Clint Frazier. He strikes out a bit much, and the AZFL could be big for him. He is a potential 20/20 guy in the future.
Prospect One Rating: Top 70
Let’s dig deeper though, for a few prospect who might burst out bigger in 2018
I have been a big believer in DJ for a while now. His biggest problem, like many power hitting prospect, are the strikeouts. He looks to top 200 strikeouts in 2017 (182 as I write this). Impressive though is the almost 50 walks and .275 average when you strikeout that much. He’s a beast though, 6’6 225 with 24 homers. He’s also the kid who took Madison Bumgarner deep twice in a rehab stint. I think DJ could vault himself up in 2018 similar to guys like Florial Sanchez and even Chavis.
Prospect One Rating: Top 130
Last year the Mesa Solar Sox had a power hitting OF who made lots of noise (Eloy) this year, they do it again, but from Houston. Alvarez has been a pleasant 2017 surprise. That power I spoke of has cooled, but he has maintained a .300+ average, and comes into the AZFL with the chance to further his prospect value.
Prospect One Rating: Top 150
The signing of Lourdes came with a lot of hype, due to the bloodlines of the Gurriel family. In 2017 he didn’t meet those expectations. Seen by many as a utility player, Lourdes struggled in his first year in the states with pretty much every offensive category. Under .300 OBP, under .250 AVG and less than stellar counting stats. Lourdes though has a chance to take all he’s learned so far and shine similar to 2016 AZFL Outfielder and fellow Jay Anthony Alford. He is listed as a SS on the Arizona Fall League Roster which is interesting, so he’s a guy to keep an eye on
Prospect One Rating: Borderline Top 150
I almost put Jake Gatewood here, who I have an affinity for, but Lucas I think is super sneaky due to the bad year he had. I will say, based on his MLB.com picture, he might battle Ian Happ as the saddest looking person in the AZFL, but we’ll see in person. Erceg is hitting .70 points lower than in 2016 and only 5 more homers in double the AB’s from 2016. He started as a top 100 fantasy prospect for me, but fell out of it. This is a chance to right some of that ship.
Prospect One Rating: Top 150
Dillon Tate is actually one of only a few that are returning to the Fall League from 2016. Tate didn’t have a good 2016, Fall League or reputation locally in AZFL due to a fan getting quite a few autographs from him and selling them online. He wasn’t happy (or so was the word around the fall league). Tate didn’t pitch in 2017 until mid June. The results have been pretty solid, with a sub 3 ERA. Most saw Tate as a middle reliever after 2016, but he’s revitalized the thought of him making it into the rotation.
Prospect One Rating: Top 130
Alcantara came into 2017 as a guy who could possibly get a late call-up, but his season is a big reason he’s going out to the AZFL. ERA is up, Strikeouts are down, Homeruns are up, yet he still continues to throw high to mid 90’s and his offerings are there. Results are not. He is one of the better starting pitcher prospects going to the AZFL. He has the stuff to be a mid rotation arm, but a continued fall could lead to being a top 9th inning guy. He was top 100 coming into the season, but dropped out a few months ago. 2016’s AZFL best statistical pitcher was Austin Gomber with the Cards, maybe we’ll see a Cards repeat.
Prospect One Rating: Top 120
Reactions on AZ Fall League Rosters. Super high end talent, drop off @ depth & outside a few, sub-par pitching! https://t.co/Okq5EziKYz
— The Welsh (@IsItTheWelsh) August 29, 2017
And there you go! This should get you primed and pumped for not only the 2017 Arizona Fall League, but also for anyone prospect hunting in 2018. We will see a lot of these guys become the next stars in MLB, as well as impact your fantasy teams for the future. If you enjoyed this content, consider checking out the ITL Army for my Top 450 Ranks, our Prospect GroupMe room and more! Also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and please consider giving a 5 star rating and review!
Fantasy Baseball 12 Team 5×5 Mock Draft Results
Below are the results for our 12 team standard 5×5 mock draft that we did with the ITL Army. Listed are the first 12 rounds. You can listen to the podcast where we talk about this draft RIGHT HERE!
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|OF||Anthony||Trout, Mike – LAA||1||1|
|2B||Jesse S||Altuve, José – HOU||2||2|
|1B||Evan||Goldschmidt, Paul – ARI||3||3|
|3B||Rosa||Arenado, Nolan – COL||4||4|
|SS||Trevor Welsh||Turner, Trea – WAS||5||5|
|OF||Kory||Harper, Bryce – WAS||6||6|
|OF||Gammill||Blackmon, Charlie – COL||7||7|
|SP||Bogman||Kershaw, Clayton – LAD||8||8|
|3B||Brian Roecker||Bryant, Kris – CHC||9||9|
|OF||The Welsh||Betts, Mookie – BOS||10||10|
|SS||Just A Guy||Correa, Carlos – HOU||11||11|
|OF||Robert Russell||Stanton, Giancarlo – NYY||12||12|
|OF||Robert Russell||Judge, Aaron – NYY||1||13|
|SP||Just A Guy||Sale, Chris – BOS||2||14|
|1B||The Welsh||Votto, Joey – CIN||3||15|
|SP||Brian Roecker||Kluber, Corey – CLE||4||16|
|3B||Bogman||Machado, Manny – BAL||5||17|
|SP||Gammill||Scherzer, Max – WAS||6||18|
|1B||Kory||Freeman, Freddie – ATL||7||19|
|1B||Trevor Welsh||Rizzo, Anthony – CHC||8||20|
|SS||Rosa||Lindor, Francisco – CLE||9||21|
|SP||Evan||Bumgarner, Madison – SF||10||22|
|OF||Jesse S||Springer, George – HOU||11||23|
|OF||Anthony||Martinez, J.D. – (N/A)||12||24|
|SS||Anthony||Seager, Corey – LAD||1||25|
|3B||Jesse S||Ramírez, José – CLE||2||26|
|2B||Evan||Gordon, Dee – SEA||3||27|
|C||Rosa||Sánchez, Gary – NYY||4||28|
|OF||Trevor Welsh||Bellinger, Cody – LAD||5||29|
|3B||Kory||Donaldson, Josh – TOR||6||30|
|SP||Gammill||Greinke, Zack – ARI||7||31|
|OF||Bogman||Cruz, Nelson – SEA||8||32|
|SS||Brian Roecker||Bregman, Alex – HOU||9||33|
|SP||The Welsh||Syndergaard, Noah – NYM||10||34|
|1B||Just A Guy||Abreu, José – CHW||11||35|
|SP||Robert Russell||Strasburg, Stephen – WAS||12||36|
|1B||Robert Russell||Hoskins, Rhys – PHI||1||37|
|3B||Just A Guy||Rendon, Anthony – WAS||2||38|
|SP||The Welsh||Ohtani, Shohei (R) – LAA||3||39|
|OF||Brian Roecker||Marte, Starling – PIT||4||40|
|SP||Bogman||Carrasco, Carlos – CLE||5||41|
|OF||Gammill||Ozuna, Marcell – STL||6||42|
|SP||Kory||deGrom, Jacob – NYM||7||43|
|SP||Trevor Welsh||Severino, Luis – NYY||8||44|
|SP||Rosa||Verlander, Justin – HOU||9||45|
|MI||Evan||Dozier, Brian – MIN||10||46|
|SP||Jesse S||Darvish, Yu – (N/A)||11||47|
|SP||Anthony||Martínez, Carlos – STL||12||48|
|OF||Anthony||Pollock, A.J. – ARI||1||49|
|OF||Jesse S||Benintendi, Andrew – BOS||2||50|
|CI||Evan||Encarnacion, Edwin – CLE||3||51|
|2B||Rosa||Murphy, Daniel – WAS||4||52|
|RP||Trevor Welsh||Jansen, Kenley – LAD||5||53|
|OF||Kory||Upton, Justin – LAA||6||54|
|SS||Gammill||Andrus, Elvis – TEX||7||55|
|2B||Bogman||Schoop, Jonathan – BAL||8||56|
|OF||Brian Roecker||Buxton, Byron – MIN||9||57|
|OF||The Welsh||Hamilton, Billy – CIN||10||58|
|MI||Just A Guy||Segura, Jean – SEA||11||59|
|OF||Robert Russell||Yelich, Christian – MIA||12||60|
|3B||Robert Russell||Sanó, Miguel – MIN||1||61|
|SP||Just A Guy||Ray, Robbie – ARI||2||62|
|CI||The Welsh||Myers, Wil – SD||3||63|
|SP||Brian Roecker||Nola, Aaron – PHI||4||64|
|OF||Bogman||McCutchen, Andrew – PIT||5||65|
|1B||Gammill||Hosmer, Eric – (N/A)||6||66|
|SP||Kory||Archer, Chris – TB||7||67|
|OF||Trevor Welsh||Pham, Tommy – STL||8||68|
|OF||Rosa||Céspedes, Yoenis – NYM||9||69|
|OF||Evan||Davis, Khris – OAK||10||70|
|SS||Jesse S||Bogaerts, Xander – BOS||11||71|
|3B||Anthony||Turner, Justin – LAD||12||72|
|SP||Anthony||Keuchel, Dallas – HOU||1||73|
|SP||Jesse S||Berríos, José – MIN||2||74|
|RP||Evan||Kimbrel, Craig – BOS||3||75|
|OF||Rosa||Santana, Domingo – MIL||4||76|
|C||Trevor Welsh||Posey, Buster – SF||5||77|
|2B||Kory||Canó, Robinson – SEA||6||78|
|3B||Gammill||Shaw, Travis – MIL||7||79|
|MI||Bogman||Merrifield, Whit – KC||8||80|
|CI||Brian Roecker||Devers, Rafael – BOS||9||81|
|SP||The Welsh||Arrieta, Jake – (N/A)||10||82|
|CI||Just A Guy||Lamb, Jake – ARI||11||83|
|SP||Robert Russell||Quintana, José – CHC||12||84|
|SP||Robert Russell||Tanaka, Masahiro – NYY||1||85|
|OF||Just A Guy||Braun, Ryan – MIL||2||86|
|UT||The Welsh||Cabrera, Miguel – DET||3||87|
|RP||Brian Roecker||Chapman, Aroldis – NYY||4||88|
|SP||Bogman||Paxton, James – SEA||5||89|
|OF||Gammill||Castellanos, Nicholas – DET||6||90|
|CI||Kory||Moustakas, Mike – (N/A)||7||91|
|SP||Trevor Welsh||Wood, Alex – LAD||8||92|
|SP||Rosa||Gray, Sonny – NYY||9||93|
|UT||Evan||Odor, Rougned – TEX||10||94|
|C||Jesse S||Contreras, Willson – CHC||11||95|
|2B||Anthony||Moncada, Yoán – CHW||12||96|
|MI||Anthony||Gregorius, Didi – NYY||1||97|
|SP||Jesse S||Stroman, Marcus – TOR||2||98|
|RP||Evan||Knebel, Corey – MIL||3||99|
|OF||Rosa||Eaton, Adam – WAS||4||100|
|2B||Trevor Welsh||Taylor, Chris – LAD||5||101|
|SP||Kory||Cole, Gerrit – PIT||6||102|
|SP||Gammill||Godley, Zack – ARI||7||103|
|RP||Bogman||Giles, Ken – HOU||8||104|
|2B||Brian Roecker||Happ, Ian – CHC||9||105|
|OF||The Welsh||Acuña, Ronald – ATL||10||106|
|2B||Just A Guy||LeMahieu, DJ – COL||11||107|
|P||Robert Russell||Lester, Jon – CHC||12||108|
|P||Robert Russell||Price, David – BOS||1||109|
|SP||Just A Guy||Castillo, Luis – CIN||2||110|
|UT||The Welsh||Olson, Matt – OAK||3||111|
|1B||Brian Roecker||Mancini, Trey – BAL||4||112|
|OF||Bogman||Cain, Lorenzo – (N/A)||5||113|
|RP||Gammill||Díaz, Edwin – SEA||6||114|
|UT||Kory||Carpenter, Matt – STL||7||115|
|SP||Trevor Welsh||McCullers Jr., Lance – HOU||8||116|
|SP||Rosa||Hendricks, Kyle – CHC||9||117|
|UT||Evan||Santana, Carlos – PHI||10||118|
|1B||Jesse S||Bell, Josh – PIT||11||119|
|RP||Anthony||Osuna, Roberto – TOR||12||120|
|SP||Anthony||Duffy, Danny – KC||1||121|
|MI||Jesse S||Báez, Javier – CHC||2||122|
|3B||Evan||Seager, Kyle – SEA||3||123|
|P||Rosa||Weaver, Luke – STL||4||124|
|RP||Trevor Welsh||Allen, Cody – CLE||5||125|
|SS||Kory||Story, Trevor – COL||6||126|
|CI||Gammill||Gallo, Joey – TEX||7||127|
|1B||Bogman||Bour, Justin – MIA||8||128|
|RP||Brian Roecker||Bradley, Archie – ARI||9||129|
|RP||The Welsh||Iglesias, Raisel – CIN||10||130|
|RP||Just A Guy||Rivero, Felipe – PIT||11||131|
|2B||Robert Russell||González, Marwin – HOU||12||132|
|UT||Robert Russell||Puig, Yasiel – LAD||1||133|
|OF||Just A Guy||Desmond, Ian – COL||2||134|
|3B||The Welsh||Béltre, Adrián – TEX||3||135|
|OF||Brian Roecker||Polanco, Gregory – PIT||4||136|
|RP||Bogman||Hand, Brad – SD||5||137|
|RP||Gammill||Colomé, Alex – TB||6||138|
|P||Kory||Fulmer, Michael – DET||7||139|
|OF||Trevor Welsh||Schwarber, Kyle – CHC||8||140|
|RP||Rosa||Davis, Wade – COL||9||141|
|SP||Evan||Gray, Jon – COL||10||142|
|P||Jesse S||Cueto, Johnny – SF||11||143|
|1B||Anthony||Smoak, Justin – TOR||12||144|
Baseball Duck Tales – 2017 Season Wrap (NL)
Amidst the Shohei Ohtani and Stanton madness (How exciting is this stuff?!) and basically nothing else (How boring is this stuff?), we continue our season wrap up of the 2017 Duck leaderboard, this time highlighting one standout Duck rating from the NL teams. As per usual for posterity, if you’re new to the series, the Duck is a combined calculation of a number of metrics to find an accessible representation of pitching performance. Check out the origins of the calculations here.
For reference, here are the 2017 league averages for starters according to Fangraphs:
- SwStr%: 9.80%
- K%: 20.60%
- BABIP: 0.299
- BB%: 8.10%
- xFIP: 4.41
- HardCon%: 32.30%
- ERA: 4.49
- WHIP: 1.36
Let’s take a look at some standout Ducks from the NL this year.
- ATL: Julio Teheran (109th)
- Was it really going to be anyone else? Teheran went from a very rock solid and safe top-25ish guy to doing almost nothing above league average. Part of it “could” be the new ballpark, but we don’t have nearly the data to confirm the ballpark will trend to a hitter’s haven. On top of that, Teheran’s BABIP hints that he might have even been a little lucky on balls in play. I’m not against him in general but there’s more downside than upside at this point.
- MIA: Dan Straily (54th)
- I like Dan Straily. There, I said it. I just feel that the range of outcomes is not very wide for him. He’s a boring pitcher, but eating innings is important throughout the fantasy season. One of the arguments against him: “But he plays for a garbage team so he won’t get wins!” My response: “Don’t use wins.”
- NYM: Matt Harvey (147th)
- I’m very sad. I just want Matt Harvey to be good again. I just want to believe that the injuries and the Adriana Lima debacle made him suck. I just want to be happy. Maybe the fear about returning from thoracic outlet surgery and never being the same is valid (despite the limited cases studies we have. I’m not a doctor.). I think if he looks at least goodish coming into the season, I’ll take the plunge one more time. Feel free to join me but I don’t want to take responsibility if we drown.
- PHI: Aaron Nola (20th)
- Aaron Nola is a star. There’s talk of him comfortably in the top 20 going into next season and the Duck doesn’t have issue with that. He’s another one of those “all green” players on the metric, and I don’t have nearly the same injury concerns that I have with the other all green mentioned in the last article (James Paxton). I’m happy with Nola as my SP2 or SP3 in 2018
- WSH: Gio Gonzalez (93rd)
- Obviously. This season-long excellence pretty much came as a pretty big surprise. Gio Gonzalez has been on the spectrum from “he’s a fine pitcher” to “oh, that was actually a pretty good season” for a long time. This was a step even further above that and I think it’s well established that we don’t expect something like this again. Still, there’s going to continue to be mid-round value that shouldn’t be ignored.
- CIN: Luis Castillo (29th)
- Castillo is the new darling in many expert circles. He’s a little wild, but the strikeouts are very tantalizing. He’s going to be right there in the top 30 range for a lot of rankers, but I’m definitely wary of repeatable performance. I just don’t like the idea of taking him as a shiny new toy over someone like Jon Lester who has a track record of solid production for years.
- CHC: Jon Lester (30th)
- Speaking of Jon Lester… by all intents and purposes Jon Lester had a bad season. A 4.33 ERA is unheard of for Lester in recent memory. Still, the underlying numbers think he’s way better than advertised (another all green) and while I’m not a Lester guy (it’s mostly just his face, really) there are a plethora of worse options.
- MIL: Jimmy Nelson (13th)
- We need the DH in both leagues. It’s just a shame that Jimmy Nelson is going to miss half the season with a base running injury. After a few seasons of will he/won’t he become a guy, this last season he actually did become a guy, and that guy played a pivotal role in getting the Brewers to an unprecedented playoff berth. I can’t help but think it could have been a different story if both Nelson and Chase Anderson had been healthy. Still, there’s a chance Nelson is priced down significantly because of the injury, and could be a sneaky later round pick.
- PIT: Gerrit Cole (35th)
- Let me preface this: I think Gerrit Cole is good. I think he could still be great. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the numbers to this point have been disappointing. Someone who can dial it up to 98+ should theoretically be able to blow hitters away and he hasn’t shown that ability consistently. I wonder if this could be a change of scenery case. There have been talks of Cole to the Twins, and if that happens, I might just push him up my board a bit as a speculative upside play. We’ve seen it before, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t be a sub-3 ERA guy again.
- STL: Lance Lynn (125th)
- Lynn is going to be on another team next year, who will be looking for a stable 200 inning guy in the middle of their rotation to eat up innings in the dog days of the summer. I’ll note that Lynn hasn’t gotten to 200 innings in three seasons, but the idea is valid. I kind of think the Duck falls a bit short on this measure. The rating thinks he is far below average given the metrics, but I just feel like Lynn is a valuable middle rotation MLB piece and a valuable back end rotation fantasy piece and there’s just not a ton of questions there.
- ARI: Zack Godley (24th)
- We love Zack Godley. He’s just a fun player. Being able to keep the ball on the ground as he does is a great boon in that ballpark and ties in well with surprisingly high strikeout numbers. I feel as though he’ll be a little undervalued at the draft table, but I don’t see a lot of reasons he’s not going to be some shade of 2017 again.
- COL: Jon Gray (22nd)
- If he was on any other team, Jon Gray would be considered a true ace, a top-15ish starter, and someone you were okay with as your SP1.5 in fantasy. I’m very pro Gray and I think he’s the guy who will be the first pitcher to overcome Coors since Ubaldo Jimenez back in 2010. I dream of an ERA under 3.30.
- LAD: Alex Wood (19th)
- I bought into Wood after his first lengthy campaign in Atlanta in 2014, and it obviously didn’t play out as expected and I didn’t initially pay much mind to him putting together what ended up being an amazing season as a whole this season. The injury was there because of course we can’t have nice things. He faded down the stretch and that is some cause for concern but anywhere between 3.20 and 3.40 in 2018 would be a great follow-up season.
- SD: Dinelson Lamet (77th)
- Lamet is the epitome of risky flamethrower. The stuff is there, the consistency and the control are just not. An alarmingly high hard contact rate shows that if he wasn’t fanning or walking the hitters, he was turning around to watch the ball fly past him into the outfield. He seems like a big high risk/high reward play next season.
- SF: Johnny Cueto (73rd)
- There has been a lot of panic about Cueto and the fact that he had objectively an awful season. I guess I’m just not that worried. Just like Lester, this track record he’s shown matters. In a very early mock I was involved in, Cueto was available well into the mid-100 pick range, and I just think that’s silly. No one would be surprised if Cueto can get back to a low 3 ERA, especially in that home ballpark, and I would be drafting him pretty close to Lester as a proven commodity and take the fall if they’ve really gone off a cliff.
That’s a wrap of our brief look through the inaugural season of the Duck rating. I expect that we’ll check in before the season and preview the major pitcher signings and their outlooks in the upcoming season, so stay tuned!
All statistics pulled from Fangraphs leaderboards.
Episode 45 – Prospect Player Debates Part 1 with James Anderson of Rotowire
James Anderson of Rotowire is back on the show as he and The Welsh are doing a two part debate series. Today we’ve got 10 player vs player match-ups that will get your mind moving like Chavis vs Riley or Robles vs Jimenez!
Have a question for the show? Tweet me @IsItTheWelsh with the hashtag #ProspectOne to talk about your question on the show, or email me at ProspectOne@inthisleague.com
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