With a .322/.378/.544 triple slash line in Triple-A, elite prospect Oscar Taveras is in the midst of a final push to St. Louis. Prospect followers clamor for him to be handed the center field job, but it’s not a realistic outcome for his skill set. Inevitably, Taveras will have to displace an incumbent in left or right field, or force the Cardinals to move Matt Adams. With Matt Holliday and Allen Craig under long terms deals and “Big City” slugging at first base, a path to playing time is difficult to navigate. Does Taveras have enough bat to force St. Louis’ hand?
Scouting reports are the lifeblood of ROTOscouting.We offer a plethora of material at ROTOscouting, but our lifeblood is the constant stream of scouting reports. Our authors travel to games and use their baseball knowledge and experience to project these top prospects into the future. We evaluate their tools and their level of refinement to produce grades along with our prose. This week brought scouting reports on a few exciting prospects, including arguably the best player in the minor leagues.
Austin Wilson is a physical specimen with enough tools to make evaluators swoon. At 6-foot-4, 249 pounds the outfielder has long limbs and abounding natural strength. It’s easy to dream on the Seattle Mariners outfield prospect as a future middle-of-the-lineup power source. And while he has a chance to blossom into a productive offensive player, he’s less advanced than other high-profile college hitters. He’s flashed his talents for the Low-A Clinton Lumberkings, but hasn’t found consistency.
ROTOscouting scours the waiver wire for the best FAAB fantasy baseball targets every week. Last week’s pick, Jimmy Nelson, hurled 5.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in a win against the hot-hitting Marlins. This week we’ll look at pitching prospects set to make their debuts in the near future, a Rays pitcher tearing it up in Triple-A, and a pair of relievers who are smart pickups for owners speculating on saves. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major platforms.
ROTOscouting offers our readers a place to view raw notes on players we do not profile in depth with bona fide baseball scouting reports. Rather than just being a vehicle for more dissemination of our content, YOUscout is also open to the public. We hope to build a crowd sourced scouting database that can continually be referenced as players progress through the minors and into the major leagues.
An evaluator drives around for hours, sometimes days (a shout-out to our faithful editor in chief Mike Newman) looking to see something to cause their jaw to hit the floor. All of this driving turns up plenty of guys with average tools; it even leads to a smattering of plus tools. Sometimes, they see something they’ve never seen before. On Sunday night, I saw Joey Gallo. It was exciting to walk into Five County Stadium for a 6:00 PM showdown between the hometown Carolina Mudcats (Cleveland Indians High-A affiliate) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers High-A affiliate). After seeing what the Rangers had to offer a few weeks ago in Hickory, it was time to to see scout last year’s top Crawdads deemed ready to the next developmental rung in the ladder.
Every week ROTOscouting combs the wire for the best FAAB fantasy baseball targets at each position. Last week’s first base pick, Garrett Jones, paid dividends with a two-homer game. This week will feature multiple prospects with the potential to make an impact. We’ll look at a recent Braves call-up, a Dodgers outfielder expected to debut soon and an Indians prospect whose bat has caught up with his glove. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major fantasy platforms.
The Braves second base situation is a mess. Dan Uggla has been even worse than his horrendous 2013. Tyler Pastornicky has been marginally better — marginally being the operative word. Cue Tommy La Stella. After an injury shortened season in Double-A in which he produced a .343/.422/.473 triple slash line, he returned for the Arizona Fall League posted a high OBP. he entered 2014 as a dark horse for the second base job, but was assigned to the Gwinnett Braves. With nowhere else to turn, the Braves have recalled La Stella and his .293/.384/.359 Triple-A line. Is the 25-year old second baseman the present and future of the keystone in Atlanta?
As MLB top-100 prospects go, Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras are king’s of the mountain. For the Cardinals, Taveras is the future in right or left field. In both 2013 and 2014, he was the third ranked prospect in all of baseball per Baseball America. Polanco is more of a fast riser. From unknown to a top-10 overall ranking in two seasons, a dominating start in Triple-A has sent his prospect status to the stratosphere. Both MLB Top-100 prospects have similarities: left-handed hitters, corner outfielders, natives of the Dominican Republic, top-10 overall rankings and big numbers in Triple-A. But who’s better? Having had multiple looks at both within the past month or so, let’s compare both hitters from a scouting standpoint to project who’ll be the better impact bat.
Catching up to a Mike Foltynewicz fastball is a nightmare for professional hitters. Pitchers don’t throw 95-plus with late-movement very often. Like Zeus shooting lightning from the heavens, hitters cannot catch up to the lightning bolts Foltynewicz’s hurls from the mound. The fastball writes the headline, but the development of his secondary pitches fills the pages. Is this 22-year old right handed pitcher just another overblown prospect with one exceptional tool, or does he have the secondary pitches to start at the Major League level?
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