Mike’s Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted: #30-26
Today’s installment of Mike’s top-50 fantasy baseball prospects scouted includes a pair of starters to bet on as future closers, two catching prospects who have nothing in common other than position played and an outfielder with speed, power and gaping holes in his swing. At ROTOscouting, our motto is, “Fantasy Baseball Fueled By Baseball Scouting”. In living up to this, any and all future prospect and player lists published here will have a fantasy baseball slant.
In a first attempt at perfecting the process, I sat down with my scouting notes in the hope of creating a top-20 prospect list of players scouted in 2014. The result? 54 names and the need to expand the list to 50 players.
Because this list is meant for the dynasty fantasy baseball player, it’s important to have a basic system for separating fantasy value from MLB value.
1. Review scouting notes on baseball prospects from the ballpark.
2. Review statistics and level movement in 2014.
3. Run a basic 5×5 auction value calculator using statistics from the 2013 season
4. Compare peak projections for each player and match it actual production of a MLB player at the same position. This will yield a fantasy baseball peak dollar value.
5. Assess a $1 penalty per full season minor league level not completed (MLB = $0, Triple-A = $1, Double-A = $2, High-A = $3, Single-A = $4, Short Season = $5)
6. After final dollar values were totaled, the information was used in a 50-man mock draft. Most picks were made in order of value, but I did stray on occasion.
Mike’s Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted: #30-26
30. Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Age 25 / Currently in MLB
2014 Stats: 63 2/3 MLB IP, 3.73 FIP, 70 H, 52/18 K/BB
As a rookie pitcher, Nelson is a borderline “sweet spot” pitcher whose peripherals suggest a MLB career as a quality 3/4 starter. And with a fastball/slider heavy mix, his arsenal would play well out of the bullpen too. This makes Jimmy Nelson (ROTOscouting Report) a safe play in fantasy baseball as a cost-controlled starter or closer in auction leagues. Given the Brewers rotation is solid (although Mike Fiers is a perpetual question mark), a collection of veteran relievers means opportunity in the back of the bullpen. And with Francisco Rodriguez a pending free agent, Jonathan Broxton looks like the closer entering 2015. It makes sense for him to provide a veteran presence until a younger option earns the role.
29. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
Age 17 / MLB ETA 2019
2014 Stats: 248 AB, .282/.339/.407, 23 XBH, 2/6 SB
Mejia is an undersized, explosive hitter with terrible catching skills. From a fantasy baseball perspective, it’s difficult to envision where the teenager fits in at the MLB level. To be a fantasy baseball asset, he’ll need to become the Cleveland Indians catcher of the future since he’s too short to profile well at the corners. Francisco Mejia has the arm strength and athleticism to play behind the plate, but still needs years of development time. Even then, the skills may not develop. In 2013, Jason Castro and Justin Morneau posted similar numbers at catcher and first base respectively. Castro’s value? $14. Morneau’s value? $6. Until he improves at catcher, it’s impossible to rank Mejia higher. Plus, he’s just 17 and the youngest of all baseball prospects ranked on this list.
28. Christian Bethancourt, C, Atlanta Braves
Age 23 / Currently in MLB
2014 Stats: 343 AB, .283/.308/.408, 26 XBH, 7/8 SB
A dynamic athlete at the catcher position, Bethancourt continues to mold his all-around game at the MLB level after finding moderate success on offense in 2013-2014. In batting practice, the right-handed hitter is capable of putting on a show. Plus he’s shed the flat plane swing and contact first approach in an effort to add more power in game. In 2013, Welington Castillo’s .274 batting average with eight home runs ($2 in value) is a decent comparison for Christian Bethancourt. However, the above average runner has double-digit stolen base ability at the MLB level, leaving Christian Bethancourt (ROTOscouting Report) a higher floor than he’s given credit for.
27. Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers
Age 20 / MLB ETA 2017
2014 Stats: 347 AB, .288/.354/458, 31 XBH, 12/21 SB
Brinson is a tantalizing athlete whose tools may “click”, sending him into the prospect stratosphere. And while it’s correct to question his ability to do so given the right-handed hitter’s contact issues, a power/speed profile points to fantasy baseball value even if everything doesn’t come together. In 2013, Desmond Jennings earned $11 in value behind a .252 batting average with 14 home runs and 20 stolen bases. If the hit tool comes around at all, Lewis Brinson (ROTOscouting Report) can develop into this kind of performer at the MLB level, if not flash even more power. As a high risk, high reward guy, his final ranking was lowered due to volatility in the profile.
26. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Age 24 / MLB ETA 2015
2014 Stats: 130.1 IP, 3.52 ERA, 116 H, 153/64 K/BB
Meyer has a solid 2014 campaign in Triple-A, but was shut down due to shoulder soreness before making his MLB debut. And while the potential exists for the right-hander to become a quality MLB starter, multi-year looks at Alex Meyer (ROTOscouting Report) scream power closer due to a lack of command. If able to concentrate on the fastball and slider in short spurts, the former 1st round pick can have a similar impact to Aaron Sanchez in Toronto. In 2013, Ubaldo Jimenez was a $6 pitcher behind a 3.30 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 163 strikeouts. At least 10 closers were worth as much, or more due to converted saves in 2013. Amongst baseball prospects, expect a prospect hangover to set in this winter as Meyer has seemingly been around forever. His minor injury and no MLB debut will depress his value and present a buy low opportunity.
23 Sep 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: Fantasy Baseball Prospect Lists
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?