Mike’s Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted: #35-31
Today’s installment of Mike’s top-50 fantasy baseball prospects scouted includes four, right-handed power arms from the Red Sox, Giants and Nationals, along with a shortstop I’ve compared to Jean Segura. 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 Baseball Prospects Scouted: #35-31
35. Ray Black, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Age 24 / MLB ETA 2016
2014 Stats: 35.1 IP, 3.57 ERA, 17 H, 71/16 K/BB
Just the second pitcher to register 100-mph on my radar gun, Black flashed a big fastball/slider combination and ninth inning potential. With the Giants closer situation split between grizzled vets, it makes sense to groom a young, internal candidate to fill the role. Ray Black has had serious arm injuries making him a risk, but more so to fantasy baseball owners than San Francisco because the right-hander is at an age where he’ll be cost-controlled for years to come. And while closers can be found on the waiver wire, far too many owners punt the category and begin the season at a disadvantage. With closers including Addison Reed and Fernando Rodney being worth $2-$4 at auction, Black’s value is tied to saves.
34. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Washington Nationals
Age 20 / MLB ETA 2017
2014 Stats: 83.1 IP, 1.08 ERA, 42 H, 70/26 K/BB
It’s exciting to show up at the ballpark not knowing what to expect and leave with the goods on a relative unknown in prospect circles. This happened with Reynaldo Lopez as the 20-year old worked into the mid-90’s while breaking off the occasional knee buckling curveball. In a July look, the right-hander presented as a power bullpen arm at the MLB level, but then dominated through the end of the season. After a slow start in 2014, the Nationals product now looks like a fast riser in an organization lacking upper level prospect talent. Like Black above, closers have positive value leaving Lopez with a high floor even if he doesn’t develop into a starting pitcher.
33. Keury Mella, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Age 21 / MLB ETA 2017
2014 Stats: 86 IP, 3.45 ERA, 85 H, 83/19 K/BB
David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle spent 2014 touting Mella as the pitcher to watch for Augusta, citing big fastball velocity. The right-handed pitcher didn’t disappoint, touching 97 in a mid-season look with the ability to pull the string on a change-up. And even though his breaking pitch was rudimentary, feel for the change-up is a strong indicator Keury Mella will be able to improve. After an early focus on safe, left-handed starters, the current run on power right-handers speaks to the importance of ceiling and the ability to project saves in a player’s future.
32. Abiatal Avelino, SS, New York Yankees
Age 19 / MLB ETA 2019
2014 Stats: 251 AB, .247/.308/.351, 21 XBH, 11/16 SB
Avelino is a personal favorite after a May look where the shortstop made all the plays and peppered line drives to all fields. Then, an injury derailed his season and the breakout candidate was never the same. In game action, Abiatal Avelino (ROTOscouting Report) flashed a strong feel for contact and enough speed to steal 20-30 bases at the MLB level. Having seen Jean Segura in Double-A, the right-handed hitter has a similar frame with room to add muscle. In 2013, Alexei Ramirez batted .284 with six home runs and 30 stolen bases, accumulating $13 in actual value. Avelino is far away from making a MLB impact, but similar numbers at the MLB level are possible if the 19-year old fully develops.
31. Matt Barnes, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Age 24 / Debuted 2014
2014 Stats: 127.2 IP, 3.95 ERA, 119 H, 103/46 K/BB
Barnes has been a starter as a professional, but his arsenal would play better out of the pen. With a fastball touching the mid-90’s, curveball and change-up, Matt Barnes struggled to work ahead with off-speed pitches and rarely threw inside. If he’s not a power pitcher attacking the inner half or command/control pitcher with the ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes, then what’s left is a tweener. Having already debuted in MLB, the former 1st round pick will be a big leaguer. The question is just how productive a pitcher he’ll be? Given the struggles of other young Red Sox pitchers, it’s difficult to say. In 2013, pitchers including Jorge De La Rosa and Dillon Gee were worth $1 with so-so ERA/WHIP numbers. Barnes can be a similar starting pitcher, but has closer potential out of the pen which is more than can be said for most baseball prospects.
18 Sep 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: Fantasy Baseball Prospect Lists
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