Mike’s Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted: #40-36
Today’s piece marks the third of ten breaking down my top-50 baseball prospects scouted in 2014. In it, a pair of Yankees are highlighted, as well as prospects from the Pirates, White Sox and Red Sox. 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: #40-36
40. Reese McGuire, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
Age 19 / ETA 2018
2014 Stats: 289 AB, .262/.307/.334, 18 XBH, 7/9 SB
In person, McGuire presented as a solid defensive catcher who flashed a solid hit tool. After an initial batting practice session, the left-handed hitter reminded of Garin Cecchini from his time in Greenville. Of course any offensive profile is more valuable at catcher than third base, meaning Reese McGuire receives a bump due to positional scarcity. The issue with the left-handed hitter is finding a decent comparison though. Literally every catcher with a positive value in 2013 except two had double-digit home run totals. Welington Castillo batted .274 with eight home runs and two steals, earning $2 in actual value.
39. Ian Clarkin, LHP, New York Yankees
Age 19 / ETA 2017
2014 Stats: 75 IP, 3.12 ERA, 71 H, 75/23 K/BB
The former first round pick who strives to imitate Clayton Kershaw had a solid debut for the Yankees organization, reaching High-A before an injury ended the left-handers season. From a scouting standpoint, Ian Clarkin (ROTOscouting Report) showed impressive command for teenage baseball prospects, along with a quality change-up and developing curveball. He’ll never be a power pitcher or strike out 200 players in a season, but Jose Quintana was worth $3 in 2013 behind a 3.51 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 200 innings pitched. Like Tim Cooney Clarkin isn’t sexy, but the profile is safe and his pitchability results in a high floor.
38. Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees
Age 19 / MLB ETA 2018
2014 Stats: 484 AB, .267/.318/.397, 39 XBH, 5/6 SB
In 2014, the Rome Braves’ schedule afforded early and late looks at the Charleston roster. No hitter on the roster made greater improvements than Miguel Andujar. Early on, his swing mechanics and approach were messy, resulting in wild swings and bad contact. By August, the 19-year old had quieted his approach and presented as more selective at the plate. Additionally, multiple batting practice looks left a strong impression as the right-handed hitter flashed explosive hands and enough power to drive balls out of the park. Andujar is the definition of boom or bust, but every fantasy baseball roster needs a couple of baseball prospects to gamble on. In 2013, Kyle Seager was worth $13 after batting .260 with 22 home runs and 9 stolen bases. Andujar has the upside of a player capable of equivalent production.
37. Matt Davidson, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Age 23 / 2013 MLB Debut
2014 Stats: 478 AB, .199/.283/.362, 38 XBH, 0/0 SB
A former top-100 prospect, Davidson failed to win the starting third base job in Chicago and fell flat in Triple-A. In a late season look, the third baseman had leaned up from a Double-A look in 2012. At the plate, his trigger was elongated and fastballs were on top of him before Davidson had time to react. It was messy to watch, but it doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause. Over the winter, Matt Davidson needs to shorten his swing and quiet the hitch in his trigger. If the right-handed hitter is able to revisit the basics, then he can still develop into a MLB hitter. In 2013, Matt Dominguez was worth $4 after batting .241 with 21 home runs. Davidson can be a similar offensive player.
36. Travis Shaw, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Age 24 / MLB ETA 2015
2014 Stats: 490 AB, .278/.353/.473, 52 XBH, 7/10 SB
In a late season look at the Pawtucket Red Sox, Shaw and Mookie Betts were the two players making the best barrel contact. The left-handed hitter crushed fastballs low-and-in, presenting as at least a bench asset at the MLB level. Add in the fact he’s close to a MLB debut and Shaw is a safe fantasy baseball prospects add with some upside if given the opportunity to play regularly. In 2013, Justin Morneau batted .259 with 17 home runs, totaling $6 in value. Travis Shaw can produce similar numbers.
17 Sep 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: Fantasy Baseball Prospect Lists
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