MLB Depth Chart Dynamos: 6/10/14
Scouting an organization’s baseball prospects gives ROTOscouting an edge. When evaluating an MLB depth chart for the next wave of prospects ready to break through, we rely on baseball scouting to help identify players ready to fill a Major League team’s most pressing need. An example of this is the Cardinals outfield. Readers want Oscar Taveras to be handed the center field job, but ROTOscouting scouted Randal Grichuk as a better up the middle defender. When the call up was made, it was Grichuk, not Taveras who received the first call. Check out our picks for players likely to be first to the show.
An injury to second baseman Neil Walker allows the Pirates to be creative and move hot hitting Josh Harrison to the infield, opening a position for top prospect Gregory Polanco. For as much grief as Pittsburgh has received for their handling of the young outfielder given the MLB depth chart in right field, Harrison has a wRC+ of 128, meaning he’s been 28% better than a league average hitter. In recent years, prospect followers have been spoiled by Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig, but most call ups struggle out of the gate like the aforementioned Taveras (61 wRC+) or Jonathan Singleton (93 wRC+). Having scouted Polanco in person, it’s difficult to envision a scenario where he’d outperform Harrison and pass him on the MLB depth chart. Of course Starling Marte has had a horrendous year on offense in left field, but it’s unlikely the left fielder would be benched given his recent contract extension.
The Marlins rotation is depleted after the loss of Jose Fernandez. With a 4/5 of Jacob Turner and Randy Wolf, the fish will be forced to promote Heaney quickly should the top-100 prospect continue to dominate. With a 27/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in four Triple-A starters, he hast little left to prove at the minor league level. Sandwiching the left-hander between Nate Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez is a perfect way to break up the rotation at the MLB level.
3. Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
Less than two weeks ago, the Double-A Tulsa Drillers boasted a trio of right-handed prospects expected to take the Rockies rotation by storm. Today, two of the three (Eddie Butler and Daniel Winkler) are injured, leaving Jonathan Gray as the Lone Ranger in the Texas League. With just four starting pitchers listed on the depth chart including the newly promoted Christian Bergman, healthy arms are at a premium. Admittedly, Gray hasn’t been anything special from a statistical standpoint, but Colorado is desperate. Expect Gray to receive an opportunity by default.
4. Mookie Betts, 2B/CF, Boston Red Sox
It was only last year when I interviewed Mookie Betts and he joked about his first home run like number two would never come. An impressive athlete, he was unsure how his body would adjust to the rigors of full season baseball. The verdict is in. He passed with flying colors. With a combined wRC+ of just 69, Boston has the worst hitting outfield in baseball this season. And with Dustin Pedroia signed into the next decade, Betts needs a place to play. On the MLB depth chart, outfield is a natural fit for Better who played some shortstop in short season. A move to the outfield would be a slide down the defensive spectrum and he’d excel in time. As the Red Sox fade further out of contention, what would it hurt to give him a shot at winning a job for 2015 and beyond?
With 22 home runs in 63 Double-A games, Bryant is demolishing opponents in the upper minors. Meanwhile, Christian Villanueva has struggled in Triple-A, making a talent swap possible in the second half. Of course Javier Baez has been rumored as a player destined to move off of shortstop, meaning Bryant is in indirect competition with him as well. Team ROTOscouting has scouted both players and believes in Bryant’s ability to jump Baez on the MLB depth chart and reach Chicago first. And with Cubs third baseman posting a wRC+ of 96, a Mike Olt/Luis Valbuena platoon is no match for an elite talent like Bryant.
MLB Depth Chart Honorable Mentions
6. Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
7. Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Domingo Santana, OF, Houston Astros
10. Matt Wisler, P, San Diego Padres
10 Jun 2014 / Mike Newman / 2
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