After declining Alex Rios’ option for 2015, does waiting on Double-A Frisco RoughRider Nick Williams to develop make sense? The Texas Rangers have a hole to fill in the outfield and the best MLB options are a struggling Michael Choice, or former minor league free agents Jake Smolinksi and Jim Adduci. This leaves Texas to choose between signing or acquiring 2015’s starting right fielder, or flipping a coin from within. As the club works to identify a replacement, does the organization need to take a wait and see approach with Williams and Nomar Mazara (ROTOscouting Report) on the horizon?
In Year one A.M. (After Mo) the Yankees’ bullpen did not miss a beat. In Year two, 2014 draftee, Jacob Lindgren, needs to chip in and keep the ship afloat. The 2013 season saw failed starting pitching prospect, Dellin Betances, author one of the greatest relief seasons of all time. In doing so, he stakes a claim as closer of the future. Adam Warren, former back of the rotation starting pitching prospect, improved on a solid 2013 major league debut as a reliever. And David Robertson, after years of serving as the setup man for Mariano Rivera, was excellent in his first year as the team’s closer. Unfortunately for the Yankees, as quickly as Robertson established himself as closer, free agency may find him in another uniform next season. As the Yankees consider what to do with Robertson, Lindgren looms large.
Pablo Sandoval finds ways to contribute in the postseason. He did it against Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the 2012 World Series. Two years later, he drove in the Giants first run against James Shields in Game 1 of the 2014 World Series. The “Kung-Fu Panda” is a proven offensive threat in the postseason whose been between 11% and 19% better than league average offensively the past three seasons. Does he have the ability to return to 2009 and 2011 form where he produced at 46-49% above league average with the bat?
Ray Black is a relative unknown in prospect circles. Who wouldn’t be after missing two seasons with Labrum surgery and its lingering effects? Entering 2014, the right-handed pitcher was finally healthy and able to pitch his first innings as a professional. The results? 35.1 innings and a 71/16 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And with just 16 hits allowed, his WHIP was a miniscule 0.93. Now 24, is Black a fast riser capable of replacing a key piece in the veteran laden Giants bullpen?
Tragically, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras (ROTOscouting Report) was killed in a car accident on Sunday. The news is devastating for his family and friends, and the baseball community at large has lost an individual who, from all accounts, was a joy to be around. Beyond his immeasurable talent, Taveras was a 22-year old young man taken from this world before his time.
Keury Mella entered 2014 as a prospect with helium, but a June injury put the breaks on a successful season with the Augusta GreenJackets of the South Atlantic League. Behind a big fastball, the San Francisco Giants prospect posted a 2.79 FIP in full season baseball with strong strikeout (8.55/9) and walk (1.76/9) rates. Upon returning from injury, the organization had the right-handed pitcher rehab and finish out the season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes where he dominated. Entering 2015, will Mella’s stuff translate to a successful California League stint and cement him as a top prospect in the Giants system?
Danny Duffy enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2014, logging over 100 innings for first time since 2011, the Royals product notched 2.2 WAR across 25 starts with a 2.53 ERA. This was a revelation to dynasty fantasy baseball owners who’ve held on through the bad times, but Duffy’s performance was met with trepidation by non-believers. With a spotty health history and poor pitching peripherals undercutting the ERA, is Duffy a tweak away from consistent fantasy success, or is he a sell high candidate after a fantastic season?
Ep. 6 of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast features Joel Henard and I discussing the Royals World Series run, MLB playoffs, the top-50 fantasy baseball prospects scouted and Boston Red Sox prospects with David Laurila of FanGraphs. It’s a fast paced hour filled packed with the best in fantasy baseball fueled by baseball scouting.
The 2014 campaign for Mike Moustakas has been a tale of two halves. He started off 2014 cold as ice and was demoted to Triple-A on May 22. While in the minors, he appeared to regain his form. The Royals gave him another chance and he performed well enough to finish the season at third base for Kansas City. The Royals have reached the World Series with “Moose” batting from the nine spot where he’s been a leading offensive force. Is this a sign of things to come for the former top prospect?
Emerging from the late McCourt era which culminated in the team’s bankruptcy, the Guggenheim group poured money into the Los Angeles Dodgers and quickly re-established their place as one of the premier spenders in baseball. Not only did the team aggressively pursue established veterans, but high priced foreign free agents too – the most notable being Yasiel Puig ($42MM over seven years) and Hyun-jin Ryu ($36M over six years). With such an extravagant budget and a win now mentality, it can be difficult to predict when opportunities will arise for minor leaguers within the organization. The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system houses a trio of prospects with impact potential in Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Julio Urias. How do the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers work them into the high pressure, win now atmosphere of Los Angeles?
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
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