Episode seven of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast is live and features Joel Henard and I talking World Series including next steps for both the Giants and Royals. Can San Francisco afford to let Pablo Sandoval walk? Do the Royals have the talent to make a repeat run without tweaking the formula? Later in the episode, former Los Angeles Angels executive Tory Hernandez joins us to discuss the Reality Fantasy Baseball World Series and next steps for the fantasy baseball start up before turning our attention to Major League Baseball. In this segment, Tory touches on the Oscar Taveras tragedy through his personal relationship with former prospect Nick Adenhart who was killed in a car accident after celebrating his first MLB win. It’s an informative baseball podcast in which ROTOscouting listeners are given a glimpse behind the thought process of a MLB franchise.
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?
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?
The Giants are in the midst of another deep October run and Madison Bumgarner is leading the charge. The lefty starred in the wild card match up against Pittsburgh and kicked off the NLCS with 7.2 shutout innings against the Cardinals. During the start, he set the record for most consecutive scoreless playoff innings pitched on the road. In 2014, as Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain limped to -0.5 WAR combined, Bumgarner paced the pitching staff with 3.6 WAR and 30-plus starts, something he’s done every season since joining the rotation full-time in 2011. But, for all of the 25-year-old’s success, fantasy owners seem reluctant to make San Francisco’s ace their SP1. Is it time to fully embrace Bumgarner’s ascendance?
The minor league season has concluded, but we are far removed from the days of baseball being confined to the summer months. Next week marks the beginning of the six week long Arizona Fall League where top prospects will compete against one another. The six teams form like Voltron with each Major League organization sending seven representatives; players will shuffle on and off of the roster from there. The Arizona Fall League is often the stepping stone from which prospects in the lower minors transition into Double-A the following year.
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.
Last week, the spotlight was on the Dodgers bullpen blowing chances to catch the Giants. Since then, however, the NL West leaders have lost eight of ten. While Los Angeles has pulled within four games, Sergio Romo, the SF Giants closer, has exploded for seven earned runs and eight hits in his last three outings. The Giants’ bullpen has been excellent this season, but the closer situation is deteriorating. It’s time to consider replacements for the pending free agent?
This week on FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets we’re going deep, looking at players who could be in line for playing time in the second half of the season. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all major fantasy platforms. In recent weeks, our top hitting targets have included Pirates Josh Harrison who is eligible just about everywhere on the baseball diamond and Tommy La Stella who’s batting .343 for the Braves.
ROTOscouting offers our readers a place to view raw notes on players we do not profile in depth with bona fide baseball scouting reports. Rather than just being a vehicle for more dissemination of our content, YOUscout is also open to the public. We hope to build a crowd sourced scouting database that can continually be referenced as players progress through the minors and into the major leagues.
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