The Mets are on the verge of having a dominant starting staff and Zack Wheeler is a key component. Armed with an upper-90’s fastball and knockout curveball, the 24-year old enters the 2015 season primed for a breakout. In nearly 300 innings and 49 starts at the big-league level, great strikeout and ground ball rates point to ace potential. However, command has always been Wheeler’s Achilles heel and pitchers who walk too many batters don’t become frontline starters. The Solo Home Run Situations series has tackled added stress resulting from pitch selection — Wheeler presents an opportunity to revisit the series to explore how walks affect the young right-hander’s prospects.
Between packing what seems like an endless number of boxes in anticipation of the big move to New York, Joel Henard and I were able to record a two part ROTOscouting baseball podcast. In episode 9, we talk postseason awards, whether or not they matter and if the right players won. From a highly contested American League Cy Young race between Felix Hernandez and Corey Kluber to Clayton Kershaw winning both the National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards, we cover them all.
Episode 8 of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast features Joel Henard and I breaking down the Jason Heyward/Shelby Miller trade from both the Cardinals and Braves perspective. Also, was the Russell Martin signing going to take the Blue Jays pitching staff to the next level? Can the Mets swing a deal for Starlin Castro? We even find time for a little craft beer talk. No interviews this week, but it allowed us to record back-to-back episodes and make up for lost time. Enjoy our 5-star rated podcast and share with a friend or 10.
It wouldn’t be a Cubs off-season without Starlin Castro trade rumors to the Mets. Last winter, the question was if Chicago would sell low to clear space for a plethora of near ready shortstop prospects. For New York, Zack Wheeler was the clear cut second fiddle to Matt Harvey and destined to become a star in his own right. 12 months later and every scenario discussed prior to the 2014 season has proven wildly misguided at best and sheer idiocy at worst.
Michael Cuddyer’s two year, 21 million dollar pact with the Mets was a surprise. Between the multi-year offer to a declining player and New York’s willingness to part with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft, one has to wonder if this is the first of a flurry of moves. Unfortunately, fantasy baseball owners are unable to sit with Sandy Alderson at the General Manager’s meetings and learn what other plans are in store. For now, we can only glean insight from what’s already happened.
Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom put together a Rookie of the Year-type campaign in 2014, much to the surprise of dynasty owners everywhere. The 26-year old started the season behind fellow righties Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero at Triple-A Las Vegas. After a mid-May call-up and a 9-6 record over 140.1 innings, deGrom now looks set to slot in behind Matt Harvey at the top of the Mets rotation in 2015. Has the former ninth-round pick shown enough to warrant such lofty expectations next season? Or are fantasy owners better off cashing in on a cheap investment?
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.
Yesterday marked the first of ten pieces breaking down my top-50 baseball prospects scouted in 2014. Today’s installment features a trade deadline acquisition whose already made his MLB debut, a Cardinals pitcher having success in Triple-A, a pair of Mets prospects and a multi-million dollar Rangers international free agent. 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.
Coming in at just short of an hour, episode two of the ROTOscouting baseball podcast is packed with information on Pirates, Cubs and September call ups, among other things. Chris Blessing also makes an appearance to discuss a number of players scouted this season in the South Atlantic and Southern Leagues. Subscribe to the Podcast on ITunes and never miss an episode. If not an ITunes user, listen here.
New York Mets prospect Champ Stuart isn’t the typical South Atlantic League prospect covered at ROTOscouting. Drafted in the 6th round (2013) out of tiny Brevard College in North Carolina, the Bahamian born Stuart’s advanced age (21) and slash line (.256/.341/.340) isn’t special. In the South Atlantic League, rosters are full of similar players from a statistical standpoint. However, dismissing the outfielder would be a scouting mistake. Stuart’s physical tools scream future Major League center fielder. Can Champ Stuart break out and develop into a viable center field candidate for the Mets?
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
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