Saturday, February 17, 2018

Justin Williams - Tampa Bay Rays OF - Breakout Prospect Canidate

It's a good feeling when you find an under the radar prospect with a track record of making adjustments each season. Justin Williams has played 5 minor league seasons and is only 22 years of age. In 2017, Williams made multiple adjustments at AA Montgomery and raised his walk rate to an impressive 9% while cutting down on strikeouts. Not to mention he mashed 21 doubles, 3 triples and 14 homers. After doing some research online it seems that prices are still very affordable. EBay does not have much on sale which is a sign of people buying and holding until the season starts. I would suggest digging around at local card shows and set up alerts for any new sales of his Bowman Chrome auto. I think Williams will continue to improve. Scouts love his overall makeup and hitting ability.

Stats Don't Lie - 2017 Final Report Highlights

Stats are big part of my prospect analysis and this season I would like to share more numbers with my readers. All of the hitters listed below finished the season with a walk rate above 8%, a K rate below 20% and an .ISO above .140. The basis of the report shows hitters who have a great chance of success as they move up the ladder. Keep in mind this is only for the 2017 season and some players may have played across multiple levels. More names could of been added but I only wanted to focus on players with Bowman Chrome Auto's.


Houston Astros - Ronnie Dawson - STRONG Bargain Bin recommendation. He has to cut down on the K rate to make it to the Majors.

New York Yankees - Nick Solak  - A Yankee prospect that has been overshadowed. Decent pop and a good eye at the plate. Worth a buy.

Cincinnati Reds - Jeter Downs - Breakout prospect candidate. Very impressive first season in the Minors.


Here are a few additional names that are well known.

Toronto Blue Jays - Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - Stud

Tortonto Blue Jays - Bo Bichette - Stud

Cincinnati Reds - Nick Senzel - I think he will grow into power and hit 20-25 home runs annually.

Miami Marlins - Lewis Brinson - Will finally get his shot but can he stay healthy.

Boston Red Sox - Rafael Devers - Stud

Toronto Blue Jays - Reese McGuire - On the 40 man roster.

Baltimore Orioles - D.J. Stewart - Scouts are skeptical but his auto is nowhere to be found on EBay. Interesting.

Tampa Bay Rays - Jake Bauers - Nice prospect but not sure if I would buy. Prices are a little out of range for me.

Philadelphia Phillies - J.P. Crawford - Nice prospect with good defense but the time to buy was when he was struggling in AAA.

Prospects Who Need A Chrome Auto

While we all wait for the 2018 Bowman Checklist to be finalized check out the names below. The prospects listed are on my wishlist to sign a Bowman Chrome card this year. 

Washington Nationals - Carter Kieboom - Exciting prospect with multiple tools.

Minnesota Twins -Akil Badoo - Good prospect still who is still growing into his power potential.

Arizona Diamondbacks - Daulton Varsho - Rare catcher prospect that I like. Impressive first season in A ball.

St Louis Cardinals - Carson Kelly - Another catching prospect that I like. Expect to see him in the Majors this year.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

New York Yankees 2B/SS Hoy Jun Park - Bargain Bin

I was running some numbers a few days ago and noticed Hoy Jun Park had an under the radar season. What I love about Park is his walk rate and ability to get on base. His batting average was around .250 for the season but he showed signs of power with 12 doubles, 6 triples and 7 home runs. Base autographs are selling for under five dollars. For that price I think buying a few is a good move. I think Park will take a big step this year and has double digit home run potential.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr's Bowman Chrome Autograph is Still A Bargain

Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both released their top 100 prospect lists this week and ranked Vladimir Guerrero Jr in their top 5. After reading various articles and scouting reports, there is a consensus within the baseball community that Vlad Jr possess an 80 grade hit tool and 70 grade power. Tools at this level translate to a high batting average with the ability to hit 30 or more home runs annually. Jim Callis from MLB pipeline even compared him to Miguel Cabrera which immediately put me on high alert. The only reason why he is not the number one prospect is because he does not possess multiple tools like Ronald Acuna or Shohei Ohtani. His 2016 Bowman Chrome Autograph prices are around $250-$300 for base and $400 for a refractor. If you have the means I would consider buying a graded version of this card. I strongly believe the returns will be off the charts. Remember you only need one.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Austin Beck is the Next Oakland A's Superstar

One of my favorite prospects in 2017 Bowman Chrome Draft is Austin Beck. Drafted 6th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2017 MLB Draft, Beck has some of the best overall tools in the draft class and is the true definition of a high risk prospect. His hit tool will take time to develop but if it does he will become a star. After reviewing pricing trends over the last few weeks, I believe his cards are currently overpriced and will cost you around $40 a base auto. In my opinion, the main reason is because he is a high draft pick and has been covered by major publications. If Beck was drafted in the second round prices would be half of what they are now. Overall, I am making a small investment in Beck if I can buy a base auto around $25. I expect dips in performance during the adjustment to professional baseball and will buy when others are selling low due to being impatient. Any purchases will be a long term hold but I strongly feel a big return will happen in the future.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The State of MLB Baseball Prospecting In 2018

As we prepare for a new baseball season, taking a look at the overall state of prospecting, baseball and the hobby is needed if not mandatory. In my honest opinion baseball and prospecting have never been better. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Social Media - It has never been easier to follow a prospect on a day to day basis. Most if not all players have accounts on Twitter and Instagram. YouTube provides scouting videos and interviews.

2. The MLB and Topps Relationship - Prospectors may have issues with various checklists when they are released but Topps has done a great job. I don't see this relationship ever breaking up and Topps continues to release the best on card autographs on the market.

3. Data - Access to advanced statistics has made the prospecting process very fun if not easier. A number of sites have emerged that provide all the information you need to analyze a prospect.

4. Media Coverage - From Blogs to Podcasts, access to discussions and other opinions have never been more available. In addition, the Futures Game and MLB Draft continue to improve their broadcast. You can even watch the Arizona Fall League now!

Are there concerns? Of course there are. The Hobby Shops are slowly being taken over buy the online stores which makes buying cards harder since you are looking at photos and scans. The positive is that card shows are still very active and provide an alternative. 


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 Bowman Draft Baseball - Full Prospect Breakdown and Analysis

After waiting for supply to increase and reviewing the stats, scouting reports and other useful information, I have completed my review of the 2017 Bowman Draft checklist. The overall checklist is very solid with a good mix of picks from the first few rounds of the draft. Please note most players in this product competed in rookie ball so the stats are useful but only a few important data points should be analyzed. It usually takes a month for prices to settle but I wanted to get this report out for everyone to review in preparation for the upcoming season. Bowman Draft is easily the best product because it is released in the off season and prices remain stable for an extended period. This report will be revisited during the season as player production increases.

The prospects listed below are all pitchers that I have rated as a "Watch" due to limited sample size. The most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement has allowed teams to sign players faster but the sample size is way too small to make any judgement or investments. Current prices on EBay reflect my assessment. Most of the pitchers listed below are available for low prices.

Blayne Enlow -Minnesota Twins P
Brendan Murphy - Milwaukee Brewers P
Caden Lemons - Milwaukee Brewers P

D.L. Hall - Baltimore Orioles P - I am watching DL very close. He seems to have some good stuff from what I have researched.

Corbin Martin - Houston Astros P  
Tanner Houck - Boston Red Sox P
David Peterson -  New York Mets P
Hans Crouse - Texas Rangers P
Kade McClure Chicago White Sox P
Cory Abbott - Chicago Cubs P

Kyle Wright - Atlanta Braves P- Another top pick to watch close and he may move fast.

Matt Tabor - Arizona Diamondbacks P
Charlie Barnes - Minnesota Twins P
Nate Pearson -Toronto Blue Jays P
Peter Solomon Houston Astros P
Shane Baz - Pittsburgh Pirates P
Sam Carlson - Seattle Mariners P
Seth Corry - San Francisco Giants P
Tommy Doyle - Colorado Rockies P
Will Gaddis - Colorado Rockies P
Lincoln Henzman - Chicago White Sox P
Colton Hock - Miami Marlins P

The prospects listed below have not played an inning of professional baseball and the only fair recommendation I can give is to watch closely when the season starts. Scouting reports only tell you so much. Base auto prices are under $10 so if you feel strong about a player the risk is minimal.


Alex Faedo- Detroit Tigers P
Clarke Schmidt - New York Yankees P
Griffin Canning - Los Angels Angeles P
Joe Perez - Houston Astros 3B
Trevor Rogers - Miami Marlins P
Morgan Cooper - Los Angeles Dodgers P

I have all rated the hitters listed below as a close watch. It is possible that upgrades to buy or strong buy could occur but for right now the numbers are not the best. High strikeout rates, lack of power are the main negative statistics. I want to be fair and not rate as a pass as most of these players have just been drafted.
     
Quinn Brodey - New York Mets OF
Riley Mahan - Miami Marlins 2B
Blake Hunt - San Diego Padres C
Zach Kirtley - St. Louis Cardinals 2B
Taylor Walls - Tampa Bay Rays SS
MJ Melendez - Kansas City Royals C
Luis Campusano - San Diego Padres C
J.J. Matijevic - Houston Astros OF
Joey Morgan - Detroit Tigers C
Hagen Danner -Toronto Blue Jays C
Christopher Seise -Texas Rangers SS
Connor Wong - Los Angeles Dodgers C
Dylan Busby - Pittsburgh Pirates 3B
Drew Waters - Atlanta Braves OF
Ernie Clement - Cleveland Indians 2B
Cash Case - Cincinnati Reds SS
Cole Brannen - Boston Red Sox OF
Brett Netzer - Boston Red Sox 2B
Brent Rooker -  Minnesota Twins OF
Jacob Pearson - Los Angeles Angels OF
Kevin Merrell - Oakland Athletics SS
Logan Warmoth - Toronto Blue Jays SS
Quentin Holmes - Cleveland Indians OF
Drew Ellis - Arizona Diamondbacks 3B 
 
Recommendations for the other prospects on the checklist are listed below.

Pitchers

Zac Lowther - Baltimore Orioles P - Over 50 innings pitched in rookie ball and the K/9 rate is impressive. On top of that the Auto can be purchased for a bargain bin price. Strong Buy.
MacKenzie Gore - San Diego Padres P - Potential stud that I would purchase if prices are around $15-20.

Hitters


Austin Beck - Oakland Athletics OF - I may have to do a separate write up on Beck. He is my favorite player in this product. Austin has battled various injuries and struggled in pro ball. His stats started to improve later in the season and he has not played with wood bats much. I rate him as a very cautious watch.

Adam Haseley - Philadelphia Phillies OF - Buy. Solid player and Auto's are less than $20.


Brendan McKay- Tampa Bay Rays 1B/P - Buy if you have the budget but prices are way too high for my taste.

Brian Miller - Miami Marlins OF - Bargain Bin Buy. Older prospect and the power seems to be minimal but I love the K and walk rate.

Bubba Thompson - Texas Rangers OF - Strong Buy if prices are under $20. I would pay no more than $25. Thompson is an athlete with pop and speed.



Evan White - Seattle Mariners 1B - White is a watch but could easily turn into a strong buy. Only 55 plate appearances but I like the talent.

Gavin Sheets - Chicago White Sox 1B - A 1B only prospect with nice power. Bargain Bin Buy. Base autographs are around $5.

Heliot Ramos - San Francisco Giants OF - Like the prospect buy only buy if you have the budget. Prices are way too high.

Jo Adell - Los Angeles Angels OF - It seems that Adell's Auto is in short supply because the prices are over $300 for a raw base autograph. Love the player but you are better off buying an Acuna or Vlad auto for that price.

Jake Burger - Chicago White Sox 3B - Nice prospect. Nothing really blows me away but if the Auto price is around $15 I would buy. I would not pay more than that though.

Jeter Downs - Cincinnati Reds SS - Strong Buy. The Reds seem to have a formula of drafting athletic guys that they can develop. Jeter has an impressive K rate to go with 6 home runs. I could see this kid making a jump like Taylor Trammell.  

Kacy Clemens - Toronto Blue Jays 1B - When I saw Kacy's stats I got really excited. He is 23 years old and may move fast to the Majors. He is a Bargain Bin Buy as prices are around $5.

Keston Hiura - Milwaukee Brewers 2B - Watch. Keston could complete for a batting title in the future. He is that good and he also has some power. The issue I have is that he is still working out an elbow issue and prices are over $30. Brewers prospects are tricky so I keep my investments small.
   
Kevin Smith - Toronto Blue Jays SS - Bargain Bin Buy. The power numbers are insane for this kid but the strikeout rate is a little high. Multiple scouting reports say his power is ahead of his hitting but for the low prices (Under $5) why not.

 
Luis Gonzalez - Chicago White Sox OF - Another older prospect that may move fast but the power numbers are decent. A bargain bin buy for sure.

Mark Vientos - New York Mets 3B - A very young player that held his own in rookie ball. I would only buy if around $10. He will be a long term project.

Nick Pratto - Kansas City Royals 1B - Watch. A young player with a strikeout rate too high (25%). A good example of a price being too high due to where a player was drafted and not the stats.

Pavin Smith - Arizona Diamondbacks 1B - Watch. Pavin can hit but I am just not sure if the power is there. Reminds of the same thing that kept me from investing in Nick Senzel.

     
Royce Lewis - Minnesota Twins OF - Nice player but way too high.
  
Ryan Vilade - Colorado Rockies 3B - I like this kid and his stats but Rockies prospects just don't do it for me. I will keep an eye on him.

Stuart Fairchild - Cincinnati Reds OF - Watch closely. Shows a little pop but I really like the plate discipline. Bargain Bin Buy for under $5 right now.


Tristen Lutz - Milwaukee Brewers OF - Strong Buy. Lutz has power and the plate discipline you love. If prices stay around $15 I would be fine making that purchase. Brewers prospects are tricky so I keep my investments small.
   

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Shohei Ohtani, Giancarlo Stanton and Other Prospect Thoughts

Over the past few days Bowman Draft has been released, Shohei Otani has signed with the Angels and Giancarlo Stanton has been traded to the Yankees. In addition, the Arizona Fall League provided some additional prospect data and the Atlanta Braves were severely punished for violating MLB polices. All of these events have occurred before the Winter Meetings so it seems the off-season is providing enough action to keep me busy until pitchers and catchers report. Below are a few takeaways to consider. Please note I am still preparing my review of 2017 Bowman Draft and my full report will be provided in a week.

Arizona Fall League -  Ronald Acuna winning AFL MVP is not surprising but the performances of Alex Jackson, Austin Riley and Monte Harrison should be noted. All of these prospects improved their stock. If you are looking for a pitcher to keep an eye on Mitch Keller is one to note.

Shohei Otani - I was excited to hear the Otani chose the Angels. If you are Trout collector you should be happy. The possibility to see the best player on the planet in the playoffs is exciting. As far as prospecting goes, I expect Otani to be a high end prospect and be in 2018 Bowman. I think his non-auto cards have profit potential if you have the volume.

Giancarlo Stanton and the New York Yankees - It seems that Jeter and the Miami Marlins are set on following the Astros model and tanking. The number one thing I love about this trade from a prospecting perspective is that Florial, Frazier and Torres remain Yankees.

Winter Meetings - I expect some movement during the Winter Meetings when it comes to prospects. Maybe more blockbuster trades are pending. I will definitely keep an eye on the player movement.





Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 Bowman Chrome Draft Checklist - Initial Reaction

Topps has finally released the full 2017 Bowman Chrome Draft checklist with over 70 prospect names. Overall I like the checklist and look forward to analyzing each prospect. Stay tuned for major updates from PFC. This is going to be fun.

CHROME DRAFT PICK AUTOGRAPHS
CDA-AB Austin Beck Oakland Athletics™
CDA-AF Alex Faedo Detroit Tigers®
CDA-AH Adam Haseley Philadelphia Phillies®
CDA-BE Blayne Enlow Minnesota Twins®
CDA-BH Blake Hunt San Diego Padres™
CDA-BM Brendan McKay Tampa Bay Rays™
CDA-BMI Brian Miller Miami Marlins®
CDA-BMU Brendan Murphy Milwaukee Brewers™
CDA-BN Brett Netzer Boston Red Sox®
CDA-BR Brent Rooker Minnesota Twins®
CDA-BT Bubba Thompson Texas Rangers®
CDA-CA Cory Abbott Chicago Cubs®
CDA-CB Cole Brannen Boston Red Sox®
CDA-CBA Charlie Barnes Minnesota Twins®
CDA-CC Cash Case Cincinnati Reds®
CDA-CH Colton Hock Miami Marlins®
CDA-CL Caden Lemons Milwaukee Brewers™
CDA-CMA Corbin Martin Houston Astros®
CDA-CS Clarke Schmidt New York Yankees®
CDA-CSE Christopher Seise Texas Rangers®
CDA-CW Connor Wong Los Angeles Dodgers®
CDA-DB Dylan Busby Pittsburgh Pirates®
CDA-DE Drew Ellis Arizona Diamondbacks®
CDA-DH D.L. Hall Baltimore Orioles®
CDA-DP David Peterson New York Mets®
CDA-DW Drew Waters Atlanta Braves™
CDA-EC Ernie Clement Cleveland Indians®
CDA-EW Evan White Seattle Mariners™
CDA-GC Griffin Canning Angels®
CDA-GS Gavin Sheets Chicago White Sox®
CDA-HC Hans Crouse Texas Rangers®
CDA-HD Hagen Danner Toronto Blue Jays®
CDA-HR Heliot Ramos San Francisco Giants®
CDA-JA Jo Adell Angels®
CDA-JB Jake Burger Chicago White Sox®
CDA-JD Jeter Downs Cincinnati Reds®
CDA-JJM J.J. Matijevic Houston Astros®
CDA-JM Joey Morgan Detroit Tigers®
CDA-JP Joe Perez Houston Astros®
CDA-JPE Jacob Pearson Angels®
CDA-KC Kacy Clemens Toronto Blue Jays®
CDA-KH Keston Hiura Milwaukee Brewers™
CDA-KM Kevin Merrell Oakland Athletics™
CDA-KMC Kade McClure Chicago White Sox®
CDA-KS Kevin Smith Toronto Blue Jays®
CDA-KW Kyle Wright Atlanta Braves™
CDA-LC Luis Campusano San Diego Padres™
CDA-LG Luis Gonzalez Chicago White Sox®
CDA-LH Lincoln Henzman Chicago White Sox®
CDA-LW Logan Warmoth Toronto Blue Jays®
CDA-MC Morgan Cooper Los Angeles Dodgers®
CDA-MG MacKenzie Gore San Diego Padres™
CDA-MJM MJ Melendez Kansas City Royals®
CDA-MT Matt Tabor Arizona Diamondbacks®
CDA-MV Mark Vientos New York Mets®
CDA-NP Nick Pratto Kansas City Royals®
CDA-NPE Nate Pearson Toronto Blue Jays®
CDA-PS Pavin Smith Arizona Diamondbacks®
CDA-PSO Peter Solomon Houston Astros®
CDA-QB Quinn Brodey New York Mets®
CDA-QH Quentin Holmes Cleveland Indians®
CDA-RL Royce Lewis Minnesota Twins®
CDA-RM Riley Mahan Miami Marlins®
CDA-RV Ryan Vilade Colorado Rockies™
CDA-SB Shane Baz Pittsburgh Pirates®
CDA-SC Sam Carlson Seattle Mariners™
CDA-SCO Seth Corry San Francisco Giants®
CDA-SF Stuart Fairchild Cincinnati Reds®
CDA-TD Tommy Doyle Colorado Rockies™
CDA-TH Tanner Houck Boston Red Sox®
CDA-TL Tristen Lutz Milwaukee Brewers™
CDA-TR Trevor Rogers Miami Marlins®
CDA-TW Taylor Walls Tampa Bay Rays™
CDA-WG Will Gaddis Colorado Rockies™
CDA-ZK Zach Kirtley St. Louis Cardinals®
CDA-ZL Zac Lowther Baltimore Orioles®