Saturday, June 23, 2018

Contact In Baseball Is Still King and Strikeouts Do Matter

If you are a reader of the site and have read my previous recommendations I am sure you have noticed a trend. Contact matters when I am searching for prospects to invest in. Yes I know we are still in the moneyball era and I am well aware that strikeouts don't matter. Trust me strikeouts do matter. Especially in the minors and playoff baseball. A number of prospects have inflated prices due to huge home run totals but strikeout in 30% of their at bats. If there are cases where I think a player can cut down on the strikeouts you will know (Khalil Lee). Keep following for more updates as the season goes on.

Why Cristian Pache's Bowman Auto Could Reach Ronald Acuna Prices

When 2018 Bowman Baseball was released one of my favorite prospects in the product was Cristian Pache. I thought his prices would be reasonable after release but I was 100% wrong. His autographs were immediately on the high end. I think the main reason is because he made a few top 100 lists despite not being a lock to have power. The Braves have been working with him on his swing and he has five home runs on the year. Not to mention he is already an elite defender. It seems his card prices are only going to go up. In my previous article regarding Senzel I said it is OK to take risk. After review, I noticed a big difference between Senzel's situation and Pache's. The Reds rebuild seems to be taking longer than expected while the Braves are playing well and are loaded on the farm. Cristian Pache may be a year or two away but the time to buy is now if your budget allows.

Nick Senzel Out For The Season - Prospecting Advice

Today the Cincinnati Reds announced that Nick Senzel will be out for the year with a hand injury. The news is unfortunate as he was on fire the last ten games and a promotion to the Reds was imminent. I have said this multiple times on the blog that injuries are one of the few reasons investing in high end prospects is a big risk. Every year in baseball a high end prospect gets hurt and collectors feel the pain. Don't get me wrong its OK to take risk but sometimes the cost is not worth it. In Senzel's case he was one of the safest prospects in the minors far as talent is concerned but was high priced as soon as his auto came and had previously missed time. Due to the injury his prices could drop. It would be best practice to hold on to what you have unless you can make a profit. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Why Austin Beck's and Pavin Smith's Stocks Are Not Trending Down

Sam Dykstra at posted an article discussing the 2017 MLB Draft and the performance of certain prospects. I was surprised to see that he stated Austin Beck and Pavin Smith's stocks were trending down. Austin Beck tore his ACL while in high school and while he did struggle in short season ball, he is still 19 and is playing better. He was known to be a project when he was drafted. Pavin Smith is only batting .214 but his K rate and walk rate are exceptional and the power numbers are acceptable despite being in a hitter friendly league. I think sometimes we are not patient with the development of these players as they adjust to pro ball.

MILB Article by Sam Dykstra

Pittisburgh Pirates 3B/SS Oneil Cruz is Under the Radar

One prospect that is a bargain bin and should not be forgotten is Oneil Cruz. He was traded to the Pirates last season from the Dodgers and is still only 19. So far this season he has hit 8 HR's to go with 11 doubles and 5 triples. I would like to see his strikeout rate go down but so far I am very impressed with him this season.

Link to stats via FanGraphs

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers OF Alex Verdugo - Buy, Sell or Hold

The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently next to last in their division and just optioned Alex Verdugo back down to Triple A after a cup of coffee in the Majors. I understand the move due to Yasiel Puig returning from injury. Verdugo is one of my favorite prospects and has the plus bat you need in a current strikeout or home run league. At this moment I would currently hold his auto's. The market is now flooded with people selling. In my opinion I think he stays with the Dodgers and eventually comes back up to the 40 man roster. I don't believe they would trade him (especially if they are out of the playoff race) but I am watching closely. If you can make a profit by all means sell but I making the bet that he is in the Dodgers future plans.

MLB Prospect Statistical Analysis (Stats Don't Lie) - May 2018 Report

A full month of the season has passed and sample sizes are starting to be large enough to run my first Stats Don't Lie report of the year. The main focus of this report is to find prospects who have undervalued Bowman Chrome autographs. When I run this report I am looking for hitters with good walk rates combined with manageable K rates. In addition, I am looking for average to above average isolated slugging percentage. The goal is to look for hitters who make contact and hit for decent power. For this report I have added a few players who don't fit the criteria but should be mentioned. Please note the season is still young so these numbers should be taken into account but pitchers will adjust accordingly.

Any notable numbers highlighted in red should be monitored and numbers highlighted in blue are positive signs of good performance.

Name Team              PA         BB%          K%            ISO
Stuart Fairchild Reds (A) 133 13.50% 23.30% 0.130
Ernie Clement Indians (A) 137 11.70% 9.50% 0.092
Hoy Jun Park Yankees (A+) 122 18.00% 18.90% 0.104
Jeter Downs Reds (A) 145 9.00% 22.10% 0.125
Dylan Carlson - - - 113 15.00% 17.70% 0.147
Juan Yepez - - - 123 8.10% 14.60% 0.155
Will Benson Indians (A) 125 20.00% 25.60% 0.237
Khalil Lee Royals (A+) 137 17.50% 25.50% 0.138
Luis Alexander Basabe White Sox (A+) 131 16.00% 26.00% 0.266
Demi Orimoloye Brewers (A) 125 8.00% 18.40% 0.155
Daulton Varsho Diamondbacks (A+) 122 10.70% 18.90% 0.179
Jalen Miller Giants (A+) 150 6.70% 16.00% 0.168
TJ Friedl Reds (A+) 148 16.20% 14.20% 0.108
Daniel Johnson Nationals (AA) 146 6.80% 21.20% 0.115
Peter Alonso Mets (AA) 138 14.50% 18.10% 0.295
Kacy Clemens - - - 140 20.00% 19.30% 0.324
Cavan Biggio Blue Jays (AA) 119 15.10% 26.10% 0.392
Matt Thaiss Angels (AA) 137 8.80% 21.20% 0.203
Cedric Mullins Orioles (AA) 140 5.70% 13.60% 0.214
Ryan Howard Giants (AA) 125 5.60% 11.20% 0.106
David Fletcher Angels (AAA) 152 7.20% 4.60% 0.252

My Analysis

Stuart Fairchild - Bargain bin buy that has showed flashes of power which is why the strikeout rate is a little high.
Ernie Clement - A prospect to keep an eye on. The signs of power are not there at the moment.

Hoy Jun Park - Park will not hit for much pop but I love the Yankees system right now. Worth a buy.

Jeter Downs - One of my favorite prospects but can the power improve?

Dylan Carlson - Carlson is a buy. His Bowman auto is still very affordable and I think he will continue to improve. He is turning the corner after a rough season last year.

Juan Yepez - Another Cardinal who I liked when he was in the Braves system. I recommend that prospectors watch him and now he upgraded to a buy. Scouts worry that he cannot make consistent contact. This season is a big one for him to prove them wrong.

Will Benson & Khalil Lee - I like both prospects but they are also projects. High risk/reward but both take walks which is why I have taken a small position. The contact must improve and that is my main concern.

Luis Alexander Basabe - Impressive so far and still a bargain buy. The strikeout rate is high but I am watching closely. 

Demi Orimoloye - Demi does not have a Bowman auto but his early performance is showing he might be turning the corner. Impressive athlete.

Daulton Varsho - If Varsho had a Chrome auto, he would be a strong buy. 

Jalen Miller - Bargain bin buy who is repeating a level. I am not sure he can keep up the power surge though so don't go too crazy. 

TJ Friedl - Love him as a prospect but he may be only a fourth outfielder.

Daniel Johnson - Trending up and is currently a bargain bin buy. He has great ability but is still putting it together. 

Peter Alonso - I told you to buy him here. The window has closed.

Kacy Clemens - Still a bargain bin buy for me. Impressive start so far but is an older prospect. 

Cavan Biggio - I told you to buy him here. Power numbers are there but the K rate needs to come down. 

Matt Thaiss - One of my favorite prospects that is hitting for some decent power this year. Still a bargain.

Cedric Mullins - Like him but Baltimore is bad and I would only buy for bargain bin prices (No more than $5-10).

Ryan Howard & David Fletcher - Both are older bargain bin prospects who could possibly help their teams this year. Fletcher has been incredible so far this season.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers 2B/SS Gavin Lux Trending Up

After a rough 2017, Gavin Lux seems to be figuring it out. I recommend him as a strong buy back in 2017. He has impressed with a 15% walk and strikeout rate and has already hit 10 doubles. The potential for more power is still there and I would not be surprised to see him continue his success A+ ball.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

2018 Bowman Baseball - Complete Analysis of Every Prospect Autograph

2018 Bowman Baseball releases this week and while everyone is hunting for Otani autographs I will be looking at other opportunities. Overall the checklist is pretty solid. I would give it an overall grade of a B-. If you would like me to comment on any retail only or rookie prospects, please leave comments below or email me at Retail only usually has sticker autographs and I am not a fan of them. Thanks again for visiting Prospects For Cash!
Adbert Alzolay - Chicago Cubs RHP - Decent pitching prospect in a depleted system. I have decided to pass on buying his autograph. The he seems like a 4/5 starter at best. 

Andres Gimenez - New York Mets SS - Nice prospect. Just not enough pop for me. Prices will be inflated due to him being a Met. 

Brendan McKay - Tampa Bay Rays P/DH - I love that Brendan is sticking with playing both ways. So far he has exceeded at both this season. He is a high end prospect but his draft autograph would be the best one to purchase. 

Jose Adolis Garcia - St. Louis Cardinals OF - Older prospect but has amazing tools. I would not invest too heavy. If he was 5 years younger I would say different. 

Corbin Burnes - Milwaukee Brewers P - Nice arm but Brewer prospects only move the needle if they have international or superstar potential. 

Cedric Mullins - Baltimore Orioles OF - Nice prospect. He hit for some power in AA last year but the Orioles are headed towards a rebuild. I think no one will care if he puts up good numbers on a bad team.

Cristian Pache - Atlanta Braves OF- STRONG BUY! I would not say he is the next Acuna but Pache is an elite defender. The only thing missing is more power. The Braves have been working with him to improve the power numbers. Pache will be a breakout star this year. 

Chris Rodriguez - Los Angeles Angels - Pass. The K/9 rate needs to be higher for me to buy right now.

Colton Welker - Colorado Rockies 3B - This kid can flat out hit. The issue is that he is a Rockies prospect. No one cares about Rockies prospects and the inflated numbers at Coors Field. If you disagree I would love to debate the readers on this one. 

Darick Hall - Philadelphia Phillies 1B - Pass. The K rate is a little too high for me. 

Daniel Johnson - Washington Nationals OF - Prospectors are all in on Robles and Soto but Johnson is impressive. I rate him as a STRONG BUY. He will rise up the charts if he keeps it up.

DJ Peters - Los Angeles Dodgers OF - The Dodgers have another potential stud. The issue I have with Peters is his K rate. It has to come down for me to really feel comfortable investing. Buying one or two may be the best approach. 

Dennis Santana - Los Angeles Dodgers P - Former hitter turned pitcher but is a pass for me. Not enough production to make a fair judgement. 

Edward Olivares - Toronto Blue Jays OF - A buy for me. Nice power numbers and a respectable strikeout rate. 

Eric Pardinho - Toronto Blue Jays P - 17 year old from Brazil. He has not played in pro ball as of this write up. Keep an eye on him. Pass for now.

Greg Deichmann - Oakland Athletics 1B - Classic Athletic's prospect. Big time power but needs to cut down on strikeouts. Worth a small investment. 

Hunter Greene - Cincinnati Reds P - The number one pick will be in high demand. I like him as a prospect but high school arms are always risky and high end prospects are expensive. Pass

Ibandel Isabel - Los Angeles Dodgers - Pass. Strikeout rate is over 30%.
J.B. Bukauskas - Houston Astros P - Another top pick that will be high end. The sample size is small so I am staying away.

Jordan Humphreys - New York Mets P - Would be a buy if he did not blow his elbow out. 

Jordan Hicks - St. Louis Cardinals P - Nice prospect but I will pass.

JoJo Romero - Philadelphia Phillies P - Like him but I will pass. Seems to be a 3/4 starter.

Jeren Kendall - Los Angeles Dodgers OF - Pass. See Ibandel Isabel.
Jose Siri - Cincinnati Reds - Siri is known for an impressive hitting streak last season but his contact needs to improve. Sounds crazy but the K rate needs to be under 20% for me to buy.

Joey Wentz - Atlanta Braves P - Nice arm. Keep an eye on him. Would not have an issue buying a few. His K/9 rate was over 10 and he pitched over 130 innings.

Keibert Ruiz - Los Angeles Dodgers C - If you are patient Ruiz is a buy. Impressive hitting statistics but catchers take time to develop. 

Logan Allen - San Diego Padres P - Pass - Not enough data to make a fair assessment. 

Luis Escobar - Pittsburgh Pirates P - Keep an eye on him. The walks need to come down. 

Luis Robert - Chicago White Sox OF - Will most likely be a high end prospect. The rookie ball stats are deceiving. I would buy if the price was low due to the injury. 
MacKenzie Gore - San Diego Padres P - Another high end pitching prospect. Pass. Good talent though.

Michael Mercado - Tampa Bay Rays P - Young arm but I will pass. The K/9 rate was very low. Still time to improve at age 19.

McKenzie Mills - Philadelphia Phillies P - Pass. Mills is most likely a 3/4 starter. Nice tools.

Mike Shawaryn - Boston Red Sox P - Pass. Not enough for me to invest.

Matt Sauer - New York Yankees P - Keep an eye on Sauer. Only 19 and the sample size is limited.

Pedro Avila - San Diego Padres P - The K/9 rates for Avila are impressive. I am buying one or two.
Royce Lewis - Minnesota Twins - Pass. His second autograph.

Sandro Fabian - San Francisco Giants OF - Buy. A little high risk but the tools are there. Would like to see him walk a little more. Keeping an eye on him. Could of easily have been a strong buy. I am being conservative with my rating.

Spencer Howard - Philadelphia Phillies P - I like his tools but the walks need to come down. Pass for now.

Sam Hilliard - Colorado Rockies OF - Another Rockies prospect that I like but will pass on. 

Shed Long - Cincinnati Reds 2B- Shed is a buy. A little older but I like the talent. I worry about people not caring as the Reds are in rebuild mode. 

Sean Murphy - Oakland Athletics C - Pass. Not enough pop for me. 

Thomas Hatch - Chicago Cubs P - Pass. Nice talent but not a top starter. 

Zack Littell - Minnesota Twins - Pass. Not a top starter.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

MLB Prospects Off To Hot Starts

The first week of the MILB season is almost complete and so far there have been some notable performances. While there is still a lot of baseball to be played, fast starts are always a positive. For prospects that are struggling there is no reason to panic. Below are a few names that are catching my attention.

Baltimore Orioles P Zac Lowther - I recommended prospectors to buy Lowther a few weeks ago. He was very impressive in his debut and showed some impressive arm talent.

Kansas City Royals OF Khalil Lee - Another breakout prospect candidate that has been mentioned on the site before. He still has work to do but his ability to walk makes me a believer.

Oakland Athletics OF Austin Beck - Beck has all the superstar tools you want but has struggled to make contact so far in his young career. So far this season he seems to have improved his plate discipline. The sample size is small though. Beck is a long term project.

Minnesota Twins OF Alex Kiriloff - In his return from Tommy John surgery, Alex has already hit two home runs and is back on track to the majors. The window is small to still buy him. I think he will be the Twins top prospect by the end of the season.