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.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Los Angeles Angels OF Brandon Marsh - 2018 Breakout Prospect

One of my favorite breakout prospect candidates in 2018 is Brandon Marsh. A former two sport athlete, Brandon has the power/speed combination that could have him in the top 100 by the end of the year. He has battled injuries the first few seasons in his pro career but now he is finally healthy and ready to play full time. Above average power is definitely a future possibility and flashes of five tool ability are hard to ignore. Unfortunately, Brandon does not have a Bowman Chrome auto. Hopefully on April 25th that changes when 2018 Bowman is released.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Atlanta Braves OF Cristian Pache - 2018 Bowman Alert

2018 Bowman comes out later this month and while collectors are on the hunt for Otani autographs I am looking for players with the potential to be in the top 100 next year. When I saw Cristian Pache officially sign for Bowman, I immediately got excited. Pache is already one of the top outfield defenders in the minors and has improved all of his tools since signing with the Braves as a 16 year old. He did not hit any Home Runs in 2017 but all the reports I have read state that he has power potential. The Braves are working on his swing constantly and I think he will break out in 2018.

Link to Stats via Fangraphs

One New Rule for Investing in Pitching Prospects

Every year it seems pro baseball has major pitching injuries before the season starts. Multiple talented arms have went down already and we have not even started the season yet. From Jharel Cotton, Brent Honeywell and Rafael Montero, investing in pitching is risky business. A.J. Puk was just shut down due to biceps tightness this week and he was one of my favorite pitching prospects. I can honestly say at the moment that if I invest in a pitcher it will be a small investment. How would I define small investment? For me it would be no more than 5 base auto's for a player and I would spend no more than $15 each. I think these players are throwing way too much these days and it starts at the youth level. Buyer beware.

Spring Training and Prospect Performance - Does It Matter?

Spring Training is wrapping up and prospects are headed to Minor League camp. I noticed a number of prospects had really good camps this year and showed off a number of tools and abilities. Should prospectors take these performances seriously? In my opinion good performances should be noted but not taken too seriously. Spring Training for a majority of the players attending is an extended Major League tryout. The pitching quality is not the most elite and the hitters are not facing the best competition on a daily basis.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2 MLB Prospects Who Will Move Quickly In The Minors

Pavin Smith and Keston Hirua are two members of the 2017 Draft class who posses above average hitting skills. Most reports expect Keston to have above average power and Pavin Smith to eventually come into his power last. Prices are a little on the high end for both but the hitting skills are so good the potential for prices to explode this season are likely. I have provided a few additional thoughts below for each player.

Milwaukee Brewers 2B - Keston Hirua - Reports have stated that Keston's elbow is fully healed. Scouts worry about his defense but the bat is so good it will become a non factor. You may see him in the Majors this year and I expect him to move quickly. Milwaukee Brewers prospects usually do not sell but I think Keston is a special player. For a Brewer prospect, his cards are in high demand. The best time to buy is now.

Arizona Diamondbacks 1B - Pavin Smith - Similar to Keston, Smith has above average hitting ability and walked more than he struck out during the 2017 season. He is a lock to be the replacement for Paul Goldschimdt in 2019 and should move quickly. The main issue scouts have is the power potential. I am taking the gamble that he will develop power last