Last week I re-introduced my hitter prospect finder and today, the pitchers take center stage. The process uses K%-BB%, age, and level as inputs to find potential off-the-radar prospects.
While the hitter finder finds all the top hitters from scouting sources, the pitcher is not as robust. It just looks at results which sometimes can be off with known fastball velocities and pitch quality. Even though it doesn’t replicate the top prospects, I find it’s great at finding lesser-known targets.
Here are the top-50 pitching prospects according to the process and few interesting names emerge.
Note: Let me know if a group of pitchers seems off. I might be able to find a way to improve the inputs.
|1||Kolby Allard||20||69||Braves (AA)|
|2||Mike Soroka||20||69||Braves (AAA)|
|3||Jack Flaherty||22||58||Cardinals (AAA)|
|4||Triston McKenzie||20||57||Indians (AA)|
|5||Luiz Gohara||21||55||Braves (AAA)|
|6||Brent Honeywell||22||53||Rays (AA)|
|7||Nick Neidert||21||52||Marlins (AA)|
|8||Michael Kopech||22||51||White Sox (AAA)|
|9||Enyel De Los Santos||22||51||Phillies (AAA)|
|10||Sixto Sanchez||19||51||Phillies (A)|
|11||Beau Burrows||21||51||Tigers (AA)|
|12||Jaime Barria||21||51||Angels (AAA)|
|13||Jose Suarez||20||51||Angels (AA)|
|14||Forrest Whitley||20||50||Astros (AA)|
|15||Peter Lambert||21||48||Rockies (AA)|
|16||Bryse Wilson||20||47||Braves (AA)|
|17||Freddy Peralta||22||47||Brewers (AAA)|
|18||Sean Reid-Foley||22||46||Blue Jays (AAA)|
|19||Zac Gallen||22||46||Cardinals (AAA)|
|20||Genesis Cabrera||21||46||Rays (AA)|
|21||Adrian Morejon||19||45||Padres (A-)|
|22||Jesus Luzardo||20||44||Athletics (AA)|
|23||Zack Littell||22||44||Yankees (AA)|
|24||Dustin May||20||44||Dodgers (A+)|
|25||Tyler Mahle||22||43||Reds (AAA)|
|26||Spencer Adams||22||43||White Sox (AA)|
|27||Chance Adams||23||43||Yankees (AAA)|
|28||Logan Allen||21||43||Padres (AA)|
|29||Caleb Ferguson||21||43||Dodgers (AA)|
|30||Franklin Perez||19||43||Astros (AA)|
|31||Grant Holmes||21||42||Athletics (AA)|
|32||Justus Sheffield||22||42||Yankees (AA)|
|33||JoJo Romero||21||41||Phillies (AA)|
|34||Ariel Jurado||22||41||Rangers (AA)|
|35||Wennington Romero||20||41||Reds (A)|
|36||Ryan Castellani||22||41||Rockies (AA)|
|37||Foster Griffin||22||41||Royals (AA)|
|38||Jose Mujica||22||41||Rays (AAA)|
|39||Brett Kennedy||23||40||Padres (AAA)|
|40||Jen-Ho Tseng||23||40||Cubs (AAA)|
|41||Touki Toussaint||22||40||Braves (AA)|
|42||Roniel Raudes||20||40||Red Sox (A+)|
|43||Jalen Beeks||24||40||Red Sox (AAA)|
|44||Joey Wentz||20||39||Braves (A)|
|45||Walker Buehler||23||39||Dodgers (AA)|
|46||Shane Bieber||23||39||Indians (AAA)|
|47||Pedro Avila||21||39||Padres (A)|
|48||Stephen Gonsalves||23||39||Twins (AAA)|
|49||Yonny Chirinos||24||39||Rays (AAA)|
|50||Dennis Santana||22||38||Dodgers (AAA)|
#13 Jose Suarez
The small (5’10, 170 lbs) 20-year-old lefty has flown through the Angels farm system this season. After a couple starts in High-A, he dominated Double-A with a 15.5 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 3.03 ERA in seven starts. He got promoted again to Triple-A where he’s struggled some with only 5.6 K/9 and 3.57 ERA.
Coming into the season, his fastball sat 89-93 mph with a plus change and an acceptable curve. Those pitches are now performing better:
— Hunt 4 Prospects (@hunt4prospects) May 31, 2018
Some owners may be late to the party in deep dynasty leagues but don’t be surprised to see him promoted within the year for a major league call-up. His 4.11 Steamer projection is not going to go unnoticed for long.
#23 Zack Littell
Two dominant Double-A seasons with the Yankees and Twins has put the 23-year-old righty int0 the Twins prospect lists. His star has lost some luster with a horrible major league start (six runs, four walks, one strikeout in three innings) and OK results in Triple-A (3.58 ERA, 8.8 K/9).
Coming into the season, he was known for 91-93 mph sinking fastball which helped him post groundball rates of 53%, 54%, and 51% in three different minor league levels. In two levels this season, the groundball rates are 35% and 44%. It seems like he’s dropping the sinker.
In his one major league start, he threw 53 four-seamers and only nine sinkers. His fastball did generate some swings-and-misses but got too much of the plate at times.
In all fairness, the parts exist for a decent pitcher. I could see owners repelled because of the bad start so demand will remain low.
#39 Brett Kennedy
The 23-year-old righty is producing decently in Triple-A with a 3.00 ERA, 9.6 K/, 2.8 BB/9, and a 50% GB%. Steamer projects him for a 4.18 ERA which would be the third lowest projected ERA among all Padre starters. And no details exist at all about him besides this blurb from our own Eric Longenhagen.
“Though short in stature, Kennedy throws pretty hard, sitting 91-93 with his fastball and occasionally touching 95. His secondaries are fringy, but when Kennedy is locating his mid-80s cutter/slider he’s effective. He might max out as a fifth starter.”
He’s on no Padre top prospect list. If owners are looking for someone completely off the radar, Kennedy may be it.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.