Prospect Scouting & Stats — Hitter Game Power – Future

Yesterday, I listed and discussed the 20 prospects who earned a Game Power – Present (GPP) grade of at least 50. Today, I shift the future and will list and discuss 19 prospects who earned a Game Power – Future (GPF) grade of at least 60 and earned an FV of at least 50. Since the number of 60+ GPF players was 39, I wanted to narrow down the least to make it a similar size as the GPP list.

Game Power – Future Top 19
Name Org Pos Current Level ETA FV Age Top 100 Org Rk Game Power – Future 2019 HR/FB
Gavin Lux LAD 2B MLB 2020 70 22.4 2 0 70 25.2%
Jo Adell LAA LF AAA 2021 65 21 4 0 70 14.3%
Marco Luciano SFG SS A- 2023 55 18.1 24 2 70 16.9%
Andrew Vaughn CHW 1B A+ 2021 55 22 37 0 65 9.8%
Wander Franco TBR SS A+ 2021 80 19.1 1 1 60 6.5%
Luis Robert CHW CF AAA 2020 60 22.7 7 0 60 17.1%
Joey Bart SFG C AA 2021 60 22.9 10 1 60 16.7%
Royce Lewis MIN CF AA 2022 60 20.8 13 1 60 7.4%
Julio Rodriguez SEA RF A+ 2022 60 19.3 9 1 60 15.2%
Brendan Rodgers COL 2B MLB 2020 55 23.7 31 1 60 26.5%
Kristian Robinson ARI CF A 2022 55 19.3 28 1 60 22.2%
Oneil Cruz PIT SS AA 2021 55 21.5 32 2 60 12.9%
Nolan Gorman STL 3B A+ 2021 55 19.9 38 1 60 10.1%
Bobby Witt Jr. KCR SS R 2023 55 19.8 23 1 60 2.8%
Nolan Jones CLE 3B AA 2021 50 21.9 54 0 60 16.5%
Trevor Larnach MIN RF AA 2021 50 23.1 55 2 60 12.4%
Mark Vientos NYM 3B A 2022 50 20.3 106 3 60 10.3%
Heriberto Hernandez TEX RF A- 2023 50 20.3 117 0 60 25.6%
Triston Casas BOS 1B A+ 2023 50 20.2 57 2 60 16.9%

You’ll notice a bunch of names from yesterday’s GPP top 20. I’ll skip them and focus on the new names.

Marco Luciano is the big name to know here. Along with top prospects Gavin Lux and Jo Adell, Luciano is the only other to earn a 70 GPF grade. Interestingly, his GPP grade sits at just 25, so this is clearly alllll projection! It makes sense though, as he was just a tender 17 years old during his 2019 professional debut. But he did show huge power in his Rookie league debut, posting a 21.7% HR/FB rate and .295 ISO. It’s too bad he calls Oracle Park home, even if it’s going to be a bit less pitcher friendly now.

While he didn’t show up on yesterday’s list, our number one overall prospect Wander Franco makes an appearance with a 60 GPF and perfect 80 FV. The now 19-year-old has seen his power rates slip at each level, which isn’t a good sign. But realize that he just completed his age 18 season! So I think it makes sense to give him a pass and give his power time to materialize. Personally, I’m most intrigued by his plate discipline rates — he has walked significantly more often than he has struck out, and his strikeout rate has sat in the mid-single digits! That’s supported by a mid-single digit SwStk% mark as well. Since he has speed, the promise of future power, and rarely strikes out while more than willing to take a walk, his floor looks extremely high. If there was ever a safe prospect who only finished A+, this is what his stat line looks like.

The first overall pick in 2017, Royce Lewis hasn’t done anything in the minors since his stint at A back in 2018. In fact, since that stop, his wOBA has declined precipitously from .386 all the way to a low of .298 at AA in 2019. I guess we’re still waiting for that power to manifest, because he’s certainly shown no signs of it appearing. I’m pretty amazed that a prospect with this poor of a performance trajectory is still our 13th overall prospect, but it goes to show you how much his physical tools and mentality can boost our hopes for him reaching his potential. If I were in a keeper league, give me the guy who actually hits in the minors versus the guy who hasn’t but we think eventually will.

Man, it’s amazing to see so many 18-year-olds already! Julio Rodriguez is yet another one, and as such, we don’t have a very large minor league body of work to analyze. The power has been good though, which is more impressive at his age. He doesn’t strike out too much, so he’s exciting.

Kristian Robinson is yet another 18-year-old who posted HR/FB rates over 20% and ISO marks over .200. What are they feeding these kids?! Unlike Rodriguez above, we’re going to have to watch his strikeout rate, as he has consistently posted marks in the mid-to-high 20% range.

Oneil Cruz debuted at just 17 years old in the Dodgers organization and his HR/FB rate and ISO marks have been all over the map. In 2019 alone, he posted a 25%/.213 at A+ and then just a 3.1%/.143 at AA. Let’s see how he performs in his second taste of AA first before evaluating his power potential. Since he has speed too, this power/speed threat could be quite exciting as a shortstop.

Nolan Gorman is going to have to do a lot more to convince me he’s worth your prospect time. His power has slipped at every new minor league stop, while his strikeout rate just jumped above 30% at A+.

This is why we need scouting — by only looking at Bobby Witt Jr.’s stat line, you would assume he has no power. During his 2019 debut in the Rookie league, he posted just a 2.8% HR/FB rate and .091 ISO. His GPF suggests power should come in the future and since he already possesses good speed, he’s another power/speed threat that could be exciting in fantasy leagues.

The Mets have a top power prospect? Who would have guessed?! Mark Vientos still hasn’t exactly made good on that power potential in the minors, aside from a .202 ISO over a half season’s worth of at-bats in the Rookie league in 2018. In his other two minor league stops (including his last one at A), his HR/FB rate has hovered around 10%, and ISO in the mid-.100 range. His walk rate also plummeted from the mid-teens to about a third of that level, while his strikeout rate spiked. He’s still super young, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can recapture that 2018 performance level.

So Heriberto Hernandez has already played catcher, first base, and right field in the minors, which isn’t the type of flexibility you usually see. The now 20-year-old has already posted 20%+ HR/FB rates and ISO marks over .300 (!!!!!) during his two go-arounds in the Rookie league. I’m eager to see how he performs at Single-A.

We have nearly a full season of Single-A work from Triston Casas, which was solid in a vacuum, but more impressive considering his age (19). He already knows how to take a walk, and doesn’t whiff or strike out too often. He’s also a lefty whose future home is Fenway Park, which should do wonders for his BABIP.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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Feels weird to say “this is why we need scouting” for Witt, but only judge by the surface level statlines for Vientos and Gorman, who were both in very pitcher friendly environments, putting up above average lines at young ages (Vientos over 2 years younger than average, Gorman over 3 years younger than average in Palm Beach). Vientos played for Columbia, which as a 85 Park factor for home runs, and Gorman went from Peoria (107 park factor) to Palm Beach (92). It doesn’t make sense to talk about all of these prospects without including park factors.

Pirates Hurdles
Pirates Hurdles

Kinda the same type of thing with Cruz, one look at him and you wouldnt doubt his future power at all and at the same time it would be obvious that he wont be playing SS or showing much speed for long.

Lunch Angle
Lunch Angle

You can give Pod a bit of a pass, he’s stepping out of his comfort zone by writing about prospects, which by his own admission are not a part of baseball that he normally pays much attention to.