Prospect Stock Watch: Cecchini, Diaz, Kepler, Moncada

Today at the Prospect Stock Watch we take a look at three players that could help their teams in 2016, as well as a Cuban infielder that will take a little more time to develop but could be the most talented prospect in the bunch.

Gavin Cecchini, SS, Mets: Shortstop has not been an area of pride for the Mets in 2015. The two men that have spent time at the position — Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada — have produced modest offensive results. Worse yet, the former has shown why few scouts expected him to stick at the position at the big league level. The good news is that there is more hope on the horizon. Cecchini, the club’s first pick of the 2012 draft, has moved swiftly through the minors and is having a solid season in Double-A at the age of 21. He’s shown improvements with the bat each season, and controls the strike zone well, although he may never be more than average as a hitter. It’s his defence, though, that gets people excited. With a plethora of good, young pitching also coming up through the system, that’s good news for the likes of Noah Syndergaard and Steve Matz — as well as “grizzled veteran” Matt Harvey. [Value Up]

Edwin Diaz, RHP, Mariners: The Mariners have produced a number of impressive arms over the past few seasons with the likes of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Carson Smith and even the surprising Mike Montgomery. Diaz, 21, is another arm to get excited about. A third round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2012, the right-hander has moved methodically through the system and opened up the year in High-A ball before jumping to Double-A after just seven starts in 2015. Combined, Diaz has struck out 93 batters in 92.2 innings while issuing just 29 walks. He’s been a little less consistent at the Double-A level than in A-ball but he’s on a strong stretch of allowing more than three runs in a game just once over his last seven starts. Diaz has the potential to develop into a No. 3 starter and could be ready for the Majors in the second half of 2016. [Value Up]

Max Kepler, OF/1B, Twins: The Cubs and Red Sox are a couple of teams that are overflowing with talented young players — both in the minors and at the big league level — and you can add the Twins to that list. The organization has already debuted the likes of Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, and Miguel Sano but more are on the horizon. Kepler, 22, could be the next big bat to hit The Show, although he’s currently on the disabled list in Double-A. A native of Germany, the Twins knew he would need lots of minor league seasoning given his unique background and limited amateur experience. He showed flashes of brilliance in his first five seasons but has put it all together in 2015 despite graduating A-ball for the first time. He has a .944 OPS and a 30-33 BB-K rate in 65 games. He makes excellent contact despite his power potential, which has yet to show up in over-the-fence pop. However, he has 22 doubles and eight triples on the season. He’s also shown aptitude on the base paths — despite his 6-4, 205 frame — with 12 steals in 15 tries. [Value Up]

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox: Arguably the prize of the international market in 2014-15, Moncada’s introduction to pro ball in North America has respectable but not explosive like many had hoped… The 20-year-old Cuban native is currently playing at the lowest level of full-season ball in the minors and possesses a .742 OPS in 41 games. The big red flag is 46 strikeouts, which equates to a strikeout rate of almost 27%. He’s seen some struggles in the field, as well, with inconsistent defence at the keystone. Although the switch-hitter’s plus power potential has yet to manifest itself, Moncada has shown that he’s a multifaceted player with 15 steals in as many tries. His development will take some time but he continues to flash the immense talented that had talent evaluators salivating at the thought of acquiring his services. He may not be ready for The Show until 2017. [Value Steady]

We hoped you liked reading Prospect Stock Watch: Cecchini, Diaz, Kepler, Moncada by Marc Hulet!

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Ryan
Member
Ryan

Moncada
1st 25 games: .200/.287/.289
All Star Break
last 16 games: .355/.446/.532 2 2B, 3B, HR, 11 SB, 0 CS

Ryan
Member
Ryan

6 2B*

Blinzler
Guest
Blinzler

Yup, classic case where a look at the splits might have given an even more exact result about the recent value.