Prospect Stock Watch: Judge, Mancini, Tellez

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a tour around the American League East as we catch up with a trio of slugging prospects on pace to arrive in The Show in late 2016 or 2017.

By the way — if you’re a huge fan of prospects including Top 30 lists, amateur draft coverage and/or the international free agent market then has awesome (free) coverage from Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and others here.

Trey Mancini | 1B | Orioles
ETA: 2016
Value: Quietly Rising

It absolutely sucks being a first base prospect in the Orioles system. Look at poor Mancini, whom you’ve probably never heard of. Baltimore spent the offseason re-upping incumbent first baseman Chris Davis to a seven-year deal for more than $160 million. Another prospect, Christian Walker, currently at triple-A, has been ready for The Show for about a year now — although he might be suffering through a little triple-A staleness right now. And that brings us to Mancini, who hasn’t stopped slugging this year while playing at both the double-A and triple-A levels. Combined, he’s produced a .914 OPS with 13 home runs in 57 games. The 2013 eighth-round pick out of Notre Dame has also shown the ability to hit for a high average through the minors, although he sells out a little bit to produce the plus power and the slow feet will also hinder his hopes of hitting .300 in The Show. The Orioles may actually be better off by cutting bait on big league DH Pedro Alvarez and instilling Mancini in the starting (or platoon) role.

Aaron Judge | OF | Yankees
ETA: 2017
Value: Down

Judge hasn’t exactly enjoyed his time in triple-A during the 2016 season. The 6-7, 275 pound monster-of-a-man is hitting just .233 with a .690 OPS through 53 games. In fact, his line very closely mirrors his production from triple-A in 2015 (.317 vs .315 wOBA). Triple-A hurlers have been able to take advantage of Judge’s long levers and developing pitch recognition, which has resulted in a strikeout rate of more than 25%. Still, he’s been far from hopeless, and is only 24. I personally targeted Judge in my own Fangraphs Ottoneu (dynasty) league and was able to acquire him while his value was down. The former first round pick out of Fresno State will be fun to watch in a few years as he slugs home runs out of some rather favorable hitter’s parks in the AL East.

Rowdy Tellez | 1B | Blue Jays
ETA: 2017
Value: Steady (but maybe about to break out)

The Blue Jays have done a nice job managing Tellez’s development so far. A former 30th round pick (2013), his value was actually much greater than his draft slot but a high bonus demand — and limited athleticism — caused him to slide. The Jays were able to sway him away from college with a well-above-average bonus and he’s been making them look good for it ever since. Just 21, the young slugger opened 2016 in double-A after two strong offensive seasons in Rookie/A-ball. After hitting just .164 this April, Tellez now has his triple-slash line up to .251/.366/.481 — with only nine more strikeouts than walks — as one of the younger hitters in the league. He’s never going to be a star athlete and he has one of those builds that tends to age quickly so it’s smart of the Jays to push his development along so they can enjoy his contributions during his peak seasons. Tellez could eventually possess a plus hit tool to go along with plus power. With both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion potentially leaving as free agents at year’s end, this prospect’s arrival could coincide nicely.

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

newest oldest most voted

Yep, things are getting Rowdy in New Hampshire.

Last 25gms: 107pa, 11.2b%, 16.8k%, .359avg, .326iso, 213wrc+

and he’s young for the level.