Today’s prospect stock watch focuses on a name that’s been mentioned in trade talks, a prospect with a skill set that generates polarizing views, and a sleeper prospect that you’ve probably never heard of — but should get to know.
Tanner Scott | LHP | Orioles
Scott’s name has been bandied about throughout the July as the Orioles continue to look for ways to improve their club. And it’s understandable why clubs would be intrigued. The southpaw can hit triple-digits with his heater — a rare feat for a left-handed pitcher. However, the reliever — and 2014 6th round draft pick — faces a significant challenge to improve his control. He’s walked 47 batters in 50.2 innings this year between single-A and double-A. Relievers can often survive plus control but Scott will need to develop at least average control if he’s going to develop into a high-leverage reliever. As we’ve seen with players like the Yankees’ Andrew Miller, it can take quite some time for this to happen.
Raimel Tapia | OF | Rockies
Tapia has been hanging around the fringes of the Top 100 prospects in baseball for a couple of years now and he’s also now close to making his MLB debut. Currently in double-A, the young outfielder is hitting .331 and making a ton of contact (just 47 Ks in 98 games — a significant increase over past years). The downside to his game, though, is his aggressive nature (25 walks) which puts more on his ability to hit for average. Tapia, 22, also has a very thin frame and that prevents him from driving the ball on a consistent bases. His lack of instincts in the outfield will likely limit him to a corner outfield position on most nights so the lack of impact power hurts his value. His lack of feel for base running also hurts his value because he gets caught a lot despite good speed. The thin air in Colorado should help Tapia’s power numbers so — unless he adds significant (positive) bulk — he’s value will be highest with the Rockies and will take a hit if he’s traded.
Jahmai Jones | OF | Angels
If you want a deep sleeper to monitor for your dynasty league, Jones should be your man. A 2015 second round pick, he comes from a football background and was considered a very raw athlete when he entered pro ball. Jones, still just 18, has made huge strides in the past year and is currently hitting .322 with a strikeout rate of just 13.1% — a very impressive number. He’s even taking more walks than the average teenaged hitter. He has the tools to play a plus center field, the speed to steal 30+ bases and the raw power (and frame) to hit double-digit home runs. This is one player the Angels will want to hang on to — or one player other teams should covet in any or all trade discussions.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.