Prospect Stock Watch: Swanson, Bregman, Rodgers

We’re back with another edition of the Prospect Stock Watch. Today — in honor of the upcoming 2016 amateur draft — we’re catching up with three highly-coveted shortstops from the 2015 draft.

Dansby Swanson | Braves | SS
ETA: late 2016
Value: Rising steadily

Arizona nabbed Swanson with the first overall pick in the 2015 draft but flipped him later that winter to Atlanta in the ill-fated Shelby Miller deal (Or is it too early to judge the deal this harshly?). The change in address hasn’t hindered the young shortstop at all. After opening 2016 in high-A ball, he recently moved up to double-A and he’s producing a triple-slash of .299/.382/.474 in 24 games. Swanson, 22, likely won’t be a power-hitter but he has the pop in his bat to hit 30-40 doubles and eight to 10 homers, with enough speed to add another base or two to 20-30 hits via the steal. Veteran shortstop Erick Aybar is having a down-right-terrible season at the big league level so don’t be shocked to see Swanson in some big league action before the year is out. Another talented shortstop, Ozzie Albies, is also in the system and playing at triple-A but he’s been overmatched at that level as a 19 year old.

Alex Bregman | Astros | SS
ETA: summer of 2016
Value: Skyrocketing

Taken at No. 2 in the 2015 amateur draft — right behind Dansby Swanson — Bregman has had the narrow edge in pro ball. The young shortstop is showing just a little bit more feel for hitting than his draft-mate — and with more power. An injury kept him on the shelf for a short period this season but he’s still managed to slug 12 home runs in 33 games and is among the leaders in the minors. Toss in the fact he’s got a BB-K rate of 18-12 and a .333 batting average and you have an exceptional season for Bregman so far. And the league has yet to adjust to him; he’s hitting .381 with five home runs in his last 10 games. With a 21-year-old phenom already entrenched at shortstop in Houston, look for the Bregman to shift over to the hot corner to take over for the disappointing Luis Valbuena and overrate Colin Moran (He’s played five errorless games at the position recently).

Brendan Rodgers | Rockies | SS
ETA: 2019
Value: Steadily Rising

Since we’re having so much fun, let’s continue to talk 2015 draftees. Taken third overall by the Rockies behind two college shortstops — Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman — Rodgers has performed exceptionally well for a teenager. He has an OPS of more than 1.000 to go with a .346 batting average and seven home runs in 32 games at the low-A ball level. His eye at the plate needs some further development — as witnessed by his BB-K rate of 11-22 but his strikeout rate of 15.3% is reasonable considering the amount of power he’s been producing. Just imagine what kind of pop he might produce when he gains a little more man-strength and starts playing half his games in Colorado. With rookie shortstop Trevor Story playing very well in The Show, the Rockies front office could have a very good “problem” on its hands in a few years. Tulo who?





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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skantor
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skantor

Who arrives first in Houston, Bregman or AJ Reed? Which do you see as the better contributor?

Sleepy
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Sleepy

Bregman’s gotta be up first, right? Tyler White’s been competent in Houston, and Bregman’s currently laying waste to AA pitching.

Goldsteins_Tool_Fedora
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Goldsteins_Tool_Fedora

I honestly thought Bregman was going to go on the road trip with Houston last night… Valbuena is hitting, but he can shift to 1b. White is a liability with the glove right now. A Marwin Gonzalez / Luis Valbuena platoon, with Bregman at 3b seems likely by the end of June. Bregman is now playing consecutive games at 3b.

OddBall Herrera
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OddBall Herrera

I would be surprised at this point if they bring him up before super 2. They may as well evaluate Moran and get that extra year of control at the same time.

JediHoyer
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JediHoyer

They have the extra year of control. Its one less year of arb.