Prospect Stock Watch: Torrens, Watson, Hoyt

Today at the Prospect Stock Watch we take a look at a Yankees sleeper prospect, a struggling top draft pick and a reliever stuck in triple-A who could probably be a set-up man for a big league club right now.

Luis Torrens | C | Yankees
ETA: 2019
Value: Slowly rising

If you want a deep sleeper to invest in, or just to keep an eye on, Torrens is your man. He’d very likely already be in high-A ball at the age of 20 if it weren’t for injury issues over the past two years. Back now and healthy after labrum surgery in 2015, the young catcher hit very well in 12 short-season games to earn a quick promotion to low-A ball. He shows a solid understanding of pitchers and a good eye at the plate, which has allowed him to post a 9-8 BB-K rate so far this year. He’s still learning to drive the ball consistently but he could have at least average power and a better-than-average hit tool for a catcher. If he can avoid the DL, look for Torrens (with the far superior defensive skills) — not Gary Sanchez — to be the Yankees’ catcher of the future.

Nolan Watson | RHP | Royals
ETA: 2019
Value: Slipping

Selected 33rd overall in 2015 by the Royals, this teenager has had a rough ride during his first full year in pro ball after forgoing a scholarship to Vanderbilt University. Watson currently sports an 8.06 ERA through 17 starts in low-A ball. The struggles have come from too many hits (91 in 67 innings) and too few missed bats (just 44 Ks). The right-hander’s control hasn’t been bad (27 walks) but his control has been, which helps to explain the hits and the home runs (14). Once he figures things out, Watson could potentially flash three to four plus pitches so the Royals will continue to be patient with him.

James Hoyt | RHP | Astros
ETA: Any day now
Value: Maxed

Teams around baseball continue to struggle with their bullpens but the Astros are sitting on a hidden asset thanks to their better-than-average pen. Hoyt has pitched very well in triple-A and boasts a 1.74 ERA with just 24 hits allowed in 46.2 innings. He’s also walked just 16 batters and struck out 79. The right-hander has two dominating pitches in his fastball and slider. At 29 years of age (a late bloomer and veteran of the indy leagues), Hoyt’s value isn’t going to get any higher and he’s not getting any younger so the Astros really need to consider taking advantage of his successes sooner rather than later — either through a promotion or a trade.

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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