The baseball season is in full swing and prospects around baseball are already seeing their stock values start to shift up or down. Today we’re going to take a look at five names that you’re probably not overly familiar with right now but you might start hearing a lot more about them in the not-too-distant future.
Last Week: Prospect Stock Watch: April 24
Brian Anderson, 2B/3B, Marlins: This Brian Anderson is looking to become the third big leaguer of the same name. He’s played both second and third bases in pro ball. He’ll likely stick at the hot corner if he can show enough power to appease the traditional expectations of the position. Incumbent third baseman Martin Prado is signed through 2016 and Anderson is on a trajectory — dependent on his successes and failures in 2015 — to be MLB ready right around that time, although the club may need a one-year gap filler. The young hitter is holding his own at High-A ball in his first full professional season and will soon turn 22 years old. Eight of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases but his strikeout rate is above 20% so he’s got some work to do on making more consistent contact. [Value Steady]
Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers: The Dodgers have a successful little prospect factory going on. Corey Seager is probably going to be the next player to reach the Majors — followed by Julio Urias — but Verdugo could be worth the wait. A former two-way player in high school some teams preferred him as a left-handed pitcher and the split focus can often stunt the development of tools. That is not the case with Verdugo who had a monster debut in 2014 after being selected in the second round of the draft. He opened 2015 in Low-A ball as a teenager and is holding his own despite the unfavorable early-season conditions (also known as snow, rain and cold) in the Midwest League. Keep an eye on Verdugo. I’m willing to bet as the weather warms up, so too will this talented prospect. [Value Steady]
Gleyber Torres, SS, Cubs: The Cubs have doled out some serious change on the international free agent market in recent years and Torres could turn out to be their biggest success story (unless you consider Jorge Soler in this group). Just 18 (don’t underestimate the importance of this), the Venezuelan shortstop has 21 hits in just 19 games and is hitting .318 in full-season ball. Even more impressive is the fact that he has a 15.4% walk rate leading to an on-base percentage of .429… and he should be in his senior year of high school. The Cubs already have an eye-popping, talented young infield and it could get seriously better with the addition of Torres in about three years. [Value Up]
Joe Musgrove, RHP, Astros: A former supplemental first round draft pick back in 2011, injuries have derailed Musgrave’s career to this point. The big, strong hurler showed flashes of his old self in 2014 and earned a promotion to full-season ball in 2015 — for the first time in his now five-year career. Musgrave’s stuff is still good. He can dial the heater up to the mid-90s and shows potential in both his slider and changeup. He’s also a ground-ball machine, which caught my attention way back in 2012. His early success in 2015 should be taken with a grain of salt given his history with the doctor’s table but he’s still just 22 and could move quickly if he stays healthy. [Value Up]
Austin Kubitza, RHP, TIgers: Kubitza doesn’t have the highest ceiling but he has the benefit of playing for an organization that doesn’t have much in the way of starting pitching depth. With that said, he has all the tools necessary to be a successful pitchier in the Majors — except for the command/control. The right-hander is a well-built, durable pitcher who pounds the lower half of the zone when his control is on and he’s induced almost four ground-ball outs very every fly-ball out in his three-year career (171.1 innings). Now 23, he’s pitching at Double-A with a lot of early success and could be promoted to the Majors in 2015 if the Tigers run into injury issues — much like I predicted for Buck Farmer on the Tigers Top 15 Prospects list in 2014. [Value Up]
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.