It’s time for the bi-weekly look at under-the-radar hitting prospects. There seemed to be some confusion on the point of the rankings which is to find under promote good prospects. Today, I will try to clear up the and dive into a few hitters not represented on top-100 prospect lists.
The last time I ran this report, there was some questions on why some hitters were missing. After investing, I found out it’s was a database issue which missed some newly signed players, changed the position labeling, and mislabeled when players lost their rookie eligibility. I’ve made sure everyone is included but added a few adjustments.
- No positional adjustments are included in the final values.
- Some players who lost their rookie eligibility last season are included. If I don’t include these players, some player like Victor Robles would be excluded. I hope to have an answer to this issue soon.
Besides these changes, here is what the lists are and aren’t.
- A supplement to Eric’s and Kiley’s prospect rankings. This set utilizes stats, age, and some regression to find potential overlooked prospects before they start showing up on major prospect lists.
- A complete list of every prospect. Some will be missed. I don’t care as I’m digging for one-offs. The most likely reason for not being on the list is they haven’t performed, not played much (major factor), or have graduated to the majors. Major league results are also not included.
- The order doesn’t matter at all, at least to me. Why one person is #8 over some guy at #14 compared to other lists is irrelevant. These top prospects are already owned in most leagues. I feel the order only matters to desperate fan bases looking for some much-needed hope.
And now for the current rankings using 2017 and 2018 data.
|Rank||Name||Position||2017-2018 PA||Age||20-80 scale|
|1||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||3B||762||19||74|
|2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||OF||713||20||64|
|3||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||945||19||63|
Yusniel Diaz – Dodgers
The 21-year-old outfielder, like most player featured here, has an average profile. All of his future traits range from 45 to 55 with a 45 overall future grade.
His production has taken a step forward this year. In Double-A, he’s posting a .305/.415/.465 triple slash line with a 15% walk and strikeout rate. Additionally, he has eight stolen bases to go with his six dongs.
One issue keeping his value down is he’s can’t play center but doesn’t have the projectable power to play a corner spot. I’m not sure if he’s a must add in a dynasty league but is an interesting bat to track as he gets closer to the bigs.
Brandon Lowe – Rays
I’m going to have to rename my program 45-55 because that’s the only player types it digs up. The 23-year-old second baseman stock has really taken off this year. In Double and Triple-A, he’s hit .305/.405/.566 with 17 home runs and eight steals. He’s pretty much a dynasty must add at this point (if he’s not already). Since the Rays aren’t contending so he’ll continue to get fast-tracked to the majors.
I’m wondering if his skill grades are dated and he’s more of a 50 to 55-grade second baseman which is in line with a recent Eric Longenhagen quote on him.
… Lowe’s batted-ball profile is also changing, his ground-ball rate dropping from 42% to 35%. We had him projected as an average everyday player at second base, but it appears there might be another gear here.
He’s a hitter to keep an eye on.
Josh Ockimey – Red Sox
The 23-year-old first baseman is starting to develop an interesting profile. While drafted for his plus power, he’s developed a nice eye at the plate posting a walk over 10%. At times, the walk rate was boosted by intentional walks (nine in High-A last season) but he’s only had one this season in Double-A (17% BB%).
His power has not been elite and hampered by a strikeout rate between 25% to 30%. I’m not sure there is enough power for someone stuck at firstbase or as the DH. Maybe may be a Justin Upton-clone but at first base.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.