It’s time for my latest computer based pitching prospects. In my last article, there was some confusion on how the rankings are to be used. Here’s a breakdown of what the rankings are and aren’t.
- A supplement to Eric’s and Kiley’s prospect rankings. This set utilizes stats, age, role, 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.
As for this pitcher ranking, I tinkered around with the setting and put a little less weight on age for level and more on results. I missed Chris Paddack and I want to include similar pitchers. While Paddack still didn’t make the list, he moved up the rankings (lack of playing time an issue).
|16||Enyel De Los Santos||977||22||50.8|
The reason the 21-year-old lefty made this list was his 9.8 K/9 in 16 Double-A starts. Before the season, Eric Longenhagen wrote the following on him.
A quick-armed lefty, Cabrera was up to 95 for me in the fall and has some changeup feel. He displays significant mechanical variation, and I put a 30 on his breaking ball. He projects as a reliever for me right now, but there’s rare arm acceleration here for a lefty, and I think he could have an impact changeup one day.
Cabrera’s delivery and stuff position him for a future bullpen role. His delivery is too difficult to repeat consistently but the juice on his future-plus fastball gives him some rope out of the pen., particularly when he locates it down, and the slider, while not a bat-misser, gives him an average secondary that will play in middle relief. There’s more than a LOOGY here, as the fastball runs away from righties enough for me to trust him for full-inning work.
Basically, it’s the same report, a one pitch lefty. His chances of producing at the major league level are thin. He’s a hard pass for me.
The 22-year-old righty, has been having a strong season in Triple-A with a 1.81 ERA and 8.6 K/9. The last report from FanGraphs have him with three average pitches (92-95 mph fastball, change, and curveball).
… garnering swings and misses on his 92-95 mph fastball both within the strike zone and above it and with his fading changeup. De Los Santos also has a solid-average curveball that he can bend into the zone for cheap, early-count strikes the third time through the lineup, but he’s becoming more adept at burying it in the dirt when he’s ahead. He generally lives in the strike zone and is a good bet to start; the only knock I’ve heard from scouts is that the stuff plays down due to poor extension, which might explain the modest strikeout rate despite good reports on the stuff.
From this season, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported on De Los Santos and the curve may be a slider.
“He’s pounded the strike zone with a well above-average fastball,” Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan said Saturday. “His slider has continued to get better. He’s had a good feel for a changeup since he’s got here. He’s been a pleasant, pleasant surprise, just from the standpoint that I didn’t expect him to be maybe quite as polished, quite as calm and confident.”
I love to target pitchers like De Los Santos in dynasty leagues. He’s off top-100 list but on the team’s top-30’s so he may be under the radar for most owners. He’s near the majors so we’ll know soon if he has the endurance and ability to make it in the majors. Finally, he has a developed arsenal and doesn’t rely on one gimmick. I’m all for owning him where available.
The 22-year-old righty is performing OK for the Marlins Triple-A team (4.24 ERA, 8.8 K/9). This production may be a bit of a letdown after he posted a 10 K/9 and 3.48 ERA in four starts last season with the Cardinals Triple-A team.
Gallen has four average pitches (91-mph fastball, curve, change, and cutter) and average command. Mr. Average meets the same criteria as De Los Santos in that his owners won’t have to wait long for him to make his major league debut.
His 4.24 ERA doesn’t bother me as he currently has a .370 BABIP. The biggest issue with Gallen was that both his walks and strikeouts took a major step backward. Gallen is a step behind De Los Santos for me, mainly based on his 2018 struggles. If he gets a major league call-up, I’m interested in adding him to see if he’s made an improvement to warrant the promotion.
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.