Saturday, February 28, 2015

Scouting the 2015 Draft: Triston McKenzie

Triston Mckenzie(spelled Tristan on a Google search but both BA and Kiley McDaniel spell it this way) is a tall drink of water at 6'5", 160 lbs.  Long loose arm.  Kiley says he sits 90 MPH now, but he has oodles of projectability.  Committed to Vandy so may be tough to sign.  BA has him ranked at #42 in its early draft rankings.  Kiley at Fangraphs has him at #46.

Hot Tip: Mac Williamson Interview

There is a transcript of a cool interview with Mac Williamson posted on The Will Candlestick linked over to the left.  Be sure to check it out.  If this kid has a great season in AA, the Giants future will be much brighter, not that it isn't bright now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fantasy Focus: 2015 Fantasy Prospects- Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson, OF.  DOB:  4/21/1992.  B-L, T-L.  6'1", 185 lbs.

2012 High A:  .313/.396/.516, 18 HR, 26 SB, 10.2 BB%, 16.2 K%, 499 PA.
2013 AA:        .278/.381/.497, 22 HR, 31 SB, 13.5 BB%, 22.0 K%, 519 PA.
2014 AAA:     .303/.435/.582, 33 HR, 30 SB, 18.1 BB%, 26.9 K%, 553 PA.
2014 MLB:     .143/.351/.143, 23.7 BB%, 28.9 K%, 38 PA.
2915 Steamer: .224/.310/.391, 20 HR, 17 SB, 10.3 BB%, 25.7 K%, 542 PA.

Joc Pederson is THE heir apparent in LA.  The Dodgers traded Matt Kemp to make room for him.  There is still Andre Ethier squawking about playing time, but Pederson is going to be the CF in LA in 2015 come hell or high water.  He's the only guy on the team who can handle CF defensively and he's an elite prospect whose time has come.  So, you should aggressively target him in your fantasy baseball draft, right?  Well, not so fast there!  Yes, that 30/30 season he put up in AAA is impressive even in the rarified air of Albuquerque, but take a look at the K% and look at the trends of his BB% and K% over the last 3 seasons.  Man, I don't know what's going on with that, but it does not look good to me!  There is a reason why Steamer is projecting a BA of .224, and even they are giving him a slightly lower K rate than he put up in AAA last year.  There are not a lot of prospects who are able to lower their K rate in their first year in the majors.  Pederson may well be the next Dodger superstar and beat on the Giants like a drum for the next 15 years, but I'm thinking there may be some lessons to learn in his first full MLB season.

Scouting the 2015 Draft: Garrett Whitley

Garrett Whitely is an name that popped up in the 2014 summer showcase events, particularly the Area Code games.  He hails from a small HS in the northeast which has never had a player drafted before.  In fact, prior to the Area Code games, he had never faced a 90 MPH fastball even from a pitching machine!  He stands 6'1", 195 lbs, B-R, T-R.  He has an athletic body with 5 tools.  He immediately adjusted to the increased velocity he faced in the showcase and had the second highest recorded bat exit speed of the even at 108.7 MPH, just 0.2 MPH lower than the highest reading.  He ran a 6.65 60.  The Perfect Game capsule summary says "great athlete" and "big bat speed."  BA has him ranked as the #41 draft prospect for 2015 while Kiley McDaniel has him at #38.  He profiles as a future CF.  I would say Torii Hunter is the comp from videos I saw.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fantasy Focus: 2015 Fantasy Prospects- Steven Souza

Steven Souza, OF.  DOB:  4/24/1989.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 225 lbs.

2012:  Low A:  .290/.346/.576, 17 HR, 7 SB, 7.5 BB%, 16.7 K%, 293 PA.
2012  High A:   .319/.421/.560, 6 HR, 7 SB, 12.1 BB%, 23.4 K%, 107 PA.
2013  AA:         .300/.396/.557, 15 HR, 20 SB, 12.7 BB%, 23.5 K%, 322 PA.
2014  AAA:      .350/.432/.590, 18 HR, 26 SB, 12.8 BB%, 18.4 K%, 407 PA.
2014 MLB:       .130/.231/.391, 2 HR, 11.5 BB%, 26.9 K%, 26 PA in 21 Games.
2015(Steamer):  .246/.313/.420, 18 HR, 19 SB, 8.3 BB%, 23.4 K%, 500 PA.

If you like to did around in baseball oriented websites looking for information on players the average fan has never heard of, then Steven Souza is your guy.  He is one of the more intriguing MLB ready prospects in all of baseball.  He was drafted in the 3'rd round out of HS in 2007 by the Nationals(were they even in Washington then?).  The bat took a long time to come around.  Finally, in 2012, his 6'th year in pro ball and his 5'th try at Low A ball, something clicked and he's been raking ever since.  He's player without any single outstanding tool or skill, but he also does not have any major weaknesses.  He has size, power and speed a combination that will get you somewhere if you can also hit for an adequate BA.  He is particularly coveted by sabermetrically oriented types.  The Rays reportedly targeted him for acquisition by trade right from the beginning of the offseason.  He was the guy they had to have in order to part with Wil Myers in the 3 way trade with San Diego and Washington.

The nice thing about Souza from a fantasy standpoint, is the Rays seem to love him enough that he is almost guaranteed a starting spot from the start of the season and probably won't have to platoon with anyone.  Projection systems peg him for close to a 20/20 season, albeit with some sacrifice of BA in the process.  Souza's ADP is 246 in Yahoo league standard drafts which puts him in round 20 in 12 team leagues.  His average cost in auction drafts is $1.1 which makes him completely replaceable.  If you end up dismayed because Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant are being bid up to dangerous levels in your draft, or come off the board way to early, think Steven Souza.  He likely won't cost much and the upside is right there.

BTW, Souza's current main claim to fame is his diving catch in left-CF to preserve Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter last year.

Scouting the 2015 Draft: Cornelius Randolph

Cornelius Randolph is a 6'1', 190 lb, B-L, T-R HS SS out of Georgia.  He does not have a SS body but has SS athleticism.  Ran a 6.94 60 and hit 92 MPH on an IF throw.  Likely won't be a SS in the majors, but like Yoan Moncada, he could move just about anywhere else.  With the arm and athleticism, 3B seems like a reasonable destination but 2B, 1B and OF are also possibilities.  He has an advanced feel at the plate with a short, quick swing with very little foot movement much like Joe Panik, but possibly with a lot more power potential than Panik. A couple of comments from the PG scouting report from the National Showcase:  "Short aggressive swing.  Ball jumps off bat."  "Quality swings agains good breaking balls from lefties."  I really like what I see of this kid.  The non-SS body will drop him in the draft into the supplemental first or 2'nd round.  Those are good spots to take a chance on high upside HS hitters and I wish the Giants would take some shots there.  BA has him ranked as the early #40 2015 draft prospect.  Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs has him at #44.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fantasy Focus: 2015 Fantasy Prospects- Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant, 3B.  Cubs.  DOB:  1/4/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'5", 215 lbs.

2014 AA:  .355/.458/.702, 22 HR, 8 SB, 14.5 BB%, 25.9 K%, 297 PA.
2014 AAA:  .295/.418/.619, 21 HR, 7 SB, 14.5 BB%, 28.6 K%, 297 PA.

We go back to the Cubs for another top fantasy prospect.  To say Kris Bryant destroyed minor league pitching last year is an understatement.  You can see the numbers for yourself.  The only question mark with him, much like Javier Baez last year is will he make enough contact?  Although his K rates are high, they are not quite as high as Baez'.  Whether that helps him avoid having to grab as much pine as Baez did last year remains to be seen.  Bryant is being routinely drafted in early fantasy drafts.  He's going to an average of about $7 in Yahoo auction drafts and in round 13 in standard drafts.  Bryant is all but a lock to play 3B for the Cubs at some point this year, probably sooner than later.  I mean, they traded Luis Valbuena in the offseason pretty much to clear the way for Bryant.  The only question is whether he will be the Opening Day 3B or have to spend the first 6-8 weeks of the season in the minors waiting to become a "super two."  If the Cubs are serious about making a run this year, and it looks like key may be, they should just start Bryant at 3B out of the gate.  If his draft value holds up, he is a solid risk at those levels.  I know I am planning on drafting him in my auction draft if I can keep the cost at $10 or less.