|A+ for These Guys||Tweet|
|The Kids are Alright|
|Written by Jason Ang|
|Friday, 27 April 2012 10:00|
A Look at the early risers in A+ ball. Might you be interested in a shortstop who stole over 100 bases last year?
Steven Proscia, SEA – 3B: Coming out of the University of Virginia, Proscia was drafted by the Mariners in the 7th round of last year’s draft and was placed in the California League. He more than held his own, hitting .303 with 12 homeruns, 42 RBI and three stolen bases in 185 at bats. The Mariners curiously left Proscia to repeat the California League, presumably to work on his overall approach at the plate, as he only walked four times last year. His walk rate is steadily improving (six walks in 66 at bats), but it’s his crazy power ratios (.273 ISO, 17 HR in 257 AB) that I can’t take my eyes off of.
Tommy La Stella, ATL – 2B: Drafted in the 8th round of last year’s draft, La Stella’s skill set is too good to ignore, despite him being a 23 year old in A+ ball. Drafted for his ability to get on base while in college, his skills have carried over to the professional level, as he shows an elite eye. Combine that with his curious power and speed trends, and you have a possible future stud whose value will be suppressed because of his age. A possible Dustin Ackley clone?
Nick Castellanos, DET – 3B: Ranked the 45th best prospect by Baseball America to begin the season, Castellanos will continue to climb up the prospect charts if he keeps raking like he’s doing this year. He’s currently hitting .403 with one homerun and 12 RBI. Projected to be a big time power hitter, the power hasn’t fully busted out yet. However, he continues to steadily improve his power ratios while showing he can be a middle of the lineup threat, hitting .389 with men in scoring position. It’s a good time to get him cheap.
Zach Lee, LAD - SP: The top Dodgers prospect was drafted out of high school and had a nice first season in the Midwest League last year, but early indications this season are that Lee’s taking a big step forward, in particular with his strikeouts. He currently owns a 1-1 record with a 2.95 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 1.3 BB/9 and 8.3 K/BB. Known for having excellent control when he was drafted in 2010, Lee’s repertoire features a fastball that averages in the low 90’s and can reach the high 90’s when needed. Standing at 6’4 and 190 lbs, there’s a small chance he gains a little more velocity on his fastball. Regardless, he’s looking like he could be a very solid compliment to franchise pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Yordano Ventura, KC - SP: He’s not a big pitcher by any means, but this 5’11, 140 lbs kid can post big-time strikeout numbers as evident in his last game where he struck out 10 batters in 4 2/3 innings. While it appears he’s having some control issues (0-1, 3.31 ERA, 14.5 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 3.3 K/BB), most of those issues were a result from the first two games. Ventura has impressive velocity to support the strikeout rate – his fastball sits in the mid 90’s and he can touch triple digits – but he’s still inconsistent with his secondary pitches (curveball and changeup). He’s been compared to Pedro Martinez (for his build and stuff), but as usual, anyone shorter than 6’0 will be questioned whether their ceiling is that of a #1 starter, or a closer.
Cody Buckel, Tex – SP: If you’re too lazy to do your own research for prospects to draft in your prospects draft, then just do a search for Texas Rangers prospects and take your pick. It seems the Rangers can do no wrong drafting players, and Buckel is no exception. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but has a full arsenal which includes a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup; all which lead to impressive numbers. For a guy that’s projected to be a back end starter, Buckel is posting front-end-starter numbers. After posting a 2.61 ERA last year with a 120:27 K/BB in 96 2/3 innings last year, he’s picked up where he left off, posting a 2-0 record with an 0.84 ERA, 12.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 & 3.6 K/BB in 21 1/3 innings pitched thus far.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 28 April 2012 09:10|