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Monthly Prospect Update: Pitchers, July 2018

Each month, The Dynasty Guru will provide a prospect update that includes notable performances (good and bad), assignments, promotions, trades, injuries, and suspensions. Most importantly, the monthly update will examine prospects with increasing and decreasing fantasy value, from the elite to the obscure.

At the beginning of July, TDG reviewed June performances for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. In addition, TDG updated the Top 500 Dynasty League Players, including 145 prospects. Since early July, several notable prospects exceeded rookie limits and others arrived in the majors. As this update only reviews performances for one month, please note this bright, flashing warning: SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!

Notable Pitching Prospect Performances

The Graduates

Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians. A command and control artist, Bieber has only issued 10 walks in 51 1/3 innings (4.5%). Unfortunately, many of his strikes are hit and hit hard (44.7%). In fact, his fastball plays well below-average (.227 ISO), despite its good velocity (93 mph). However, some of his mixed performance is due to bad luck (.373 BABIP and 69.1 LOB%). Further, his slider and curveball are above-average, and his slider elicits an impressive 27.2% whiffs. With better luck and more reliance on his secondaries (except his firm change-up), Bieber likely is a solid, mid-rotation starter.

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves. Unlike Bieber, Fried struggles with control, with 16 walks in just 25 2/3 innings this year (14.8%). However, his fastball (93 mph) and curveball are effective, above-average pitches. Ultimately, Fried may fit best as a multi-inning reliever, similar to Josh Hader.

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers. Wild and unorthodox, Peralta so far is sandwiching good starts with stinkers (as I predicted!). Given his diminutive size (5’10”), violent delivery, heavy fastball reliance (77.2%), and excessive walks (13.5%), he likely will remain an unpredictable commodity. Like Fried, Peralta fits best as a multi-inning reliever.

Others of Note:

  • Caleb Ferguson, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Austin Gomber, St. Louis Cardinals

The Major League Pitching Prospect

Jalen Beeks, Tampa Bay Rays. A finesse left-handed pitcher, Beeks relies on a five-pitch mix (fastball, cutter, slider, curveball, and change-up) to confound opposing hitters. Unfortunately, his deep repertoire has found little success against major league hitters. It is unlikely his stuff will elicit the same amount of swing-and-miss (33% strikeouts). However, Beeks could develop into a reliable, 4- or 5-starter.

Ryan Borucki, Toronto Blue Jays. Due to an above-average to plus change-up, Borucki’s modest arsenal (92 mph fastball and slider) plays up. As such, he has six quality starts in just seven total starts (2.30/1.26 ERA/WHIP). The shiny start likely will not last, with a poor strikeout rate (16.5%) and 4.30 expected fielding independent pitching. Nevertheless, Borucki is a solid, but unspectacular, innings-eating 4- or 5-starter.

Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins. Like Borucki, Lopez relies on an excellent change-up to allow his 93 mph fastball and average curveball to play up. Although he has not found as much success as Borucki, he is an extremely comparable pitcher.

Others of Note:

  • Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Chance Adams, New York Yankees
  • Daniel Poncedeleon, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Thyago Vieira, Chicago White Sox
  • Ariel Jurado, Texas Rangers
  • Yency Almonte, Colorado Rockies

The Rising Pitching Prospect

DL Hall, Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles selected prep pitching prospect DL Hall in the first round of the 2017 draft. A brief, up-and-down debut and the attrition rate of prep left-handed pitchers left him off many prospect lists. This year, Hall received a fairly aggressive assignment to Low-A, where he has impressed. Over his last nine starts, he has allowed just 3 earned runs and 22 hits in 41 2/3 innings with a 52-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hall relies on a low-to-mid-90s fastball, an above-average curveball, and a promising change-up. Although his control is below-average at present, he projects to average or above.

Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers. The former reliever is flourishing in his transition to a starting role. Over his last eight starts, Gonsolin has a 69-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in just 45 innings. Further, his repertoire matches his performance, with a mid-90s fastball and two above-average secondaries (splitter and curveball). Earlier this month, the Dodgers promoted Gonsolin to Double-A.

Others of Note:

  • Carlos Hernandez, Kansas City Royals (1.85/1.15 ERA/WHIP, 24 1/3, 28/7 K/BB)
  • Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox (2.78/1.01 ERA/WHIP, 35 2/3 IP, 37/11 K/BB)
  • Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays (1.04/0.81 ERA/WHIP, 26 IP, 24/4 K/BB, promoted to Triple-A)
  • Michael King, New York Yankees (2.31/0.94 ERA/WHIP, 35 IP, 34/4 K/BB)
  • Darwinzon Hernandez, Boston Red Sox (1.71/1.36 ERA/WHIP, 31 2/3 IP, 42/18 K/BB)
  • Tyler Phillips, Texas Rangers (1.93/0.86 ERA/WHIP, 28 IP, 33/4 K/BB)
  • Edwin Uceta, Los Angeles Dodgers (1.72/1.02 ERA/WHIP, 31 1/3 IP, 33/6 K/BB)
  • Roansy Contreras, New York Yankees (1.88/0.80 ERA/WHIP, 28 2/3 IP, 24/8 K/BB, promoted to Low-A)
  • Brandon Bailey, Houston Astros (0.00/0.82 ERA/WHIP, 22 IP, 25/4 K/BB)
  • Wyatt Marks, Oakland Athletics (0.87/0.87 ERA/WHIP, 31 IP, 36/9 K/BB, promoted to High-A)
  • Denyi Reyes, Boston Red Sox (1.85/0.65 ERA/WHIP, 34 IP, 30/0 K/BB)

The Good

Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics. Since early June, Luzardo has been unhittable in Double-A, allowing just 3 earned runs and 24 hits over his last 46 innings! Consequently, the Athletics promoted him to Triple-A to start August.

Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox. After a disastrous, wild stretch, Kopech is starting to settle down. Over his last four starts, he has a stellar 32-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. When Kopech is under control, he is masterful, with an elite repertoire.

Justus Sheffield, New York Yankees. Like Luzardo, Sheffield has been dominant since late June, allowing one earned run or less in six straight starts. This year, he has limited opposing hitters to a .191 batting average. With little left to prove in Triple-A, Sheffield likely will join the Yankees for the stretch run.

Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres. In early July, the Padres promoted Paddack to Double-A. In his first five starts, he has allowed just 4 earned runs and 11 hits in 27 2/3 innings with a sparkling 27-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.30/0.51 ERA/WHIP). On the year, Paddack has issued just 7 walks in 80 innings!

Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Indians. A delayed start due to forearm soreness is firmly in the rear-view mirror. This past month, McKenzie breezed through Double-A (1.77/0.93 ERA/WHIP, 35 2/3 IP, 34/12 K/BB). However, his long-awaited velocity gains have yet to manifest and he issued 5 home runs during the month.

Others of Note:

  • Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves (2.33/1.00 ERA/WHIP, 27 IP, 21/7 K/BB, promoted to Triple-A)
  • Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves (0.82/0.77 ERA/WHIP, 22 IP, 32/4 K/BB)
  • Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox (1.20/0.93 ERA/WHIP, 30 IP, 42/11 K/BB)
  • Touki Toussaint, Atlanta Braves (1.78/1.07 ERA/WHIP, 25 1/3 IP, 24/10 K/BB, promoted to Triple-A)
  • Corbin Martin, Houston Astros (1.97/0.94 ERA/WHIP, 32 IP, 32/6 K/BB)
  • Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (2.78/1.06 ERA/WHIP, 22 2/3 IP, 27/12 K/BB, promoted to High-A)
  • Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers (3.05/0.87 ERA/WHIP, 41 1/3 IP, 35/5 K/BB)
  • Stephen Gonsalves, Minnesota Twins (0.88/0.85 ERA/WHIP, 30 2/3 IP, 24/9 K/BB)
  • Tony Santillan, Cincinnati Reds (1.54/1.11 ERA/WHIP, 35 IP, 38/8 K/BB, promoted to Double-A)
  • Joey Wentz, Atlanta Braves (0.43/0.86 ERA/WHIP, 21 IP, 17/3 K/BB, out since July 19th)
  • Josh James, Houston Astros (3.42/0.99 ERA/WHIP, 26 1/3 IP, 45/15 K/BB, 11 H)
  • Logan Allen, San Diego Padres (2.51/0.80 ERA/WHIP, 32 1/3 IP, 27/5 K/BB)
  • Taylor Widener, Arizona Diamondbacks (2.76/0.98 ERA/WHIP, 32 2/3 IP, 41/12 K/BB)
  • Bryse Wilson, Atlanta Braves (0.84/0.84 ERA/WHIP, 32 1/3 IP, 42/7 K/BB)
  • Sean Reid-Foley, Toronto Blue Jays (2.60/0.89 ERA/WHIP, 34 2/3 IP, 36/9 K/BB)
  • Luis Patino, San Diego Padres (1.82/0.89 ERA/WHIP, 24 2/3 IP, 28/8 K/BB)

The Bad

Franklin Perez, Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately, this year is a lost season for Perez. The season started late due to a right lat strain. Then, upon his return to High-A this month, he struggled, allowing 10 earned runs, 8 walks, and 15 hits in just 11 1/3 innings. Finally, a diagnosis of right shoulder inflammation prematurely ended his season.

Alec Hansen, Chicago White Sox. Like Perez, Hansen had a delayed start to the season (forearm soreness) and struggled upon his return. In fact, he lost all semblance of control, walking 42 over 35 2/3 innings, including 16 over his last 5 1/3 innings. The White Sox promptly demoted Hansen to High-A.

Others of Note:

  • Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates (7.99/1.90 ERA/WHIP, 23 2/3 IP, 30/14 K/BB, in Triple-A)
  • Cal Quantrill, San Diego Padres (8.51/1.89 ERA/WHIP, 24 1/3 IP, 18/10 K/BB, 6 HRA)
  • David Peterson, New York Mets (8.05/1.89 ERA/WHIP, 19 IP, 14/5 K/BB)
  • Luis Medina, New York Yankees (7.98/2.25 ERA/WHIP, 14 2/3 IP, 18/16 K/BB)
  • Reggie Lawson, San Diego Padres (11.10/2.14 ERA/WHIP, 24 1/3 IP, 20/9 K/BB, 6 HRA)

Additional Pitching Prospect Notes

  • Forrest Whitley is on the disabled list with a mild oblique strain.
  • The Phillies shut down Sixto Sanchez with right elbow inflammation. Given Sanchez’s slight frame and power arm, Dr. Mike Tanner notes “you may as well bake in a year off for Tommy John into any future projection.”
  • First overall pick Casey Mize is already up to High-A and threw three-scoreless innings in his debut.
  • Hunter Greene suffered a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is out for the season.
  • J.B. Bukauskas returned to action in late June and is performing well in July (17 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 23/5 K/BB).
  • Oscar De La Cruz received an 80-game suspension and will miss the rest of the season.
  • Monthly Jose Albertos walk watch: 18 in 7 1/3 innings. Now, 58 walks in just 28 1/3 innings!
  • Other notable trades: Dillon Tate (NYY to BAL), Jorge Alcala (HOU to MIN), Hector Perez (HOU to TOR), David Paulino (HOU to TOR), Jhoan Duran (ARI to MIN), and Kodi Medeiros (MIL to CHW).
  • Other notable injuries: Seth Romero (forearm inflammation), Erick Fedde (shoulder soreness), JoJo Romero (strained oblique), Kyle Funkhouser (fractured foot tripping on sidewalk, out for the season), and Sam Carlson (Tommy John surgery).

Please feel free to post comments, questions, or your own observations!

On Wednesday, I will update the Top 240 Fantasy Prospects. Stay tuned!

Follow me on Twitter @jaroche6

The Author

Jesse Roche

Jesse Roche

Jesse is an attorney, currently residing in Greensboro. An avid fantasy baseball player, Jesse has experience in a diverse range of leagues, including head-to-head, rotisserie, points, and simulation. Jesse is a five-time website-wide champion at Benchwarmer Baseball and a repeat champion of a dynasty league with John Sickels at Minor League Ball. With a specific interest in baseball prospects, Jesse plans to provide in-depth analysis of up-and-coming stars accessible to all league sizes and types.

1 Comment

  1. Nick Doran
    August 12, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I love these updates Jesse. Keep them coming!

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