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Scouting the Stat Line – More High-Risk/Reward Highlights

The Dynasty Guru updates its peak performance leaderboards weekly. View the latest update here, updated through last week’s games.

The leaderboards present peak MLB wOBA for all players, minor and major leaguers. Peak MLB wOBA captures league difficulty, adjusting minor league performance from each league to the same major league baseline. It also adjusts for aging. These adjustments are derived from research done by Jordan Rosenblum.  Please see our debut introducing the leaderboards here.

If you’re interested in learning more about this research, please go here to read about Jordan’s MLB equivalency calculator.  This article also links to his four-part series of articles on the related research. Each week, Jordan and I are authoring a new piece to the “Scouting the State Line” series, highlighting interesting movement and players that we have recognized through analysis of this data.

On July 29th, Jesse Roche wrote about several impact players from the lower minors.  To save you the energy of reading about the same players again, I have chosen to highlight players that he did not feature.  He covered some very intriguing prospects, so please also consider reading through that here before you proceed!

Status of Previously Highlighted Prospects

Status: High: High-value target for fantasy leagues – should be a target in most dynasty leagues. Medium: Medium value target for fantasy leagues – worth consideration for very deep leagues. Low: Low-value target for fantasy leagues – consider other options.
Stock: Rising: Prospect stock is on an uptrend – keep a close eye on Medium-Risers as they soon may become high-value prospects. Neutral: Prospect stock has held steady – performance is similar to how it was when the prospect was highlighted. Falling: Prospect stock is dropping – beware of Medium-Falling prospects, there may be other options to start considering.

 

PROSPECT STATUS/STOCK PROSPECT STATUS/STOCK
Yordan Alvarez High-Neutral Gavin Lux High-Rising
Luis Robert High-Neutral Xavier Edwards High-Neutral
Wander Franco High-Neutral Ivan Herrera Medium-Neutral
Kyle Tucker High-Neutral Mario Feliciano Low-Falling
Alek Thomas Medium-Neutral Griffin Conine Medium-Falling
Dylan Carlson Medium-Neutral Diowill Burgos Medium-Neutral
Sam Huff Medium-Neutral Bryce Ball Medium-Neutral
Abraham Toro Medium-Neutral George Valera High-Neutral
Miguel Vargas Medium-Neutral Luisangel Acuna Medium-Neutral
Josh Ockimey Low-Falling Francisco Alvarez Medium-Neutral
Jarred Kelenic High-Falling Alexander Mojica Medium-Neutral
Drew Waters High-Neutral Marco Luciano High-Rising
Jake Fraley Medium-Neutral CJ Abrams High-Neutral
Nolan Jones High-Neutral Riley Greene High-Neutral

 

Below is a quick synopsis of what has happened with highlighted players since my last update:

  • Luis Robert continues validating his status as a top 5 prospect and will likely be hitting in the MLB by year-end.
  • Sam Huff seems to have adapted to high-A pitching and is now posting a respectable .277/.342/.471 slash line at that level.
  • As mentioned last update, Miguel Vargas continues displaying solid plate discipline in High-A, but so far the power splurge in Single-A before his promotion hasn’t translated.  Vargas is slugging a lowly .271 since being moved up levels.  Similarly, though to a lesser extent, Jarred Kelenic is struggling to adapt to the same level.
  • Gavin Lux has been on an absurd tear now for over a month, posting a slash line of .474/.553/.918 since his promotion to Triple-A.  I believe this streak has pushed Lux into top 10 prospect territory and there is little reason to believe that Lux won’t soon be demonstrating his skills at the MLB level.
  • Burgos was recently rewarded for his 1.206 OPS by a promotion to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. How his bat translates will go a long way to informing us on what his prospect status will look like going forward.
  • After approximately two weeks, almost all of the low-level prospects I highlighted two weeks ago continue to perform at high levels.  The longer they keep it up, the more it validates them as legitimate adds to dynasty rosters.  For now, I am keeping an eye on most of the “Medium” status prospects, though I will change my approach with some if they keep it up.

New Prospect Highlights

We’re still seeing a lot of new prospects enter the scene, particularly in the low minors.  Many of the prospects that I highlight today are relatively green and will come associated with some pretty extreme risk.

Kristian Robinson, ARI

Age: 18

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Lines: .322/.396/.584

Peak wOBA Projections: .463

Hailing from the Bahamas, the 18-year-old, 6-3, 190 lb. specimen who signed for over $2.5 million, is known for his raw power and his general athleticism.  After gracefully handling an aggressive rookie-level assignment in 2018 by slashing .279/.363/.428, Robinson appears to be having a breakout campaign this year in the Low-A Northwest League.  So far, he has boosted his OPS by nearly 200 points (from .791 to .978) while already hitting more home runs in 80+ fewer plate appearances.  Robinson currently ranks 4th on our projected peak wOBA scoreboard, behind two prospects in the midst of ludicrous seasons in the high minors, Luis Robert (#3) and Gavin Lux (#2), and one very young prospect currently mashing in the DSL (16-year-old Alexander Mojica remains in the #1 spot, with Marco Luciano is knocking on the door pending meeting the threshold of plate appearances eligibility).

Mason Martin, PIT

Age: 20

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Line: .262/.367/.580

Peak wOBA Projection: .393

A 17th round pick by the Pirates in 2017, Martin has flashed serious power since joining the club.  Despite only mustering a .220 batting average across two levels in 2018, Martin still managed to hit 14 home runs.  This season, he has cut down on his strikeout rate (from 35.8% in Single-A in 2018, down to 25.3% in High-A this year) while maintaining a similar, slightly improved walk rate. This has led to an increased batting average while allowing his power to play in games more.  As a result, Martin has mashed a low minors-leading 28 home runs in 2019.  Unlike Kelenic and Vargas above, Martin has handled his promotion from A to High-A well, slightly increasing his already-good slash line from .262/.361/.575 to .262/.400/.607.  If the improved plate discipline is for real, Martin could be a high-rising power-bat anchoring the middle of the Pirates lineup.

Luis Campusano, SDP

Age: 20

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Line: .322/.390/.508

Peak wOBA Projection: .389

The 2nd round pick of the Padres in 2017, Campusano is turning out to be another standout prospect in a stacked farm system and has been getting better as the season has progressed.  In his last 16 games, Campusano has put together an impressive .358/.390/.547 slash line.  On the season, the 20-year-old has also demonstrated strong plate discipline, with 35 walks compared to 45 strikeouts.  Pair his offensive output with a strong, accurate throwing arm, and you have one of the league’s better catching prospects.  If he can break into the Padres’ major league team in the next couple years, he could be someone to hold down the catcher spot on your fantasy squad for several years.

Benyamin Bailey, CHW

Age: 17

Level: DSL

Season Slash Line: .356/.511/.470

Peak wOBA Projection: .428

A relatively unknown prospect starting the year, Bailey has started making some noise as the season has progressed due to his contact and on-base skills.  Advanced metrics adore Bailey due to a Barry Bonds-like OBP over .500 on the back of a 42:29 BB/K ratio and he currently ranks 12th on our peak wOBA leaderboards (none of the players highlighted below have enough plate appearances to qualify yet).  Bailey has also flashed some talent on the basepaths, swiping 10 bags while only being caught once.  On the flip side, he has not shown a tremendous amount of power, with only one home run in 180 plate appearances.  It remains to be seen how much of his approach will translate to success at higher levels, but Bailey has established himself as a prospect to keep an eye on and is perhaps worth taking a flyer on in deeper leagues.

Victor Bericoto, SFG

Age: 17

Level: DSL

Season Slash Line: .339/.477/.458

Peak wOBA Projection: .403

Another player in the Dominican Summer League that has demonstrated strong plate discipline, the young first baseman and outfielder with the Giants has coupled his impressive .477 OBP with 3 home runs and 7 stolen bases in 214 plate appearances.  Bericoto has really stepped up his production over the past two weeks, posting a batting average over .500 (.512) in a period that saw him string together 4 straight games with over 3 hits and 6 multi-hit games in total.  Bericoto will need to add some weight to his frame as he progresses through the minor leagues, as his profile currently lists him at just 155 lbs.  However, at just 17 years old, there is still plenty of time for him to add more size to his frame.

Eduardo Garcia, NYM

Age: 17

Level: DSL

Season Slash Line: .313/.450/.469

Peak wOBA Projection: .425

At barely 17 years old (Garcia’s birthday was on July 10th), Garcia is the youngest player on the list today.  That didn’t prevent MLB Pipeline from ranking the Venezuelan as the 24th best international player from the 2017 class and he was eventually signed by the Brewers for $1.1 million.  While the general consensus is that Garcia’s defense is his calling card, MLB Pipeline had this to say about his offense:

Garcia is not considered a “big power guy,” but the belief is that he will build on his doubles and gap power. Scouts also like his hitting mechanics — the way his hands and lower half work in during his swing — and his approach at the plate.

Early signs indicate that Garcia’s bat may have been a little underrated.  While he only has 40 plate appearances on the season, Garcia does have a home run to go along with a solid slash line and ratios.  Garcia is yet another youngster to keep an eye on for now.

Pedro Martinez, CHC

Age: 18

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Line: .376/.447/.530

Peak wOBA Projection: .413

After facing little resistance in the DSL as a 17-year-old, Martinez was moved up to Arizona League to start this season, where he only stepped things up, improving his slash line across the board and posting .352/.417/.519 marks.  The Cubs rewarded his performance with a promotion to the Northwest League and in his first few games, the results have been more of the same.  While he won’t bring a ton of power to the table, Martinez does have some serviceable speed.  If he continues with his early performance in the Northwest League, Martinez will start becoming a known commodity.  My suggestion is to watch his performance closely over the next couple of weeks.

Alexander Ovalles, TEX

Age: 18

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Line: .355/.418/.587

Peak wOBA Projection: .429

Following a path eerily similar to Martinez, Ovalles put together a strong performance last year in the DSL as a 17-year-old.  As a result, he was rewarded with a move to to the Arizona League to start this season where he continued to hit and was recently promoted to the Northwest League.  In contrast to Martinez, Ovalles has struggled some in his first few games, which has brought his stellar OPS down to 1.009 (it was 1.059 before he left the rookie-level behind).  Ovalles has a slightly larger frame than Martinez that may possess a bit more power, but he is not likely to give you as much on the base paths.

Juan Aparicio, PHI

Age: 19

Level: Single-A

Season Slash Line: .374/.446/.570

Peak wOBA Projection: .456

Aparicio put together a solid campaign in 2018, albeit in only 119 plate appearances (.339/.378/.518).  This year the Phillies moved the young catching prospect up to the New York-Pennsylvania League, where he has improved across the board, resulting in a 1.016 OPS on the season.  Aparicio’s improvement can largely be attributed to improving plate discipline, one of his most glaring weaknesses in 2018, though he still has ample room for improvement there. Aparicio is another interesting young player to add to your watch list.

Darryl Collins, KCR

Age: 17

Level: Rookie

Season Slash Line: .371/.445/.505

Peak wOBA Projection: .433

A 17-year-old from Spijkenisse in the Netherlands, Collins came into the season as an unknown prospect.  He has turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the Royals though, hitting over .400 for his first 22 games as a professional before finally coming down to earth.  Despite the hot start and the solid season slash line, the 6’2, 185 lb. prospect has no home runs and no stolen bases on the season (caught stealing twice).  The stats seem to indicate that he has practically no speed, yet somehow Collins has amassed 5 triples in less than 120 plate appearances.  Though they’re scarce, scouting reports indicate that Collins possesses a good-looking stroke with line-drive power.  He may have one of the more interesting profiles that I have come across all season, and for that reason alone he has caught my attention and is worth keeping an eye on.

The Author

Ross Jensen

Ross Jensen

Ross has been an avid fantasy baseball player and League Manager for over a decade. Ross's fantasy approach is to build league powers is through hunting down talented minor leaguers and targeting players on the verge of breakout based on a variety of metrics, statistical analysis, and assumptions.

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