Part Three of the series has arrived. We will be on top of five new players, including three pitchers and two hitters. You’ll likely recognize one of the players who I’m a fan of (and have frequently expressed that) as well as some other guys who I recently have been high on after talking with others. For experienced readers, you can skip the next descriptive paragraphs about the goal of the series.
Some have asked for some Non-Top 100 sleeper prospects, and for being a deeper league site we have to be able to denote some of these players. They won’t be any of the Honorable Mentions either. Now, I’m going to try to cover some of the “closer” guys (aka guys with at least 50 AB or 15 IP in AA) as well as some guys who are farther away than that (less than those totals). This should give a good balance of players for the short term and long term.
Here’s the thing: I’m only going to post on guys who I haven’t mentioned in previous 2013 posts. Yes, that means that I won’t be counting any players who are listed under the “Missed Players” article for the Top 100, nor will I have any of the Top 20 First Year prospects on the list. I’ve already talked about them and mentioned them. If you have a question about any name, feel free to ask it in the comments. Here I’m touching on guys who I think can make an impact above their current rank or common value. They are my “sleepers” for 2013 and beyond.
I’m going to start by doing five writeups per article, and see how many players I can post on. I think there will likely be FOUR parts to this series, but we’ll see what other material I come up with. Currently, I have 20 guys who I think I can write about, or at least try to, so we’ll see how that goes. The blurbs won’t be super long, but they’ll be enough to get the gist of why I like the player. I have 11 “FAR” guys and 9 “CLOSE” guys, so I’m aiming for a pretty even split. Also, evenly divided 10 pitchers and hitters, so you’ll get 2 or 3 of each in each section. Well, enough rambling, let’s go!
HITTERS (level is highest level with 50+ AB)
Rougned Odor (2B, TEX, Low-A) - Odor is one of my favorites for under the radar prospects, as most of the frequent readers know. He’s a 2B for sure, not a SS moving off. But he’s defensively good enough to hold down the spot. His walks are below average (5.3%) but his strikeouts are also way down (13.8%). He’s young and still in Low-A ball, but in 2012 he ended up hitting 10 HR and swiping 19 bases, OPSing .714. His wRC+ was 97, which isn’t bad for an up the middle defender, especially at his age (18), which is 3 years younger than Low-A average. The Rangers are aggressive with their prospects, and I think you’ll see Odor in High-A in 2013. He doesn’t get too much press because of the toolsy stars of the Rangers youngins (Gallo, Brinson, Williams, Sardinas, etc.) but I think in any other system he’d be a clear Top-100 choice. Oddly enough, he profiles similar to someone like Profar, because he’s advanced and polished without any super elite tools. I’m a big fan of his though, keep a watch for him on your Top 100 lists next season.
Garin Cecchini (3B, BOS, Low-A) - Cecchini caught my eye when John Sickels went out of his way to rank him a B+ grade prospects, higher than Mason Williams (B, borderline B+) and others that I have on my Top 100 list. He later refined it to a grade B, but the point remains about him. In Low-A in 2012, Garin hit 4 homers but swiped 51 bases. He walked at a fantastic rate and struck out around league average. His wRC+ in 2012 was a fantastic 130! I can see why he got some love. His upside is that of an All-Star 3B, but it won’t be orthodox by any means. Hitting over .300 is no small feat, and I think that he can develop into a nice player for the Sox. Where he plays is still in question (thanks to Middlebrooks and X-Man) but that won’t factor in until around 2015, and things change. He’s got good upside and likely should be an Honorable Mention on my next list, with much higher potential.
PITCHERS (level is highest level with 15+ IP)
Adam Morgan (RHP, PHI, AA) - Adam Morgan is somewhat of an unknown. Personally, I don’t give all too much value to the Phillies developmental organization after the Dom Brown debacle and this 2008 Phillies Top 10 from Baseball America. Yeah, it’s that bad. But Morgan is somewhat of an underappreciated asset. He isn’t ever mentioned when the best of Philly-land come up, like Biddle, but he’s still got stuff. Morgan had a 2.40 FIP in 123 High-A innings before recording a FIP of 3.23 in Double-A (35 IP). In High-A he struck out 28.6% of batters faced, while only walking 5.7%. Both of those are better than league average. I think he could be a better fantasy pitcher than most give him credit for. He won’t walk many players and he’ll strike out probably between 7 and 8 per nine. We aren’t talking ace potential, but he could be a mid-tier fantasy option for most owners.
Keyvius Sampson (RHP, SD, AA) - Most will look at Sampson, see an ERA of 5.00, a walk rate of 4.19/9IP, and 11 HRA. And then they will write him off as another pitcher who lost command of his pitches and got walked all over. But this is where you need to examine the stats in context. First off, Sampson struck out a batter per inning. And his FIP was a very manageable 3.87, much better than his ERA. Finally, to put it all into context, Sampson pitched at 21 years old, after skipping a level. Yes, he jumped from Low-A to Double-A, a common path for Padres pitchers avoiding the CAL League. Sampson held his own for being on the younger end of the league and for pitching well. In the future, Sampson probably grades out as a mid rotation guy with some strikeout potential, but he has to work on his control and keeping the ball in the zone. If he can cut walks and maintain his strikeouts, he could end up as a #3 starter, which is even more valuable in Petco.
Rafael Montero (RHP, NYM, A+) - Montero stepped up to the challenges of Low and High-A in 2012 and conquered both. Registering a FIP of 2.58, and an ERA of 2.36, Montero exceeded all expectations. Montero struck out 8.1 batters per nine and walked 1.4. Yes, actually one point four. He’s got good stuff, and likely a #3 upside, as with most guys in the low minors. I don’t think he’ll be as effective against top tier talent (AAA and MLB) but I don’t see any reason that he can’t turn into a reliable fantasy starter. Low walks, decent strikeout totals, and a decent ERA. He’ll never front your rotation, but he could end up a valuable piece in the future.
Thank you for reading part THREE! In case you missed it, you can find:
I like this crop for some serious upside. Cecchini and Odor could produce solid regulars, and someone like Keyvius could be a top 40 fantasy pitcher. Montero and Morgan also have good upside of their own, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Overall this is my favorite crop of five players as sleepers (over group One or Two). Comment away!