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2019 "Deep" Sleepers


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JP Sears is a pitcher at High A with the Yanks. He's older - 23 - but was drafted two years ago by the Mariners. He throws his FB in the low 90s, but always has had a K/9 greater than 9. He was a reliever in his first year in the minors, but converted to starter with the Yanks last year. Missed some time with injuries but seems to be back and pitching again. Success might be due to deceptive delivery, but the numbers are there for now. Plus he's a lefty.

He's not on FG's Yankees Top 30 or whatever, so YMMV

Here's a recent take on him:

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The 2018 season was the first time he was a regular starter in the minor leagues.  Despite appearing in six fewer games than in 2017 he threw 54 innings and struck out 54 batters in 11 games, 10 starts.  He saw a significant amount of time on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury.

Scouting Report  

JP is a 5-foot 11-inch left-handed pitcher that has a fastball that reaches the low 90 miles per hour range.  He relies heavily on deception that is generated by his low-three-quarters arm slot. Sears also efficiently uses an average curveball and changeup to set up his fastball and get batters out.

 

 

https://pinstripedprospects.com/prospect-profile-jp-sears-lhp-28555/

and this is from FG shortly after his first stint in the minors:

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In 17 relief appearances between short-season Everett and Low-A Clinton, the 11th-round pick struck out — drum roll, please — a staggering 51 batters in 27.2 innings. He also allowed just 13 hits and two earned runs.  

You can’t hit what you can’t see, and according to Clinton Lumber Kings pitching coach Doug Mathis, that’s the secret to the southpaw’s success.  “I had him here for five or six weeks, and he basically used one pitch,” Mathis told me on Monday. “If he goes out and throws two innings and 30 pitches, probably 27 of them are fastballs — and hitters can’t hit it. It’s not elite velocity by any means. He can touch 93 — nowadays that’s average in the big leagues — but guys don’t see it well or react to it well. It’s an invisiball.  

“Even their takes are bad. When they do swing the bat, it’s as though he’s throwing 95-100, and not the 90 the radar gun is showing. You look at the readings and go, ‘How is he doing it?’ The ball is just different coming out of his hand. It kind of has an extra gear.”  

Sears has an above-average spin rate on his four-seamer, an average of 2,350 during his time in the Midwest League. A deceptive delivery makes it play up even more. Mathis said Sears doesn’t throw across his body, but rather that “he kind of gets his arm down long, and then he gets it up kind of slow; from there it’s smooth forward.”

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mariners-prospect-jp-sears-is-a-strikeout-machine/

His numbers this year are: 

18.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.31 K/9, 1.96 BB/9

Also of note is his partner in the trade that brought him to the Yanks:

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Tier 4: 23. Juan Then, RHP Age: 18 Highest Level: Rk 2018: 0-3, 50 IP, 42:11 K:BB, 2.70 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 0.98 WHIP

Another piece of the Nick Rumbelow deal, that also brought JP Sears to the Yankees, Then is going into his 19-year-old season and what projects to be his first above rookie ball. He already throws in the low-90s with a smooth delivery due to his athletic frame. Still small, and only 6’1″ so the ceiling is low, Then can easily add 20+ lbs to his current weight. The breaking ball and changeup don’t generate too much swing-and-miss just yet, but they show promise. He relies more on his command, which is also very advanced for his age. Then could find his way shooting up organizational lists next year if he continues his promising development.

 

https://www.prospects1500.com/top-50-lists/new-york-yankees-2019-top-50-prospects/

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Miguel Vargas, CIF, Los Angeles Dodgers (A), 19 years old

This guy hasn't developed any power yet but he's got a decent frame to work with (listed 6'3" 205) and has a 15.1 BB% / 12.9 K% as a super young A ball player. Keep your eyes out for him if he adds pop. 

.320 / .425 / 142 wRC+ this season. 

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So Zach Plesac is getting called to CLE...have to imagine this is to join rotation?

I can't find much on him, anyone have anything fairly recent? Only write-up on any of the respective big pub top 30s was by Klaw, who had this to say:

"Zach Plesac (14) is a four-pitch starter who'll sit 92-93, touching 96, with a promising slider and good control. He signed in 2016 as a 12th-round pick, shortly after undergoing Tommy John surgery, making 2018 his first full, healthy season in three years, and in that time, he's also gained strength and looks durable enough to start. He looks like a potential fourth or fifth starter who could be more if any one of his pitches gains a half-grade. Dan is his uncle, if you were curious."

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:45 PM, meh2 said:

I don’t know much about him other than what’s in the article below, but Jose Urquidy of the Astros might get a shot soon with the 5th spot in that rotation seemingly up for grabs.

 

Yeah not a ton of info on him, but has a rep as a strike-thrower with a low ceiling...it appears pipeline moved him into the org top 30:

Hernandez has demonstrated the best control and command in the system since the Astros purchased him from the Mexican League's Mexico City Red Devils for $100,000 in 2015. After missing all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery, he made a successful return last season and starred in the Carolina League playoffs as high Class A Buies Creek won the championship. He has continued to pound the strike zone after making the jump to Double-A in 2019.

Hernandez has to locate his pitches with precision because he can't overpower hitters. His best offering is a plus changeup with fade that he sells well by maintaining his fastball arm speed. His heater parks in the low 90s and peaks at 95 mph with some armside run.

His biggest need is to improve his soft curveball because right-handers have teed off on Hernandez since his elbow reconstruction. He has proven that he can deliver strike after strike but still has to show he can miss enough bats to succeed against advanced hitters. Projected as a middle reliever or swing man, his floor stands out more than his ceiling.

 

Still, the results have been great this year and he might have tweaked enough to raise his ceiling? IF he keeps tearing through the PCL, one has to think he might get an audition to fill a role as the #5 starter?? FYI they have not updated his name in CBS database, so he can be found as Jose Hernandez.

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Isan Diaz has been on fire. Just about to turn 23 and in AAA for Miami. I was surprised to see he was this young still. 

He’s homered in 4 straight, batting an absurd .412 over his last 10 games.  He should get a chance w the big league club if he keeps it up.  Defense is kind of weak, so he may not stay at second base  

For the season he’s at .271/.371/.488. I read an article that stated that he was hit in the head w a pitch last year and was in concussion protocol for 10 game. He proceeded to come back and take in AA after the concussion (his numbers were poor before that as he was batting like .170 or something).  But then got promoted to AAA and scuffled. 

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5 hours ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Yeah not a ton of info on him, but has a rep as a strike-thrower with a low ceiling...it appears pipeline moved him into the org top 30:

Hernandez has demonstrated the best control and command in the system since the Astros purchased him from the Mexican League's Mexico City Red Devils for $100,000 in 2015. After missing all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery, he made a successful return last season and starred in the Carolina League playoffs as high Class A Buies Creek won the championship. He has continued to pound the strike zone after making the jump to Double-A in 2019.

Hernandez has to locate his pitches with precision because he can't overpower hitters. His best offering is a plus changeup with fade that he sells well by maintaining his fastball arm speed. His heater parks in the low 90s and peaks at 95 mph with some armside run.

His biggest need is to improve his soft curveball because right-handers have teed off on Hernandez since his elbow reconstruction. He has proven that he can deliver strike after strike but still has to show he can miss enough bats to succeed against advanced hitters. Projected as a middle reliever or swing man, his floor stands out more than his ceiling.

 

Still, the results have been great this year and he might have tweaked enough to raise his ceiling? IF he keeps tearing through the PCL, one has to think he might get an audition to fill a role as the #5 starter?? FYI they have not updated his name in CBS database, so he can be found as Jose Hernandez.

 

He is touching 97 mph now

 

 

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8 hours ago, ST. STEVEN said:

So Zach Plesac is getting called to CLE...have to imagine this is to join rotation?

I can't find much on him, anyone have anything fairly recent? Only write-up on any of the respective big pub top 30s was by Klaw, who had this to say:

"Zach Plesac (14) is a four-pitch starter who'll sit 92-93, touching 96, with a promising slider and good control. He signed in 2016 as a 12th-round pick, shortly after undergoing Tommy John surgery, making 2018 his first full, healthy season in three years, and in that time, he's also gained strength and looks durable enough to start. He looks like a potential fourth or fifth starter who could be more if any one of his pitches gains a half-grade. Dan is his uncle, if you were curious."

 

Funny,  every other scouting report I've read on him says he's got a plus change up and a poor breaking ball. 

 

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:45 PM, meh2 said:

I don’t know much about him other than what’s in the article below, but Jose Urquidy of the Astros might get a shot soon with the 5th spot in that rotation seemingly up for grabs.

 

Bit of a rough time his last outing... with 3.1IP 6H 4ER 0BB 7K but I saw a tweet that there were some bad defensive plays behind (uncalled errors) too...with Corbin crapping himself and nobody else stretched/ready he might get a shot soon??

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20 hours ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Bit of a rough time his last outing... with 3.1IP 6H 4ER 0BB 7K but I saw a tweet that there were some bad defensive plays behind (uncalled errors) too...with Corbin crapping himself and nobody else stretched/ready he might get a shot soon??

 

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deeper prospects that are hot right now:

jake fraley

lolo sanchez

abraham toro

jeremy pena

alek thomas

jonathan arauz

brice turang

lewin diaz (1b)

will benson (big time power guy, k issues are not as bad recently)

 

pitchers:

ljay newsome

logan gilbert

jose urquidy

 

I guarantee at least some of these names will be getting mainstream hype in a matter of time. Younger ones are most likely, you know how this market works (Fraley is older so may not, Lewin Diaz is 1b so may not).

Edited by fawkes_mulder
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I dunno how "deep" Alzolay is, but he sure is coming on strong in AAA:

https://www.milb.com/milb/news/chicago-cubs-prospect-adbert-alzolay-tosses-six-one-hit-innings/c-307651786

As I mentioned in the daily performance thread, his last three starts have been very good: 17IP, 6H, 2ER, 2BB, 23K.

FG gives his FB/CB both 60 grades but notes that he needs to develop his changeup to become a starter.

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38 minutes ago, ThreadKiller said:
  1. Who are some favorite 1B prospects right now?

In terms of 1B eligible prospects (not all will stick at the position long term) I'd say Yordan Alvarez, Nate Lowe, Seth Beer, Andrew Vaughn, Ryan Mountcastle, Bobby Bradley right now, with some others to watch including Blaze Jordan, Spencer Torkelson (both of which should be 2020 draft picks), Josh Naylor, Evan White, Tyler Nevin, Grant Lavigne, Matt Thaiss and Triston Casas. If Colton Welker ends up moving to 1B due to being blocked by Arenado, he'd be a solid one as well.

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3 minutes ago, Dark One said:

In terms of 1B eligible prospects (not all will stick at the position long term) I'd say Yordan Alvarez, Nate Lowe, Seth Beer, Andrew Vaughn, Ryan Mountcastle, Bobby Bradley right now, with some others to watch including Blaze Jordan, Spencer Torkelson (both of which should be 2020 draft picks), Josh Naylor, Evan White, Tyler Nevin, Grant Lavigne, Matt Thaiss and Triston Casas. If Colton Welker ends up moving to 1B due to being blocked by Arenado, he'd be a solid one as well.

 

Thanks for the long list of names. Wasn't expecting that much help!

Do you think Alvarez sticks at 1B?

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2 minutes ago, ThreadKiller said:

Thanks for the long list of names. Wasn't expecting that much help!

Do you think Alvarez sticks at 1B?


Sure thing - and no, I don't. I think it's possible they try him there from time to time, but everything I've read indicates his defense is poor there and they're more or less weening him off the position. I think Seth Beer stands a better chance of being the long term play there (though Beer may also end up being the long term DH). I think they really want Alvarez to succeed in LF, or at least be competent enough for it not to negatively impact the gains of having his bat in the lineup.

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6 hours ago, Dark One said:

In terms of 1B eligible prospects (not all will stick at the position long term) I'd say Yordan Alvarez, Nate Lowe, Seth Beer, Andrew Vaughn, Ryan Mountcastle, Bobby Bradley right now, with some others to watch including Blaze Jordan, Spencer Torkelson (both of which should be 2020 draft picks), Josh Naylor, Evan White, Tyler Nevin, Grant Lavigne, Matt Thaiss and Triston Casas. If Colton Welker ends up moving to 1B due to being blocked by Arenado, he'd be a solid one as well.

 

Since this is technically the deep sleepers thread I'll echo Lavigne.

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This is a strange one... but the Seattle Mariners have an 18 year old in TRIPLE A right now. 

He's hitting .342/.390/.632 with 2 HR in 38 AB's. His name is Robert Perez. 

Apparently, Tacoma needed players with all the movement going on between the Mariners/Rainers, so they sent Perez straight from Extended Spring Training to AAA. Mariners insiders seem to think he'll be sent back to Rookie ball soon, but this is pretty unprecedented even for the small sample size. 

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