Category: Reports

Futurestarz Report: Stetson Allie

I haven’t done a futurestarz report in a while for a couple of reasons. I’ve had this one pretty much done but wanted to give the player some more time as its his first season in the minor leagues. The other is as regular readers are aware, I’m working on expanding the blog to include my football predictions and insights. This will be my last report until Jan 4th of the new year in which time I’ll be posting one every other week. With baseballs season winding down and footballs just getting going I want to be able to focus on that until the season is winding down and then be able to provide you with my insight on the bright young stars of baseball future.

Profile: Stetson Allie

Height: 6’2

Weight: 220

Hand: Right Hand

Draft: 2nd round 52 overall 2010 draft

Strengths: Fastball, slider, strong build, athletic for size

Weaknesses: Control, lack of quality 3rd pitch, average mechanics

Projection: mid 2013-2014

MLB Update: None

The Pirates seem to be doing lots of things right lately in terms of building for the future. They look like they will finish 4th or maybe 5th in the NL central this season currently have 66 wins which puts them outside of the bottom 5 anyways which is a start. Pittsburgh has drafted and developed Andrew McCutchen. Traded for left fielder Jose Tabata. In 2009 they selected Tony Sanchez. They now have turned their attention to the pitching staff the past few years. In 2010 it was Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, 2011 saw another pitcher taken in Gerrit Cole. The first and last were the first and 2nd overall picks in the draft in their given draft classes so not going to cover them. I’m going to hit on Allie. Allie the 8th best prospect entering the draft rated by Baseball America fell into the 2nd round, 52nd overall due to bonus demands and a likely switch to the bullpen.

I personally love the switch to less innings I’m not sure if this is just to try to build Allies confidence and then retry him as a starter which I’d disagree with. The kid has all the makings of a future closer his it takes a special demeanor to be a closer and this young righty has it! His slider already ranks among one of the best in the Pirates organization now of course that is not saying a ton due to fact that it only really features Taillon and Cole in it as well.

Allie out of St. Edwards High School outside of Cleveland spent his 2011 season in extended spring training and Class A short season State College Spikes. At first the Pirates were giving him every opportunity to remain a starter but it appears that experiment maybe over as the young flame thrower last 8 appearances were all an inning or less the first of the bunch was a complete blow up in which he failed to record an out and allowed 5 runs. Sense that point he has allowed only 2 runs in 6.1 ip equaling an era of under 3. While his command is still in question his ability to miss bats at a solid clip is not. Sense the August 2nd which is following that 5 run allowed no out appearance, Allie has struck out 7 batters but walked an unacceptable 12 if he can continue to work on that he should make a very good closer of the future. His control isn’t beyond repair he is only 20 years old and wont turn 21 until March of next year so plenty of growth left so while he wont likely have plus command it’s not completely out of question that he could develop average command. The youngster did a relatively good job keeping the ball on the ground after that move. Of course due to his walks his fip is way to high at a 5.93 he is another one of those longer term guys as he likely wont see the majors before mid 2013 but is definitely worth keeping an eye on in dynasty leagues that allow a farm system and when the time comes stashing away in keeper formats.

Well that’s it on Allie. Tomorrow you can come back and check out my week 2 NFL predictions also my weekly updates on all prospects covered will continue until baseball is finished.


Round Up

Between having internet issues which now looks like its cleaned up, building a new computer and work I haven’t been able to get the updates I’ve wanted to hopefully everything in order now I’ll get back to normal ones.

First game saw two very good pitching prospects facing off in Kyle Gibson and Andy Oliver. Oliver had a 1,2,3 inning while .Gibson pitched himself into a bit of a jam but got out of it after giving up a lead off double and walked a batter but then got 2 clutch outs. Gibson walked one in the bottom half of the inning but got out of it with a line drive double play. Neither pitcher is looking overly dominate as Oliver is struggling with command but not giving up hits and striking out plenty of batters. Gibson is the more friendly outing few more hits but his control is clearly better while striking out less. Ryan Strieby and Scott Thorman lead off the bottom of the 4th with doubles. Gibson is fell apart quickly in the 4 giving up 3 doubles, a walk but it only lead to 2 runs. He rebounded well in the 5 striking out 2 and inducing a ground ball out. Both pitchers went 6 innings. Oliver struck out 9 walks 5 and gave up 2 hits 1 unearned run earning the win. Gibson gave up 2 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks and struck out 6.

Devin Mesocoro has been moved to 4 hole a move that was made about a week ago. I was always little curious why he was hitting lower in the line up but the .Bats do have a very good hitting squad so wouldn’t completely argue. But sense the move up the line up Devin is hitting 375 with 2 jacks I like the move as it gives one of the Reds best prospects more protection. He had a nice line drive ball that Brandon Moss just made a real nice diving catch to get the big righty out. In his 2nd at bat he just looked at a strike out right over the plate. Mesoraco just like the Bats finished strong he ended up collecting 2 hits scoring once. He also had his 4th passed ball of the season but the Bats had some late game magic and won 8-7

Another game that featured 2 former futurestarz in double a, had Zack Cox’s Springfield Cardinals facing Mike Trout’s Arkansas Travelers. Cox continues to struggle going 1-4 in tonight’s game his average is now at a very low .239. Trout extended his reaching base streak to 24 games and took his typical lead off spot. The outfielder went 2-4 single, double, stole a base, scored twice and knocked in 2 rbi in the 7-3 beat down of the Cardinals.

In other milb news Jason Heyward was rehabbing for the G-Braves had a double in his first at bat, and walked later as the Braves took down the Indianapolis Indians 2-0.

Jean Segura

I was having a talk with a friend of mine sometime last year at the time it was about Justin Smoak the 1st baseman now for the Mariners. He went on to make a comment something along these lines “its funny how teams continue to bring in same type of players” the example in this case was Mark Teixeira who was a popular comparison when talking about the talented hitting Smoak. This got me thinking about how true it is organizations for better or worse seem to stick to a mold. This editions future star is the 2nd player I will cover from the Angels organization Jean Segura out of San Juan, Dominican Republic. Segura is currently ranked in the mid 50’s-60’s in most of the prospect rankings I’ve seen.

It’s pretty easy to find some of the players who have played for the Angels and see the comparison. Maicer Izturis, Howie Kendrick, Chrone Figgins and even the higher upsided Mike Trout has some real similarities. They all including Sequa are fast or talented enough to handle multi position eligibility for Mike Scioscia and fantasy owners alike.

Speed is the name of his game having a spd ranking of 8 or higher in most of his stops in the minors last year had a rating of 8.5 this year currently is sporting a spd ranking of 8.8 those type of rankings are comparable to Jose Reyes 04-08. Jean does have some given power for his style of play, last year he sent 10 over the fence. As last year went on he did improve his mechanics which lead to some improving on his power numbers, I’d say 10-15 looks to be about what he’d typically max out at but is something to keep an eye on because if he can develop closer to 20+ power he could potentially be a massive fantasy asset. So far in the low minors has displayed an average to above average K%, Striking out about 13-14% it will be interesting to see if continues once starts facing more advanced pitching because his Walk%’s thus far have been below average. The youngster does seem to have a bit of an issue with the injury bug having a couple run ins with it and caused shortened seasons.

With all that said I think we have 2 maybe even 3 more years before we see Segura manning the infield for the Halo’s. But if all goes well it wouldn’t be shocking if he turns out to be a pretty special breed some cross between Howie Kendrick and Chone Figgins would do wonders in just about anyones line up real life or fantasy. Keep it locked here where I’ll cover the stars of tomorrow today.

Zack Wheeler

As usual here is my breakdown of a prospect who could make some serious waves in the future. This players was a request so please readers throw out some more names its much more fun than me picking them all the time. So let’s dive in.

Zack Wheeler former 1st round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants who was part of that steller 2009 pitching draft class. Zack came out of the #1 prep school in the nation hghly touted so far I’d say he’s showing why he was such a high pick. When Wheeler decided to go pro instead of the college of his choice (Kennesaw State) he did have a few question marks one is the usual command and also hiss change up was average at best. In his high school playoffs Zack pitched a no hitter in bringing his school to their first final 4.

Zack’s older brother Adam was in the New York Yankee’s farm system for a few years, and passed on some tips that have surely helped the more talented younger brother. With Wheelers lean projectable body at 6’3 180 he should be okay sticking in the rotation where he figures to be a top of the line starter. I’d say a #2 in that rotation which seems to be busting out good high upside starters like they grow on trees. He has quite a arsenal when it comes to pitches he has a 2 and 4 seem fastball which usually sit in the mid to low 90’s that has some great movement of course I touched on the change up already, a curve ball and a slider/slurve. From what I’ve read some mention his mechanics as being a bit jerky I’ve yet to really see any real video on him but doesn’t sound like it should be a problem and might just add to the deception on his pitches. Zack has tremendous work ethic not wanting to be treated any different just because the Giants forked over 3.3 million dollars in signing bonus.

So far in his early career Wheeler has sustained a strike out rate over 10+/9, has done a good job keeping the ball in the park to the tune of only allowing 2 home runs in his 80ip’s between past 2 years. In 2011 he has drastically improved his walk ratio by about 3 walks per 9 ip. He has a big drop in babip so some may suggest he is getting lucky to some extent and it wouldn’t shock me if we saw that regress to the mean a bit and he hit a bit of a bump in the road but I think the cool mannered Wheeler will be able to smooth most storms that come his way as long as he keeps his head on straight.

I expect him to spend most of 2011 in high a with a promotion to aa possible. If I had to guess an eta I’d probably mid-2013 but wouldn’t be completely blind sided if he continues his good pace and maybe gets a late call up next year to get a taste of the majors. So bang it here where ill keep you posted on all the starz of tomorrow today.

Devin Mesoraco

As promised here is your biweekly report on a player who should be playing for the Reds in the near future. Devin Mesoraco. Devin set many career batting records at Punxsutawney High School in Pennsylvania despite missing most of the 06 season due to Tj surgery. Mesoraco was taken highly(15th overall) with the thought that his plus power which was mostly a pull type would develop into a hitting to all fields type of power. After first few seasons it had looked like this former first round pick was going to just be a total bust before even reaching the majors. The 2010 season came and had the coming out party the Red were expecting back when they drafted him being moved from a ball all the way up to triple a where he currently is still. Long term veteran Corky Miller has only rave reviews to say about his follow catcher. After the 2010 season their were some who questioned if his performance was legit or if it was just a highly talented player making a splash and was going to regress back to his prior years. Well Mesoraco probably answered a few of those questions with his hot start. He was hitting in the 280’s till going 2 games without a hit dropping his average down to 256 with 3 homers and 9 rbi.

Devin has some reasonable but nothing special skills behind the plate I personally would not be surprised to see him traded to a team that has a need at C, first baseman or perhaps an American League team who could possibly dh him and give him some spot starts at catcher. I say this mostly due to the fact the Reds just recently spent another 1st round pick on Yasmani Grandal out of Miami, who is currently in High A Bakersfield. Yasmani has superior defensive skills compared to Mesoraco from everything I have heard I’ve yet to see much on him and Grandal also sports a solid bat so my thought is he is more than likely the future behind the plate. With first already locked up by reigning NL mvp Joey Votto and fellow top prospect Yonder Alonso already being moved to the outfield to eventually get his bat in the line up eventually I just cant see putting moving another player. Although I’m sure this is a problem that Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker love having, never can have enough good young hitters.

Devin has all the tools to be a legitimate hitter even has respectable speed for a catcher although he is no Russel Martin when he broke into the majors he isn’t going to clog the bases he stole 3 bases last year also legged out 5 triples and when you consider the mlb leader had 14 last year I’d say that’s pretty respectable. He had the uppercut swing that you see in many power hitters but unlike a lot of youngsters he has managed to keep his strike outs rate at a reasonable rate. I have yet to see him lately and have read that part of resurgence in 2010 was due to retooling his swing a bit.

Although he may not hit 300+ very often a 275 average with 15-20 homers pending he gets to stay in that sand box known as Great American ball park, which is very nice value pending he stays at catcher. Well that’s all I got for this future star so enjoy the updates until the next time when I will cover the next star of tomorrow, today.

Chad James

Some prospects come out of high school or college with high regard but start out looking like they may not reach their full realistic potential. Although its still very early only pitched 114.1 innings pitched Chad James is starting to look like one of those types of players. James a 6’3 185 pound southpaw out of Yukon High school Oklahoma, was drafted with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Florida Marlins. It wasn’t considered a big reach baseball america ranked him the 24th best player in the draft class and he had one of the best change ups out of the high schoolers that year. He was given a slightly above signing bonus 1.7 million (slot value was approximately 1.6mi). Chad spent the off season in an intense conditioning program showing his dedication to improve himself and boy did he his fastball went up as did his draft status heading into the draft which was loaded with pitching which included Kyle Gibson, Stephen Strasburg, Miller, Matzek, Jacob Turner, Leake, Minor, Zack Wheeler who hint hint I’ll be touching on in the near future. His senior year he pitched 63.1 innings with a 1.23 era and struck out 100 batters so you can see why the Marlins were pretty happy when they drafted him.

When the Marlins drafted him the hope was that he’d clean up his control issues and turn out to be a power lefty in the Jon Lester mold, and that’s not to say it still can’t happen. James’s fastball averages around 92 and can hit into the mid 90’s. The now 20 year old’s curve ball has the makings of a plus pitch but is still inconsistent and nice show me change up.

James has the makings of a #2 or solid #3 pitcher in the Marlins rotation come 2013 if he can continue to improve off his most would say disappointing first year which included having a 5.12 era, 1.583 whip and .337 babip but he kept the ball in the park only allowing 3 home runs and kept the ball on the ground a pretty good rate as well. He also had a 8.3 k per 9 rate showing he’s got the potential to miss plenty of bats. The lefty has a pretty clean delivery some minor adjustments probably could be made but nothing that screams out at me. James will probably spend most of the year in class a Jupiter maybe a move up to double a around July or August if he proves he can handle the promotion. The one thing I worry about players with walk rates as high is his (5.12 per 9) will they reach their potential and be a Jon Lester lite or be the next Daniel Cabrera…. That’s for you to decide if your in a league that drafts minor leaguers or whenever the time comes that James is available in your given league. Well that’s all for this edition so let’s hear what you all have to say and ill see you next time when we cover another star of future.

Zack Cox

After covering some highly known prospects we are going to start digging into the prospect pool a little more. Not that the next future star lacks talent given that he was thought of as one of the best pure hitters in the 2010 draft. Zack Cox is this editions future star. For a little background he came out of Arkansas as a draft eligible sophomore due to the fact that he was 21. As a Razorback he was played both ways pitching and hitting at the hot corner and hitting is what he is now doing full time. Zack seems to be very level headed at a press conference he responded to each media questioner as sir which we rarely see out of kids coming out of college.

The Kentucky native was the was originally drafted in the 20th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers but turned down the contract to go to college boy did it pay off when drafted in 2010 he was the 25th but was considered by many as a top 10 pick who likely fell due to signability issues. After a sub par freshman year Cox was named a team captain his final year, in which he hit 427 and improved his walk to strike out rate to a pretty impressive 34:37 rate. In college he handled left handed pitching about the same as righties. Also wasn’t just having good games against weaker competition he did very well on Friday’s when you see the big time college pitchers on the mound.

The slugger was named an AFL Rising star in 2010. He should make his way through the system fairly fast my he is going to start this year in High A likely to finish in double a or maybe even force his way to a short stint in triple a. The concern about Cox would be his power hes not someone who is going to put up gaudy power numbers. I’d like to see him moved to 2nd despite having plenty of arm and good instincts at 3rd he does have heavy legs, so obviously wont be swiping bases at a very high clip although he shouldn’t be clogging them up either.

Whatever position ends up it is likely he will do it without complaining and bust his tail off known as someone who loves the game I think he is one of those players real coaches would love to have but yet fantasy owners may tend to sort of shy away from a bit. The lefty reminds me quite a bit of another former Cardinals prospect in Brett Wallace who is now with the Astros. I could see Cox reaching the majors sometime in the middle of next year or early 2013. So lets hear what you guys have to say