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George Springer | OF, Astros | Born:  9/19/1989

Drafted 11th overall a year ago out of UConn, George Springer wasn’t the typical, well-polished collegiate product we’re used to seeing go in the first couple rounds.  No, Springer’s skill set more closely resembled that of a high-ceiling high school prospect — strong, athletic, toolsy, but still raw.  Houston’s previous baseball ops regime drafted him with the understanding that his development would require more patience than most guys his age.  It was one of a handful of moves from the lame duck front office that current GM, Jeff Luhnow, would be thankful for.  Maybe this all suggests that Ed Wade and his crew made their best moves after they’d stopped caring.  Or maybe they’d finally figured out what they were doing, but too late to keep their jobs.  Either way, Luhnow was gifted with a head start on his rebuilding process.  And George Springer is hugely important to that process, indeed.

Springer’s been at High-A Lancaster in the Cal League since the season opened in April.  His numbers throughout have been impressive:  .321/.401/.568, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 20 SB.  His performance of recent, however, has been especially terrific, as the 22-year-old has hit .419/.500/.698 through his last 50 PA.  Skeptics will tell you he’s the beneficiary of a hitter-friendly league, a hitter-friendly ballpark, and a BABIP at .400.  It’s tough to ignore the impact of the ballpark and league factors, but when considering prospects, the BABIP measure is too often overblown.  In Springer’s case, the inflated batted ball figure is more a product of his crushing pitchers than it is of his being lucky.  And from that perspective, the stat reflects a prospect who’s ready for the next level, not one who’s doomed to regress.  The K’s are a concern (98 already), and I’m afraid they’ll always be.  But Springer is certainly an exciting young outfielder, and his first full year of pro ball is revealing that he might not need as much time as we initially thought.  I’m hopeful for a promotion to Double-A during the second half, and for arrival in Houston as soon as September 2013.

Tony Cingrani | LHP, Reds | Born:  7/5/1989

Keeping with the theme of prospects trending upward, Tony Cingrani has been attracting some well-deserved attention lately.  I talked a little about him in my week 13 review, but I thought I’d offer a bit more insight here.  At 6-5, 205, he certainly passes the eye test.  And, as you might expect, Cingrani has no problem generating velocity with that lanky frame.  His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90′s, but great extension off the rubber helps the offering play as a plus-plus weapon.  The major concern entering this season was lackluster secondary stuff.  Scouts are still doubtful that his breaking ball will ever be a productive pitch, so it’s no wonder that Cingrani relies primarily on a nice, fading changeup when going off-speed.

So what has all of this added up to in 2012?  Several whiffs and few hits is what.  In 17 appearances between High-A and Double-A, Cingrani has posted a 1.28 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP while striking out 11 per nine.  This has been a major breakout campaign for the lefty, who’s still thriving as a starter as he nears 100 IP on the year.  But because he’s lacking a third plus offering, many still wonder if he’ll end up in the ‘pen when he reaches the bigs.  Surely that’d be his quickest path to Cinci, but for fantasy purposes, let’s hope the Reds keep him in the rotation.  Arrival sometime in 2013 seems most likely, but he could probably help in relief this year, if needed.

17 Responses

  1. Jaymz says:
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    This has nothing to do with today’s great post, but I need advice, quick. Thinking about trading Trumbo/Capps for Victorino/Perez. What would Grey do

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jaymz, Even deal, and I can’t speak for Grey, but this is my post so I will anyway… I lean toward the Victorino/Perez side. Can’t imagine a scenario in which this deal would be necessary, but if you’re a Victorino fan or something… green light.

  2. Hector Luna says:
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    Again, what would Grey do? H2H league. Pitching categories: W, K, BB, ERA, WHIP, SV, K/9.

    Currently 1st in our league, ahead by 9. Would it even be worth it to trade Beckett, E. Jackson, T. Frazier for Latos, Hellickson, Nava?

    I think Jackson’s WHIP/ERA might see some regression this half, Beckett…who knows? Thinking Latos and Hellickson will have more consistent 2nd halves. Your thoughts?

    Even worth messing with if I’m in 1st place?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Hector Luna, Cumulative value, I’d say it’s not worth it for ya. But if you’re gonna be selective w/ when you’re starting these guys — and why wouldn’t you? — then I might be tempted to pull the trigger. Latos is the best guy in the deal by a comfy margin & it’s not like you’d be giving up anything especially spectacular for him. This one’s tough to gauge, and given your current position in 1st, I’d be careful not to cough up any pts in the pitching cats. Hellickson & Nava could blow you up if you’re not careful. Approach with caution, but I can’t give you a firm “no.”

      …Also, I’m not Grey. But I’m a much better golfer than he.

  3. Theguarantee says:
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    Headed to the aaa all star game tonight. Anyone worth watching?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Theguarantee, Yea! It’s not quite like the Futures Game, but there are a few exciting guys playing. From the IL: Ryan Lavarnway (C, BOS); Starling Marte (OF, PIT). From the PCL: Heath Hembree (RHP, SFG); Adeiny Hechavarria (SS, TOR)… and the big one, Wil Myers (OF, KC) — Myers is the best hitting prospect in the minors right now. Enjoy the game!

      • Theguarantee says:
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        @Scott Evans, mucho gracias my friend will report back

      • Theguarantee says:
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        @Scott Evans, Pretty boring game. Can’t say I came away too impressed even Myers looks a little underdeveloped slash awkward to me though you can’t argue with his numbers and results. Was pretty disappointed with marte who looks like he has an awfully long way to go trying to hit anything off speed. Vitters does have a pretty stroke for what it’s worth and seeing Zach duke and Matt laporta was worth the price of (free) admission

  4. TheNewGuy says:
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    ^^^^Ha there are few worser golfers than me, I bet even Grey would edge me. Glad I gave it up a year ago…definately not my kinda sport.

    Anyway Cingrani worth an add over Segura/ Peacock/ Franklin on a farm? I’ve been pretty uninspired by all 3 of these guys and can’t see them becoming substantially worthwhile, so am thinking about dropping a couple of them for breakout minor leaguers. Only last year Skaggs, Hamilton were added during the season in my league, maybe Cipriani could be another.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Admittedly, I’ve never seen Grey golf — it was sort of an aimless insult, but what the hell… And you can’t quit on golf! It’s a Ryder Cup year & if your damn euro neighbors catch on to the fact that Americans are frustrated with golf, they’ll have a mental edge… or something (I’m assuming you’re American cuz you like baseball). Anyway. Let’s let Cingrani get a few more starts under his belt at Double-A before you make that add… still likely he’ll end up in the ‘pen & that won’t be worth a whole lot to you, unfortunately.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans, Ha nah im English man! Caught games on holiday over in the states and thats what got me hooked on it :) Need to go back soon sometime, been a good few years now, too long. :)

        Will hold off on Cingrani then, if you bring up another interesting player unowned in my league in future I’ll see if you think they’re worth adding.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @TheNewGuy, That’s awesome to hear. I’m always fascinated by European perspectives on baseball & knowing there are fans across the pond. Not sure if you’re familiar with Craig Robinson, but he’s an absolutely brilliant baseball writer/artist from England, and he didn’t start watching the game until he was in his 30′s — check him out if you don’t read him already: http://www.flipflopflyin.com/flipflopflyball/

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans, Thanks man am not will check him out. Baseball also used to be on TV here sunday nights which got me into it, but they stopped it a few years ago which sucked. It got quite a few fans into baseball too, they had an english guy hosting it and 2 different american pundits Dave Lengel and Josh Chedwynd, wonder if they are working back in the States now.

            Anyway am kinda hurting at OF/Util im my 16 teamer right now with Moss and Belt. Will Myers is still available, do you think it’ll be long till we see him…worth a stash right now?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              @TheNewGuy, Yea he’s definitely worth a stash if you have the flexibility. Especially as these trade rumors start swirling… if Francoeur is involved in any, you’ll see Myers get scooped in most leagues. Not a bad idea to be preemptive.

              • TheNewGuy says:
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                @Scott Evans, Scott think ive finally found a prospect worth adding in my league…Josh Vitters! Seems like he’s had a major turnaround after falling off prospect maps, plus his plate discipline seems to be improved (walks count in my league as OBP over AVG). And most importantly he’s not owned.

                Im sure he’s worth an add over a low upside guy like Peacock/Segura/Franklin, please tell me he’s worth the add, and who to drop.

                • Scott Evans

                  Scott Evans says:
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                  @TheNewGuy, Gotta admit, I’m coming around on Vitters. Starting to think he could reach a David Freese-type ceiling in the bigs. Peacock is your drop. Hold Segura & Franklin.

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