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Randall Delgado | RHP (SP) | Atlanta Braves | D.o.B: 2/9/90 | 6’3″ | 180 lbs | B/T: R/R | Signed 2006, Panama | ATL #3 ranked prospect per Baseball America 2011 | MiLB Player Page

The Braves seem to breed high-skilled pitchers:  Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Craig Kimbrell, and Arodys Vizcaino – albeit received in a trade – to name a few. Delgado belongs on this list too. Throwing a 92 to 96 MPH fastball with a plus curveball and an solid-average changeup would have hyped more if Teheran wasn’t on the same team. Curveball has good downward movement and bite and the changeup is deceptively thrown. One downside to this Panamanian grown prospect is his slight, or slender, pitching frame. There is room to mature and physically fill out, but this hasn’t happened at the tender age of 20. Ceiling of a number two starter.

Career Stats (inc. 2011): 9.5 K/9 | 3.2 BB/9 | 472 2/3 IP | 3.47 ERA | 1.23 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 7.9 H/9
2011 (AA): 7.8 K/9 | 3.2 BB/9 | 73 2/3 IP | 3.54 ERA | 3.70 FIP | 1.29 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 8.4 H/9 | .296 BABIP

At just 19, he reached Double-A. This year at 20, he has performed well amongst older prospects. His strikeout ratio has decreased (7.8 k/9) but his control has improved (3.2 BB/9) at the mid-point of the minor league season. His workload should not be of concern as he reached 161 innings (High-A and Double-A) last year and 124 innings (Single-A) the year prior. Statistically speaking, there are few concerns beyond the decreasing strikeouts upon reaching Double-A. His luck has been near league average, gets a an equal number of groundballs as flyballs (1.08 GO/AO in 2011), he doesn’t give up an abhorrent number of home runs and his walks are manageable. With as many pitching prospects as the Braves have, there will be no rush on Delgado’s ETA. In the Braves rotation, he projects as a number three starter long-term. Talent ceiling is number two starter. Could be utilized in a trade, or fill-in for a traded or injured pitcher. He’ll be courted by fantasy managers like Mike Minor, Michael Pineda and Jeremy Hellickson in 2012.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis | OF | New York Mets | D.o.B:8/7/87 | 6’3″ | 210 lbs | B/T: L/R | Drafted 3rd, 2008 | NYM #5 ranked prospect per Baseball America 2011 | MiLB Player Page

A former running back, he possesses good all-around broad skill-set played at a balls-to-the-wall approach. Meaning, he has all tools ranging from fringe-average to average tools that make him a solid player but unspectacular at any specific skill. Hitting approach is strong, attempting to utilize all fields and working the count. Still projects as a .270 hitter with gap power within his line-drive swing. Scouts believe he has the bat speed for good power (20 to 25 home run max ceiling) but cautiously project a doubles hitter with 12 to 15 home runs in the majors. Concerning are his massive strikeout rates; on the plus is increased patience being displayed when moving up the minor league ladder. Defensively, he grades as average with an average arm and can play all three outfield spots – center on an “as-need” basis. Speed is fringe-average at best but takes good routes. The speed hasn’t efficiently transferred to the base paths, even though he attempts a fair share of steals. Ceiling is 20/20, more likely a 12/15 third or fourth outfielder who can cover all three outfield sports and produce at the plate.

Career Stats (inc. 2011): .280/.354/.465 | 1501 AB | 173 XBH | 44 Hr | .185 ISO | 46/21 SB/CS | 388:159 K:BB
2011 (AAA): .298/.403/.505 | 188 AB | 25 XBH | 6 Hr | .207 ISO | 5/2 SB/CS | 59:32 K:BB | .407 BABIP

Currently, Nieuwenhuis is on the 7 day-DL with a left shoulder injury sustained on 6/9/11. His current slash line is bolstered by an unsustainable BABIP (.407), even compared to his career which has ranged between .316 to .355 BABIP. Strikeouts continue to be concerning; strikeout rate at Triple-A is 31.8%, career is 25.9 K%. His walk rate has improved this year, but the sample size is too small to make large conclusions. Continuing the small sample size conundrum, his slash line versus LHP this year is .254/.373/.381 in 63 AB with 19 strikeouts (12 walks) and 6 XBH (1 Hr). Not terrible, still worth noting that the slugging percent is substantially less than versus RHP. Power, in general, has been limited to doubles – 113 career doubles. This year he does have six home runs in 188 at-bats, but the 20/20 (HR/SB) ceiling scouting reports are starting to seem overly optimistic. A fair comparison could be an inverse Angel Pagan – slightly more power but fewer steals. A 12 to 15 home run hitter with a ceiling of 20 steals over a full season, assuming his manager would be willing to put-up with poor efficiency.

  1. Mark says:
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    Nieuwenhuis is a “so underrated he’s overrated” guy. He came out of an NAIA school, but displayed solid tools in A-ball, catching the attention of nerdy Mets fans like me who pay attention to the depths of their farm system. He followed it up with a monster second half in his second year in Hi-A and another solid year last year. He’s a bit of a “tweener” in that he may not have the combo of bat and glove ever to play at any outfield position as anything more than an average regular, though he does have some athleticism he’s still tapping into considering his lack of amatuer polish. He has a sweet left handed swing, but he needs to learn to generate more loft to ever truly tap into his ultimate power potential. His upside is in the Hunter Pence (if he can cut down on the K’s) or Curtis Granderson (if he can hit more balls in the air) range, a guy with a solid career and a spectacular year or two in his prime (which is where Pence and Granderson are right now). Worst case, he’s a fringe starter/fourth outfielder with a well rounded offensive/defenisve profile for such a role.

  2. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Mark: Perfect analysis.

  3. Nice stuff – always read your columns as I find them very helpful.

    I usually save these types of comments for your later in the week columns, but Im curious for your take for my 14 team, h2h weekly, non-keeper mixed, 6×6 (holds; ops), with 30 man rosters league:

    My SP depth is above average – we have to start 4 SP, 2 RP + 6 P(flex) every week:

    Current SP staff — Y. Gallardo, I. Kennedy, J. Chacin, R. Oswalt, M. Pineda, D. Hudson, B. Norris, T. Lilly,

    Id like to add 1 more upside SP arm. So, was wondering which of these young arms you like best for the ROS – they would act as my SP#8 or SP#9, so not a lot of pressure here… yet:

    AVAILABLE FA’s:
    J. Teheran
    J. Lyles
    D. Duffy
    C. Furbush (does he get a shot at rotation?)
    K. Gibson*
    M. Moore*
    S. Miller *

    * obviously, not up yet.

    Gracias.

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @El Burro: Thank you for the compliment. ROS: Lyles, Teheran, Gibson. Miller and Moore wont see much time if any. Furbush, meh. I don’t know if he’s going to get a shot at the rotation. Duffy has been exactly why we have the Razzball term Roofied.

  5. Leo says:
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    Hey, love your work here Stephen, very insightful. I have a dilemma here however.

    In my dynasty keeper league, Eric Surkamp was just added to the database. Do you rate Surkamp higher than Delgado (I’ve owned Delgado for awhile now)? I also have Andrew Miller stashed away, but I’m leaning towards holding on to him at the moment. Thank you sir!

  6. Part 2 of the question – do you like Lyles more than either Narveson, R.A. Dickey or Jeff Karstens? Those are my “flyer” options…

    Regarding Duffy – watched his start last night. His stuff is legit; just finds too much of the plate, in my opinion and the fact that the A’s were blasting him aint good.

    Thanks,

  7. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @El Burro: Yes, I like Lyles over Narveson, Karsten, and equal to RA Dickey.

    re: Duffy: I watched his start against MN about two weeks back. He pitches effortlessly, has good stuff but needs to locate pitches better. I think we see the same thing.

  8. trick dad says:
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    hey stephen, who wins this trade in a 30 team dynasty: Andrew Cashner for Michael Saunders?

  9. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @trick dad: Cashner.

  10. ian says:
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    ethier or brantley?

  11. Daniel says:
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    how bout a write up about matt adams

  12. EK says:
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    for tomorrow:
    McDonald @ HOU or Minor vs NYM
    thx

  13. Doog says:
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    Stephen,

    I’m in a dynasty points league where my bats have me annually in the hunt. We have our playoffs during September, when Pineda (my #2 so far) may be dealing with pitch-limit issues and perhaps missed starts. Would you move Pineda now for Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez? Am I getting good value?

  14. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Daniel: I’ll look into it.

    @EK: Minor

    @Doog: I’d keep Pineda if you’re able to hold your entire roster. Miller wont be up helping until 2012.

  15. Daniel says:
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    thanks man that would be awesome if you could. it looks like hes raked at every level but hes not even one of the cards top 10 prospects according to baseball america. id like to know a little more about him

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