This week has been rather chaotic, or maybe that is just my brain failing on me. Either way, Grey stole this week’s pitcher for StU – Carlos Carrasco – on Monday. I’m not bitter, just was hoping to beat him to the punch. But he covered most of what is needed to be covered. I would most definitely pick him up and see what kind of results he has on Thursday. On this past Sunday, while rummaging through a sports book rack at Barnes and Noble, I found Baseball America 2009 Prospect Handbook and most definitely recommend reading this mighty fine book, that is, of course, if you are willing to shell out $30. It’s worth it, promise!
Something I have noticed about my writing recently (aka this past week) has been that I write strictly from a fantasy player’s perspective. Upon reading the scouting reports from Baseball America, I realize sometimes the numbers only tell part of the story. Needless to say, remember this, as some of my analysis negates some personal theories of some teams. Hope you enjoy this week’s StU!
Mat Latos | SP | San Diego Padres | DOB – 12/9/87 | 6-5 | 210 lbs | Bats/throws Right | SD’s #2 Prospect according to Baseball America
Cube Ratings: Control (79) | K-rating (100) | Efficiency (88)
Mat Latos is the best pitching prospect in the Padres minors, but he wasn’t drafted until the 11th round in 2006 because of character and contract issues. Well, the character issues are still there. He is a extremely competitive player on days he pitches, but tends to become a team hindrance on days he doesn’t – this was from Baseball America’s conversations with scouts, managers and team reps. This may have changed in recent months, aka this year, but I didn’t find anything in articles that would have changed that. For strictly fantasy purposes, character issues are only a problem if the team won’t let him pitch, and I doubt that will happen.
He throws a 94 to 95 mph fastball that at times touches 97 to 98 mph. On the 20 to 80 scale, it rates as a 70 (or a plus pitch). Well, that seems pretty obvious. To compliment that power pitch, he throws a late breaking, hard slider, and a change-up that is a work in progress. The slider has been developed pretty well, but that change-up will need to continue to improve to see success at the next several levels. So far this year, he has pitched extraordinarily well at A and AA. The success at A ball has been helped by a remarkably low BABIP (.168), but it was enough to get him promoted to AA and the BABIP (.281) has remained low. He has above average command of his fastball and successfully throws the slider.
From a numbers standpoint, his control has been getting better with each passing year (BB/9 – 3.36, 2.1, 1.7 [2007-present]), but his k-rate is decreasing (11.8, 11.1, 9.2 [2007-present]). Hmm, but he is pitching better and better as indicated by a low twos FIP in all three years, and an improving WHIP (1.41, 1.11, .77 [07-present]. The only knock on him right now, is that he has only pitched 56 1/3 and 56 innings the last two years, and is now at 63 1/3 innings this year. According to Tom Verducci’s pitching rule, he should only pitch, oh about two to three more starts. Due to the fact that he was drafted out of high school, this will inhibit the time of his MLB debut because of the innings limit (for another example of innings playing a part on development look here at one of my old articles about Jonathan Sanchez). However, some scouts have said that he could be used in a late inning bullpen role, but that doesn’t make sense unless the Padres are contending, and well, that isn’t the case this year (for now).
The future upside is a middle of the rotation spot, or a late inning bullpen role. I would love to see him this year, but it would be highly unlikely. His control is extremely nice, and the k-rate should stay near the eight to nine levels through AAA. Expect large things from Latos in 2010, and maybe a September call up this year, but that is highly unlikely.
Ben Revere | OF | Minnesota Twins | DOB – 5/3/88 | 5-9 | 166 lbs | Bats/throws Left/Right | MN’s #2 Prospect according to Baseball America
Cube Ratings: Power (25) | Speed (98) | Contact (94) | Patience (24)
There are several things to know about Mr. Revere. First, he isn’t a slap hitter as he has some gap to gap power (think Jacoby Ellsbury). Second, he doesn’t strike out much, or walk near enough (BB% – 6.4, 7.4, 8.8 | K% 10.5, 9.1, 8.5 [07 – present]), though these numbers are getting way better. Third, his main asset is his speed. Fourth, he is a prototypical leadoff hitter. Lastly, his defense is great, his range is far, but his arm rivals Juan Pierre. Aaron Gleeman (the senior writer for baseball at Rotoworld, and fellow Twins fan/addict) says his hitting is Juan Pierre-esque (and for the older gentlemen – Lance Johnson), and his upside is Kenny Lofton or Johnny Damon. Those aren’t bad names to be compared to, unless Juan Pierre production doesn’t entice you (as a real team it should be nice, as a fantasy player, not quite as much).
Revere was drafted out of high school by the Twins in 2007, and they were highly criticized by picking him “too early,” and for trying to save money. Well, Revere responded by hitting .325/.388/.461 with 21 SB in 2007 at rookie ball (in 191 AB). Then in 2008 he hit .379/.433/.497 with 44 SB at A ball (in 340 AB). His ISO in 2008 was .118, which was league average, (other than adding a reference point, it shows little). The slugging percentage is high because he hit 10 triples in both ’07 and ’08 (only one home run combined in those two years).
This year he is hitting a more modest .319/.388/.381 with 28 SB (in 270 AB) at A+ ball, but with two home runs already. The added patience at the plate is nice, as is the decreasing k-rate. The only negative I could find is that he has been caught stealing 12 times this year while he was caught only 13 times all year last year when he stole 44 bases. His BABIP has been extraordinarily high too with .363, .416, and .343 (’07 – present respectably), and would imagine that those numbers will decrease as will his average. There is still time this year for his slugging percentage to be raised to a more respectable number, but he will never hit many home runs, but that is not his forte.
Don’t expect to see Revere anytime soon though. He is in the Twins farm system and they are extremely patient with high school players that they draft. I envision see a promotion to AA later this year, but he will not sniff the majors until late 2010.