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Tanner Scheppers | RHP | Texas Rangers | DoB: 1-17-1987 | 6’4” | 200 lbs | B/T: R/R | 1st rd, 2009 Supplemental | TEX #4 ranked prospect according to Baseball America (2010) | MiLB Player Page

Playing in college at Fresno State during the 2008 season, he blew out his shoulder. Opting to rehab, instead of surgery, he fell in the 2008 draft to the Pirates in the second round. He refused to sign with the lowly Pirates and opted to play for my hometown Independent League – the Saint Paul Saints. He pitched in 19 innings with 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings but a high walk rate (5.2 BB/9) proved enough to be drafted in the 2009 Supplemental round. Scheppers throws his fastball between 93 to 99 mph, depending on which role he’s currently filling (starting pitching or reliever), and possesses a curveball Keith Law describes as “filthy.” Baseball America says his curveball is a “potential plus-plus pitch.” His changeup is still a work in progress and he’ll need to develop this fully to stay in the rotation. Scouts like his delivery, even with the hitch in the back end; his short arm motion and good frame provide for a heavy workhorse type pitcher. Keith Law said in his preseason analysis that Scheppers, “Can miss big league bats now!” Could be a front-line starter or a top-end closer. How has his first pro season gone? (Numbers breakdown like this: Double-A has 11 innings pitched and the rest is at Triple-A.

2010 and Career Stats: 10.4 K/9 | 2.8 K/9 | 3.47 ERA | 1.20 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 8 H/9 | .92 GO/AO

Minor League Splits doesn’t have his advanced stats, thus the limited numbers that we have to work with. I do have a few other numbers from his MiLB Player Page that are of note. First, his ERA as a reliever is 2.62 with 43 strikeouts and 14 walks in 34 1/3 innings pitched while limiting hitters to a .208 average; his ERA as a starter is 5.84 with 19 strikeouts and eight walks in 24 2/3 innings pitched while limiting hitters to a .330 average. He has started six games and pitched in 30 other games, for a reference point. It is clear, albeit a small sample size, that he pitches better from the bullpen. This is something all three sources (Baseball America, John Sickels, and Keith Law) mentioned is a possibility, and a “high probability” from Mr. Law. With the Rangers contending for the playoffs, when the rosters expand in September, expect Scheppers to fill in as Neftali Feliz did in 2009. Potential long-term upside, as his comparisons as a starter are Tim Lincecum (John Sickels) or a Brandon Morrow (Baseball America), or simply a top closer. I would think something more along the lines of Brandon Morrow, and that’s nothing to scoff at.

Mark Trumbo | 1B | Los Angeles Angels | DoB:1-16-1986 | 6’4” | 220 lbs | B/T: R/R | 18th rd, 2004 | LAA #11 ranked prospect according to Baseball America (2010) | MiLB Player Page

I’m digging deep on this one. I thought about writing up Brandon Belt, but Belt may not see any action this year in the majors. Trumbo was drafted out of high school and most scouts and managers wanted him to be a pitcher. He said “Bump that ‘ish,” and set out to be a slugger. It wasn’t until 2008 that he finally broke through at Class High-A (California) and Class Double-A (Texas League). From there, he has slowly risen in the Angels’ farm system. With plus-plus power to all fields – he has the best in the system – he lacks the selectivity to be a solid slugging first baseman. Due to his personal aversion to striking out, he swings early and doesn’t wait for “his pitch.” His pitch is a fastball, for the record. He has slowly begun to become more patient at the plate, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is the best it has ever been. His batting stance is wide, with nearly no stride which allows him to cover the whole plate. Defensively, well, baseball players have to play defense? Someone please tell Mark Trumbo this unfortunate news.  His 2010 season so far at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League):

2010 Stats: .296/.364/.558 | 450 AB | 57 XBH | 28 Hr | .262 ISO | 3/4 SB/CS | 105:50 K:BB | .331 BABIP | 45.6 GB% | 16.3 LD% | 38.1 FB%

Career Stats: .273/.328/.468 | 2711 AB | 289 XBH | 112 Hr | .195 ISO | 34/27 SB/CS | 565:219 K:BB | .311 BABIP | 45.1 GB% | 15.3 LD% | 39.5 FB%

This year has been his best thus far. Helps that he’s playing in a great hitters league – not just park. Many of you are probably asking, “Why are you mentioning this boring first baseman when there are other highly touted prospects playing first?” That is an excellent question. Here’s the answer, “…could become the next Garrett Jones.” (attributed to John Sickels) With the ability to hit .260 and 250 and 30 home runs while paying absolutely nothing, Trumbo could be that missing link between midseason pick up for your title run and a missed opportunity. He may never battle Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols for dominating the first base position, but like the splendid Mr. Robot, he could easily win the affection of thousands of Razzball readers. Be ready to see him play the outfield because of Kendry Morales – who still has to recover from a broken leg and return to mashing. On an old Los Angels team, Trumbo may provide that hidden gem in the upcoming year(s).

From Around The Web

  1. Chomp Samba says:
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    Great analysis!

    On a side note: Who do you think takes over at 1B for the Cubbies if “Dreck” Lee is Braves bound? Anyone on the farm worthy of notice?

  2. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Chomp Samba: Off the top of my head, no. Looking at their Triple-A roster it would look like Micah Hoffpauir would be the call-up.

  3. PoopyPantsMcgee says:
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    @Grey Is Lindstrom droppable in all formats? I’m reeling back and forth….he’s been mine in a very tough 20 team mixer all year. My replacement options don’t include anyone that could get saves except alfredo simon. Thoughts?

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @PoopyPantsMcgee: Grey will answer your question in his post.

  5. Earl Battey says:
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    Hey Stephen,

    First of all, I thoroughly enjoy the posts.

    I have a premature question to ask you. If you want, I can fire it off again in the offseason when all of the info is in, but I thought I’d ask for your input now.

    We have 8-man minor league rosters. You can keep a guy on that roster, and after he crosses the rookie threshhold (50 IP, 130 AB) then you must promote or drop him the next year. You do not need to promote him as soon as he crosses it, so Mike Stanton is still on a minor league roster, for example. You promote a guy to your major league roster and you get him cheap for a year with an option to keep him for an additional 1-3 years at a middling salary. With someone like Stanton, you would have him for 2011-2014, and then he goes into the auction pool.

    Anyhow, we might expand our league next year. For the minor league “expansion draft,” we can protect one “franchise” prospect. Then we rank our remaining 7 guys, and the new owner picks one guy from each tier, and no owner can lose more than one prospect.

    Here’s my list. It’s a shallow league, so I place an emphasis on upside. A guy with the potential to be a “solid major leaguer” doesn’t have much value, so you might see some names I should scratch off the list.

    Domonic Brown
    Dee Gordon
    Wilmer Flores
    Mike Minor
    Lonnie Chisenhall
    Julio Teheran
    Aaron Hicks
    Simon Castro

    Sorry for the long prelude. . . here’s my question. Should I consider promoting Brown and/or Minor if it looks like they’ll be starters next year, or should I wait and be able to keep them further into their careers? If I promoted both of them, I’d be able to protect more of my current prospect roster, but I would lose out on a year that should be closer to the prime of their careers. Any thoughts on the order of these prospects or whether I should throw any of them back?

    Thanks. If you want to wait until the offseason, no problem.

  6. Stephen says:
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    @Earl Battey: The long prelude was extremely helpful, so don’t be sorry, it makes my answer more tactful. Brown is extremely enticing to promote right away because of his tremendous upside. However, I would be hesitant to promote him for the 2011 season because I don’t think he’ll explode onto the scene, he’ll be good, but that is the point of holding him as your franchise player and promoting Minor because I think he’ll have more of an impact earlier. My personal preference/belief is that young pitchers have a better chance to thrive (i.e. Travis Wood, Clayton Kershaw, Liriano, Tommy Hanson, etc.) sooner than hitters (Delmon Young, Alex Gordon, Jason Kubel, Ryan Howard – didn’t make the majors until mid 20’s – Chase Utley, etc.). Hitters typically peak later than pitchers. Thus, I’d franchise Domonic Brown and promote Minor.

    Hicks and Flores have tons of upside, but they are the furthest away from the majors, and Dee Gordon is strictly a SAGNOF type player at SS – like Elvis Andrus. You’ll just going to have to wait for the first two.

    Strictly on upside:

    Domonic Brown
    Julio Teheran
    Aaron Hicks
    Mike Minor
    Simon Castro
    Wilmer Flores
    Lonnie Chisenhall
    Dee Gordon

    Major League Readiness:
    Domonic Brown (Future All-Star, just not 2011)
    Mike Minor (Should contend for a Rotation spot in Spring Training)
    Simon Castro (next year will get a chance)
    Julio Teheran (Think this year’s Mike Minor)
    Lonnie Chisenhall (Cleveland may be forced to play him sooner rather than later)
    Dee Gordon (Defense needs to improve)
    —-large drop (another two years minimum)—-
    Aaron Hicks
    Wilmer Flores

  7. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Earl Battey: I wasn’t signed in, but post number 6 was mine.

  8. Earl Battey says:
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    Hey Stephen, thank you so much for your detailed response. It’s great to have an objective take on my prospects. It also makes me feel reasonably good about my guys. It looks like I’ll be saying goodbye to a fairly good prospect, but it won’t be Brown.

    Thanks again.

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