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.

  1. Chase says:

    way to be resilient after grey stole your piece!

  2. zk says:

    My wife dated a guy named Mat in high school. I called him “one-t.” I always wanted to punch him in the face.

    Any updates on Adrian Gonzalez?

  3. Stephen says:

    @zk: This is what Rotoworld has to say:

    “Adrian Gonzalez (knee) is hoping to return to the lineup Wednesday.
    Gonzalez suffered a minor knee injury on Tuesday night while sliding into third base and was pulled from the game. He woke up Wednesday morning feeling “a little tight and sore” but told reporters, “I think I can play.” We’ll update as soon as we see the Padres’ lineup.”

    We’ll see later tonight if this hope is true.

  4. Falcon says:

    Is there something wrong with Josh Johnson? why was he pulled after 3.1 innings?

  5. Stephen says:

    @Falcon: Could have something to do with his lack of control and pitch count – 89 pitches and 49 for strikes. Probably just didn’t have his best stuff this afternoon.

  6. Stephen says:

    Good news, Matt Kemp is hitting 2nd today!

  7. Stephen says:

    @Falcon: Here is how Rotoworld said it:

    “Josh Johnson was pulled after allowing one run in 3 1/3 innings against the Nationals on Wednesday.
    Johnson allowed five hits and walked four before coming out with two on and one out in the top of the fourth. Burke Badenhop got out of the jam to protect Johnson’s ERA, but it was a very shaky outing for the likely All-Star. He threw 89 pitches to get his 10 outs.”

    Also, Matt Kemp is hitting second because Orlando Hudson is resting today. Hopefully Torre figures out that Kemp is better than most of his hitters and should bat him higher than, oh, 8th.

  8. Corey says:

    @ Stephen: Check his numbers at each spot in the lineup. When he hits 2nd, he usually, well, sucks. When he hits lower in the lineup, he rakes.

  9. Stephen says:

    @Corey: He has never been given a consistent chance to hit higher in the order. Needless to say, Torre is running out a lineup day in and day out that is winning games and that is all that matters.

  10. so i’ve thrown JOHAN, Beckett, and Shields this week so far in my H2H league….. EFFF’n Awesome

    3 aces, SHELLED TO HELL AND BACK….. unreal

  11. peter says:

    @Tony Y: Usually Maddon let’s Shields pitch pretty deep into games – often to give him a shot at a win. But today he was just left in too long; he should have been lifted right after Lind homered in the 8th, if not before.

  12. Philabuster says:

    15-team Keeper league, I’ve been offered Billy Butler for Qualls. Seems like a clear no-brainer win for me. Is there something I’m missing?

  13. black love says:

    no torn labrum or surgery for webb, they say hes gonna rest for another 4-6 weeks before throwing, possible return for september, which is after the fantasy season.
    can we all finally pull the plug on webb?

  14. BSA says:

    @Tony Y:
    Well my team’s SP all seem to line up together. No one all week and then today I throw:
    Romero, Beckett, JZimm, Hamels, and Millwood
    Since I also have Meyer I have started my day with two wins. We’ll see how tonight goes.

    My pitching numbers are a roller coaster.

  15. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    So… I trade away Prince Fielder and he starts driving in 3 runs a game. But he can’t muster TWO MEASLY RBIs today against the Mets, in support of MY BOY YOVANI GALLARDO.

    Prince you’re so fat and I hate you. Except I don’t. But come on fatty!

  16. Stephen says:

    @Philabuster: I’d take it. Sorry for the slow reply, work required a few more minutes of my time than anticipated.

  17. BSA says:

    Random thoughts/question category

    If the National League struggles in interleague, the All Star game, and the World Series,

    why do so many fantasy baseball fans prefer National League pitchers over American League?

    I have my idea, but am interested to hear yours as we head into an evening of game watching and razzball commenting.

  18. Eric C. says:

    Beckham has been hot lately. Is he worth dropping Asdrubal Cabrera or Nolan Reimold for?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BSA: Hitters are weaker too, bigger parks, pitchers hitting.

    @Eric C.: I’d lose Asdrubal for him.

    EDIT: Word.

  20. BSA says:

    eeeewwww – what’s that smell?

    Oh yeah the winds from the South are blowing North and I can smell the steamy pile of dogshat that Hamels left on the mound in Hotlanta.

    C’mon Millwood get me back into it!

    Sucks when your ace stinks up the joint!

  21. Mr Baseball says:

    hey grey to you still believe in fred lewis – have him in a 20 team keeper league and the sad part due to injuies he is starting – thinking about picking up Josh Willingham –

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mr Baseball: Lewis is terrible, but in a 20 team league, eh. I’d probably try Willingham though.

  23. Jonny says:

    Yo! Would you trade Ortiz and Bedard for Carpenter? I picked Papi off waivers… I can’t decide.

  24. @Jonny: i traded fat papie and holliday for JOHAN…

    and johan has rewarded me with a good game and a FRICKIN horrible game….

    coin toss, papi has been a littl ebetter, bedard is irrelevent, carp has been hit up lately….

    flip it

  25. Stephen says:

    @BSA: There are a lot of good pitchers in the NL, plus the pitchers have to hit. Essentially what Grey has said.

    @Jonny: IF, and that is purposely a big if, you trust that Carpenter is going to be healthy, I would do it.

  26. Jonny says:

    Yeah, that is a big IF. Carp screwed me big time 2 yrs ago.

  27. Jonny says:

    Now it’s his smoltz/millwood for ortiz bedard

  28. Stephen says:

    @Jonny: I’d do that.

  29. Jonny says:

    I like that one…gonna pull the trigger. Thanks!

  30. what do you guys think of

    Ryan howard/JOHAN for


  31. Freak says:

    @Frank Rizzo: I’d like to end the night off with a “Suck it, ho.”

    Dallas Braden: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

    If they are on my team, they start. Otherwise, why have them on my team.

    Don’t even trip.

  32. nmdunkel says:

    @ Steve: thanks bro, good peripheral info, as always. Gotta question for ya…

    I’m used to the 20-80 scale, does the baseball cube use 1-100? And if that’s the case, what’s the mlb average? 60?

  33. Stephen says:

    @nmdunkel: The Baseball Cube uses a 1-100 scale. I am not sure what the mlb average is..

    Here are two references, Daniel Cabrera and Miguel Cairo)

    Cabrera – Control (12) | K-rating (74) | Efficiency (31)
    Cairo – Power (18) | Speed (87) | Contact (92) | Patience (13)

    Its essentially a tool ranker, and not necessarily solely performance based.

  34. nmdunkel says:

    @ Stephen: Gotchya, thanks. That site is a timesink, I can’t get any work done ’cause I’m so infatuated with it.

  35. Stephen says:

    @nmdunkel: Yeah, it is pretty interesting. I only dabble on it to suffice the articles needs or I would be there for hours. It was nice to compare Smoak with sluggers like Pujols, Ramirez, and A-Rod.

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