The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Wei-Yin Chen Miami Marlins

Wei-Yin Chen (P) MIA - Nov. 20

Chen was designated for assignment by the Marlins on Wednesday, Andersen Pickard of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: This was a pretty big statement by the Marlins, as they paid Chen $22 million to go away so that they could protect one more prospect from the Rule 5 draft. He had a 6.59 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 68.1 innings last season. His MLB career is likely over.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 21
Greg Bird New York Yankees

Another player who didn't make the Yankees' 40-man.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 21
Jacoby Ellsbury New York Yankees
Jo Adell Los Angeles Angels

We are now showing minor league games at position.

Clearly, Adell is being prepped to play on one side of Trout or the other.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 21
Will Smith Atlanta Braves

Me thinks his record as a setup man for Melancon is, well, pretty good.  Which probably says more about Melancon than Smith.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Nov 20
Chris Martin Atlanta Braves

Strikes me as a slightly-poorer man's version of Ryan Pressly, whose resigning to a somewhat richer 2-year deal has worked just fine for the Astros.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Nov 20
Jordan Groshans Toronto Blue Jays

BA's No. 2 prospects on the Blue Jays.

  1. 2. Jordan Groshans | SS
    Jordan Groshans
    Born: Nov 10, 1999 
    Bats: R Throws: R 
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205 
    Drafted: HS--Magnolia, Texas, 2018 (1st round). 
    Signed By: Brian Johnston. 

    BA Grade: 65. Risk: Very High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 60. Run: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60

    Track Record: Groshans generated positive buzz the summer after he signed for $3.4 million as the 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft. The arrows continued pointing up on Groshans in 2019 after a hot start at low Class A, but a left foot injury limited him to just 23 games the entire season and he didn’t play after May 13.

    Scouting Report: When healthy, Groshans looked like one of the top offensive forces in the lower levels. He has a long frame and generates fast bat speed, with a knack for being on time. He has athletic hitting actions and an advanced approach for his age, with the ability to hammer premium velocity while also recognizing offspeed pitches and has the adjustability in his body and swing to barrel soft stuff. He has good plate coverage, particularly for a taller hitter, and he has plus power, driving the ball out of the park from right-center over to his pull side. At shortstop, Groshans has an above-average arm and gets good reads off the bat, though his first-step quickness and range lead a lot of scouts to project a move to third base. He has the attributes to develop into an above-average defender if he moves to third base.

    The Future: Health is the only thing that has held back Groshans, who has a chance to develop into a plus regular who could hit toward the top or middle of a big league lineup.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 20
Chris Martin Atlanta Braves

Braves again are the early birds this winter, signing Martin for two years, $14 million.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 20
Marcell Ozuna St. Louis Cardinals

Ozuna's team is using analytics to sell him as better than his back-of-the-baseball-card stats would show:

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 20
Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers

My first guess about the "underperformance" would be that a lot of it is due to not getting the playing time, rather than getting the playing time and not performing up to projection.

In other words, how many players played in the majors in 2019 who did not get a projection?  Perhaps Fernando Tatis, Jr, for example?

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Nov 19

Bill James in the Handbook: "In last year's book we projected the 2019 batting stats for 413 players who did play in the majors in 2019. Of those 413 players, 89 did clearly better than we projected them to do, 141 did clearly worse, and 183 did more or less what we said they would do."

Interesting, in view of the homer explosion, that more players underperformed.

He cites Ryan Braun as one of their best projections.

144 games, 475 AB, 70 runs, 131 hits, 29 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 43 BB, 102 SO, 12 SB, .276 Avg, .495 Slg.

I won't say Rotoman's is better, but I won't say it's not.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 19
Brandon Marsh Los Angeles Angels

The Angels have solved one problem by not picking up Kole's option, but there still is the Justin Upton contract that they need to resolve to open up a spot for Marsh. They're still on the hook for three-years and $72 mill with Upton. I really liked what I saw from Marsh last Fall in Arizona. First player that came to mind on a comp was Jayson Werth. Kid has some serious skills and here's hoping they sort out the Upton situation, as an outfield of Trout, Adell, and Marsh could prove to be one of the best in the game a couple years down the road.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 18

Are you listening, Kole?

2. Brandon Marsh, OF
DOB: 12/18/97
Height/Weight: 6’4” / 215 lbs
Drafted 60th overall in the 2016 draft, Buford HS (Buford, GA); signed for $1,073,300.
Previous Ranking(s): 
#4 (Org), #94 (Top 101)
2019 Stats: 
.053/.053/.053, 0 HR, 1 SB in 5 games for AZL Angels; .300/.386/.424, 7 HR, 19 SB in 100 games for Double-A Mobile 

The Report: Selected in the second round in 2016, Marsh is an intimidating and agile athlete, standing 6-foot-4 with an extra-large frame. He missed a bunch of Double-A seasoning in 2019 due to a leg injury, but showed off his improving hit tool when healthy. His bat-to-ball skills make him a true gap-to-gap hitter, and plenty of strength lets him drive the ball with some sizzle. Once he finds a gap, his plus wheels are a sight to see. He moves very well for his size, and should remain a threat to swipe a few bags through maturity. His power tool is tracking to play about average, but there is plenty of muscle and strength that points to some potential for swing-change-induced growth with launch angle adjustments. Patrolling the outfield, Marsh can play all three spots, with plus potential in the corners. There’s enough to profile as a true center fielder, but as with Adell it might not be enough to supplant Trout, and he will likely slide to right in Anaheim. That challenge will not be a problem, as he has a plus arm to keep runners at bay. Marsh has an intriguing tool set that retains some room for growth and projection. He could very well find himself in an outfield next to Trout and Adell one day.

OFP: 60 / Above-average everyday outfielder 

Variance: High. As mentioned, his ability to make hard contact has been impressive of late. But with just average power, Marsh will need to max out his hit tool to be a consistent threat offensively. —Forest Stulting

Major league ETA: Late 2020

Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: For how toolsy he is and how close he is to the majors, I’m not sure why Marsh doesn’t get more love in fantasy circles. Even if the power never fully materializes and he’s only a 15-homer guy, Marsh has the bat and legs to serve as a well-rounded OF4. If he is able to leverage his big boy frame into more pop, we could be looking at a high-end OF3 instead. Given that he should challenge for MLB plate appearances late this year or early next, that makes Marsh a borderline top-50 dynasty prospect for me. I’m a fan, even if part of me still worries the Angels will block him by re-signing Kole Calhoun to a 12-year extension.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Jo Adell Los Angeles Angels

From BP today...

1. Jo Adell, OF
DOB: 4/8/99
Height/Weight: 6’3” / 215 lbs
Drafted 10th overall in the 2017 draft (Ballard HS, Louisville, KY); signed for $4,376,800.
Previous Ranking(s): 
#1 (Org), #2 (Top 101)
2019 Stats: 
.280/.333/.560, 2 HR, 0 SB in 6 games for High-A Inland Empire; .311/.399/.587, 10 HR, 8 SB in 46 games for Double-A Mobile; .264/.321/.355 0 HR, 1 SB in 27 games for Triple-A Salt Lake

The Report: There aren’t many pages of Adell’s prospect story left to read that aren’t already slathered in drool, and he will enter the 2020 season perched again—for a final time—among the best couple prospects in the entire world. That he is even still eligible for this list resulted not from a lack of level-appropriate offensive prowess, but from lost developmental time after a gruesome leg injury in the spring and the negative subsequent effects that shelving allegedly had on his ability to track fly balls in a corner spot. This is a true five-tool talent, however, and those types don’t wallow well or for long against Triple-A competition. He’ll flank Mike Trout in Anaheim rather than supplant him in center, but the glove and speed for a theoretical up-the-middle assignment remain. The bat is now seasoned and cooked to perfection, and he’ll have as much of a chance as any rookie to hit the ground hitting against the best pitchers in the game. On-base skills, power, and value-added baserunning and defense is some kind of package.

OFP: 70 / All-Star outfielder

Variance: Low, at least insofar as any young player’s risk factor can be discounted. Loads of talent and plenty of track record make him one of the “safer” high-end prospects around, and it would be quite a shock to the system if a healthy Adell does not go on to at least a first-division career. 

Major league ETA: 2020, hopefully on Opening Day.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Jay Groome Boston Red Sox
  1. From BA today...
    7. Jay Groome | LHP
    Jay Groome
    Born: Aug 23, 1998 
    Bats: L Throws: L 
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 220 
    Drafted: HS--Barnegat, N.J., 2016 (1st round). 
    Signed By: Ray Fagnant. 

    BA Grade: 55. Risk: Extreme 
    Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Cutter: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

    Track Record: One of the best prep pitchers in the 2016 draft, Groome has thrown just 66 pro innings due to injuries, including a torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery and cost him all of 2018 and most of 2019. Still, he returned to games by the end of 2019, showed flashes of swing-and-miss stuff, and continues to feature a ceiling that arguably surpasses that of any other pitcher in the Red Sox farm system.

    Scouting Report: Groome received strong marks for the strength and conditioning work he did over his rehab from Tommy John. He has a prototypical starter’s build, generating power stuff with an easy delivery. In his return, Groome sat at 92-94 mph and topped out at 96. His signature offering, however, is a hammer curveball—a pitch for which he was still looking to regain his feel in his return from Tommy John. Groome’s changeup improved from fringy to average during his rehab, and his natural ability to manipulate the ball makes it easy to imagine the development of a cutter.

    The Future: : Groome likely will start 2020 in low Class A Greenville. If healthy, he could move quickly to high Class A Salem. At age 21, he’s young enough to believe that his top-of-the-rotation upside remains intact, even if his poor health track record raises questions about whether he’ll realize it.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Triston Casas Boston Red Sox

Has ascended from No. 5 to No. 1 in Baseball America's rankings of Red Sox prospects.

BA Grade: 60. Risk: High
Tool Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 60. Run: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50.

Track Record: After reclassifying to enter the draft a year earlier than his peers, Casas emerged as one of the top high school position prospects in the 2018 draft by displaying standout all-fields power both with aluminum and, while playing in international competition for Team USA, wood bats. In 2019, he cemented his status as a standout player for his age and experience level, primarily at low Class A Greenville. He ranked in the top three of all 2018 high school draftees in OPS and homers while also joining Xander Bogaerts as the only Red Sox teenager in the last 50 years to hit at least 20 homers in one year at any level.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Josh Bell Pittsburgh Pirates

Went for 20 in one league last year. My other league has him available for 2020 ... goes to $25 I'm sure at least. Maybe closer to $28.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 18
Eloy Jimenez Chicago White Sox

You lose some, you win some. Here's the player Sickels ranked third.

(Follow-up on the post just now under Tatis Jr.)

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Fernando Tatis Jr. San Diego Padres

Good call by Sickels in his top 100 prospects rankings last February.

2) Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres, (Grade A): Originally signed by White Sox, traded to Padres for James Shields, a trade that will go down in infamy; hit .286/.355/.507 in Double-A at age 19, with 16 homers and 16 steals; you can make a good case for Tatis at No.1 ahead of Vlad; explosive athlete with power, speed; doesn’t have Vlad’s supernatural strike zone judgment but is more athletic and has greater defensive value; ETA 2019.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Brent Honeywell Jr Tampa Bay Rays

From Rotowire:

Brent Honeywell
To start throwing in January

PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
November 17, 2019

Honeywell (elbow) will start throwing in January, Juan Toribio of reports.

He hasn't pitched in a game for two full seasons, after suffering a
setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Rays remain
optimistic that Honeywell will be a part of the long-term pitching
staff, but they will be cautious with him in 2020. Honeywell will open
the year in the minors or in extended spring training.
Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18

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