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Performing Prospects and Under-Performing Prospects

Eric Himmelheber of HardballScoop.com details what prospects have been thriving and failing.

Since the 2017 season started, Hardball Scoop has given fans on-the-spot news about the league’s top prospects. From call ups to exclusive interviews, a lot has already happened this season.

Scout.com has compiled their own list of the top 100 prospects in baseball. Below are a couple teams whose prospects seem to be paying off and those who aren’t.

Teams with promising prospects:

Chicago Cubs

  • Ian Happ (OF): The prospect most Cubs fans know about is Ian Happ. During his time in the minors, Happ hit .298/.362/.615 with a .977 OPS. Happ also provided solid power hitting nine home runs with 25 runs batted in. After homering in his MLB debut, Happ has already made a solid first impression. Despite being in the majors for only three games, Happ has hit .400/.538/1.100 with two home runs and four runs batted in.
  • Eloy Jimenez (OF): Jimenez has the same situation as Happ but in the minors. While only playing in four games this season, the 20-year old outfielder is putting up good numbers. He’s hitting .333/.444/.533 with one home run and three runs batted in. It shows promise after the 2016 season he had. Jimenez batted .329/.369/.532 with 14 home runs and 81 runs batted in, stealing 8 bases as well. His numbers are worth of a call to Chicago if he keeps them up.
  • Dylan Cease (P): The Cubs prospect is pitching well down in Single-A ball. Over the course of 32 and 1/3 innings pitched, Cease has given up 23 hits and eight earned runs (2.23 ERA). Cease has been a strikeout machine this season. He has struck out 50 batters while only walking 17. A problem with Cease is that he has yet to pass the sixth inning. In fact, Cease has only reached the sixth inning once out of his seven starts. This is a huge reason why he is only 1-1 this season.

New York Mets

  • Amed Rosario (SS): The Mets top shortstop prospect is creating a lot of buzz lately down in Triple-A. With Asdrubal Cabrera on the disabled list and Jose Reyes hitting below the Mendoza line, Rosario could be called up soon. Rosario is hitting .364/.407/.523 this season, all stats being career highs. Rosario has also hit three home runs with a solid 26 runs batted in. He also has eight stolen bases this season, which is more than Reyes and Cabrera have combined.
  • Dominic Smith (1B): Another Mets prospect showing great promise is Dominic Smith. The first basemen is hitting .325/.380/.497 this season for the Triple-A Las Vegas. Smith has driven in 24 runs, along with five home runs. Smith has been impressive with his bat having twice as many hits than strikeouts, something that reflects his 2016 stats in Double-A, where he had 146 hits and 74 strikeouts. Smith’s power could continue to shine. Last season, Smith hit 14 home runs with 91 runs batted in. If Mets first baseman Lucas Duda continues hitting the way he is (.220/.352/.475), Smith could make his debut sometime this season.
  • Thomas Szapucki (P) The Mets may have yet another pitching gem in the works. Szapucki hasn’t put up any stats this season due to shoulder issues. But in 2016, Szapucki was lights out. Going 4-3 in nine games, Szapucki put up a 1.38 ERA in 52 innings pitched. He had over three times as many strikeouts (86) as he did hits allowed (26). Szapucki put up an outstanding 0.885 WHIP and only gave up eight runs. Opposing hitters hit just .145 against him. Now, some could argue this is because he pitched for the Mets rookie team in Kingsport, but these numbers are hard to ignore.

Teams with under-performing prospects:

Oakland Athletics

  • Matt Chapman (3B) Chapman has been terrible this season for Triple-A Nashville. Although he has belted six home runs with 12 runs batted in, Chapman’s current stat line of .213/.293./.488 is near a career worst. Chapman has almost twice as many strikeouts (32) as hits (17). However, the A’s are looking for power out of Chapman. He hit 36 home runs last season, while driving in 96 runs last season. But his average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are causes for concern.
  • Grant Holmes (P) Usually, the A’s produce solid pitchers throughout their system. It seems to be that Holmes could be the exception to the rule. Holmes has gone 2-3 in nine games this season, posting a 5.29 ERA. In his 32 and 1/3 innings pitched, Holmes has given up 38 hits, 19 earned runs, 18 walks and struck out 37 batters. His 1.732 WHIP is also not helping the cause to be called up to Triple-A Nashville. If these are the stats Holmes keeps up in Double-A, then he won’t see the Oakland rotation for a long time, perhaps ever.
  • A.J. Puk (P): Puk isn't necessarily flopping in the farm system, but he's putting up below-average numbers. Puk is 1-4 through eight games posting a 4.15 ERA, giving up 14 earned runs in 30 and 1/3 innings pitched. A bright side to Puk is the amount of strikeouts. Puk struck out 49 batters while only walking nine batters. The 22-year-old from Cedar Rapids could be promising, despite his struggles.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Tyler Glasnow (P) The 6-foot-8 pitching prospect has been awful for the Pirates this season. In the 29 and 1/3 innings he has pitched, Glasnow has given up 26 runs (7.98 ERA), walked 21 batters and struck out 31 batters. His WHIP is above 2 and he’s 1-3 in seven games. While in Triple-A ball last season, Glasnow was outstanding. He went 8-3 posting a 1.93 ERA, while striking out 144 batters. This is Glasnow’s first full season in the big leagues, but it may seem as if the Pirates have a bust on their hands. There is plenty of season left, so let’s hope Glasnow turns it around.
  • Austin Meadows (CF): Meadows didn’t have a good season last year nor is he having a good one this year. Hitting .226/.287/.307, Meadows is turning out to be a disappointment. He has 31 hits to 17 strikeouts and hasn’t posted a .300 season average since his 2015 season in Single-A ball. With Harrison, McCutchen, Jaso, Marte, Frazier and Osuna in the outfield, Meadows won’t be seeing PNC Park any time soon unless he completely turns his game around with the bat.
  • Kevin Newman (SS): The Pirates Double-A prospect has been stale this season. One home run, eight runs batted in, along with an average of .252, Newman needs to kick it in gear like he did last season. In 2016, Newman hit .320, walking more (43) than striking out (36), which is impressive. With Jordy Mercer hitting .206 for the Pirates and Gift Ngoepe hitting .222, Newman can possibly make it to the Pirates roster at the back-end of this season when teams expand to the 40-man roster. For now, Newman’s vanilla numbers won’t excite anyone in the Pirates organization enough to give him the call to start mid-season.

There are plenty of other teams’ prospects who are panning out, such as the Chicago White Sox. Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and Carson Fulmer are all putting up solid numbers. The Los Angeles DodgersCody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo are all hitting above .300. There also some teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres who have prospects under-performing, as well. We never know who will turn out and who won't turn out.


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