As many longtime readers know, I’ve been waiting for someone to pick up where John Sickels left off and provide a different perspective than Baseball America, which often parrots the front offices, and the MLB Pipeline, which doesn’t have to pretend it’s not the company line… because it is the company line.
Earlier this year, I gave the Minor League Ball Analyst another chance and had my low expectations met (just barely). Perhaps fine for picking your fantasy baseball team, but insufficient for learning more about players who weren’t names already.
- Victor Robles, OF
- Carter Kieboom, IF
- Luis Garcia, IF
- Seth Romero, LHP
- Mason Denaburg, RHP
- Jackson Tetreault, RHP
- Tim Cate, LHP
- Yasel Antuna, IF
- Israel Pineda, C
- Reid Schaller, RHP
Now, I realize for some of you, this may underwhelming. But take a look at what he wrote last March about Juan Soto:
The Victor Robles 2.0 Express Train to Washington got delayed – temporarily. Soto, a higher touted prospect at the time of his signing, came to terms with the organization on a $1.5 million pact three years ago. And the 6-foot-1, 185-pound corner outfielder was absurdly proficient in his much anticipated debut two years ago, slugging a combined .368/.420/.553 with 14 doubles, three triples, and five homeruns between stops in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues. His overall production that season, according to Weighted Runs Created Plus, topped the league average mark by mind-boggling 88%. As a 17-year-old. Last season Washington bumped the teenage prospect up to Hagerstown at the start of the year. And Soto picked up right where he left off; he slugged .360/.427/.523 through his first 23 games before a string of injuries – ankle and wrist – knocked him out for pretty much the remainder of the year. Soto was sporting a 172 wRC+ through his first 96 PA. He could launch into another stratosphere in 2018, a la Robles or Ronald Acuna
Maybe that’s cherry-picking, or extremely lucky, but not too many people can brag about predicting that kind of success.
How Werner reminds me of Sickels is that in his book Werner reviews his previous year’s work and identifies the hits and misses. There’s a lot of good stuff
I’d recommend taking a look at today’s article to see what he thinks about nos. 6-10 since everybody and their grandmother has already written about nos. 1-5. And of course, discuss in the comments…