CALL-UPS: June 13-19, 2017

Photo: Brock Stewart (RHP, LA)

Contributing writers: Jeremy Deloney (JD), Rob Gordon (RG), Nick Richards (NR) and Matthew St-Germain (MSG)

June 19, 2017

Brock Stewart (RHP, LA)
Despite starting the season late due to shoulder tendinitis, the 25-year-old is back on schedule and has been promoted to the majors to provide depth in the middle innings. Stewart burst onto the scene in 2016 when he started five games for the Dodgers after dominating the minors on three levels. He was a college infielder, but was moved to the bullpen upon being selected in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. After one season as a reliever, he was moved to the starting rotation in 2015 before his breakout campaign in 2016. Stewart features a plus 91-96 mph fastball with a hard slider that exhibits cutter action, but lacks ideal movement. His best secondary offering is a change-up that flashes plus with late fade and sink. It is an effective neutralizer against left-handed hitters. With good size (6’3” 210 pounds) and a relatively fresh arm, there is some upside here. Stewart has made great progress with pitch sequencing and he already throws consistent strikes and rarely beats himself with walks. For his minor league career, he has a 3.12 ERA, 2.1 Ctl and 9.9 Dom. (JD)
STATS: Oklahoma City (AAA) – 3 gs, 0-0 3.24 ERA, 8.1 IP, 9 hits, 0 BB, 13 K
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7C

Max Povse (RHP, SEA)
The Mariners dipped down to Double-A to recall the tall, projectable 23 year-old after designating LHP Dillon Overton for assignment. Povse was acquired from the Braves via trade in November 2016—he was a third-round pick of Atlanta in 2014. With his 6’8” frame, he throws from an over-the-top angle, naturally creating solid downward plane. He uses his leverage to create the illusion of sink on his 89-94 mph fastball. In reality, his fastball is generally quite flat, however, he induces a ton of groundballs. Povse has a big-breaking curveball in his arsenal, but it isn’t as effective as his deceptive change-up which features plenty of depth and fade. Despite his size, he repeats his delivery and slot consistently, giving him above average control and command. Povse could have more velocity in the tank, but his slot and delivery aren’t conducive to that. The upside with him isn’t huge, though he has a solid three-pitch mix and peppers the zone with consistent strikes. Povse owns a career 3.57 ERA, 2.2 Ctl and 7.5 Dom. He was ranked as the Mariners' No. 7 prospect by HQ entering the 2017 campaign. (JD)
STATS: Arkansas (AA) – 9 g, 8 gs, 3-2 3.46 ERA, 39 IP, 2.3 Cmd, 3.2 Ctl, 7.4 Dom, 1 HR, .234 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Long reliever
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7B


There’s more where this came from to help you win your fantasy league in 2017. Take the title home with a subscription to BaseballHQ.com.

 


 

June 18, 2017

Alan Busenitz (RHP, MIN)
Desperate for an arm that can provide some semblance of length in the bullpen, the Twins promoted the 26-year-old from Triple-A and he’ll pitch in the middle innings for now. Busenitz was obtained from the Angels in August 2016 and he’s currently having his best pro season to date. His best pitch is his fastball that touches 97 mph and generally sits between 91-94 mph. He is a force against right-handed hitters due to his fastball that exhibits late life and his slider that is tough to hit. Busentiz throws with clean, consistent mechanics and doesn’t walk many batters. While he doesn’t change speeds particularly well, he will mix in a change-up to keep hitters off-guard. He has spent most of his career in the bullpen and that is likely where he will stay full-time. If he can keep his velocity in the mid-90s and potentially add a few more ticks, he could become a late-innings guy. Nevertheless, a strong arm that throws strikes is coveted in the majors and the need for a dependable reliever means that Busentiz has an opportunity to really establish himself. He has a career 3.41 ERA, 2.4 Ctl, and 7.8 Dom in the minors. (JD)
STATS: Rochester (AAA) – 19 g, 2-0 2.15 ERA, 29.1 IP, 3.6 Cmd, 2.8 Ctl, 9.8 Dom, 0 HR, .165 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Setup reliever
RATING: 7D

Michael Brady (RHP, OAK)
The Athletics purchased the contract of the 30-year-old after optioning RHP Zach Neal to Triple-A. Brady signed with Oakland for the 2017 season and is now in his fourth organization. He was a 24th round pick of Miami as an infielder in 2009 before converting to a pitcher in 2010. He then pitched in the Angels organization from 2014 through 2015 and was sent via trade to Washington after that season. Though he’s old for a prospect and has never set foot in the majors, Brady has a few things going for him. For one, he establishes the plate with a solid-average 90-94 mph sinker that he commands well to both sides. It may not be a swing-and-miss pitch, but he hits his spots. He complements the sinker with a slider that serves as his out pitch. Brady rarely walks hitters and generally keeps the ball on the ground. Neither of his two offerings are plus by major league standards and he’ll need to continue his pinpoint control to succeed in the big leagues. For his career, Brady has a 3.10 ERA, 1.5 Ctl, and 9.1 Dom. (JD)
STATS: Nashville (AAA) – 14 g, 6 gs, 3-1 3.67 ERA, 41.2 IP, 7.0 Cmd, 1.3 Ctl, 9.1 Dom, 4 HR, .217 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Middle reliever
RATING: 6E
 

June 17, 2017

Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM)
Though Nimmo was given $2.1 million as the first ever first-round high-school draft pick out of Wyoming with the hopes his frame and bat would project further, he’s ended up in a scenario where the debate is on whether he’s a starter long-term or just a very good 4th OF. 6’3” and 205 pounds, the former football standout is athletic, but his swing plane doesn’t currently portend average power at this point, though he is near plus raw. Nimmo possesses an excellent approach and gets himself into deep counts and is willing to take walks, as evidenced by a career .387 OBP and 0.64 Eye. Altogether, his bat tool is solidly above-average. He had a breakthrough season for Triple-A Las Vegas last year, slashing .352/.423/.541 with 25 2b, 8 3b, 11 HR, and a 46/73 BB/K (0.63 Eye). His run and field tools are both average, with his arm more fringe, so while he’s capable in CF, long term he plays best in LF if he’s to be a starter. Nimmo’s back in Las Vegas for his third season and is slashing .223/.361/.378 with a 29.7% h%, so he’s not been unlucky and it’s unclear why he’s hitting without much authority. Thankfully, he’s at least still taking a free base (17% bb%) and with Juan Lagares (CF, NYM) out for awhile with a broken thumb, Nimmo will likely slide into a backup role, able to play all three OF positions as needs arise. Our No. 8 Mets prospect for 2017 has table-setting, everyday upside and if you buy into the plus makeup, could be just a swing adjustment away from unlocking his above-average raw power. Nimmo’s career minor league line: 2100 AB, .280/.387/.419, 112 2b, 30 3b, 40 HR, 0.64 Eye, 37 SB. (MSG)
2017 STATS: Las Vegas (AAA) — 148 AB, .223/.361/.378, 12 2b, 1 3b, 3 HR, 0.68 Eye
St-Lucie (A+) — 18 AB, .222/.391/.500, 2 2b, 1 HR, 1.25 Eye
CURRENT ROLE: 5th OF
POTENTIAL: Starting OF
RATING: 7B

 

Ryan Merritt (LHP, CLE)

 

Merritt not only pitched admirably in limited exposure during the regular season for Cleveland last year, with 6 K and 0 BB in 11.0 IP (1 start, 3 relief), he also shutdown a high-powered Blue Jays offense in the playoffs, going 4.1 innings with 2 H, 0 ER, and 3/0 K/BB, helping send the Indians to the World Series. The 6’0”, 180-pound lefty’s got average stuff (6.3 career Dom rate), lives around the plate and is hittable (.269 career oppBA), but has a clean delivery, knows how to pitch, is adept at changing speeds, mixes his four pitches well, and has plus control (1.4 career Ctl rate). Merritt’s FA works around 89 mph, and it’s maybe a fringe-average pitch, but his command plus his ability to play a 55-grade CH off of it helps it play up. There’s also an average CB in here and a fringe CT, but it’s Merritt’s ability to locate all three of his main offerings and knowing how to set hitters up that gives the overall package a shooting chance of making it as a #5 a starter. Pitching to contact has worked so far for Merritt and Cleveland arguably is a top five defensive MLB team, still it remains to be seen how the 25-year-old will adjust to repeated MLB exposure with a Triple-A ground ball rate of around 42% and a WHIP of 1.33. It’s more likely that Merritt ends up as an up-and-down guy or a long reliever in the end, though that’s still a major league profile out of a 16th-round selection. For now, he’ll start the opening bout of Saturday’s doubleheader. Merritt’s minor league line: 764.0 IP, 3.44 ERA, 1.5 Ctl, 6.3 Dom, 4.1 Cmd, 64 HR, .269 oppBA, 1.22 WHIP. (MSG)
2017 STATS: Columbus (AAA) — 12 g, 6-5, 3.96 ERA, 72.2 IP, 2.7 Ctl, 6.9 Dom, 2.6 Cmd, 14 HR, .288 oppBA, 1.43 WHIP
Lake County (A) — 1 g, 1-0, 2.57 ERA, 7.0 IP, 1.3 Ctl, 5.1 Dom, 4.0 Cmd, 0 HR, .269 oppBA, 1.14 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Starting pitcher
POTENTIAL: #5 starter
RATING: 6B

Adam Plutko (RHP, CLE)
At 6’3” and 200 pounds, Plutko’s fringe-average offerings combine with above-average command have allowed him to move up the ladder as a pitchability guy, though it’s not for certain he ends up in the rotation. The 25-year-old’s FA is a low-90s, average offering, but he can spot the pitch to both sides of the plate. His best secondary offering is a plus CH that he’ll throw to both righties and lefties. Plutko rounds out his arsenal with two distinct breaking balls in a SL and CH, both fringe-average though the SL is ahead. His repertoire plays up because he knows how to sequence his pitches well and has a smooth, clean delivery that can log innings and as such, he’s our No. 12 Cleveland prospect for 2017. The warts, however, complicate the ultimate profile projection, as batters have been able to square Plutko when they connect and much of the contact has resulted in elevated contact (31.1% GB% this year, 33.1% last in Triple-A). He’s given up 12 HR in 66.1 IP so far this season, alongside a .300 oppBA and a 3.5 ctl rate, and did not fare well in his brief taste last year (5 H, 3 ER, 1 HRA, 3/2 K/BB in 3.2 IP). Longterm, Plutko could settle in as a back-end starter, but he'll need to keep the ball down better to reach that end. For now, he’ll likely pitch in long relief if he sees game action and could be an up-and-down guy for a bit. Plutko’s minor league line: 543.2 IP, 3.71 ERA, 2.2 Ctl, 7.6 Dom, 3.5 Cmd, 49 HR, .245 oppBA, 1.16 WHIP. (MSG)
2017 STATS: Columbus (AAA) — 12 g, 4-7, 6.24 ERA, 66.1 IP, 3.5 Ctl, 6.6 Dom, 1.9 Cmd, 12 HR, .300 oppBA, 1.54 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Long reliever
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7B

 

June 16, 2017

Matt Chapman (3B, OAK)
With Trevor Plouffe being designated for assignment, the future at 3B for the A's might very well belong to Matt Chapman, who was called up for the first time. Our preseason No. 77 prospect on the BaseballHQ Top 100 list, and Oakland's No. 2 prospect, 24-year-old Chapman is a solid player. You can expect the 6'0", 210-pound Chapman to produce three things consistently: 1) Great power, with 30-40 home run power possible; 2) low batting average with lots of strikeouts along the way; and 3) great defense at 3B. It's that defense and power that will give Chapman plenty of chances. Last year between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville, Chapman hit 36 HRs and almost 100 RBIs. He even had seven stolen bases. Yet he also struck out 173 times, so the combined batting average was just .237. Still, his 68 walks helped him reach an acceptable .328 OBP. His swing is an all-or-nothing affair. Breaking balls give him trouble and his long swing can be exploited. But for such a batter, his batting eye is decent, and his power is all you could want from a corner infielder. As already noted, his defense is plus. He will defend the hot corner very well with nice range and great arm strength. That defense will keep him in the lineup, the power will make his teammates glad he is in the lineup, and those in OBP leagues will find they have one of the better power sources in the game. In four minor league seasons, Chapman batted .245/.328/.521 in 1,199 AB. (NR)
2017 STATS: Nashville (AAA) – 174 AB, .259/.350/.592, 6 2B, 16 HR, 0.40 Eye, 5 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Starting 3B
POTENTIAL: Starting 3B
RATING: 8B

Gavin Cecchini (2B, NYM)
With Neil Walker getting injured and looking to be out a month, the Mets called up 23-year-old Gavin Cecchini to fill in at 2B along with T.J. Rivera. Cecchini was a shortstop, but the team has been trying him at 2B to increase his utility. Perhaps that change of position caused his numbers to slump as he repeated Triple-A Las Vegas. Last year's .325/.390/.448 line has dropped all the way down to .249/.313/.349, a line not easy to put up in Las Vegas. Reports are that his fly balls are up and line drives down. For a player without much home run power (he is 6'2" and only 200 pounds), fly balls are not what will help a batting average. Cecchini is usually good for a decent batting average, and he knows how to draw walks to aid his OBP. He is one of those batters who plays up his modest skills at the plate, so while he lacks raw power, he knows how to turn on the inside fastball. While he is not a great source of speed, he is a solid base runner. Defensively he is solid, and has done good work transitioning to second. He still has last year's excellent results on his resume, and if he doesn't have bad luck in his hitting game the balls might fall in for hits as they did last year. Perhaps just moving from the offense-fueled PCL to Citi Field will keep him from trying to loft the ball. In any case, he gets a chance to show the team if he can be a part of the future for the Mets. With Amed Rosario racing toward the majors, if Cecchini is to be part of the future Mets, it is likely at 2B. Fortunately his defensive shift has gone very well. Time to see if he can regain that good lifetime 0.66 batting eye. In six minor league seasons, Cecchini batted .282/.348/.393 in 1989 AB. (NR)
2017 STATS: Las Vegas (AAA) – 249 AB, .249/.313/.349, 14 2B, 3 HR, 0.59 Eye, 3 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Reserve 2B
POTENTIAL: Starting 2B
RATING: 7B

Tom Murphy (C, COL)
This was to be the year that Tom Murphy took over behind the plate for the Rockies, but a hairline fracture in his wrist in spring training kept him out until this month. Now after seven games rehabbing in Albuquerque, the 26-year-old catcher will try to continue where his impressive 21-game stint with the Rockies in 2016 started. Hitting .273/.347/.659 last September for Colorado gave hints of what we can expect from Murphy. One of the better offensive catchers in the minors, the 6'1", 220-pound catcher has above-average power to all fields with a good approach at the plate. His contact rate is below average, but his bat speed is good, and his ISO is routinely in the mid-.200s. Hitting five home runs last September in Colorado gives us a hint of what he can do at that park. Defensively he moves well behind the plate and he has a strong throwing arm. He is not much of a threat to steal bases. With Ryan Hanigan accepting a minor league assignment, the catching duties will be split between the surprising Tony Wolters and Murphy. As long as he can keep the strikeouts from overwhelming his batting average, his power and defense will give Murphy a shot to become the future at the position for the Rockies. Now he gets his second chance to show if he can reach that ceiling. In six minor league seasons, Murphy batted .285/.349/.541 in 1,389 AB. (NR)
2017 STATS: Albuquerque (AAA) – 29 AB, .414/.419/.724, 4 2B, 1 HR, 0.11 Eye, 0 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Starting C
POTENTIAL: Starting C
RATING: 7B

Austin Maddox (RHP, BOS)
The Red Sox have called up Austin Maddox to take the roster spot of the DL-bound Brian Johnson. The 26-year-old righty will be making his major league debut the first time he gets into a game. The 6'2", 220-pound Maddox started the year in Double-A before being promoted to Pawtucket where he spent just 4.2 innings in 2016. In the higher levels of the minors his usual good Ctl has edged up, but a low hit rate this year has kept his WHIP looking pristine. Maddox throws a mid-90s mph fastball, a slider and a change-up, but none of the pitches are plus. He survives by striking out enough batters to be successful, and not allowing too many hits. His minor league career oppBA is .255, leading to decent WHIPs. He may not be up long, but he is ready to give the team multiple innings if they need him, and then probably be sent back down. In six minor league seasons his ERA is 4.22 with a 1.280 WHIP and a Cmd of 3.0 in 239.0 IP. (NR)
2017 STATS: Pawtucket (AAA) – 8 g, 0 gs, 1-0, 1.32 ERA, 13.2 IP, 2.0 Cmd, 4.0 Ctl, 7.9 Dom, 1 HR, .167 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Bullpen depth
POTENTIAL: Setup reliever
RATING: 6B

Matt Grace (LHP, WAS)
Matt Grace has returned to the Nationals bullpen where he appeared in seven games earlier this season. The 28-year-old lefty faced 27 major leaguers, struck out only four of them and unintentionally walked just one. He had a better time of it in Syracuse this year where his Dom of 9.6 was considerably elevated over his career 6.2 mark in the minors. The 6'4", 215-pound Grace features a mid-90s sinking fastball and a nice two-plane slider. He has put up modest numbers in the minors, starting games for a while, then returning to relief. None of his numbers truly stands out, and in brief parts of three seasons in the majors since 2014, his walk rate has increased to dangerous 3.4 territory where his usual mid-6 Dom can't compensate for those walks. So higher WHIPs are to be expected, but if he can tame the walks to more of his minor league level, he could find a role as a lefty specialist. At 28 years of age, we probably cannot expect much more than that. In eight minor league seasons his ERA is 3.91 with a 1.401 WHIP and a Cmd of 2.4 in 564.0 IP. (NR)
2017 STATS: Syracuse (AAA) – 13 g, 1 gs, 1-3, 3.66 ERA, 19.2 IP, 2.6 Cmd, 3.7 Ctl, 9.6 Dom, 2 HR, .269 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Middle reliever
POTENTIAL: Lefty specialist
RATING: 6D

 

June 15, 2017

Derek Fisher (OF, HOU)
The Astros promoted one of their top prospects and the 23-year-old should see significant action in the outfield corners over the next week. Fisher is having his best season to date, not only in most statistical categories, but in his overall approach to the game. His power has continued to be well above average while making more consistent contact than in previous years. The left-handed hitter is tall and fluid and enjoyed 20 HR / 20 SB campaigns in each of the last two seasons. He’s well on his way to another in 2017. Fisher has a clean swing with plus bat speed to hit for power and has excellent selectivity at the plate. While he will swing and miss a lot due to his lengthy stroke, he has focused more on contact which has reduced his strikeout rate. Fisher has mostly played CF in 2017, but profiles best in an outfield corner due to fringy reads and a poor arm. On the basepaths, he exhibits plus speed and will steal bases aggressively. However, he’s only 13 of 23 in stolen base attempts this season. Another bright spot in his season to date is his improved ability to hit left-handed pitching. All is starting to come together for the talented prospect and he could potentially seize a long-term role with an impressive start to his pro career. Fisher owns a career line of .283/.374/.486 with a high of 22 HR and 31 SB, both set in 2015. (JD)
STATS: Fresno (AAA) – 245 AB, .335/.401/.608, 19 2B, 16 HR, 0.47 Eye, 13 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Will likely play every day in LF or RF
POTENTIAL: Starting OF
RATING: 8B

David Washington (1B, BAL)
The Orioles promoted the 26-year-old to the majors for the first time after placing Chris Davis on the disabled list. Washington was a 15th-round selection of the Cardinals in 2009 and played in that organization through the 2016 campaign. He then signed with Baltimore as a minor league free agent in November 2016. The large and strong left-handed hitter slugged 30 HR in 2016, but that came at the expense of a significant number of strikes. He whiffed 169 times, though he did draw 67 walks. Washington swings viciously at the ball and is mostly a fastball hitter. His pitch recognition skills and swing plane aren’t conducive to making contact or hitting for BA. His best attribute is clearly his plus pop. He doesn’t run much and is mostly relegated to 1B due to his lack of quickness and footspeed. Washington has experience in the outfield, but has played only 1B in 2017. His upside is very muted because of his poor secondary skills, but his natural power is tough to come by. Washington is a career .254/.336/.461 hitter in the minors. (JD)
STATS: Norfolk (AAA) – 203 AB, .291/.344/.517, 16 2B, 10 HR, 0.24 Eye, 4 SB
CURRENT ROLE: Backup 1B
POTENTIAL: Backup 1B
RATING: 6C

Ronald Herrera (RHP, NYY)
The Yankees added the 22-year-old to the big league roster and his role is unclear at the moment. He could be used as a long reliever or spot starter in place of C.C. Sabathia. Despite his age, Herrera is in his third organization. He signed with Oakland in December 2011 before being dealt to San Diego in May 2014. The Padres then traded him to New York in November 2015. The short, yet durable righty is having his best pro season. Though he doesn’t own an electric arm or feature a knockout offering, he has three average pitches in his arsenal and he sequences them well. Herrera keeps hitters off-guard with his 89-93 mph fastball, hard-breaking slider, and solid-average change-up. He features outstanding fastball command to get ahead in the count and gets swings-and-misses with his improving slider. He often relies on his change-up, particularly against left-handed hitters, but it is a deceptive pitch with the same arm speed as his heater. Herrera does a nice job of keeping the ball low in the zone and in the ballpark when contact is made. Because of his lack of velocity and no true put-away pitch, his ceiling is fairly low. However, he knows how to retire hitters and he could be a sleeper. Herrera owns a career 3.60 ERA, 2.2 Ctl, and 7.0 Dom. (JD)
STATS: Trenton (AA) – 8 gs, 7-0 1.07 ERA, 50.1 IP, 4.6 Cmd, 1.6 Ctl, 7.3 Dom, 2 HR, .166 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Long reliever or spot starter
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7E

 

June 14, 2017

Marco Gonzales (LHP, STL)
Gonzales shot through the Cardinals system after being drafted in the first round in 2013, reaching the majors the following season, and then succumbing to Tommy John surgery in 2015. The 6’1”, 195-pound lefty out of Gonzaga was never considered a high-upside pitcher, but his floor was considered to be rock-solid, a No. 3 starter who will pitch above his stuff and offer good ratios, if the Ks aren’t always there. He was our No. 2 Cardinals prospect and No. 89 overall prospect in the game for 2015, with a rating of 8A. Two years of game-time off generally will always result in a ratings downgrade, and we currently have Gonzales as a 7C, but there’s a chance he could get back to where he was before. Reports are that the command on his FT is near to what it was pre-injury, and that he’s working more consistently 91 than 88 or 89 with it. The CH is still a plus-to-plus-plus pitch that he continues to throw in any count. Paired with an average CB and a command profile that still projects plus when he’s all the way back, the 25-year-old Gonzales still has middle-of-the-rotation upside. More likely, he’s a No. 4 who won’t wow you with strikeout totals but will keep his team in games while limiting the damage. He’s pitched well for Triple-A Memphis and may only be up for Tuesday’s doubleheader but keep in mind that St-Louis currently sports a .266 oppBA and 4.96 ERA against left-handed batters and Gonzales is a well-established lefty-killer, currently holding them to a .143/.200/.214 slash line, so he might again log innings in the Cardinal bullpen. His career minor league line: 262.1 IP, 3.22 ERA, 2.3 Ctl, 8.0 Dom, 3.4 Cmd, 26 HR, .256 oppBA, 1.24 WHIP. (MSG)
2017 STATS: Memphis (AAA) — 5 g, 1-3, 3.26 ERA, 30.1 IP, 2.7 Ctl, 7.1 Dom, 2.7 Cmd, 4 HR, .232 oppBA, 1.15 WHIP
Palm Beach (A+) — 1 g, 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 0.0 Ctl, 10.5 Dom, NULL Cmd, 1 HR, .100 oppBA, 0.33 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Starting pitcher
POTENTIAL: #4 starter
RATING: 7C

Daniel Gossett (RHP, OAK)
While the 6’2”, 185-pound Gossett lacks a true plus pitch, average-to-above-average command of four average-to-above-average pitches allows the former second-rounder’s (2014) overall profile to play up. He’s moved quickly through the Athletic’s system while averaging 2.7 ctl and 8.0 dom rates, and has kept the ball on the ground (49.7% in 2017, his lowest rate since Single-A ball). Gossett's above-average FA comes in around 93 and features glove-side run and stays low in the zone. He also has both a SL and a CB, with the SL morphing into more of a CT now in the high 80s, as well as an above-average CH which can be a swing-and-miss pitch for him. The 24-year-old's delivery is smooth and clean, and he sequences his pitches well. Further, Gossett has proven to be durable, tallying 27 starts in each of his last two seasons. Viewed separately, there’s nothing really plus in Gossett’s profile that would project him beyond the back of a rotation, but put together, he’s got a solid No. 3 starter’s upside and is our No. 15 Athletics prospect for 2017. He did struggle out of the gate this season, with a .271 oppBA and 6.27 ERA over his first four starts, but has gotten things back on track with a .203 oppBA and 1.54 ERA over the month of May. With Andrew Triggs (RHP, OAK) heading to the disabled list, Gossett’s been recalled to pitch Wednesday’s matchup against the Marlins, though it’s expected to just be a spot start. Gossett’s career minor league line: 383.0 IP, 3.55 ERA, 2.7 Ctl, 8.0 Dom, 3.0 Cmd, 29 HR, .240 oppBA, 1.20 WHIP. (MSG)
2017 STATS: Nashville (AAA) — 11 g, 3-3, 3.41 ERA, 60.2 IP, 2.8 Ctl, 8.0 Dom, 2.8 Cmd, 4 HR, .231 oppBA, 1.19 WHIP
CURRENT ROLE: Starting pitcher
POTENTIAL: #3 starter
RATING: 8D

 

June 13, 2017

Ben Heller (RHP, NYY)
As Domingo German goes down, 25-year-old Ben Heller comes up to help the Yankees out of their bullpen. The 6'3", 205-pound right-hander came over to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade last year, and he appeared in 10 games in the majors. Facing 40 batters, he struck out six of them, unintentionally walked only three, but gave up 11 hits, including three home runs. The home runs were notable since in his minor league career he's only given up four of them otherwise. A career reliever, Heller brings the heat with a blazing 98 mph fastball that gets past batters up in the zone. A career 11.7 Dom in the minors shows how effective that high heat can be. But his slider is also good, sitting in the mid-80s mph, and with which he can also get strikeouts. Two strikeout pitches are all you need in relief, but you also need control, and Heller's good success has come when he keeps the walks down. A 3.6 Ctl in his minor league career shows he is still working on this, and any success in the majors will depend on avoiding walks. He has the skills to become a late-inning weapon someday as long as he doesn't overthrow and flatten out his fastball. The Yankees don't need anything more than bullpen depth at present, but a strikeout arm in the middle innings is always nice to have for any team. In five minor league seasons his ERA is 2.70 with a 1.090 WHIP and a Cmd of 3.3 in 206.1 IP. (NR)
2017 STATS: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) – 20 g, 0 gs, 2-3, 2.60 ERA, 27.2 IP, 3.2 Cmd, 3.6 Ctl, 11.4 Dom, 1 HR, .182 oppBA
CURRENT ROLE: Bullpen help
POTENTIAL: Setup reliever
RATING: 6B

 

Previous Week

 

PLAYER POTENTIAL RATING

Scale of (1-10) representing a player’s upside potential

10 - Hall of Fame-type player
9 - Elite player
8 - Solid regular
7 - Average regular
6 - Platoon player
5 - Major League reserve player
4 - Top minor league player
3 - Average minor league player
2 - Minor league reserve player
1 - Minor league roster filler

 

PROBABILITY RATING

Scale of (A-E) representing the player’s realistic chances of achieving their potential

A - 90% probability of reaching potential
B - 70% probability of reaching potential
C - 50% probability of reaching potential
D - 30% probability of reaching potential
E - 10% probability of reaching potential
 

 


Click here to subscribe

  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.