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Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeBaseball40-Man Roster Deadline Response and Evaluation: Nationwide League

40-Man Roster Deadline Response and Evaluation: Nationwide League


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

Final week I lined the American League half of the flurry of transactional exercise that occurred because of the 40-man roster and non-tender deadlines. Is anyone transfer right here as impactful as signing a Yoshinobu Yamamoto or a Matt Chapman? No, however when your favourite group experiences a rash of accidents in June, whether or not or not they’ve the depth to scrap and compete is usually dictated by the individuals and processes that encompass today. Under are my ideas on the Nationwide League, with some fast scouting snippets on many of the added gamers and ideas about roster building the place I had one thing to say.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks lone addition was lefty Blake Walston, a former $2.5 million highschool signee who, regardless of being younger for his class and bodily projectable as an novice, has seen his fastball velocity plateau and barely decline since he signed. He’s had matches and begins the place he’s thrown tougher, however for probably the most half, Walston’s fastball nonetheless sits 89-92 mph and his efficiency peripherals took a nosedive in 2023, although a part of that was doubtless due to the PCL hitting setting. The lanky 22-year-old continues to be a good long-term prospect due to his age and what one might moderately hope will nonetheless be late-arriving physicality, however for now, I’d think about him on the very again of Arizona’s 40-man beginning pitching depth chart.

Arizona did a wonderful job upgrading the righty-hitting contingent of their place participant group final offseason and on the commerce deadline. Emmanuel Rivera was their most suitable choice of this kind in 2022 however grew to become a defensive alternative within the wake of the Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Evan Longoria, and Tommy Pham additions. They’ll want to do that over again as a result of Longoria, Gurriel and Pham are all free brokers, and the membership non-tendered Kyle Lewis (one other righty-hitting flier from the final yr). It’s believable that Jordan Lawlar’s arrival will facilitate a L/R Geraldo Perdomo/Rivera third base platoon, in addition to some conditions the place Ketel Marte comes off the sphere for defensive functions late in video games. Which may make this can be a passable combine for the D-backs if they’ll’t add a Jeimer Candelario or Matt Chapman on a regular basis third base-type in free company.

As has been the case for the final couple of years, the Diamondbacks have a number of redundant, smaller-framed, lefty-hitting outfielders stacked behind Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas on their depth chart. Any of Jorge Barrosa (the very best defender of this bunch, other than Thomas), Jake McCarthy, Dominic Fletcher, or Pavin Smith may very well be moved in a commerce pushed by roster match. McCarthy and Smith have one possibility left, the others have two. The free agent market is fairly flush with lefty-hitting outfielders who’re about pretty much as good as this group or higher, so when you can go searching and see potential matches in locations like Queens, Pittsburgh, Miami, or Washington, it feels prefer it’s a purchaser’s marketplace for this place group proper now.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves non-tendered a ton of 40-man occupants on Friday and moved a number of others in a commerce for lefty reliever Aaron Bummer (which I lined in depth right here), leaving them with simply 31 gamers on their 40-man roster after they signed Reynaldo López yesterday. They want place participant depth, notably on the center infield positions. Orlando Arcia is at present the one shortstop on their roster.

It’s unimaginable that the Braves have one quarter of their roster to play with and still have a really secure, contender-quality depth chart. They’ve an important participant at nearly each place and many pitching depth already in place. They’ve a really spacious roster however only some particular wants. They’re in place to make a Rule 5 Draft decide in the event that they wish to, and in what’s going to doubtless be the lone little bit of Rule 5 hypothesis you’ll see on this website, I’ll provide that Suwanee native Nasim Nuñez has a talent set congruent with Atlanta’s wants.

On the GM conferences, I requested present Astros GM Dana Brown, who was Atlanta’s Vice President of Scouting for 4 years, how the professional scouting division in Atlanta was structured in comparison with the present group in Houston, and he mentioned, “Initially in Atlanta we had extra scouts, however then after COVID we misplaced a bunch, and we went strictly to information, info, analysis off the display screen, and ran it that manner.”

Slowly, increasingly groups are working this fashion, however they’re nonetheless within the minority. The Braves have been consumers for therefore lengthy that it’d be attention-grabbing to see them decide within the prospect house and maybe be taught extra about how they make choices within the professional scouting realm basically.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs misplaced a number of gamers by way of waivers (Jared Younger and Jeremiah Estrada) and non-tendered some relievers (Codi Heuer, Ethan Roberts, and conversion arm Brandon Hughes) who have been backfilled by inner choices Michael Arias, Bailey Horn, and Porter Hodge. Arias is himself a transformed shortstop with an impression mid-90s fastball that includes uphill angle and carry. He’s a work-in-progress in different sides and could also be a reliever in the long run, plus he hasn’t but reached Double-A, however I believe it was appropriate to guard him, as any group might have ‘penned him and made him a fastball-heavy reliever within the short-term. Horn and Hodge are pure relievers. Horn has profiled that manner since coming into professional ball, whereas Hodge slid to the bullpen midway via the 2023 season. What Horn and Hodge present that Roberts, Hughes and Heuer don’t is well being and/or roster flexibility. I think about each to be low-leverage center aid varieties.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds claimed Bubba Thompson from the Royals on the finish of October, then added Jacob Hurtubise and Rece Hinds to their roster from inside final week. Moreover, Jose Barrero is getting reps in heart discipline with Estrellas Orientales within the Dominican Winter League. Will Benson‘s 2023 xwOBA was a lot decrease than his real-world manufacturing, and Jake Fraley’s foot restricted his mobility on the finish of the season, so I’d think about this group cloudy however encouragingly deep as we head towards Winter Conferences. It’s more likely to be thinned out a bit but in the course of the offseason (Barrero seems to be misplaced on the plate within the D.R.), and but nonetheless be deep and magmatic in February. Hinds has plus-plus energy and plus pace, however I’m scared he received’t hit in any respect. Hurtubise is loads like TJ Friedl, with a talent set rooted involved and plus-plus pace. He doesn’t fairly have Friedl’s elite comfortable abilities, like baserunning and bunting, nonetheless.

Colorado Rockies

The wave of impression Latin American prospects has begun to swell in Colorado, with Adael Amador, Yanquiel Fernandez, Juan Mejia, and Angel Chivilli added to the roster. Fernandez had a monster begin to 2023, however he has a great little bit of strategy and chase-driven threat as a prospect, and he fell flat on his face after his promotion to Hartford. I believe he’ll get to sufficient energy to be a great nook platoon possibility regardless of his flaws, however I hope readers can see why I used to be apprehensive about stuffing him on the highest 100 in the course of the season. Amador is at present selecting up reps in Puerto Rico, the place he’s seeing loads of mid-to-upper-80s fastballs. As a result of he missed time with harm in the course of the yr, it is smart for him to have performed fall/winter ball, however a league with higher pitching might need been extra acceptable for his improvement. His statistics in opposition to offspeed stuff and breaking balls weren’t good in 2023 per Synergy, however accidents restricted his pattern on this regard sufficient to think about it one thing to watch fairly than one thing to be apprehensive about. I nonetheless really feel like he’s a high 15 or so prospect in baseball as I sit and sort this, however I’d have felt higher if I had gotten a six- or eight-week have a look at him in opposition to higher pitching within the Arizona Fall League, or in opposition to veterans in LIDOM.

Mejia and Chivilli are each pure relievers, however each have an opportunity to be superb ones. Chivilli is just 21 and may get a complete ‘nother yr of seasoning within the minors. He sits 94-97 with a plus changeup. I used to be criminally mild on Mejia in my final Rockies write-up. His slider consistency is middling, however a few of them are actually nasty (together with a number of within the video under), and his physique and mechanical fluidity portend much more velocity as he ages into his mid-to-late 20; I believe he might ultimately sit 100. Each of those guys may very well be high-leverage choices.

Los Angeles Dodgers

I believe each Nick Frasso‘s and Landon Knack’s mechanical consistency and really feel for location are a little bit worse than their low stroll numbers may lead one to consider, however they’re each going to tear heaters previous large league hitters because of their fastballs’ underlying traits. That is very true of the beanpole Frasso, whose misleading cross-bodied supply creates enormous extension and funky angle. Knack is a extra typical vertical fastball/slider attacker.

Oft-injured with Texas, Ricky Vanasco’s velocity was manner down as he returned from TJ and handled a knee problem early in 2023. After simply a few brief outings again in affiliated ball, the Rangers designated him for project and he was traded to the Dodgers, who shut him down and modified his supply (throwing completely from the stretch, what seems to be a extra closed stride course). By the top of the yr, he was working with a pared-down repertoire and touching 98 at Triple-A Oklahoma Metropolis. Vanasco grew to become a six-year minor league free agent after the season and the Dodgers signed him to a giant league deal. He stands a great likelihood to play a key function of their bullpen subsequent yr as a mid-90s/curveball man.

Twenty-six-year-old catcher Hunter Feduccia is a well-rounded defender who is very good at getting on high of excessive fastballs. He’s undoubtedly forward of Diego Cartaya on the catching depth chart at this very second, and Feduccia stands a fairly good likelihood to supplant Austin Barnes because the backup in some unspecified time in the future in 2023, particularly if Cartaya rebounds and turns into a viable short-term possibility because the third catcher. Cartaya continues to be a premium long-term prospect — catcher improvement is non-linear and I’m not sweating his tough 2023 in any respect.

This roster nonetheless feels fairly previous and unathletic on the place participant aspect. We don’t actually know whether or not or not Gavin Lux can play shortstop. Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor are each sufficiently old for us to surprise how for much longer both of them will probably be satisfactory there. Max Muncy, Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas are below-average defenders, and Jorbit Vivas is landlocked at second base. There have gotten to be exterior additions that add center infield depth and/or defensive versatility right here, or the Dodgers will once more be susceptible and shallow at premium positions.

Miami Marlins

Peter Bendix’s first commerce in his new President function was to commerce for previous friends Vidal Bruján and Calvin Faucher, who will hopefully present role-playing upgrades to a Marlins group presumably nonetheless seeking to compete for one of many final couple playoff spots in 2024. Bruján has been stored off of Tampa’s large league roster by the depth forward of him for the final three years; now he’ll get an extended runway to show he can play a brilliant utility function on a great group. He has expertise at each non-1B/C place and has been taking part in second base and all three outfield positions for Estrellas Orientales within the Dominican this winter. Faucher is a mid-90s/high-spin breaking ball reliever who’s coming off of two straight years with an xERA of close to 6.00, with the second season coming after Faucher developed a brand new cutter. He has one possibility yr remaining and I anticipate it is going to be used.

To amass these two, the Marlins despatched 17-year-old DSL infielder Erick Lara and righty Andrew Lindsey, a latest draft decide, all the way in which up Route 75 to Tampa. Lara is a really thrilling lefty-hitting infield prospect with a stunning swing and pretty projectable body. He’s an explosive rotator and has pure, power-inducing loft in his reduce. The final time the Rays made a seemingly innocuous, long-shot commerce for a deep projection DSL bat, it turned out to be fairly consequential for each orgs. Lara hit .305/.416/.445 within the DSL and struck out at a 25% clip, which is excessive for that league.

Lindsey had a nomadic novice profession that included a yr away from baseball earlier than he went to Tennessee. He was throwing very laborious early in 2023 (usually peaking within the 97-98 mph vary), however by the top of the season, he was extra continuously residing within the 92-94 vary with a tough slider. He’s a good aid prospect.

Victor Mesa Jr. is a good-gloved heart fielder (notice that my mid-year look was far more favorable than the late-year movie research I did for this piece) who hit 18 homers at Double-A in 2023. He’s extra of a fourth outfield prospect than a participant I’d challenge to be an everyday. I don’t assume the ability part is for actual, as Mesa seems to be extra like a man who slugs underneath .400 if given an prolonged large league alternative, no less than together with his present physicality. Anthony Maldonado had a really profitable three-year run as a starter at Bethune-Cookman. His professional profession started on a little bit of a delay due to the pandemic and an harm that price him a big chunk of 2021. He reached the higher ranges of the minors in a aid function in a short time, and he’s been dominant from a bat-missing and strike-throwing standpoint for the final three campaigns, thanks largely to a plus-plus mid-80s slider that has enormous vertical end.

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee has been very energetic on the perimeter of their roster since late August after they acquired Chris Curler from Cleveland. Additionally they scooped up Vinny Capra on waivers. Most importantly, there are loads of latest trades to speak via right here, so let me get the inner additions out of the way in which. Jeferson Quero is a lock to be added to the High 100 prospect record this offseason. His receiving across the fringe of the zone has improved significantly, and now his framing (to the attention, anyway) and arm power are each actually wonderful. He’s nonetheless not a great ball-blocker, however Quero’s different core catching abilities are so good for a 21-year-old that I believe it’s wonderful to start out projecting him as an impression defender. On offense, his excessive, pull-heavy strategy could ultimately want some quantity of adjustment as large league arms execute sliders away from him, however Quero is fairly clearly an impression all-around prospect now. Bradley Blalock (acquired from Boston on the deadline) has a contemporary starter’s combine with a vertically-oriented fastball and two good breaking balls that pair properly with the heater and with each other. He returned from TJ in 2023 and should be on a conservative innings depend in 2024, however I anticipate he’ll set up himself as a rotation piece by 2025.

Now on to the trades. Michael Baumann lined the Mark Canha commerce right here, whereas I wrote about Milwaukee’s commerce for Oliver Dunn right here. The Brewers traded a Meg Rowley favourite, Abraham Toro, to Oakland for righty Chad Patrick, who the A’s acquired from Arizona on the deadline for Jace Peterson. Patrick sits 91-94 and has remarkably constant really feel for a low-80s slider/cutter. His stuff is mild sufficient that I’ve extra of a spot starter grade on him than I do future rotation projection. He doesn’t need to be on the 40-man for an additional yr.

Milwaukee additionally acquired Jake Bauers from the Yankees for 2 outfield prospects. One is Jace Avina, a now-20-year-old former Nevada highschool draftee with spectacular energy for a hitter his dimension (5-foot-11, 180 kilos) however fairly important points swinging beneath excessive fastballs. Brian Sanchez presents a well-rounded look on paper as his management of the zone, bat-to-ball really feel, and barrel price all look fairly good. He’s a longer-bodied, projectable teenager and may develop into extra energy. He’ll most likely have to as a result of he’s a below-average runner, athlete, and defender who may want to maneuver to first base. Bauers’ 2023 contact high quality was higher than his noticed outcomes, however he hasn’t been an above-replacement participant since 2018.

New York Mets

Not a ton occurred right here when it comes to the 40-man deadline, although there have been a bunch on non-tenders final week. I’d guess that toolsy, free-swinging outfield prospect Alex Ramírez will spend his entire first yr on the 40-man attempting to develop higher plate self-discipline within the higher minors; he may properly spend the higher a part of the following two seasons doing that. The Mets solely have 28 gamers on their 40-man as I’m scripting this, and clearly want pitching (each depth and a high-end man or two).

Philadelphia Phillies

I wrote in regards to the commerce of Oliver Dunn for Hendry Mendez and Robert Moore right here. Every week prior, the Phillies acquired Michael Mercado from the Rays for Double-A swingman Adam Leverett. Mercado throws laborious (93-96, touched 98 late within the yr with Durham) and extra just lately started incorporating a cutter, which has develop into his greatest secondary pitch, into his repertoire. The angle of his fastball makes it extra hittable than the rate may lead you to consider. This commerce continued the Phillies’ Dombrowski-era pattern of buying hard-throwing relievers with fastballs that play down a bit. Maybe we are able to think about Mick Abel to be upper-level rotation depth at this level though he hasn’t needed to be placed on the 40-man but, however the Phils nonetheless have to discover a couple extra guys to buttress their gifted large league rotation. Their bullpen and lineup are each stacked, and Philly’s reserve group (Garrett Stubbs, Cristian Pache, Edmundo Sosa, whichever of Brandon Marsh and Johan Rojas doesn’t begin) is rather more settled and explicitly helpful than most different contenders can tout proper now.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates’ time may very well be nigh. They nonetheless want a mashing nook outfield improve to the incumbent Connor Joe/Joshua Palacios platoon (it would finally be Oneil Cruz, relying on how cell he’s getting back from harm), however in any other case the gamers at present on their roster are younger guys who’ve largely been evaluated fairly strongly right here at FanGraphs, and now it’s time for them to sink or swim on the large league degree as a gaggle. Including Braxton Ashcraft (sitting 95-97 with two respectable breaking balls late within the yr) provides to what was already a ton of homegrown depth and suppleness on their pitching employees, and that’s earlier than contemplating that Paul Skenes, Thomas Harrington, Jared Jones and different non-40 man occupants may very well be swiftly on their manner. I believe Pittsburgh goes to be within the thick of a really entertaining four- or five-team NL Central race subsequent yr, however whether or not they develop into precise contenders throughout the following two or three years will rely on what number of of those kids develop into high-end impression gamers just like the Braves and Phillies have up and down their lineups.

Mild-hitting Taiwanese infielder Tsung-Che Cheng has plus really feel for contact and may play shortstop, however at 5-foot-7, his offensive forecast is restricted by an absence of physicality. He’s most likely a utilityman in the long term and at present behind Alika Williams and Nick Gonzales on the depth chart.

San Diego Padres

The Padres rotation nonetheless wants confirmed assist from exterior the org. Jairo Iriarte is a probably important long-term a part of San Diego’s employees however could also be too crude to be a 2024 contributor. The ultra-loose 21-year-old righty has a nasty rise-and-run fastball and plus slider, however his velo was down a little bit bit late within the yr and he’s nonetheless fairly wild. He’s going to be a High 100 prospect this offseason by advantage of his stuff, bodily fluidity, bodily projection, and relative proximity to the large leagues, and if/when issues click on for him, he’s going to be a key a part of San Diego’s rotation. It’d be splendid for San Diego to have confirmed starters forward of him on the depth chart when camp begins in case it takes some time for that to occur.

The Enyel De Los Santos for Scott Barlow commerce was a slight downgrade for the Padres when it comes to stuff/expertise, however De Los Santos is underneath group management for an additional three seasons whereas Barlow is a free agent after 2024.

Oft-injured Palm Desert native Jeremiah Estrada was claimed off waivers from the Cubs. He’s a fastball-heavy mid-90s reliever whose changeup has regressed since his early prospect days. With simply 31 gamers on their 40-man roster proper now, the Padres have the house to deal with their bench. The NRI additions of Robert Perez Jr. (plus energy) and Cal Mitchell (beautiful swing) are a few early offseason dart throws. San Diego’s penchant for pushing prospects rapidly places Jackson Merrill and Graham Pauley of their mid-season DH/1B combine from my perspective, particularly if Jake Cronenworth retains struggling.

San Francisco Giants

Trevor McDonald was dominant in 2023 after getting back from AC joint and hamstring points. For these of you obsessive about launch peak, that is your man. McDonald has an excessive drop-and-drive supply with an open stride. It’s not horny to have a look at, nevertheless it does create a extremely robust line on his fastball, and McDonald has proven a capability to govern fastball form and create bat-missing motion on his slider and changeup from this slot. He’s a great long-term prospect who will hopefully keep wholesome and maintain his stuff throughout a full season workload in 2024. I used to be a little bit shocked the Giants added the walk-prone duo of Kai-Wei Teng and Erik Miller to their roster. Teng (13% stroll price every of the previous three years) has a plus slider and Miller (over seven walks per 9 IP in 2023) is able to lacking bats with three pitches, however I’d have guess each can be too wild in a spring coaching audition to stay on their new roster.

On the GM Conferences, I requested Farhan Zaidi his ideas on whether or not the Giants’ platoon-heavy strategy to lineup constructing restricted their ceiling, contemplating that many of the World Sequence groups from the previous few years (just like the Phillies, Rangers, Astros, Dodgers, Braves, and even the D-backs) have largely had plug-and-play, omni-situational place gamers up and down their lineups. I don’t have an anti-platoon predisposition, fairly the alternative, which is a part of why I’ve been reflecting on it recently. Zaidi pushed again on the premise a bit and informed me, “I might counter that a little bit and say you see groups taking part in match-ups extra within the playoffs than you do in the course of the common season. You see guys being pinch-hit for, for my part, in conditions the place they wouldn’t be hit for in the course of the common season. I do know there was that recreation within the ALCS the place the Rangers began Robbie Grossman as an alternative of Evan Carter, then put Carter within the recreation as soon as Framber Valdez was out. I nonetheless assume you see loads of these match-ups. I believe everyone in baseball would fairly have an on a regular basis man than a platoon participant. It’s stabilizing, you get a extra constant defensive look to your group. Often when you will have a platoon set-up, it’s to attempt to obtain a degree of manufacturing that you just wouldn’t get in the event you simply ran a type of gamers on the market on a regular basis.”

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have had turnover at their third catcher spot (Andrew Knizner out, glove-oriented backup Pedro Pagés in), amongst their nook bat reserves (Juan Yepez out, Buddy Kennedy and Jared Younger in) and, as is typical throughout baseball, with the underside of their pitching employees. Yow will discover scouting reviews on Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein from my write up of the Jordan Montgomery and Jordan Hicks offers, which incorporates my ideas on St. Louis’ objective of a fast franchise rebound, right here. Twenty-eight-year-old righty Riley O’Brien was acquired from Seattle for money. The previous starter had a velo spike when he moved to the bullpen, and he now has a mid-90s sinker and plus curveball.

Washington Nationals

Washington added a number of thrilling younger relievers to their roster. The workload of oft-injured Cole Henry tapered off late in the course of the season and his final a number of outings got here in aid. I believe it’s honest to challenge him as a pure reliever going ahead. Zach Brzykcy (pronounced “brick-see”) was an influence reliever at Virginia Tech and have become one of many first 2020 undrafted free brokers to emerge as an actual prospect. He rapidly went from sitting 94-95 mph out of the Hokies bullpen in his first 2020 look to sitting 96-98 and touching 99 in his previous few simply earlier than the COVID shutdown. He didn’t pitch in 2023 as a result of he was recovering from Tommy John. Mitchell Parker is a vertical slot lefty with an important curveball and below-average management. DJ Herz is a cross-firing lefty with below-average velocity and a plus changeup.



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