60 – Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 175
Born: November 15, 1992 (Age 20)
2013 High-A Stats: .233/.305/.394, 12 HR, 23 SB, 45 BB, 183 SO, 554 PA
Heading Into 2013: Coming off a breakout campaign in Low-A, Story had a very nice power-speed combination that let him break into top 100 lists in most preseason rankings. He was blocked at SS by Troy Tulowitzki, but it seemed as though he would be able to transition over to second or third base, or even possibly be traded to a team needing a SS in the future. The biggest question mark about Story was if he was going to be able to hit advanced pitching, and he was put to a test this year.
In 2013: Story had a rather dismal campaign for a prospect of his status, hitting just.233 in the hitter friendly California League. Story had major issues with strikeouts, striking out 183 times this year, compared to 121 last year. Story did get better towards the end of the season, hitting for a .200 point higher OPS after the all star break compared to before, but still had major issues with strikeouts.
Looking Ahead: The power speed combination is still there for Story, and he still has legitimate potential to be a 20/20 middle infielder. The question now is if he will hit enough to start. Story will have a lot of things to work on this winter, and will have to cut down on strikeouts if he is going to have a major role in the bigs. Next year will be a make it or break it year, as if he can’t fix the strikeout and contact issues, Trevor likely won’t be anything more than a utility infielder. But if he does, he could very well turn into a pretty nice player in the majors.
59 – Robert Stephenson, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 190
Born: February 24th, 1993 (Age 20)
2013 Class A Stats: 5-3, 2.57 ERA, 14 GS, 77.0 IP, 96 SO, 20 BB, 0.987 WHIP
2013 High-A Stats: 2-2, 3.05 ERA, 4 GS, 20.2 IP, 22 SO, 2 BB, 1.016 WHIP
2013 Double A Stats: 0-2, 4.86 ERA, 4 GS, 16.2 IP, 18 SO, 13 BB, 1.800 WHIP
Heading Into 2013: Stephenson came into the 2013 season as a high upside pitcher, but hadn’t pitched enough pro innings to be considered for a very high placement on prospect lists. He had only thrown 65 pro innings coming into the year, and while they were very good (3.18 ERA with 72 SO), he hadn’t pitched at any advanced levels.
In 2013: Stephenson had a very good season this year. After starting in the Midwest League, he was able to move quickly up to Double A before the season’s end. Stephenson dominated Class A, with a remarkable WHIP of under one and very gaudy strikeout numbers. Seeing this, the Reds decided to move him up a level to the California League. Stephenson didn’t spend much time in Bakersfield, and he only started 4 games before being moved up to Double A. The 4 games he started in High-A were very impressive, as he struck out 22 and walked only 2 in 20 innings. Moving up to Double A, Stephenson ran into a bit of trouble with his command. However, he started only 4 games in Double A, so these preliminary numbers can’t be read too far into.
Looking Ahead: With his stellar season, Stephenson has catapulted himself to top 25 prospect status. He is a guy that doesn’t quite project as a true ace, but has the potential to be an elite number 2 in a MLB rotation. Stephenson will likely start 2014 in Double A, and will need to prove he can get advanced hitters out to keep his highly ranked prospect status. All signs thus far would point to him doing so, and if he does, we could be looking at a top 10 prospect come the 2014 offseason.
58 – Jarred Cosart, SP/RP, Houston Astros
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 180
Born: May 25th, 1990 (Age 23)
2013 Triple A Stats: 7-4, 3.29 ERA, 17 GS, 93.0 IP, 93 SO, 50 BB, 1.333 WHIP
2013 MLB Stats 1-1, 1.95 ERA, 10 GS, 60.0 IP, 33 SO, 35 BB, 1.350 WHIP
Heading Into 2013: Cosart came into 2013 with a lot of questions surrounding him. Would he be a starter or a reliever? Will he be able to fix the control issues that have limited him so far in his professional career? Because of the questions, he was a tough guy to put a ton of confidence in going forward. While he had high potential because of his ability to miss bats, he needed to refine his control to take a step forward.
In 2013: Cosart had a very strange year. He did fairly well in AAA, but still had command issues as he walked 50 in less than 100 innings. The Astros were willing to give him a chance in the MLB, however, as he ended up making 10 starts with the big league club. The results were a bit mystifying. While he posted a sparkling 1.95 ERA in the majors in these starts, he walked more batters than he struck out (33/35 K/BB). Taking a look at the underlying stats, it becomes clear that a lot of Cosart’s early success was in part due to luck. This isn’t meant to take away from what he did in his first season in the big leagues, as it is still impressive, but rather to show that it is unlikely to expect him to continue pitching sub-2 ERA ball. By taking a look at some advanced metrics, the reasons for Cosart’s success become clearer. For one, he had an absurd 86% left on base percentage. League average is typically around 70%, and while better pitchers often have higher LOB%, 86% is remarkably high and almost certainly not sustainable. Additionally, Cosart’s xFIP was 4.68, indicating that he got some major help from his defense, as his ERA was a whole 2.5 points below this figure.
Looking Ahead: While Cosart did have success in the MLB, the success looks to be unsustainable unless he can fix his command problems. It is nearly impossible for pitchers to continually succeed when they are walking more guys than they are ringing up. Cosart will likely start next year in the MLB, barring unforeseen happenings in spring training. Whether he can solve his command issues remains to be seen, and if he can, he has the potential to be a very good starter moving forward.
57 – Jesse Biddle, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 225
Born: October 22nd, 1991 (Age 21)
2013 Double A Stats: 5-14, 3.64 ERA, 27 GS, 138.1 IP, 154 SO, 82 BB, 1.345 WHIP
Heading Into 2013: The Phillies 1st Round selection in 2010 had put up very nice numbers in three seasons straight. While he had minor command issues, he still posted great strikeout numbers along with very good ERAs. 2013 was going to be Biddle’s first season in the upper level minors, as he was set to start the season in AA. He was a guy viewed as a pitcher with high upside, but someone who needed to prove success against higher-level hitters.
In 2013: Biddle started out very strong. He looked like he was going to be one of the breakout prospects of 2013 early on, as he only gave up 6 ER in his first 31 innings, along with a 7 inning 16 strikeout performance on April 22nd. He followed that start by pitching 6 innings of 1 hit ball, and striking out 10. However, Biddle couldn’t keep his success up. He didn’t completely fall off though, as he still put together a very solid campaign, but the walks were a big problem. Biddle walked one or less in only 4 of his 27 starts, and walked 4 or more in 7 of them. His ERA was somewhat inflated by three starts where he gave up 12 ER in a combined 2.2 innings. Overall, the season was a mix of highs and lows for Biddle, a season that satisfied scouts enough, but lacked that something extra to catapult him to a higher level prospect. Health reports of Biddle started coming out midseason saying that he suffered from whooping cough starting in late April and throughout the season, and they also revealed he pitched with plantar fasciitis in his left foot during the final month of the season. These two health factors may have played a role in his up and down season, as Biddle has admitted he had good days and bad with the whooping cough, which could have impacted his results.
Looking Ahead: Biddle will either start 2014 out in AA or AAA, and either way will look to figure out his control problems. He has a very good arm, and the ability to miss bats often, but needs to boost his control to the point where he gets into better pitchers counts where he can use his abilities to their maximum effectiveness. If he does, he will fly up prospect lists in 2014.
56 – Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 225
Born: March 30th, 1991 (Age 22)
2013 High A Stats: .200/.200/.267, 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 1 SO, 15 PA
2013 Double A Stats: .294/.358/.502, 12 HR, 11 SB, 17 BB, 68 SO, 298 PA
2013 MLB Stats: .183/.231/.248, 1 HR, 3 SB, 6 BB, 27 SO, 118 PA
Heading Into 2013: Marisnick was involved in the blockbuster Marlins-Jays trade, as one of the main pieces going to the Marlins. Marisnick had just suffered a disappointing season with the Jays, hitting just .245 with 8 HR’s after a great 2011 campaign in which he hit .320. However, Marisnick still had all the tools to be successful, and wasn’t given up on. However, he needed to hit in 2013 in order to get back on track.
In 2013: Marisnick spent most of his time in AA while in the minors this season, and was very good. He showed off a nice power/speed combination and also hit .289. He seemed to be back on the right track. But then Marisnick was called up to play CF for the Marlins around the all star break. Things didn’t go near as well for Jake in the bigs, as he hit below the Mendoza Line and hit only one homer. He did only have 118 PA, so he isn’t a lost cause yet, but the performance was disappointing.
Looking Ahead: It is pretty tough to predict what the Marlins will do with their young players, so it’s possible Marisnick could start anywhere from AA to MLB next year. It does seem likely that he will at least be on the major league squad at some point, and will need to dramatically improve to become a contributor.