Fangraphs analysis is as sharp and poignant as ever, providing deep looks into a number of interesting subjects over the past few days. Among those pieces is one by Sung Min Kim, who offers detailed scouting reports on six MLB prospects currently playing in Asia. The list is limited to players who would be available to leave Asia in the next three years; players on the list have also either expressed interest in coming to MLB or not publicly refuted the possibility. Among these six players is Yusei Kikuchi, a lefty fireballer who has openly expressed a strong desire to play in MLB (Kim compares him to Patrick Corbin). Another interesting name on the list is outfielder Po-Jung Wang of the Chinese Professional Baseball League; he’s won two MVPs and put up a .407/.491/.700 slash line in the CPBL. Anyone interested in tracking baseball players who might transition from Asia leagues to MLB should certainly give this list a thorough read.
A couple of other interesting articles from Fangraphs…
- Eric Longenhagen did some scouting of his own for his latest piece, though he focused on players who have already cracked a major-league roster. Specifically, Longenhagen has notes on twelve players who have already graduated from prospect status but have somewhat uncertain futures and only a small sample size of MLB playing time to draw from. Astros righty Francis Martes, for example, is described as a player who is “athletic enough to merit command projection in the minors, but we haven’t seen him need to work efficiently for a while because he was bullpen’d last year.” New Cardinals addition Miles Mikolas is said to have improved command after a stint in Japan, and currently profiles as a solid fourth starter. The list has some interesting names who haven’t been frequently covered, and can provide avid fans with a few intriguing storylines to follow for the coming season.
- Many aspects of MLB gameplay are changing at a rapid pace. One of the more extreme examples is DL usage, which Travis Sawchik covered recently. Last year’s switch from a 15-day DL to a 10-day DL resulted in a record number of DL stints, as predicted. Clubs like the Dodgers used it aggressively as a roster manipulation tool, making it “something of a revolving, de facto 26th-man roster spot.” Sawchik expects that we’ll see an increase in the number of DL stints once again next year. He also notes that even with the five-day reduction from 15 to 10, there was only a marginal decrease in the total number of days players spent on the DL last season, which perhaps implies that players overall were not very healthy in 2017.