There have been mixed feelings about Kohl Stewart this season. Some cite his low ERA as evidence that he has been excellent, while other point out his low K-rate and claim that he is struggling. Let’s take a closer look to see which is the case.
A Closer Look
The first thing we must consider is Stewart’s age. A prospect’s performance should never be viewed independently of their age: if a player is old for their level, they should be expected to perform well; conversely,
The upper-levels of the Twins minor league system is stocked with relief pitchers performing at a high level. Here is a quick rundown:
Michael Tonkin (AAA, 24)- Tonkin has been arguably the best reliever in the Twins system since the start of 2012. This year in AAA, Tonkin has a 3.08 ERA—nothing special—but his K and BB numbers are excellent: 26 K’s to just 4 BB’s in 26.1 innings. He’s been even better in this department since the start of June: 18 K’s to 1 BB in 18.1 IP. Tonkin
Here are three legitimate prospects (all are 1.7 years younger than the average player in their respective leagues, according to Baseball Reference) who, at first glance, appear to be struggling so far in 2014. A closer examination, however, tells a different story:
Taylor Rogers (AA SP)
- 32.2 IP in 8 GS
- The bad:
- 5.36 ERA
- 1.53 WHIP
- Why he’s better than his numbers:
The obvious indicator is his 3.50 FIP, almost 2 full runs lower than his ERA;
Shortstop appears to be the weakest position in the Twins organization. Danny Santana is the closest legitimate SS prospect to the majors. But with a .691 OPS this season and 29 errors already (Alexei Ramirez leads all shortstops with 21), does Santana have a legitimate chance to be a franchise shortstop? Here’s a closer look.
Here are Santana’s numbers the last 3 seasons:
Here are 4 prospects that are showing major signs of improvement that have generally gone unnoticed.
JaDamion Williams (LF)
2012 (A): 9.6%BB 28.3%K .34BB/K .106 ISO 9.6%IFB .651OPS
2013 (A): 14.5%BB 20.7%K .70BB/K .180 ISO 5.3%IFB .852OPS
JD Williams has made significant improvements in both his BB and K rates, which has allowed him to draw over twice as many BBs per K as a year ago, a