If you missed my post yesterday, I started with the good news, and wrote about the Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Risers. Today comes the bad news. It should (but won’t) go without saying that it is still very early in the season, and a few hot weeks can change things in a hurry. For most of the players on this list, it is really more of an admission that I was probably a little too high on them to begin with. Here are the early season top 100 fantasy prospect fallers:
Graduates: Corey Seager (#1) LAD, SS, Byron Buxton (#2) MIN, OF, Steven Matz (#10) NYM, LHP, Nomar Mazara (#19) TEX, OF (25 AB until official), Trevor Story (#30) COL, SS, John Lamb (#40) CIN, LHP, Jon Gray (#100) COL, RHP
Carson Fulmer (#28) CHW, RHP – After a disastrous first two starts, it seemed like Fulmer was getting his season back on track with four solid starts in row. That was until his start this week, where he went 4 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 8 BB, 3 K. I was very high on Fulmer coming into this season due to the prolific strikeout numbers that he put up at Vanderbilt last year (167 K in 127.2 IP), but I overlooked his control issues (3.52 BB/9), which is rearing its ugly head right now. I still like Fulmer’s K potential, but I was too aggressive ranking him in the top 30 with such little professional experience. He moves down into top 50-ish territory.
Alen Hanson (#33) PIT, 2B – When I released my top 100 way back on February 2, I thought Hanson had the inside track on the 2B base job until Jung-ho Kang returned from injury. But despite a strong spring training, Hanson was sent back down to Triple-A to start the year, where he has struggled with the bat in the early going, slashing .273/.296/.391, with 2 homers, and 6 steals in 25 games. Pittsburgh has also been playing him in the OF to increase his versatility, in what I can only assume is a prelude to a utility bench role in his first couple of years in the bigs. Hanson is still knocking on the door of the majors, and the talent is still enticing, but the slow start and lack of clear path to playing time has him dropping towards the back of the top 50.
Willie Calhoun (#42) LAD, 2B – The 21-year-old Calhoun’s spot on this list probably has more to do with my aggressive ranking of him in the preseason, than it does with his lackluster 124 AB’s at Double-A. But lackluster is exactly what they are, as he is slashing .234/.296/.363 with just 2 homers. There are signs of life, however, as he has hit .333/.440/.429 in the last week, and I don’t believe the guy who just jacked 31 homers in Junior College and lit the minors on fire last year completely forgot how to hit. Even still, I can’t deny that his early season struggles has him moving down into top 60 range for now.
Ryan McMahon (#49) COL, 3B – McMahon is another 21-year-old slugger who has been slowed down by Double-A. He is slashing a measly .233/.339/.330, with no homers, and 7 steals in 29 games. His K% has increased all the way to 29.4% and his ISO has dropped to .097. Considering his career high in homers has only been 18, and the strikeout problems don’t seem to be going away, not even Coors Field is going to be able to save McMahon from dropping. He slots somewhere in the top 70.
Jacob Nottingham (#72) MIL, C – Nottingham came out of nowhere last year and put together a huge breakout season, but he has turned back into a pumpkin so far this year. He is triple-slashing .210/.269/.290, with 2 homers, and 2 steals in 27 games at Double-A. Considering his future at the catcher position is still in doubt, the offensive struggles has him sliding down toward the bottom of the top 100.
Matt Olson (#74) OAK, 1B/OF – I gave Olson a semi pass after his uninspiring season in a pitcher’s park at Double-A last year, but he is struggling even worse right now in the PCL. He is slashing .163/.294/.306 with only 3 homers in 31 games, and for a 1B who will be playing in Oakland’s spacious ballpark, the slow start might have him falling out of the top 100 completely. Oakland has been playing him in the OF more this season in an attempt to increase his value.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)