It's coming up on the time when I will be releasing my midseason fantasy prospect rankings update, and one of tasks I usually like to start with is looking at prospects outside the previous top 100 to see if anyone is jumping up or falling down quite a bit. With that in mind, let's take a look at five prospects from the NL Central that might be moving.
Rob Kaminsky, Cardinals (#153)
Stat line: 3 W, 2.67 ERA, 54 IP, 54 H, 20 BB, 48 K, 1.37 WHIP
Level: Advanced A-ball (Palm Beach - Florida State League)
Kaminsky was a 1st round draft pick back in 2013 for the Cardinals, and moved up a level to start the 2015 season from his assignment last year. His numbers overall this year are a little bit worse, specifically his walk rate going up to 8.6%, although the strikeout rate (20.6%) has kept pace. The other number that stands out is his hits allowed, up to 1 per inning pitched from 0.7 last year, but since he tends to be a groundball machine (61% so far this year per MLBFarm), he can be impacted more by randomness in BABIP (.335 this year versus .235 last year). There's not a lot of reports on his performance so far this year, but he doesn't appear to be giving up a lot of hard contact (just six extra base hits allowed in 54 innings so far), and I think we start to see the hits allowed get closer to his previous rate.
RECOMMENDATION: Hold steady - I don't see anything that really impacts how he was viewed during the offseason yet. He'll likely move up some in the rankings due to graduations, but should generally end up in a similar spot.
Gleyber Torres, Cubs (#119)
Stat line: .317/.392/.392, 0 HR, 31 RBI, 8 SB, 27 R, 22 BB, 45 K (50 G)
Level: Full-Season A-ball (South Bend - Midwest League)
Torres was one of the top international signees from the 2013 J2 class, and is making his full-season debut this year with South Bend. He's a prospect that will likely have slightly less fantasy value than real-life value because he isn't going to provide value in home runs and may not provide a ton of stolen bases, but should still be an excellent source of batting average. He's also just 18 years old, and the reports on him note all the things you want to hear on his makeup and work ethic.
RECOMMENDATION: See what trades might be out there - He's starting to show up higher on prospect lists in real life, and if someone wants to hold onto him for the three to four years until he's likely to reach the majors, let them do it instead. He'll probably drop slightly in the rankings due to the fact that he was probably a bit higher than he should have been.
Orlando Arcia, Brewers (#155)
Stat line: .325/.378/.463, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 6 SB, 34 R, 15 BB, 20 K (52 G)
Level: AA (Biloxi - Southern League)
Arcia was a prospect during the offseason that I was lower on than I probably should have been, and he's gone out this year and worked on making that ranking look even worse. Despite spending the first two months essentially on the road as Biloxi worked to finish their stadium construction, he's been better on offense than was anticipated. If he can provide a .280-.290 batting average along with 5-7 home runs and 10-15 stolen bases, he can potentially be around the top 10 at shortstop.
RECOMMENDATION: If his current owner doesn't believe, see if you can get him for a discount. He's not going to hit .325 consistently, but I definitely had him lower than he should have been.
Amir Garrett, Reds (NR)
Stat line: 2 W, 3.52 ERA, 53.2 IP, 53 H, 21 BB, 58 K, 1.38 WHIP
Level: Advance A-ball (Daytona - Florida State League)
I liked what I read about Garrett last year after he decided to pursue baseball exclusively during the season, and he's been able to continue to develop this year. He's seen an increase in his strikeout rate so far (25.6% versus 22.6%), but without a similar change to his walk rate. His last start was his worst of the season, but right before that had posted a 12 strikeout game against the Phillies' affiliate. I don't think he necessarily will move into the top 100, but he should jump up in the list to be sure.
RECOMMENDATION: Watch to see whether he can start to string together some consistent starts in a row, as he could be moved quickly since he's already on the 40-man roster. I don't think he debuts until late next year, but I could see a promotion to AA before the end of the year. He'll likely end up in the top 150 this time around.
Nick Kingham, Pirates (#105)
Stat line: 1 W, 4.31 ERA, 31.1 IP, 34 H, 7 BB, 32 K, 1.309 WHIP
Level: AAA (Indianapolis - International League)
Kingham had been in line to get a call up at some point this year after pitching well in the second half of last year there. Unfortunately, Kingham left his start early on May 6th and ended up needing Tommy John surgery. He's expected to miss substantial time next season, potentially the whole season. The hard part with Kingham is that the ceiling was never that high, but had a high enough floor to see a back-end starter fairly easily. With the injury, even that's not as clear.
RECOMMENDATION: It's likely to be difficult to sell Kingham without a massive discount at this point, so all you can really do is hold him. If you can add and drop prospects during the season, I'd probably be willing to drop him for most prospects that have similar upside at High-A or AA because of the timeframe to usefulness. He'll fall in the rankings due to the longer timeframe to the majors, although I don't know how far yet.