From Gavin Lux and the Death Star-like Dodgers to Marco Luciano and the slowly-but-surely revamping Giants, the NL West has a lot of intriguing prospects.
Tommy Edman- The Cardinals selected Edman in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Stanford where he majored in math and computational science. He was a starter all three years on campus in Palo Alto and was even the Cardinal number three hitter despite his 5’10” 180 pound frame. The switch-hitter does a little bit of everything and fits the archetype of a pesky yet productive middle infielder.
Defensively Edman is widely viewed as a better long term fit at second base, but I disagree and think there’s enough defensive ability here to stick as a primary shortstop. The hands are soft, and he has enough arm and range be an average or close to average defender there. For Triple-A Memphis he has played primarily at second base because of the presence of Edmundo Sosa . He has also spent some time at third and also started playing some centerfield to diversify the portfolio. He’s a high IQ player that gets the most out of his tools.
Offensively, Edman has the type of profile that often exceeds expectations. What I mean by that is Edman’s ability to hit for a high average while also controlling the strike zone from both sides of the plate. Since entering pro ball Edman owns a career .286/.353/.415 line with a career 85% success rate on the base paths, including a 30-for-35 season last year between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. Power is his biggest deficiency but he’s already hit a single season high seven homers in his 49 game stint with Memphis this year. The introduction of the Major League ball in Triple-A certainly helps, but Edman did also add 10-15 pounds of muscle this spring. Players of this ilk, above average to plus hit tools with strong plate skills, contact ability and above average speed are the ones that often exceed scouting reports and Edman is in an organization that has a strong track record of extracting the most out of college bats. Jedd Gyorko going on the injured list created an opportunity for the 24 year old infielder. Edman is currently hitting .305/.356/.513 for Memphis with nine stolen bases and seven homers. He’s played himself into position to be added in 20 team dynasty leagues because of his well-rounded profile and high floor. Lance Brozdowski ranked Edman 25th on the St. Louis Cardinals top 30 list.
Peter Lambert- Throw out the numbers when judging Rockies pitching prospects, especially guys pitching in Albuquerque. According to statcorner.com with 100 being neutral, the park factor for homers is 122 for left-handed hitters and 143 for righties, which are insane numbers. For comparisons sake Coors Field checks in at 119 and 117. So his home park in Albuquerque is more hitter friendly than Coors by a considerable margin. Ralph ranked Lambert fifth in the Colorado system, and broke down his arsenal as follows; “Lambert mixes a fastball in the 92-94 range with sink and run, a tumbling changeup pairs well with his fastball generating most of the whiffs I saw in Hartford. His curveball has nice 12-6 break, and he lands it for strikes, lots he’ll steal on the outside corner to lefties. His repertoire is completed by an average slider with some two-plane break. His complete control and command of his arsenal led Lambert to earn better reviews than perhaps his numbers would indicate. In the handful of Lambert starts I witnessed this season he showed the ability to locate all of his pitches for strikes, showing the ability to pitch backwards off his curveball and changeup.” He repeats his delivery well, with plus command/control that pushes the stuff up a grade. He’s not all that dissimilar to what Kyle Freeland can offer from a fantasy perspective.
Jordan Yamamoto- The Brewers drafted Yamamoto out of St. Louis High School in Honolulu. He came over to the Marlins in the Christian Yelich deal along with outfielders Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and 2B Isan Diaz. He pitched well as soon as he entered the Marlins organization despite a battle with shoulder soreness that limited to just under 70 innings pitched in 2018. There were some stints in 2018 when Yamamoto’s fastball velocity dipped into the high-80s, but 2019 reports on his fastball have it back in the low-90s and he averaged 90.8 mph during his big league debut. Yamamoto gets by on the strength of his secondary offerings. His curveball is his best pitch and it grades out as plus. He commands it to both sides of the plate and its his primary swing and miss pitch against righties. He also throws an above average slider, and a change. His fastball is his only offering with a below average grade, but he also throws a cutter with good run. His overall below average stuff plays due to his above average to plus command, and the deception with the long arm action and a cross body delivery. He projects as a back end starter long term but definitely a play in almost any home matchup. Noted Marlins super-fan Eddy Almaguer ranked Yamamoto eighth on his Marlins top 30 list.