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Minor League Stock Up/Stock Down Report No. 2

In the second edition of the bi-weekly (ish) stock up/stock down report, we take a look at several minor leaguers who have finally started to put it together in the opening month, a few who have stayed the course, and several who have been, suffice it to say, less than impressive.

Detroit Tigers RHP Jose Ortega
Detroit Tigers RHP Jose Ortega

If you'd like to check back and see who was on the first edition of the Stock Up/Stock Down report, you can find it here.

Stock Up:

2B Devon Travis, Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps -- 68 AB, .368/.403/.618/1.021; 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 17 R, 5 BB, 7 R, 3 SB

Yeah. I'm going there again. Travis has done nothing but hit (and play a great 2B) since the season began. His numbers have actually dropped a little bit since the last stock up/stock down, but they're still so impressive (and, when combined with my prospect-crush on him) that he still finds himself on this list. Now, it's not like 70 at-bats is a large sample size, but when you factor in that this is his first full professional season and the fact that the weather has been crap in the Midwest League since the season started, you can't help but be impressed by what he's been able to do.

LF Danry Vasquez, Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps -- 68 AB, .279/.310/.338/.648; 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 11 K, 5 SB

Now, obviously Vasquez's numbers are not awe-inspiring. But when you look at what he's done since the last check, his stock IS up. I'd like to see him walk more and hit for more power, but the fact of the matter is that he's 19 years old and more than holding his own in A ball. Over the last 10 games (which dates back to the last check), he's hitting .297 with only two strikeouts (and two walks). He's still skinny as hell, so it's not really a big surprise that the power hasn't developed yet. Overall, he's done well so far this season, and hopefully as the weather warms up, his power will start to manifest itself into game situations more.

LHP Kyle Ryan - Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers -- 2-1, 3.51 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 25 H, 7 BB, 11 K, 1.25 WHIP

Ryan hasn't exactly been shut-down this season, but again, these reports are bi-weekly and they are to show more who's been hot and who hasn't been at two-week intervals, rather than what they've done over the course of the season. Over his last two starts he's gone 14 innings, allowed 10 hits against four walks, and struck out six. His stock is up, and while I'd like to see more strikeouts, Ryan has certainly pitched well since last check.

C Ramon Cabrera - Double-A Erie SeaWolves -- 69 AB, .391/.463/.522/.985; 7 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R, 10 BB, 4 K

Cabrera was the player the Tigers acquired in the offseason for Andy Oliver, and he's been tearing the cover off the ball. He was always billed as someone who could hit the ball, without much power, while walking a lot and not striking out. He has defensive shortcomings, but Cabrera's stock is significantly up. He's been splitting time with James McCann behind the dish, and while McCann is the better prospect by far, Cabrera is certainly making some noise.

OF Daniel Fields - Double-A Erie SeaWolves -- 61 AB, .262/.352/.459/.811; 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 8 BB, 13 K, 3 SB

Fields suffered a minor injury at the beginning of the season that kept him out of action for a few games, but since his return he's been performing well. He's still striking out a bit too much, but the walks are up and he's hitting for some pop. He hit an opposite-field bomb off of Kevin Gausman that made me weak at the knees. He's never going to hit .300, but the hope is that if the hit tool can reach average levels, that will allow both his power and his speed to play more. Still a fourth-outfielder profile for me right now.

RHP Jose Ortega - Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens -- 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 IP, 5 H, 7 BB, 15 K, 1.00 WHIP, 2.33 GO/AO

Ortega looks like he'll be the next guy called up if the Tigers need help in the bullpen. Aside from the walks, he's been outstanding. He's striking out more than a batter per inning, getting a ton of groundballs, and just looking like a big-league arm. The command issues and walks hold him back from having a high ceiling, but I still think he's a potential contributor in the majors.

Holding Their Value

LF Nick Castellanos - Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens -- 86 AB, .244/.309/.407/.716; 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 9 BB, 18 K

Castellanos is on the rise, but not enough to put him in the "Stock Up" category. The one thing that stands out as a concern is the strikeout numbers, but he is walking more and over the last week the power has come along as well. Sometimes we forget that he's only 21 years old and playing in Triple-A, and when you consider that, a .716 OPS isn't bad. I think as the season rolls on, we'll start to see more and more of the Nick Castellanos we know and love -- the guy who hits the cover off the ball.

LHP Casey Crosby - Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens -- 1-3, 4.58 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 15 H, 14 BB, 19 K, 1.47 WHIP, 2.78 GO/AO

In fairness, Crosby's numbers are inflated mostly because of his first two starts. His last two have been solid, and his most recent one was outstanding. So I guess, in a way, he should be on the stock up. Oh well. Anyway, over his last two starts Crosby has gone 12 2/3 innings, allowed three earned runs, eight hits, and six walks, while striking out nine. Essentially, Crosby has been who Crosby is. When he's on, he can dominate by getting a ton of groundballs and a good amount of strikeouts. When he's off, he walks a ton of people, leaves pitches up, and can get hit hard. He pitches for Toledo tonight, so I'm hoping he continues to build off of his last two starts.

SS/2B Hernan Perez - Double-A Erie SeaWolves -- 75 AB, .347/.363/.493/.856; 8 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 3 BB, 10 K, 7 SB

Perez has been hitting the ball since the beginning of the season, so while his numbers remain good, he's essentially stayed the same since last check, which is a good thing. I'm a bit concerned by the lack of walks, but he hasn't struck out all that much, and is making loud contact all the time. He's showing off his speed as well with seven stolen bases, but he's also made eight errors. Of course, he's playing out of position at shortstop while Dixon Machado heals, and say what you will about errors and minor-league official scorers, but eight errors is still a lot.

1B/DH Dean Green - Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers -- 75 AB, .333/.383/.480/.863; 4 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 5 BB, 13 K

Green was placed on the disabled list the other day, so who knows how long it'll be before he's back in the Lakeland lineup. Still, Green has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise offensively-challenged Lakeland lineup. He's not hitting for as much power as I'd like to see, and the strikeouts are a bit high, but overall he's doing exactly what he's been known to do: hit. I really don't think it'll be all that long before he's in Erie's lineup, assuming that his injury isn't one that keeps him out long.

OF Jake Stewart - Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps -- 53 AB, .302/.393/.396/.790; 1 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R, 8 BB, 10 K, 1 SB

Stewart's numbers are misleading in a variety of ways.

1) He's not a .300 hitter, nor do I expect him to ever be.
2) He has more power than he has shown, and
3) He's faster than his SB numbers indicate.

Regardless of all that, Stewart (along with Devon Travis) has been one of the few Whitecaps who has been consistently solid (or better) all season long. Vasquez has come on in recent weeks, but Stewart has been pretty solid all year. Overall, I don't see higher than a fourth-outfielder profile for him, but he's been good.

Stock Down:

CF Austin Schotts - Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps -- 51 AB, .098/.217/.118/.334; 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R, 8 BB, 26 K, 3 SB

Obviously, aside from the batting average, what stands out here is the astronomically-high strikeout numbers. Schotts looks overmatched so far, to say the least. Now, I don't think the Tigers are going to be all knee-jerky and send him back to extended spring training (yet), but it's something I'm sure they're thinking about.

RHP Montreal Robertson - Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps -- 1-2, 4.35 ERA, 20 2/3 IP, 17 H, 8 BB, 12 K, 1.21 WHIP

Robertson was excellent to start the season, but in his last two starts he's gone 9 2/3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 7 BB, and 6 K. So, for the sake of this exercise, his stock his down. If I recall correctly, he's slated to start tonight, so he could turn things around rather quickly. Regardless, he started hot, has gotten hit around recently, and that's why you find him on this list.

RHP Tyler Stohr - Double-A Erie SeaWolves -- 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 6 IP, 2 H, 9 BB, 11 K, 1.81 WHIP.

To be fair, Stohr has only thrown six innings this season, but considering he started off not allowing a run in his first four innings or so with a ton of strikeouts, his last couple appearances have been so bad that it warrants him being on this list. He's still striking out a lot of batters, but the walks have killed him.

Author's Note: There are undoubtedly several more guys who warrant being on this list for one reason or another, but for the sake of time, I'm not going to detail them all. We'll be back in a couple weeks with edition #3.