With Eric Karabell on a well-deserved vacation this week, we've got a collection of guest bloggers filling in. Jim Bowden batted leadoff Monday, and Tuesday, we're joined by Keith Law. An alumnus of the Toronto Blue Jays and Baseball Prospectus, Keith covers all things prospect- and scouting-related over on his blog.
For this post, Keith fielded questions from our editorial staff on scouting-related issues of relevance to fantasy baseball owners. Can Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel be trusted? Are Robinson Cano's days as a 20-homer hitter through? What should the Chicago Cubs do with their "core four" of prospects? The answers to those queries and more are below.
What does Tony Cingrani need to do to recapture long-term value?
He needs to develop a third pitch, or maybe improve his second one. He's a low-slot guy who primarily works off of his fastball, so lefties have trouble seeing the ball out of his hand (from the slot), and his slider plays up a little because hitters are reacting late to try to time the fastball. Right-handed hitters see the ball all day long, and they've killed him this year because he can't turn over a decent changeup.
Even when I rated him highly in the minors, I always highlighted the possibility he'd end up in relief because of these factors, and I think right now that's the proper role for him.
Is Dallas Keuchel legit?
It's 90 innings now of a historically-great ground ball rate, improved command and a plus slider. He's clearly legit; it's more a question of just how good he can be.