Written by: Dylan Matthews (@dmattprospects)
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Here is my second installment of Farming After Hours. This time I dive into the value in Dean Kremer. Be sure to check out my first installment of this series about Brennen Davis!
A quick recap of the structure of this article:
- Name, Age, Team, Draft RD/J2, College/Country
- Stat line from the previous season
- Tools (Current/Future) and Future Value rating
- When and Where?
- Level and ETA
- The reasons you should be well-aware of this prospect
- Floor (what’s the worst case scenario?)
- Ceiling (what’s the best case scenario?)
Let’s take a look at the first pitching prospect featured in this series….
Dean Kremer – Baltimore Orioles – RHP
Drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of UNLV (431st overall pick). Kremer is the first Israeli to ever be drafted by a Major League organization.
2018 Stat line
Across Two Levels (Three teams w/ trade): 2.88 ERA, 131.1 IP, 178 SO, 12.22 K/9, 33.3 K%, 46 BB, 3.16 BB/9, 1.17 WHIP, .225 BAA
Batted Ball Profile: ~40% Ground Ball, ~40% Fly Ball, ~20% Line Drive
Fastball Average RPM – 2300 (MLB average: 2240-2300 RPM)
Breaking Ball Average RPM – 2400 (MLB average: 2450 RPM)
Be sure to check out my article about J.B. Bukauskas if you’re curious to learn more about spin rate on pitches and how it makes an impact on swinging strike percentage.
When and Where?
Kremer, along with Yusniel Diaz, Rylan Bannon, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera, was traded from the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal last summer.
Kremer spent the 2018 season in High-A and Double-A.
Get excited → ETA: 2019
Kremer was a swingman reliever in 2017, which was his first full season of professional ball. Pitching in relief, the outings varied and his numbers weren’t great. Last season, the right-hander returned to the rotation, and the results speak for themselves: Kremer led the minor leagues in strikeouts. Just scouting the stat line here should tell you he was a force to be reckoned with for the three teams he pitched for in 2018.
One thing to note is drafting starting pitching prospects in dynasty leagues comes with a fair amount of inherent, injury risk. While Kremer may not possess the perceived ceiling of a top-50 prospect, his closeness to a big league debut (thanks to his performance last season and the Orioles’ currently-thin MLB starting rotation) should help minimize some of the risk that comes with starting pitching prospects, which makes him an intriguing prospect in your dynasty league. Remember, not all superstar arms were once-top prospects (Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin, etc. ).
Floor – Multi Inning Reliever, Spot Starter
Kremer has the stuff and makeup to start. His arsenal includes four pitches, two of which (fastball and curveball) grade out as above average or plus. While the slider and changeup are still works in progress., Kremer has shown the confidence to throw them at every stop throughout his minor league career.
The 23-year-old’s problem is his command, which leaves a lot to be desired quite often. Kremer throws a lot of strikes, and those strikes might begin to get punished as he nears a big league debut. On paper, it’s tough to consider being in the Orioles organization a positive factor in a pitching prospect profile (Camden Yards and AL East competition aren’t exactly the best housewarming gifts for a debuting pitcher). However, with minimal organizational depth at starting pitcher, Kremer should be allowed to remain in the rotation for as long as possible, with the subsequent results dictating a future role switch if necessary. The current name that comes to mind when comping Kremer’s floor is Jalen Beeks.
Ceiling – Solid SP3
As was mentioned in the floor segment, the thing Kremer has working for him is the virtue of opportunity. The Orioles don’t figure to contend anytime soon; because of this, they can afford maximum patience and large sample sizes with their prospects at the big league level. I lose sleep at night over the way the Rangers handled Jurickson Profar in his first MLB campaigns, which basically consisted of sprinkled-in starts sandwiched between minimal, late-inning roles. Not receiving a real opportunity doesn’t seem to be the likely route for Baltimore’s handling of Kremer: he is going to receive a real shot to be the biggest return-piece in the Machado deal. A guy like J.A. Happ comes to mind with Dean Kremer: Lots of strikeouts with an ERA you always wished was a little better, but he’ll always have a role with a big league team. If the ERA manages to remain at his MiLB output, we’re talking about a legitimate all star. If the command takes a step forward, Kremer could post numbers that resemble the 2018 first-half version of Ross Stripling.
Stripling 1H reference: 2.08 ERA, 95.1 IP, 108 K (28.4% K% 10.22 K/9), 14 BB, 1.08 WHIP
Kremer’s fastball doesn’t have the high RPMs that I love to rave about, but it still has good arm-side run that pairs well with his plus, tight curveball that generates a ton of swing and miss. Kremer’s changeup is still a work in progress, but it flashes plus from time to time. As the 23-year-old finalizes his development, the command taking a step forward would mean Kremer becomes a workhorse starting pitcher who strikes out enough hitters to be extremely valuable in the fantasy world.
Being a successful fantasy player sometimes means betting on the correct horses. It’s always fun to try and hit a home run on young, electric arms, but you’ve also witnessed the volatility and variance associated with the position, especially when a prospect is multiple seasons away from a possible big league debut. Kremer is almost ready for The Show, and his minor league numbers should encourage you to take a chance.
Ceiling Comp (Command doesn’t improve) – Right-handed J.A. Happ
Ceiling Comp (Command improves) – 2018 First Half Version of Ross Stripling
Follow P365 staff writer Dylan Matthews on Twitter! @dmattprospects
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Featured image courtesy of photographer Terrance Williams and MiLB.com.