Rookie pitchers give you a roofie. Rookie hitters give you agita. So why do we keep going back for more like a guest on Montel? It’s sorta like the old joke that Woody Allen quotes in Annie Hall. We need the eggs. Besides said eggs, if a rookie somehow/someway breaks out, he’ll help you win your championship. If you draft properly in the first 7 to 10 rounds, your team will be competitive, but so should other teams. It’s what you do after those rounds that makes the difference. You’re not winning your league with Longoria in the first round, but you could with Mike Minor in the 20th. As wonky as that sounds, it’s true. If you click on the player’s name, you’ll find whole posts and projections for each guy. It’s like Santa woke up drunk in March. Anyway, here’s some rookies to target for 2011 fantasy baseball:
Mike Minor – In my pitchers’ pairings post, I told you to grab Mike Minor or Jordan Zimmermann on every team. Then I see teams in the comments that don’t have either with a variation of this comment, “Grey (insert compliment), what do you think of my team?” I don’t think you have Mike Minor or Jordan Zimmermann, that’s what I think.
Jesus Montero – I wrote the post you find under Montero’s linky-ma-jig prior to the Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr. fiasco. Montero should be owned in all keeper leagues and I don’t mind taking a flyer on him late in two catcher leagues, but, as of right now, he’s not going to get enough looks for one catcher leagues. If J. Martin gets hurt (very possible with a side of “It’s going to happen at some point”), Montero will be a hot add across all leagues.
Jeremy Hellickson – For ratios, I give Hellickson the best rookie starter numbers. Better than even our friend, Mike Minor (well, he’s my friend). The Rays are pretty conservative and I don’t see them abusing Hellickson’s arm so he will probably be skipped most of September if he starts in the rotation out of the gate.
Chris Carter – Back in January, Chris Carter said this, “I’m still thinking it’s my job to lose, basically. It’s a business. They want to win and make the team better.” That isn’t as great a quote as, “Who are you, Karim Garcia? I do not know you,” but it’s still pretty solid. It’s like you go into a job interview and say, “If you want the burgers to get flipped right, I’ll get hired. What, you want crap burgers?” Unfortunately, Carter’s in Make Believe Land hanging with the Easter Bunny. It’s not his job to lose.
Aroldis Chapman – Let’s quote what I said back in November of last year, “Fidel Castro used to karaoke Sublime by singing, “I don’t practice Santeria, I can’t see Aroldis’ fastball.” It’s fast. We’ll leave it at that. There’s really no question. Let’s give some numbers now. In 26 IP of his rookie year, 25 Ks, 1.15 WHIP and a 2.42 ERA. Then in his sophomore year, his numbers were 160 2/3 IP, 130 Ks, 1.51 WHIP and a 4.82 ERA. His wildness really stopped him from being successful with 96 walks. There were definitely some flashes of brilliance, but almost completely unownable in fantasy. Wait, next year hasn’t happened yet. Oh, right, random italicized voice. My bad. Those are the rookie and sophomore numbers for Randy Johnson. These two aren’t the same player, but A) Randy is the player Chapman is most compared to B) Aroldis is a wild, nasty lefty C) There’s no C.” And that’s me quoting me! I do think Aroldis in the bullpen has a better chance of success. When he finally moves into the rotation, I’m going to preach caution.
Freddie Freeman – I’ve been pretty down on Freeman, in the non-sexual way, since I wrote his post back in November. He’s just a’ight in NL-Only leagues. For clarification purposes, “just a’ight” is less than “a’ight” and way below “a’ight a’ight.”
Danny Espinosa – Anyone that has read this site for any extended period of time knows I love to punt middle infield and go for upside. Espinosa has already found his way on multiple teams and I’m not done drafting all my teams yet.
Mike Moustakas – Recently, I was doing research for a screenplay and I had to read some parenting books. There’s this thing parents do called a stall tactic. For instance, “Mommy, can we go to the park tomorrow?” Then Mommy says, “We’ll see.” They’re stalling on a decision. This is bad. So what does this mean for baseball? Dayton Moore is a bad parent. Let Moustakas go to the park!
Desmond Jennings – Aroundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man and it’s Johnny Damon. In keepers, I’d still pursue Jennings, but, without injuries, we might not see Jennings in any real capacity until next year.
Dustin Ackley – It’s looking like the Mariners may give Ackley a shot to play 2nd base right out of the gate. An upside MI flyer? Yes, please and thank you. Then I look at Ackley’s minor league numbers and think, “Um, whatever.” Everyone thinks Ackley is going to grow into a force. Key words here are “going to grow.” In 2011, you’re going to get numbers that are fairly similar to Crapolanco. BTW, there’s an announcement coming on Monday. Batten down your hatches! Or is it button?