I’ll be honest here, I had no idea that Shelley Duncan was still playing. Not only is he playing, he’s, um, well, I’m supposed to put something he’s doing well here to make the play of words work. But that’s not really possible. Oh, he does have two homeruns. Does that help? With a career slash of 230/306/427, I think I’ve actually found a worse outfielder than Don Kelly. What’s next, stigmata? If given regular at-bats, 260/330/480 represents the very high end, and I could foresee 10 homers and 50 RBI’s if he play’s for 50% of the season’s games.
Selected in the Rule V Draft by the Astros, Nate Freiman, formerly of the Padres, is now getting at-bats with the Athletics. And hopefully some frequent flyer miles. His best skill seems to be running into ceiling fans. Standing at 6-7, he obviously has power, but is quite old for a prospect. If you hadn’t noticed, the Padres aren’t shy about starting very big men in leftfield, or in Kyle Blanks case, sorta big men with very big Afros to get some offense in the lineup. Yet, Freiman was never given a shot, so take that for what you will. He doesn’t really run so well, so his options are realistically limited to 1B or DH, but as long as the at-bats continue, the homeruns will as well. Just don’t count on any rate-stat help here. I could see a slash of 230/300/450 being possible.
Chris Getz has been around long enough for us to know what he is and what he does. Which is run a bit and, well, actually, that’s about it. Does a 260/310/320 guy do anything for you? If you answered yes, congratulations, you are in a league that is similar to the ones I’m in. Which makes us insta-drinking buddies. There are worse things to have on your bench as a MI hedge, but if you need quick speed, he should be available. Don’t expect any more power, as he already has one homerun this year. The next one should come around August… of 2017. His BA won’t hurt you, but the lack of anything else might. In limited action, 10 SB’s is possible though, so if you have a need for speed…
Drafted as a 2009 International Free Agent, Jae-Hoon Ha is formerly a catcher now moved to the outfield. He’s showed respectable numbers between the Cubs high-A and double-A affiliates, even improving his BB% from 4.5 to 9.5 in 2012. He’s already gotten off to a good start, hitting 349/429/419 in double-A, but is repeating the level. Ha makes good contact, and can play all three outfield positions, which may best profile him as a fourth outfielder. But he’s still young and might have an outside shot of being an average regular that doesn’t do anything particularly well, but doesn’t do anything badly either. Think David DeJesus.
As promised last week, I reveal to you another baseball player with an awesome name. Zebulon Sneed, also appearing in several Dr. Seuss books, is a tall 6-5 with a mid-90’s fastball and an interesting split-finger. He has very little control at this point and is considered a project. He can already get up to 97 MPH, and has a good frame and plenty of projection. Right now, he’s working on a cutter and change-up and has an easy path to become an elite bullpen piece. However, if he is able to refine his control and harness his power repertoire, its not that hard to imagine a 2/3 starter. But, admittedly, that’s dreaming big.
After missing the 2010 season from Tommy John, Junichi Tazawa is picking up where he left off from 2012 as a fairly under-the-radar dominant reliever. Sporting a nifty 9.20 K/9 to go with a fantastically low 1.02 BB/9 last season, he is continuing the trend in his first 8.0 innings pitched this so far this year. While both Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara are ahead of him on the closer depth chart, he could vulture some wins, get some holds, and give you some strikeouts in the RP slot.
A 14th round pick in 2012, Nick Tepesch has been flying under the radar for the past few years in the Texas system. He relies on a low-90’s fastball with a cutter, changeup, and curveball. Mostly projected to be back of the rotation starter, Tepesch could be more if he’s able to continue getting good groundball rates in the dangerous fly-ball environment in Arlington. I will mention though, that Ron Washington seems to really like the kid from the quotes I’ve read, which immediately causes alarms in my head to go off. Anything Washington ever says or does runs shivers down my secret spidey baseball sense. Its a give that Tepesch will give up his share of hits and runs, but if he continues starting, the wins will be there. While unimpressive, he could still probably out-pitch the entire Twins rotation, so just keep that in mind.