Our Razzball prospect protagonist Scott Evans is currently going over the upcoming MLB Draft and players who might have an immediate impact on your fantasy roster. Following in his footsteps, we’ll be sorta of doing the same, the only difference being that I’ll be going over some lesser known names in this year’s draft that have the potential to be a winning lottery ticket further down the road.
While there can be variations on the name, most dynasty leagues have a mirror draft to serve as a mechanism to disperse players from this year’s upcoming 2013 MLB Draft to your respective fantasy baseball teams. While redraft and shallow leagues don’t have this dynamic, I have yet to see any successful dynasty have a missing mechanism to draft from this pool. Along with that aspect, in leagues like this, you are dealing with owners who are plugged-in to the extreme, so it’s not just about finding sleepers, but finding the correct player in a tier, since once you get past the first and second rounds, the grouping of skills gets spread out. So let’s go over some names I like.
Alex Detz | 2B — A junior at Mississippi State, Detz has the tool I love the most besides power, and that’s a strong eye at the plate. He’s projected to have average tools across the board, and while some believe the hit tool will be strong, I’m leaning toward it being more solid than spectacular. This is mostly due to his age (22), but Detz still has projection to be a useful player at the Major League level. There is some risk here, since if he doesn’t produce right away, he’ll simply just fade because of his advanced age, but there’s some value to picking up a possible Daniel Murphy clone.
Dominic Ficociello | 2B — Standing at 6-4 and 185, this Arkansas junior has excellent bat speed, a good approach at the plate and a smooth swing. While he is likely to end up at first base where the lack of a good power tool might not be ideal, there is a good chance that Ficociello is athletic enough to stick at second base where his bat can play. Again, he has a good eye, which I like, and with the chance of at least average power, you could imagine him becoming the next Neil Walker.
CK Irby | RHP — Attending Samford, Irby is a two-way player with a little power and some athleticism, but will most likely be drafted with the intention of throwing the ball to the catcher 60 feet and 6 inches away. He has a low-90’s fastball, with a cut slider and a passable changeup. Some believe Irby is a future reliever because there is some effort in his mechanics, but he has enough projection and pitches to give starting a chance, and it’s not impossible to see a mid-rotation starter as his ceiling.
Matt Oberste | 3B — An Oklahoma Sooner, Oberste has a pretty legitimate hit tool and approach, one that could transition well to the big leagues. At 6-2, 200 lbs, he has a good chance to stick at 3B and have a baseline Chris Nelson type of impact, in that there will be a little bit of power with an okay batting average.
Mark Payton | OF — There’s consensus that Payton will turn into a tweener guy, which is that he’s really not that great at anything, but isn’t really bad enough to stink up the place. You’ll find these guys described as utility infielders, or in this case, a fourth outfielder. But I like Payton’s approach, and his hit tool has been improving. Brandon Barnes seems pretty useful in deep leagues right now, so I don’t see a problem taking a late flier on Payton and seeing what happens.
Bryan Radziewski | LHP — Standing at 5-10, Radziewski does not really have the prototypical size you want from a pitcher, and he doesn’t really throw that hard either, but he has found a way to get results. His fastball tops out at 88 MPH, which could be problematic, but he has a good curve-cutter combo and a changeup that has potential. While I wouldn’t rule out him being just minor league depth, there is a chance he could be a useful bullpen piece or a back of the rotation starter.
Jimmy Yezzo | 3B — Bringing a strong hit and power tool, Yezzo could end up not being a sleeper when the draft arrives. But there are enough questions about his position and swing that might keep his status deflated. Even with these concerns, Yezzo’s left-handed pop makes him stand out in this draft class.