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Matt Barnes | RHP, Red Sox | Born:  6/17/1990

As I’m writing this, Matt Barnes is on the bump for Low-A Greenville versus Delmarva, the Orioles South Atlantic League affiliate.  Delmarva is starting Dylan Bundy.  It’s a matchup of 2011 first-rounders and one could not handpick a better pitchers duel from SAL rosters.  Now, Bundy is the more highly touted prospect of the two, and I’m not disputing that.  But while Bundy already registers on fantasy radars, it’s about time we note Matt Barnes.

The 19th overall pick out of UConn, Barnes shouldn’t need significant time in the minors.  The Red Sox have started him a level (or two) below his skillset in order to work on some technical aspects and also with the intent to ease their $1.5 million investment into pro baseball – Barnes held out until the signing deadline and missed his chance at a 2011 pro debut.  Already, though, Barnes has Boston pondering a promotion as he’s posted a 0.00 ERA and a 14.06 K/9 through 19 innings of work (that doesn’t include the 9 K’s he’s posted through four innings of scoreless baseball this evening, in case you’re wondering).  At a lanky 6-4, 205, Barnes generates effortless velocity and he’s able to command his fastball into the mid-90’s.  No wonder Low-A hitting can’t touch him.  He also features a sharp curve, which he’s refining during his time in the low minors.  The development of that offering will prove crucial to his ability to climb the ladder quickly.  It won’t surprise me if Barnes finishes 2012 in Double-A, and should his dominance continue as he pushes through the next couple levels, it’s not unfathomable to think he could reach Fenway this September.  Realistically, though, look for Barnes to join the Boston rotation for the second half of 2013.

Christian Yelich | OF, Marlins | Born:  12/5/1991

We go from a South Atlantic Leauge noob to an SAL grad.  Miami has moved Christian Yelich up to High-A Jupiter to open 2012 after he tore apart the SAL in 2011.  And following a brief hiatus due to an elbow ailment, Yelich has responded to the promotion by hitting .429/.543/.857 during the early going in the Florida State League.  Regarded as one of the best minor league bats in baseball, he’s the prized piece of the Miami farm system and he’s already been tabbed as their future No. 3 hitter.  His uncanny feel for hitting separates him from the hoards of 19 and 20-year-old prospects in A-ball – there simply aren’t many hitters at that level who display such an advanced approach at the plate.  A selective hitter, Yelich knows what pitches he can drive and knows what to leave be.  He hit 15 homers in his first full season as a pro and he’s already blasted two this year.  Only expect his power production to increase as his 6-4, 189 frame fills out.

The drawback here is defense.  A weak arm and so-so speed will ultimately render Yelich a left fielder.  Good thing fantasy baseball doesn’t count defense.  Miami, though, isn’t in a rush to have Yelich in their lineup and they’ll likely take a patient approach with their top prospect.  He should reach Double-A by year’s end, putting his ETA somewhere in the late 2013 to early 2014 timetable.  When he does arrive, think young Matt Holliday from the left side, and expect him to be productive early on in his big league career.

From Around The Web

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    With Josh Collmenters awfulness, is the Bauer era imminent? Would you stash him now in a 16 teamer H2H.

    Also how long till we see Mike Trout? The Angels certainly look like they could use a boost…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, the Bauer era does seem imminent & yes I’d stash him even in a 12 teamer. I also think we could see Trout before June, but that situation is not quite so clear as Bauer’s.

  2. bobbo says:
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    Scherzer or Detwiler? Could use some WHIP help with Matt Moore and Gallardo already putting up crooked numbers in that category for me.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @bobbo, Feel free to ride Detwiler while he’s hot, but Scherzer is probably better for the long term.

      • bobbo says:
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        @Scott Evans, Could drop Ackley or Cozart too… they’re just riding the pine while Michael Young and Hanley man the middle infield spots for me. Then just bench Scherzer till he figures his shizz out.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @bobbo, don’t be afraid to shop Ackley or Cozart. Not sure how shallow your league is, but I imagine there are teams who could use one or the other…

  3. Poo Holes says:
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    I’m in my second year of a keeper league and all the top teams have the better prospects stashed away. I have Rizzo, Arenado, Dom Brown, and Shelby Miller on my squad. Do you see Dom Brown doing big things or should I drop him for another arm like Jacob Turner, Brad Peacock, Danny Hultzen, Jameson Taillon, or Manny Banuelos? The only bats available are Chisenhall, Ryan Lavarnway, Brett Jackson, and Jose Iglesias (not much of a hitter). Thoughts?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Poo Holes, Of the guys you name, Taillon is the most intriguing. He brings ace potential & should be up with the buckos next year. I think you could feel comfortable dropping Brown for him… That is, if you’ve truly lost faith in Dom. He’s been a guy that I’ve always avoided, but his ceiling is still rather high.

      • Poo Holes says:
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        @Scott Evans, Yeah I’m not all that confident in him. I guess I could hold on to him for the time being. I still think the Phils will end up trading him, especially after picking up Pence last year. Who knows!

  4. ryan says:
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    would u trade AROD and Lohse for justin Upton?
    Standard league

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @ryan, Yes.

    • anarchy burger says:
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      @ryan, hurry up and do it before the guy changes his mind

  5. Jared says:
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    Detwiler or Milone right now?
    Carp or Bauer as a bench stash?
    12 Team H2H redraft

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jared, Detwiler, Bauer.

      • Jared says:
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        @Scott Evans, Would you pick up Bauer over Milone then, if it came down to one spot?

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @Jared, If you have the flexibility to stash him for another 3 weeks or so (I think he’ll be up in mid-May) then yes. But if you need production now, go Milone… or Smyly, if he isn’t owned

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