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The Rangers have promoted two pitchers from their minor league ranks to fill openings in the big league rotation.  Familiar fantasy face, Roy Oswalt, is one of the two.  The other is 23-year-old Justin Grimm, who debuted last week and was rather effective.  Grimm was having a nice campaign in Double-A — nothing eye-popping, but he was among the most efficient pitchers in the Texas League, which is surely why the Rangers are giving him a look.  I’m not so sure he’s worth the same look in the fantasy game, however.  He’s slotted to throw twice next week, so if you’re two-start streaming… whatever.  But he’s hardly rosterable outside of AL-Only formats.  What’s interesting to note here is that Grimm leaped over the Rangers’ top pitching prospect Martin Perez.  Perez had been having a lousy year in the PCL, so it’s not necessarily surprising that Grimm was given the nod, but the move seems to have ignited Perez.  He’s surrendered only two runs through his last two outings, one of those being a complete game (only 90 pitches, too).  Featuring a plus fastball with sneaky velocity, a plus-plus change, and a sharp curve, Perez has frontline stuff.  It’s hard to say how long the Rangers will have room for either Grimm or another arm, but if Perez continues this recent hot streak, I’m confident he’ll supplant Grimm.  Should that scenario come to pass, add Perez in all formats.

Drew Pomeranz | LHP, Colorado — Pomeranz has been pretty bad in Triple-A.  Some of that needs to be attributed to the park he plays in, but it’s mostly due to sloppy pitching, if you ask me.  His most recent outing, though, was by far his best this year.  Pomeranz pitched six no-hit innings on Tuesday, walking three and whiffing eight in the process.  He has one of the meanest curves in the game, but injuries have been holding him back.  Huge potential to dominate minor league hitters and get back to the bigs if he can get rolling.

Trevor Bauer | RHP, D’Backs — So, Joe Saunders has a bum shoulder and the whole world is wondering if this will mark the coming of Bauer.  Certainly seems plausible.  Meanwhile, Bauer continues to struggle with command, walking four in his last outing.

Danny Hultzen | LHP, Mariners — Hultz got the bump to Triple-A, so I guess he’s not skipping that level.  I’ve been sticking to my late-July ETA, and I’ll continue to do so.  A month or so in the PCL seems about right.

Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds — Hamilton’s stolen, like, 8,000 bases or something now.  Earlier in the week, he was robbed at gunpoint in what must’ve been a frightening ordeal.  Insert overplayed karma joke.

Josh Vitters | 3B, Cubs — Should you still believe in Josh Vitters?  Probably not.  But the former 1st-round selection is having something of a bounce back year at Triple-A Iowa.  Hitting .385/.442/.641 over his last 10 games, Vitters appears to be comfortable and confident at the plate — something we haven’t seen out of him since 2009.

Ryan Lavarnway | C, Red Sox — Lavarnway’s power production is down, but his approach seems improved as he has elevated his OBP to just a tick beneath .400.  The Red Sox, who aren’t in need of catcher help at the moment, could dangle Lavarnway as trade bait over the next couple months.

Kaleb Cowart | 3B, Angels – Cowart opened the year as one of the more advanced hitters in the Midwest League, and he backed up that perception by hitting .293/.348/.479 with 9 HR in 66 games.  The Angels promoted Cowart to High-A Inland Empire this past week.  Look for his power numbers to increase in the hitter-friendly environment of the Cali League.

Gary Sanchez | C, Yankees – After an up-and-down year in the South Atlantic League in 2011, the Yankees sent Sanchez back to repeat the level for 2012.  Results thus far are much improved:  .315/.362/.549 with 31 XBH in 254 PA.  Sanchez is one of the top catching prospects left in the minors, and it only appears that his stock is rising.

Shelby Miller | RHP, Cardinals – The Cardinals are having Miller skip his next start in order to work on mechanics.  The highly-touted pitching prospect has struggled mightily in Triple-A during recent weeks.

Andrew Chafin | LHP, D’Backs – I recently said nice things about Chafin here and here.  Well, through his last two outings he’s surrendered 15 ER while walking 9.  The Razzball kiss of death in full effect, baby.

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    A Cowart dies a thousand deaths, Collapso will lose the 3rd base job but once.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Terrence Mann, Couple more years on that. Nonetheless, I dig this comment.

  2. Curt says:
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    Well done……Any Gerrit Cole update??

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Curt, Thanks for reading. Cole got the W in his first start at AA. 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Nice high-minors debut, I’d say.

      • Jay29 says:
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        @Scott Evans, do you think Cole is the next big pitching prospect to hit the bigs behind Bauer and Hultzen? In terms of projected fantasy value for 2013 + 2014, is Cole a better bet than guys like Bundy, Walker, Taillon, Odorizzi, S.Miller, etc? I need somebody for my Minors slot after Bauer comes up…

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @Jay29, Cole will be ready sometime next year & he’ll bring legitimate ace potential. The most attractive thing about him, though, is that his floor is probably that of a #3. He’ll be a valuable fantasy asset one way or another. That said, I like the upside of Walker & Bundy more… especially Walker. I’d probably look to add him to your fantasy farm over Cole.

          • Jay29 says:
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            @Scott Evans, awesome, thanks for the tip. May not have to make my decision for a couple weeks so I’ll keep digging into it. I still think Cole’s likely earlier arrival in ’13 than Walker gives him the edge, so I might just wait to draft Walker next March. (We get one minors slot and are allowed one “dynasty keeper” — I’m hoping that’s Bauer but I want a backup in case of injury.)

  3. TheNewGuy says:
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    Hi Scott im still stashing Hultzen, but someone in my non-keeper has dropped Bauer now too. Im wondering if I should try and make space for both of them, it’s a 16 teamer H2H and I could use more pitching.

    I guess my question is, without wanting to go into too much detail about my team, how good do you expect Bauer to be this year (projection on numbers)? As it’s a pretty deep league I think he’ll be valuable even if he struggles a little on arrival, it’s just trying to figure out whether they’ll be more useful to me than some of my other guys.

    Though I guess if he is up now I have to add him right?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, That’s always the right way to approach prospect stashing. Sometimes we’re blinded by the hype & we look right past established guys who can be of more help. However, the upside on Bauer is too big to ignore. I’d stash him if you have the flexibility. Here’s a quick projection on Bauer: 4.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 9 K/9

    • Prezii says:
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      @TheNewGuy, i have the same problem.. i guess its a problem? I lost out on bauer 2 weeks ago so i grabbed hultzen. Then a few days ago bauer was dropped so i claimed him to. Now im stashing both bauer and hultzen with borh DL spots filled and hellickson DL’d just floatin on my roster.. im in a 10 teamer so this could possibly bite my ass soon.. but i cant drop either cuz i know they will get swooped up asap. My rotation looks bleak but i think i can pull it off. Wat do you think scott? Is this a complete lame move or not that bad? Im in 4th with most points in a competitive league. My hittin has really carried me lately so im not that worried but if my hitting slows, i dont have alot of pitching to vack it up.

  4. Longbeachyo says:
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    What, no Anthony Rizzo update?? Shame on you.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Longbeachyo, Sincerest apologies. But I can’t write about him every week. Actually, I can, but I choose not to… out of principle. Or something. Anyway, he’s past his service time cutoff now, so the Cubs can feel free to call him up without sacrificing a year of team control. He’ll be up soon.

  5. longbeachyo says:
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    No worries. I picked him up last night, so hopefully you’re right!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Shin-Soo Choo Choo, After all the waiting & debating, looks like we get both Bauer & Rizzo same week.

  6. TheNewGuy says:
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    Made room for (jack) Bauer, and got him :)

    Lets hope he’s up for thursdays start! Hultzy and Bauer would make nice end rotation fill-ins in a 16 teamer from here on out. :)

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Gotta agree with ya on that one. Nice work.

  7. Matt says:
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    What’s been so bad about Pomeranz in AAA? His mid 2 ERA? His 46 K’s in 46 IP? His 1 start out of 9 that’s he’s given up more than 3 ER? Sure he has 20 BB’s, but 10 of those came in back to back starts where he lost his rhythm. Only 10 BB’s in his other 7 starts…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Matt, Efficiency. It’s a major concern.

      • Matt says:
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        @Scott Evans, Inefficient seems more appropriate than saying he’s been pretty bad. Brad Peacock has been pretty bad in AAA. Pomeranz has been effective but inefficient…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @charlie hustler, I love how cerebral Bauer is. Baseball needs more minds like this — more Dickeys, McCarthys, etc. He’s certainly a fascinating dude, and he has an answer for just about everything. Bauer’s reasoning re the walks seems sound, but results speak much louder & I’d be more interested to hear how Kevin Towers views the issue. Thanks for the link, btw. Good stuff.

  8. TheNewGuy says:
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    Bauer start official! Thursday at home, gonna be pretty crazy hype, hopefully the start of Lincecum 2.0. Would you start him first time out? Normally id play it safe but its a 16 team H2H league im in, so might just throw him out there.

    Added May for Monty btw. Though not that impressed with May’s numbers either so was wondering is it worth checking out the stats leaders at AAA/AA and maybe going with someone from that list? Did it before with Peacock and Altuve, but it’s not a guarantee obviously as you’re going with stats over skills.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, I’d throw him. For the sake of excitement & rooting interest, I’d throw him. And for the fact that you’ll hate yourself if he dominates. And if he happens to get rocked, you can sleep soundly knowing an owner in every league feels your pain.

      May’s stuff is still there — sitting 93-95 in his last start. Not seeing anything on those leader boards that I’d swap him out for.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans, Haha yeah true man, im gonna try and catch the game anyway (not sure what time as I live across the pond in England!), so might aswell send him out there so I can cheer for him :) .

        Will stick with May then. 2 other guys im slightly worried about on my farm (my prospect roster is weak aside from Hultz and Olt) are Franklin and Peacock, both doing pretty poorly especially Peacock, many worries there?

        One other thing, hearing people say they are lesser on Hultzens upside now, only profiling him as a 3 or even 4 (uh?) starter. Sure he should reach that point very quickly, but would you agree with that future value? When I took him in my prospect draft keeper this year was hoping/expecting a future no2 pitcher.

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