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Given how much he was touted during the preseason, you’d think Shelby Miller would’ve already surfaced in St. Louis after injuries to big league starters Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia.  But a poor spring training followed by a brutal first half in the Pacific Coast League forced the Cardinals to turn to Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly instead.  Whatever was bothering Miller during the first four months of 2012 — mechanics, command, velocity… all of the above — whatever it was, he seems to have worked through it.  In 40.2 IP over his last seven outings with Triple-A Memphis, he’s posted a 42/4 K/BB along with a 3.32 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.  Miller is once again commanding his mid-90s fastball and he truly looks to be back on track as an elite prospect.  With the Cardinals welcoming back Jaime Garcia to their rotation today, however, it seems unlikely that we’ll see him pitch in the bigs this year.  Still, at just 21-years-old, Miller’s ceiling remains enormous.  He should help in all formats next year.

Dylan Bundy | RHP, Orioles – The O’s sent injured slugger Jim Thome to scout Bundy’s Double-A debut in order to gain a veteran big leaguer’s take on their prized pitching prospect.  Bundy didn’t dominate quite so much as usual in the outing (5.1 IP, 8 baserunners, 2 ER, 3 K), but Thome returned to the Baltimore with rave reviews, nonetheless.  The Orioles seem to be seriously considering using the 19-year-old come September.

Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds – At the time of my writing, Hamilton has 142 SB, three short of Vince Coleman’s all time record.  Check out what Grey had to say about him in this week’s Buy / Sell.

Mike Zunino | C, Mariners – The third overall pick this June, Zunino was promoted from short season ball all the way to Double-A this week.  10 homers in 29 games in the Northwest League surely prompted the three-level jump.

Michael Wacha | RHP, Cardinals – Wacha is another 2012 first rounder who reached Double-A this past week.  In seven pro outings this year the 21-year-old out of Texas A&M has been outstanding:  0.69 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 31/1 K/BB in 13 IP.

Gerrit Cole | RHP, Pirates – Cole tossed six frames in his most recent outing with Double-A Altoona, whiffing nine and walking none.  The 2011 No. 1 overall pick has been impressive over the past month and is on pace for arrival in Pittsburgh next year.

Jameson Taillon | RHP, Pirates – The Pirates have promoted Taillon to Double-A Altoona.  The 20-year-old has been pushing through the Pittsburgh system nicely, still projecting as a frontline arm.

Leonys Martin | OF, Rangers – Martin has been on fire at Triple-A Round Rock.  Last ten:  .409/.458/.795, 4 HR, 13 RBI.

Anthony Rendon | 3B, Nationals – Rendon is off to a slow start at Double-A, having reached base only twice in his first 17 PA.  For more on him, check out this Scouting the Unknown post from Wednesday.

Julio Teheran | RHP, Braves – After dominating Triple-A a year ago, Teheran has struggled this year at the same level.  His most recent start, however, is reason for hope, as the 21-year-old allowed only one run through 8 IP while walking zero and striking out nine.  He’ll remain a top pitching prospect heading into 2013, but another rough year would damage his stock considerably.

Matt Adams | 1B, Cardinals – Adams has undergone elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.  Before this news broke, he seemed primed for a return to St. Louis come September.  The Cards expect him to be ready in time for spring training.

  1. charlie hustler says:
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    NL-only, 3-year contracts, 23-man roster, 13-man reserve, with a cap of 4 minor leaguers on your opening day reserve.

    Going into winter, I have the following minor league roster:

    Trevor Bauer
    Archie Bradley
    Zack Wheeler
    Nolan Arenado
    Javier Baez
    Yasmani Grandal
    Matt Adams

    I figure I can activate Grandal and Bauer as two of my 10 keepers, and I can always throw back Bradley and then pick him back up in the supplemental draft, although I am reluctant to risk losing him to someone with an earlier pick.

    So my 4 keepers are Baez, Arenado, Wheeler and Bradley, barring trades to the AL.

    So the question: given the likely retirement of Berkman, the strong performance from Craig, and injury concerns, how likely is Adams to break camp on the 2013 STL major-league roster, and even if he does, is he worth keeping over the above four?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @charlie hustler, I still like Adams, and the injury isn’t too serious — minor surgery to remove bone spurs. But it seems as if Craig will occupy 1B, as you suggest, and because of that playing time uncertainty, I’d keep Baez, Arenado, Wheeler & Bradley ahead of him.

  2. charlie hustler says:
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    DAMN IT. It should read “and even if he DOESN’T.”

  3. Steven says:
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    I thought billy Hamilton was in reds system???

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @Steven, Thanks, I’ll fix that.

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        @VinWins, Thanks for amending that, Vin. Rendon should also read “3B, Nationals” — sorry for soppy proofing on my part, but it’s hard to stay sober on Saturdays. Forgive me!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Steven, Yeah I was swapping players in & out of this post yesterday & clearly I effed a few up. Apologies. He plays for the Reds indeed.

  4. Hondo says:
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    Rendon is in the Nats system

  5. Hondo says:
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    And he doesn’t play OF.He’s a 3B,but the Nats have this guy named Ryan Zimmerman currently occupying the position.He’ll probably play 2B for the Nats once they do something about the Desmond-Espinosa problem.With Lombardozzi at utility somebody has to go.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Hondo, Yes, as I explained above to Steven, I did a sloppy job of swapping a few names in/out of this post & it’s made for a few embarrassing slip ups. DON’T WRITE ABOUT FANTASY & DRINK, YOU GUYS. That was originally Christian Yelich in Rendon’s place… But yes, Rendon plays 3B, and certainly could reach the bigs at 2B, as you suggest.

      • Hondo says:
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        @Scott Evans, No problem.Saturdays were made for beer and baseball(but the evil FOX screwed us on that with the blackouts.)

        I appreciate the effort.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @Hondo, Ha! Thanks for understanding… And yeah, Saturday afternoons are the worst w/ fox blackouts. It’s the only time I ever regret my MLB.tv subscription. But then Sunday rolls around & all is forgotten.

  6. YoMommaSoUggla says:
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    I haven’t heard much about Oscar Taverad lately. I would like to see him take some at bats at AAA before the season is over.

    • YoMommaSoUggla says:
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      @YoMommaSoUggla, *Taveras

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @YoMommaSoUggla, Last I heard, the Cardinals are content to have him finish his year in AA. It’s probably more likely that we see him get MLB ABs than AAA, although neither scenario is very likely at all. He’s still a beast & should rank top-5 on most offseason lists.

  7. bobbo says:
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    Matt Moore against the hot Angels… I know he’s been great lately, but are we trusting him against Trout & co.? I’m scared!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @bobbo, Moore’s been too good. Gotta roll him out there against anybody at this point.

  8. Sal says:
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    Trade question

    hamels and pedroia for hamilton

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Sal, Hold Hamels & Pedroia

  9. coach23 says:
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    Which player will be recalled that in September is more likely to have a good impact in fantasy league in 2013? Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @coach23, Bundy could have big time value if he’s recalled. Profar could too if he’s on the field often.

  10. Dirtyd says:
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    Drop Ubaldo for Jaime Garcia for the stretch run?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Dirtyd, Yes.

  11. Greg says:
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    My fantasy life is in all ya’all hands, and in a dogfight in the playoffs —- 2 start Mark Rogers – Cubs/Pirates or 1 start Jon Lester vs KC?

    • Yeah, I Remember When says:
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      @Greg, I think you have to go Lester vs. KC. Even with his troubles, he looked ok against the Yanks.

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @Greg, You have playoffs already?? How, my H2H playoffs aren’t for 3 weeks.

      • Greg says:
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        @TheNewGuy,

        Yea, the leagie I’m run does a wildcard w/e and they run their playoffs for 2 weeks each matchup. So I started last week and I continue thru this week. If I win the next matchup goes 2 wks as well

  12. coach23 says:
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    Thanks for idea to Bundy and Profar. What do you think of Wil Myers next year? Starter? .270-15-65 , is it realistic?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @coach23, Seems like a reasonable expectation. I’m thinking he’ll begin back in Omaha, though, and arrive for good in May/June. Royals are notoriously sensitive to service time.

  13. TheNewGuy says:
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    Scott got absolutely no prospect questions to ask ya this week, the prospect world’s gone kinda deal right now in terms of callups. Surely a flurry come September…

    Therefore I’ve got a regular fantasy question for you, in fact two. Firstly what to do with Melky, I can keep him for $5 next year, much value there? Don’t desperately need the roster spot this year, but guess I could always use it.

    Also as a 6th/7th type starter, who do you like more outta Samardja (don’t make me try and spell it correctly) or J Garcia off your Cards. Thinking solidity over upside as im leading by a good distance, so go with Jaime?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Don’t think I’d keep Melky around. And yea, go with Jaime — all bias aside, he’s a far safer bet than Jeff S.

  14. coach23 says:
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    Todd Frazier, do you trust in him to repeat in 2013 or better?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @coach23, Regression in 2013 is more likely for Frazier.

  15. Jon says:
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    I can only keep one between Brett Jackson and Anthony Rendon in a long-term keeper. Who do you prefer? Obviously Jackson contributes sooner but how do their ceilings/floors compare?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d go with Jackson…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jon, I side with Rendon here. In a long term keeper format you gotta go with upside & Rendon’s ceiling is higher than Jackson’s. The injury risk makes him a volatile choice, but if he can stay on the field he’ll be an all-star level 3B, perhaps with 2B eligibility. Whereas I see Jackson as a Colby Rasmus type… at best.

  16. Jon says:
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    Which 2012 first-rounder do you think contributes first in fantasy? Zunino?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jon, Three notables from the 1st round have already reached AA: Zunino, Wacha & Stroman. Stroman should be the first guy to surface in the bigs (maybe as soon as this September), but it’ll probably be in a middle relief / setup role. Could be in the mix for saves come next year, though… maybe an Addison Reed type ascension to closer. Zunino probably is the next to push through after Stroman (late 2013 at the soonest), but catchers typically take a bit longer to catch on as quality hitters at the big league level, so don’t expect him offer significant fantasy value ’til late 2014 or 2015.

  17. Jon says:
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    Choose one between Zunino, Yelich, Rendon…

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oops… I said Zunino (but a lot can happen in the next year)… But was commenting from my phone and didn’t see I was in the wrong post — sorry, Scott)… You should also take Scott’s opinion into consideration…

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        @Grey, Stay on that phone, boss. You’re tweeting more often & I dig it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m not tweeting… We got someone to handle the ol’ Twitter machine for us…

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            @Grey, Aha, I should’ve known. The sober, coherent tweets should’ve tipped me off.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jon, Yelich. Should be a fantasy monster.

  18. yuuup says:
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    Just saw this note from Yahoo about Wil Myers:

    Playing in just his second game at third base for Triple-A Omaha, Myers went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI against Nashville on Sunday.
    Recommendation: The club continues to work on Myers’ versatility with another try at the hot corner. OIbviously it makes him a little more appealing to the big club for a prospective call-up, but they are actually playing him there because Tony Abreu is up with the big club and the Storm Chasers are headed to the PCL playoffs. As a result of that, there is a good chance that the Royals leave Myers down on the farm even when rosters expand.
    (Rotowire.com)

    What’s your take? Do you think Wil might not even be called up this season?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @yuuup, It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we don’t see him ’til next year. KC let Moustakas hit 36 HR between AA & AAA in 2010, then didn’t call him up until June of 2011. The Royals to seem to taking a similar approach with Myers.

  19. TheNewGuy says:
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    Excited about Skaggs debut then Scott? Could we see him stick around maybe after this start or is it strictly a double-header type spot start.

    Thinking about snagging Skaggs in my 16 team non-keeper for todays start, would you roll him out there? Always a bit of a lottery these prospect call-ups but it’s either him or Zac-Mac (McAllister) for my team.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, All indications are that this’ll be just a spot start for Skaggs. I’d go with McAllister.

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