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Perhaps Bryan LaHair isn’t quite the slob I thought he was.  Through 110 PA, LaHair is batting .359/.455/.717 with eight homers and it no longer looks as if he’ll be simply stepping aside to make room for top prospect Anthony Rizzo.  If Rizzo is to arrive this season, the Cubs are going to have to find a way to build a lineup that accommodates both players.  LaHair made 14 appearances at OF last year, one so far this year, and slotting him permanently at a corner OF post would appear to be the move.  With other players (Soriano) complicating the matter, though, it might take another trade from the Cubbies to make space available.  Meanwhile, Rizzo’s OPS at Triple-A Iowa sits at 1.077 and with every game that passes, it becomes clearer that he’s too advanced for minor league ball.

Christian Yelich | OF, Marlins – I covered Yelich a couple weeks back in a Scouting the Unknown post.  He began 2012 a little late due to an elbow injury, but he’s really gotten going recently.  In 111 PA, he’s up to five homers to go along with an OPS over .900 at High-A.  There is enormous power potential for Yelich.  It’ll be fun to see what he can do at Double-A later on this season.

Jurickson Profar | SS, Rangers – Profar has now hit safely in 21 straight games.  And by “now” I mean Saturday afternoon, in case he effs it up tonight.  The 19-year-old phenom is having little trouble adjusting to Double-A as he’s batting .273/.329/.492 after his first month in the Texas League.  I only expect those figures to rise as he gets more comfortable.

Jake Odorizzi | RHP, Royals -  In my 2011 Royals review, I noted that Odorizzi needed some more time at Double-A to refine his secondary stuff.  Well, after posting a 3.32 ERA and an 0.97 WHIP while whiffing 47 through 38 IP, it doesn’t seem much more time will be necessary.  He’ll be joining Mike Montgomery in Omaha before long, and given Monty’s early struggles, it’s fair to speculate that Odorizzi will arrive in KC first.

Wil Myers | OF, Royals – After a frustrating 2011, Myers has officially re-emerged as an elite hitting prospect.  He’s hitting .339/.413./.712 at Double-A.  He’ll be at Omaha by midseason.

Dellin Betances | RHP, Yankees – In last Sunday’s post I wrote about how awful Betances had been.  Then on Wednesday Betances pitched eight innings of two-hit baseball.  He walked just two batters and allowed only one run.  We’ll see if he can build from that positive outing and get himself back on track with Triple-A Empire State.

Jameson Taillon | RHP, Pirates – Taillon has posted a 36/7 K/BB through his first 36 IP at High-A Bradenton.  He’s developing alongside 2011 No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole, and he’s outshining him so far.  Taillon is the younger of the two and he’s shown outstanding command in the early going, helping him to a 1.47 ERA.

Cory Spangenberg | 2B, Padres – After a dreadful start at High-A, Spangenberg has finally started to catch his stride in the California League, now hitting .303/.338/.401.  He’s baseball’s second best prospect at 2B behind Kotlen Wong of the Cardinals, and he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes.

Miguel Sano | SS, Twins – The 18-year-old hit his 10th homer for Low-A Beloit earlier this week.  It was a game-winner and his admiration for the bomb nearly incited a Midwest League brawl.  Here’s the story on that.

Matt Barnes | RHP, Red Sox - It was clear after his first Low-A start that Barnes was too advanced for the South Atlantic League.  Well, Boston promoted him to High-A Salem not too long ago and the results are still impressive:  20 whiffs and one walk through his first 12 IP.  He could be on the fast track if this keeps up.

  1. Howard says:
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    Any news on Leonys Martin? Worth a stash in a keeper league?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Howard, .944 OPS at AAA. Hitting approach is much improved this season as opposed to previous years. Not sure his skillset will ever be too valuable in the fantasy game. Seems like an AL-Only or very deep mixed league guy.

  2. chata says:
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    Scott :

    could i borrow on your expertise and ask you to track down
    billy hamilton for me ?
    would also like your opinion/time-table on this player .

    also have yelich , hak-ju lee , and michael inoa on my minor league roster .

    got any good links , so i can sort of keep an eye on these guys ??

    thanking you , in advance .

    • YourMomsBoyfriend says:
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      @chata, hamilton’s a beast at the moment. if he can continue to slug over .450, he’s gonna be a MOSTER.

      i’d drop inoa for him. like yesterday.

      • chata says:
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        @YourMomsBoyfriend,

        actually , drafted all 4 of those kids … in that order .

        inoa is an “A’s thing” , but yeah , he’ll be the last one to get
        promoted to my major league roster , probably .

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @chata, Might not be your thing, but Twitter is an outstanding news resource. There’s a feed with the handle @MinorLeagueBlog, which is simply a top prospect alert. They’ll update you on noteworthy prospects across MiLB nightly. And if you’re looking for insight on prospects, guys like Kevin Goldstein and Adam Foster are must-follows, as well as countless baseball bloggers from Fangraphs, Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, Razzball, Yahoo, etc.

      Hamilton swiped two more bags last night, putting his season total at 35. I think we could see him up by the second half of 2013, but with Cozart blocking him & B Phillips locked up, the situation gets a little muddy.

      • chata says:
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        @Scott Evans,

        thanks .
        but as you might have guessed , i’m a technological neanderthal .
        (no cell phone , so tweeting is a no-go for me) .

        have book-marked the link provided by Howard (above) , so when i get some free time , will probably wade through to see if i can find appropriate links that will provide daily box-scores .

        appreciate the immediate feed-back on billy hamilton .
        in my fantasy mind’s-eye , i think that hamilton will push cozart aside , or to 2nd base (with phillips making the transition to 3rd base) .

  3. El Hombre says:
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    Hello, quick question about 2 starts:

    Lance Lynn vs ATL, sit or start?
    Joe Saunders vs SF, sit or start?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @El Hombre, Lynn is a must-start until regression sets in. You can feel comfortable starting Saunders too.

  4. cockyphoenix says:
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    Xavier Avery has apparently had a revelation and no longer swings at bad pitches. Not sure how long that or his playtime will last but he’s worth a speculative look if he keeps seeing the ball well. Dude is wicked fast.

    Oh, and he just got called up.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @cockyphoenix, Yes his approach is much improved. Walk rate up, K rate down. Could be a decent SB guy if he can get on base in the bigs, but I think he’s just AL-Only or very deep league material for the time being.

  5. fitz says:
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    Is the Rizzo the add for the top bat prospect remaining to be called up? Trying to stash some offense in a non-keeper league.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @fitz, Yes, only because a 2012 arrival seems imminent. If we’re talking a little more long term, then he’s still behind guys like Jurickson Profar, Manny Machado and Oscar Taveras.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @fitz, Wil Myers needs to be in this discussion too.

  6. Tbone says:
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    Thoughts on Brad Peacock? Numbers look decent so far…chance he takes over (and succeeds) in the near future? I have to assume Ross is on borrowed time.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Tbone, Ross is a bum. Peacock’s arrival is coming soon and he’ll have a chance to be productive right away in that ballpark.

  7. Dude3000 says:
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    Trade thoughts: 12-Team H2H (standard categories)
    I give: Lance Lynn and Sean Marshall
    I get: Ethier

    The rest of my pitching staff is: A. Sanchez, Jansen, Aroldis, Detwiler, J. Johnson, CJ Wilson, Bumgarner, and Hudson (on DL).

    Other guy’s staff is in total disarray, and he’s got Guerra.

    Obviously, I want this deal to go down. But is my offer shitty?

    • Dude3000 says:
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      Also: I’d likely pick up Cozart

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Dude3000, I think it’s a good starting point. If you can pull off selling Lynn at his current value, it’d be quite the move for you. I suspect he’ll counter with a proposal for a more established guy on your staff like Bumgarner.

      • Dude3000 says:
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        @Scott Evans, Thank you, sir.

  8. dirtyd says:
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    Drop Pedro Alvarez for Chris Johnson? Pedro great one week then horrid the next Chris looks steadier…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @dirtyd, He’s absolutely the steadier player, so in a weekly H2H format I’d make that move. I’d probably make it in any format, but it could be close on the year as a whole.

  9. Benny says:
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    What are your thoughts on Josh Bell? Seems like the combo of Ransom and Roberts isn’t getting the job done in AZ, but do you think Bell will get a full-time job upon the call-up? And what should we be expecting as far as impact on fantasy goes?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Benny, He’s hitting at Reno and he’s still just 25. It’d be nice to see him reach some of his once-huge potential, but I still think it’s a long shot. Don’t think we’ll see him in any sort of regular role, but this is an interesting case. Hard to gauge potential fantasy impact.

    • Sb says:
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      @Benny, Matt Davidson is the one you want there

  10. MeanMachine says:
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    Who would you rather have for next week: Norris for one start vs MIL or the Hodgepadre Bass for 2 starts at WAS and vs LAA. This is a points league. I like Norris more but i have to win this week against my arch rival so more points are better. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  11. MeanMachine says:
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    Oops – need to include these 2 cats in the discussion for best pickup this week.
    Derrick Lowe @MIN, vs MIA
    Wei Yin Chen vs NYY, @WAS
    Bass @WAS, vs LAA
    Norris vs MIL

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @MeanMachine, Weekly h2h w/ points? Bass for 2. And it’s not all that close.

      • MeanMachine says:
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        @Scott Evans, Yup weekly H@H points where we battle for each others top player at one position. This week is SP so i could lose Roy Halliday or win Matt Cain. I CANNOT lose this week so this decision is very important. I like the Lowe vs MIN matchup but Bass is looking like the best catch this week 2 you? Got to love that K/9 of 8+ for a Hodgepadre!

  12. pdubs says:
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    Tulowitski for Justin Upton and Hardy? which side do you like?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @pdubs, Tulo.

  13. Steven says:
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    Talk about Alex Castellanos from the Dodgers. Fantasy upside?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Steven, Went over him in week 4′s minor accomplishments. Here’s a little of what I said about him in the comments when proposes the same question: “A. Castellanos is already 25 & he’s never really been touted all that highly as a prospect. He’s one of those guys who keeps surprising folks by putting up quality #s at every stop, though. If he can hang on to 2B eligibility he might be a quality option, but as an OF… meh.”

  14. Brian says:
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    I want to pick up a 2 start pitcher in my weekly h2h league on ESPN.

    I am looking at Westbrook, Detwiller(who I traded and he was then dropped later) or Smyly. Smyly’s numbers are amazing but he isn’t getting run support or the pen blows it. But moving forward I think the Tiger offense will show up for the kid. Dewiller and Westbrook both have good numbers on a hot offensive team, with all 3 of them getting a 2 start I am personally leaning towards Smyly, what do you think?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Brian, Go with Smyly.

  15. TheNewGuy says:
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    Whos the next prospect who could make a splash in the bigs and be a valuable fantasy player, particularly for us in deeper leagues. Bauer?

    If thats too broad a question then lets say either at C, 2B or SP.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, A guy for each of those positions & his ETA:

      Catcher – Travis D’Arnaud (September 2012)
      2B – Kolten Wong (2013)
      SP – Bauer (June-ish 2012)

  16. Adam says:
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    Grey…I’m in need of one or two more solid hitters. My starting pitching is pretty solid. Grienke, Garza, Peavy, D.Hudson,Cahill,Worley, Mcdonald. It’s a standard 12 team h2h league. My closer situation is pretty sagnoffish…Aceves,Thayer, Rauch and Santos on the DL. My lineup is as follows:
    C- J. Montero
    1b- Votto
    2b- Uggla
    ss- Furcal
    3b- Moustakas (Longoria on DL)
    of- Bruce
    of- Heyward
    of-Luke Scott
    util- Kelly Johnson
    util- Boeshe
    DL- B. Gardner
    DL- Morse

    I’d like to replace Boeshe with someone a little stronger. I got offered Austin Jackson for Aceves and Rauch. That would put me in dire straights for saves but part of me thinks that those two might not even be closing long term and Rauch is literally a waiver add I made last night. Would you pull the trigger on this and quasi punt saves or sit tight and tread water until I get the likes of Morse,Longoria and Gardner back? I’m currently in 5th place.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Adam, Yea I’m always one to ditch closers who I picked off waivers. There’ll be more turnover & you’ll be able to find saves later on. Make the move.

  17. Raj says:
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    who gets called up first: Danny Hultzen or Tyler Skaggs?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Raj, Interesting timetable comparison. I think Skaggs has shown more readiness, but Hultzen might be in a better situation. Both are close. Gonna come down to circumstance, I’m afraid.

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