Recently there has been talk about Yu Darvish from Japan getting brought over during the 2011/2012 offseason. Currently, he plays for Hokkaido Nippon Ham in the Japan Pacific League. His right 24-year-old (D.o.B: 8/16/86) right arm throws a fastball between 91 to 94 MPH (tops out at 97 MPH), a hard slurve (80 MPH), a strong two-seamer/cutter, curve. He also throws a changeup and a splitter. Younger and expectantly better than Dice-K his career statistics are as follows (only have 2007 to 2010 stats from Baseball Reference): 9.2 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 792 1/3 IP | 1.81 ERA | 0.909 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 6.1 H/9 | 40 CG (98 Starts). The NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) has been compared to the talent level at Triple-A, maybe even near Quad-A for the most optimistic. If brought over, expect a bidding war with only the wealthiest of teams submitting offers. Easily would be a top five prospect, if not the top prospect.
Chase d’Arnaud | PIT | IF: Recently recalled by the Pirates and can play anywhere in the infield. Slashed .280/.347/.418 in 62 games at Triple-A with four home runs and 17 steals. Could be a cheap source of steals in the deepest of leagues. Don’t expect a good average or any measurable power.
Mike Trout | LAA | CF: The number one ranked prospect in the land has followed up his breakout campaign with a sequel that is equally as impressive. His triple-slash of.327/.425/.556 in 248 at-bats combined with 30 XBH (9 3B and 9 Hr) and 24 steals in 31 attempts. The Angels don’t have much room in their outfield without making a major move. However, barring Sciosciapath’s anti-rookie sentiment overruling talent, Trout will receive a call up in September and legitimately contend for a roster spot in 2012.
Brad Peacock | WAS | RHP (SP): The Nationals 10th ranked prospect (Baseball America, 2011) as posted 114 strikeouts to 14 walks in 87 innings at Double-A. Fastball sits between 92 and 94 MPH and tops out at 96 MPH. Throws a knuckle-curve and an average changeup. Projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Lonnie Chisenhall | CLE | 3B: Since returning from concussion on June 22nd, Chisenhall has gone 7 for 13 with 2 HR and 13 RBI (as of 6/25/11). Before the concussion, he was 18 for his last 83 at-bats. He needs to get hot before, as his case for the majors this year was dimming after a strong start.
Eric Thames | TOR | LF: Called up to replace the void in the OF left by Jose Bautista moving to third. Hack and slash with decent power and ability to hit doubles. This is his second call up this year. In the deepest of leagues, if you need the power, he warrants the opportunity.
Wil Myers | KC | C/OF: Currently hitting .292/.364/.422 in 154 AB with 14 XBH (3 Hr) and a 40:17 K:BB ratio at Double-A. Injured his knee earlier this year and was out for nearly a month. A recent report from the Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo, “The transition to the outfield has been exactly what we thought it would be…. He plays left some and center some, but right field is his most natural spot because he can throw.” They seem pleased with his progress. Defense was always the question with Myers, his bat was gonna get him to the majors.
Brett Lawrie | TOR | 2B/3B: Lawrie is not close to returning. He’s having difficulties griping the bat and his timetable to return is still early-August. Fantasy purposes, he may not be up until late-August at the earliest.
Yasmani Grandal | CIN | C: The Reds 2010 first round draft pick has been promoted to Double-A after dominating High-A to the tune of .296/.410/.510 in 206 AB with 24 XBH (10 Hr) and a 57:40 K:BB ratio. With Devin Mesoraco ahead of him at Triple-A, don’t expect to see Grandal in the majors until late 2012 barring injuries. He does play better defense than Mesoraco, projects as a plus-hitter with a 20 to 25 home run ceiling.
Drew Pomeranz | CLE | RHP (SP): The Indians 2010 first round pick is poised to be promoted to Double-A within the next month per reports from team officials. Helps when you have 77 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings at High-A and are dominating opposing hitters. Would appear his mid-90s fastball and plus knuckle-curveball is on track to receive a June 2012 call up.