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With the First-Year Players Draft a little more than a week away, we’re continuing our discussion of  some of the more advanced amateur prospects — guys who’ll be popping up on your fantasy radars within the next year or two.  Last time we went over Braden Shipley, Kris Bryant, and Jonathan Gray.  You can read that post here.  Today, three more draft prospects:

Mark Appel | RHP, Stanford

Appel was widely considered the top arm in the 2012 draft class.  The hype around him at this time last year was bigger than any other draft prospect — the Stanford product was #1 on most draft boards, and the projected #1 pick in most mocks.  In the weeks leading up to draft day, however, signability concerns began to surface and clubs got cold feet.  Appel slipped to 8th in the draft, where the Pirates took a stab at him, offering $3.8 million to sign.  He turned it down, opting to return to Stanford for his final year of eligibility.  So, for the second year in a row, Mark Appel is being considered as one of the top pitchers in the draft, projected to be off the board before pick #3.  For us fantasy-minded folk, it’s disappointing that the soon-to-be 22-year-old had his pro development delayed by a full season, but Appel is still very good, and he’s certainly one of the best-equipped prospects to move quickly toward the bigs.  At 6-5, 215, he fits the front-end prototype, generating effortless velocity in the mid- to upper-90s.  His slider is a plus offering and figures to miss plenty of bats, and his changeup — graded as a below-average pitch last year — has taken a big step forward in 2013, flashing some plus potential.  Appel will push through the minors with haste, but even so, it’s unlikely that he’ll surface at the MLB level before June of 2014.

D.J. Peterson | 3B, New Mexico

An elite hit tool and all-around advanced approach make Peterson a safe investment for any organization, and a good bet to develop quickly into a big league ready product.  His 2013 line reads .411/.525/.823 with 18 homers in 53 games at New Mexico.  Those 18 long balls rank second in Div I ball, behind only Kris Bryant — who we went over in Part 1 — so he’s certainly not lacking in the power department, but reports suggest he’ll be more of a doubles guy at the highest level.  The only real knock on Peterson is that he lacks a solid defensive projection, which is a hurdle that could potentially delay his arrival, but it’s not a major concern for his long-term potential in the fantasy game.  I expect him off the board before pick 15, and then for him to reach Double-A before year’s end.

Sean Manaea | LHP, Indiana State

Standing 6-5, 235, Manaea is a big boy.  Given that sort of frame, you might expect the fastball to be quite good.  You’d be right.  Manaea has chewed up collegiate hitters with a mid-90s fastball that features devastating late action when it’s on.  He changes speeds with a slider that has plus potential, and a fringy changeup.  Naturally, both off-speed offerings play much better when he’s spotting the fastball.  It should be noted, though, that 2013 reports on Manaea are not quite so glowing as they were in the preseason.  This likely has more to do with an ankle injury than anything else, but his velocity has been down and his draft stock has sunk with it.  The once sure-thing top 5 pick is looking more like a tail-end first rounder, and there’s a strong possibility that he’ll pull an Appel and return to Indiana State for his senior season in order to improve his draft stock/potential signing bonus.  Let’s hope that’s not the case, because Manaea has a skillset that could be helping fantasy baseball teams at some point next season.

From Around The Web

  1. AdamH says:
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    Might be jumping a little ahead, but I recently saw an article that had Tyler Beede rated ahead of Carlos Rodon in the 2014 draft. Who do you prefer, and would you rather have one/both of them stashed in a dynasty league over Jonathan Gray?

    • Abs says:
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      @AdamH: If i may budge in, for me it would Rodon and it is not even close, the performance he gave in his last game was out of this world, i think Rodon is David Price 2.0, but Gray will produce sooner.

      • AdamH says:
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        @Abs: That’s what I would have thought too, until about a month ago. But apparently there are some things hurting his stock, mainly diminished velocity and control and soreness in his throwing shoulder.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          I’d prefer Gray over both at this point… Rodon over Beede for me, although I haven’t seen the reports on a sore shoulder. Do you have a link?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              Hmm, interesting… thanks for the link, I’ll be sure to keep an eye on his progress.

  2. Jay says:
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    Scott – Do you do a mock draft post at all?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Nah, frankly, I don’t spend enough energy on studying amateur prospects to spit out a good mock… although, it’s something I’d like to explore in the future, so perhaps next year…

  3. Man of Troy says:
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    Hi Scott,

    14 Team Dynasty League

    Puig or Yelich

    Who do you like better the rest of the season? Better long-term keeper?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yelich & Yelich

      • steve says:
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        @WhiteRabbit: It’s been rumored – rotoworld – that Pederson (and not Puig) will get the call up, if and when, Kemp hits the DL due to Pederson’s ability to play CF.

        Would you prefer Pederson over Yelich?

        I realize that this is likely a vote for Pederson short term and Yelich longer term, so it probably comes down to what my needs are? In other words, if I can stash Yelich.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          If you need immediate OF help, go Pederson. If you’re looking for that lotto ticket, Yelich is a great stash, provided you have room to stash him.

  4. Tio says:
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    Scott – Any update on Kolton Wong? Seems like he has fallen out of favor in STL. You would think between Carpenter, Descalso and Kozma he would get a chance given he is batting .330+ YTD and may be better than any current players on the roster at 2B.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cards are high on Wong & he’s been great over the past few weeks. No defensive projection at SS, though… and no way he’s better than Matt Carpenter at this point.

  5. supra says:
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    Which side do you like better for this year and going forward?

    Fister, Rutledge, Bauer
    or
    Pagan, Profar, N.Franklin

    • supra says:
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      @supra: and Cingrani > Bauer right? Thanks man

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Ehhh… maybe for this year, not for long-term

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Pagan, Profar, Franklin … Profar puts that side over the top.

  6. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    I recently asked you about who you think will be the best fantasy player in 2014 that will end 2013 in the minors. You said Sano or Springer. If you have to pick one, who would it be?

    And what about Archie Bradley?

    Pumped to see Wil Myers starting to heat up!!!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’ll put the early money on Springer if you’re making me choose… Bradley also could be beastly, but I always side with a hitter on these matters.

      Yessir! Myers is getting it going!

  7. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Odor and Mauer optioned. Archer and/or Taiwan time? If so who stays/do you want?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Archer is a possibility, but I’m thinking the M’s will use a fill-in or two before they slot in Erasmo Ramirez… both Ramirez & Archer have big potential… obviously Walker would too…

  8. TheNewGuy says:
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    Scott im a slightly angry man right now…wanna see if you agree with me (asked Grey too)! Here:

    Got buyer/seller controversy in our keeper league. Guy sold off Cano ($36) outta nowhere for a keeper style deal on Cespedes ($18 for 2 years). Im not usually one to veto but im pissed cos a rivals getting Cano in a deal I dont think is fair, and we didnt even get a shot at him. So 3 mini-questions for you:
    a) Is the deal fair?
    b) Is Cesp even a discount at $18 (I dont think he is)?
    c) Is it fair when a guy sells off a stud without advertising it before (me and others didnt even get a shot at Cano cos we didnt know he was available)?

    Interested to hear your thoughts, much appreciated. If you are on my side ill get the guys to check this site!

    • Justin says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Not unfair at all not worth a veto. Cespedes is a steal at 18. And no one has to advertise who they are trading. It sucks you missed out. Try and trade with the new owner..

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Justin: not if he plays as he has been….have you checked his numbers this year (Cesps). And theres no new owner, it just sucks when an only semi active owner (seller) does a deal like this outta nowhere (which I think is imbalanced) without advertising selling off too (like most do)?

        I couldve offer way more for Cano.

        And ask this, how much do you see Cesp auctioning for next year? More than $18? I think thats about his value so theres no value to the owner as a keeper whatsoever. I.e. Cano for nothing esentially.

    • stumanji says:
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      @TheNewGuy: a) Yes, b) Yes, c) Yes

      Cespedes is a #1 OF.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      It’s a lopsided deal, but there’s not enough here to justify a veto, IMO. And I have no problem with selling a start w/o advertising to the league that he’s for sale. Sorry to disappoint… You should still tell the guys to visit the site!!!

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        * selling a STAR is what I meant to write…

  9. peely says:
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    Who do you prefer: Gardner, k Johnson, m moreland, Daniel murphy, d Jennings

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Jennings

  10. daniel says:
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    Hey Scott, good stuff as always. What do you know about Erik Johnson, sp in white Sox system? Put up solid numbers in the sally and Carolina leagues last season and pitching even better in double a this season.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Durable, innings-eating profile… got command going near the end of 2012 & still has it going at AA this year… safe #3/#4 with upside of a #2.

  11. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    When do think we see Billy Hamilton?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      August/September

  12. MPC says:
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    I was just offer Ike Davis for Youkilis. Badly slumping and soon to be minors for always injured with little upside. Which side do you prefer?
    Thanks.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Probably Davis…

  13. Dan says:
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    Thanks for all the help in my keeper league

    Who would be your top 5 pitching prospects right now?

    Thanks again

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley, Zack Wheeler, Dylan Bundy, Gerrit Cole … not necessarily set on that order, but those are my top 5 at this moment.

  14. Targaryen says:
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    Scott sir, any chance Puig comes up in light of Kemp? What date marks the date that delays the rookie contacts by a year

    • Targaryen says:
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      @Targaryen: man, I sound like a reporter from the daily planet.

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Ha! We’ll have to wait to see the extent of the injury… there’s no exact date for the Super Two cutoff, but most are predicting something around June 15.

  15. Yariel Rivera says:
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    I don’t like my chances this year. Is it too early to give up on the year and start trading away big names with high prices for cheaper keepers? I’m currently 3 games out of 1st and only 1 out of the playoffs but I really don’t like my chances compared to the other contending teams. One offer I was considering making was my Braun- $46, Kemp- $41, and Pujols- $41 for his Harper- $27 and Goldschmidt- $21. How is that deal for next year?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      If you can keep Harper & Goldschmidt for an indefinite amount of time, then the deal isn’t too bad & I don’t think anyone would make much of a stink about it. But I do think it’s too early to quit on 2013…

      • Yariel Rivera says:
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        You can keep players for as long as you want but every year the prices goes up $5. The prices I listed are next year’s prices.

        • Yariel Rivera says:
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          * price goes up

  16. Hey Scott:

    Nice article. Like Appel a lot. Big things in store for him. Sorta Garret Cole 2.0. Also, really like Kris Bryant out of Univ. of San Diego. Think he’s gonna be a monster.

    I currently own Gausman in a 14 team, mixed, redraft, and assuming he continues to struggle vs. Detroit this weekend, I’m guessing he gets sent back down – so, Id like to hedge on some prospect/ DL arms. In terms of 2013 contribution and call-up, how would you rank these current minor league SP arms:
    Gibson, Archer, Erasmo, Bauer, Skaggs, Walker

    Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Kris Bryant is totally a monster. Reminds me of Ryan Braun coming out of Miami…

      Erasmo, Archer, Bauer, Gibson, Skaggs, Walker … Taijuan would rank higher, but I just don’t see the M’s using him this year.

      • @Scott Evans:

        Thanks;

        https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/340216689226575872

        Sounds like Archer getting the call on the weekend. Couple questions:

        1) With Odorizzi optioned and Price due back shortly, is there any chance this promotion sticks? I know Colome throwing today too…. But, assuming Price, Moore, Hellickson, Cobb all healthy — can only really see Roberto Hernandez or Hellickson as the 2 likely send down candidates, and that just doesn’t seem like its gonna happen yet. Am I missing anything here or are both Archer and Colome simply streams for this week and then back down to the farm again?

        2) Depending on this weekend results vs. Tigers, would you jettison Gausman for Erasmo? Obviously, if there is a flash of brilliance, Im hanging tight – but clearly, not expecting that based on past 2 results. Trying to exercise patience with my youngsters.

        3) Erasmo > Danny Hudson ?

        Thanks

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          1) Hard to say… I think that ultimately comes down to performance. If Archer is performing at a high level, they’ll keep him up.

          2) Haven’t heard anything firm on Erasmo’s ETA, so I’d say hold Gausman for now.

          3) I like Erasmo over Hultzen for 2013.

  17. jjj says:
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    trying to acquire Braun:
    was proposed this trade:
    Wainright, chapman, swisher for Hellickson, valverde and braun?? What do you think

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like the Braun side…

  18. TheNewGuy says:
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    Looking forward to Wacha tonight man?

    Yesterday was the multi-homer day. Had Zimmerman in one league and Chris Davis in another…oh baby!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Wacha looked superb!

  19. Benny says:
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    Which guy would you rather have long-term – Wacha or J. Hernandez?

    Also, do you expect Archer to turn into a front line starter and do you think there’s any chance he sticks inthe rotation through the summer?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Wacha over Hernandez.

      Archer needs to pitch at a high level if has any chance at staying up. Decision will be performance-based.

  20. goodfold2 says:
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    is eraser ramirez the unidentified SEA starter for Sun?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Nothing firm on this yet, but certainly could be…

    • @goodfold2:

      you have a link to this? erasmo tracking myself…

  21. TheNewGuy says:
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    So wished I drafted Wacha on my farm now…guess it goes to show you never know how quickly guys will reach the show. Numbers looked filthy!

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