Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the NL Central, which loses the Astros this year, so you can basically knock off five wins from each team’s 2012 win total. It feels like this could be a close race for the first couple months until the Reds replace Dusty’s toothpick with bubblegum at the trade deadline. There’s also a good amount of both young and rebound pitchers spread out across the division, so this could be a boon for late round draft picks in mixed leagues. Am I telling you to draft a pitching staff solely from the NL Central? Those are your words, not mine. Although I kind of wish they had been my words (you quick thinker, you). You can also read about the position battles for the NL East and the AL Central. Anyway, here are some of the position battles to watch in the NL Central:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of my favorite things to do is to hide players, especially pitchers, for as long as I can in positions that they either don’t play or don’t play yet. This year there are numerous guys that have dual eligibility that are great fantasy options already – Hisashi Iwakuma and Kris Medlen to name the best two. I am talking about something different, like crayon sharpener in the back of the box different. Guys that have only RP eligibility to start the season that are speculated to open the season in the team’s starting rotation. Granted, you can only hide them for 5-10 starts based on your league settings, but that could be 2 months, which if your keeping track is 1/3 of the season. So have a peek at the guys that have RP, soon to have SP.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (19) | 2010 (15) | 2009 (18) | 2008 (26) | 2007 (19) | 2006 (19)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [72-90] NL Central
AAA: [76-68] International League – Indianapolis
AA: [64-77] Eastern League – Altoona
A+: [74-63] Florida State League – Bradenton
A: [69-69] South Atlantic League – West Virginia
A(ss): [31-44] New York-Penn League – State College
The Run Down
With the first overall pick in the June draft, the Pirates selected Gerrit Cole and gave him $8 million upon signing. Although I’m partial toward Trevor Bauer – Cole’s teammate at UCLA and third overall pick in June – Cole is probably a safer option, given his projectable frame and mechanics. And while I doubt he’ll arrive before 2013, it’ll be fun to watch him destroy batters in Double-A (Cole was clocked at 102 MPH a month ago in the Arizona Fall League). In addition to Cole, the Pirates’ system has quite a few high-ceiling arms: James Taillon, Luis Heredia, and Stetson Allie all profile as frontline starters. Unfortunately, though, they’re rather far from arriving in Pittsburgh. Offensively, the Pirates’ system doesn’t have too much to be excited about for 2012. Starling Marte has great potential and could yield some fantasy value, but I’m afraid we’re still a year or two away from him being viable option. Josh Bell is probably Pittsburgh’s most promising offensive prospect, but the 19-year-old switch-hitting outfielder is a long ways off. Until Cole arrives, there’s no one draft-worthy here.Please, blog, may I have some more?