Having already covered my Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013, I thought I’d expand our scope a bit and take a look at 25 more who could offer fantasy value this year. Again, predicting for arrivals is an inexact science, and there’s plenty of time between now and opening day for circumstances to change. No doubt, this list is missing some prospects who’ll surface in the bigs and make an impact in the fantasy game a la 2012 Kyle Seager. Likewise, there’ll be plenty of duds here too. Anyway, here’s how I see the next 25 2013 fantasy baseball prospects:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Allen Craig, “What’s that hot air on my neck? It feels…humid.” That’s Matt Adams. The robust first baseman suffered through his worst personal month in years in November when production of Twinkies halted. Fun Fact! In 1999, Bill Clinton dropped a Twinkie into a time capsule that was to remain shut for 100 years.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the past few weeks I’ve been super pumped for Dan Straily‘s arrival — like, Brett Lawrie-on-a-shizzload-of-RedBull pumped. I first wrote about him here, providing a little background and a brief scouting report. Then, earlier this week, I rolled out my Top Ten Prospects for the Stretch Run, and Straily topped the list. He debuted on Friday night. I watched. And what I saw was pretty much what we expected: Straily worked his fastball at 91-92, touching 93 a handfull of times, commanding it all over the zone, and drawing variable contact. He countered with his sharp slider and his fading change often. Both offerings looked like plus pitches, generating whiff-rates right around 25%. He also threw a few curveballs, but he used the pitch sparingly, and it looked like nothing more than a get-me-over type. When he needed to throw strikes, he threw strikes. And as his pitch count reached toward triple-digits, his velocity didn’t dip, and his pitch movement remained steady. There was one glaring mistake, however: the run he allowed in the fourth inning on a sac fly from Rajai Davis. Straily flat out hung that slider — zero movement, 82 mph, fat part of the plate. Davis should’ve blasted that pitch. Check it out the Brooks Baseball charts from that at bat and see what I mean. And check out the rest of Straily’s Brooks charts here — the site is off-the-chain cool. In all, though, I was impressed. The A’s ‘pen squandered his W, but Straily looks like he’ll handle himself very well going forward. Go ahead and blow out your FAAB.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Storylines in Minor League Baseball are sometimes too good to ignore. Take this past Wednesday, for example, when Sacramento (OAK) battled Tacoma (SEA) in an 18-inning Pacific Coast League affair. The game got away from the managers as it reached deep into extras. Having exhausted their respective bullpens, both skippers resorted to calling on position players to take the mound. Tacoma opened the top half of the 18th with Scott Stavastano, a utility player, on the bump. The 26-year-old pitched a clean frame; 1-2-3. Sacramento countered with outfielder Shane Peterson on the mound for the bottom half. Peterson had struck out the first batter when Stavastano, the utility man/pitcher of record came to the plate in a 1-1 tie. You probably can guess where I’m headed with this — Stavastano worked a full count, then bombed. A walk off to give himself the W on the box. Neat stuff.Please, blog, may I have some more?
By the numbers, Manny Machado struggled through his first two months of Double-A baseball. It seemed like most nights I looked at Bowie’s box, Machado’s line was 0-fer. But then I’d read something from the O’s about how his current production was of no concern, that he was tweaking his approach, that scouts are still encouraged. Still, it’s hard not to be a little worried when the guy I ranked No.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Andy Pettitte managed to shut out the Rays yesterday for 7 1/3 IP with only 4 baserunners and 10 Ks. No wonder why he returned. He was probably sick of beating his kids at MLB 2K12. “Dad, we don’t mind you playing our video games while we’re at school, but could you stop spitting tobacco onto our all-terrain robot?” That’s Andy’s kids after a powwow about how to address the problem. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t see this coming. He wasn’t even that good before he retired. I guess he just needed 26 months between starts. If he retired again tomorrow, he’d throw a no-hitter in 2016. Or he’d win that perfect game contest that MLB is doing with their video game. Enough with the commercials already. I liked baseball better when they were a conservative game without the cheap gimmicks. Bring back the Spiderman web-covered bases! So, can Pettitte keep this up? Seems doubtful. He’s about a 3.75 ERA guy that pitches his home games in not one of the more forgiving parks in a tough division. But, you know what, he looks no worse than what I’d expect of Oswalt and you’re stashing him, so he’s definitely worth owning. Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into today’s roundup, wanted to draw attention to the contest we’re holding. We’re giving away a fifty-five inch LG 3D TV. The TV comes with a remote control that has a mustache glued on top of it. I’m kidding. The mustache is glued on top of the TV. Go ahead and enter. It’s free and there’s a chance your significant other might be less inclined to get annoyed with you when you check your teams on a romantic date if you just won a TV. Anyway II, here’s the roundup:
Colby Rasmus – Watch out Mr.Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Wednesday, Jon Lester gave a line of 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks and I said he found the sweet spot between yawn and ho-hum. Some runs, bunch of hits and not at all dominating. It was just another run-of-the-mill start for Lester. Larry Johnson’s Grandmama could throw that line. Perhapizzle, I say, speaking like a hip-hop Yoda. “There is no try, there is only do-izzle and do not-fizzle.” Yo, Yoda, why you wear your Jedi robe so low? “Easy access, I like.” Maybe there was something else to that Lester start. Maybe, Columbo, things aren’t how they seem. Maybe I’m holding a container of Colombo yogurt and talking to it. Don’t judge me, but let’s judge Lester. That start was also his highest K-rate in one game this year, and he issued no walks. Some people are talking about how he’s got a new approach. He’s peacocking without the flair of Ks. He’s about the pitch-to-contact approach that Charley Lau would’ve enjoyed. Yeah, let’s take what makes us great and instead pitch so people can hit the ball against The Green Monster. You don’t need to hit every branch coming down the Rocket Scientist tree to think that makes no sense. If you have strikeout stuff, you strike people out. On Wednesday, he did that. I think that was a corner turned. June is always his best month, but he usually stays hot in the summer because he likes to keep things appropriate. I wouldn’t trade a top bat for him, but I think his owners are concerned and I’d definitely buy him for the right price. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Andrelton Simmons – Speaking of Star Wars, this guy’s first name sounds like a planet in one of those made up galaxies that Lucas sold at auction for $150,000. “Now up for bid, an imaginary planet in the Arkanis sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Do I hear one hundred thousand? We have a bid from the forty-something year old man with acne. No, not you, sir, the man next to you.” Simmons had 26 steals last year in High-A and 10 steals this year in Double-A through 43 games. He doesn’t look like he has burner speed, but in shallower leagues and very deep leagues I’d take a chance on him. I say those two types of leagues because in one options are so abundant that it’s good to take a flyer on someone for a week. If they take off, great! If they don’t, there’s other options and what did you miss? A week of EverCab? Big whoop. In very deep leagues, you take him because your other options are Daniel Descalso.Please, blog, may I have some more?
With games like this, who needs healthy elbows? Certainly not Chris Sale. Four score and two dozen ‘and that’s me quoting me’s ago, I posted our AL-Only team. I went on about what a shambles the pitching staff was and how our only bat was Evan Longoria. Sure, we had high hopes for Brad Peacock, but our starters were cheap tequila bad. The more you looked at them, the worse The Gas Face you got. All we had was Jake Peavy and Chris Sale. ZOINKS!!!Please, blog, may I have some more?
When Sveum told Rafael Dolis that they need him to fill in for Carlos Marmol, he took them way too literally. “So you don’t want me to walk everyone while blowing games? Totally mi mal!” That was Rafael Dolis talking through his translator who speaks Spanglish. “Can we get a translator who speaks English and Spanish…Separately!” That’s Sveum losing his shizz.Please, blog, may I have some more?