Japhet Amador is a giant man, standing at 6-foot-4, weighing in at 315 pounds. In the Mexican League, where he’s played for the last four years, they called him El Gran Burrito. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto once remarked that Amador is welcome at the Presidential Palace anytime, as long as Amador brings his own snacks. When Jose Altuve heard the Astros signed Amador, Altuve was thrilled. No more walking around for Altuve; Amador will just carry him around in a baby bjorn. I watched video of Amador and I’ve never seen such a slow bat through the zone. He looks like a Mexican Meat Loaf in a celebrity softball game. I swear, Amador stopped to eat one of those spicy dried mango candies halfway through his swing. His power is huge, but I’m not sure he’d gonna be able to catch up to anything. Last year in the Mexican League, he hit 36 homers and he’s 27 years old. The Mexican League is supposedly comparable to Triple-A, only instead of buses for transportation, the teams pile into a Toyota Tercel. Right now, he looks pegged for Triple-A, but since the Astros have Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and J.D. Martinez vying for everyday ABs, anything could happen. I’d take a flyer on Amador in AL-Only leagues, and wait and see in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, he gets the DH job and hits 25+ homers and .220. The worst case scenario, you draft Altuve and Amador accidentally sits on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in spring training for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week we rolled out our Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2014, and today we’re moving on to numbers 26-50. Remember, this is a 2014-specific list — we’re doing our best here to identify prospects who have the best chance at contributing in the fantasy game this season. A year ago, the second half of this same list included names like Christian Yelich, Matt Adams, Nolan Arenado, Tony Cingrani, Chris Archer, Michael Wacha, and Avisail Garcia. I suspect that there will be a handful of impact players found in this group, as well. Do take note.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Indians Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Ed Carroll from Wahoos on First and co-host of the Wahoo’s on the Mic podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (20) | 2012 (29) | 2011 (7) | 2010 (3) | 2009 (7)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [92-70] AL Central
AAA: [71-73] International League — Columbus
AA: [68-73] Eastern League — Akron
A+: [57-83] Carolina League — Carolina
A: [54-83] Midwest League — Lake County
A(ss): [30-44] New York-Penn League — Mahoning Valley
Yan Gomes (C); Cody Allen (RHP); Danny Salazar (RHP); Nick Hagadone (LHP)
The Run Down
The Tribe are coming off a surprisingly successful campaign in 2013, winning 92 games and earning a spot in the postseason. Big league acquisitions had a lot to do with that success, but a fair amount of it needs to be attributed to homegrown talent, too. At age 26, Jason Kipnis isn’t quite a youngster anymore, but he was drafted and developed by this org, and his breakout year can’t be ignored. The same can be said for graduating prospects, Yan Gomes and Danny Salazar, both of whom offered value in the fantasy game (Gomes was actually acquired via Toronto, but you get the idea). What remains on the Cleveland farm is a nice collection of talent, including two top-50 prospects, and perhaps a couple more in the 50-100 range. Pitching is the glaring weakness here, and only one pitcher makes this top 10. Of course, when considering that shortage on the pitching side of things, it’s probably important to also consider that the Tribe graduated Salazar, Corey Kluber, and Zach McAllister in the last two seasons. Not too shabby.
This is always painful, but it’s also necessary. What follows is a look back at my preseason prospect rankings — a self audit, if you will. To be clear, this isn’t a re-ranking or anything, but it should suffice to remind all of you that I am mostly stupid. Please keep in mind that these guys are very early in their careers, and there is plenty of time for each to either figure it out, or get figured out. Anyway, let’s cut to it. Here’s the list as it appeared back in February:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings fellow fantasy geeks! Tis I, Tehol Beddict, here yet again to service you in ways you once thought irrealizable. I’m merely perpetuating my own genius by coming week after week with top quality, grade-A knowledge. I got’s to drop it on ya’ll, for not tot would be a terrible waste as it would die like a fart in the wind. At long last I’ve reawakened from my Vegas slumber as the elder gods were terribly unkind to me this trip. Of course, that is if you call doing mass quantities of snow with with a pack of bodacious strippers until the birds started chirping unkind. Beyond a doubt the sort of excursion that would make even the great Charlie Sheen jealous. Now let us get to the point of this post. I’m not here to write to you of perfectly formed beauties riding me like a rodeo (or am I), nor am I here to glorify hard core drug usage. What I’ve come here to do today, is talk about Alex Rodriguez, for I am seemingly his last remaining fan on earth.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There hasn’t been much turnover from our last revision until now, so the names here are pretty much the same ones we’ve been talking about for a few weeks. There are a few exceptions, though: Grant Green was on the list much earlier this season, but disappeared from these ranks for the last several weeks. His recent hot streak in conjunction with Oakland’s need of a reliable second baseman has propelled him all the way up to #3. Xander Bogaerts also makes his top 10 debut this week. Other than that, there’s a little bit of shuffling around, but the core group (Erasmo, Yelich, C-Mart, Taveras, Castellanos, Hamilton) is still intact.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indians had themselves a good ol’ fashioned hometown community pow-wow in Chicago yesterday, scoring 29 runs off 33 hits in Friday’s double header. The Tribe tallied 19 runs in the first half of the double header, with eight different Indians having multi-hit games including 3-hit games from Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles. And as if the ChiSox weren’t having a bad enough night, the Injians managed to rally to score four runs in the ninth to win with a walk off home run by Nick Swisher in the second game. Jason Kipnis was the real hero going 4-for-7 with four runs, four RBI, four BB and his 18th stolen base. Kip’s got a .473 OBP in the past month, which is definitely worthy of a rain dance. Anyway, this is the second time Cleveland had scored 19 runs in a game this season, and they move within two games of first place in the AL Central. Rough night for ChiSox fans, but hey, Jeff Keppinger (6-for-8, 2 runs, HR, 4 RBI) had a great day, right? Right!? I’m making it worse aren’t I? I better take some happy pills quick before the world starts getting dark.
Sigh, well, here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As expected, the passing of the Super Two deadline has decimated our list here. Six of our previous top ten are gone. Poof. That means lots of turnover. We’ve got a new number one and we’ve got some guys making big moves up the board. The overall upside of the list has sunk for obvious reasons, but there’s still plenty of fantasy help looming in the minor leagues. Also, notice two exciting names in the Next Five group — Gary Brown is on fire at Triple-A, finally unlocking some of his five-tool potential, and Archie Bradley continues to pitch too damn well to be ignored.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I typically don’t delve into any notes on the Next Five section of this feature, but with some intriguing names popping up there this week, and one name in particular being Carlos Martinez. With recent injuries to Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, and John Gast, the Cardinals have already turned to Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons to fill rotation roles, but they’ve also optioned Martinez to Triple-A, where he’s being stretched out as a starter. Coming into the season, there were plenty who graded the 21-year-old as the best arm in St. Louis farm system — better than Shelby Miller, better than Wacha. It might be a little farsighted right now, but be sure to keep a close eye on Martinez as he gains stamina in Memphis. He could be a hugely valuable commodity for the stretch run of the fantasy season.Please, blog, may I have some more?