Rookie pitchers give you a roofie. Rookie hitters give you agita. So why do we keep going back for more like a guest on Montel? It’s sorta like the old joke that Woody Allen quotes in Annie Hall. We need the eggs. Besides said eggs, if a rookie somehow/someway breaks out, he’ll help you win your championship. If you draft properly in the first 7 to 10 rounds, your team will be competitive, but so should other teams. It’s what you do after those rounds that makes the difference. You’re not winning your league with Miggy in the first round, but you could with Zack Cozart in the 20th. As wonky as that sounds, it’s true. If you click on the player’s name, you’ll find whole posts and projections for each guy. It’s like Santa woke up drunk in March. Anyway, here’s some rookies to target for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Zack Cozart– Let’s see, I’ve written a rookie outlook post on Cozart, a sleeper post, he was in the shortstops to target, I mentioned him in numerous other posts…. What else do I have to say? Nothing. But the other day when the question of Daniel Murphy or Cozart came up, Rudy said Murphy, which is Rudy going with boring stability. Then frequent commenter, Simply Fred, chimed in, “Cozart is ALL (Fred’s caps, not mine) about upside. Yes, he could be in the minors. Or he could break out and give you real production that you can’t get off the FA list. Murphy is ranked #285 by Grey, 75/12/60/.275/5. Those are numbers you can get any day/all day just rotating guys from the FA. He has enough of a proven record that he has very little upside. He’s had two MCL injuries in the last two years (didn’t even play in 2010), so he has considerable downside, as well. In this instance, Cozart is the play for true upside potential. Murphy has next to no value. What, you can’t find 12 HRs and 5 SBs by running matchups on a daily basis for that position?” What Fred’s saying there (that I agree with), do you gamble a nickel to make back seven cents tops or do you gamble a nickel to make back a dollar? You go for the dollar when your investment is so low. In very deep leagues, there’s a stronger case to be made for Murphy when the next best case MI is Clint Barmes or someone dreadful.
Anthony Rizzo – At some point in the very near future, the Cubs are gonna go all rookie nookie on their fans. It may not be April 1st (fooled ya!), it may not be June 1st (Carlos Zambrano’s Birthday!), it may not even be July 1st (though I think it will be by July 1st). In deep daily and dynasty leagues, I could even see a scenario where you draft LaHair and Rizzo and wear a pink jacket and change your name to Stockard Channing. Okay, maybe not so much the end part.
Jesus Montero – A weird thing happened on the way to Opening Day. I was pretty sure everyone and their momma’s astrologer was crazy about Montero. Then he went and got himself traded to fantasy baseball Siberia and no one wants him and his no catcher eligibility. Guys and four girl readers, I still have his projections down for 55/17/70/.285 and he’ll be a catcher by the 2nd week of the season. In most leagues, you don’t keep the last man you draft so take some schmohawk catcher and leave Montero on your bench for two weeks. Or play Montero at utility for two weeks. Minus a steal or two, he’s not that different than, say, Markakis.
Tyler Pastornicky – Like Cozart, Pastornicky has an everyday job locked in. Unlike Cozart, he doesn’t have ten-plus homer power. Could little Pastornicky make a deal with the devil and hit .300, I suppose, but it seems more likely that he’s gonna struggle to hit .250. He’ll be a great flyer in NL-Only leagues, but he’s a but too risky for mixed league radars. Of course, if he hits .350 in the month of April, that’ll all change.
Devin Mesoraco – Going for Mesoraco, his bat could be Jesus Montero in a better ballpark. Going against him, Dusty. Dusty said recently, “He’s one of two (catchers, not toothpicks). Eventually, he’s going to be No. 1. There are certain guys who work better with Hanigan than Mesoraco. Now someone warm up Bailey, he only threw 150 pitches yesterday.” It would shock me if Mesoraco gets more ABs than Hanigan, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get 300 ABs and hit 16 homers. Think about Napoli when he was under the tyrannical rule of the Sciosciapath.
Bryce Harper – He’s already gone off to the minors, but he’ll be back like Matthew Lillard in Scream, but not like Lillard in The Descendants. I like Clooney, I love Alexander Payne movies, how did I not like this movie? This has confused me. It’s one of the bigger letdowns I’ve had at the movies in recent years. Big Momma’s House III, My Son’s Also A Crossdresser, however, did not disappoint.
Brett Jackson – He’ll be back by July, maybe as early as June 1st when Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and DeJesus — or the portmanteau, Alf DeByrd — finally shows its creaky joints.
Mike Trout – Just throwing him in here for keepers/dynasty leagues, I really don’t think we see him in any large capacity this year.
Matt Moore – He’ll probably win the Cy Young and be the first rookie inducted into the Hall of Fame, bypassing that whole five years after retirement mishegoss. Or at least most fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term) will have you believe that. No one seems at all concerned by Moore. I’m gonna on a limb and say he’s going to be great in spurts, but not overall for the whole year. What’s really odd about this whole thing is no one seems to think Moore will stumble at all. I mean, no one. Try to find a negative word about Moore anywhere on the Internet. TINSTAAPP –> There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect.