Andrew Oliver | LHP (SP) | Detroit Tigers | D.o.B: 12/4/87 | 6’3″ | 210 lbs | B/T: L/L | 2nd rd, 2009 | DET #3 ranked prospect per Baseball America 2011 | MiLB Player Page

Oliver has faced major league batters in his brief career, although, not with much success. The five starts he received mid-summer 2010 went poorly: 7.36 ERA in 22 innings and a 18:13 K:BB ratio. With loose arm action, he throws a 93 to 95 MPH fastball with plus movement per John Sickels. Changeup is an average pitch and the 81 to 85 MPH slider is a good pitched but inconsistent. He needs to work on refining secondary offerings. Scouts also state that command wanes, needs to locate pitches lower in the zone and refine delivery to keep hips closed longer and quit landing on heel.

Career stats: 8.5 K/9 | 3.5 BB/9 | 167 IP | 3.40 ERA | 1.28 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 8.0 H/9
2011 stats (AAA): 9.3 K/9 | 3.7 BB/9 | 36 2/3 IP | 3.19 ERA | 3.06 FIP | 1.28 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.9 H/9 | .313 BABIP
*Career stats include 2011 season results.

Starting his career at Double-A, Oliver has pitched effectively, consistently but not necessarily efficiently. The walks are still concerning (3.7 BB/9 in ’11), even if he’s limiting baserunners via hits (8.0 H/9 career). I haven’t had the privilege to watch him pitch, so I’m not quite sure if his delivery has improved. However, his statistics show a pitcher who is getting the job done. The sabermetrics show that the traditional numbers currently posted aren’t fabricated. Baseball America, “projects [Oliver] as an impact arm.” That can mean an effective and electric reliever or a solid middle rotation starter. John Sickels recommends what he calls the “Tampa Bay ‘be patient with pitchers’ approach.” Which means staying at Triple-A for the full year. Selfishly for fantasy purposes, his high strikeout potential is exciting. ETA: mid-summer.

Jason Kipnis | 2B | Cleveland Indians | D.o.B: 4/3/87 | 5’10” | 180 lbs | B/T: L/R | 2nd rd, 2009 | CLE #3 ranked prospect per Baseball America 2011 | MiLB Player Page

Kipnis is a converted outfielder learning to play second base. This transition has happened seamlessly as defense is currently average with good range and solid reads. Footwork needs refinement but arm is adequate (fringe-average) with a quick release and solid glove work. What makes Kipnis a coveted prospect is his ability to hit effectively. His simple and balanced swing projects to generate 10 to 15 home runs a year with good average. A discerning eye at the plate, and ability to utilize the full field when hitting, Kipnis will be able to use average speed and good base running instincts often. Offensively, his ceiling could be slightly higher than already stated.

Career Stats: .303/.385/.483 | 750 AB | 81 XBH | 20 Hr | .180 ISO | 17/7 SB/CS | 152:88 K:BB | .354 BABIP
2011 Stats (AAA): .281/.376/.463 | 121 AB | 13 XBH | 3 Hr | .182 ISO | 5/0 SB/CS | 27:18 K:BB | .345 BABIP
*Career stats include 2011 season results.

I like what I see here, especially with Orlando Cabrera and Adam Everett only brought in as place holders until Kipnis was ready for The Show. With solid gap power (47 doubles and 20 home runs in career), and decent speed, Kipnis could quietly become a fringe 20/20 player. At second base, that’s excellent news for fantasy managers. His minor league track record is similar to Brandon Phillips but without the power ceiling being 30 home runs, instead 20 home runs would more appropriate. ETA: Summer 2011.

  1. Tom Thumb says:

    With Kipnis and perhaps Chisenhall coming up this summer, the Indians might have a chance to actually continue some success.

    Which side of this deal is better?
    Holliday, Butler, Morrison for Votto, Tabata, Alvarez

  2. Pops says:

    With Encarnacion struggling… do you see Brett Lawrie getting the call in the next couple of weeks? This question is brought to you by a frustrated David Wright owner.

  3. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @zandbak: That would be excellent.

    @Tom Thumb: Mhm. Morrison

    @Pops: I’m hoping so.

  4. DogHat says:

    12 team 5×5 daily roto mixed keeper league.
    Which side of the trade do you want for this year and beyond who would you prefer?
    Cliff Lee for Andre Ethier

  5. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @DogHat: Lee

  6. Presidente says:

    Is Pedro Alvarez broken, or just off to a cold start?

  7. GG says:

    Which side of the deal is better. Greinke for Jose Reyes. 12 team yahoo head to head.

  8. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Presidente: Both. He’s swinging and missing at too many pitches

    @GG: Reyes.

  9. L-Boogie says:

    In my league, owners overbid on minor leaguers only after they are called up. I seem to be the only one who likes to grab them for a buck just before. Let’s say I could pick up one of these guys tomorrow. How would you rank the potential studs (Belt, Rizzo, Ackley, Moustakas, Jennings, etc) based on 1) proximity to call-up and 2) potential impact?

    Thanks dude.

  10. Stephen says:

    @L-Boogie: Rizzo, Jennings, Moustakas, Belt, Ackley.

  11. brian recca says:

    @ L-Boogie: All will probably be up in June sometime. The wildcard is Jennings because the Rays have a history of holding prospects back.

    Ranks: Jennings, Belt, Moustakas, Rizzo, Ackley

    Not as high on Rizzo as others because of Petco Park.

  12. Matt says:

    Is Arrieta a good start this weekend against WASH if I need K’s? If so, is Francoeur droppable at this point, if my OF is:

    and Hamilton coming off the DL


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