There’s always a handful of player every season that are past their “rookie limits”, but they’re still kind of prospects. For many dynasty leaguers, like myself, these players are of keen interest. If you’re in a league where no minor leaguers past their limits can be stashed in minor league roster spots, then these guys are almost droppable. You watch the spring training box scores, scouting reports, and tweets, praying for news of a starting job. You don’t care if it takes injuries, suspensions, or jail time to the players ahead on the depth chart. If they don’t make the club out of spring then they’re burning a hole on your bench. What other option do you have besides dropping or holding? Might be the worst case scenario depending upon your league size, and setup regarding salary. Players like this can really put you in a pickle, and there’s a few hanging around this spring that could get you caught between first and second. Don’t get caught, get caught up, and hold or sell before it’s too late.
Joey Gallo, 3B Rangers: In my dreams I often envision a future where Adrian Beltre is retired and Joey Gallo slugs 30+ homers a year for the Arlington 9. The stirkeouts are still a problem, so he’s more than likely never going to be a great points league player. The power however is very real. Moonshots will be the norm once he sees 400+ at bats a season, particularly in a place like Arlington. He’s continued to do what he does best this spring; slug homers, strikeout, and make you wonder if he makes the team. I have a different dream where the Rockies trade for Gallo and make him their first baseman. **John Lennon Voice** Imagine all the homers!!!
Cody Reed, LHP Reds: It was tough sledding the first go through the majors for the talented young lefty. Homers, walks, and bad breaks ballooned his ERA to an insane 7.36. Fast forward to March, and he’s had up and down starts this spring, but is still 100% in play for a starting gig. If he fails to make the rotation he’ll for sure find a role in the pen, but that limits his value in a whole bunch of leagues. He does have the K upside to be an elite reliever though. Hey, I just described every pitcher on the Reds roster! I’ve always been a Reed believer, and I pray he gets a real shot this season.
Dilson Herrera, 2B Reds: Why do the Reds have so many of these guys? Limited to DH duties so far in the spring, Herrera was assigned to minor league camp this week. For now Herrera will start the season in AAA, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, we all saw the Peraza on the wall. There’s a lot of questions as to whether Herrera was all hype in the Mets system, or if there’s a legit player there.
A.J. Reed, 1B Astros: Of course now Reed chooses to breakout. After the Astros go out and sign Yuli Gurriel to play his position, after they sign a couple more bats, and load up their squad. Of course it’s now. I’m sorry Reedlievers, Reed’s not getting a starting gig no matter how well he plays. We’ll need a Alex Guerrero type performance from Gurriel, or a bad injury. That said, it’s good to see Reed pushing for playing time after the 2016 debacle. The power is still there, and he’s only a year removed from being Andrew Benintendi hyped, right?
Blake Swihart, C/OF Red Sox: He’s making a case for a roster spot with the bat, but more than likely will be the odd man out, as he’s the only Boston catcher with minor league options. He was once compared to Buster Posey, and it wasn’t that many years ago. Injuries, and some growing pains ensued, now he’s a sleeper. Swihart went really early in The Dynasty Guru 99 Draft and Hold I’m in, so he obviously has his believers (Swilevers?). He’s one I’d hold onto, just in case on the off chance he’s a stud.
Jake Thompson, RHP Phillies: Looks like the odd man out in the Phillies rotation. Had a fluke injury on a fall this offseason, which delayed his start. Not a high ceiling player, because the K’s will always be low, but he might be a solid quality start option with good ratios. Should make an impact at some point late this season.
Mallex Smith, OF Rays: I loved the trade to Tampa, looks like he’ll finally get an opportunity for some real at bats. I know the Rays love their platoons, and such, but Smith looks to have the type of high-end talent that could earn him an everyday gig. He has elite speed, solid contact ability, and more pop than you think. He can make some magical plays in the outfield, though they are often followed by some unfocused ones. Has the type of dynamic top of the order skillset that makes me go gaga.
Austin Hedges, C Padres: Looks to be the everyday catcher for the Friars, now that he’s returned from an injury earlier this spring. A very solid hit tool, with surprising power could make Hedges an overnight sensation if he hits. Or if he dates Twista. Might be the sleeper catcher we should be drafting now that Tom Murphy is walking amongst the undead.
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