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Last week finished up the the Minor League Reviews. Now we’re focusing on top prospects in the game, providing a detailed analysis on specific players. As the season progresses, the prospects might become a bit more obscured.

Danny Duffy | KC | LHP (SP) | D.o.B: 12-21-88 | Royals #7 ranked prospect per Baseball America (2011)

Duffy throws a 95 to 97 MPH fastball with ease, typically running in the 92 to 95 MPH range. He also throws a changeup that rates from slightly above-average to a potential plus pitch, a slow curveball that John Sickels calls a plus pitch and a slider. Scouts state that Duffy knows how to pitch, not just throw hard. Scouts also praise his good command, solid control and mound presence. One area of past concern was that he left baseball during spring training of 2010 amidst an arm injury to reassess if baseball was his future. He returned in late April and started to throw in June. His 2010 season was spectacular.

Career – 5 Seasons (incl. 2011): 10.6 K/9 | 2.8 BB/9 | 340 IP | 2.51 ERA | 1.09 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9
2011 (AAA): 11.5 k/9 | 2.0 BB/9 | 32 IP | 2.25 ERA | .97 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 6.8 H/9

When pitching, Duffy has been solid at each level. His 2011 season started on fire. His plus changeup, curveball and mid-90s fastball have been blowing Triple-A hitters out of the water. Before the season started, most prospect mavens were expecting Mike Montgomery to be the first Royals pitching farmhand called up. However, Duffy’s impeccable command and control in concert with the great strikeout rates have catapulted him up the prospect charts. Come June, we are looking at a solid rookie pitcher with the potential for a 8 K/9 rate with solid control (think ~3.0 BB/9).

Mike Trout | LAA | CF | D.o.B: 8-7-91 |Angels #1 prospect (number two overall in baseball) per Baseball America (2011)

Trout was the Midwest League MVP in 2010 and he only spent half a season there. He possesses all five-tools to go along with a strong compact stroke.  In combination with excellent strike zone judgment, scouts have been raving on his ability to hit for moderate power (think 20-25 home runs ceiling) and good average. Defensively, he is able to play above-average at center field. Rated as an 80 on the speed scale, Trout can reach first base in 3.65 second. Two areas of weakness is his power ceiling and throwing arm, yet they both still rank as average. Some scouts don’t believe his power will reach full potential. He’s projected to reach majors in 2012 at age 20. There aren’t many openings at the major league level with Peter Bourjos playing good defense and hitting adequately; in addition to Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter’s massive contracts eating the corner outfield positions.

Career – 3 seasons (incl. 2010: .340/.424/.502 | 783 AB | 74 XBH | 17 Hr | .172 ISO | 74/19 SB/CS | 137:109 K:BB
2011 (AA): .313/.407/.594 | 116 AB | 12 XBH | 6 Hr | .281 ISO | 5/2 SB/CS | 18:14 K:BB

Trout has displayed more power this year than in the past while continuing to sustain solid strike zone judgment. Albeit, the steals are not coming as fast as they were in the past. Last year, he stole 56 bases in 71 attempts between Single-A and High-A. What is there to not like? Really, not much. The power ceiling won’t be reached for several more years, and until then, we’re looking at a Jacoby Ellsbury/Andrew McCutchen-type player, except Trout’s ceiling will be a few more home runs with a few less steals. A player hitting 15 home runs and 35 to 45 steals for the next few years is more than fantasy worth.

  1. Shane says:

    how soon should we be picking up Trout in a crazy competitive keeper league? whats the chance he’s up in June?

  2. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Shane: I wouldn’t expect him up until late this year at the earliest. Depending on how many keepers you have, he’d be worth it though.

  3. Sean says:

    Shane, stop asking questions and pick him up already!!

  4. A Hill O' Beans says:

    If you could keep Trout in the 16th round this year (14th next, 12th next, etc) would you do it? What if you had to choose between Wainwright in the 16th or Trout?

  5. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Sean: hehe. Concur.

    @A Hill O’Beans: Yes, and the second scenario, yes only because I am hesitant on TJ injury and their immediate results upon return.

  6. A Hill O' Beans says:

    @Stephen: Ok Stephen, one last question. As a possible 16th round keeper would you grab Trout, Lawrie or Belt? Those are the big 3 that are still available in my main keeper league. I’m thinking Trout but I thought I’d see if you thought any differently.

  7. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @A Hill O’Beans: On talent alone, it has to be Trout. On playing time, that’s a different question. I’d still take Trout on pure speculation on the Angels DH plans next year. I’d order the three prospects just as you did, Trout, Lawrie, Belt.

  8. Mark says:

    SHAHTUP ON DUFFY! He’s pretty underhyped to this point in fantasy circles, not in the Yahoo player universe yet, and my waiver position stinks. I’ve been salivating over him for the last few weeks, just begging the Royals to bring him up before every fo-expert wannabe starts pimping him on fantasy home pages like he’s gonna be a secret weapon. How could a weapon be a secret if you can read about it the second you log in to set your lineup?!

  9. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Mark: Haha. I guess my job is done. I beat the other mass media sites.

  10. JG_ism says:

    Waiver auctions are Thursday…I’m going to bid on Domonic Brown.
    Not sure who to drop Raburn($6) or D.Valencia ($1), Raburn hasn’t been playing well and steady playing time seems like it’ll be an issue.

    Also, my pitching has been horrendous, I’m getting killed in Ks, Ws and I’m mid pack in Whip & ERA.
    Anderson, Beachy, Cain, Morrow, Hellickson Josh Tomlin, Alex White & Holland.

    Im gonna stash Duffy before he hits radar. Who should I drop??
    Leaning towards Holland, maybe White..

  11. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @JG_ism: Valencia. re:Pitching: Holland

  12. JG_ism says:


    its a keeper league btw

  13. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @JG_ism: Same response.

  14. Buddo Chezuski says:


    If it was a “crazy competitive” keeper league, he’d already be owned!

  15. theevilempire says:

    FUCK FANTASY BASEBALL! Tired of these “professional” athletes.

    Yesterday I start Liriano.

    Today, Gio and Baker.

    Next year I’m just going to punt starting pitching and use the picks I normally would have reserved for SP, and use them instead for position players and RP.

  16. p0rk burn says:

    I’m in a shallow roto league (so shallow I picked up Shields as a FA after his 3rd consecutive great start) and have overstocked my SP – I’m on pace to be 35+ IP over the limit.

    Only recently have my crumbum pitchers started doing well and I need to pick up an OF to plug in until Heyward gets his shizz together. Similarly, I’m sick of Edinson poopin’ on my stat sheet. With a rotation of Greinke, Shields, Cueto (another FA pick up after his 1st start), Kuroda, Gallardo, Dan Hudson, and Billingsley, is it ok to finally give up on Volquez this year? He is the oddman out in that bunch right?

  17. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @pork burn: At this point, yes, Volquez is the drop.

  18. genghis chone says:

    What is Duffy’s ceiling? #1 starter?

  19. pubscout says:

    I encourage everyone to hang on to Volquez. I’m about to dump him, which means he’s about to be awesome.

  20. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Stephen: whats the top 3 or 4 sp coming up in june,duffy???,

  21. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @pubscout: he just isnt executing at this time,his stuff is sharp,almost looks to be overthrowing,opposite of bailey,id grab bailey if he,s available till he proves otherwise,but i would not throw volquez until he improves,but keep a good eye on him

  22. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Stephen: love your posts,cant believe my love for sands has faded with his early failings but hosmer is looking ok so far,keepem coming

  23. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @pubscout: concur with AL KOHOLIC. In that shallow of a league, it’d be just fine to drop.

    @genghis chone: Ceiling in real life would be number two starter. Matt Cain like.

    @AL KOHOLIC: That’s a tough question. Duffy would be up there. Along with Kyle Gibson, Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Charlie Furbush could be a dark horse, Andrew Oliver, and don’t forget about Jordan Lyles. Then there is always Mike Montgomery.

    Top 3 to 4 out of those names: Teheran, Duffy, Minor, Gibson, Montgomery, Lyles, Oliver, Furbush.

  24. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Love comes and goes. Sands dried up the love with the extra air passing by his bat.

  25. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Stephen: thanks more than i could have ask for,ill keep these names entrenched for my keeper league im sucking in at the moment,keep up the great work,i think they should send sands down now,telling him to use it as a learning exp.let him get his stroke back now for a later return,and bring on dee gordon damnit

  26. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    Hey Stephen,

    How do you feel about Josh Collmenter starting this weekend for the DBacks against LAD??

  27. Yep, I said it! says:

    I’ve been struggling to find a replacement for Zimmerman at 3B in a H2H 16-team league. My current options are Ryan Roberts, Maicer Isturis, Omar Infante, Ian Stewart, Jamey Carroll, Greg Dobbs, Wilson Betemit, and Mike Fontenot. I have very limited roster moves, and currently own Stewart and Infante. Speed is punished with NSB stat, so I usually stay away from players that rely on speed for value. What do you think? Cheers!

  28. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @RandomItalicizedVoice: I’d sit him.

    @Yep, I said it!: Roberts, Infante, Stewart, Betemit.

  29. MeanMachine says:

    F*** Volquez. Against Hou? Really? As the Trump would say…Your Fired!

  30. MAC DADDY says:

    In a 16 team, auction keeper(4 year limit), 5×5 with OBP
    Which 2 outfielders for next year
    Raburn(on roster)
    Tabata(on roster)
    Snider(on roster)
    Brandon Allen
    Desmond Jennings
    Nate McClouth
    our your boy Trout

  31. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @MAC DADDY: Tabata/Snider, Trout. But Trout is everyone’s boy.

  32. MAC DADDY says:

    He might be now I have a util spot…..
    What do you think of Freese vs Chisenhall (Valencia, Headley)
    I have Freese DL’d but Chisenhall sounds tempting. Freese has been hurt and I have trouble trusting him.

  33. It'llonlyhurtforasecond says:


    you do know that’s a philosophy to win leagues, right? get you 2-3 STUD starters, 3-4 STUD closers and fill out the rest of your roster with 3-4 superstar bats and solid everyday regulars with WARS around 3-4. Some argue you need the solid MR help in WHIP and ERA to offset bad days from your starters and it’s definitely doable.

    to each his own.

    i have Trout in a keeper league (most likely 5 YEARS after he comes up). To quote Grey, “I lovres him”.

  34. TillmanLover says:

    Hey Stephen, just wondering your thoughts on the big power hitters C. Carter, M. Taylor, and K. Blanks? Future Ryan Howards or Willy Mo Penas? and whats your take on Destin Hood? Thank you so much!

  35. Cole says:

    Hey Stephen, who do you think is closer to a call up Rizzo or Belt? Been holding Rizzo in my NL only and Belt just became available.

  36. paddyman says:

    Drop Ryan Roberts for Matt Joyce or Jason Kubel?

  37. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @It’llonlyhurtforasecond: mhm.

    @TillmanLover: Taylor is more Pena, Blanks is leaning towards Pena and Carter is between the two. Destin Hood, I don’t have my books with me currently, but if you search his name, you’ll find some information on him in a Washington Nationals Minor League Review.

    @Cole: Rizzo.

    @paddyman: Kubel

  38. TillmanLover says:

    Thank you Stephen, appricate it!

  39. give it to burrito says:

    these articles are the worst of razzball. it’s just a jumbled google search.

  40. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @give it to burrito: All scouting information is gathered from Baseball America Handbook (2011) and John Sickels Prospect Handbook (2011). I’m working on trying to make these articles more cohesive than in the past. Before they quickly became long rambling stories of run-on sentences, with additional information that seemed to be overbearing. I am open to any of your advice for next week’s article. Here’s an example from the past too.

  41. give it to burrito says:

    these suck grey can put an ad on the site I already got the handbooks and google i read these and you sound like you wannabe grey.

  42. TillmanLover says:

    @give it to burrito- Why be a d*ck? He’s giving you free reports, he’s doing all the work. All your doing is moving your fat hands and complaining. Keep up the good work Stephen, ignore dumba*ses like him.

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