This is hard to believe, but players have actually been signed or traded since I started churning out the organizational top tens in early November. It’s like they don’t even care that I have spent countless minutes prepping these reports and now a bunch of players have asterisks next to their names. Black is white, down is up, and Andrew Heaney is an Angel. Some prospects who get signed or moved in trades are impact players that are in fact worth talking about. By the timing of the previews, they may end up in a sort of top ten list “limbo”. Consider these posts a division by division catch-all for such players. It’s also an opportunity to discuss a few of the names that were borderline top ten players but didn’t quite make the cut for their organization’s list. In other words, some of the notable “#11s”. Here are the prospects that fell through the cracks in the AL West…
Roberto Baldoquin, INF | LAA | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016
Baldoquin just signed with the Angels and is the latest Cuban to sign with an MLB team. While he doesn’t have the tools of Yoan Moncada, he is a good option in fantasy leagues and in LA’s weaker system he’d easily slot into the top three along with recently acquired Andrew Heaney and this year’s first-round pick Sean Newcomb. Baldoquin will start his career at shortstop, but could move over to either second or third base down the road. He does a little of everything well, which is useful in deeper fantasy formats even if no one tool stands out as elite. Think .270 AVG, 12-15 homers and 8-10 steals. Baldoquin will be particularly useful to the Angels, who have needs at both second and third base in addition to Erick Aybar set to become a FA in 2017.
Kyle Kubitza, 3B | LAA | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015
Kubitza was the main return in the Ricardo Sanchez trade with Atlanta. Here’s what I said about him in the ATL preview: “He’s ‘older’ at 24 and there are questions as to whether his raw power can show up in major league games, but he’s a patient left-handed hitter with some speed who plays good defense at the hot corner. Whether that translates into a starter or not we’ll have to see, but even as a utility player he’ll have value in deeper leagues, especially those that are more focused on OBP.” Kubitza slides into the middle ranks of the Angels’ top ten.
Nick Tropeano, RHP | LAA | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015
Tropeano was part of the return the Angels received from the Astros for Hank Conger. He slots into the back half of the Angels’ top ten. The right hander figures to be a backend starter, but he has a good fastball and if his slider develops there could be some nice strikeout potential for fantasy owners. Tropeano has already had a taste of the majors with Houston and should make a decent streaming option in pretty much all formats this year. His name is also kind of fun to say…so there’s that.
Luiz Gohara, LHP | SEA | Age: 18 | ETA: 2017
Gohara is a lottery ticket thanks to an ETA that is still about 3 years away, but he has good enough stuff to be the #11 man on the Seattle top ten. His fastball is a plus offering and it’s never a bad idea to take a flier on pitching prospects in Seattle. If you’re not afraid to take some risks and play in a league that rosters many minor league players, you could do worse than Gohara, whose ceiling is a mid-rotation starter.
Keone Kela, RHP | TEX | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016
The Texas top ten hasn’t published yet, but it’s a system loaded with high upside bats that are right up our alley in fantasy. That will likely shut out Kela from the list, but he’s on the path to close games in Texas as soon as 2016 with a triple-digit fastball and slider combo. He’s no lock and still has work to do on his control, but dynasty league players should keep him in mind as a prospect with saves potential a la Cam Bedrosian. Kela has closed out a handful of games so far in the minors and his 12+ K/9 in each of the past three seasons is tasty.
J.D. Davis, 3B | HOU | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
Davis was a third-round pick in the 2014 draft (75th overall) and hit 13 homers in 73 games in his first pro season. It’s the plus power that will make him enticing for fantasy, and it comes with a hit tool that’s at least average. That could mean 20 homers with an average in the .250-.260 range. In other systems he might crack the top ten but Houston is pretty deep. With both Colin Moran and Rio Ruiz ahead of Davis on the third base depth chart, I’m guessing he’s left on the cutting room floor this year. He’s a solid top 15 in my mind though.