It’s the official opening day of baseball. This means a few things, A. We made it through the winter. Congratulations on not being eaten by a bear, or frozen out in the cold. Now that we’ve established that you’re in fact alive, let’s move on to the really exciting part of today, and errr tomorrow. Baseball! While minor league games don’t kick off until Thursday, we have some players with prospect eligibility breaking camp with their respective big clubs. In fantasy baseball there are no little clubs. We’re all about feelings. With every prospect making the club, there’s three being assigned to a minor league affiliate, we’ll talk a few of them too. It’s a roll call of sorts. While we’re all here you don’t mind if i go a little off topic do you? I actually don’t care about your input, I’m doing it any way. Can I tell you what team has me super excited to watch them this year? The Padres! Seriously the crappy old, future last place Padres. If only because the friars on the list are of real interest to me as they’re breaking camp with top prospects Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, as well as three Rule 5 draft picks from A.J. Preller’s Rule 5 coup. Yes, a Rule 5 Coup d’etat, it’s a real thing. How effective a Rule 5 Coup can be, remains to be seen. We also have the emergence of Aaron Judge with a job. If you’re anything like me you’re screaming, FINALLY!!!
Manuel Margot, OF Padres: Ranked 11th in my Pre-season Top 100, Margot will start in the Padres outfield, at least for the time being. I hope to God they don’t send him down in three weeks, and then let him rot in El Paso for a month just push back his service time clock. It’s one of those things, I get it, but I don’t like it. Baseball service time rules are crazy. Should be a source of steals, average, and runs.
Aaron Judge, OF Yankees: Ranked 37 on my Pre-season Top 100, was declared the Yankees starting right fielder earlier this week. Is it finally Judge’s time? (I refuse to make a Judgement Day joke) He’s mashed in the spring, and took some time to adjust to AAA, could be the same in the bigs. I’m excited to see what happens if he gets hot in April.
Andrew Toles, OF Dodgers: Will play left field against righties, and offers some potential speed/contact upside. He runs, though not all that efficiently (24/36 in 2016 MLB/minors), and he hit well in the majors last season .314/.365/.505. Whether he can sustain that success over a full season is highly unlikely.
Albert Almora, OF Cubs: After hitting well in the spring, Almora is in line to see an increased role in the Cubs outfield in 2017. He’s a solid all around player, though better in real life evaluations. He offers a little speed, and even less power, but he could be source of batting average and runs.
Allen Cordoba, SS Padres: The Rule 5 gamble unsurprisingly made the 25 man, now we wait and see what this does to Cordoba’s development long term. Won the rookie level Appalachian League batting title, hitting .362, while swiping 22 bags in 2016. That’s Rookie ball peeps. He’s obviously not ready for prime time, exhibited by his putrid spring slashline of .179/.247/.194.
Amir Garrett, LHP Reds: Will break camp with the Reds as part of the rotation. Ranked 91 on my top 100. Garrett is the type of pitcher who typically outperforms his peripherals. He’s neither a strikeout machine or a control maven, which ultimately limits his upside. He’s still offers some upside however, as he’s lefty, and possesses superior athleticism, and stuff.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP Pirates: Made the rotation out of camp, and looks like he’s got a shot to stick. He’s going to have moments of brilliance, and moments of absolute misery. The control is still an issue, but he misses a lot of bats.
Dansby Swanson, SS Braves: This one isn’t a shocker, what so ever. Really, I was just looking to use this as a space to a say, I’m super excited to own Swanson this season. Much more than I thought I would be. I’ve really come around to the line of thought that he could be a contributor right away. He hit well in the spring and should provide some low to mid teen power and speed potential.
T.J. Rivera, INF Mets: Will break camp with the Mets as the utility infielder. The power he flashed in his abbreviated stay in the bigs last season, makes him some what intriguing particular in deep leagues. I obviously like him, as I’ve written about him twice in two weeks.
Yandy Diaz, 3B Indians: Will start the season as the Indians 3rd baseman, and I couldn’t care less. Outside of silly biceps he’s pretty uninteresting. His multi-positional eligibility potential at least give him some intrigue, but I can’t see owning him outside an AL only with OBP.
Jesus Aguilar, 1B Brewers: If Aguilar’s spring fling is for realzies, there’s going to be some aggravated Indians fans. Eric Thames is getting time in the outfield, and it would seem the Brewers are committed to giving Aguilar a chance.
Harrison Bader, OF Cardinals: Down in AAA Memphis getting reps as the starting Centerfielder. Is only a Dexter Fowler DL stint away from a potential call up. Invariably we’ll see Bader at some point during the season.
Dustin Fowler, OF Yankees: Made quite the impression in camp, and has a real shot to see some time in the Bronx later in the season. He’s still a few injuries away, but there’s some power/speed upside, and enough defensive acumen to muscle his way into some PT.
Lewis Brinson, OF Brewers: The playing time picture is murky at the moment, so Brinson needs some struggles from Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, or an injury to either. I do think we see Brinson before the All-Star break.
Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B White Sox: He’s coming and he looks like a bad mamma jamma, switch-hitting power/speed beast with middle and corner infield eligibility. Should spend about a month and a half to two months in Charlotte, before getting the call to the Southside.
Blake Swihart, C Red Sox: I know he’s technically no longer a prospect, but he sort of is for all intents and purposes. Keep an eye on Swihart, I doubt that either Leon or Vazquez hit enough to keep him down. Wouldn’t shock me if Swihart was seeing regular at bats by July. I know that he seems like a bust, but he’s only 24 and catchers take longer.