This post concludes my little venture into draft prospecting. It was fun while it lasted, and if you’d like to take a look at either Part 1 or Part 2, go ahead and click those links. Today, I have three more first-rounders to discuss, but first, a quick recap of where everyone ended up from Parts 1 & 2:
Marcus Stroman (22nd pick – Blue Jays); Richie Schaffer (25th pick – Rays); Kyle Zimmer (5th pick – Royals); Mark Appel (8th pick – Pirates); Mike Zunino (3rd pick – Mariners); Andrew Heaney (9th pick – Marlins)
Now, these three:
Chris Stratton | RHP, Giants
Over the past decade, the Giants have been pretty successful in turning first-round arms into fantasy baseball gold. Matt Cain (2002), Tim Lincecum (2006), and Madison Bumgarner (2007) were each drafted within the first 25 picks, and each developed into a big league pitcher relatively quickly. Lincecum, the lone college arm in the group, was helping fantasy owners a little more than a year after signing. On Monday, San Francisco used the 20th overall pick to select Chris Stratton out of Mississippi State. Should things go as planned, he’ll be in the bigs as early as 2013. Stratton lacks a true plus offering, but his secondary stuff is advanced and it compliments his low-90’s fastball nicely. His well-rounded repertoire should allow him to push through the system quickly. I don’t see the same upside here that Cain, Lincecum, or MadBum were drafted with, but I do think Stratton will make for a nice #3-type starter in the bigs.
Victor Roache | OF, Brewers
There’s an immediate delay in Roache’s development, as the slugging outfielder out of Georgia Southern recovers from a severely broken wrist. The Brewers weren’t deterred, however, and drafted him 28th overall on Monday. Roache missed most of the 2012 collegiate season because of the injury, but when healthy in 2011, he blasted 30 homers, leading the NCAA. He brings tremendous power potential to the Milwaukee farm system, and his average defensive tools shouldn’t hold him back as long as he’s providing pop. Roache’s future, though, will ultimately be determined by his health. If he’s healthy and the wrist is strong, his bat will carry him through the system quickly.
Michael Wacha | RHP, Cardinals
At 6-6, 200, Michael Wacha has a frame familiar to St. Louis. The Cards are loaded with big-bodied starters like Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Lance Lynn, and they added one more on Monday, selecting Wacha out of Texas A&M with the 19th overall pick. The righty features a low-to-mid-90’s fastball, which he locates effectively. He counters with a filthy changeup — perhaps the best change in the draft. His breaking ball, however, is extremely fringy, and some doubt it’ll ever develop into a plus offering. Still, Wacha projects like a #3 or #4 starter at the major league level, and he’s a safe bet to reach that projection. Plus command and two advanced offerings should facilitate a short road through the minors and a big league arrival by 2014.
Also Julio ‘the sheik’ Teheran close to a call to the bigs? Thinking about picking him up and stashing in a 16 team non-keeper, as Bauer’s already gone and I could use some more free pitching help.
Minor’s been terrible, as I know having had him as a prospect in my keeper league! Surely the Braves must be thinking about swapping them soon, Teheran worth a stash over E Santana (been terrible also)?
@TheNewGuy, Or is Hultzen an even better bet.
@TheNewGuy, I think Hultzen is the better stash.
@TheNewGuy, …for a non-keeper league, that is.
@Scott Evans, Ok cool, guess I have to ask the ETA though. Not sure about their situation, their rotation seems faily solid,.
@TheNewGuy, I’ve been saying Hultzen by end of July. As always, tough to gauge, though.
@Scott Evans, Thanks, no2 starter potential? 3.50ERA reasonable to expect for this year? Have him in both a keeper and looking to stash in a deep non, so quite interested in how you think he’ll fare.
Hey there’s noone else around today! :)
@TheNewGuy, 3.50 seems hopeful. Need to account for one or two “learning curve” games — rooks can get beat up here & there, even if they’re as polished as Hultzen. He’ll be in a great situation pitching at Safeco, which helps.
He projects like a #2 once he’s had a chance to settle in, but I wouldn’t expect that sort of production just yet.
@Scott Evans, Yeah I guess thats fair enough, should really bench the guy first couple times anyway which should help avoid any early blowups.
Seen his numbers on milb.com and they are ridiculous, 2 runs in his last 31 innings, over a punchout an innings too.
Guessing you think Teheran could face an even tougher adjustment period for this year if the Braves swap him and Minor soon?
@TheNewGuy, Long term upside for Teheran is better, but he doesn’t bring as much immediate polish. So, yes, I believe Teheran will struggle more in the early going. Frankly, though, I’d try to grab both if Minor gets demoted or shelved & you have the flexibility. But for this year, I like Hultzen to be the better fantasy pitcher.
Great column as always.
My boy Mike Olt is just mashing in the TL, hitting for power, drawing walks and even hitting for a good average. One of the few prospects producing right now on my farm!
Surely a move to AAA corpus christi is imminent? Chance of a summer callup to the bigs or nothing until Sept? Mitch Moreland isn’t doing anything recently, and we know how much the Rangers value bat first over glove.
@TheNewGuy, I’m sure Texas would like to see Olt cut down on the K’s, but I don’t think that’ll deter them from moving him up to AAA. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he played the whole year in Frisco & jumped to the Rangers in September. Still think he’ll be trad bait come July. A swap might change his timetable…
@Scott Evans, Ok cool thanks, is there a good reason why teams often keep players down and make them jump levels though? Wonder why it happens quite often, little difference between AA and AAA competition?
Remember hearing you say the Rangers were starting to play him at 1st, was kinda hoping he’d play long term in that ML lineup. You think he’s more likely to get traded then? Guess it’s not bad either way, 3B eligabilty or better lineup long term.
@TheNewGuy, He’s a plus defender at third, so it’d be tough to squander that skill set, which is why I see Texas exploring the market. Have to imagine he’d fetch quite a bit. Maybe someone like Garza… that’s pure speculation, though.
Re: the AAA/AA thing, it really comes down to 1) the player in question, and 2) the organization. It’s pretty well accepted by now that the gap from AA to MLB isn’t too far to bridge. Some clubs prefer a pit-stop between. And of course, the prospect needs to exhibit advanced tools/approach. Quite a bit of nuance here.
@Scott Evans, Yeah I’d kinda like a Garza-Olt deal too, have Garza in a league and sick of his lack of wins on a crappy Cub team.
NL-only dynasty league question (8 team – c,1b,2b,3b,ss,3of, 5sp, 2rp):
We get one pickup per week… who would you target from this year’s draft class as a stash for the future? Right now i’m prioritizing as follows (fyi, i will only stash/grab one of these dudes):
1) Mark Appel (SP-PIT) – i think he’ll sign, much more risk to re-entering the draft than potential for reward.
2) Max Fried (SP-SD) – might be slow to majors, am i overvaluing the allure of Petco?
3) Andrew Heaney (SP-MIA) – Crayola Canyon seems to be playing large too.
Would you put Lucas Giolito (WAS) on this list? Am i missing anyone else? We only have 3 OF positions and no UTIL… so i’m not targeting Albert Amora or Victor Roache or any other OFs
Good stuff as always, i appreciate any input you can provide.
@HomeRunfromBehindtheMeatballs, I’d probably go with Appel out of that group. But what about Zimmer?
@Scott Evans, NL-only
@HomeRunfromBehindtheMeatballs, Right. Spaced on that one, sorry. Scoop Appel.
@Scott Evans, Sweet… Thanks for the help man!