One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points.
I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as we dreamed of a Royals club captained by Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye.
It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit.
Excitement abounds on the South Side. We’re all here to see one guy. Same question on everyone’s lips. Can Leury Garcia hang on to an everyday gig?
Maybe . . . is the only accurate reply at this point.
End of article.
Only kidding. Razzball is the official site of Luis Robert. Wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to suggest you draft a rookie who can make a run at 30-30.
Nick Madrigal isn’t on any of my rosters, and I’m not sad about it.
Nomar Mazara has underwhelmed thus far, but he was counted on to be a middle-order piece in a weak lineup as a very young player. Now surrounded by accomplished veterans and sparkly young studs, he’s a narrative-street sleeper for me. Nobody will notice when he has a bad day, and he could build confidence quickly in a happy clubhouse, assuming the Sox are winning more than losing in 2020.
On the bump, Dylan Cease might be this winter’s sleepiest baseballer–a sleeper so sleepy he’s in danger of being too awake for anyone to feel fun taking him. But the price is still fine, unless his ADP is one of those illusory fake-out numbers if doing an actual draft today, which it almost definitely is. I’m not really that hot on him, to be honest.
Closer spot’s interesting here. Alex Colome is currently the name in bright lights, but Zack Burdi is bringing the cheese and the Twitter eyes, Kelvin Herrera is coming back healthy, and Aaron Bummer needs to stop harshing my buzz, man.
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention Yermin Mercedes, for whose services I was outbid in the Razz 30. A catcher by trade, he was seemingly blocked by the Yasmani Grandal signing, a truly dark day in my household, but he could still mash his way up via DH or some Tortuga-esque, anti-utility path.
For a team that still thinks Columbus landed in Ghandi’s backyard, Cleveland seems smart about baseball. Typically a good place to strike oil, and I’m really digging Scott Moss these days, along with pretty much every other pitcher in Ohio. Moss came over from the other Ohio team in the war Puig trade of 2019, and I know he’s not a sexy prospect name, but the lefty can flat out dominate. He allowed eight home runs in 130.2 innings across AA and AAA, striking out 159 hitters and finishing with a 2.96 ERA, decreasing his walk rate as the season progressed. I am rostering him in my 30 and 20 team dynasties and am ready to move quickly to add him.
Not-Justin Shane Bieber feels like the safest arm in the dynasty game. Maybe redraft, too. Command limits pitch counts, reduces stress of long innings, and generally makes dudes v good.
I’m buying Franmil Reyes and Carlos Santana wherever I can get them at a decent price. Totally open to a build structured around snagging Santana at 1B, where I think his offensive boom is connected to finally finding a defensive home that allows him to relax a little on that side.
First thing’s first, your window to acquire ace-in-waiting Tarik Skubal is about to slam shut if it hasn’t already. I’ll wait while you send out an offer or two.
I’m less bullish on Mize and Manning compared to cost, but they’re going to be owned in every league at some point in 2020, even ten-team redrafts.
Joe Jimenez hasn’t been good but he has been healthy, and Detroit is alarmingly barren of back-end possibilities. If he can hold the job through the arrival of the young arms, he’ll be the kind of don’t-pay-for-saves bargain people use to make that case next auction season.
Travis Demeritte could hit 20 bombs and steal 5-10 bags this year. Maybe more.
I’m buying the Miggyssaince, for what it’s worth.
Time to step up, Kings. Go out on your own like Prince Harry and Queen Meghan.
Although what’s the allowance situation?
New ownership in town, is what I’m saying. A longtime Royals fan, at that.
So check out big signing Maikel Franco.
Kidding not kidding. I’m genuinely curious. Got horsed around a lot in Philly. Who doesn’t, am I right? Hastag Kapler haplers. Spring nugget: have heard some about extra off-season work with the guy who helped Soler find himself. Supercheap lottery ticket.
Adalberto Mondesi feels cheap to me, too. Yeah, maybe he’s hurt early in the season, and maybe you don’t want him in an OBP league, but he’s the best base-stealer in baseball, and he’s got another gear in the power department once he gets healthy and puts in a full season. I’ve built a few draft plans around getting him in the thirties, so intrigued am I by the cost.
The bullpen is poised to produce someone of value aside from Ian Kennedy. Just have to wait for it. My guess is Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont, or Tyler Zuber. They added Greg Holland and Trevor Rosenthal on flier deals this winter, but I imagine any trade of Kennedy would be accompanied by a trade of whatever veteran they could move.
Might be the best offense in baseball.
Seems like cheating to get two of every player.
Least they’re not bangin on cans.
I’m buying all the bats at cost except Kepler. And Rosario in OBP.
Luis Arraez is my spirit animal.
That’s a lie. My daughter would be my spirit animal, I think, in the sense that a creature could metaphysically and/or metaphorically represent the truest nature of my existence.
Or maybe my cat. I don’t make the rules.
If not them, it’s a Twin. Byron Buxton might be the best value of the season. Sano could hit 50 homers, and I think he will. Arraez could lead the league in hitting, and I think he will. Big wows all around.
And in general pitching coach Wes Johnson and company add value to the guys who cross their path, so I think this will be a low-cost profit center for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for reading! Hope you’re having a fun spring!
You can follow me @theprospectitch if that’s the kinda thing you might be interested in.