As the calendar turns to May, prospects are going to slowly become a bigger factor for fantasy owners. Who could be on the verge of being recalled and making an impact? Let’s take a look at a few of the bigger names (remember, who we look at will rotate on a weekly basis, so check back every Friday for the latest):
Lars Anderson – Boston Red Sox – 1B
With David Ortiz continuing to struggle, the Red Sox are inching Anderson along towards the Major Leagues. He dominated Double-A through 62 AB, hitting .355 with 5 HR and 16 RBI and has now been pushed to Triple-A. Of course, the Red Sox could always opt to acquire a replacement, but you have to think they could at least consider Anderson on a short-term basis. Still, realize that his success came courtesy of a 52.1% flyball rate and a .415 BABIP. He’s a top talent, but chances are his average could be poor in the Major Leagues. He deserves a little bit more of an in-depth look in the near future.
Derek Holland – Texas Rangers – Pitcher
Starting back at Triple-A after his fairly disastrous Major League experience in 2009 (6.12 ERA), Holland looks like the pitcher he did in 2008. In his first four starts he’s sporting a miniscule 0.67 ERA while posting 21 Ks vs. 3 BBs. In 2008 across three levels in the minors he posted a 157:40 ratio, so don’t think the control is an aberration. Entering the year his minor league K/9 was 10.0, so again, what he’s showing right now is extremely realistic. With him dominating the Pacific Coast League, it’s just a matter of time before the Rangers give the lefty a shot once again. Once he does, he’s going to have potential value in all formats. If you are in need of some pitching and have room on your bench, now is probably the perfect time to stash him away because it could soon be too late. Read more
by Will Overton
Yesterday was another get away day with a less than full load of games on tap. We still saw a few teams break double digits though and a few teams put together shutouts. So here is what I saw as the biggest box score stand outs.
Adam Laroche (3 – 5, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI): He raised his batting average to .299 with a very stellar day at the plate yesterday. He also took his RBI total to 17. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t ever get much publicity, but always puts together solid numbers. He is only owned in 81% of ESPN leagues, a number which should be higher.
John Buck (3 – 4, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI): This was a great game, and he doesn’t have this kind of power on a regular basis, he does some legitimate pop in the bat. However he has never batted higher than .247 and that ambitious for him. Unless you use two catchers he’s not worth a spot on your team.
David Freese (3 – 3, 2 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI): He’s now 8 for his last 17 and today he got his first home run of the season and just the second of his career. He showed in the minor leagues that he had some home run potential and so you’d assume he’ll add some more to this as the year goes along. But right now he’s doing a good job of finding his way on to base and driving in the guys in front of him and that should continue. Read more
by Ryan Lester of www.lesterslegends.com
Brought to you in honor of Strikeout for Troops.Some reasonably available players to assist you in the Strikeouts category. Realize that some of these will come with high ERAs & WHIPs because if a Pitcher has low numbers in those categories and a good K total, they’re already spoken for.
Kevin Millwood, Baltimore Orioles
Millwood’s ERA (3.38) and WHIP (1.28) aren’t the problem. Playing on a dreadful team has left him winless (0-3). He has managed 28 Ks in 32 innings though for a decent 7.9 K/9 ratio. Millwood is owned in 10 percent of ESPN and 48 percent of CBS leagues.
Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers
Lewis hasn’t has been solid all around thus far. He is 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and 28 Ks in 23-2/3 IP. His K/9 ratio is a spectacular 10.6. Colby is owned in 10.2 percent of ESPN and 59 percent of CBS leagues.
Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays
Now we get into your problem child. Yes, he has 24 Ks in 22 innings (9.8 K/9 ratio), but he comes with a 1-2 record, a 6.14 ERA, and 1.45 WHIP. You’ll probably best to pick just the juicy starts with Morrow. He is owned in 0.6 percent of ESPN and 44 percent of CBS leagues. Read more
Three closers continued to put their jobs in serious jeopardy. Jon Lester finally pitched up to expectations. Tim Lincecum did what he always does. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Octavio Dotel (2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K) - That makes six straight appearances where he’s given up a run, blowing yet another save. How can the Pirates continue to run him out there? I spoke about Evan Meek the other day (click here to view http://rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=6218) and he definitely could be worth the flyer, as he or Joel Hanrahan will get the first crack at it.
- Trevor Hoffman (1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K) - Like Dotel, how could the Brewers possibly keep running him out there? He’s allowed runs in six of his nine outings this season. You would have thought LaTroy Hawkins would be the likely replacement, but he’s got a 7.71 ERA (he had allowed runs in three of his five previous outings prior to today). Carlos Villanueva, who hasn’t given up a run in 12 innings, could get the call. The Brewers have already said that he’s not being replaced, but they may start looking to other ninth inning options.
- Neftali Feliz (1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K, SV) – He didn’t blow the save, but this is the third time in his last four outings that he has allowed runs. Considering the way Frank Francisco has turned things around, I would anticipate the Rangers going back to him full-time (he picked up a save on Tuesday) any day now. If someone in your league gave up on him, I wouldn’t hesitate to scoop him back up. Read more
Prior to the season I wrote an article entitled “Nolan Reimold: A Solid Option, But Not A 2010 Fantasy Sleeper” (click here to view). The piece was in response to the many people who were considering Reimold a great sleeper selection to fill out their outfield after hitting 15 HR in 358 AB in ’09.
Over the season’s first month, Reimold has looked even worse then “solid”, for all intents and purposes losing his everyday job. He’s made the most skeptical preseason owners look like they overvalued him, as no one could have expected this type of early season production:
49 At Bats
.184 Batting Average (9 Hits)
1 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.298 On Base Percentage
.327 Slugging Percentage
.235 Batting Average on Balls in Play
So, should we all abandon ship, like many owners have, or is Reimold worth continuing to stash?
First of all, you can tell right off the bat that the average is based on some terrible luck. However, there are two other numbers that do bring cause for concern:
- His strikeout rate ballooned to 28.6%
- His flyball rate was 48.6%
It’s a small sample size, but still, these are two numbers that need to be addressed. Read more
by Will Overton
We had some young guys proving their merit and arguing for their place on their teams and yours. We also had David Wright taking another step towards proving he’s a first round talent still and Ubaldo Jimenez continued dominance. These are just some of the things happening around the majors last night. Here’s a look at the top box score standouts:
David Wright (2 GMS, 4 – 6, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB): The average so far is a bit lower than what you’d expect, but his OBP is .416 so he’s getting on base and he’s very quietly stealing a lot of bases as well as today he nabbed his 7th. A lot of people were suspect on him coming into the season and some still are. With that in mind I think he may still be a good buy low candidate in some leagues.
Cliff Pennington (4 – 5, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI): He’s not on many people’s radars, but he’s been solid so far this season and as an owner in an AL Only league he’s a pleasant surprise. He got a chance at the leadoff spot for the 3rd time this season last night and made the most of it. He now has 15 RBI on the season as well as 3 HR’s, 8 R’s and 2 SB’s. He’s available in just about every league and is worth a look in 14 – 16 team leagues.
Ian Desmond (2 – 4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB): He’s competing for playing time with Adam Kennedy and Christian Guzman so nights like this are encouraging for Desmond owners as its his third multi-hit game in his last four. He also showed off some speed that we have not seen a ton of at the major league level, but saw in the minors where he would get 15 – 25 steals a year. I’d rather have Pennington right now because of the more regular playing time, but Desmond is a nice option in deep leagues and NL Only as well. Read more