by Ivar G. Anderson
This week, we take a look at three second base prospects, two of which are in the Rangers’ system. That makes it sort of tough to pick one so I will profile them both, but let us explore the Twin minor leaguer first:
Eddie Rosario 2B MIN (Double-A New Britain/Eastern League)
Rosario is serving his second drug suspension, this time for some unnamed banned substance that is not a PED. Once his 50 games are served, expect him to be sent back to Double-A to allow him to work on his defensive skills, such as they are. His hands are less than average in terms of fielding, and it is possible that the Twins may move him to a less demanding spot on the field, perhaps outfield, where he actually began his minor league career with Minnesota (he was moved to the infield during his Instructional League time).
This is because he projects as a good hitter, who draws walks at a decent clip and makes great contact. He has a quick bat and projects as a hitter who can drive the gaps, although he is getting stronger as he moves up in the minors. Once he settles in at the big league level he should hit .290 or better with double digits in both steals and homers.
The suspension will delay his development, and outside of a September call up I don’t see him making an impact this season. He could, however, end up as the Twins’ starting second baseman or left fielder come 2015, assuming he can keep clear of another drug violation.
Rougned Odor 2B TEX (Double-A Frisco/Texas League)
The 20 year old Odor has started out 2014 slowly, but has been picking up the pace over the past 10 games with the RoughRiders. He had a good end of 2013 with the Frisco team, putting up a slash line of .306/.354/.530 with 5 steals and 6 HR. He possesses more speed than power, although as he grows into his body his strength should increase.
Unlike Rosario above, he is a very good to excellent fielder possessing a strong arm that would let him play at either second or short (though some scouts question his footwork on defense). Right now he shows more of a line drive oriented swing, allowing him to drive the ball into the gaps rather than over the fence.
The Rangers are taking their time with promoting him to the Majors, as with the trade of Ian Kinsler to the Tigers and the injury to Jurickson Profar it was not unlikely that he could have had a try out as the Rangers’ second baseman of the future. With Profar due to return in early June, expect him to get a September call up and then fight for a starting position in the spring in 2015. Once he gets a full time gig, look for a .280-.290 BA, with 10+ HR and 25+ SB as a middle infielder.
Chris Bostick 2B TEX (High-A Myer Beach/Carolina League)
Bostick was a late round (44th round) pick by the Athletics in the 2011 amateur draft, but he has been a pleasant surprise for the Rangers showing off both some pop in his bat and good speed. In Single-A in 2013 he hit .284/.354/.452 with 25 steals in 33 attempts and 14 HR.
He has a problem with his path to the Majors, with Profar (once he gets healthy) and Andrus already filling out the middle infield spots in Arlington and with Odor a level above him and ready to step in as a future middle infielder. Bostick is therefore projecting out as more of a utility player with Texas, and I could see him moving to another team before he gets his opportunity to show his talents in the Majors. His future is a .250-.260 hitter who can produce double digit power numbers and potentially 25+ steals. I do not see him making an impact for fantasy purposes (i.e., making a MLB roster) until 2016, but with injuries he could see some time as a utility middle infielder as early as 2015.
Second base is usually a dearth of exciting prospects and this article highlights that with only three candidates, two in the same organization, that catch my eye. What this means for dynasty players is the need to plan ahead if you want a chance to have some depth at middle infield on your prospect roster.
I am always available to talk fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching and prospects. Feel free to drop me a note with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire about your team. Just remember the advice is free and you get what you pay for in this day and age.