There have been a few players making an early impression in the Arizona Fall League. Some of them are on the verge of potentially making an impact at the major league level while others are still a year or two away. Let’s take a look at three of the hitters shining over the season’s first week and see if they should be on fantasy radars:
Scott Sizemore – Second Baseman – Detroit Tigers
I took a look at him a few weeks ago (click here to view) and so far he has made a strong case to be handed the Tigers second base job. He’s opened going 7-19 with 3 home runs (tied for the league lead), 9 RBI (tied for second) and 7 runs (just one behind two players tied with eight).
The power may not be fully believable, having hit just 17 in 2009 between Double and Triple-A, but he has yet to steal a base (after stealing 21 during the regular season). Needless to say, if the 24-year-old (he’ll be 25 come Opening Day) can continue to develop that power along with the speed potential, he’ll be turning himself into a must own option in all formats extremely quickly.
I’d certainly continue to track his progress as a strong showing could earn him a job outright. If nothing else, it certainly will make the Tigers decision regarding Placido Polanco a whole lot easier.
Mike Moustakas – Third Baseman – Kansas City Royals
The 21-year old played at Single-A in 2009, so chances are he’s still another year away, especially when you consider how much he struggled. He hit just .250 with 16 HR and 86 RBI, but he’s come out scorching hot in the AFL.
Moustakas has gone 6-17 good for a .353 average, though it is an extremely small sample size. What is worth noting is his ability to continue to show that he can drive in runs, with 9 RBI, tying him with Sizemore for second in the league.
While I wouldn’t expect him to reach the majors early in 2010, it would not be surprising to see him get a taste towards the end of the season (especially if the Royals continue their losing ways).
It’s tough to say how the Royals will handle him, however, considering the struggles that Alex Gordon and Billy Butler showed early on in their careers. Still, come 2011, chances are he’ll be on the precipice of making a fantasy impact. That should put him on your radar, though more so for long-term keeper league owners.
Josh Bell – Third Baseman – Baltimore Orioles
Acquired as part of the deal that sent George Sherrill to Los Angeles, Bell has gotten off to an amazing start, going 8-15 with 5 RBI and 6 R. The idea of him hitting for a strong average should not be a surprising one, hitting .295 between two Double-A teams in 2009.
With Melvin Mora seemingly primed to leave via free agency, a void is there that Bell could quickly fill. Ty Wigginton could offer a short-term solution, but at 32-years old he clearly is not the long-term answer.
A good showing from Bell this winter certainly should at least put him in the discussion and at 23-years old (by opening day), he could step right in. I’ll take a much closer look at him in the coming weeks, but I’d track his progress closely.
What do you think of these three players? Which has the best chance of making an impact in 2010? What about long-term?
To read the previous article, click here.
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.