Acquired in the deal that sent George Sherrill to Los Angeles, Josh Bell appeared on the precipice of a Major League job heading into 2010 before the Orioles signed both Garrett Atkins and Miguel Tejada. Now, just an injury away of getting an opportunity, Bell should certainly still be on the radars of fantasy baseball owners.
2009 Statistics (split between two Double-A teams):
448 At Bats
.295 Batting Average (132 Hits)
20 Home Runs
3 Stolen Bases
.376 On Base Percentage
.516 Slugging Percentage
.339 Batting Average on Balls in Play
What You Need To Know:
- His power was good all year, but he really turned things up after the trade hitting nine home runs in 114 AB for the Orioles’ Double-A team.
- In 2009 he was the MVP of the Southern League All-Star Game after he went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI.
- Baseball America ranked him as the team’s second best prospect (and 37th overall) heading into 2010, ahead of the highly touted Jake Arrieta. They said that he “has above-average power and a good approach, showing the ability to work counts to get on base”.
- He was selected in the fourth round (136th overall) of the 2005 draft.
- One of the biggest knocks against him is his ability to hit lefties. Despite being a switch hitter, he hit .340 against right-handers in 2009 and .198 against left-handers. He’s always had similar struggles, posting averages of .240 (Rookie League), .246 (two levels of Single-A) and .262 (Single-A) from 2006-2008 against southpaws.
- He does strikeout a fair share, at 25.5% over his minor league career. He was below that at both levels of Double-A he played in (24.6% for the Dodgers, 21.0% for the Orioles), but it still needs to be monitored. The more he strikes out, the tougher it’ll be for him to post a usable average in the Major Leagues. How he performs against the upper-levels in 2010 will certainly help tell us the full story.
- His success in 2009 comes after missing most of 2008 due to preventative knee surgery. According to mlb.com, “The surgery was for a small divot that was found in the cartilage near his kneecap. It was the kind of thing that wasn’t bothering the 21-year-old in the slightest. The problem was that, if left untreated, it would get bigger and could be career-threatening down the road.”
He has plenty of power and given the opportunity, could prove usable in all formats, especially given how shallow 3B is in 2010. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A to open the season, but all it will take is an injury to one of their new corner infielders, or potentially Luke Scott, to give Bell his opportunity to shine.
Monitor him closely because once he makes an impact he could be a name you need to know for many years to come.
What are your thoughts on Bell? Could he be usable in 2010? What type of production do you expect from him?
If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5) now including a Top 50 Prospects for 2010 List, click here.
For more looks at prospects, you can check out the following articles: