Tag Archives: Julio Teheran

2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Preview: Part 1

Well, its March, so time to start rolling out my 2012 top prospect list. Every year, highly regarded rookies with little to no previous MLB exposure are looked to as possible fantasy contributors for the upcoming season. It may not surprise anyone that, for the most part, first year players struggle to live up to expectations for a myriad of reasons: inexperience against MLB-type opponents, lack of roster space/position blocking, fatigue, regression at the high A level, team control issues, etc. But this doesn’t stop us in the fantasy world from dreaming that we will draft the next Jason Heyward or Ryan Braun or pick up the next Mike Stanton, Kevin Maas or Shane Spencer off of waivers (Go Yankees!) – and hopefully avoid the next Alex Gordon (pre-2011) or Brandon Wood.

I will go through my top 20 ‘impact prospects’ for the 2012 fantasy season in two installments. Obviously ‘impact’ is an amorphous term, and nothing is more debatable than a list of players who have little to no big league experience.  However, I will use some definitions to try to make ‘impact’ more concrete. For hitters: ‘impact’ means at least 130-150 ABs and production at or above a .330 wOBA, or weighted on base average (check out http://www.fangraphs.com for more on this and FIP, used below for pitchers). Why .330 wOBA? Given that .330 is around league average from year to year, if a rookie can produce at or above that number, we will consider them to be more or less helping your fantasy team, at least on a back up level. Around that number, a guy should be giving you decent counting stats. For pitchers, it gets a little more complicated.  For starters we will use: at least 80 IP, a mid 4 ERA, and a low 4 FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, which tries to take out some of the random outcomes out of a pitcher’s control once the ball leaves their hands.  For relievers: 25 IP, mid 3 era and FIP to match.  Now, I know most fantasy formats do not use wOBA or FIP as categories; they are still too exotic for most and fantasy games are more about counting stats anyway.  However, you can rest assured that a good wOBA/good FIP usually is a good indication of solid fantasy production. For the definition of prospect, we will hover around the standard rookie eligibility definition: around 130 or less at bats, or 50 innings or less pitched at the big league level.  Some of these guys have their names all but penciled in on big league rosters, some are just complete crapshoots; some are not as talented as others, but have a much better opportunity to play everyday; most of you will disagree with me, and probably half of these guys will end up having well below league average numbers (50% was my success rate from 2011).  Anyway, on to the list with #20-11; 10-1 will follow next week:

20. Wilin rosario, COL, C – Given that the Rockies signed Ramon Hernandez this off-season, it looks like Rosario is probably another year away from being the everyday catcher in Denver. However, Hernandez is 36, and he may break down behind the plate sooner rather than later, and most definitely will need a lot of rest. If Rosario puts up solid power numbers in the minors as expected, he could get the call and provide great power from the catcher slot (combined 40 HR in a little over 700 PA the last two years in AA) as a back up/utility player. He probably won’t help average-wise – most catchers don’t – but he makes for an intriguing monitoring situation for later in the year when you make your playoff run, or when you are thinking about stocking up on young talent in keepers.

19. Tyler Skaggs, ARI, SP – Skaggs has ripped through A and AA the past two years, and his K rate, ERA, and FIP have all gotten better each year. His walk rate has held steady in the mid to high 2’s/9, a nice bonus for such a young arm, and he’s left-handed to boot. He will probably start in AAA if he holds his own in ST, and looks to be a notch below fellow prospect teammate Trevor Bauer. If he dominates the minors again, I can see him cracking the rotation during the summer, or at least making some useful spot starts. I highly doubt Joe Saunders, Josh Collmenter, and/or Trevor Cahill will all last a full season with the D’backs.

18. Shelby Miller, STL, SP – Miller’s upside screams ace, but not in 2012. I just don’t see the Cards rushing their best prospect to the majors, even though he probably could do as well or better than Kyle McClellan, Kyle Lohse, or Jake Westbrook. Be that as it may, given his prowess in A-AA the past two years (sub 3 ERA/FIP, over 10 K/9, around 3 BB/9), I would not be surprised if he is a late season call-up to bolster the back of the rotation if St. Lou is making a playoff run. His rank is only this low due to lack of opportunity.

17. Trevor Bauer, ARI, SP – Bauer has made only 7 professional starts, across high A and AA in 2011, but that was because he spent 09-most of 11 at UCLA, where he K’ed 203 in 136 innings his last year there. In the small sample size he has in the pros, he dazzled with a 17 and 14 K/9 in A and AA respectively, though he did have control issues, with above a 4 BB/9. Still, this guy can pitch, and the D’Backs look like they will give him a shot in the spring. Even if he gets some polish in AAA as expected, Bauer has the upside to make an impact in 2012.

16. Brett Jackson, CHC, OF – Jackson turns 24 this summer, and looks to have made progress every year in the minors, culminating in a .297/.388/.551 line in 48 games in AAA in 2011. He can run (20 SBs in 115 games in 2011), he has patience at the plate (13% walk rate), and flashes some pop (20 HR). More importantly, given the Cubs’ lack of OF talent and likelihood of being in rebuilding mode, Jackson should get a good amount of reps and have himself a solid rookie campaign on the North Side.

15. Zack Cozart, CIN, SS – Cozart is a bit old for a prospect, clocking in at 26, but he only just had his first cup of coffee last fall, where he performed amazingly for a SS, albeit in just 38 PAs (.324/.324/.486). Cozart looks like the lead pony to grab the starting SS job in Cincy in 2012, and could be a great late round speculative pick, possibly good for a 70/10/60/10 .270 season. You definitely could do worse picking much earlier at this thin position.

14. Julio Teheran, ATL, SP – Though he didn’t light up the majors in his 19 IP last year, Teheran remains a top-notch pitching prospect, one who could crack Atlanta’s rotation out of ST due to Tim Hudson’s injury and an open competition for spots 4 and 5; I don’t think it will happen though, as Atlanta has other, older options in Brandon Beachy, Randall Delgado and Mike Minor, and will want to be extra careful with their future ace. Teheran had a very good 2011 otherwise (7.6 K/9, 3 BB/9, 2.55 ERA, 3.06 FIP), and could have a productive 2012 fantasy season as a summer add-on/spot starter.

13. Jarrod Parker, OAK, SP – Once the Diamondbacks top pitching prospect, and now a member of the A’s, Parker should finally arrive in the majors full-time after he proved in 2011 that he was fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery which cost him all of 2010. Parker pre-surgery showed very good strike out abilities (9 K/9), but has often struggled with control (around 3.5-4 BB/9). With the A’s 3-5 spots wide open due to injuries to Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson (and Bartolo Colon the #2 at this point), Parker could see some substantial work in the majors this year right off the bat. His pedigree suggests that work will produce a decent output.

12. Jacob Turner, DET, SP – Turner impressed Detroit so much in his three AAA starts in 2011 (10 K/9, 1.5 BB/9) that he got the call when they needed some starts in September. Alas, he did not fare well during his call-up, but I’ll chalk that up to the usual rookie shock, as I feel Turner has the skill set, home park, and offensive backing to give you some solid counting stats. Turner should have a legit shot to compete for the 4-5 spots out of ST, if the Tigers feel like giving up a year of team control. If not, look for him to join the team during the summer when Detroit should be tired of looking to Rick Porcello, Phil Coke, and a cast of also-rans to fill out the rotation. I give him the edge over Teheran because of better opportunity, and over Parker because of health.

11. Addison Reed, CWS, RP – Our first – and only – rookie reliever featured, Reed  exploded onto the scene in 2011, going from A, A+, AA, AAA to the majors all in one year. Along the way, his K/9 never fell below around 12, his BB/9 never rose above around 2.5, and his highest ERA was in his 7.1 IP in Chicago (3.68), mainly due to a crazy high BABIP of .474. Reed is big, throws hard, and has the classic closer make-up. Just don’t draft him expecting a 2012 version of Craig Kimbrel (you really shouldn’t draft any closer expecting Kimbrel-like numbers, the dude had a ridiculous 2011).


Weekly Minor League Recap

This will be the last week for the recap. The leagues are all finished or are finishing as of today, so time to give my final updates. Gamers know any of these prospects, if called up, could provide a boost in the playoffs. Small sample size rules the day from here on in.

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero made his beyond much anticipated debut with the Yanks last Thursday against, of all teams, Boston. He went 0 for 4 in that game, but has since gone 5 for 9 with a two HR game on Labor Day. I could see him being a valuable add against lefties for the rest of the month. Keeper? maybe in deeper leagues, and definitely in dynasties. Will be interesting to see what the Bombers do with him and Russell Martin over the winter.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

At this point, you will want to monitor all of the AAA, and some of the more impressive AA guys (minus SPs who have reached innings limits) to see if they get called up on 9/1 or thereafter. Many a fantasy championship has been won on the backs of super propects, especially ones who play for teams either completely out of it, or teams who are comfortably ahead and are looking to rest regulars.

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): This is the week people were waiting for all year: 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, 11 for 24 in his last five. Montero’s season line is resembling more and more what he did last year (identical batting avg., 4 less HRs, similar OBP), so it is safe to say the kid is ready as he will ever be for his MLB debut in September. The Yankees sure could use a dependable DH bat to cement a playoff spot – their pitching is now looking like it is what we thought it was.

-Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF, Charlotte Knights (unranked): Viciedo got the call this past week after Carlos Quentin went down with an injury. He was going to be a 40 man roster add anyway. He finished up his minor league season with a bang; 4 HRs and 10 RBIs in his last ten, with only 4 Ks. And, in his first action, he went 2 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBIs (I picked him up to replace Quentin, and of course had him on my bench for monitoring purposes…story of my season).

Devin Mesoraco, CIN, C, Louisville Bats (#64): Mesoraco went 6 for 24 with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs – both HRs and 5 ribbies came in one game. With the Bats eliminated from playoff contention, he is certainly a candidate to get called up after September 1; curiously though, he is not on the 40 man roster.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero had a quiet week; no HRs, no RBIs, no extra base hits at all. The boredom of minor league baseball is just too much for him right now. The most anticipated call up of the year (at least in NYC) should be less than 2 weeks away. Unless he goes .350/.450/.650, it will of course be deemed a colossal failure.

-Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF, Charlotte Knights (unranked): Viciedo had three HRs (two in one game) and 7 RBIs last week, which should make him more attractive to fantasy owners come September. He also only K’ed once; bonus!

Devin Mesoraco, CIN, C, Louisville Bats (#64): Mesoraco was 4 for 17 last week, but with 5 BBs and only 2 Ks. He has a nifty .250/.375/.536 line over his last ten.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas had one his best weeks in a while, going 14 for 29 with 6 RBIs and 3 steals. Now back over .300 (.312) for the year, to go with a .378 OBP.

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer was 10 for 27 with 5 RBIs and 2 steals last week, and has only 3Ks since returning on 8/13.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero didnt have a great week average wise, but did hit two HRs, bringing the season total to 13. No news on the call up front. I don’t think Posada’s big day on Saturday will make it tougher for Montero to find playing time down the stretch, unless Jorgie channels 2009.

-Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF, Charlotte Knights (unranked): Viciedo had better start improving if he wants to make an impact with the Chisox come September. He is now at .206/.386/.265 over his last ten. Sure the walks are nice (9 in last ten), but his avg/power struggles go back awhile now.

Devin Mesoraco, CIN, C, Louisville Bats (#64): Mesoraco had only three hits last week, but two were HRs. He has had a better season than Montero, but is well off the 26 HR pace from last year.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked):Cardenas was back to hitting for average last week, as he went 8 for 23, raising it to .299 on the season. No HRs, and only two RBIs  and 1 walk though.

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer returned from the DL on 8/13, and went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles.

Lorenzo Cain, KC, OF, Omaha (unranked): Cain slumped last week, which now makes two weeks of mediocre play at the plate. He was 5 for 23, but had a HR.

-Julio Teheran, ATL, SP, Gwinnett Braves (#5): Teheran bounced back on 8/12 after his disastrous 8/7 start: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): more and more buzz about he who walks on water joining the big club as the DH woes continue in the Bronx. Just a matter of if he gets called up before or after the September 1st roster expansion. Montero has an eight game hitting streak going, and is 8 for 21 with a HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BB, and 3 Ks over the past week.

-Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF, Charlotte Knights (unranked): Viciedo was back with the Knights as of August 2nd, and might as well have not even suited up, as he is just 3 for 20 since his return. The White Sox are looking more and more out of it, so come September, they might give him some serious playing time.

Devin Mesoraco, CIN, C, Louisville Bats (#64): Mesoraco is slumping since last we discussed him, just 4 for 21, but one of those was a round tripper.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero picked up the production last week, hitting 2 HR and driving in 9. He was 7 for  23, with 5 extra base hits.

-Dayan Viciedo, CWS, OF, Charlotte Knights (unranked): Viciedo makes his debut on the list as he has had too good a season to ignore any further: .307/.365/.500, with 49 R, 16 HR, and 65 RBIs. He got called up last year to the big club, and acquitted himself quite well, hitting .308 with 5 HR and 13 RBIs in 104 ABs. Viciedo strikes out a healthy amount and doesn’t walk much (70/31 respectively on the season), but if/when he gets the nod, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him provide solid value in deeper leagues. Unfortunately, he has slumped of late (.143/.302/.143), but that shouldn’t erase the fine season he is having.

Devin Mesoraco, CIN, C, Louisville Bats (#64): Mesoraco has also had a very good season, one that probably warranted attention here a while ago; oh well, better late than never. He has been involved in trade talks recently, so who knows where he will end up finishing the season. His bat seems legit: .303/.376/.502 with 47 R, 10 HR, 54 RBI this year. His past ten have been very good as well: .324/.342/.459. As we all know how thin catcher is, if he gets a chance in Cincy or elsewhere, should be worth a look in almost all but the shallowest leagues.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

Since the All-Star break was last week, there is not that much to update, and no major call-ups/promotions, so take the new info for what it’s worth.

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero was back in action on 7/15 after returning from a minor back injury, and is 2 for 13 in two games.  As expected, he will stay in triple A for the foreseeable future. Trade rumors involving him for an established starter will swirl from now until the deadline, so he could end up in the majors soon, just not in pinstripes. As a dyed in blue bomber fan, it would be tough for me to see them part with him, but I wouldn’t balk at including him in the right package (read: Ubaldo Jimenez – which looks increasingly unlikely given what the Rocks want in return; maybe Wandy Rodriguez; hell no Hiroki Kuroda). Montero is worth more than a 36 year old middle of the rotation stop gap, so I hope they don’t panic and pull the trigger on something like that, just because he is not performing as expected.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas has been swinging a hot bat of late: .308/.372/.410 over his last ten. All year he has shown great plate discipline, and he has little to no power, so you’d think he is exactly the kind of guy Billy Beane would want in Oakland. Maybe September…

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer returned to Durham and is 3 for (update in am) in 4 games. Will probably see him again in September, but a third 1-2 game call up isn’t out of the realm of possibility with the Rays.

-Yonder Alonso, CIN, OF, Louisville Bats (#73): Alonso is 4 for 12 since the break with an RBI and 4 BBs in 4 games. If the Reds make a move before the deadline, he is a candidate to move up (if others, such as Chris Heisey are sent elsewhere) or move on. As has been touted most of the year, an intriguing young power bat if either occurs.

Jason Kipnis, CLE, 2b, Columbus Clippers (#54): Just as the call up talk reached critical mass, Kipnis went cold: .194/.324/.226 his last ten. With Cleveland battling for the AL central title and needing all of the help they can get, one good week could mean a promotion.

-Desmond Jennings, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (#22): Jennings healed quickly (turned out just to be a bruised finger), and was back in action on 7/16: he is 4 for his last 9 with 3 doubles, 2 RBIs, and 2 BBs. Could be the last pre-season hyped up prospect to hit the bigs this year…any day now.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

After a two week hiatus, minor league recap is back. Note: Baseball America updated their prospect rankings, but I am just going to stay with the ones from the beginning of the year.

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero was starting to heat up at the end of June/beginning of July, going 8 for 26 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs from June 28-July 3, but then he got placed on the 7 day DL with an injury. It isn’t major, so he should be back shortly. Would sure be nice if he keeps up that mini power surge when he does return. Unless the Yanks find an everyday spot for him, it doesn’t look like a call up is imminent, even with the rash of injuries to the big club. However, with A-rod now out for a month +, I wouldn’t put it past the Bombers to call up Montero to be the regular DH/back up catcher.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas is hitting .263 in his last ten, with 4 walks and 4 Ks. Slugging is an abysmal .368 over that same period.

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer got called up for a couple of games, but went 0 for 3 in his one appearance. He was sent back down after Sunday’s tilt against the Yankees.  He was hitting very well at Durham prior to that: .351/.429/.432, with 6 RBIs, 5 BBs, 2 SBs, and 8 Ks in his last ten.

-Yonder Alonso, CIN, OF, Louisville Bats (#73): Alonso slashed .263/.378/.526 in his last ten, with 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, 7 BBs and 8 Ks.

Jason Kipnis, CLE, 2b, Columbus Clippers (#54): Kipnis got hot again over his last ten, hitting .351 with 3 HRs and 8 RBIs, an OBP of .429 and Slugging of .622.  With Chisenhall now up, Kipnis stands a good chance of joining the Indians shortly as well.

-Desmond Jennings, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (#22): Jennings is still at Durham, for whatever reason.* Newsflash Tampa: Sam Fuld is not that great, legends and myths notwithstanding. He hit 2 HRs and stole two bases in his last ten, but hit .235/.350/.441. Stay tuned, you never know if/when the Rays will pull the trigger. *Apparently he actually fractured a finger, so he is out of commission for a couple of weeks at least. Oh well…

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero is still coasting (.265/.375/.294 his last ten), but he has shown an improved ability to draw a walk (4 in his last three games).  At this point, you would have to call his season a disappointment, given the expectations.  But he still has time to show people why he belongs in the majors – and recall that last year at this time he was not exactly lighting it up either.  The Yankees sure wouldn’t mind adding a powerful bat without having to make a trade, and fantasy owners wouldn’t mind either.  But the window for 2011 impact is surely getting smaller.

Brett Lawrie, TOR, 2b/3b, Vegas 51s (#40): Lawrie is on the DL with a broken bone in his left hand for an indefinite amount of time now.  It could be early August before he sees playing time again. Sucks.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas slumped hard last week, going 3 for 20.  On the bright side, he continues to walk more than strike out.

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer was 6 for 22 last week with 5 RBIs. Recall or no recall, he gives Tampa yet another young, potentially productive player.

-Yonder Alonso, CIN, OF, Louisville Bats (#73): Alonso was back on the field last week, but he is only at .200/.304/.350 his last ten games.  He did however hit another HR on 6/24 and had a 6/4 BB/K ratio.

Lonnie Chisenhall, CLE, 3b, Columbus Clippers (#25): Chisenhall returned from his concussion with a vengeance, as he went 9 for 21 with 2 HR and 14 RBIs last week.  Bus ride to Cleveland in the near future (if this continues)? Magic 8 ball says: “signs point to yes.” Update: Scratch the ‘if this continues’; Chisenhall is up. 

Jason Kipnis, CLE, 2b, Columbus Clippers (#54): Kipnis cooled off considerably last week, going 5 for 22, though he did walk 9 times in 7 games.

-Desmond Jennings, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (#22): Jennings stayed cool last week, going 6 for 21 with a HR and 2 SBs (he missed Sundays game with a sore wrist, nothing serious though).  The last few weeks have spurred many a Jennings watch, but still nothing.  The Rays are always tough to figure out, eh?

-Kyle Gibson, MIN, SP, Rochester Red Wings (#34): Gibson had two starts last week, with mixed results: 10 IP, 14 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 Ks.  He has been solid, if unspectacular.

Lorenzo Cain, KC, OF, Omaha (unranked):  Cain went 7 for 25 last week, with 7 RBIs.

-Julio Teheran, ATL, SP, Gwinnett Braves (#5):  Another week, another couple of gems: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8 Ks on 6/20; 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 Ks on 6/25.  Simply brilliant.

Matt Dominguez, Fla, 3b, New Orleans Zephyrs (#81): Dominguez continued his hot hitting last week, as he is now slashing .375/.405/.475 in his last ten.  Only 1 RBI and no HRs last week though.  He doesn’t figure to be a big power/average guy in the majors, and much of his real-life value resides in his glove, but he could still prove useful, especially in NL-only leagues, where the hot corner talent level is ‘meh’ at best behind David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman.

Collin Cowgill, OF, ARI, Reno Aces (unranked): Cowgill was only 8 for 30 last week, but has hit safely in 8 straight.  Lots of talk Goldschmidt and he could join the D’Backs very soon.

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