Tag Archives: Mike Moustakas

Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero was injured for a couple of days (eye infection) last week and only played 1 game.  It seems to be a lingering issue, so stay tuned.

Brett Lawrie, TOR, 2b/3b, Vegas 51s (#40): The Lawrie call up will now be delayed for a couple of weeks, as the wrist injury is more than minor; he broke a bone in his left hand.  He still should get to Toronto once he heals up, as he was just days away from a call up pre-injury.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas hit .290 in his last ten and only K’ed three times.  Since Jemille Weeks got the call up over him last week, not sure if there is any room for him in Oakland; then again, it is looking more and more like a lost season for the A’s, so no harm in giving Cardenas some MLB experience.

Jemille Weeks, OAK, 2b, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Weeks got called up last week, and is hitting .333 with two RBIs, 1 K, and three runs scored.  He should stick around for a while, given Mark Ellis is on the DL.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero has seen his batting average drop below .300 (.294) for the first time this year, but added another HR last week.  His K/BB ratio is about 5:1, and he is only getting on base around 34% of the time.  However, this could just be a matter of Montero getting antsy to move on the next level, now that he has proven his worth in the minors for over 4 years.

Brett Lawrie, TOR, 2b/3b, Vegas 51s (#40): The Lawrie call up was supposed to be last weekend, but it was derailed by a minor wrist injury, which put him on the 7 day DL as of June 1.  Once that heals up, be ready to add the youngster.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Cardenas has fallen off recently: .189/.286/.189 in his last ten.  Could be a victim of BABIP luck, as he only struck out 3 times in his last 37 ABs.  Cardenas is the full time DH now for Sacramento, which hurts his chances of getting called up.

Jemille Weeks, OAK, 2b, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): Weeks, the younger brother of MLB’er Rickie, has had a great season so far, and could be called up before Cardenas because he offers a better glove.  At .324/.419/.453, with 8 steals, 28 BBs and 31 Ks, he offers speed and patience, with a bit of pop as well.  A decent middle infield option in deep leagues if/when he gets promoted.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero is starting to level off now, having gone .214/.267/.333 in his last ten.  Also, Jorge Posada has been hitting somewhat better in the Bronx (and he has an understandably long leash, given his iconic status) so right now, there really isn’t a place for Jesus there.  Stay tuned, but it is looking more and more as though a substantial impact in 2011 will have to wait until September.  Pre-season rookie of the year candidacy predictions were a bit premature.

Brett Lawrie, TOR, 2b/3b, Vegas 51s (#40): Lawrie continues to put up astounding numbers in the PCL (.405/.458/.857) and a call up – even with the questionable defense – could be days away.  All but the shallowest leagues can wait on him, but all others should make the move accordingly when he does get the call.  Only red flags: 40 Ks in 49 games compared to only 17 BBs, and, of course, that sub-par D, which could cause him to sit a couple of times a week/late in games.

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Weekly Minor League Recap

AAA:

Jesus Montero, NYY, C, Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (#3): Montero is still mouldering away at SWB, mainly because the Yankees do not have a regular place for him to play every day, except for possibly DH.  They don’t want to have the kid start his career just batting, and so we must wait (Insert Second Coming joke here).  His average has dropped to .315, but he is showing more power of late, hitting 2 HR and 3 doubles in his last ten.  His walk/k ratio still sucks though (8/31).

Brett Lawrie, TOR, 2b/3b, Vegas 51s (#40): Lawrie is back to hitting for average to go along with his prodigious power.  He is at .375/.490/.800 with 4 HRs, 13 RBIs, 9 BBs, and 7 Ks over his last ten.  He already has more HRs this year (11) than last year (8) in 92 fewer games.  But blah blah blah his glove is nonexistent blah blah blah.

Adrian Cardenas, OAK, DH/2b, Sacramento River Cats (unranked): The beat goes on for Cardenas average wise, as he hit .411 over his last ten.  He also showed some power, slugging .618 (though just one hit went over the fence).  Still getting on base over 40% of the time.

Brandon Guyer, TB, OF, Durham Bulls (unranked): Guyer is at .176/.300/.206 over his past ten.  Looking more and more like the HR in his major league debut was a giant fluke

-Yonder Alonso, CIN, OF, Louisville Bats (#73): Alonso is rolling along at .375/.468/.550 in his last ten.  More importantly, he had 7 walks to 4 strikeouts; patience increases call up potential IMO.

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Killboy’s 2011 MLB Predictions

No real surprises here. I like the Rays to fall off and the White Sox to win the Central. The Brewers will knock off the Reds but the Reds will still beat out the Dodgers and Braves for the Wild Card. I think the loss of Bobby Cox will hurt the Braves. Read more of this post

Fantasy Prospect Preview: Fin

 

Desmond Jennings (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

5. Desmond Jennings, TB, OF – Jennings has the tools to make Tampa forget all about Carl Crawford and his free wheelin’ base stealin’ ways.  Well, maybe not completely.  He doesn’t have the same power capabilities (never more than 9 home runs at any minor league level, and just 3 in AAA) and had some injury woes during 2008 and early 2010, but he can run the bases and hit for average with the best of the youngsters.  He also has a career double digit walk rate, which is not far from his K rate, always a beloved ratio to us fantasy geeks.  The Johnny Damon/Manny Ramirez signings complicate things, and the Rays might want to prolong their control over him by keeping him at AAA Durham until June or later.  His MLB debut last fall is pretty irrelevant for predicting his future production, so move along, nothing to see there.  Jennings isn’t worth drafting until very late at this point at best, but he can be a very valuable 3 category producer, with big contributions to stolen bases and runs, if given the opportunity.  Don’t sleep on him as he could still figure very strongly in Tampa’s 2011 plans.

 

Jesus Montero (AP)

4. Jesus Montero, NYY, C – Ah, my boy.  Home Run Jesus.  The heir to the throne occupied by Jorge Posada these last 11-12 seasons.  At least in theory.  Montero could end up being the back -up catcher to Russell Martin come opening day, after Francisco Cervelli went down with a leg injury in spring training.  It has become more and more clear that Posada will see little to no time behind the plate this year, in an effort to transition him to full time DH. However, don’t put it past the Yankees to decide to wait on Montero to give him more seasoning in triple A, mostly to work on his defense and to retain more club control over him in the future.  But if Martin cant regain even a semblance of his 2006-2008 form/re-injures his surgically repaired hip and the Yanks need Montero’s bat, any minor league stay will be short lived.  Jesus is a proven power and average force who has a chance to put up 20+ hrs and hit close to .300 – he started slow in triple A last year but put up big time numbers in the second half and finished 21/.289 with 66 runs and a .353 OBP.  His K rate did spike up to 20%, but it could just be an aberration, as he was in the mid-teens the rest of his minor league career; still be prepared for a couple of golden sombreros here and there as the kid finds his way.  I wouldn’t worry too much about his defensive skills being a deterrent.  If the guy hits, he’ll play.  There are a bunch of variables that need to work themselves out, but lately it is looking more and more as if Jesus is primed to deliver the loaves and the fishes in 2011 – sorry, couldn’t resist.

 

Mike Moustakas (Adam Foster)

3.    Mike Moustakas, KC, 3b – A possible surprise at #3, we analyze one of the members of the prized Royals farm system.  The positives: Moustakas is 22, he plays 3B for a non-contending team – where there is an opening now that former super-prospect Alex Gordon is in the OF – and he flat out rakes, which is the most important reason he should be given a look-see as a potential game-changer for your squad at some point in 2011.  The big negative: he’s KC property.  This means instead of manning the hot corner early on in the season, he will mostly likely spend unnecessary time in triple A putting up glorious #’s, while Royals fans watch whoever starts at third (right now it looks like Mike Aviles has the inside track) underwhelm as expected.  A June or later call up might be the reality for Ol’ Mousy, but when he does finally get the nod, he could be a 2nd half wonder.  He tore through double AA last year (21 hrs, .347 avg. and .413 OBP in 66 games) and leveled off some in AAA (15/.293/.314 in 52 games, though was victim of .271 BABIP)  but his power as you can see is legit.  Some might say he should be placed below names like Chapman, Jennings and Montero, and a valid argument can be made for that.  But I think if he pulverizes the minors at the start of the season and KC plays like, well, KC, it will be next to impossible for the Royals to ignore what they have waiting in the wings for too long.  Moose is the real deal, a potential ‘Kevin Maas Award’ winner who could make a huge impact in spite of not starting the season in the bigs.

 

Domonic Brown (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

2.    Domonic Brown, Phi, OF – At #2, we have Mr. Brown.  Speed, power, average, he has the total 5 category fantasy package.  But even in these early spring days, he has already had his fair share of adversity to deal with.  He was already in a position battle with Ben Francisco for the right to replace dearly departed stud RF Jayson Werth, didn’t exactly impress in his first 15 at bats (9 Ks) and, to add injury to insult, (pun intended) he recently broke the hamate bone in his right hand (but not before getting a hit in the same at bat; Charlie Sheen would be proud), which means he will miss anywhere from 3-6 weeks.  Now the good news: Brown will be back in playing form mid-April/early May, so he won’t miss much time.  He dominated minor league ball throughout his career and his few at bats with the senior circuit (70 PA’s last year) aren’t a cause for concern given the small sample size.  Bill James has him putting up a very, very nice line of 84/26/94/28/.288 in 596 PAs, which was admittedly pretty optimistic, even before the hand injury.  But if he comes anywhere near this projection, you will be very happy you took the chance on him late.  Mr. Brown has big shoes to fill and enormous expectations to boot, but even with the setbacks, he has the potential to be the best fantasy rookie of 2011.

 

Jeremy Hellickson (Elsa/Getty Images)

1.    Jeremy Hellickson, TB, SP – And finally at #1, the Rays latest greatest pitching phenom.  Hellboy here has already gotten his share of accolades, after his impressive MLB debut last fall during TB’s playoff run, hence his #1 prospect designation.  Fantasy stats show domination to the tune of a 4-0 record, with a 3.47 era and 1.10 WHIP.  His peripherals didn’t disappoint either, as he struck out a shade over 8 per 9 innings and walked under 2 per 9.  His hr/9 was 1.24, the only real blemish in an otherwise stellar cup of coffee.  But with Helly sure to make the TB rotation (especially with Matt Garza now out of the way) as a possible #4/definite #5 with a still very good defensive alignment behind him, he could be the darling of the back of your starting rotation.  He gives up a lot of fly balls, which can spell doom in the loaded AL East, but you can live with that when the upside is so tantalizing.  He has had to deal with a strained hamstring in spring training, but this injury doesn’t look serious.  I wouldn’t overreach for Hellickson (or any rookie for that matter), but he presents the best case for hitting the fantasy jackpot among the rookie set.

So that does it for the preview.  Don’t spend too much time thinking about which one of these newbies will be a bona-fide fantasy star this year; if you do, you might win most creative draft, but you also might just win the participation trophy in your league at the end of the year.  Happy Prospecting!

2011 American League Central Previews- Royals

Today’s Focus: Kansas City Royals

The biggest news for the Royals this offseason is the loss of Zack Greinke. In return the Royals received Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jeremy Jeffress. Alcides Escobar is not only a HUGE defensive upgrade, he can also be a terror on the base paths and is a good contact hitter. Don’t let the 14 SB over the past two years fool you, anyone would have trouble stealing a base from the 8th spot in a National League lineup. He may be their top candidate for leadoff even though he can’t draw a walk. Lorenzo Cain also brings speed to the lineup but his Major League sample size is too small for us to make any solid predictions. Jeremy Jeffress looks to make an immediate impact in the bullpen while hitting 100 mph on the radar gun.

Billy Butler locked in at the 3 spot in the order. It will be interesting to see how the Royals handle the Eric Hosmer call up. The team would not have room for Hosmer, Butler and Kila Ka’aihue. Spring training will have to play out before we decide the odd man out in the 2B/3B situation. I would start Mike Aviles at 2B and Wilson Betemit at 3B until Mike Moustakas is ready, leaving Chris Getz the odd man out. Jeff Francoeur, Alex Gordon and a combination of Lorenzo Cain/Melky Cabrera will man the outfield.

The starting rotation for the Royals are nothing more than place-holders for the prospects waiting to arrive. Luke Hochevar is the staff ace (Hochevar a former #1 pick himself), followed by Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies and probably Vin Mazzaro. The bullpen is pretty right-handed unless Tim Collins makes the team. Robinson Tejeda is still the set-up man for Joakim Soria.

Notable Pick Ups: Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Jeremy Jeffress, Vin Mazzaro, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francis

Notable Losses: Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Yuniesky Betancourt, Brian Bannister, Gill Meche

Look for the Royals and their revitalized lineup to pass the Cleveland Indians for 4th place in the A.L. Central in 2011.