January 28, 2013
Minor League Update
Potential Impact Rookies In 2013 (AL EAST)
When we talk about "impact" rookies, it's important to note that several rookies will be getting the call to the majors and will fail to help their team in any way, shape, or form. Coming up with a few big hits or making a couple of quality starts, however, could make a big difference at the end of a 162-game season. Here are some AL East rookies who I think can make an impact on their team's success in 2013. Click HERE for my NL East picks.
Jonathan Schoop, 2B: As a 20 year-old, Schoop wasn't overwhelmed in his Double-A debut in 2012. He had 14 home runs, 24 doubles, and 50 walks in 124 games playing primarily second base, which just happens to be the position the O's could be looking to upgrade at some point in 2013. If Brian Roberts fails to stay healthy again, Alexi Casilla and/or Ryan Flaherty could help to fill the void but a strong first half for Schoop could have him in position for an early August promotion for the stretch drive a la Manny Machado.
Dylan Bundy, RHP: The O's head into 2013 with enough rotation depth to compete in the AL East once again. What they will lack early in the season, though, is someone with a pitch arsenal as strong as Bundy, who shot through the minors as a 19 year-old before a late-season cup of coffee in the majors. He'll start the season in either Double-A or Triple-A, where the O's could monitor his workload before unleashing him on big league hitters at some point after June 1st.
Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF: A competitive Red Sox team with a healthy outfield is unlikely to call on Bradley, their likely center fielder and leadoff hitter of the future, in 2013. But if the 22 year-old can continue to show an ability to reach base at a high rate in the upper minors -- he had a .430 OBP between Double-A and Hi-A last season -- while the big league outfield struggles to produce and stay on the field, don't rule him out.
Steven Wright, RHP: The 28 year-old Wright had a terrific 2012 season and continues to get better at his craft, meaning that the Red Sox could have another knuckleballer on their roster less than two seasons removed from Tim Wakefield's last start. Wakefield, of course, debuted in Boston as a 28 year-old in 1995 and ended up winning 186 games for the Sox over the next 17 seasons.
David Adams, 2B/3B: Injuries derailed his 2010-11 seasons but Adams returned in 2012 to post an .834 OPS in 86 Double-A games followed by a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. The 25 year-old has played mostly second base throughout his career but he made 23 starts last season at third base, a position he could be called upon to fill at some point with Alex Rodriguez's status up in the air after hip surgery and Kevin Youkilis very unlikely to play in more than 120 games at the position.