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January 28, 2013

Minor League Update

Potential Impact Rookies In 2013 (AL EAST)

by Jason Martinez

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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. 

Baltimore Orioles

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. 

Boston Red Sox

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. 

New York Yankees

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.

Mark Montgomery, RHP: The Yankees currently have some question marks in the bullpen with Mariano Rivera returning from knee surgery and David Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain expected to be an important part of the group despite each missing most of 2011-12 because of injuries. There is no question, however, who the Yankees will be looking at to step in if things aren't going well. That would be Montgomery, who has completely dominated in two minor league seasons, plus a dominant stint in the Arizona Fall League (10.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 19 K).  

Tampa Bay Rays

Wil Myers, OF: With Sam Fuld, Ryan Roberts, and Brandon Guyer the likely candidates to fill a corner outfield spot early in the season, Rays fans will be counting the days until the 22 year-old Myers, a man among boys in the minors last year, gets the call to the majors. He's expected to spend enough time in Triple-A to push back his arbitration clock one season. UPDATE 1:15 PM ET: The Rays have signed second baseman Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal. This shouldn't affect Myers' ETA much but there's now a stronger chance that he takes a starting job from a regular who is slumping or injured, as opposed to just a group of average-to-below average players keeping the spot warm for him.  

Chris Archer, RHP: The Rays could go with the safe pick, Alex Cobb, as the number five starter to open the season but make no mistake that it's the 24 year-old Archer who has the potential to fill James Shields' shoes at the top of the rotation. He may not reach that potential in 2013 but the Rays will want to give him a long look just in case. 

Kirby Yates, RHP: If you're looking for a dark horse candidate to help out in the bullpen, look no further than the guy who struck out 94 hitters in 68 Double-A innings in 2012. The 25 year-old Yates also saved 16 games and posted a 2.65 ERA in 50 relief appearances. 

Toronto Blue Jays

Marcus Stroman, RHP: The 22nd pick in the 2012 draft, Stroman was expected to move quickly. The Jays pushed him to Double-A after seven appearances with short-season Vancouver but a 50-game suspension for P.E.D. use put a halt to any possible thoughts of a September call-up. The 5-foot-9 right-hander could be right back on the radar, however, after a few months in the upper minors. He could be setting up for Sergio Santos or Casey Janssen late in the season as the Jays try to lock up their first division title since 1993.

 

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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BERSMR

Of course you mean 430 OBP for Jackie Bradley, not OPS.

Jan 28, 2013 07:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

Yes. Thank you!

Jan 28, 2013 08:04 AM
 
rrvwmr

Jake Odorizzi has a decent shot as well.

Jan 28, 2013 09:06 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

Agreed! Barring injuries, I think one of these young guys breaks through in 2013 and I think Archer might be just ahead of him in the pecking order. Would've been unrealistic to say two pitchers not even projected (by me) to make the Opening Day roster right now would have a big impact.

Jan 28, 2013 15:31 PM
 
LowDraw67

Any thoughts on Ryan Goins who is now on the Jays 40-man roster?

Jan 28, 2013 11:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

Blue Jays are built to win now. Don't see a middle infielder making the jump from Double-A with this current team unless they're hit hard by injuries.

Jan 28, 2013 15:32 PM
 
jlarsen

Injuries to Toronto players? Nah, that never happens. I highly believe that Jose Reyes will miss 50-70 games this season, due to the fact that I cannot see his aging body holding up well to the turf at the Rogers Centre. Might break a smile if Toronto fans are clamoring for Yunel's return.

Jan 31, 2013 20:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Scott Strandberg

Great stuff Jason! With the Orioles showing a willingness to aggressively push position players through the system to fill a need in the majors with Machado last year, could you see an even earlier call-up for Schoop? I can't trust Roberts to stay healthy ever again, and with such underwhelming options behind him, I could see Schoop manning second base for the O's by the All-Star Break. All of this, of course, assumes that he gets off to a hot start in the minors.

Jan 28, 2013 12:44 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

Roberts finally got back on the field last season for a short period and wasn't hitting so I don't have much faith either. I think Casilla is next in line and Flaherty could also see time there. The All-Star break is definitely a good time for them to analyze the situation. But it might be more realistic, if they're group of 2B is struggling, to give them a couple weeks of the 2nd half to get it going before going to the youngster. So, similar to Machado, I'd say an August call-up is more likely if Schoop is hitting.

If he's called up earlier, he just played way better than anyone expected and Roberts/Casilla are even worse than we think they'll be.

Jan 28, 2013 15:36 PM
 
John Carter

Well, the Rays just filled that big month-or-two hole while waiting for Myers to get past super two territory. Kelly Johnson frees Ben Zobrist to man the outfield. Now the Rays have the Jays' old keystone combo: Escobar and Johnson. Both underachieved last year. That really takes the pressure off of Myers through action and not just Maddon's words. So, now Myers can fill in later in May for whoever is the biggest flop (or least success) between Johnson, Loney, or Scott.

Jan 28, 2013 21:17 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

Exactly the case. Chances are at least one of those guys doesn't bounce back and that's who Myers replaces in the starting lineup with Zobrist sliding over to 1B, 2B, SS, or he stays in the OF and maybe Joyce moves to DH. Lots of possibilities but much better situation now.

Jan 28, 2013 21:46 PM
 
jlarsen

However, if Friedman's gambles all go fairly well, nothing wrong with bringing Myers up and DFA'ing S-Rod/Elliot Johnson. Roberts and Johnson as Utility men aren't exactly bad things.

Jan 31, 2013 20:31 PM
rating: 0
 
jlarsen

What about Robinson Chirinos? He still technically is a rookie(an old one) and all he has to do is be better than Lobaton and Gimenez(which isn't exactly a hard thing to do)

Jan 31, 2013 20:33 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Martinez
BP staff

I think he has a shot to beat out Lobaton and be the guy who shares time with Molina. But I don't know if either of those guys can make an impact with the bat, especially playing just 40-50% of the time.

Jan 31, 2013 22:08 PM
 
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