CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

There will be a very short planned maintenance outage of the site tonight (7/22) at 11 PM ET

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (08/19)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checkin... (06/07)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Good Pr... (08/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Travis d'... (08/19)

August 19, 2013

Five to Watch

Post-Hype Prospects for 2014

by Craig Goldstein


Despite the addition of a second wild card in each league, the playoff races aren’t exactly scintillating this year. For many teams, the season is over and it’s time to start evaluating talent. So it goes with fantasy. As we march on toward the end of August, there are many owners who are already looking toward 2014 and can use the remainder of this season to evaluate talent. One of the most important things an out-of-contention owner can do is correctly identify talent that could be undervalued heading into the offseason.

One reliable resource of undervalued talent that I’ve found is those players who are no longer prospects (and thus cannot be kept on a minor-league roster in keeper/dynasty leagues), but who have yet to establish themselves as full-time players or known quantities. In short, they’re post-hype prospects. Obviously, these types of players carry with them significant risk, hence the potential for undervaluing them. The flipside is the potentially huge payoff if they hit, with recent examples including Domonic Brown, Patrick Corbin, Josh Donaldson, and Starling Marte. All of these players flashed at some point or another, but not being able to stash them in a minor-league system hurt their keeper value and they were likely available for less than they should have been.

While today’s focus is on post-hype prospects, this mini-series will include looks at many different types of players, positions and categories.

Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks
The 24-year-old Ohio native hit his entire way through the minors without getting much prospect love. This lack of attention was mainly because he’s listed at 5-foot-8, 185 pounds, never showed enough defense in center field to profile there, and wasn’t considered likely to hit enough to man a corner as an everyday player. That all changed in 2012, though, as he continued his climb through the upper levels and mashed his way to Arizona by putting up a .381/.456/.539 slash line, which was only slightly better than the slash line given up in the final MLB season by his tautonymic mound-dwelling counterpart.

Eaton put his 103 plate appearances in 2012 to good use, producing a slash line of .259/.382/.412, which might not seem spectacular but was good for a 118 wRC+ and a .296 TAv. Despite all of Kevin Towers’ machinations in the offseason, adding and subtracting outfielders at will, it appeared that Eaton was lineup up for a starting gig and a shot at fantasy stardom, with his ability to hit for average, moderate pop (in a good power environment) and steal some bags too. Entering 2014 things will likely be a bit different. He’s still part of a crowded Arizona outfield (Kubel, Parra, Pollock, Prado, Ross) but unless things take a dramatic shift in the next six weeks, his current .221/.302/.302 slash line will likely drive down his value.

Giving Eaton a mulligan on 2013 might not be the worst idea, though. He shouldn’t be a much different player from the one who gave everyone so much hope just a year ago. While his ability to throw might be impacted by his UCL injury, his ability to hit and get on base should not be. Add in the favorable hitting environment and his speed (40 stolen bases across two levels in 2012), and you’re looking at a starter in 14-team leagues or deeper and a bench option for 12- or 10-team leagues, depending on format, of course.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

4 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (08/19)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checkin... (06/07)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Good Pr... (08/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Travis d'... (08/19)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Daily League Strategy: Two Servings of Fland...
Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: Three-and-a-Half Months ...
Notes About Baseball, 7/22
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Boston Gives 'Em A Li...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, July 2...
Premium Article Moonshot: Accounting for Count
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: What Did I ...

MORE FROM AUGUST 19, 2013
Premium Article What You Need to Know: The C&D Boys
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, August 19
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Infielders Up, Infield...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: My Book Report on a Video of...
The Week in Quotes: August 12-18
Premium Article The Call-Up: Travis d'Arnaud
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: August 19,...

MORE BY CRAIG GOLDSTEIN
2013-09-06 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
2013-08-29 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 22
2013-08-27 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidate...
2013-08-19 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014
More...

MORE FIVE TO WATCH
2013-08-28 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: September Call-Ups Unworthy o...
2013-08-27 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidate...
2013-08-21 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Good Prospects on Bad Teams
2013-08-19 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014
2013-06-07 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trini...
2013-04-18 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Contact Watch!
2013-03-18 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: The Top Prospect Edition
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-06-20 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: My Catcher Fetish and Der...
2013-08-20 - Fantasy Article The Stash List: The Final 2013 Installment