CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

No Previous Article
<< Previous Column
The Daily Prospectus: ... (03/16)
Next Column >>
The Daily Prospectus: ... (03/21)
No Next Article

March 17, 2000

The Daily Prospectus

Some Old Favorites

by Joe Sheehan

In the four-and-a-half years that Baseball Prospectus has been around, we've touted a number of players who, for one reason or another, have caught our collective eyes. This spring is turning out to be a good one for some of our pets, who are playing well and even in danger of winning major-league jobs. At the risk of jinxing them, here's how some of them are situated for the 2000 season:

  • Any discussion of BP favorites starts with Frank Catalanatto. In BP 1996, I was no doubt under the influence of marriage planning when I wrote, "He has the highest upside of any position player prospect in the [Tigers] organization." At the time, his secondary skills as a 21-year-old at A-ball seemed impressive, despite a .202 EqA. In the four seasons since, he's reached the majors and played well as a utility infielder.

    Last November, Catalanatto was traded from the Tigers to the Rangers. When Mark McLemore signed with the Mariners as a free agent, that left just Luis Alicea as competition for the second-base job. The Cat has taken advantage, having a big, 5-for-6 game early in the exhibition season and posting a 1433 OPS through Sunday. Given Alicea's problems with staying healthy and batting left-handed, it seems like this will be the year Catalanatto gets a chance to be the good-hitting second baseman we've felt he could be for a long time.

  • Catalanatto isn't the only Ranger making our stubbornness look good. Tom Evans was a Blue Jay prospect for years, unable to get a look ahead of Ed Sprague. Shoulder injuries also played a part in his struggles. Last spring, the Jays waived him and he caught on with the Rangers, where he played well for their Triple-A team at Oklahoma City, posting a .250 EqA.

    Like Catalanatto, Evans has benefited from a free-agent exodus, in this case third baseman Todd Zeile. The Rangers let Zeile go in part to create an opportunity for prospect Mike Lamb, but Evans has forced his way into the picture early in the exhibition season, hitting four home runs and walking four times without striking out. His path to a job isn't as clear as Catalanatto's; on the other hand, he's playing better and would give the Rangers an excuse to let Lamb play for a few months at Triple-A.

    Now, if Scott Sheldon gets a crack at the shortstop job, we'll look into whether resident Ranger fan Michael Wolverton is holding members of Johnny Oates' family against their will. Until then, we'll enjoy--and root for--some of our favorites in Port Charlotte.

  • One of the biggest disappointments for us in recent years has been the play of Travis Lee. Our projections for him in both the 1998 and 1999 editions of the book were very optimistic, and he failed to match either. Last year, he lost time to an ankle injury and his first-base job to Erubiel Durazo.

    With the Diamondbacks' decision to move Tomy Womack from right field to shortstop, a new position opened up for Lee. While he is an excellent defensive first baseman, we observed in the 1998 book that he had the physical ability to be a quality outfielder as well. He has started the spring hot, with an OPS over 1000, including six doubles. Healthy for the first time since the middle of his rookie season, he should help counter the expected declines of the Diamondback veterans and could keep them in contention in a weak division.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

0 comments have been left for this article.

No Previous Article
<< Previous Column
The Daily Prospectus: ... (03/16)
Next Column >>
The Daily Prospectus: ... (03/21)
No Next Article

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 19
Barbecue State of Mind
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Give the Red Sox Your ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Astros, Marlins, Swap ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Great Big David Pr...
Premium Article The Call-Up: Mike Foltynewicz
Trade Deadline

MORE FROM MARCH 17, 2000
NL West Notebook

MORE BY JOE SHEEHAN
2000-03-23 - The Daily Prospectus: Good News for Cub Fans
2000-03-22 - The Daily Prospectus: Montreal Madness
2000-03-21 - The Daily Prospectus: From the Mouths of Fan...
2000-03-17 - The Daily Prospectus: Some Old Favorites
2000-03-16 - The Daily Prospectus: Some Relief From Hype
2000-03-16 - NL Central Notebook
2000-03-03 - AL East Notebook
More...

MORE THE DAILY PROSPECTUS
2000-03-23 - The Daily Prospectus: Good News for Cub Fans
2000-03-22 - The Daily Prospectus: Montreal Madness
2000-03-21 - The Daily Prospectus: From the Mouths of Fan...
2000-03-17 - The Daily Prospectus: Some Old Favorites
2000-03-16 - The Daily Prospectus: Some Relief From Hype
More...