After unveiling their prospect lists last week, Ben and Craig reveal those who just missed, plus dark horses, and surprising exclusions.
Last week, Craig and I each gave a breakdown of our top 50 dynasty prospects, doing our best Bret Sayre impressions as we looked for a cause to discuss where 2014 draftees should rank, how some recent injuries have impacted the dynasty landscape and more.
We have some of the reasoning behind our rankings in last week’s post, and we further discussed our feelings in last week’s episode of TINO, too. But there’s always more to talk about when it comes to rankings, and so Craig and I have decided to milk this subject for all it’s worth this week as well.
Part two in the position-by-position look at players who might be worth stashing in keeper leagues.
If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues and who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).
Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs
“It's been a debut befitting a hyped 22-year-old prospect for Alcantara, which is to say he's struggled mightily to adjust to big-league stuff. His .213/.280/.346 line and .240 TAv have barely produced value in even the deepest of leagues to date. But none of this should be of any concern to managers with an eye on 2015 and beyond. The pedigree is still that of a perennial top-10 second baseman, and his double-digit pop and 30-plus-steal potential has already flashed in the majors despite his overall struggles. While there is a possibility that the Cubs' surplus of organizational depth could land him in the outfield it's all but certain he'll be in Chicago's starting lineup on Opening Day next spring, and he'll be there with 2B eligibility. He's one of the best flyers around for a Rendon-esque leap in value in his first full season and he makes for a strong end-game waiver claim or FAAB target if he's available in your keeper league.” —Wilson Karaman
J.P. wasn't expecting much from the Brewers righty, but he's been pleasantly surprised.
Admittedly, this article stems from a recent article by our own Craig Goldstein and an ongoing series by Jason Parks. It revolves around the idea of making preseason projections and ultimately being wrong. Goldstein took the high road in his article last week and explained that baseball analysts can occasionally hide behind process as a way of lessening the impact of making an incorrect prediction. He writes:
I often think my reasons at the time were justified, and that just because it didn’t break my way, doesn’t mean I was wrong, just that it turned out differently. This is hiding behind “the process.” I was wrong, and good reasoning at the time or not, that needs to be owned.
Can you use the sound of the bat for actual sabermetric research? Heck yes you can.
Baseball is possessed of a rich and diverse collection of sounds. The shouting of the fans, their intermittent applause and jeers, and the crackling of the PA system all contribute to the cornucopia. Even limiting ourselves to the action on the field, baseball is aurally pleasing: the pulse of the ball pushing the air out of a glove, for instance.
First among all baseball sounds, without question, is the crack of the bat. Something about the whip striking the ball is downright electric. If you are like me, after watching so many thousands of baseball games, that crack still exercises a visceral and jolting effect on my nervous system. It is baseball’s leverage alarm: the contact could result in a routine groundout, or it could be a massive home run, but either way, the stakes just increased and you’d better pay attention to what happens next.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mariners first baseman D.J. Peterson and Red Sox righty Anthony Ranaudo.
Hitter of the Night: D.J. Peterson, 1B, Mariners (Jackson, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR.
Peterson is looking every bit like the impact bat the Mariners were hoping he was when they selected him 12th overall last year. His production hasn't been quite the same since a promotion to Double-A, but that's to be expected after leaving the California League behind.
Pitcher of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Ranaudo has had a cup of coffee this year helping to plug the holes in the Red Sox’ leaking starting rotation, but his iffy command profile will probably result in him spending more time in a big-league bullpen. When he throws strikes, however, he can be highly effective in any capacity. Command has always been an issue for the big right-hander, who struggles at times to repeat his delivery.
The Tuesday Takeaway
As the adage goes, baseball is a game of second chances. Usually.
It was true for Chris Carter with two on, one out, and the Astros and Yankees tied in the ninth. With a red-hot hitter at the plate with a 3-0 count, manager Bo Porter decided it was a good time to give the green light ...
Examining a handful of players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
Mookie Betts, OF/2B, Red Sox
For the third time this season, Betts finds himself as a member of the Boston Red Sox. This time, his promotion very well could be permanent, as the 21-year-old has continued to mash at the Triple-A level while his MLB counterpart, Jackie Bradley Jr., ranked as one of the worst hitters in the majors. Bradley should be stuck in Pawtucket until September, and even then, the Sox are unlikely to want to stifle Betts’ development, so it looks like fantasy owners have been gifted an interesting, useful outfielder for the remainder of the season.