Is there an inefficiency to be exploited by taking so-so center fielders and playing them in a corner?
The Mariners have added Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger to their outfield this offseason and they already had Leonys Martin. The Rays traded Drew Smyly for a group of prospects, which they insisted (to at least some extent) include Mallex Smith, and they already had Kevin Kiermaier. I think the Mariners and Rays made these trades because they thought high-end corner outfield defense was undervalued.
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The White Sox outfielder could be an underrated fantasy asset, particularly if his power gains are real.
Eaton was selected in the 19th round (571st overall) of the 2010 draft by the Diamondbacks out of Miami (OH) University. His ascent through the minors was rapid, as he hit .348/.448/.499 in 1,576 plate appearances, reaching the majors in 2012 and appearing in 22 games. In 2013, he suffered a left elbow strain in spring training that kept him out of action until July and limited him to 26 minor-league games and 66 major-league games. In his age-24 season, Eaton hit .252/.314/.360 with three home runs and five stolen bases in 277 plate appearances at the major-league level. The Diamondbacks apparently had seen enough of Eaton’s act, as they shipped him to the White Sox in December of 2013 as a part of the three-way deal that also included Tyler Skaggs being sent from Arizona (to the Angels) in exchange for Mark Trumbo. Eaton suffered a variety of leg ailments in 2014 that sent him to the disabled list in May and held him to 123 games of action. He was productive while healthy, hitting for a .300 AVG, getting on base at a .362 clip, and adding 15 stolen bases. Eaton’s .281 TAv equaled Yoenis Cespedes’ (among others) and placed him in a tie for 107th among hitters.
Is there reason to bother buying low on the White Sox outfielder?
First impressions drive many of our social interactions. Whether it’s the turbulent job market or the popular rapid-fire world of speed dating, research increasingly confirms that humans make split-second decisions about the personality of an individual. Some studies suggest we take a mere one-tenth of a second to judge someone as likable or not. Similar studies suggest we’re pretty good at it, too.
These young bats have seen their near-term fantasy stocks improve over the last few weeks.
If you’ve been reading Baseball Prospectus’ outstanding Transaction Analysis series, you’ll know that the BP Fantasy team chimes in on every move as well. We think this is a great way to bring our fantasy readers information throughout the offseason, rather than flooding them with opinions come spring, and if we’re being honest, it’s just good fun, too.
Something we pride ourselves on is analyzing not only the players dealt or signed in a transaction, but on talking about every relevant player who might be impacted. You’d be surprised at just how often non-moving pieces are more deeply affected than their dynamic counterparts.
These young players may have lost some of their luster, but they could still offer plenty of fantasy value next year.
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.
Twins starter Andrew Albers throws a shutout in his second start, and Adam Eaton helps the Diamondbacks keep pace with the Dodgers.
The Monday Takeaways
Last week, in his major-league debut, Andrew Albers blanked the Royals for 8 1/3 innings. Given his story and the fact that he was setting foot on a big-league field for the first time at the age of 27, that seemed like a big deal. Six days later, Albers one-upped himself.
The left-hander was unable to complete the shutout on August 6, failing to bump Andy Van Hekken down a line on the list of pitchers who have done it in their first tastes of The Show. Instead, he did in his first start at Target Field, two-hitting the Indians and outgunning Danny Salazar in a 3-0 Twins victory on Monday night.
Bret jumps straight into the rankings, and the top player could be on his way to the majors before the week is out.
No extended introduction this week, as my recent efforts have been directed toward the Top 50 Fantasy Prospects List, which came out yesterday. If you haven’t checked it out yet, right after you finish reading this column is as good a time as any. Instead, we’ll just get straight to what you came here to see. After all, I am a man of the people.
If you have any doubts about the merits of stashing players this late in the season, just think back to Kris Medlen's run last summer and read on for the latest rankings.
We’re halfway through the season now, and the Stash List has gone through a large transformation since it began two-and-a-half months ago. Gone are the elite prospects who were awaiting roster spots and/or the Super Two deadline to pass. Gone are most of the players who began the season on the disabled list—either because they have come back and been successful, like early Stash List favorite Francisco Liriano, or they are one of the seemingly many players unable to make it back onto the field, like Corey Hart or Ryan Madson.
But if you think that stashing has become a feeble exercise at this point in the season, it only takes a very short memory to see why there is plenty of incentive to do so. At this point in 2012, Kris Medlen was still lingering in the Braves’ bullpen awaiting a chance to move back into the starting rotation. In fact, he wouldn’t make his first start for Atlanta until the last day of July—and I don’t need to remind you how that story ends.
Ten NL Prospects Who Could Start the Season in the major leagues.
Yesterday,I listed ten American League prospects that will be competing for a big league job in Spring Training and have a legitimate chance to start the season in the majors. Here's a look at ten National League prospects.