Can the Diamondbacks infielder defy the odds and become an All-Star after once ranking as MLB's worst player?
There was *extremely Western storytellin’ voice* an old adage on the Effectively Wild podcast about how we knew when WARP had stabilized during the season by when Mike Trout appeared at the top of the list. Well, with Trout having played just one game since May 3, and even in danger of hitting the disabled list, we’re likely still a few weeks away from that. In the meantime, maybe we can skate by with pushing the fate of normalization onto those at the other end of the spectrum to see if the opposite applies.
If these players are on your league's waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format in which you play.
Welcome back to our weekly walk through some of the players who may want to keep an extra eye on in your leagues. Mike and I will be tackling this topic on Thursdays again and focusing on a singular hitter and pitcher in four of the more popular formats: shallow mixed, deep mixed, NL-only and AL-only. These are certainly not the only players who are worth pickups, but it gives us a nice opportunity to write about players we have close tabs on in our leagues.
Notes on prospects who stood out in Cactus and Grapefruit League play, including the Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts (good) and Allen Webster (bad).
Xander Bogaerts: 1-3, R, HR. Bogaerts has come on strong of late and will be just fine. Everyone in New England, please just take a deep breath and relax.
Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals: 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Martinez’s first outing as a reliever since the news that he would not make the Cardinals rotation did not go well. We can only speculate as to why—though I won’t—but regardless of the reason, it clearly wasn’t his best performance.
As the offseason winds down, Bret shares some of his late-draft sleepers for various league sizes and formats.
With spring training reaching peak twilight and the biggest drafting weekend of the year approaching, it’s time for my final marker post column of the preseason.
We’ve been doing rankings and analysis here for the last three months and hopefully they’ve been helpful to you as you sort through all of the information that lead to your most important draft decisions. And to top it off, as we get to the endgame of draft season, it seems only natural to focus on the endgame of drafts. It’s the most interesting, and often most important segment of your draft. Sure, if you miss on your first round pick or get $5 in value from your $25 player, you’re in a hole that can be very difficult to climb out of. As I’ve said many times, closing out your draft strong is a must if you want to win your league.
The best value picks at a position where offense can be hard to find.
Long renowned as one of fantasy’s most shallow positions, shortstop is about to get an infusion of talent like we haven’t see in many years. The influx of strong young performers will create an opportunity both to secure new cornerstones of your fantasy franchises, as well as capitalize on veterans who fall through the cracks as owners flock to what is shiny and new.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
Ben wades through a handful of uncertain third-base situations to help fantasy owners plan for 2014.
Some would say that forecasting 2014 rosters in September 2013 is a fool’s errand. These people either a) don’t know fools, b) don’t run errands, or c) don’t play in dynasty leagues. For as any experienced owner knows, if you’re not already thinking about your keepers for 2014, you’re doing it wrong.
With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to take a look at five tenuous third-base situations around the league. While there are some potential future fantasy studs listed below, many of these youngsters face uncertain playing time and roster security headed into next year.
Scouts' takes on Lucas Giolito, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Kipnis, Chris Owings, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
The Diamondbacks' young shortstop has an intriguing speed/power combo, but may not be in line for playing time yet.
The Situation: Ranked as the Diamondbacks no. 3 prospect heading into the season, Owings will make his debut on the heels of a season in which he was named both the Pacific Coast League MVP and Rookie of the Year.
Background: Signed for $950,000 as a supplemental first-rounder in 2009, Owings made his professional debut as a 17-year old in the short-season Pioneer League. After hitting .306 in 24 games during his debut, Owings followed that up with a .298/.323/.447 showing in full-season ball in 2010. Heading to the high-octane environment of the California League in 2011, Owings was expected to post impressive numbers but struggled as he hit just .246 with 15 walks and 130 strikeouts in 121 games. He returned to the California League in 2012 and torched the circuit the second time through, posting a .324/.362/.544 line before being promoted to Double-A. While he hit just .263 with six home runs in 69 games at Double-A last season, Owings was promoted to Triple-A to start the 2013 campaign. In his first taste of the minor leagues’ highest level he hit .330 with 31 doubles and 12 home runs for Reno.