Notes on Jameson Taillon's first start in two years, Josh Naylor, and more.
Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis)
Taillon pitched on Wednesday for the first time since late 2013 after two surgeries (Tommy John, hernia), and it couldn’t have gone much better. Over six innings Taillon allowed six hits, with six strikeouts, and no walks. His fastball wasn’t showing the same velocity that it did pre-surgery, but he worked at 90-94 mph, topping out at 95. The tailing action on his fastball complemented the lower velocity well, but it remains to be seen if he can get back into the range he had previously operated in.
As of right now his best pitch is his curveball, which breaks hard and late resulting in multiple swings-and-misses for the Mud Hens. Taillon showed his changeup more than a few times, mostly using it to keep hitters honest. Overall his control in the game resulted in no walks, which was a good sign in his first game back. The action on his pitches helped him get away with missing a few spots that still resulted in whiffs, something he will have to work on before he gets to Pittsburgh. His arm action was repeatable, with quality arm speed.
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Javier Baez gets the nod atop the first edition of this year's list.
Welcome back to my focal column here at Baseball Prospectus, The Stash List. I know, you’ve missed it. But for the 2014 season, we’re starting right from Week 1 with a first look at who you should be spending valuable reserve slots on in your league. For those of you not familiar with this column and the types of players who are included/excluded from it, I will now throw it out to past Bret to explain from April of 2013:
The purpose of it is to rank the top 25 players who are not active contributors to fantasy teams for 2013 only. Again, it does not take into account future value, which would result in a very different order. This list will include four different types of players, with specific restrictions attached:
These five top-100 arms could help your fantasy team in the near future.
As the spring builds up and draws to a close, there is a lot to pay attention to. One of said things is the impression that prospects make in camp that can either win them an unexpected spot on a team’s roster or put them in better position for a call-up once the season gets going. Here are five players with prospect eligibility (for fantasy purposes, we don’t care about service time) who are making a positive impression this spring that could lead to heightened fantasy value in 2014.
Carlos Martinez, P, St. Louis Cardinals
The recipient of far too many Pedro Martinez comps in the minor leagues (he’s a vertically-challenged Dominican starter with great raw stuff, so of course Pedro, duh), Martinez is being given a legitimate shot to beat out Joe Kelly for the final spot in the Cardinals’ rotation this spring. This opportunity was made possible by yet another Jaime Garcia shoulder setback, but if it happens, it could vault Martinez’ fantasy star through the roof.
A look back at the high school and college days of top prospects like Javier Baez and Robert Stephenson.
As part of Perfect Game's partnership with Baseball Prospectus, David Rawnsley, Todd Gold and Patrick Ebert will be conducting a “Before They Were Pros” series, providing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in baseball from when they were in high school attending PG events. This six-part series (one for each division in MLB) will appear once Baseball Prospectus has provided their own detailed scouting reports of the top prospects, team-by-team, as part of their “Prospects Will Break Your Heart” series.
We continue by looking at select top prospects from National League Central teams. Be sure to read Baseball Prospectus' features on each of these five teams:
Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras leads the way as the first 28 prospects come off the board.
Sometimes there’s just a more fun way to do things. I am currently in the final stages of drafting my Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list (which will hit BP in mid-February), but everyone does lists. What everyone doesn’t do is gather together a whole bunch of experts across the industry, from both a fantasy and scouting perspective, to gather in one e-mail chain and draft 140 of their favorites. Last month, I sent out the bat signal to people who really know and love prospects—and from that alarm, a group of 14 have assembled to carry out this exercise with much aplomb. We hope you have half as much fun reading about this draft as we had carrying it out.
But first, we must examine the parameters. There are always parameters. These were the instructions for the participants of this draft, straight from the email I sent out prior to kickoff:
The stats don't capture the promise of Pittsburgh's top pitching prospect.
Jameson Taillon was the no. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of a Texas high school. Since that summer, the 22-year-old has taken a deliberate route through the minor leagues, spending some time at each level before reaching for the next rung on the ladder. The right-hander now stands on the doorstep of the majors, having finished the 2013 season with a month-long stretch at Triple-A Indianapolis, and he could very well join the Pittsburgh rotation by the summer of 2014 if he avoids derailment from his development track.
Paul breaks down six pitchers who have succeeded in the upper minors and might provide fantasy value down the stretch.
For the third straight week now the Sporer Report has an eye on September. This time around, I’ve got six potential National League September call-ups, all pitchers, who could bring solid value down the stretch. This is some deep speculation, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to take the plunge. The recent news in Queens takes some punch out of a couple of these, but you’ll have to trust that they made my list last week when I compiled both the AL and NL lists.
Those of you in 10- and 12-team mixers likely don’t need to pounce just yet and in fact shouldn’t pounce just yet unless you’ve got remarkably deep rosters. Instead, use this as a cheatsheet of who to keep tabs on as we now sit just four days from September 1. Those of you in deeper leagues might find a few of these guys already rostered, but most should be available, and if you have the roster space, then you should consider getting the jump on your league mates. These are ranked in order of potential impact which accounts for the likelihood that they even get the call.