Catchers dominate the Arrivals section of this week's VP with Rosario, Grandal, and Jaso joining the group.
It should come as no surprise that as a much-ballyhooed prospect that got off to a hot start, Manny Machado(Yahoo! 50%, ESPN 84%, CBS 79%) saw his ownership level rise to a level that disqualifies him for continued inclusion in Value Picks. Even with a couple of 0-fers over the weekend, Machado has made about as seamless a transition as the Orioles could have hoped for from a guy jumping from Double-A to the majors. His strikeout rate is right in line with his minor league levels, but his walk rate is way down. Don't let the walk rate fool you, though; his chase rate headed into Sunday was at 33.3 percent, just a bit above the league average of 30.5 percent. We aren't talking about a total hacker here. He's still really green, and he's hitting in the bottom third of the Orioles lineup, so if someone wants to overpay in a redraft league, let them. Otherwise, ride out his hot streak and hope Machado is able to take advantage of expanded rosters and perhaps some weaker pitching opposition in September.
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Desmond, Giavotella, Escobar, and Lucroy are among this week's Value Picks
The purpose of Preseason Value Picks is to focus on names that may be lacking in interest early in the draft season. Even if the names involved here are providing only slight edges in dollar value compared to market value, these small incremental edges could be the difference between a championship and second place. Even in draft season, getting an edge using PECOTA and Value Picks can contribute to the bottom line. Here are some names of interest in the up-the-middle categories.
The Royals are loaded with young talent, but they're still experiencing growing pains
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade—whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski, and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
Mike welcomes an under-the-radar middle infield prospect and a finally-healthy catcher to VP this week.
Departures Mark Ellis, Colorado Rockies (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2%, CBS 11%)
Ellis is hitting poorly (.179/.200/.179 since the start of the last road trip on July 22) and, more importantly, is ceding playing time once again to bench players in Colorado's never-ending quest to find a consistent player to man second base. Ellis lost two recent starts at second base in favor of Chris Nelson, and if he continues to struggle, expect Jim Tracy to make a change yet again.
The tater trots for August 7: four different first-career home runs and a man tumbles over the fence in Wrigley Field.
Four different players added themselves to the lifetime home run leaderboard yesterday, tying the great Duane Kuiper with their first career home runs. Jose Constanza (19.6 seconds) and Johnny Giavotella (22.13 seconds) came through with pretty standard trot times, but Brett Lawrie (17.95 seconds) and Bryan Petersen (17.03 seconds) were nothing of the sort. When I first started the Tater Trot Tracker, I expected to see quite a few super-quick trots from players hitting their first career home runs. That didn't turn out to be the case, but you'd never know it from Lawrie and Petersen.
A greybeard ex-prospect has the game of Lou Gehrig's life, a Royals sleeper, and why the Yankees shouldn't drag Jesus Montero into the Jorge Posada mess.
Michael Aubrey, OF/DH, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse)
I was sure that I wrote about the aged Aubrey at some point last year after a huge game. I did, and now the 29-year-old does it again. The 11th overall pick in 2003, Aubrey looked like a future middle-of-the-order bat with hitting ability, walks, and above-average power, but a balky back too often put him on the disabled list; he didn't play more than 100 games in a season until 2008. Heading into Saturday's game against Durham, Aubrey's career looked to be nearing the end with averages of .203/.319/.220, but then he want bonkers with four home runs and seven RBIs to lift his OPS 277 points over the course of four at-bats. I don't know what it is about guys like Aubrey, but I really like rooting for them. Failed first round picks are a dime a dozen, but the guys who stick around forever looking for that one more chance, or just because they love the game, or sometimes both, they're a bit of a rarity and I hope he has some monster game in 2012 to get another mention.
With Eric Hosmer in the bigs, who will be the next of the Royals' stash of young prospects to make a fantasy impact?
Eric Hosmer is in the major leagues, and earlier than expected. He is just the first of many prospects who may become Royals in 2011; what kind of fantasy impact is the rest of the bunch likely to have this year?