These young players have exhausted their rookie eligibility, but they retain plenty of fantasy intrigue.
As a fantasy player, prospect junkie, and wannabe scout, nothing appeals to me more than evaluating young MLB talent and seeing how players’ skills translate into big-league results. This most often comes in the form of prospect evaluation, as we're always clamoring to find the next best thing, and to find that ultimate fantasy prospect whose flaws have not yet been exposed to the world.
Yet now that I've been doing this for a while, I find that it's often post-prospects—players who've recently lost their rookie eligibility—who yield the greatest rewards in fantasy leagues. Once a player struggles or is simply mortal in the majors, he tends to fall off of fantasy radars as we collectively look to the next best things. This is a mistake, and it ignores standard developmental curves, which is why post-prospects are such a great source of surplus fantasy value year after year.
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The next wave of talented Twins players is on its way, and in many circles, these names are more well known than several players on Minnesota’s current roster. There’s good reason for that, as many players on the projected Twins 2013 roster— especially on the pitching side—are pretty uninspiring from a fantasy point of view.
A look at the notable prospect performances in the desert and abroad.
Games of Friday, November 8
Hitter of the Day: C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Mesa Solar Sox): 4-4, R, 2 2B, BB. Cron is known for his power, which is his lone plus tool and the sole reason he ranked third in our ranking of the weak Angels farm system last week. He is not, however, known for the overall hitting prowess he showed on Friday. He also went 2-for-4 on Saturday with a double and a home run and didn’t strike out all weekend.
These part-time players could provide considerable fantasy value if given a full-time role in 2014.
Go to the leaderboard for any of your favorite baseball statistics sites and you are bound to get some useful information. However, you will almost always miss a particular subset of players: the unqualified. All leaderboards default to show only the hitters who qualified for the batting average title, which means they must have 3.1 PA per team game.
Almost all sites allow you to adjust the plate appearance threshold you want to look at, but the default keeps those below the batting title threshold out of sight. Today we are going to look at six guys who fell below the threshold, but did good work in their allotted time, suggesting that they could do some nice work with a full-time role in 2014.
These five players' MLB clubs might not be going to the playoffs, but they could help your fantasy squad get there.
A good prospect is a terrible thing to waste, even if he plays for a bad team. This is a lesson sometimes lost on fantasy owners who will scramble to pick up the likes of Xander Bogaerts or Kolten Wong, but may overlook younger players who are stuck on squads mired near the bottom of the standings.
Yet, while you may need to pay a pretty penny or risk a high waiver claim on a flashy prospect from a first-place team, you can often find bargains by scouring your free agent pool for forgotten call-ups, rookies, or post-prospects on non-contenders. Maybe the casual baseball fan doesn’t care who’s hitting ninth for the Astros or holding down a rotation spot in Miami, but as a fantasy owner, you should. If used selectively, such players can provide significant boosts for owners in deeper leagues. With that in mind, here are five players most owners will have forgotten about who can help in select categories down the stretch.
Reds righty Robert Stephenson kept carving up Low-A hitters with Walt Jocketty in attendance last night.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K; elite fastball; plus curveball; developing changeup that has a solid-average ceiling; athletic frame; carving up Low-A competition; frontline starter potential; 59.2 IP, 49 H, 22 ER, 16 BB, 77 K in 11 starts.
Arcia might only be up for a few days, but a strong first impression could lead to an everyday outfield role before long.
The Situation: As outfielder Wilkin Ramirez heads to New York for the birth of his second child, the Twins will call up 21-year-old Venezuelan Oswaldo Arcia to take his place. Ranked fourth in the Twins’ farm system, Arcia has gotten off to a blazing start by hitting .414/.500/.793 in his first nine Triple-A games. Ramirez is expected to be away from the team for three days, giving Arcia a brief window to make an impression and start to lay claim to a position that will likely be his long term.
Background: Signed as an international free agent in 2007, Arcia has raked throughout his professional career. After two solid seasons in the rookie-level Dominican Summer and Gulf Coast Leagues, Arcia exploded onto the scene with an MVP performance in the Appalachian League in 2010, backboned by a massive .375/.424/.672 triple-slash line. The Twins started him in Low-A in 2011, and while he missed time with an elbow injury, his performance forced the organization to promote him to High-A before the conclusion of the season. Back in High-A to start the 2012 season, Arcia hit .309 with 26 extra-base hits in just 55 games, forcing another promotion. Once in Double-A, Arcia turned his offensive output up a notch with a .328/.398/.557 line in 69 games.
After a 14-strikeout debut in Triple-A, Tony Cingrani could soon be ready for a rotation role with the Reds.
Prospect of the Day: Tony Cingrani, LHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, BB, 14 K: The former Rice University closer uses a plus fastball and plus changeup as his primary strikeout pitches. He has good deception, and his pitchability will allow him to achieve success at the highest level. Cingrani will continue to develop at Triple-A Louisville until the Reds call on him to pitch meaningful innings at some point in 2013.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
The Five Venezuelan Winter League Prospects Most Likely To Make An Impact In the Majors In 2013
With only a few games on Thursday's schedule and only one or two notable prospect performances, I'll take this opportunity to tell you a little about the five prospects in the Venezuelan Winter League most likely to make an impact in the majors next season.
The Puerto Rico Baseball League kicked off on Thursday, featuring a handful of top prospects from Puerto Rico that include the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft, Carlos Correa. The 18 year-old went 0-for-4 in his debut, but here are a few players who had notable performances from the various leagues that were in action.