Time to hand out the hardware for those who brought home the bacon, and other metaphors.
Well, the regular season is over and with it goes the fantasy season. Hopefully you were able to take home a championship or two, and hopefully my advice didn’t cost you too badly in the standings. Like last year, I’m finishing things up with a review of all things closer. I’ll hand out a handful of totally subjective awards that are voted on by a one-man panel.
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A quicker-than-usual episode that still packs a punch including a lot of reliever talk.
A shorter episode with Doug on the eve of a trip across the country, but the guys still pack plenty into their 2.5 hours (I know, in what world is 2.5 hours a short episode??). The GOTW was broken, but the guys adjusted and still discussed Mejia before what now appears to be a season-ending elbow injury.
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.
The Reds have called up pitching prospect Tony Cingrani to start in place of Johnny Cueto
The Situation: Not even two years after being drafted out of Rice, left-hander Tony Cingrani is on his way to the big leagues to help fill a significant void in the Cincinnati Reds rotation. Johnny Cueto, the club’s top starter, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his back, creating an opening for Cingrani to return to the majors after making three relief appearances last fall. Cingrani has gotten off to a blazing start for Triple-A Louisville, hurling 14 1/3 innings across three starts, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out 26 batters.
Background: Drafted in the third round in 2011, Cingrani had found success in the bullpen after struggling as a starter in his first year (2010) at Rice. As a senior, Cingrani posted a 1.92 ERA and fanned 62 batters in 52 innings out of the bullpen. The Reds moved him to the rotation after he signed and he responded with a spectacular 1.75 ERA in 13 starts for rookie-level Billings. Jumping two levels to High-A in 2012, Cingrani torched the hitter-friendly California League with a 1.11 ERA in 10 starts, punching out 71 hitters in 56 2/3 innings. After a promotion to Double-A, Cingrani continued to succeed with a 2.12 ERA and a strikeout rate north of 10 per nine innings. The Reds purchased his contract in September and he allowed a solo home run in five innings while striking out nine hitters.
Maldonado is a catcher that has value in leagues in which any catcher with a pulse and playing time is rosterable. Injuries have hit the Brewers’ corner infield hard, prompting them to carry three catchers and start Maldonado at first base from time to time. He hasn't exactly made the most of the opportunity, but he has enough power to reach the seats on occasion. From 2010-2012, Maldonado hit 22 home runs in 863 plate appearances at Double-A and Triple-A combined. In his first exposure to regular playing time in the majors last season, he popped eight homers in 256 plate appearances. His batting average is likely to fall short of his .266 mark in the majors last year, but it should come in a small enough volume that it won't hurt fantasy teams too much.
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!
When we talk about "impact" rookies, it's important to note that several rookies will be getting the call to the majors and failing to help their team in any way, shape, or form. Coming up with a few big hits or making a couple of quality starts, however, could make a big difference at the end of a 162-game season. Here are some NL Central rookies who I think can make an impact on their team's success in 2013. Click HERE for my NL East picks and HERE for the AL East..
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.
This weekend saw Trevor Bauer make his Triple-A debut, Dylan Bundy doing it again (with "it" being almost indescribable) and Tim Alderson regaining prospect status.
Tim Alderson, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona)
Alderson was once a hot commodity. A first-round pick by the Giants in 2007, the six-foot-six right-hander burst onto the prospect scene by putting up a 2.79 ERA in the California League as a 19-year-old thanks to average velocity and fantastic command, but the velocity began to slip, and his career seemed to go downhill after a trade to the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez. After a six-plus ERA in 2010 and a move to the bullpen last year, he was all but off the radar. Except a funny thing happened this year, as Alderson changed his approach and took up an arm conditioning program that included long-tossing, and this spring his 85-88 mph suddenly jumped to 90-92. After dominating out of the Altoona pen, he moved to the rotation this month, and on Sunday he fired seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and touching 93; at just 23, and after a Sunday promotion to Triple-A, he's suddenly a prospect again as a potential back-end rotation piece.
Last season, you wouldn't have known who these guys were. But thanks to some development and progress, you might start paying closer attention.
The scouting term “pop-up guy” is used often in reference to the draft, when players go from just a name to somebody in line for an early pick and big money. But there are pop-up guys in the professional ranks as well. These aren't players bouncing back to a previously held reputation. These aren't even players finally living up to expectations. These are players who were lucky to sniff their own team's prospect list heading into the season who have not only put up numbers this year, but also have scouts coming around on their talent. In other words, they're some new names you should know.
A quick look at ten players with notable opening weekends in the minors.
Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis)
Though he was last year's Texas League MVP, Adams still hasn't gotten a lot of love, as he was a 23rd round pick out of a small school in Pennsylvania and he looks more like a cleanup hitter for a 16-inch softball team than a professional baseball one. He gained more support from scouts with an impressive spring, and while he went 0-for-3 on Sunday, he's still off to one of the hotter starts around: after going deep in Thursday's opener, he hit another on Friday and just missed a third, and after initially getting an off day on Saturday, he ended up providing a pinch-hit three-run shot in the ninth inning. No prospect is going to make anybody forget Albert Pujols, but Adams could make the loss a little less painful for Cardinals fans in 2013, if not earlier.