Tag Archive | "Minor Leaguers"


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Deadline Deals: Pittsburgh Pirates Edition

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Chris Caylor

For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in the thick of the NL Central race. In 2011, the acquisitions of Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick turned out to be rentals that did nothing to help their disastrous second half. Pirates GM Neal Huntington has been busy again this past week, making four different trades. How did he fare this time around?

1) Wandy Rodriguez for three minor leaguers – It might seem like a big price for a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but Houston kicked in a fair amount of cash in order to obtain better quality prospects. The Pirates are waist-deep in pitching prospects. While you can make a case that the Pirates did not need Rodriguez, they didn’t surrender any of those top prospects to get him. As a bonus, acquiring Rodriguez means that other pitching-needy teams (Braves, Cardinals, D-Backs) don’t get him either. The Pirates’ rotation may not be overpowering, but it’s plenty sturdy.
2) Travis Snider for Brad Lincoln – It might seem like Snider has been around for 10 years, but he’s only 24, and two seasons removed from hitting 14 home runs in about a half-season worth of at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has consistently mashed in the minors, including in Triple-A this season: 13 HR, 56 RBI, 1.021 OPS for Las Vegas. With Edgar Encarnacion and Adam Lind in place, Snider is left without a regular place to play. The Pirates are a perfect landing spot for him. While it may be asking too much to jump right in and offer lineup protection for Andrew McCutchen, Snider has solid run-producer potential. The fact that Snider isn’t just a two-month rental shows that GM Neal Huntington has his eye on the future as well as 2012. In Lincoln, the Pirates are losing a useful bullpen arm who has seen huge jumps in his K/9 and K/BB ratios. Lincoln, 27, could be enjoying a breakout season, but it also seems reasonable to expect a correction in his numbers moving to the AL East.
3) Gaby Sanchez and Kyle Kaminska for Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance draft pick – In 2010-11, Sanchez compiled 38 HR, 163 RBI and 144 runs scored. Not spectacular numbers, but certainly useful. In 2012, Sanchez bottomed out, tallying an awful .556 OPS before being sent down. At age 28, Sanchez obviously no longer qualifies as a prospect, but if he can regain his prior form, he will provide an upgrade at first. At worst, he should be a decent part-timer (.298/.390./.488 against lefties). The Marlins get the Pirates’ competitive-balance draft pick, which will be the 33rd overall next year, per Jim Callis of Baseball America. Hernandez and Kaminska are thrown-ins, essentially.
4) Chad Qualls for Casey McGehee – Qualls, a veteran of several pennant races, presumably replaces Lincoln in the Bucco bullpen. McGehee had been a part-time player – and not a very productive one at that (88 OPS+) – before the Snider/Sanchez deals, so he was entirely expendable. Compared to Lincoln, Qualls is a downgrade, but the Pirates are hoping to get Juan Cruz back in August to help take up the slack from Lincoln’s trade.

After the deals, let’s take a peek at the Pirates’ lineup and rotation:

C – Rod Barajas
1B – Gaby Sanchez/Garrett Jones
2B – Neil Walker
SS – Clint Barmes
3B – Pedro Alvarez
LF – Starling Marte/Travis Snider
CF – Andrew McCutchen
RF – Travis Snider/Garrett Jones

Rotation – James McDonald, A.J. Burnett, Erik Bedard, Wandy Rodriguez, Jeff Karstens

The only thing Huntington has not yet addressed is the gaping black hole at shortstop. How Clint Barmes still has an every day job in the majors defies reason. Stephen Drew or Marco Scutaro would have been perfect fits, both offensively and defensively (then again, Jose Lind might represent an improvement over Barmes at the plate).

In all, though, the Buccos’ dealings should prove more productive, not only the rest of this season but into 2013 and beyond. Whether it’s enough to catch the Reds and continue to hold off the Cardinals remains to be seen; however, it seems clear that the Pirates are on the verge of snapping their 20-year run of sub-.500 finishes.

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What’s happening in my league?

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What’s happening in my league?

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

I participate in a dynasty fantasy baseball league hosted by Proboards. We have all 30 teams accounted for and the league is in its second year of existence. People always say the hardest thing about a large dynasty league is retaining owners. So far, this has proved to be true in our league, but we have a great commissioner who fills the teams quickly with quality General Managers.

I joined the league in the middle of the 2011 season by taking over the Atlanta Braves. I know what some of you are thinking… great, young, talented team to take over. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. The GM before me had completely wiped out the minor league system (we can keep up to 75 minor leaguers), and he had already traded away Freddie Freeman, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Dan Uggla, and Jason Heyward. Basically I was left with Derek Lowe and Chipper Jones. He had traded most of the guys to Rockies and Astros for a bunch of their aging stars like Todd Helton and Carlos Lee. My team had been destroyed, raped, and pillaged by the other teams during the prior GMs reign. But I was OK with that. I took over the team as a challenge. I wanted to rebuild and make a competitive team out of scraps.

So far I have managed to trade away some of the more expensive and aging players for draft picks (we do a 6 round amateur draft and 6 round minor league draft) and prospects (I have almost all of the Diamondbacks pitching prospects in my system now). My system is becoming better and better by the day but I am still a long way from winning.

Anyway, in this post I will list the transactions that happened in my league this week. Hopefully, they will help you determine the value of certain players or at least get an idea of where to start if you are trying to trade in your dynasty league.

Braves trade to the Rockies:Carlos Lee

Rockies trade to the Braves

Chad Bettis $0.4
Jose Iglesias $0.4
Juan Rivera
2012 #29 overall pick

Lee is a very valuable player on a fantasy team. He qualifies at OF and 1B and ESPN has him ranked pretty high as a first baseman. He hit for .300 last year and drove in a ton of runs on a terrible team. Bettis is one of the better Rockies pitching prospects (and he hasn’t been arrested yet). Iglesias should spend a lot of time at SS this year for the Red Sox if he can figure out how to hit. Rivera fills a hole in the outfield and will be a nice asset off the bench. The #29 overall pick will help the Braves system get even deeper.
Braves trade to the Dbacks:

Dbacks trade to the Braves

Charles Brewer
Patrick Corbin
Adam Eaton
Wade Miley
2012 2nd round draft pick (#37 overall)

Robinson and Norris are young and have a lot of years under team control so the package coming back to the Braves had to be large. Brewer and Corbin are good pitching prospects in the Dbacks system and Eaton, although small, is a good OF prospect. Miley broke into the Majors last year for a couple starts but isn’t anything too special as of now. The #37 draft pick could be very useful in this years draft for the Braves.

Astros trade to the Twins:
Twins trade to the Astros:
This trade was mostly a salary dump for the Astros because they had 3 starting shortstops.
A’s trade to the Dbacks:

D-backs trade to the A’s:

1st round draft pick

The draft pick was the #6 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The #6 pick could really be worth a lot which is why the A’s had to give up promising prospects Green and Sands. I like this trade and I think it will benefit both owners as long as the A’s make a wise choice in the draft.

A’s trade to the Twins:

Rafael Furcal

Twins trade to the A’s:

Twins 2nd rd pick (pick 5)

The Twins needed a starting shortstop and Furcal is a good, middle of the pack guy. The A’s continue to acquire draft picks and should get a huge haul in the 2012 draft.
Well, that’s what’s happening in my league. What’s happening in yours? Please comment about the trades posted and the trades that have happened in your league! You can follow me on Twitter @Jared_Thatcher

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2012 Top 10 Minor Leaguers You Should Draft

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2012 Top 10 Minor Leaguers You Should Draft

Posted on 02 February 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Fantasy baseball is not won with the superstars you draft in the first five rounds. Fantasy baseball is won by being active and owning the break out players before anyone else knows who they are. Injuries and cold streaks affect most MLB players so you need to be ready to replace them with someone who can produce for at least a short period time. The players you will see listed below will not start out the year in the big leagues most likely and should be drafted in the later rounds of your fantasy draft. These are guys who will be knocking at the door in 2012 and will at some point probably be called up. I did not include Jesus Montero or Matt Moore because they will start out the season on their team’s big league squad. The players you are about to consider for your draft are well kept secrets and/or have MLB talent but still have something to prove in the minors before their promotion.

Shelby Miller / Photo By Erika Lynn

  1. Shelby Miller – SP – Cardinals

Miller will make his MLB debut this year barring a serious injury and he should dominate. The Cards will need him to be their third ace if they want a repeat championship. They have lost a major offensive contributor in Albert Pujols and will need the added pitching to get to the playoffs. Miller is a strikeout machine and has the control to go along with the stuff. He has some injury risk but as long as he shows up to Spring Training in good condition and with the right attitude, he will contribute in a major way this year. Draft him in the later rounds and let him sit on your bench. He may become the ace of your staff in no time.

  1. Trevor Bauer – SP – Diamondbacks

Bauer was a workhorse pitcher in college and I fully expect him to be a workhorse this year for the Diamondbacks. He boasts having over 8 different pitches and he can control them all although I’m sure they will hone that down to only about four pitches. Bauer’s off-season workouts and delivery are strange and unconventional but they seem to work just fine for him. I expect him to show up to Spring Training in great shape and battle for a rotation spot. Draft him in the middle rounds on the hopes that he can become even half of the pitcher scouts compare him to – Tim Lincecum.

  1. Danny Hultzen – SP – Mariners

Hultzen’s stuff is already major league ready and all he needs is the chance to go out and prove it. He dominated hitters in the AFL last year with a wicked slider and a pin-point fastball. There is a rotation spot open inSeattlenow that they traded away Michael Pineda to the Yankees. Hultzen will get the chance to pitch in the rotation but probably not right out of Spring Training. Use your last draft pick on him if he is still available and hope for half a season of brilliant pitching.

  1. Tyler Skaggs – SP – Diamondbacks

Skaggs is the youngest player on this list at 20 years old, but quite possibly has the most fantasy upside. Strikeouts are always a good thing in fantasy baseball and this guy racks them up like they are nothing. The keys to Skaggs are that he is left-handed and not only throws a loopy curve-ball but can also come straight in with an above-average fastball. He has the command and mechanics to be a 200+ innings #2 starter for years to come. He excelled at Double-A last year and I expect him to start the year there again. Draft him late or pick him up off the waivers in early 2012 and wait for him to get his shot at major league hitters.

  1. Matt Harvey – SP – Mets

Harveymostly makes this list because he is in the Mets system and they have terrible pitching at the major league level. He has good stuff and decent command that should allow him to easily become the ace of the Mets rotation. He may break camp with a rotation spot but most people will probably overlook him in the draft. Let him fall as far as you possibly can and pick him up for his Ks and innings. He may not pick up very many wins and his ERA could easily be over 4.00 with the team the Mets have this year. He will have fantasy value and the upside is true ace potential.

  1. Gary Brown – CF – Giants

Our first position player! Most people see Brown as a 2013 call-up. I disagree. With the outfield the Giants have they are going to give this kid a shot to see if he can spark their offense and defense. He has blazing speed on the base paths and could easily steal 30 bases in half a season. If he can become the Giants leadoff man he will have tons of fantasy potential. I expect a midseason call-up so draft him in deep leagues and let him ride the bench until he arrives inSan Francisco.

  1. James Paxton – SP – Mariners

Another Mariners starting pitcher who should get his chance this year! Paxton may even get the call-up before Hultzen. Paxton has shown he can get hitters out at every level of the minor leagues and he should make his MLB debut this year early in the season. Although he may not get a ton of wins, he should get strikeouts and have a low ERA with his control. Draft him in deeper leagues and keep an eye on him in any other league.

  1. Leonys Martin – OF – Rangers

Martin might make it easy for the Rangers to keep Josh Hamilton in left-field. His defense is stellar and he has the tools to be a high average hitter with average power in the big leagues. At 24 years old the Rangers should give him a chance this year to see what he can do. They want to go back to the World Series so look for them to make many adjustments this year including bringing Martin up. If you can’t draft an elite outfield, draft him in deeper leagues and wait for his call-up.

  1. Tyler Pastornicky – SS – Braves

The Braves were so close to the playoffs last year and will be a contender this year as well. The team is shedding its older players to make room for the up-and-coming young talent. There should be no reason Pastornicky won’t be this years Jason Heyward or Freddie Freeman. He made it to Triple-A last year and showed he could hit at that level. The Braves are unhappy with their situation at shortstop and should give Pastornicky the opportunity to start right out of Spring Training. Draft him as a backup SS and watch as he turns into your primary SS.

  1. Jaff Decker – LF – Padres

The Padres are essentially in a rebuilding mode with tons of young talent in the minors after some big trades this off-season. Decker is one of those talents. He struggled to make contact last year at Double-A but when he did, he smoked the ball. He had 19 HR last year at Double-A and the Padres need some power in their lineup. He may not make contact enough to stay in the big leagues but keep your eye on him this season because he may have a powerful year inSan Diego.

Follow Jared on Twitter @Jared_Thatcher

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