Tag Archive | "Playoff Race"

manny machado

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Finders Keepers/Welcome to the Bigs, Kid: Manny Machado (Special Double Edition)

Posted on 10 August 2012 by T.J. McDonald

Welcome to the special double edition of Finders Keepers/Welcome to the Bigs, Kid. Late Wednesday evening, the Baltimore Orioles shocked the baseball world and fantasy community, at large, by announcing the call up of their top position player prospect, 20 year old Manny Machado.  If you are familiar with either of this series of articles you know what will follow. But if not, here is what will. In this piece, I will give a little background on Machado, welcome him to the bigs and go into his long term fantasy value as well as give my overall keeper potential grade.

Manny Machado is a 20 year old shortstop prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization.  He was drafted 3rd overall in the 2010 Major league draft, was Baseball America’s #11 prospect coming into the season and was ranked #9 in their mid-season rankings. He projects to be a potential All Star with plus grades for both hit tool and power from scouts. He hit .266 with 11Hrs and 59 RBIs in 19 games this year in AA.  While profiled as a shortstop, the Orioles plan to give him time at third upon his promotion as they are in the thick of the playoff race.

The Orioles are in a three way tie atop the wild card standings and only 4 and a half games back of the AL East leading New York Yankees.  It looks as if the Orioles are doing everything they can to make their first playoff appearance since 1997.  While Machado has not been lights out this year in AA, since the AllStar break, he has hit a .275 with four HRs, 11 BBs and 15 Ks in 104 plate appearances and was on a tear his last ten games hitting  .444 with three doubles, two triples, three HRs and seven RBIs.

If he can live up to even half the expectations most have for him it will not be hard to outperform the dismal production of the revolving door of Orioles third basemen this year who’ve hit a combined .245 with 13 HRs and 45 RBIs on the season. The one catch here may be his defense.  He has only played two career games at third with one error, so some could argue the O’s are throwing him into the fire at the hot corner without the proper minor league experience at this position.  However, the Orioles have struggled defensively at third, with Wilson Betemit making a team-high 13 errors at third and Mark Reynolds making six errors at the hot corner in 15 games and also the Orioles do not seem to overly concerned about the tranistion.

As Oriole’s vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told the team’s official website,”Manny should be a plus defender, wherever we play him. He’s a five-tool player, and he can help our team. I think he improves our team, and it’s important here (for this club) to be strong.” When Manny himself was asked by the media before Thursday’s game about how comfortable he was playing third his response was, “I’m very comfortable out there. Every day I try to be proactive, I try to take a couple ground balls at third base after I catch my grounders at short. I am pretty comfortable out there. So, I’m really looking forward to it.” He started at third base Thursday night going 2-4 with a triple and one run scored.

Now for his fantasy value in yearly leagues. I wouldn’t drop anyone of good to decent value for him. As @FantasyRundown stated yesterday on Twitter, “Human nature to get excited about the latest and greatest, but I would not drop anyone of significance for Manny Machado.”  However, I suggest if you have a bench spot or start the Logan Forsythe and Willie Bloomquists of the world, pick him up.  Just keep in mind, many top prospects struggle when they first get called up.  Case in point, Mike Trout struggled in his first tour in the big leagues prior to this season.

Once Machado gains his dual eligibility (3b/SS), it will be a major asset going forward and since he will be playing third primarily depending on your leagues rules it shouldn’t take long to add 3rd base eligibility to go along with his short stop eligibility. With this dual eligibility he could be a valuable asset onany yearly league owners bench.

Now for keeper leagues. Pick him up as he is a very highly rated prospect and a highly rated prospect can be very valuable keeper and or trade asset. Keep him for the rest of the season and go from there or even flip him immediately to the owner in your league who is enamored with prospects. Either way it is a win/win. At worst, he can be dropped come keeper time and at best, you have either flipped him for valuable pieces and/or have the next big thing on your fantasy roster come keeper time. He may lose shortstop for next year but if he does not, having dual eligibility will make him that much more valuable. When a prospect is called up prior to the expanded rosters in September it gives you a larger sample size than just the normal September callup small sample size. This enables you to have that much more of a look at the player. Allowing you to make an even better asset of him as a player and potential keeper, come keeper time. Percent owned as of Thursday August 9th: 2% ESPN, 8% Yahoo and 35% CBS. He is currently only shortstop eligible. I grade his keeper potential as an A.

Will you be picking up Manny Machado or did you happen to have have him already rostered?  Let me know in the comments and, as always, be sure to follow me on Twitter @FantasyzrTJ for all your fantasy baseball needs.

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Help Wanted: Six Prospects Coming Soon

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Help Wanted: Six Prospects Coming Soon

Posted on 09 July 2012 by T.J. McDonald

We are now on the brink of the second half of the baseball season and whether you are a team in an existing keeper league looking for the next big thing or  a yearly owner in the thick of the playoff race, the following six prospects projected to be called up after the break could impact any and all fantasy teams.

Starling Marte- CF/RF/LF Pittsburgh Pirates

Jose Tabata‘s recent demotion opens the door for a Starling Marte callup in the near future.  the club promoted Gorkys Hernandez  to replace Tabata but Hernandez is thought by most industry insiders to be nothing more than a stop gap until Marte is ready for the big  leagues.  Marte has recently played in right field, left field and center field the past week for the Indianapolis Indians, Pittsburgh’s AAA afflite. Marte’s natural position is center field but with Andrew McCutchen locked in center for the forseeable future Marte’s transition to right or left is needed to open at spot for him on the big league club.  With Marte playing right or left and McCutchen in center the hopes of Pittsburgh finally becoming a winning franchise again become that much more promising. Marte is batting .291 with a .846 OPS 9HRs & 18 SBs on the year. projected call up shortly after the all-star break.

Wil Myers- RF Kansas City Royals

Wil Myers has been on fire this year in the minors with a minor league leading 27 HRs over both AA and AAA,  and .315 & 14 HRs in the AAA Pacific Coast League. Which however is generally know as a hitter friendly league.  The key question with Myers, who’s game seems ready for the big leagues, is does the power translate to the next level? He only had 5 HR in 2009, 14 HRs in 2010 & 8 HR in 2011. Whuile that may give some doubts, it may just be that his game has reached its potential this year.  Jeff Franceour as well as the pending health of Lorenzo Cain, currently on a rehab assignment, are blocking the potential call up of Myers.  The Kansas City Royals are rumored to be shopping Franceour which would immediately open a spot for Myers with the big league club. Projected call up Late July or early August

Nick Franklin- SS Seattle Mariners

Nick Franklin was recently promoted to AAA at the same time another highly rated Mariner’s prospect was, starting pitcher prospect Danny Hutlzen.  Franklin could possibly play Short stop, second base or third base but projects at short stop long term.  He was hitting .329 with 9 SB and a .349 OBP in AA but has struggled in his short time in AAA since his call up.  In 66 ABs in AAA he has hit only .227 with a .311 OBP so he does have some work to do before he takes his game to the next level.  Projected call up September

Danny Hultzen- SP Seattle Mariners

Recently promoted to AAA at same time as Nick Franklin.  Has so far struggled a little in AAA, 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA, 15 SO & 12 BB in 12.0 IP.  Was dominate in AA however, 8-3 1.19 ERA 10 earned runs 79 SO 32 BB in 75.1 IP.  Projected call up August. Much like another highly rated pitching prospect Trevor Bauer who recently has made the jump to the big leagues, be leery of rough initial starts with walks being a possible issue.

Tyler Skaggs- SP Arizona Diamondbacks

Recently promoted to AAA. is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA, 6 SO & 2 BB in two starts at AAA. Has a combined 3.05 ERA, 77 SO & 23 BB in AA & AAA. Had 9.17 K/9 ratio in AA.  Projected call up September at the latest with only Joe Saunders currently coming back from a shoulder injury & Josh Collmenter, who is moving to long relief once Saunders returns with many thinking that is what Collmenter is best suited for, blocking his promotion to the big leagues. Once Skaggs joins highly rated prospect Trevor Bauer, who recently made his big league debut,  in the rotation the DiamondBacks should have one of the better rotations in baseball for many years to come.

Matt Harvey- SP New York Mets

Currently in AAA with a 7-4 3.39 ERA, 102 SO & 42 BB in 98.1 IP.  Projected callup September. The Mets rotation is currently full with great to decent options in starters 1 through 5 but any injury to a starting pitcher would open a spot for him in the rotation and could lead to an earlier callup.

All of the six prospects above should be up in the second half of the baseball season and whether you are a contending team or a rebuilding one could be valuable additions to any and all fantasy teams.  Feel free to comment in the comment section and be sure to follow me on twitter @FantaszyrTJ for more fantasy baseball news and discussion.

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