Thursday, March 22, 2012

1st Year Starters and Potential Top Prospect NL Dream Roster

By Corey R. Cunningham

This list will compact what I would be looking for in a dream team all-star roster for the National League. This list will be compiled of offensive players and pitchers from National League teams, which will be 1st year players (not counting September Call-ups if played 2 yrs) in 2011 and prospects from all National League teams. At first glance, I will give you my starting 8 offensive players, and 5 pitchers.

C- Devin Mesoraco CIN
Mesoraco quickly climbed the minor league ladder, after starting in rookie ball in 2007 to jumping into AAA Louisville by 2011 and finishing 2011 off in a Reds uniform. It is not easy to find a catcher with power, and too keep that particular player at the position that a lot of GMs are afraid of keeping valuable players at, due to the physical ware. Mesoraco hit 15 HR, 71 RBI and had 126 H in 436 AB, while carrying a .289 BA, and .855 OPS. He will fit nicely in an offensive productive lineup in Cincinnati.

1B- Freddie Freeman ATL
No doubt in my mind I take Freeman as my opening day starting 1B for this dream team. With injuries to Heyward, and Jones, and a slow start for Uggla, Freeman produced far more than his rookie anticipations lead to be. Freeman who hit for .282 BA, 21 HR, 76 RBI, and 67 R. Those numbers were far more than anyone could ask for out of this young 1B phenom. I believe if Jones, and Heyward stayed healthy, and Uggla was his usually Florida self, no doubt Freeman could have hit 30 HR, and 90 RBI. With that said, I believe Freeman will continue his .280 BA, but will hit 28 HR and 95 RBI this year with a healthy Atlanta lineup.

2B- Joes Altuve HOU
Not every position on your fantasy / dynasty team has to have power. At some point you have to have players that will help you in some categories as well as all categories. Altuve helps out in 3 out of 5 or 6 categories. He will help your AVG, R, and SB. Altuve held down a .327 BA while in the minor leagues, and was able to swipe 117 SB in 382 games. Altuve has the ability to steal 40 SB as well as hold down a .295 BA, as well as score 80 R. Perhaps Altuve will replace some if not all Michael Bourne skills in Houston.

3B- Nolen Arenado COL
Colorado has the 3B of the future in Arenado, and that is a fact. This young phenom has huge potential and showed in at High-A Modesto, where Nolen hit for .298 BA, 20 HR, 122 RBI, while striking out only 53 times in 517 AB. Look for Arenado to hit Colorado sometime in 2014 as I believe he will hit AA at the start of 2012, and perhaps could be a September call up somewhere in 2013. If he hits like he did in Modesto he could be in Colorado by June of 2013. He has the power to hit 30 HR in Mile High.

SS- Dee Gordon LAD
My middle infield duo of Gordon and Altuve will be SB, R, and BA. Gordon just like Altuve has the ability to steal 40 SB, and hit for AVG. While this lineup is not as scary as some NL lineups, it does have the potential to score some runs. Gordon will hit for AVG as he did during his minor league career caring a .303 BA in 4 seasons at the minors, as well as 176 SB in 397 games played. In 56 games during his stint in LA, he hit .304, scoring 34 R, and stealing 24 SB. Gordon should steal 40 bases not problem, and should be the leadoff hitter in LA.

OF- Bryce Harper WAS
Harper has been the talk of the Nationals system since his arrival, and will continue to be the talk. I believe Harpers appearance in the starting lineup is 50-50, as he was hurt last year while playing in AA Harrisburg. Harper who dominated at Low A Hagerstown, hitting .318 BA, 14 HR, and 46 RBI, was not as successful after being promoted. During his stint in AA Harrisburg, he hit .256 BA, 3 HR, and just 12 RBI. I do believe Harper will start the season in the minors, just due to his inability to not complete AA successfully.

OF- J.D. Martinez HOU
Martinez will start in LF for Houston, and more than likely will hit within the 3 to 5 holes. Martinez will offer the power bat Houston lacks. He will share the load with Carlos Lee, and will hopefully contribute. Martinez had 43 career HR in the minors as well as a career .342 BA, .551 SLG, and .958 OPS. He will stroke doubles all career long as he had 89 doubles in just 382 Hits. I am predicting Martinez to be the All-star candidate this year out of Houston as well as predicting 25 HR, and 85 RBI from this young slugger.

OF- Brandon Belt SF
Belt who will need to produce in spring training to get a starting gig in SF this year, has the ability to be a 25 HR guy who can produce for BA as well. Belt starting out being a 1B, and while Aubrey Huff held him up at 1B, SF tried him in LF. He did struggle and was sent back down to the minors after starting 2011 in SF. Belt has no problem handling AAA pitching or handling any minor league pitching. He is a career .343 hitter in the minors, and did not spend much time down at all. He started off 2010 in high A and was promoted after 77 games to AA Richmond, while being promoted after 46 games to AAA Fresno. Belt spent 1 yr in the minors and he hit all 3 levels to which he dominated.

P- Drew Pomeranz COL
Pomeranz was traded last year which sent him to Colorado from Cleveland in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. We all know being a pitcher in Coors Field is not exactly ideal, however, this may be the break Pomeranz needed. Cleveland in my opinion has more pitching prospects than Colorado and he could perhaps evolve as a No 1 or 2 pitcher in Colorado. He finished the 2011 minor leagues season 4-3 with a 1.78 ERA. He struck out 119 in just 101 IP. If Pomeranz holds down a starting rotation spot, I would like to see him win 14 games and an ERA under 3.20.

P- Jameson Taillon PIT
Taillon, who will be in Pittsburgh preferable by 2014, was 2-3 last year at West Virginia with a 3.98 ERA. I was always told if Washington did no select a P in the 2010 Draft in Stephan Strasburg, and went with an offensive player, in 2011 they would have selected Taillon instead of Harper. Taillon will be in the minors for another 2 years or so and perhaps could hit AA Altoona this year.

P- Vance Worley PHI
Worley, who should be in the No 4 hole as a SP, was 11-3 last year with a 3.01 ERA. I
Really like Worley to be a dynasty league phenom and he should produce very well. Philadelphia does have a nice set of youngsters coming up and should be able to work with Worley and hopefully Hamels. Worley went 25-23 during his 4 year stint in the minors. He held a 3.80 ERA, striking out 330 in 431 IP. Although his SO/9 is not much more than 6.9 I believe his K ratio will rise and hoping his WHIP will fall.

P- Trevor Bauer ARI
While his inexperience so far in the minors is in doubt to his ability to pitch, he is the most MLB ready. Bauer got in some work late in the season in 2011 by signing early and getting in as much work as possible. He got to see work at High A and AA. He threw a total of 25 IP, with 43 K and only 12 BB. I believe with Cahill, Kennedy, and Hudson Bauer could join this rotation in 2013 and have the Diamondbacks to be the next franchise to hit a dynasty in my opinion.

P- Zach Wheeler SF
Wheeler was the prized prospect that sent OF Carlos Beltran from NYM to SF last year. Wheeler has the ability to be a front line starter in NYM along with his counterpart Matt Harvey. Wheeler went 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA at High A St. Lucie with 31 K, in 27 IP.

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