Friday, March 23, 2012

1st Year Starters and Potential Top Prospect AL 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 American League. This list will compile of offensive players and pitchers from American League teams, which will be 1st year players (not counting September Call-ups if played 2 yrs) in 2011 and prospects from all American League teams. At first glance, I will give you my starting 9 offensive players, and 5 pitchers.

C- J.P. Arencibia TOR

J.P. got his bat going early and often for power in Toronto last year, hitting 23 HR, with 78 RBI. Although the contact was not there, with just a .219 BA, he can hit for AVG and will need to produce well in order for Toronto to be an AL East contender in 2012. I do believe Toronto is still a piece or two away from being a contender and lack the attention of big FA's due to the turf, rumor has it they are trying to resurface the turf to grass. Arencibia should hit .270; hit 25HR, with 90 RBI this year.

1B- Eric Hosmer KC

Hosmer is no doubt my 1B of the future for any dynasty team. Hosmer has the power to contribute in all categories needed to be a winner. Hosmer who hit .312 BA for his career in the minors also had a .886 OPS. He finished AA with a .615 SLG and AAA with .525 SLG. In 2011 his first season in KC as the starting 1B he hit 19 HR, with 78 RBI and 11 SB while batting, .293 in just 128 Games. No doubt in my mind, Hosmer hits 25 or more HR in 2012 and could go over the 100 RBI limit with Butler, and Moustakas coming along as well.

2B- Jason Kipnis CLE

Kipnis who will be the starting 2B in Cleveland in 2012 will perhaps find a home in the 2 or 7 hole in the lineup. Kipnis hit a career .297 BA, 29 HR, 148 RBI in 972 AB while in the minor leagues for 3 years. In 36 games in Cleveland to finish the 2011 season, Kipnis impressed once again, hitting .272 BA, 7 HR, 19 RBI and 24 R scored. Kipnis has the ability to hit 15 HR in a season, and possible more depending on his batting position.

3B- Nick Castellanos DET

Nick was the NO.4 ranked prospect in 2010 in the ESPNU rankings. He was selected to the USA Baseball 18U National Team. He batted clean up for the team, where he batted .308 with 8 extra base hits and 1 HR. Needless to say, the team won the Gold medal. In 2010 he played rookie ball for 7 games. In 29 plate appearances, he had 8 hits, 2 being extra base hits; 3 RBI. He walked 4 times, and striking out 5. In 2011, playing in the Midwest League for Western Michigan, he played 135 game season. His batting average was .312, hitting 39 extra base hits. He slugged .436, hitting 7 HR and driving in 76, and scoring 65 times.

SS- Manny Machado BAL

Manny Machado will see Baltimore sometime in 2014 as the O's hold the contract of JJ Hardy until then. Machado started his career with Baltimore at the young age of 17. He finished the 2011 season at age 18 in High A Frederick. Machado, who has a smooth swing, has the frame to continue his career at SS. In 2011 He hit for a .257 BA, 11 HR, 50 RBI, with 73 K, and 45 BB in 382 AB. Manny will most likely continue his stint in Frederick starting in 2012 as he is still at the young age of 18.

OF- Mike Trout LAA

Trout who has been a Top 3 Prospect the past two years or so, will continue to be until his time in LAA comes. Hunter who has a contract ending after this year will push Trout closer to the MLB full time. Trout has been hitting over .300 steadily in the minors and was not shy about that in 2011 where he hit .326 BA, with a .958 OPS. Trout seen sometime in LAA last year, batting .220, with 5 HR, and 16 RBI. Trout will see AAA again this year with all the OF spots filled up.

OF- Ben Revere MIN

I like Revere as an everyday player for my fantasy/dynasty team. He brings speed to his offensive help. This can help a team who lacks certain categories. Revere spent 5 years in the minors each year at one level. I would say his most productive came at Low A Beloit, where he hit .379 BA, with 129 H, and 44 SB, and a career minor league best .930 OPS. Revere had a total of 154 SB, and only 54 CS. He played 117 games in Minnesota last year with a .267 BA, and 56 Runs, and 34 SB. With a full season at the MLB level, I believe Revere can reach the 50 SB plateau, with a .280 BA.

OF- Desmond Jennings TB

Some may refer to Jennings as a Carl Crawford JR from Tampa; however, I think Jennings holds more power and less BA. Depending on what lineup you have, I would like more BA than power. I would rather have 10, 20 HR guys with a .290 BA than have 10, 35 HR guys with a .220 BA. Jennings played in 63 games last year batting .259 with 10 HR, 25 RBI, and 20 SB. I think he can hold Crawford numbers but with less BA.

DH- Jesus Montero SEA

Montero had his track to the big leagues blocked by long time Yankee favorite Jorge Posada, and now Russell Martin. Montero was traded to Seattle this off season for SP Michael Pineda in what seemed like a good deal for both sides, I still believe Seattle won this battle. Montero had a career .308 BA, 76 HR, 318 RBI, .501 SLG, and .867 OPS in the minors. Montero played in 18 games last year for the Yankees, as he batted .328, with 4 HR and 12 RBI. While I believe Montero will play the majority of his time at DH this year, he will earn his Catcher eligibility position, and that pushes him up further in the draft. I believe Montero will hit 25 HR this year, on top of 80 RBI.

P- Matt Moore TB

Moore pitched great in the playoffs last year for the Rays. Moore should see the back end of the rotation this year and will more than likely be behind price by 13'. In 2011 at AA Montgomery and AAA Durham he went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA. Moore struck out 210 batters and walked just 46 in a total of 155 IP. He had a minor league career SO/9 of 12.7, and a 1.106 WHIP.

P- Manny Banuelos NYY

Manny will be a top of the order rotation pitcher for the Yankees for years to come. Last year he split time between AA Trenton and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He went 6-7 with a 3.75 ERA. He pitched a total of 129 IP. He needs to walk on his WHIP which was at a 1.55.

P-Michael Pineda NYY

I really liked Pineda coming into the 2011 season, as I drafted him in my Minor League draft that year 8th overall. Pineda was an up and coming SP who had the fastest track to the MLB and with a young pitching staff they had in Seattle anyone could bid for a SP job. Pineda won the starting gig out of spring training and was held to 171 IP, which is common for a first year pitcher, or a pitcher coming back from injuries. Pineda went 9-10, with a 3.74 ERA, 173 K, and 55 BB. Pineda may have a hard time adjusting from Rainy Seattle to Busy New York City in the Bronx, with a lot more media attention. I see his ERA rising slightly above 4 this year, and perhaps with few more wins, just due to the lineup being a lot more productive than the one in Seattle.

P- Hector Noesi SEA

Noesi is going to be a back of the end starter this year in Seattle, and with the pitching prospects coming up through the system I am not sure who is a safe bet. In 2015 Seattle could end with a rotation of Hernandez, Noesi, Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker. For Noesi, he holds his own fate, and in 2011 he smelled a little bit of the big leagues with pitching 56 IP, a record of 2-2, 4.47 ERA, 45 K and a WHIP of 1.51. In 2010 he hit 3 levels of the minors and which were his best, he had an overall record of 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.098 WHIP. Noesi could win 12 games this year in Seattle with pitching in a pitchers ballpark.

P- Jeremy Hellickson TB

Tampa Bay no doubt spits out some serious prospects, but they are very consistent in developing pitching prospects. Hellickson is one of those, who won 13 games last year, with a career ERA of 2.95. Hellickson will man the middle of the order for that rotation this year in Tampa, and will be very competitive in pitching in the AL East. Perhaps 11' was a fluke, but we will see if he can repeat his outstanding performance in 2012.

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