By Corey R. Cunningham
This may be a bit premature; however, it is necessary to advise fantasy managers of these players, and their capabilities of what is to come. There are a lot of rookies who succeed their first year in the big leagues, yet again; it is typical of a second year failure, to what we like to call, a “sophomore slump.”
The rookie players below have been called up to the big leagues, due to either injury from other players, to add some spark to the offense, or better yet, because they have earned their way up the ladder. Some of the players below have more time in than others, yet all of them have enough major league experience under their belt now either from this year or from last year.
1B-Anothony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs has been on a lot of teams in the past 3 years, ranging anywhere from the Boston Redsox organization, where he was drafted by Theo Epstein, then to the San Diego Padres where he was traded for left Handed power bat, Adrian Gonzalez, now to Wrigley Field where he has been reunited with Theo Epstein. Rizzo was officially called up on Tuesday, against the NY Mets, a day after the Mets opened up the series with South Paw Johan Santana. Rizzo has now completed 2 games with the Cubs and has a .375 BA, with 3 H, 2 2B, and an RBI. Rizzo had a tough 2011 with the Padres, and in just 128 AB, he had 18 H, 1 HR, and 19 RBI, while carrying a .141 BA. After Rizzo put on a show at AAA Iowa this year; 70 G, 257 AB, 48 R, 88 H, 18 2B, 2 3B, 23 HR, 62 RBI, 23 BB, and a .342 BA. I think it is safe to say, Rizzo is staying put, especially with the Cubs 15.5 games out of 1st place.
3B-Will Middlebrooks, Boston RedSox has been on a roll lately and due to that, Boston shipped out long time tenure 3B, Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. As of late, Middlebrooks has been bobbling balls down at the hot corner, however, he still can hold the bat very strong. Middlebrooks is batting .310 with 9 HR, 36 RBI, 23 R, and 2 SB. Last week Middlebrooks was named AL player of the week going 10-16 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs in 6 games. Although Middlebrooks has been hitting in the 5th and 6th hole most of the season, he should still produce and his numbers will show. The RedSox are 6.5 games out of 1st place, yet with a tight division race just 1.5 games out of 2nd place and the wild card spots.
CF-Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, has been hot, and that is a major understatement. Mike Trout was said to be called up to add a much needed spark in the Angels offense after getting off to a terrible start. With new additions to 1B and SP, the Angels were the front runners to win the AL West division against the defending champions, Texas Rangers. Angels started off horribly and then promoted Trout from the Minors and have been on a roll ever since. Going 16-7 so far in the month of June, and only 4.5 games out of first place, that is after winning only 2 of the first 9 series to start off 2012. Since joining the Angels in the leadoff spot, Trout has a .344 BA, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 47 R, and 21 SB. Torii Hunter was quoted by saying Trout will be the best player in MLB in 3 years.
This list is not complete of all rookies, as just a few missed my board of potential All-stars, and even though Anthony Rizzo has made only 2 appearances’ so far in the season, he does have MLB experience, and his AAA record of demolishing pitching proves he can hit the ball. The above named players, have been tried to been sold for cheap before the season on fantasy teams, now they will become Icons of “Keepers” on all fantasy lineups.