Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prospects in NL West...Worth a Look

Well, it’s Zero degrees in my neck of the woods and no better time than now to start our Fantasy Baseball work for 2014.  I will open up the season with a breakdown of each team’s prospect that should have fantasy value at some point in the season. These guys may not break camp with the big club but they will contribute at some point. All of these players should be drafted in Dynasty Leagues and taken with late round picks to stash on your bench at least keep on your radar.
NL West
The D’Back’s have in my opinion the best pitching prospect in baseball. He is Archie Bradley. It seems strange to say that a  #7 overall pick in the 2011 draft has exceeded expectations but he has and here is why. His control and command. It is what moved him from High A to Double A in just 5 starts. He ended the season with a combined 14 Wins, 1.84 ERA and 162Ks in only 152 innings pitched.  With a 6’4” 225 pound frame he can consistently hit 94 mph and touches 97 with late life. He is Verlander/ Latos like and will not start the season with the big league club but should be a fixture in their rotation come June. Worth a draft pick to stash on your bench.
With the Rockies bringing up so many young players like Arenado, Rutledge, and Rosario over the last year plus the cupboard must be bare for prospects. That may be true for position players but the weakness of the Rockies has always been their SP. Their best prospect (that will see time in 2014 and provide Fantasy Baseball relevance) is Eddie Butler. He will not break camp with the Rockies but he is projected as a top of the rotation guy with the best Slider and Changeup in Colorado’s organization. A 1.90 ERA and an 8.2 K/9 minor league stat line is impressive. He will be 1st call up to fill rotation spot for the often injured Rockies SPs. Not worth a draft pick but keep on radar.

It’s well known the Dodgers have OF depth as deep as it gets with Kemp, Crawford, Puig, and Either. It is also known they miss a lot of games due to injury. So if a trade does materialize to move an OF or the injury bug comes biting sooner than later up comes Joc Pederson. Playing this winter in the Venezuelan league to get more ABs he has projected again as a 20/20 guy at the MLB level. Last year he put up 22 HR and 31 SB in 123 games. A wait and see come spring training if he is worth drafting.
The Padres have one of the youngest teams in MLB and many of their top prospects are at the age of 20 years old. The only real prospect that has a chance to break camp is C Austin Hedges. He will get a shot because of Grandal’s injury when he came back from his 50 game suspension.  Grandal had reconstructive knee surgery in early July and should miss some time to start 2014. Hedges is a 15 HR guy with a little speed. He really only should be looked at in the deepest drafts this year.
The Giants are very deep pitching wise at the Minor League level but the best chance for an early season contributor will be Andrew Susac at catcher. With Posey possibly moving to1B and DHing at AL parks, Susac could break camp with the team as the 2nd Catcher. What he does best is get on base. He sports and incredible .507 OBP in the Arizona Fall League and had a .368 OBP last year. He has some pop with 29 XBH is 262 ABs last year.

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