It’s been 3 years today since launching my site. With 63K hits and 500 posts I still enjoy the writings and interaction with other passionate Fantasy Baseball followers. Made some great internet friends, joined some fantastic leagues and helped many compete in their leagues. So a simple quick thanks for all the people who come by my site from all over the world. I do appreciate your support. Now back to the task at hand. Let’s continue with prospects to keep on your radar for 2014. I especially like all that the AL Central has to offer.
Josmil Pinto should be drafted in all leagues this year as a backup catcher. With Mauer being moved to 1B the Twins will have an opening behind the plate. To date the Twins have signed Kurt Suzuki to mentor the core of young catchers the Twins have in camp. Of that core Pinto is by far the best offensive and Fantasy relevant catcher in Minnesota. He followed up his strong 2012 numbers with a .309/.400/.482 line in 2013, combined between Double-A and Triple-A, with 32 doubles, 15 homers, and 66 walks in 126 games. In a small sample size with the big league club he hit .342 with a .964 OPS in 83 PAs. If he breaks camp this spring on the 25 man roster he could see ABs at DH 1x a week when not catching.
Kansas City Royals
Yordano Ventura has quite an electric fastball. His 97.5 average fastball velocity was the highest among every single pitcher who made a start in 2013. Even cooler, his fastball touched 101.9 mph according to PITCHf/x. It’s not outrageous for a reliever to throw that hard, as nine of them have since PITCHf/x has delivered reliable data. But starting pitchers simply don’t. That velocity comes with some wildness but that is expected for a 22 year old. I feel he gets a shot in the Royal’s rotation but will be on a 120-140 innings limit. So take a chance on this pitcher with tremendous upside.
There’s plenty to like about Castellanos, the top prospect in Detroit’s organization. His bat is very quick through the zone, and there’s never been much of a question among scouts about the quality of his hit tool. His power stroke is showing signs of life, as he has increased his home run total in each of his three full minor-league seasons; he hit seven homers in A-ball in 2011, 11 across three levels in 2012 and 18 in Triple-A last year. Another big positive for Castellanos is the improvement in his contact rate. He struck out in 23.1% of his plate appearances in 2011, followed by 20.2% in 2012 and 16.8% last year. Though he will not be a top 10 3B in 2014 he will not hurt your peripherals if you miss out on a top tier player at the hot corner.
Danny Salazar throws one of the game’s hardest fastballs, as a starter. He knows it and he loves it, and for him, the heater is a swing-and-miss pitch. He uses it to work up in the zone, and the fastball accounted for half of Salazar’s strikeouts in his career. The other stuff is pretty good, but the fastball is special. He did start 10 games in 13 for the tribe but is still an unknown commodity come draft day. I have participated in a couple of mock drafts so far this year with some true fantasy baseball junkies and was able to get him in round 13 and 14…remember that come draft day. A true 2nd SP stud.
Chicago White Sox
I have to admit I have not seen much video on Jose Dariel Abreu but I do trust the brain trust for the White Sox and the other 10 teams that tried to land him. With the emergence of Cespedes and Puig you have to think this kid is as well is very special. What we do know is he will have 1B and OF eligibility and be hitting in the 3 hole. I will be targeting him in all drafts. He recently went in the 10th round of my most recent mock. If he is still available at round 10 he is a steal!