Category Archives: Prospects

Keep An Eye On: Jordan Zimmerman(n), RHP, Washington

He’s on his way, baby!

The Man(n) gets his first MLB start on Wednesday or Thursday so we’ll finally see what the 22-year-old righty can do against a big league ball club. His start will be against the World Champion Phillies, no less.

Zimmermann didn’t fare too well in his first AAA start with the Syracuse Chiefs, tossing 5.1 innings while giving up three earned runs on four hits. He did, however, strike out four and only walk one. In the start, the long ball killed him, as the Twin’s AAA affiliate Rochester Red Wings stroked two four-baggers.

He’s the latest of the prominent pitching prospects to get the call this year, behind Cahill, Anderson, and Porcello, but perhaps displays the most promise. Despite his young age, scouts rave about Zimmermann’s polish and makeup, saying he could be a front of the rotation type pitcher. His repertoire includes a nasty sinking fastball, a sharp slider (that the Nat’s have asked him to diminish), a workable curve, and a developing change up.

Look at that inverted W!

Look at that inverted W!

He’ll probably get shelled in his first start but he’s worth having on your radar as he makes his way first trip through the NL East.

Cahill, Anderson, and Porcello! Oh my!

The last week saw the first major league starts for three big time pitching prospects: The Athletic’s Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson and the Tiger’s Rick Porcello. Let’s take a look at each.

Continue reading

R.I.P. Nick Adenhart, RHP, Los Angeles

Adenhart.

There’s nothing else to be said. Such an unfortunate tragedy.

Let’s jump to conclusions. Jordan Schafer style!

It’s 10:20 p.m. and Jordan Schafer is 10 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. Expect that to change sometime in the very, very near future.

Tonight, the Brave’s top prospect homered in his first at bat, singled in his second, intentionally walked in his third, and struck out swinging in his fourth. Schafer looked good in his first three at bats but was clearly overmatched against Brad Lidge’s slider in the eighth. His first three at bats came against Brett Myers so he wasn’t facing any ole’ slouch. As I stated in my synopsis of Schafer in my post titled “Who I’m giving blowies to,” he’s a streaky hitter so now’s probably the time to strike and pick him up if you’ve got the room.

For at least one night, the Brave’s confidence in their young players paid off. Only time will tell if Schafer develops into the player many think he will.

The Hype Machine: Chris Davis, 1B/3B, Texas

Over the past couple years, taking chances based purely on potential has become a trend in fantasy baseball. In rounds where players should take a guy like the Angel’s Torii Hunter, they instead go for the Ranger’s unproven Nelson Cruz. Is missing out on a solid five category guy worth taking a flier on a career minor leaguer who hasn’t proven he can consistently rake at the big league level? I’m not so sure, but for two buddies in my keeper league, it’ll certainly become a point of contention:

Evidence

A situation similar to this presented itself to me during this year’s offseason. I had to choose five keepers on a pretty stacked team. I settled on the first four guys, but was tearing my hair out over that last spot. Do I take a chance on Texas’ rookie masher Chris Davis or do I hold pat and stay with the game’s most consistent slugger in Adam Dunn?

Continue reading

Keep An Eye On: Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit

Yesterday, I wrote a post containing five prospects who I thought would make a noteworthy impact on fantasy teams this year. One guy who didn’t make the cut was the Detroit Tigers RHP Rick Porcello. Truthfully, I didn’t think he’d break camp with the team, but according to the Tiger’s GM, he’s done just that.

Porcello is only 20 years old and has just one year of professional experience under his belt. This spring, Porcello posted a 2.63 ERA in a little more than 12 innings using a nasty two-seam fastball that bores in on the hands of righties, a high 90’s straight fastball, a solid change, and a good 12-6 curve that he is still learning to control. At Lakeland last year, he gave up just 7 homeruns through 125 innings pitched (IP) and compiled a 2.66 ERA. He is most often compared to Red Sox ace Josh Beckett.

Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello

The Tiger’s rotation has been a major weakness in recent years and this year seems to be no different. Dontrelle Willis can’t figure it out. Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t lived up to his potential and his velocity is fading. Nate Robertson is a sixth starter at best. Porcello’s performance simply forced the Tigers’ hand.

Porcello could have an immediate impact on fantasy leagues and is definitely worth a pickup. I would consider him a better prospect than the Nationals’ Zimmermann, but probably behind both Oakland’s Anderson and Cahill purely because of the experience factor. It’s important to note that Porcello is still green and there will be growing pains in his development.

Who I’m giving blowies to.

I live in Charleston, practically right down the street from Oriole’s prospect Matt Wieters’ hometown of Goose Creek, South Carolina. I’ve heard Goose Creek and the words “hick” and “incest” in the same sentence. A common bar joke down here is, “Who here’s from Goose Creek? Your donkey just took a shit outside the bar.”

Joking aside, chances are you’ve heard of this year’s two top prospects: Baltimore’s catcher Wieters and Tampa Bay’s LHP David Price. If you haven’t, you’re probably not going to win or even come close, so you should just quit now.

But I suppose there is some hope for you. There’s a bunch of guys in this year’s rookie class who promise to make a smaller impact and who, with a little luck, can improve your squad in some tangible way. The following is a list of five guys, in no particular order, who I think will contribute in 2009. If you don’t see the name of your favorite prospect it’s because I don’t see him getting the call this year. For instance, the Brave’s Tommy Hanson has an adequate rotation blocking his future in Atlanta. Mike Stanton of the Marlins probably won’t make it to the big club because the Marlins have been slow in giving guys chances (see: Dallas McPherson). Hold your horses though, I’ll be addressing “keepers” in the future.

And the top five guys I’m giving “blowies” to (Thank you, I Love You, Man) in 2009 is…

Continue reading