Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Jason Heyward, Ryan Madson, Stephen Drew and Others

John Sickels has started posting his Top 20 prospects for each team and as he does every year, he started with the Twins Top 20 prospects yesterday. Here is what he had to say about their #1 prospect, Miguel Sano:

1) Miguel Sano, 3B, Grade B+: Contact issues and defensive questions remain cautionary factors, but given his youth and prodigious power potential, he's clearly the class of the system. I buy the Miguel Cabrera comparisons but there is always the chance he could turn into Joel Guzman if he is mishandled.

Miguel Cabrera? Wow. I am pretty sure Guzman is playing in Japan now.

Phillies closers Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, ok Lidge was a closer, are free agents this offseason, and one has to wonder if the Phillies if the Phillies will resign Madson. Madson had his best season of his career, saving 32 games in 34 opportunities, with a 2.37 ERA, 2.25 FIP, and 2.94 xFIP, and a 62-16 K/BB rate. 

But some Phillies beat writers think the Phillies may choose to let him sign elsewhere, and use the money to fill other needs. Here is Jim Salisbury from CSN Philly:

The Phillies will attempt to re-sign Madson but it remains to be seen if they will pull out all the stops because they believe they have three relievers (Antonio Bastardo, Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont) who could close in the near future.

All 3 are young relievers, with Aumont the headline player in the Cliff Lee deal two years ago. He failed as a starter and moved to relief this season and performed well. He went 2-5 with 7 saves between stints in AA and AAA this season, striking out 78 and walking 25 in 53.2 innings, with a 2.68 ERA and 1.268 WHIP. In 22.2 innings in AAA this season, he struck out 37 and walked 14, striking out almost 15 batters per nine innings 

Aumont is a player to consider in dynasty leagues and NL-ony keeper league formats in 2012.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

Speaking of the Phillies, I am predicting the GM Ruben Amaro will make another big move this offseason, especially after his team failed to make the NLCS, let alone the World Series this season. Could a trade involving Cole Hamels be the big move? Or signing free agent shortstop Jose Reyes

The Reds are sending 2011 #1 prospect Aroldis Chapman to the instructional league in the next week or so to begin his transition to be a starter in 2012, this per John Fay at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Once he builds his pitch count, he will move the Puerto Rican Winter League and work his way to pitching 5 innings. How confident are you in drafting Chapman in 2012?

It appears, according to Nick Piecoro at the Arizona Republic, that the Diamondbacks are not counting on shortstop Stephen Drew to start the 2012 season healhty:

With shortstop Stephen Drew having suffered a major ankle injury in July, the Diamondbacks likely will look around at shortstop depth; Hall said the team won't assume that Drew will be ready in time for Opening Day.

"No one knows how (the injury) is going to effect his range and his speed," Hall said. "We'll have to see."

The shortstop position is a bit thin as it is and now Drew could start the season on the DL.

Piecoro also mentioned that the DBacks could look to the free agent market to play third base:

They might also see what's available at third base, particularly if Hill doesn't return, given that Ryan Roberts also is capable of playing second base.

Moving Roberts to second base would be tremendous for his value on draft day. Roberts had a breakout season in 2011, hitting .249-.341-.427 with 19 HRs, 65 RBI, 86 runs, 18 SBs and a solid 99-66 K/BB rate. He played 30 games at second base this season, so he will be eligible at second base on draft day. 

Could the DBacks go after Aramis Ramirez to play third base this offseason? I do recall reading that GM Kevin Towers indicated that he would increase spending this offseason. Piecoro also wrote that the team will not be looking to improve their rotation as they have pitching prospects Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer ready, or close to being ready, to join the the big league rotation in 2012.

There are 3 more names for those of you in dynasty or NL-only keeper leagues to remember on draft day.

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had an MRI on his shoulder yesterday and the results came back negative, so he will start a strengthening program. Fantasy owners, and Braves fans, hope he can have a bounce back season in 2012. 

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