MLB Futures Game: The Players

Yordano Ventura should dominate in his inning of work this Sunday in the Futures Game. - H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY

A player-by-player profile of both the World Team and USA Team. The MLB Futures Game will take place this Sunday at 2PM EST.

The Futures Game is a baseball game played the Sunday before the MLB all-star game in which two teams filled with legitimate MLB prospects compete against each other. One team is comprised of players born in the USA (not including Puerto Rico) and the other is made up of players born outside the USA. It is, essentially, the minor league all-star game. The game doesn't count for anything but it's a great opportunity for fans who want to get a look at some of the top prospects in the game today. All pitchers are limited to pitch only one inning.

I'll be attending the Futures Game this Sunday. The day after the game I will write a reactionary article with my thoughts and observations from up close. Here is some of my analysis on the players:

WORLD TEAM

Catcher

Jorge Alfaro, Texas Rangers - Alfaro provides above average power from the catcher position. The main issue that he needs to work on is his patience at the plate. Like so many other A-Level power-hitters he must lower his K% and raise his BB% in order to find success at higher levels. Unfortunately, he is repeating his level and hasn't really been able to accomplish that. Alfaro should be able to stay at catcher but if he has to move to 1st base then I don't think that his bat will be valuable enough to make him a top prospect at that position without serious improvements in his approach at the plate. If he continues on this path then he will be a J.P. Arencibia type of player. That has its place in MLB and in deeper fantasy leagues. If Alfaro is able to make adjustments in addition to staying at catcher then he'll have incredible fantasy value due to his ultimate ability, with adjustments, to hit 25+ HR with a standard catcher's allotment of at-bats (especially in Arlington). Note: Alfardo will not play in the Futures Game due to injury and likely won't return to minor league play until sometime in August. ETA = 2017

Christian Bethancourt, Atlanta Braves - If Jorge Alfaro is a lottery ticket then Christian Bethancourt is a twenty-dollar bill that you find on the ground. You would be happy with the $20... you would know exactly what you have... but there's no chance to win the million bucks. Bethancourt is in the futures game due to his spectacular defense behind the plate. His bat is not the reason for him being selected and won't be the reason that a team is willing to give him playing time at the big-league level. Bethancourt has only 10 BB to 41 K in 53 games at AA thus far; however, 6 of those BB have come in his last ten games. Perhaps he is finally becoming a little more patient? It's an incredibly small sample size. Bottom line: Bethancourt is unlikely to provide much fantasy value and the likelihood is that he ends up as a backup in MLB. ETA = 2015

A.J. Jimenez, Toronto Blue Jays - First off, don't be fooled by Jimenez' largely inflated .388 AVG this year. He's probably going to end up as a .270-.280 hitter in MLB. That average will come with up to about 12 HR a year. That's where things become unclear. How much power does Jimenez actually have and how much will that power develop in MLB? He clearly has potential to be a starting catcher in MLB and someone who won't kill your batting average. In two-catcher leagues or dynasty formats that has value. I think he can be an A.J. Ellis type (with a lower walk rate). ETA = 2014

First Base

Jordan Lennerton, Detroit Tigers - Lennerton is a player who was not highly regarded before now despite displaying the ability to hit for average with very good patience at the plate. For a while it did not look like Lennerton had the power for the 1B decision but at this point he is making a strong case for himself with 21 HR last season AA and 13 HR so far this year at AAA. At 27 years old he is old for a prospect but if he gets an opportunity to play in MLB then he should be on your fantasy radar. ETA = 2014

Ji-Man Choi, Seattle Mariners - Choi is similar to Lennerton in that he wasn't highly regarded before now despite his impressive offensive production. Choi really limits his strikeouts, hits for average, and takes his fair share of walks but it is highly questionable whether he has the desired power to be a 1B starter in MLB. Don't worry about Choi's .222 AVG since his promotion to AA because a .217 BABIP is holding it down. ETA = 2015

Second Base

Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs - Alcantara will likely end up as a second baseman in MLB despite playing the majority of his minor league games at shortstop. Craig Goldstein profiled Alcantara here. ETA = Late 2014

Dilson Herrera, Pittsburgh Pirates - Herrera turned 19 years of age this year and is holding his own at A-Ball thus far. He has a .263 AVG with 7 HR and 9 SB. His 25:70 BB:K is something that he can improve upon. It's still very early in Herrera's development but he should provide both power and speed from the 2B position. ETA = 2016

Shortstop

Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox - By now you probably know all about Bogaerts and the fact that he's in the discussion as the top fantasy prospect in the minors right now. Just in case, here is an interesting piece from Andrew Ball. Bogaerts is going to be a very popular pick for next year's fantasy drafts. Note: There is a chance that he'll need to switch to 3B at some point. ETA = Late 2013

Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians - Francisco Lindor has been extremely impressive as a 19-year-old at High-A. He has a .307 AVG with 26 XBH including 1 HR in 323 AB. His 35:39 BB:K and 20 SB are an indication that he'll be a very productive top-of-the-order hitter once he reaches the show. If Lindor reaches his offensive ceiling then he can be a .290+ 10 HR 30 SB shortstop in MLB. He's a sure thing at shortstop so don't worry about a position switch. ETA = 2015

Carlos Correa, Houston Astros - Correa was voted into the futures game in the fan vote. He has shown a lot of improvement in his patience at the plate compared to his debut last season. After posting a 12:44 BB:K ratio last year he now has a 40:50 BB:K ratio this season. Correa has a big offensive ceiling and at this point it looks as though he can stick at SS. It's too early to tell exactly how much power to expect from Correa but he certainly has the ability to be at least a 12-15 HR bat. He might not be much of a stolen base threat but that's okay. ETA = 2016

Third Base

Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins - Jason Hunt provided a prospect review for Sano earlier in the season. He has incredible power. There is no question about Sano's ability to be a 30+ HR bat in MLB. The thing I'll be paying attention to most is Sano's defense at the hot corner. If he can stay at 3B then that will help his fantasy value quite a bit. Don't expect Sano to hit .330 like he did at High-A. I think a .260-.270 AVG is a reasonable expectation for his MLB career. ETA = Mid-2014

Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies - After being promoted to High-A this season Franco was able to boost his batting average and HR production while maintaining his BB%. In addition, he has been tearing the cover off the ball at AA with 5 HR in his first 18 games there. Franco is a top 40 fantasy prospect right now with potential to move into the top 25 if he finishes the season out strong. He's also a guy who still actually might be available in your dynasty or keeper league since his biggest boost in value has come this season. He should end up hitting for average with 20+ HR power. ETA = 2014

Outfield

Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs - Soler won't be playing in the futures game due to injury but he already looks just about ready for AA upon his return. He's displayed a solid all-around game with no weakness. Soler is going to be a legit 5-tool outfielder although he will provide more power than speed. ETA = 2015

Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals - Taveras is another player who's currently on the minor league DL and won't participate in the futures game. Before the season he was considered one of the top-3 overall prospects in the minors and he has done nothing to change that. He's going to be a fantasy stud. I think .290+ with 20 HR and 10+ SB is a reasonable expectation if he plays in MLB for all of 2014. He has potential to do more than that once he gets his feet wet. ETA = 2014

Yeison Asencio, San Diego Padres - Asencio is a player that many people are curious about. He wasn't well known going into this season and now that he's in the futures game he is garnering a lot of attention. Asencio performed okay in the CAL league but that's a hitter's league and those numbers at his age just don't stick out to me. I am not optimistic on Asencio being a future MLB starter but he can be a 4th outfielder. I know, this is not what you wanted to hear if you picked him up in your dynasty or keeper league. ETA = Late 2015

Reymond Fuentes, San Diego Padres - Craig Goldstein doesn't want you to forget about Reymond and neither do I. Fuentes will provide fantasy value, at least as a replacement or in deeper leagues if he gets regular playing time in MLB. Although I have major questions about his ability to hit above about .270 he will steal bases and has a bit of pop in his bat. Fuentes is much better against RHP than LHP. Will he end up as a Will Venable type (and actually Venable's replacement)? ETA = 2014

Jesus Galindo, San Francisco Giants - Although Galindo has plenty of speed on the base-paths I am not confident enough in the rest of his game to project him as a future MLB starting outfielder. He can provide some speed as a fourth outfielder down the line. ETA = 2016

Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates - Gregory Polanco started out the season hitting .312 with 6 HR and 24 SB at High-A with a .836 OPS. Since being promoted to AA he has held his own by hitting .295 with 2 HR and 4 SB in 20 games. "Power to hit 20+ home runs and the speed to swipe 40+ bases with a solid hit tool. Polanco is a strong candidate for the offseason top-10." - Andrew Ball ETA = Mid-2014

Henry Urrutia, Baltimore Orioles - Urrutia is 26 years of age but this year is his first year in the minors. With the way he is performing it might also be his last. Yeah, he's that bad... oh wait... he has dominated AA and impressed everyone with his transition from Cuba. Not only has Urrutia displayed the potential to be a .300+ outfielder in MLB but he also takes plenty of walks, limits his strikeouts, and will likely provide about 15 HR with a full season's worth of action. So what if he might not hit 20 HR or steal 10 bases? He's going to be useful and he's going to be playing for the Orioles soon enough. Craig Goldstein profiled Urrutia today. ETA = 2014

Pitcher

Miguel Almonte, Kansas City Royals - Andrew Ball profiled Almonte a couple of weeks ago. Almonte has a strong chance to be a mid-rotation starter in MLB with potential for more. ETA = 2016

Carlos Contreras, Cincinnati Reds - Contreras hits the mid 90's with his fastball but due to control problems he might end up in the bullpen in the long-run. ETA = 2016

Rafael De Paula, New York Yankees - De Paula dominated A-Ball to the tune of 96 K in 64 1/3 IP with a 2.94 ERA. He has struggled a bit since being promoted to High-A but it's just a couple rough starts. De Paula could move quickly and become a big-time strikeout pitcher for the Yankees. ETA = 2015

C.C. Lee, Cleveland Indians - Chris Perez. Why Chris Perez? Because Chris Perez is the Indians closer and is a free agent after the season. Vinnie Pestano has had his struggles this year but there are some other decent options in the Indians bullpen to replace Perez. One of those options to replace Perez as the Indians closer next season will be C.C. Lee. Lee's FB-SL combo and above average command have allowed him to post miniscule ERA's with over a strikeout per inning. Remember him for next season. ETA = 2014

Rafael Montero, New York Mets - Montero still doesn't get enough attention. I wrote this earlier in the year. I think that next season, when Montero is pitching for the Mets in MLB, he just might get the attention he deserves. Don't overreact to his PCL numbers thus far. ETA = 2014

Andre Rienzo, Chicago White Sox - 7.71, 5.74, 2.30, 1.59. Those are Rienzo's ERA's for each month of the season thus far. He just keeps getting better every month. Rienzo won't be a guy that you put in your fantasy lineup for every start but he can be a useful matchup play if he gets a chance with the White Sox. If that ERA trend continues then he will definitely get that chance. ETA = 2014

Eduardo Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles - Craig Goldstein profiled Rodriguez earlier in the season.I think Rodriguez can be a consistent #4 SP in MLB and a future matchup play in most fantasy formats. ETA = 2014

Enny Romero, Tampa Bay Rays - Don't be fooled by Romero's 3.02 ERA. His FIP is 4.21, the highest of the past 3 years for him. It's quite puzzling to me that lefties have hit .375 off of him this year while righties have hit just .183. Romero continues to have command and control issues and now that he's at AA it's possible that the Rays will transition him to a bullpen role because he does have tremendous stuff. If he ever solves his command problems he can be a useful fantasy starter. ETA = 2015

Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals - In my opinion Ventura has #2 SP written all over him. He needs to improve his command a bit more to get to that level and might be a guy who struggles at times with consistency in his first season or two but he has quite the ceiling. Craig Goldstein agrees. ETA = 2014

Michael Ynoa, Oakland A's - Outside of a 15-game stay in A-Ball to begin this season Ynoa has been terrible in the minors. I'm confused because he was pitching well in A-Ball and now has fell apart again at High-A. Perhaps he will settle down and continue on having a solid season or perhaps his A-Ball performance was an aberration. I'm not sure but I am very excited to see him pitch in person. Ynoa is a real mystery to me. ETA = 2017

USA TEAM (These profiles were written last week.)

Catcher

Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres - Hedges is a tremendous defensive catcher who has spent this season at High-A. He has shown solid on-base skills with a 19:26 BB:K and .362 OBP in 149 AB. Hedges probably isn't going to provide big-time HR power in MLB, especially at PETCO, but he can be somewhat useful for very deep or two-catcher fantasy leagues. He has a chance provide AJ Ellis type of value. ETA = 2015

Josh Phegley, Chicago White Sox - It's been a breakout year at the plate for Phegley. He's hit for a legitimate .317 AVG with 14 HR, 18 2B, and a .962 OPS. This is his 5th minor league season and the first in which he's displayed any type of fantasy-worthy skill-set. I think that Phegley will get his shot in Chicago soon enough with Tyler Flowers (he of the .268 OBP) the only player standing in his way. John Sickels wrote a piece on Phegley last week. ETA = Now

First Base

C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels - Cron is an animal at the plate. He possesses and displays big-time power and has hit for average at every level thus far. He had 13 HR in just 130 AB in his debut season and jacked 27 HR in the hitter-friendly CAL league last year. Of course, there's always a catch. He took only 17 free passes in over 500 plate appearances last season at High-A and has only 11 BB in over 300 plate appearances this year at AA. He's having a decent year but a sub-.800 OPS from a 1B isn't going to cut it. Hopefully he can find more patience at the plate and get himself some better pitches to hit because when he makes solid contact the ball tends to go a long, long way. ETA = 2015

Joey Terdoslavich, Atlanta Braves - He was once pegged as the Braves future replacement for Chipper Jones but due to his atrocious defense at the hot corner he is now a 1B/OF. Wherever he slots in defensively at the big-league level he will be expected to provide an above average bat. Terdoslavich is a switch-hitter but he absolutely crushes RHP. He has a .342 AVG with 17 HR and a .992 OPS against RHP at AAA. Terdoslavich's bat looks almost MLB-ready right now. He could stand to improve upon his patience at the plate. If he's able to do that then I think that he will transition well and have plenty of fantasy value as a 20+ HR outfielder. ETA = 2014

Second Base

Delino DeShields Jr., Houston Astros - DeShields Jr. is a player known for his blazing speed on the base-paths. He stole 101 bases last season while being caught only 19 times. This season has not brought the same type of success as he only has 23 SB with 11 CS thus far. That's not a great success rate but because of DeShields' raw speed there is probably nothing to worry about. One thing that's very interesting is that he's been more successful (9 SB to 1 CS) against LHP than RHP. Usually players have a lesser success rate stealing bases against LHP. Perhaps DeShields had just become too arrogant and aggressive against RHP, especially since he was probably used to lesser defensive catchers before he reached High-A this season? Whatever the reason, it is clear that DeShields is going to be a legitimate SB threat in MLB. In his past 11 games he has 7 SB with only 1 CS so it looks like his early season struggles are behind him.

It's quite encouraging that Delino has maintained his increased walk rate from last season. This has helped him post a .388 OBP thus far at High-A. His right-handed bat has performed much better against RHP than LHP. He has a .321 AVG with 17 XBH and a .866 OPS against RHP but only a .170 AVG with 1 XBH and a .512 OPS against LHP. It's possible that DeShields may need to be moved to the outfield at some point so I will pay close attention to his defense when I see him. Defense isn't often a huge concern for fantasy baseball but position is. The difference in value between a 40+ SB player at 2B and OF is night and day in most formats. Hopefully DeShields Jr. can avoid being switched to the outfield the way fellow 100+ SB prospect Billy Hamilton was. Like Hamilton, DeShields Jr. is currently a more highly regarded fantasy prospect than real-life one. ETA = 2015

Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals - Wong is a solid all-around 2B prospect. He's MLB-ready right now and could be up before the end of the season. I would compare his future fantasy value to that of Daniel Murphy. He'll hit for a solid average with modest contributions in power/speed. Wong had 21 SB last year while being caught 11 times. This season his 11:1 success rate is evidence of an improvement in his running game. Wong can be a .280+ hitter with 8-12 HR with 10-15 SB at the MLB level. He won't dominate any specific category but there is also no true weakness in what he brings to the table. ETA = Late 2013

Shortstop

Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners - The only question that remains about Brad Miller is whether or not he can stick at shortstop. The Mariners called him up last week and will give him every opportunity to be their starting shortstop for the next decade. Miller had a .319 AVG with 12 HR, 6 SB, and a .920 OPS between AA and AAA this season. Like Wong, there is no weakness in Miller's offensive skill-set. Between 15-20 HR should with a solid average should be a given based on his track record. If Miller is able to develop more power as he matures then he could end up as a .290+ AVG 25+ HR bat. That's the ceiling for his bat. If he's able to stick at SS and realized his offensive upside then he will have Tulo-like value. Be excited. ETA = Now

Addison Russell, Oakland Athletics - 1st of all, if you play in a keeper league with a prospect roster or a dynasty format then go acquire Russell right now. Go ahead, I'll wait. Now might be your last chance to acquire Russell at any kind of reasonable price and that's because his 1st two months of the season after being rushed to High-A this year were quite sub-par. Russell missed some time with a back injury and hit under .225 with 57 K and a sub-.725 OPS in April-May. Since then his performance has improved quite a bit. He's hit .335+ with an OPS of about 1.000 since June 1st. has also lowered his K rate since June 1st. That's quite impressive. His overall 9 HR and 12 SB on the season thus far are decent but nothing special for the CAL league and his average sits at .258. This is a 19 year old who was rushed to High-A though. Some rough edges are to be expected. It's too early for me to really say what kind of exact numbers I think are his ceiling or will likely be in his future but suffice it to say he will be fantasy relevant with huge upside. ETA = 2015 Check out Jason Hunt's review for more information.

Third Base

Matt Davidson, Arizona Diamondbacks - Davidson has displayed above-average power and should be able to stick at 3B in MLB even though his defense is probably below average. Beyond that I am concerned with the fact that his BB% went down from 12% at AA last year to 7% at AAA this season. In addition, his K% rose from 21.9% at AA last season to 26.9% at AAA this year. Don't be fooled by Davidson's increased average of .290 thus far at AAA because it is due to an inflated .374 BABIP. He'll likely be around a .250-.260 hitter in MLB. Although not a player that I am as high on as most, if Davidson gets a shot to start in MLB then he will be of use for owners who desire a power-hitting 3B. ETA = 2014

Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers - Gallo is an all-or-nothing hitter. He has 125 K in just 292 AB. That's pretty crazy. However, he also has 25 HR in just 292 AB. Once again, that's pretty crazy. Gallo will hit a HR off any pitcher but he displays an all-around offensive game only against LHP. In fact, he demolishes LHP. He has a .333 AVG with 8 HR and a 1.282 OPS in 57 AB against them this season. ETA = Late 2016

Outfield

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins - There's not much I can write here that you don't probably already know. Buxton really transformed his tools into skills this season and is one of the top 3 fantasy prospects in the game. He has the most 5-category potential of any fantasy prospect. He can make a Mike Trout type of impact once he reaches the show. Most encouraging for me, because we already knew that Buxton has plenty of raw power and is a terror on the base-paths, is his 44:56 BB:K at A-Ball. ETA = 2015

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds - ETA = Late 2013 I'll let Craig Goldstein take the lead on this one. Check out his insightful updated review and thoughts on Hamilton right here.

George Springer, Houston Astros - I believe in Springer's ability to be at least a 25/25 OF in MLB. That's going to be extremely valuable for fantasy no matter what his batting average may be. Some are worried that Springer's K rate and contact issues will lead to a sub-.250 average but I think he can hit around .270. Springer takes his fair share of walks, which will help his OBP and OPS even though his batting average likely won't be too impressive. There aren't many OF prospects capable of providing so much power and speed right away at the MLB level and the fact that Springer will likely slot in 3rd in the Astros order should help him post a high RBI and runs total right away despite the below average lineup that will surround him at first. ETA = Late 2013

Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins - ETA = Late 2013 I wrote this piece earlier in the season and still believe in Yelich's ability to be an above average fantasy performer, perhaps as soon as later this season.

Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers - Pederson is having a great season at AA. Much like Andre Ethier, he cannot hit LHP but he does quite a bit of damage against RHP. Pederson has a .345 AVG with 13 HR, 19 SB, a 31:45 BB:K ratio, and a 1.076 OPS against RHP thus far this season. Pederson will be a solid all-around fantasy outfielder once he reaches MLB. Just remember to sit him against LHP if you have options. ETA = 2014

Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets - Nimmo was voted into the futures game in the fan vote. That may have been because the game is at Citi Field and Mets fans really rallied to get him into the game. Despite having potential to be a MLB regular, Nimmo is the player who has displayed the least useful fantasy skill-set of anyone on this list. He just hasn't displayed much power or speed thus far in the minors. The story on Nimmo during the draft was that he hadn't played high school baseball. That made his exact outlook somewhat of a mystery and is a good explanation for how raw he is. It's okay because he's only at A-Ball and he'll have plenty of time to continue his development. ETA = 2017

Pitcher

Jesse Biddle, Philadelphia Phillies - Biddle is a solid SP prospect who doesn't have huge upside but can provide steady value. He'll likely produce a good K rate but have an ERA in the 3.75-4.25 range. Based on his BB rate I wouldn't expect the lowest WHIP, maybe around 1.30-1.35. He'll likely be a matchup play for most mixed leagues but a really good NL-only starter. He's a "safe" prospect, for those who believe in that sort of thing. ETA - Late 2013

Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks - Bradley has quite a bit of potential to be a top of the rotation MLB starter but he must refine his command. He's fully capable of striking out a batter per inning with an ERA around 3 at the MLB level. It's rumored that the D-backs may end up calling him up at some point if they really need the SP help but I think that would be a mistake. Despite his nasty stuff and dominant performance in the minors this season, it would be best for his development for him to stay as a SP in the minors and continue to develop. ETA = 2014

Eddie Butler, Colorado Rockies - Butler has a nasty FB-Slider combo and has used that to strikeout about a batter per inning in the minors thus far. He displays decent command and is capable of being a back-end MLB starter or dominant bullpen piece. ETA = 2015

Kyle Crick, San Francisco Giants - Crick has dealt with some injury issues this season but hopefully they are behind him. Crick has knockout stuff and if he can maintain his lowered walk rate that he's had in his last two starts since returning from injury then that will help him quite a bit in reaching his ceiling which is to be an #1 starter. ETA = 2015

Taylor Guerrieri, Tampa Bay Rays - There isn't anything not to like about Guerrieri. The Rays are taking it slow with him and his K:BB ratio is just tremendous, 5:1 this season and 9:1 last season. Guerrieri looks like he'll be a #2 SP at the MLB level. ETA = 2016

Taylor Jordan, Washington Nationals - Jordan has a 1.00 ERA across two levels of the minors and 90 1/3 IP this season. Despite that, he is seen by most as a backend starter with solid command of his pitches. Before this season he was not highly regarded as a SP prospect so don't overpay for the shiny minor league ERA. He made his MLB debut last week and will be a solid matchup play moving forward. He's worth owning if you need SP help in an NL-only league or really deep mixed league. ETA = Now

Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers - Despite displaying improved command at AA this season, Nelson regressed back to his BB-prone ways at AAA. He looks like a future bullpen piece to me and is another player who shouldn't be overvalued based on his minor league ERA this season. ETA = 2014

Anthony Ranaudo, Boston Red Sox - ETA = 2014 Craig Goldstein posted an interesting piece last month profiling Ranaudo.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets - ETA = 2014 Jason Hunt just profiled Syndergaard a couple days ago.

Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners - Walker is one of my favorite SP prospects in the minors right now. He is like gold for any keeper league or dynasty format. He looks like he'll be a very strong #2 or ace at the MLB level. He's struck out more than a batter per inning while displaying improved command and a 2.18 ERA between AA and AAA thus far this season. He's ready right now and his home park will be a pitcher's park at Safeco. He can be a true difference maker for H2H formats if he's called up to make some starts in September. He'll be a huge sleeper for next season's fantasy drafts and his dominant upside will likely be worth investing a mid-round pick in (depending on your exact league format). ETA = Late 2013

USA Team Replacements:

P, A.J. Cole, Washington Nationals - Will replace Taylor Guerrieri who won't play due to shoulder soreness. Cole's stuff and talent are a lot better than his 4.43 ERA indicates. His 3.45 FIP is a much better indication of his potential. He has had K:BB and K/9 numbers as well. Cole can be a #2 starter with excellent WHIP and strikeout numbers. ETA = 2015

P, C.J. Reifenhauser, Tampa Bay Rays - Will replace Taylor Jordan since he has now made his MLB debut. C.J. has converted to full-time relief this year and results have been very good. He can be a solid middle reliever. ETA = 2014

C, James McCann, Detroit Tigers - Will replace Josh Phegley due to his MLB debut. McCann has the defensive ability to be a big-league catcher but his bat probably won't make him a starter. ETA = 2015

1B, Christian Walker, Baltimore Orioles - Will replace Joey Terdoslavich due to his MLB debut. My bold prediction for Walker before the season was:

Christian Walker proves his doubters wrong, smacking 22 HR between A and A+. His 60 BB to 80 K along the way further solidify his prospect status

So far he has had a solid season but hasn't quite lived up to those numbers. Walker has hit .314 with 11 HR and a .859 OPS between A-Ball and High-A. If Walker gets playing time in MLB then his bat will obviously be relevant. Hopefully he can hit for a little more HR power at AA. ETA = 2016

Sources:

milb.com

fangraphs.com

baseball-reference.com


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