2014 Minor League Keeper Thoughts: Colorado Rockies

Doug Pensinger

The prospect staff at Fake Teams continues their fantasy prospect rankings and system reviews with an in-depth look at the Colorado Rockies.

The prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking an in-depth look at each major league organization, including our top 10 fantasy prospects, an overview of the organization's minor league system as a whole and potential opportunities for playing time in 2014. Our goal is to provide you with more information as you prepare for minor league drafts for dynasty and keeper leagues, as well as look at players that could potentially be worth watching during the spring, as they could be in line to potentially help your fantasy team. We will be reviewing two teams per week until we are through all 30 teams, and you can see the schedule of when your favorite team will be reviewed below.

System Schedule

AL East

AL Central

AL West

NL East

NL Central

NL West

Baltimore

Chicago

Houston

Atlanta

Chicago

Arizona

Boston

Cleveland

Los Angeles

Miami

Cincinnati

Colorado

New York

Detroit

Oakland

New York

Milwaukee

Los Angeles
(1/16)

Tampa Bay

Kansas City

Seattle

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

San Diego
(1/20)

Toronto

Minnesota

Texas

Washington

St. Louis

San Francisco
(1/23)

Organizational Overview
By Jason Hunt(@jasonsbaseball)

It's been a rough couple seasons for the Rockies, having finished 5th in the division each of the past two seasons and not winning more than 74 games in any of the last three years. The team has committed to long-term deals with their young stars up-the-middle, with Troy Tulowitzki signed through 2020 and center fielder Carlos Gonzalez through 2017. After taking the unusual step of hiring new manager Walt Weiss to just a one year contract before the 2013 season, the organization was happy with his performance and gave him a three year extension through 2016.

The biggest change on the field for 2014 comes from the retirement of former face-of-the-franchise Todd Helton, who finished up with over 2500 hits and a .316/.414/.539 career line. The team has brought in his replacement already, signing free agent Justin Morneau to a two-year contract, and will look for Tulo and CarGo to take over completely in the related leadership roles.

The organization has struggled in recent years with acquiring talent through the draft, as they have only been able to get significant contributions from Rex Brothers (2009-1s) and Nolan Arenado (2009-2) since the 2008 draft. While it is expected to to take time for draft picks to develop, previous first rounders' Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek are both viewed as unlikely to make even a portion of the impact that had been hoped. They have done better in the more recent drafts, with top pitching prospects Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler expected to lead the Rockies' rotation by 2015, and outfielders David Dahl and Kyle Parker coming over the next few seasons as well.

While they haven't necessarily gotten as much from the international markets as in recent years, there are definitely still players to be excited about, with Raimel Tapia and Rosell Herrera expected to be impact major leaguers as well. Overall, the organization has some work to do, but there are the pieces in the system which will continue to help make the team better at the major league level in the coming years.

2013 Graduates

The following players have surpassed their rookie maximums of 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days of service time prior to September 1st of this year.

Nolan Arenado (at bats), Corey Dickerson (at bats), Charlie Culberson (service time), Ryan Wheeler (at bats), Chad Bettis (service time), Rob Scahill (service time)

Major League Opportunities in 2014
By Jason Hunt(@jasonsbaseball)

As you look across the diamond at Coors Field, there are a number of positions locked down. Beyond Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, Wilin Rosario has established himself as a top power-hitting catcher, and third baseman Nolan Arenado will look to improve on an excellent rookie year as well. The signing of Justin Morneau should solidify the first base position for the next two seasons, but second base is likely to be an open competition between DJ LeMahieu and last year's fantasy draft darling, Josh Rutledge. The team traded away center fielder Dexter Fowler, and will likely shift Carlos Gonzalez from left field a majority of the time. They also acquired outfielders Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes from the Indians and Astros respectively, and both will likely help spell all three starting outfielders with Corey Dickerson likely to take over in left.

In the rotation, the team will look to get a full season of starts from newly-acquired lefty Brett Anderson, who will slot in behind Jorge de la Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin. Beyond that, the rotation is a bit up-for-grabs. The team acquired both Jordan Lyles and Franklin Morales during the offseason, who will compete with returning starters Chad Bettis, Juan Nicasio and Tyler Chatwood for the last two spots. It's entirely possible that we could also see both Gray and Butler in the rotation before the end of the season as well, with Butler being more likely. Rex Brothers finished up the season as the closer, but he will be mentored by free agent signee LaTroy Hawkins. It's unclear how many save opportunities Brothers will get this year, which definitely hurts his fantasy value for 2014.

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects
By Brian Creagh(@briancreagh)

Our top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are based upon standard 5x5 fantasy baseball leagues, with a balancing of ceiling and present value. While we are having discussions regarding these lists as a collective group, the top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are finalized by the writer listed above. Players are no longer considered prospects once they exceed either 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days of service time in the Majors prior to September 1st.

170396817.0
Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

#1 Jonathan Gray (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

4

0

1.94

0.89

51

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

37.1

0

1.14

5.6%

35.4%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2016 Season)

Rk, A+

The 3rd overall pick in this year's rookie draft, Jonathan Gray has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the draft. He has all the tools to become a bonafide ace and is further along in his development than any other pitcher in his class outside of Mark Appel. There were legitimate discussions on Gray going 1.1 in the draft, but he fell to #3 overall, possibly due to an isolated incident involving a positive test for the medication Adderall. There is a very good chance Gray emerges as the best pick in this draft and turns into the ace Colorado has long coveted.

Gray signed shortly after the draft for a $4.8 million signing bonus, roughly $800k below slot. He pitched 37.1 innings the rest of the year, including 5 starts in Hi-A Modesto. The Rockies weren't afraid to challenge the college arm early and he responded going 4-0 in Hi-A striking out 41.9% of batters(!!!) and walking only 7%. The sky is the limit for this kid fantasy-wise. Gray features a plus-plus fastball that he commands well and pumps into the triple digits. He has a nasty slider that will help keep his strikeout numbers competitive with the league leaders. Plus he features an above-average changeup that will give him a dominant mix of pitches to keep hitters off-balance. Gray also has a big 6'4", 255 lb. frame that will almost definitely hold 200+ innings on a yearly basis.

If you had to find a weakness it would be a nitpick in his mechanics. His follow-through is not the most repeatable motion due to a difficult finish on his front leg. The righty is still athletic enough to maneuver around it and spot his pitches despite inconsistent release points, but you'd like to see him make an easier finish to the plate. There was talk prior to the draft that Gray better fits the mold of a reliever, but I think that talk has worn pretty thin to this point. He could be one of those fast-movers who finishes his first season in the bigs a-la-Dylan Bundy in 2012, but the long term role for Gray appears to be a frontline starter and a fantasy monster. I still prefer Bryant and probably Frazier as the first two off the board in rookie drafts, because elite bats are harder to come by, but Gray should almost definitely be the third off the board. I would feel more comfortable taking Gray than I would Tanaka if both were eligible in the same draft.

#2 David Dahl (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.275

9

0

7

2

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

42

0.310

0.425

4.8%

19.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

L/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2016 Season)

A

One of the few guys on this list who did not have a value-boosting year, David Dahl still deserves recognition as one of the top 5-tool prospects. After some overblown discipline issues and a lingering hamstring injury, David Dahl only managed 10 games in his full-season debut. Still incredibly young, the season is just a wash for Dahl and his stock doesn't move much one way or the other for me. The ceiling is still one of the best top-of-the-order talents with .300-15-30 a realistic possibility.

David Dahl was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft coming out of Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Alabama. He tore up the Pioneer League after signing with the Rockies and established himself as not only a top prospect, but also one of the most intriguing fantasy options for all dynasty leaguers. Dahl has an extremely advanced hit-tool for a 19 year old and there's still some projection left on it as he refines his approach and learns to adjust to more advance pitching. He possesses an above-average arm and great instincts in the outfield making him a sure-fire CF. With 60 grade speed, he could swipe 20+ bags in a leadoff role.

Holding his profile back from superstardom is the development of some power. His swing is compact and quick to the ball and doesn't get the spin on the ball to launch balls over the fence. There's a chance the power develops, but it's a pretty big gap between present and future. He's hit 9 HRs in 77 games, which is actually a solid pace but many scouts have noted his ability to feast on fastballs - a luxury he won't be afforded at the higher levels.

The floor for Dahl is still quite impressive. If the power doesn't come around, he's still a .300 hitter with above-average SB upside, hitting at the top of a Colorado lineup. If the power comes around, he becomes a monster and true 5-category performer. It might be worth checking on Dahl's availability in your fantasy leagues as he comes off a disappointing season.

20130714_jla_ae5_053.0
Photo Credit: Brad Penner - USA Today Sports

#3 Eddie Butler (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

9

0

1.81

0.99

143

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

149.2

0.54

2.14

8.7%

24.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2015 Season)

A, A+, AA

The first of three breakout prospects in the Rockies organization, Eddie Butler blew up in 2013. The 46th pick in the 2012 draft, Butler is a right-handed pitcher from Radford University. He spent all of last season pitching at 22 years old and moved through three levels starting in Lo-A. Butler ended the season with 6 starts in the AA Texas League. Butler isn't far away from his major league debut and he's capable of finding consistent success in Coors Field. He owns a career 60% groundball rate according to MLBFarm.com and pairs it with a potentially strikeout-inducing arsenal.

Butler wields a deep repertoire consisting of a two-seamer, changeup, curveball, and slider with the potential for at least 3 plus pitches. His fastball is devastating, working 93-97 with heavy sink, and will claim plenty of broken lumber during Butler's career. The changeup is another option with plus-plus potential, thrown with great deception and similar sinking action as the fastball. The slider and changeup lag behind the other two and the slider seems to be the more advanced pitch at the present. His fantasy value is tied to the development of one of these offerings since Butler's fastball/changeup combo is more likely to induce contact than result in a strikeout. If the slider can take a step forward, as some think it can, he could end up with above-average strikeout rates.

Eddie Butler will likely find himself back at AA Tulsa to begin next season, but a call to Denver should be expected if a need arises starting in around June. His profile isn't without flaw however, as many scouts note a max-effort, "crossfire" style delivery that could lead to inconsistency. He's not known for spot-on command so anything that makes it harder for him to repeat his delivery is an obstacle to overcome. Butler doesn't have the fantasy upside that Gray due to a lower strikeout potential and the small possibility of some command issues down the line. Butler and Gray also have two very different profiles, but both should manage to work inside the confines of Coors Fields. The Rockies rotation isn't far off from getting two big lifts.

#4 Raimel Tapia (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.357

53

7

47

10

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

286

0.399

0.562

5.2%

10.8%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

L/L

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2014 Season)

Rk

The second of three big breakouts in the system, Raimel Tapia has received some loco grades this offseason. Signed out of the Dominican Republic, Tapia is a 19-year-old outfielder with an offensive profile that fantasy owners go gaga over. He's played professionally for three seasons now, and every season Raimel Tapia has gotten better and forcing scouts to heighten his ceiling. 2013 was his latest masterpiece after hitting .357/.399/.562 with seven homeruns and 10 stolen bases in 66 games.

Raimel Tapia's bat-to-ball ability is very advanced for a 19 year old, and he carries himself with a swagger/energy reserved for only the most exciting prospects. His bat speed and bat control are easily plus and should support a high batting average throughout his career. Tapia has an above-average arm, which will probably put him in RF given David Dahl's looming presence in CF. While presently lagging behind his hit tool, the power should develop for him to hold up in a corner outfield spot. The ceiling here is unbelievable and Tapia might just end up being the best player available in dynasty drafts that was not picked in the 2013 draft.

Tapia was also awarded the Pioneer League Player of the Year after his impressive statistical season. In that season, he set the league record for consecutive hits in a game with 29! A record previously held by future teammate David Dahl. Tapia will get a big test next season as he gets his first taste of full-season baseball. Grab this guy everywhere you can, because few can match the fantasy upside if it all clicks.

#5 Ryan McMahon (3B)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.321

42

11

52

4

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

251

0.402

0.583

11.2%

23.5%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

L/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2017 Season)

Rk

One of the first to emerge as a great non-first round pick in the 2013 draft, Ryan McMahon is a guy fantasy owners need on their radar. A third baseman drafted out of Mater Dei High School in California, McMahon was a multi-sport athlete and his baseball stock could really take off with an increased focus on one sport. After signing, he played 59 games in the Pioneer League and turned some heads with 11 HRs and a .321/.402/.583 triple slash. He and Raimel Tapia formed one of the most exciting offensive tandems in the minor leagues.

McMahon projects to have both above-average hit and power tools, and if he can stick at third, should be a Top 10 fantasy player at the position during his prime. He was widely regarded as a first round pick, and when paired with Jonathan Gray and Jordan Patterson, he helps make up one of the best draft classes of 2013. McMahon is 6'3" 185 lbs., and while the power might not come right away, he exhibits the ability to get backspin on the ball and drive balls into the outfield. His swing is easy and he controls it well through the zone giving him an opportunity to adjust mid-pitch. The advanced hit tool is the reason to really get excited about this kid. It's easy to blow up a power-only guy when they are in the Rockies system, but when the fundamental hitting abilities are there, the power doesn't need to develop all the way for McMahon to put up useful fantasy numbers. That said, he still has the power projection to hit 25 HRs and a .280-.290 AVG.

#6 Kyle Parker (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.288

70

23

74

6

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

528

0.345

0.492

7.6%

18.8%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

24

R/R

On 40 Man Roster (3 Options Remaining)

AA

One of the few players on this list with some experience in the upper minors, Kyle Parker is just about ready for his major league debut. After spending all of last season in AA at 23 years old, Parker and his powerful swing will likely see Colorado towards the end of 2014. Drafted as a college bat out of Clemson University, Parker's game doesn't have a ton of projection at this point and is close to a finished product.

Parker has methodically moved up the Colorado system, a level a year, while making the appropriate adjustments along the way. Following his first year in Lo-A, scouts said he struck out too much and was a product of the environment. So in 2012, he went out and improved his production and cut his strikeout rate by 6.6%. Finally, in 2013 he moved up to face AA pitching that was supposed to expose his below average hit tool. Parker went out and hit .288/.345/.492 with 23 HRs and looks like a future middle-of-the-order piece for the Rockies.

There are not many prospects with a larger disparity between their fantasy ranking and real life ranking, where the fantasy profile is more encouraging. The reason is that Parker doesn't really have much defensive value and will be a clog on the base paths. Parker saw time at 1B, LF, and RF in 2013 and while he probably has the arm and slugger's profile of a right fielder, I'm not so confident that RF will be his future position. It will likely come down to where the first opening comes and Parker will fill that gap.

#7 Rosell Herrera (SS)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.343

83

16

76

21

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

546

0.419

0.515

11.2%

17.6%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

B/R

On 40 Man Roster (3 Options Remaining)

A

The third big breakout prospect on this list, Rosell Herrera is an intriguing middle infield prospect. Similar to Raimel Tapia, Herrera is a Dominican signee but lacks the insane quantity of tools. Herrera is currently playing SS, but doesn't have a huge arm, or elite quickness and if he starts to fill out his 6'3" 180 lb. frame, there is a chance he outgrows the position. He remains a solid fielder and could end up being a multi-positional fantasy threat. I would guess his likely landing spot is as a 2B and would suggest drafting him as such in fantasy leagues, but there is a chance for him to hold 3B, SS, and maybe even OF eligibility in a utility role for the Rockies.

Herrera increased his stock after a monster season in Lo-A Asheville. He hit 16 homeruns, stole 21 bases and slashed .343/.419/.515 in 126 games. Those are impressive numbers to be sure, but a deeper look and they become an illusion to Herrera's ultimate potential. The biggest thing working in Herrera's favor was his home ballpark in Asheville where he slashed .384/.455/.635. His road numbers are more indicative of what Herrera can offer fantasy owners. Rosell Herrera was also repeating the league after 63 games in Asheville during 2012. In the previous season he hit an uninspiring .202/.271/.272. Neither the power nor the speed was displayed in 2012 so it's tough to buy into them too much after 2013, especially since the scouting reports don't do much to back up his big numbers.

There aren't any real standout tools in Herrera's game, but rather an average across-the-board skillset. He should always be able to carve out playing due to positional flexibility and when paired with his home park, there's a chance for 15-20 HRs somewhere down the line. While I would warn owners to not go crazy over the numbers he posted this season, there is still some value in having a guy like Herrera for fantasy purposes.

#8 Tom Murphy (C)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.289

64

22

83

4

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

415

0.376

0.571

9.9%

24.8%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

R/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2015 Season)

A, AA

A surprisingly productive offensive season from Tom Murphy has moved him into the 2nd tier of fantasy prospect backstops. Murphy, a college pick in the 3rd Round of 2012, has done well to solidify his future as a catcher and done even more to add some offense to his game. Murphy started the season in Lo-A Asheville and played 80 games before skipping Hi-A and playing 20 games in AA. Albeit a small sample size, he managed to maintain the impressive numbers he was putting up in Lo-A following his promotion to Tulsa.

Murphy's power is generated less from a quick, leveraged swing, but instead from his brute strength. He should maintain solid in-game power at the highest level, even if his below average hit tool doesn't allow the power to play to its full potential. He slugged 22 HRs across the two different levels last year. His overall numbers are a bit inflated, especially the average, where he hit .322 at home in Asheville compared to .254 on the road. The power was fairly consistent across ballparks, which runs consistent with scouts beliefs that he should hit for power wherever he goes.

Like most catching prospects, his value is tied to his ability to stick behind the plate. There isn't a glaring weakness in Murphy's defensive game. He's a good receiver, with a great arm that should be able to control a run game. His footwork and blocking skills have received positive reviews as well. When the package all comes together, fantasy owners could be looking at a starting catcher with 15-20 HRs and an AVG that could work itself up to .260. That's a quality catcher in any format.

#9 Trevor Story (SS)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.233

71

12

65

23

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

554

0.305

0.394

8.1%

33.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

R/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2015)

A+

The ceiling has undoubtedly dropped for Trevor Story after a disappointing 2013 campaign. The former 45th overall pick in 2011, spent the season in Hi-A Modesto and struggled all season to get anything going offensively. The numbers are putrid (.233/.305/.394), but the scouting reports tell an even worse tale as reports on his swing and comfort level at the plate suggest a big step back. The most concerning statistic is the 183/45 K/BB ratio, confirming scouts' belief that his timing and pitch recognition skills lag behind where they need to be.

It wasn't long ago that Story was considered the top prospect in Colorado's system and he and David Dahl formed an interesting duo for dynasty owners. Trevor Story will still only be 21 years old next year and will likely find himself in AA. All hope is not lost as the skills for a useful power/speed SS still exist, but the risk associated with the package has increased considerably. One thing working on Story's favor are the marks he receives on his makeup. He maintains the work ethic necessary to bounce back from a lackluster season, and there is definitely a chance he finds himself back in the Top 3 of this list next season.

The ultimate upside for Story is a 15/20 SS with a .260ish AVG. There's value in that in almost every format, but it's certainly less than what we expected heading into the season. His defense at shortstop isn't awe-inspiring, and there's a chance he moves off the position either because of Tulowitzki's presence or because Story's offensive profile isn't good enough to justify keeping him at the position. The AA test is obviously going to be big for Story as he faces his stiffest competition yet while coming off a season sure to have stunted his confidence.

#10 Jordan Patterson (1B/OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.291

44

10

37

10

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

249

0.389

0.495

7.6%

14.9%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

L/L

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2016 Season)

Rk

Another boom-or-bust type prospect, Jordan Patterson is a toolsy outfielder selected in the 4th Round of the 2013 draft. Patterson is a college bat who shows a great feel for hitting and could develop into another excellent fantasy prospect. The lefty masher won the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award after a successful season at the University of South Alabama. Patterson is a 6'4", 205 lb. lefty who could develop game-changing power while settling into a corner outfield spot for Colorado.

His career got off to a good start in Rookie League where he hit 10 homeruns, stole 10 bases and slashed .291/.389/.495 in 60 games. The speed might not be a sustainable asset as he fills out, but Patterson is an athletic specimen. He gets positive marks for his leadership ability and even found success on the mound while in college, pitching 14.2 innings with a 1.84 ERA. His arm could be a weapon in right field. There's a lot going right for Patterson and he's a guy to watch for next season. His numbers could be bonkers if he finds himself spending significant time in Asheville.

Other Interesting Prospects
By Brian Creagh (@briancreagh)

Terry McClure - Similar to Patterson, McClure is a toolsy outfield prospect taken in the 2013 draft. He shows the ability to develop all 5 tools so he's worth a flier now in deep dynasty leagues in case his stock starts to take off next year. He was apart of a special Georgia prep class including Clint Frazier, McClure and Austin Meadows. While McClure ended up as an 8th Round Pick, his ceiling is still sky-high.

Chad Bettis - Still being used as a starter, Bettis falls out of our Top 10 due to concerns of ending up as a reliever. Bettis came close to losing eligibility after throwing 44.2 innings in Colorado with a 5.64 ERA. His command failed him and his strikeout numbers took a big step back. Bettis is a useful piece as a reliever in the backend of the bullpen, but fantasy owners shouldn't invest much in him.

Raul Fernandez - I'm not sure what to make of Raul Fernandez, but the big strikeout numbers he put up this year is worth mentioning. In his first taste of full-season ball, Fernandez struck out 35.7% of hitters good for a 14 K/9. He finished with an excellent 5.0 K/BB ratio, but his ERA was inflated due to a pair of 6+ run, 2 out performances. Remove those and his line looks quite spectacular. There's a chance Fernandez puts it all together next season, and becomes a valuable bullpen piece down the line.

Tyler Anderson - He's fallen off a bit since being selected 20th overall out of University of Oregon, but Anderson is still worthy of consideration. He was supposed to rise quickly through the minors and instead he's still spinning his wheels in Hi-A. He should find his way to AA next year and if he finds success could fit in the back of a rotation by 2015.

Tim Wheeler - The ceiling was never crazy on Wheeler, but after his disappointing 2013 his future looks more like a 4th outfield type. He's a versatile outfielder and should find consistent playing time as a result. Any hitter with a lick of power could blow up in Colorado, so he's worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues since Wheeler is very close to his Major League debut.


About the Authors

Jason Hunt is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in the minor leagues and prospects.
Follow him on Twitter

Brian Creagh is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Matt Mattingly is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Sources

Baseball America
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference
Fangraphs
Purple Row
Vimeo
Youtube

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