At this point in the rotisserie season, you probably have a pretty good sense of what your team is capable, or not capable of, achieving. If you've been mired in the second division waiting for Pablo Sandoval to start hitting his weight(oh, I forgot, he is. Just that his weight is like a waif at 110), and half of your staff is just coming off the DL or worse, is out for the rest of the season due to the TJ epidemic, you probably are getting that sense that maybe 2014 just isn't your year. Have no fear! I have done some research and have dug up several of my favorite prospects that may be flying below the radar and are a nice addition to the more elite prospects that everyone knows. Without further ado, I give you my
TOP 10 BELOW THE RADAR PROSPECTS
1. Manuel Margot (OF) - Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Margot is the fits the profile of a 5 tool player. He has outstanding speed, decent pop with a frame that has some projection, and while scouting his stat line doesn't paint the complete picture, keep in mind that at 19, he is competing in the Sally League where he is two and a half years younger than the average player in the league. If a team has rostered Margot, he may or may not know what he has. Take advantage and ask for him to complement a more advanced prospect and reap the rewards.
2. Micah Johnson (2b) - Speed to burn. Besides that, his game is maturing very nicely, with a dramatic increase in his BB/K ratio voer last year. Repeating AA is allowing Johnson to refine and polish his tools and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a September callup and being the 2b of the future in Chicago, with Beckham and to a lesser degree Semien blocking him. Enjoy the speed, he will anchor your team SB cateory and do it while playing an infield position.
3. Sean Manaea (SP) - Scoop scoop scoop this guy while he is off to a slow start. Manaea(pronounced Ma-nai-uh) who signed last year out of Indiana State carries not only a fully matured 6'5 235 lb. frame, but also has the stuff that would've made him a Top 3 pick if he wasn't injured coming out of the draft. FB sits 90-94. That grades out as plus for a lefty, but the thing that makes Manaea so hard to peg is the life on the fastball. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot that is tough for lefthanded hitters to pick up, and the changeup is flashing as just enough of a weapon that it'll keep righties honest.
4. Harold Ramirez (OF) - 19 year old OF that profiles as yet another Pirate impact player. Abilities include a plus hit for average tool, and some power projection left in him due to the wrist strength and ability to barrel balls. Also has the ability to be a 10-15 Sb guy in the majors, which make him even more interesting as a sweetner for your bail trade.
5. Rymer Liriano (OF) - This SD product has seemingly been around since the Stone Ages. Signed out of the Dominican waaaay back in 2007, he is still only 23 years old. Having had TJ surgery and missing a big chunk of time has delayed his development, but he now carries 230 lbs. on a fully matured frame. Again, great time to take advantage of a guy who could be a 5 tool player.
6. Kyle Zimmer (SP) - The former dandy has become somewhat of an enigma, due to the stops and starts in his developmental curve. When healthy, he still possesses a fastball, slider, and curve that al grade out as plus, so this is a golden opportunity to scoop a former helium guy every owner knew due to the health issues present.
7. Braden Shipley (SP) - Has plus velocity, a plus fastball that is matched by a sharp curve, and an arm without a lot of mileage on it, and BAM! you have a recipe for a guy who is in the shadows in the desert due to Archie Bradley's presence. With a profle of a great #3 starter or decent #2, you can go to bed at night knowing you have a guy who is as safe a bet to be an impactful pitcher in the show as soon as 2016.
8. Kyle Crick (SP/RP) - Armed with a 70 grade fastball that has hit 98, Crick is, at this point, a somewhat unrefined pitcher who could be a starter, but if the control doesn't improve would fit quite nicely in the back end of the bullpen, atlhough the Giants would definitely prefer the former. Projected to have a solid changeup to go with the killer cheese can be a great elixir, however, and we will see him at some point in 2015.
9. Nick Williams (OF) - This Texas signee from the 2012 draft is one of many Texas prospects with a boom-or-bust profile. With that being said, he not only has elite bat speed, but a still maturing 6'3 195 lb. frame that belies more power to come. Most guys will be aware of the Texas OF prospects, but Williams to me is the one I trust to make the necessary adjustments and become the impact hitter we as rotisserie owners cherish.
10. Billy Burns (OF) - Another one of those buggy speed guys I tend to love. Probably the second fastest player in the game, and even if he never becomes an All Star, he will give you the Rajai Davis type seasons, where 30-40 SBs can be invaluable. A career .421 OBP in the minors should dictate that he make an impression on your league standings as early as Septemer, with a more meaningful 2015 campaign where I would think he profiles.
I hope you have enjoyed my top ten below the radar targets when considering how to augment the elite prospects you acquire in order to make 2015 a better season.
Good Bailing Ahead!