As we at Fake Teams attempt to give you the best fantasy coverage on the internet, this week I will be unearthing some lower level prospects who either are undervalued in the transition from real prospect rankings to fantasy, or simply have a skill set that could allow them to breakout and provide you with significant value. Without further adoo, I present you with the AL East.
New York Yankees - Wilkerman Garcia
While everyone is presently gushing over the fantasy value that fellow Yankee Jorge Mateo could provide, his younger colleague is beginning to show signs of being another valuable fantasy piece. Garcia is a switch hitting, contact first short stop who has plus speed and a plus arm along with clean actions in the infield. As of today questions have not been raised about him moving off the position, so a player who recorded more walks than strikeouts in the GCL as a 17-year-old seems to be a very solid base to build around.
Garcia boasted a .281/.396/.347 line, 131 wRC+, while being 2.4 years younger than the average player in the league. The Yankees may be aggressive with him, which would be fairly uncharacteristic, or send him to extended spring training and let him play in either short season Staten Island or rookie level Pulaski. In either situation, he'll be far younger than his competition, and if his success matches his talent level again, he'll likely be a prospect with a lot of helium in 2017.
Boston Red Sox - Luis Alexander Basabe
Basabe is more tools than polish at this point, but it's enough to pique fantasy owners interest. Basabe became the first player in short season Lowell history to homer from both sides of the plate in one game. This lead him to him hitting 7 homers, and swiping 15 bases in 56 games. His 26.2% strikeout rate is the red waving flag for the outfielder, because he's going to have to improve his pitch recognition and contact ability while the pitching is simultaneously improving during his ascent through the minors, but if he can improve his contact, he could be a well rounded fantasy outfielder.
Tampa Bay Rays - Garret Whitley
The Rays 2015 first round selection is riddled with fantasy potential, but yet again needs to work on his hit tool to make it work. The easy plus power, plus speed combo makes many fantasy owners drool, but his .174 average will have fantasy owners who scout box scores running. This could be a long term investment, but Whitley has all the potential you could ask for in a fantasy prospect. Given his first round pedigree, he isn't going to be off anyone's radar, but if he starts hitting the ball, a HUGE if right now, he will explode up fantasy lists.
Baltimore Orioles - Jomar Reyes
Reyes is presently a significantly better fantasy prospect than real. He towers over opponents being listed at 6-4 220lbs, despite just turning 19. He played in low A last season, and handled opponents just fine batting .278/.334/.440. His calling card is his double plus raw power, letting him pulverize balls he squares up. He needs to improve his defense, as it has frequently drawn grades in the 20-40 range, and is responsible for him missing time after being hit in the face with a groundball. He easily has the arm for third, and if he can somehow remain there into the big leagues, he could become a fantasy force, but a move to first is far more likely.
Toronto Blue Jays - Max Pentecost
While Vlad Guerrero Jr. was my initial selection, he's not really sneaking up on anyone. Pentecost however has flashed all the ability, while being hurt often enough to depress his price. Pentecost can make contact, has shown plus raw power, and runs well. The problem is that he's had two surgeries on his throwing shoulder, one to repair his partially torn labrum, another to clean up some issues following the first surgery. The skills are there, and if his body cooperates with him, he has first division catcher potential.
All of these players have the potential to light up box scores, but also have questions, a cleaning up of that aspect of their game would allow them to roar up fantasy prospect lists, but as of today, they are the unheralded sleepers that everyone searches for.