New kids on the diamond
It's time to add some fresh flavor to NKOTD. This week I present to you my "Fantasy Prospects Faceoff" feature. In this section of the column, I will pit two prospects against each other in a fantasy battle. Specifically, I will give you a scouting report on each prospect and tell you which one is more valuable in keeper leagues. In the first matchup, it's
Despite his minor league success, Chacin plunged off the prospect radar this offseason because of 11 subpar innings last year in the majors. Outrageous. Check out Chacin's career minor league statistics: 481.1 innings pitched, 2.43 earned run average, 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.7 walks per nine innings, and 1.134 walks plus hits per innings pitched. Chacin was promoted last week to take the injured
It's funny, even the buzz today is that Chacin only did well in his first start because he was facing the Giants' weak lineup; he can't catch a hype break. The prospect world has lost faith in Chacin because of his control problems at advanced levels and because of an overreaction to his test run in the majors last year. Trust Chacin's stuff and career numbers. He has the two traits you should covet in young pitchers -- the ability to induce grounders (59.4-percent ground ball rate in his career) and miss bats. Chacin is must-add in NL-only leagues and someone to monitor in mixed leagues.
There's no reason to even take a peek at Heisey in any non-keeper format. The 25-year-old outfielder was recently called up when
The 22-year old Cahill isn't a prospect any longer after throwing 178.2 innings for the Athletics last year. The noise surrounding Cahill has faded because he didn't "wow" last year (4.63 ERA, 4.53 K/9, 27 home runs allowed). Nevertheless, don't write Cahill off just yet. He got the nod last week when
Stanton came in as the eighth-ranked prospect on my
I've never been a big Tabata supporter, but he's growing on me. The 21-year-old outfielder is currently hitting .330 with two HRs, 12 stolen bases, and a .391 OBP at Triple-A. From a fantasy perspective, it's important that he's swiping more bases and striking out less. Tabata has the speed and contact skills (85-percent Contact rate at Triple-A) to put up solid batting average, runs scored, and stolen base numbers. The power numbers, however, will be extremely average (.134 isolated power at Triple-A last year). Tabata will find a starting spot in the Pirates outfield by July, most likely at the expense of
Scheppers is on track to follow
Taylor -- 24 years old; right-handed; 6-6, 260 pounds; Triple-A.
Taylor -- This former Phillies prospect deserves more hype than he receives. He hit .320 with 20 HRs and 20 SBs last year at Double-A and Triple-A combined. The power will follow Taylor to the majors as he has posted an isolated power above .200 at every level since High-A. Taylor has closed holes in his swing as he has advanced and he has learned to hit the ball to all fields. There's more upside here if Taylor continues to improve his patience at the plate (10.2-percent BB rate at Triple-A last year). Even though he's off to a slow start in '10, Taylor is destined to receive major league playing time this year. The Athletics need his big bat in the lineup (27th in HRs in '10).
Brown -- The comparisons to
Brown is this week's "Fantasy Prospect Faceoff" winner. In the short-term, Taylor is the better play because he's two years older and headed to the bigs in the next few months. Nevertheless, he doesn't have Brown's ultimate ceiling. In the long-term, Brown has the edge because of his raw skills, projectable frame and skills, future surrounding cast, and home park. Brown will add more homers to the mix as he adds muscle. Further, if he stays a patient and selective hitter, he will be a six-category fantasy stud.