New kids on the diamond
Before we get to the pro kiddies this week, let's take a look at the freakish phenom in this year's MLB Draft --
Harper is expected to be the first overall pick of the Washington Nationals in the June 7 amateur draft. He isn't getting quite as much hype as
Check out Harper's numbers this year at the College of Southern Nevada through 58 games: .415 batting average, 23 home runs, 68 runs batted in, .891 slugging percentage, .504 on-base percentage, and 17 stolen bases. Umm, did I mention he also plays catcher. Sick.
Harper's top tools are his bird-threatening power and rifle arm. There are some questions about his future strikeout propensity because of his long swing. In addition, some scouts have knocked him for being quirky and cocky. That's alright, he can spout off about himself and go through his ritualistic batting stance routine all he wants, as long as he's posting the yearly .280 BA, 30 HRs, and 100-plus RBIs that I expect.
From a fantasy standpoint, the big question is if Harper stays at catcher or moves to another position such as right field. Honestly, if he remains a backstop, it will just be icing on the cake. This 6-2, 185-pound blue-chipper is going to hit and be a fantasy asset no matter where he lines up on the field.
Alright, enough of the down-the-road talk. Let's get to the youngsters who can provide immediate help. This week's NKOTD starts with a look at some rookies who have surprised. The question is -- can they keep it up?
I admit it. I had my doubts about Freese's ability to translate his strong minor league numbers into major league success. Freese, however, has shown he can hang with the big boys with a .315 BA, three bombs, .391 OBP, and .456 SLG. Notably, Freese has climbed to No. 16 in our weekly
Who? That's been the standard question over the past month when it comes to Boesch. Yeah, it's tough living in
Here's a rookie dealer who isn't getting enough love. In five starts, Ely has a 3.41 earned run average, 7.96 strikeouts per nine innings, 1.14 walks per nine innings, and a 1.22 ground out to air out ratio. Yet, Ely is only owned in approximately 18 percent of leagues. Huh? As indicated by his career minor league stats (3.79 ERA/7.80 K/9), the 6-2, 200-pound righty has the stuff to put up nice numbers. His 1.91 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) suggests even more upside is on the horizon. Grab this guy off the wire if he's still sitting there.
I snatched Jaso yesterday in our RotoExperts In-House League and I plan to rotate him with
Keep a close
In case you haven't noticed, the Mets could use some new life in their pitching rotation. Gee may be the answer. In 53.2 IP at Triple-A this year, Gee has a 3.86 ERA, 7.61 K/9, and .244 BAA. The 6-1, 200-pound has flown under the radar because he has an average fastball, lacks a dominant secondary pitch, and missed significant time with a shoulder injury last year. Gee will never be a fantasy gem because his average arsenal will limit his strikeout ceiling and expose him to blowup starts when he isn't hitting corners. That said, because opportunity is around the corner, he's worth watching in deepish NL-only leagues.
Castro surely isn't hitting himself to the majors. The 22-year-old is batting .264 with zero HRs and a .298 SLG at Triple-A. Ouch. At the risk of self-congratulations, I will tell you I've labeled this dude a bust-to-be since before he strapped on his first professional shin guard. My prediction is just coming to fruition. Why the hell am I raising Castro's name if his numbers are atrocious and I'm a hater. Well, because Houston is entering sell-off mode and ready to give all types of kids a chance. General manager
I will keep this short since I wrote about Lincoln in my "New Kids" column
All statistics as of May 23, 2010.