New kids on the diamond
Many people believe the MLB All-Star Game and festivities have no fantasy relevance. Those people clearly didn't realize that the fantasy future was on display this past weekend.
For prospect hounds like me, the Futures Game is one of the highlights of the baseball season. In case you missed Sunday's game, I'm here to provide the scouting scoop on the relevant kiddies. Specifically, let's examine some of the prospects in the game who could still make a 2010 impact and others with superstar ceilings.
On a side note, the United States defeated the World Team 9-1 behind a three-run bomb by
OK, as you probably know, Hudson didn't actually pitch in the Futures Game even though he was chosen for the United States roster. Instead, D-Huddy was busy facing the Royals in his first start for the injured
This dude is more than ready. Check out his sick numbers at Triple-A this year: 105.2 innings pitched, 11-2 record, 2.21 earned run average, 104 Ks, and 26 BBs.
Admittedly, I'm a tad obsessed with Jennings' fantasy ceiling. Jennings' prospect value actually suffered some deflation at the beginning of the season after wrist and shoulder problems hampered his production and limited his playing time. The 6-2, 200-pound outfielder rebounded in June with a scorching hot .353 batting average and eight stolen bases during the month. As he's done in the minors, (21 SBs, two caught stealings) and he did in the the Futures Game, Jennings will swipe bases with ease in the majors. Jennings will immediately produce in the BA, SB, and runs categories once he's promoted. Whether that time comes before September ultimately depends upon whether
Some people snickered at me when I placed Brown at No. 9 on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list at the beginning of the season. Who's snickering now? In 2010, in 291 ABs between Double-A and Triple-A, Brown is hitting .326 with 19 HRs, a .608 SLG, and 14 SBs. Impressively, the left-handed power hitter has hit left-handed pitching at a .282 clip in his career; his ability to hit southpaws will only accelerate his learning curve in the majors. Unfortunately, Brown only received one AB in the Futures Game because he was pulled with a minor hammy injury. There's a small chance Brown receives an extended look in the second half if
The Trout hype is starting to build. In 312 ABs at Low-A, Trout has a .362 BA, six HRs, a .526 SLG, and 45 SBs. Most important, even though he's only 18, he's already displayed excellent pitch recognition skills with a 13-percent Walk rate and .88 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Trout will be a six-category (on-base percentage included) fantasy weapon when he reaches his prime; the power will come as he learns to pull the ball more. Trout may have been the youngest player in the Futures Game, but he was one of the most impressive. He was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and displayed that "it" factor throughout the game. Please refer to my soon-to-be-released fantasy scouting guide for a detailed description of the "it" element. For example, Trout hit a double in the game that was merely a product of hustle because he saw the World Team centerfielder coasting after a routine single. Trout will steal hits and runs due to his top-notch speed and hard-nosed approach. This is a prospect to hone in on if you're out of contention in long-term leagues.
"The Moose" is primed to be a star because he has plus-plus power and lines up at a position of scarcity. Moustakas is hitting .355 with 21 HRs and a .417 on-base percentage this year at Double-A. Last year, he struggled with off-speed pitches and was undisciplined with pitches out of the zone. He has improved in both areas in 2010. Specifically, he has raised his BB rate to nine-percent, lifted his BB/K rate to .61, and boosted his contact rate to 84 percent. Moustakas didn't get to show off any of his massive power during the Futures Game, but that's a good thing if you're looking to acquire him.
I provided a scouting report on Teheran a few weeks ago in this column. Thus, there's no need for me to rehash my glowing praise in detail. The 19-year old was somewhat wild (two BBs) in his one-inning appearance this weekend. Nevertheless, he was still extremely impressive. Teheran always has hitters thinking about his screwball-like changeup. As a result, as
Yes, I'm actually suggesting that THE Kansas Royals may have two future stars in their grasp. Hosmer is hitting .349 with 27 doubles, seven HRs and a .540 SLG at High-A. He's a different man this year at High-A with his 2009 vision issues behind him. Hosmer's BB/K has gone from .41 last year to 1.14 in 2010. In addition, he has raised his BB rate at the level from .77 last year to .88 in 2010. As you
All statistics as of July 11, 2010.