The trade deadline has brought about another period of intrigue for fantasy managers. Suddenly
637 at-bats, 89 Rrns, 10 HR, 78 RBI, 27 SB, .289 AVG
Five years ago, a five-tool talent with a memorable name took the major leagues by storm. Looking like the second-coming of
Even with all the injuries, Baldelli's potential has shined through. Over the last two years, Baldelli has played in 35 games shy of a full season, yet when you combine the totals, you get an impressive 21 home runs and 14 steals. On that note, fantasy managers should pay attention to his latest comeback. Just 26-years old, Baldelli can still return to top prospect status. He has recently played in Double-A, where he has racked up three home runs and a .333 average through 11 games. Realistically, expectations need to be lowered this season, as the Rays have clearly found a way to win without him. However, it seems like they may call him up to face southpaws, and a return may be in order as soon as this weekend. What will be interesting to watch is what develops for Baldelli this offseason. The Rays have declined their option, which will make the 6-4 outfielder a free agent. If he can finish strong this season, fantasy managers should eye Baldelli as a sleeper for '09, particularly if he finds himself in a hitter's park.
15-8, 221.2 IP, 184 Ks, 43 BB, 3.09 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
A top major league pitching prospect since his days in high school, Carpenter was selected with the fifth pick of the 1993 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Carpenter made his major league debut in '97, and it did not go well. He finished 3-7 with a 5.09 ERA. The 6-6 right-hander turned things around the following season with a 12-7 record, and much-improved 4.37 ERA. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Carpenter in Toronto, as injuries and ineffectiveness wore out his welcome. In '02, he signed on with the St. Louis Cardinals. After major surgery kept him off the field in '03, Carpenter returned in fine form in '04. The Cards' new ace finished 15-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 152 strikeouts. Carpenter followed with a Cy Young season, hurling seven complete games en route to a 21-5 record, a career-best 213 strikeouts, and 2.83 ERA. Despite pitching with pain, Carpenter put together another stellar campaign in '06, racking up 15 wins and finishing third in the Cy Young balloting. After just one start last season, Carpenter again went under the knife. At the age of 33, Carpenter hopes to return to his winning ways again this season after his second major surgery in his career.
If you go down the list, it's incredible how many pitching careers
10-3, 114.1 IP, 72 Ks, 46 BB, 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
At the age of 24, Sanchez is still considered a great prospect for the Florida Marlins despite coming off major right shoulder surgery. A strikeout pitcher in the minor leagues, Sanchez earned his way to the majors in '06. Despite making just 18 appearances, Sanchez was considered for the Rookie of the Year honor after a dazzling 10-3 season, in which the opposition hit just .217 against him. Of course, Sanchez also made the national news that season, hurling a no-hitter, one of two complete games for the young hurler that season. Last season, Sanchez made just six starts before ending his season because of a shoulder injury. Shelved for nearly a season and a half, Sanchez is finally on the mend and will join the Marlins rotation for the final stretch.
The road to recovery has not been easy for Sanchez, as he has missed more than a calendar year of major league service while recovering from major shoulder surgery. The good news is that the scouts love what they see thus far. Hurling a fastball in the mid-90s, Sanchez made five rehabilitation starts in the minors leagues, and finished 2-0 in 28 innings, with 25 strikeouts, 10 walks, and a 3.21 ERA. Sanchez joins fellow recovering hurler