July 27, 2010

For more fantasy analysis, check out RotoExperts.com.

As I've been preaching everywhere, you need to be all over player movement around the trade deadline. This is particularly important when it comes to prospects. Fantasy prospects' paths and ETAs tend to change greatly when they switch systems.

At the end of this article, there is a section entitled "Trading Places." This will be a regular feature over the next few weeks as we examine how the deadline deals have impacted specific youngsters. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @Bill Root if you want instant fantasy analysis of completed trades.

Alex Gordon (3B/OF, KAN)

He's back and hype-stripped. After his demotion, in 260 Triple-A ABs, Gordon hit .315 with 14 home runs, a .442 on-base percentage, and .577 slugging percentage. A shift to the outfield seemed to spark him at the plate; he also received heaps of praise for his natural ability and hustle at his new position. The Royals appear committed to giving Gordon another long-term look -- this time in the outfield. That said, after his 1-for-11 numbers since his return, that ol' doubt cloud is starting to form over Gordon's head once again. He's worth an investment in AL-only leagues because he qualifies at third base. Gordon will never be the superstar many predicted, but I wouldn't stick a fantasy fork in him quite yet in long-term leagues. Alex, I'm still a believer because of your mechanically sound swing (a.k.a. "sweet swing"). Keep an eye on Gordon in our daily and weekly rankings.

Scott Sizemore (2B, DET)

Sizemore was the most overrated rookie during preseason drafts. Now, the pendulum has swung to the underrated side. The 25-year-old was promoted last week after hitting .329 with .515 SLG at Triple-A. He will see significant time at third base with Brandon Inge shelved because of a broken hand. Sizemore needs to display better plate discipline in the majors (26.6-percent strikeout rate) to find deep mixed-league value. He's already an immediate mono-league option because of his speed and power combination; you will see more SBs from him in the second half now that he's further removed from his ankle surgery in the offseason.

J.A. Happ (SP, PHI)

It's difficult for a fantasy expert to reverse his opinion on a player. We go through three years of intense schooling where it's embedded in our minds that we must be confident and clear with our recommendations. I made it known a few weeks ago I was extremely concerned about Happ because his velocity was down in his rehab starts as he attempted to return from a forearm strain. In fact, I recommended that any Happ owners deal him immediately after his first start back in the majors. Don't do it. I watched every pitch of Happ's start against Colorado yesterday. Although the stat line was less than stellar (5 IP, 4 Hs, 3 ERs, 4 Ks, and 4 BBs), I was very impressed by Happ's stuff. Specifically, his heater was hitting the low-90s and his change had nice late movement. There's upside here.

Kenley Jansen (RP, LAD)

This converted catcher was promoted to the bigs last week and will be a savior in the Dodgers' bullpen. In 45 IP between High-A and Double-A in 2010, Jansen has a 1.60 earned run average, 72 strikeouts, 23 walks, and a .184 batting average against. Even though Jansen scooped up a save on Sunday, Jonathan Broxton surely isn't losing that job any time soon. Nevertheless, in leagues that count holds or put a premium on strikeouts, Jansen is an ideal cheap investment.

Carlos Carrasco (SP, CLE)

Carrasco is overdue for a long-term look. The 6-3, 215-pound righty has a 92-95 mph fastball and major league-ready change. He also produces grounders at an impressive rate (1.51 Ground Out to Air Out Ratio). The only question about Carrasco has always been his mental makeup. I was in the press box last year at a minor league game when Carrasco was on the mound. As soon as Carrasco allowed two runners on base, a local beat writer turned to me and said: "Now watch him melt." As Carrasco quickly displayed, it was like the writer had a 100 percent accurate crystal ball. In the past, Carrasco has been hammered with runners in scoring position and has lost his concentration on the mound. This mental aspect of his game continues to improve with age. Monitor him closely in AL-only leagues because of his stuff alone.

Brad Mills (SP, TOR)

Here's another arm to consider in AL-only leagues. Mills doesn't light up the radar gun, but he has two excellent secondary pitches (12-to-6 curve/changeup) and a great feel for pitching. The 5-11, 185-pound southpaw is the type of pitcher who will get rocked in some starts, but succeed in others when he's painting the corners. In his minor league career, Mills has a 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings rate and .237 BAA. Thus, despite only having a high-80s fastball, he can be difficult to hit. Mills may start for the Jays on Wednesday night. He's spot starter material in AL-only formats (translation: don't start him against AL East opponents). Mills could be very effective in his first trip around the league because of his delivery.

J.P. Arencibia (C, TOR)

Should a 24-year-old backstop with a .309 BA, 29 HRs, and .650 SLG at Triple-A really be rotting in the minors? Absolutely not. Not only are the superficial numbers impressive, but Arencibia has also become more patient at the plate this year (eight-percent BB rate/41-percent walk to strikeout rate). This will only help him adjust to major league pitching. There's a strong possibility John Buck is traded before the deadline. This will open the door for Arencibia in Toronto and allow him to become a mixed league factor in the second half. Always take a chance on power when it comes to catchers.

Sean O'Sullivan (SP, KAN)

O'Sullivan received way too much publicity last week because he was traded from the Angels to Royals and had the pleasure of facing the Yankees twice in the same week. Oh, the power of the media. The Angels astutely sold high on this dude after his lucky start earlier in the week against the Bronx Bombers (6 IP, 2 Hs, 2 ERs, 4 Ks, and 3 BBs). Of course, he was then blown up by the Yankees on Sunday (5 IP, 7 Hs, 5 ERs, 3 K, and 0 BBs). O'Sullivan is a control artist who has been hammered at advanced minor league levels. He will die a painful fantasy death in Kansas City with a K/9 rate below 6 and very few wins. Look elsewhere.

Tyler Skaggs (SP, ARZ)

Let me sum up the Dan Haren deal for you from Sunday. The Diamondbacks traded a treasured ace for a one-year wonder (Joe Saunders), fringe prospects, and a player to be named later. Well, at least they waited until right up until the deadline to make sure they got the best deal. Oh wait, they didn't do that either. The silver lining in the deal for the D'backs is that Tyler Skaggs is rumored to be the PTBNL. Skaggs is a long, lean lefty (6-4, 185-pounds) with some ceiling. At Low-A this year, he has 3.61 ERA, 8.99 K/9, 2.30 BB/9 and 1.59 GO/AO. That said, he's only 19 and he still has some major polishing to do on his off-speed stuff. He's a decent long-term stash in NL-only dynasty leagues once he becomes available.

All statistics as of July 25, 2010.

Hit Bill Root with a tweet @Bill_Root or an email at broot@rotoexperts.com if you have a burning fantasy prospect question. Make sure to check out our Xclusive Edge Rankings for help with your tough lineup decisions.

Wake up every morning with RotoExperts on Sirius XM's new Fantasy Sports Radio channel. Listen live starting at 7 a.m. ET as RotoExperts.com covers all fantasy sports and takes your calls on Sirius channel 211 and XM channel 147.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)