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New kids on the diamond


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As a long-time Domonic Brown supporter, I'm a tad ticked off. Brown's promotion last week was completely overshadowed by the flurry of deadline deals, Stephen Strasburg's shoulder woes, and Chris Coghlan's reckless "pieing" ways. Brown is in the same fantasy prospect league as Jason Heyward and Buster Posey. Take advantage of the lack of mainstream hype.

Brown was having a monster year in the minors before he was summoned. In 343 ABs between Double-A and Triple-A, Brown was hitting .327 with 20 home runs, 17 stolen bases, a .391 on-base percentage, and a .589 slugging percentage. Those sick stats, however, only tell half the story. He has that "it" factor that can't be fully described. Sure, I could try to define that "it" factor with excess verbage about Brown's power, speed, athleticism, competiveness, and demeanor. Instead, I'm simply just going to beg you to watch him play. Brown will define "it" for you.

In non-keeper leagues, Brown's long-term 2010 playing time will be dictated by his play and the Phillies' injury situation. In dynasty and keeper leagues, you need to plant this 6-5, 200 pound lefty on your squads by any means necessary. This is the time to make those overwhelming offers that other owners simply can't ignore.

I will spare you any further drooling over Brown. Let's examine other prospects that were called up or dealt during deadline week.

Logan Morrison (1B/OF, FLA)

As you know if you've been a loyal "New Kids" reader, Morrison has always been at the top of my underrated prospect list. Coghlan's celebratory injury opened the door for Morrison to finally receive a promotion last week. Morrison is an interesting player. As I've witnessed first-hand in batting practice, Morrison has tremendous power. Yet, because he values plate discipline (17-percent walk rate, 1.37 walk-to-strikeout rate at Triple-A) and has struggled with a hand injury in the minors, this power hasn't translated to huge numbers (53 HRs, .465 SLG in five minor league seasons). Nonetheless, because the natural pop is there, I'm recommending Morrison in all keeper and dynasty leagues. In wake of the Jorge Cantu trade, Morrison will be given every opportunity to lock down the left field role for the rest of the season. Make an investment in all NL-only leagues, but remain in monitor mode in all but deep mixed formats.

Brett Wallace (3B/1B, HOU)

The Astros picked Wallace up via trade last week from the Blue Jays through one of the pieces (Anthony Gose) they acquired in the Roy Oswalt trade. Subsequently, they dealt Lance Berkman to create a starting opportunity for Wallace at first base. It still amazes me that Ed Wade was the first GM willing to give Wallace a shot. It will amaze me more if resists the urge to give Wallace away to the Phils (i.e. Brad Lidge, Oswalt) once he develops. Despite being in his fourth organization in three years, Wallace has done nothing but hit in the minors (.304 batting average in his three-year career). As Wallace has displayed this year at Triple-A, he also has underrated power (18 HRs, 24 Doubles at Triple-A). In addition, unlike most left-handed hitters, Wallace hits southpaws better than he hits righties (.365 BA v. lefties in career); this advanced ability will only help his adjustment to major league pitching. The big knock on Wallace is his defense -- which is why he was shifted to first base this year by the Jays. Of course, as we know, we don't give a damn about defense unless it's impacting playing time -- something Wallace will now receive in heavy doses. Wallace will make a significant impact in NL-only leagues in the second half and continue to rise up our Xclusive Edge rankings.

Josh Tomlin (SP, CLE)

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Tomlin is a rare breed because he's known as a crafty righty. He doesn't have an overpowering arsenal, but he keeps hitters off-balance through great location, changes in speeds, and a nasty cutter. Tomlin has impressed in two starts against two of the most powerful lineups in baseball -- the Yankees and Blue Jays: 12.1 innings pitched, 1.46 earned run average, seven strikeouts, and two walks. Tomlin surely isn't as known in the prospect world, but he has been solid throughout his minor league career, posting a 3.20 ERA, 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings, and 1.9 walks per nine innings in five seasons. The concern regarding Tomlin is he will give up a boatload of bombs in the majors based on his sup-par groundout-to-air-out-ratio (0.76 at Triple-A) and the fact he will pitch to contact in the bigs. I will take my chances in AL-only leagues because his HR/9 rate has been less than one in the minors. Make a small investment despite the lack of name recognition.

Kila Kaaihue (1B/DH, KAN)

This installment of NKOTD is quickly becoming a prospect love-fest. It surely won't stop here with my discussion of the "Twine Kila." Kaaihue was hitting .322 with 24 HRs and a .601 SLG at Triple-A prior to his promotion last week. Despite those ridiculous power numbers, it's his superb plate patience (21-percent BB rate, 1.28 BB/K rate) that has me grabbing him in all of my mono-leagues and deep mixed formats. Let's hope Kaaihue finally gets the playing time he deserves now that Alberto Callaspo, Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik and David DeJesus are out of the mix. There's certainly no reason Jose Guillen should continue to block this guy.

Anthony Gose (OF, TOR)

The love stops here. Gose is completely overrated in the fantasy world. His arm, defensive range, and the fact he was dealt in separate deals for Roy Oswalt and Brett Wallace won't help you win a championship in any league. OK, he had 76 SBs in the minors last year and already has 37 this year. Let's look closer. He's also been caught 27 times, has struck out 108 times in 431 ABs, and has a below 80-percent contact rate at every minor league level. Gose will be much more valuable to the Jays in the future than he will be to any Fantasy squad. Deal him now while the publicity iron is hot.

Andrew Lambo (OF, PIT)

Lambo was dealt last week in the trade that sent him and James McDonald to Pittsburgh for Octavio Dotel. On a side note, what were the Dodgers thinking with this deal? Why give up two quality prospects for Dotel's 4.00-plus ERA? Desperate times cause GMs to make desperate moves. Lambo was hitting .271 with four HRs and a 420 SLG in 181 ABs at Double-A prior to the trade. Obviously, those numbers alone don't have you begging to grab Lambo. That said, if you watch some tape on this kid, you will be impressed. He has a great short stroke, can spray the ball to all fields, and has clear untapped power (18 HRs in 2008 between High-A and Double-A). Unfortunately, Lambo's biggest problems have related to his attitude and off-the-field stupidity. Lambo was recently suspended for 50 games for drug use. He's also been known to hang his head on the field when things don't go right. This 21-year-old kiddie just needs to grow up; the change of scenery was the best thing for him. Lambo is the type of low-risk/high-reward prospect you should grab in dynasty leagues.

Wilson Ramos (C, WAS)

The Nationals stole this backstop from the Twins in the deal involving Matt Capps. I guess you can just give away catching prospects when you have Joe Mauer in the fold. The 22-year old came into the season as a highly-rated prospect because he hit .317 in the minors in 2009. Any catcher with the skills to hit .300-plus is worth your fantasy attention. Ramos hasn't hit as well at Triple-A this year (.242 BA), but the natural talent is there. Ramos has excellent plate coverage, gap power to all fields, and tremendous contact ability. Further, his top-notch defense has him on the fast track to the majors now that he's not stuck behind Mauer. Use some of those free agent dollars on Ramos in NL-only leagues. There's room for growth here at a position of scarcity.

All statistics as of August 1, 2010.

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

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