|Prospects Report - June 28th
Hello, and welcome to the newest section at Rotoworld.com. My name
is Matthew Pouliot and Ill be writing columns twice a
week. On Mondays, youll get the Minor League Report, filled with prospects and the
weeks important call ups, the most recent news on baseballs future stars will
be here at your disposal. Thursdays will have a different flavor. Ill be giving you
the skinny on what is happening around the league in the Strike Zone. Without any further
ado, lets get right to the MLR.
Prospects (All statistics as of Saturday)
Rich Ankiel - LHP Cardinals - It only makes sense to start off the
first Minor League Report with the best prospect in the minors. This 19 year old southpaw
is on a collision course with the majors. Starting off the year in Double-A, Ankiel was
simply outstanding, posting a 6-0 record with an ERA of 0.91. Upon promotion to Triple-A,
he has been almost as impressive, a 2-1 record, 2.57 ERA, and is striking out three
hitters for every one he walks. Best of all, hes been on a very strict pitch count,
keeping his arm safe and sound. While struggling to remain in wild card contention, the
Cardinals cant wait too much longer to bring this kid up. And when they finally do,
Im thinking shortly after the all-star break, this is a player to jump on, no matter
what type of format your league uses.
Aramis Ramirez - 3B Pirates - After playing 76 games with the big club
last year, Ramirez is no longer a rookie, but hes still a prospect. The
Dominican-born Ramirez is tearing up the Pacific Coast League this year, to the tune of a
.355 average, 13 homers, 43 RBI. He also has walked one more time than he has struck out.
Not bad for someone who just turned 21 on Friday. Its time for Pittsburgh to give
Aramis another crack at the third base job, despite the excellent season being put up by
veteran Ed Sprague. My advice to Pittsburgh? Recall Ramirez, give him a couple weeks of
splitting time with Sprague, and hope he learns a thing or two. Finally, ship Sprague off
to any team that will take him while he still has any trade value at all. My advice to
you? If you have an opening, give Ramirez a shot if he is called up.
Michael Coleman - OF Red Sox - Two short years ago, Michaels was
a name near the pinnacle of everyones top prospects lists. Unfortunately, a bad
attitude and injuries have stunted the 23 year olds development recently, but
hes put it back together this year. His 16 homers, tied for second in the
International League, have almost earned him a bus ticket to Boston. Even though his
average is a pedestrian .264 and he still strikes out far too often, he could fit into
Bostons plans this year. The Damon Buford/Darren Lewis/Trot Nixon threesome in
center and right field for the Sox leave a lot to be desired, especially in the power
department. If the Sox do bring up Coleman, it wont be so that he can sit on the
bench. Hell certainly be given a shot to win a job, and only time will tell if he
Before we get into the Weekly Call Ups section, let me first introduce you to the
grading system Ill be using.
A - Elite fantasy prospect. The type of player that only comes around only a few times
a year. This is a guy to grab no matter what format of league you are using. Example -
B - Excellent fantasy prospect. A player that should be picked up immediately in AL or
NL only leagues. Might be worth taking a chance on in 10 team ML leagues. Example - Ruben
C - Quality fantasy prospect. A player who could be a good short term acquisition.
Questionable whether this player will make much of an impact, but he does have a shot.
Example - Michael Coleman if he gets a shot.
D - Moderate fantasy prospect. The type of player with whom you should take a wait and
F - Why did they call this guy up? Avoid like a Colorado pitcher.
Remember, Im not necessarily grading these players as prospects. Im more
concerned with short term fantasy value, not what these guys will be doing next year. On
with the column.
Weekly Call Ups
Ben Davis - C Padres - The best catching prospect in baseball, Davis
is now in the majors courtesy of Jim Leyritzs broken wrist. The 22 year old
switch-hitter was batting .308 with 7 dingers and 44 RBI in 58 games for Triple-A Las
Vegas. He wont come close to that in the majors, but that is fine with the Padres
who treasure Davis for his defense. He should get a chance to play five times a week.
Octavio Dotel - RHP Mets - In the strong tradition of Paul Wilson,
Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen (who was demoted to make room on the roster for
this call up), Dotel is the newest Mets savior. His Triple-A record of 5-2 with a 4 ERA is
solid. His 84 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings is excellent, but 32 walks leave something to
be desired. Its going to be all about control for Dotel in the major leagues. If he
can get his pitches where he wants them hell be very good. If not, for example, his
first start Saturday against the Braves, hell be in a lot of trouble and back in
Norfolk before we even learn to pronounce his name. In his debut, he allowed 6 runs in 4
1/3 innings, surrendering 5 walks. Still, he is a player to keep an eye on. Grade C+.
Brad Fullmer - 1B Expos - Fullmer is back in Montreal after spending
33 games in Ottawa regaining his stroke. With 10 home runs, 28 RBI, and a .286 average in
Triple-A, the 24 year old lefty appears ready to tackle major league pitching once again.
Hell be playing first base on a full time basis in Montreal. Grade B.
Ramon Hernandez - C Athletics - A.J. Hinchs competition for the
Athletics "catcher of the future" title has arrived on the scene, thanks to a
disabled list trip by Mike Macfarlane. Hopefully, the Oakland brass didnt bring up
Ramon to sit on the bench while A.J. scores the PT. Ramons numbers in Vancouver were
solid (.263, team-leading 12 HR, 53 RBI), so its hard to believe he cant top
Hinch offensively at least. An excellent prospect, but it probably will not translate into
fantasy value this year. Grade D.
Ricky Ledee - OF Yankees - Once a mega-prospect, Ledee is now a 25
year old and has mastered the route between Columbus and New York. The lefty will, once
again, take his position in the mess that is the Yankees left field situation, getting the
occasional start against right-handed pitchers. Judging by his lack of production in
Triple-A (.252, 4 HR, 15 RBI in 115 at bats), you dont want him on your team right
now. Grade D.
Fernando Seguignol - 1B/OF Expos - One of the Expos great outfield
prospects, Seguignol is getting his chance to earn a job in Montreal while replacing
Rondell White, not only in the outfield, but in the heart of the lineup too. His excellent
Triple-A numbers (.284, 14 HR, 54 RBI in 65 games) were countered by an awful 3 to 1
strikeout to walk ratio. The fast start he needed in the majors has not materialized,
hes gone just 3 for 19 with 10 strikeouts since the call up. The 24 year old
switch-hitter needs to start getting on base, or he will be back in the minors shortly.
Grade C (would have been a B- if I was writing this on the day he was called up though).
That closes out Rotoworld.coms debut column. Feedback welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back again Thursday
for the premier of the Strike Zone.
The skinny on Matthew Pouilot.