One Talented Player From Each Team That You Might Not Know About
One Talented Player From Each Team That You Might Not Know About
Wade Miley, LHP: People might know more about him now, but he hasn't been around very long. He started last year in Double-A, but worked his way up to The Show and posted a 4-2 record, with a 4.50 ERA. Miley has taken the next step this year, and has really impressed fantasy owners as well as opposing teams. He has a 7-2 record, with a 2.53 ERA.
Christhian Martinez, RHP: Martinez has been in the Majors since 2009, but he seems to have finally figured it out this season. He has bounced back and forth from Atlanta to Triple-A Gwinnett, but it looks like this hard-throwing relief pitcher is here to stay. The most impressive stat Martinez sports is only 5 walks in 29.2 innings pitched.
Xavier Avery, OF: Avery came up about a month ago and his presence was felt automatically. He has slipped a little bit in production, but the future looks bright for this young outfieder. Avery appears to be a future stud leadoff hitter for this very talented Orioles bunch, even if incumbent star second baseman Brian Roberts comes back healthy. He will steal a lot of bases and play solid defense for years to come.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B: Who else was I going to mention here for the Red Sox? One of their top prospects, Middlebrooks is doing so well that manager Bobby Valentine moved Kevin Youkillis to first base and Adrian Gonzalez to right field! And now there are grumblings that Youkillis could be on his way out of town. Middlebrooks is the real deal, and in a market like Boston, he could be a household name soon. Stats: .318 AVG, 6 HR, 22 RBI's.
Dayan Viciedo, OF: With all of the talk about young lefty stud Chris Sale and rookie phenom Addison Reed, Viciedo, a huge prospect, has quietly put together a great start to the season. His plus power will help him put stats up in U.S. Cellular Field, a hitters park, for a long time. His 12 HR's are second on the team to Adam Dunn.
Tony Campana, OF: Campana, the product of the University of Cincinatti, made his debut last May. In his first full season this year, he has already swiped 18 bags. He only had 24 last season. He is a light hitter, and strikes out quite a bit in his young career, but look for top ten stolen bases every year from this spark plug.
Todd Frazier, 3B: Is Frazier the answer at third base for the ailing, and aging, Scott Rolen? He sure is playing like it. With Rolen on the mend, Frazier has stepped in and produced right away. With another young player in Zack Cozart, added to the star studded cast of Votto, Bruce, Phillips, the Reds look like the class of the NL Central this season.
Vinnie Pestano, RHP: Pestano has found his home in the back of the bullpen, setting up for superstar closer Chris Perez. What i like about Pestano is the strikeout ability. In just 23.2 innings, he has rung up 31 hitters. Opposing teams are batting just .179 against the Cal State Fullerton alum. Pestano, along with Perez, make up a great core of relief pitchers for this Indians club.
Jordan Pacheco, 3B: If I were to ask you who had the second highest average on the Colorado Rockies, beind superstar Carlos Gonzalez, who would you say? Helton? Cuddyer? Nope. Jordan Pacheco is doing more than enough for this streaking Rockies club. His .296 average is pretty dependable, and he seems to have replaced incumbent Chris Nelson at the hot corner. We'll see if Pacheco can keep it up, but the 26-year-old is playing the part so far.
Brayan Villarreal, LHP: I'm assuming people thought I was going more in the direction of Quentin Berry, and you'd have a case. But watching Villrreal hit triple digits from the left side definitely makes Tigers fans forget about that Zumaya guy. His 1.35 ERA is just about as solid as it gets, and his 20 strikeouts in just 13.1 innings pitched are a good sign for Jim Leyland.
Jed Lowrie, SS: Jose Altuve is having another elite year, and definitely is the main piece to Houston's eventual success. However, Lowrie, finally given a chance to play every day, has wow'ed the baseball world with the results. How about 11 home runs for a short stop? Now, I'm not too naive to think he'll hit 30 this year, but 22 doesn't seem out of the equation.
Tim Collins, LHP: Tim Collins isn't the most intimidating pitcher in the league, standing at just 5'7", 165 lbs. But after watching his upper-90's fastball and wicked cuveball, he can be as intimidating as they get. Collins is regularly used by Ned Yost out of the pen, and the 22-year-old has responded well. 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA are impressive stats, let alone his 43 punchouts in 29 innings pitched.
Ernesto Frieri, RHP: Frieri has some of the most staggering stats from relief pitchers this year. His ERA sits at a clean 1.04, and he has 48 K's in 26 innings pitched. He has only allowed 10 hits, as opponents are hitting .115 agaisnt him. Atta boy, Mike Scioscia.
A.J. Ellis, C: The rookie backstop has done wonderful things with the bat this year. He is one of the main reasons why the Dodgers got off to such a great start. They'll need Ellis to keep producing though, as they are coming back down to earth. Stats: .301 AVG, 6 HR, 25 RBI's.
Jonathon Lucroy, C: Very quietly Lucroy is becoming one of the best catchers in the league. Last year he did have 12 home runs and 59 RBI's but what has been the most impressive about his game is the batting average. He finished last year at a barely decent .265. This year, before the injury, he was hitting a clean .345. For a guy that doesn't necessarily have a ton of power, Lucroy can really hit. I see him as a poor man's Joe Mauer. He might be headed to Kansas City for the All Star Game this July.
Scott Diamond, LHP: Being a left-handed pitcher myself, with fringe velocity, I love to see guys like Scott Diamond achieve success in the Major Leagues. He'll top out around 91 M.P.H, not overwhelming many hitters. Although, with his breaking stuff working, that 91 looks more like a 98. He has a great build for a pitcher (6'3", 220), and great stats to go with. Another vanilla guy for Ron Gardenhire and the Twins, but the upside looks good for this young man.
Bobby Parnell, RHP: I really like this guy out of the pen for New York. Anytime you can find a guy with upper-90's stuff.....and control, you have yourself a major piece for your team. He seems like a guy that could eventually close. He has great swing-and-miss stuff, and the ladies dig the triple digits.
David Robertson, RHP: Ok, so it was really hard to find a Yankee that people don't know about. I get it. For New York fan who might be wondering who takes the closer's role when Mariano retires (yes, he's going to retire eventually), look no further. David Robertson has elite stuff as a late inning reliever. As a guy who likes swing-and-miss stuff from my late inning guys, his 24 K's in just 14.1 innings pitched makes me do my yummy dance. This guy has a great arm and is only going to get better.
Josh Reddick, OF: I have been waiting to do Oakland since I started this article. I love all of their young pitching. Where is the "young talented lefty" tree they keep plucking these guys off of? However, I had to go with a guy who is just now getting his chance to shine: Josh Reddick. Who knew this ex-Red Sox bench player had this much power? And the cannon from right field scares every opposing manager. I think Reddick is the real deal, not just a flash in the pan. His 14 home runs so far and 10 oufield assists back me up.
Freddy Galvis, SS: I know he was one of their top prospects, and I know he had the job out of Spring Training, taking over for oft-injured Jimmy Rollins. But he has been a pleasant surprise so far. His stats aren't great, but he has been consistent for a 22-year-old in a big market. I still am waiting for him to steal bases, which he hasn't done yet, but the production lets me think a future 2-hole hitter isn't out of the question.
James McDonald, RHP: This guy showed lots of potential while with the Dodgers but couldn't quite put it all together. However, he has done exactly that this season with the Pirates. With a 5-2 record, 2.39 ERA, and 73 strikeouts, he has held his own very well. He isn't going to get a lot of help: The Pirates are the worst hitting team in baseball. But the upside on this guy still hasn't been reached. The Pirates are getting pretty good. Everyone under the age of 25 doesn't believe me yet.
Cory Luebke, LHP: It was a shame when this guy went down with an elbow injury. Both me and Alex were really high on the young lefty coming into the season. And he performed extremely well at the start of the season. His 3-1 record and 2.61 ERA was stellar to say the least. He'll be back and contine to grow into a top of the rotation guy on a team that has a bunch of young, talented pieces that just need a chance to develop. San Diego isn't as bad as people make them out to be. But for now, at least Ron Burgundy is a fan.
Sergio Romo, RHP: I think people are still ignorant to Sergio Romo's potential. The guy has given up 8 hits all season! He has had success in the majors in years past, and this year is no different. His 0.53 ERA is superb. Once Brian Wilson comes back next season, it will be interesting to see what spot Romo falls into with Santiago Casilla giving up the closer's role. Obviously, this is a good problem to have for Giants fans. Maybe the offense will back this fantastic pitching staff someday.
Kyle Seager, 3B: The Mariners are quietly putting together a young core of position players to eventually compete with the Rangers and Angels of the AL West. Seager seems to be a big part of that, as he has burst on the season and put up some impressive numbers. Not that Chone Figgins was doing much of anything anymore, but Seager has filled in for him at the hot corner very well. In his first full season in The Show, he has 25 extra base hits. The future is bright for this 24-year-old.
Matt Carpenter, 1B: The Cardinals aren't afraid to throw young players into the mix (Craig, Jay, Adams, etc.), and Carpenter has performed very well in place of the injured Lance Berkman. And because of Berkman's uncertainty of playing again, the slugging first baseman looks to get the rest of the season int he bigs, showing what he can do. His .288 average definitely plays at first. However, he'll have to cut down on his strikeouts: he has struck out 25 times in only 104 at-bats entering Sunday. I like Carpenter moving forward, however.
Matt Joyce, OF: Joyce has been one of baseball's best kept secrets for the last few years. The power has always been there, and his 10 home runs this season definitely represent that. I would like to see him hit more doubles, however, as he becomes a more well-rounded hitter. There aren't many guys with more power potential than Tampa Bay's right fielder.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, OF: How good has this guy been for the Rangers the last two years? He has more than filled in for Justin Smoak, an elite college hitter who has performed decently in the bigs. He now plays for the Mariners, and the Rangers are happy with Moreland. The .277 average bests Smoak's potenial and the 9 home runs are on the right track. The problem has been finding him consistent at-bats. With Michael Young, Mike Napoli, David Murphy, etc. looking for playing time, it's been difficult to trust Mitch Moreland's value at this point. bottom line, though: when he is in the game, he hits.
Henderson Alvarez, RHP: Alvarez just turned 22 last month, and has been very good in his first full seaosn in Toronto. He doesn't strike many out (just 23 K's in 79 innings pitched), but he pitches to contact very well. His 3.76 ERA is even more solid considering his age and the division he plays in. Look for Alvarez to round out an impressive rotation, led by Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.
Sean Burnett, LHP: I have always liked Burnett's potential back to his days with the Pirates. He's been around for awhile and bounced threw a few organizations, but he has found his home in the Nationals bullpen. The lefty specialist is keeping hitters at bay with a .191 BAA. He has even stepped in an gotten a few saves, while Washington waits for superstar closer Drew Storen to get healthy. Hard-throwing lefties with upside are scarce in the game of baseball. That being said, Burnett is very valuable to the Nat's 'pen.
June 10, 2012
Mr. Fantasy Freak
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