StrategyApril 28, 2009

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Future Rookies: M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N Spells Relief

By R.J. White

Welcome back to Future Rookies, where we take a look at the future stars of the MLB. Normally, I stick to players that haven’t reached the major leagues, but today I have to bring up a guy that just made his MLB debut on Sunday and is likely to be available in many dynasty leagues.

Featured Add – Pitcher and Now Available!

Mark Melancon, RP, NYY, Age 24, Major League

2008 A+25.12.841.262620
2008 AA49.21.810.8931247
2008 AAA20.02.700.751422
2009 AAA10.10.000.680317

This guy is the reason that the Yankees will keep Joba Chamberlain in the rotation. The heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, Melancon has just received a call-up to help the Yankees bullpen, and he’ll likely apprentice for the closer role in high-pressure situations moving forward. He looks like he’s made a full recovery from Tommy John surgery, striking out over a batter per inning in Triple-A both in 2008 and 2009. If you’re in a deep keeper league or in a dynasty league and you’re looking for an add with long-term potential, make a move on Melancon before the rest of your league realizes he’s been added to the Yahoo database.

Pitcher Performance Review (as of 4/26/09)


Tommy HansonAAA20.22.181.110729
Michael BowdenAAA14.00.641.070515
Jeremy HellicksonAA22.01.640.911724
Chris TillmanAAA14.01.291.070715
Carlos CarrascoAAA21.24.571.151323
Junichi TazawaAA21.14.221.333819

Hanson continues to mow batters down and is leading the International League in strikeouts, but somehow Hanson is saddled with a 0-3 record. Bowden leads the IL with an impressive 0.64 ERA and received a brief call-up to help out a tired Boston bullpen. Hellickson has totaled 15 strikeouts in his last two starts for Double-A Montgomery. He’s third in strikeouts in the Southern League. Tillman threw six scoreless innings against Triple-A Durham in his last start. Carrasco has a 20/1 K/BB ratio and sparkling numbers through three games before imploding against Pawtucket to the tune of eight hits and six runs allowed in 2.2 innings pitched. Let’s see if he can rebound. Tazawa was pounded for six runs in 5.2 innings in his April 25 start for Portland.

Featured Add – Hitter

Nolan Reimold, OF, BAL, Age 25, Triple-A

2008 AA50787258476382.284.367.501.868
2009 AAA60136193814.417.486.7501.236

Wow. Reimold has been on the radar for a while, but now he’s doing his best to move up the prospect lists. After a very nice 25-HR campaign in Double-A, Reimold is off to a scorching start in Triple-A. He’s tied for the International League lead in home runs and his .417 average ranks fourth in the league. He’s also thrown in three steals for good measure. Orioles LF Felix Pie is off to a terrible start, hitting 8-for-48, meaning Reimold might soon have the opportunity to showcase his talents in Baltimore.

Hitter Performance Review (as of 4/26/09)


Matt LaPortaAAA6019513075.400.478.7671.245
Mat GamelAAA621762401114.403.481.8061.287
Andrew McCutchenAAA731716458.301.346.548.894
Brett WallaceAA621541001216.290.450.516.966
Kyle BlanksAAA611021101214.311.440.459.899
Gaby SanchezAAA67122111612.313.365.433.798
Alcides EscobarAAA7411168613.257.321.324.645

LaPorta continues to mash, and he has seven walks and only two strikeouts in his last 10 games. He looks major-league ready to me. Gamel is tied for second in home runs in the Pacific Coast League, only behind Jake Fox’s 11 dingers in 18 games, and he’s up to seven errors through 18 games. There is talk of McCutchen receiving a call-up soon, if Nate McLouth’s oblique injury doesn’t heal as well as expected. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the five-tool prospect from Pittsburgh, now is the time to act. Wallace has continued to take a lot of walks, and his average continues to climb. I’m planning on personally scouting him the next time the Springfield Cardinals are in San Antonio. Blanks has been in a bit of a slump and hasn’t hit a home run since April 18. Sanchez is maintaining a solid average. Escobar went 2-for-5 with two stolen bases against Triple-A Iowa on April 25, but he’ll need to bring that average up.

Non-Available Player Notes

Madison Bumgarner (SF, A+) maintains a 0.56 ERA, tops in the High-A California League, notching 14 strikeouts versus two walks in his first three games. San Jose teammate Tim Alderson (SF, A+) hasn’t been quite as good, but a 12/2 K/BB ratio is nothing to sneeze at. Keeping with the San Jose theme, Buster Posey (SF, A+) continues to rake, with a .388/.481/.672/1.153 line in his first 67 at-bats. Desmond Jennings (TB, AA) has four triples and six steals in 18 games, which should tell you something about how fast the guy is. He’s also added three home runs and four doubles for a .622 slugging percentage. Despite hitting a bump on April 26 against High-A Tampa, Kyle Drabek (A+, PHI) has been very impressive, striking out 31 batters in 24.1 innings.

That’ll wrap up the column for this week. Please send us your comments and questions at and let us know who you’d like to see featured in Future Rookies.

R.J. White (or daullaz) has been actively involved in fantasy sports for over 14 years, making him an addict at this point. He loves writing, the Atlanta Braves, music, the Buffalo Bills, theatre, the Philadelphia Eagles, his family, and the number 42, though not in that order.
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