StrategyMay 19, 2009

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Future Rookies: Kids in the Bigs

By R.J. White

Several featured Future Rookies have now been promoted to the majors, meaning we’ll stop tracking their performances in this space. Nolan Reimold (four hits in 17 ABs), Mat Gamel (a three-run HR in his first start), and Kris Medlen (scheduled to start Thursday) will all get the opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage. Check back through the old Future Rookies articles to see how they’ve fared in the minors this league (hint: all have been spectacular). Can we unearth some more young, talented guys that could potentially help fantasy teams in 2009?

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While he hasn’t been covered here, Gerardo Parra is a fine Arizona OF prospect that was recently recalled to give a jolt to a slumping offense. He doesn’t have a lot of power yet, hitting only 21 HRs in over 1,400 minor-league ABs (though three of those dingers came in 108 ABs this year), but Parra can definitely help in average and SBs. If the D-Backs see fit to keep him atop the lineup, he could score a lot of runs as well. He’s started out his Major League career with a bang, getting five hits and one HR in his first 13 ABs. With the new manager open to benching Chad Tracy, a scenario exists where Conor Jackson moves to 1B and Parra sticks in LF. Deep leaguers should have already grabbed him by this point, while you 12- and 14-team managers need to keep a serious eye on Parra.

Featured Add – Hitter

Kila Ka’aihue, 1B, KC, Age 25, Triple-A

2008 AA28764267938041.314.463.6241.087
2008 AAA14427112102426.316.439.6401.079
2009 AAA1203072303730.292.450.5751.025
Last 103611412095.444   

Ka’aihue had a very poor average a few weeks in, but his walk rate has been as fantastic as usual. He’s brought that average to respectability in recent weeks, while his OBP maintains at its regular rate. He looks to be on a hot streak as of late, hitting safely in six consecutive games, including a 4-for-5 performance last night that included two doubles. Ka’aihue would have likely been in the majors already had Billy Butler struggled; since Butler is playing well, Ka’aihue will likely have to wait till the Royals move on from Mike Jacobs. With 37 homers in under 400 ABs in the minors last year to go along with his elite batting eye, deep leaguers and dynasty players should consider making a early move on Ka’aihue.

Hitter Performance Review (as of 5/18/09)


Mike CarpAAA1362882202631.301.415.566.981
Last 10AAA358230118.286   
Brett WallaceAA1282251601834.281.403.438.840
Last 3AAA12201003.250   
Andrew McCutchenAAA1443211391411.292.358.479.838
Last 10AAA371006461.378   
Kyle BlanksAAA1412082302046.255.364.461.825
Last 10AAA394130519.286   
Alcides EscobarAAA15726212181027.268.315.357.672
Last 10AAA38804446.289   
Gaby SanchezAAA871941611114.345.414.517.931

Featured Add – Pitcher

J.D. Martin, SP, WAS, Age 26, Triple-A

2008 AA79.22.491.1551971
2009 AAA31.13.160.893226

Who? Doesn’t sound familiar? Good, because he shouldn’t. Martin was drafted by the Indians out of high school in the first round of the 2001 draft, meaning he was probably in the club’s long-term plans. He didn’t show much to the scouts, and despite having decent numbers, Martin was out of the picture by 2004. Since 2005, Martin has put up very good numbers, though he was old for his level at each stop. The Indians tried him as a reliever with the Double-A team for much of 2008, and despite some success, he was jettisoned from the organization. Now with the Nationals, a pitching starved team if there’s ever been one, Martin has done a brilliant job in five of his six Triple-A starts this year. The club has recalled Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler so far in 2009; could this once-forgotten former prospect be next? Probably not, but if he’s recalled in the next few days (which has happened to some of my other random features), I’ll start getting a little freaked out at the power of the Featured Add!

Pitcher Performance Review (as of 5/18/09)


Tommy HansonAAA47.21.700.9041464
May 16AAA7.00.000.43017
Michael BowdenAAA42.00.860.8301628
May 17AAA8.00.000.88047
Chris TillmanAAA36.02.251.1911342
May 18AAA5.03.601.40115
Jarrod ParkerAA20.12.661.570825
May 18AA5.01.801.60045
Jeremy HellicksonAA30.02.100.931836
Junichi TazawaAA43.13.121.1831342
May 17AA5.05.401.60017
Carlos CarrascoAAA41.16.311.5031144
May 17AAA6.04.501.33037

That’ll be all for this week. With interleague play right around the corner, you’re likely to see some pretty good NL hitting prospects recalled in the next few days, as teams look to find a good DH candidate (like Milwaukee did in the case of Mat Gamel). In particular, Kyle Blanks (being experimented with as a left-fielder) and Brett Wallace (recently promoted to Triple-A, just before the St. Louis Double-A squad made a trip to my town) look like appealing DHs. Remember to e-mail with questions!

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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