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?
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
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)
Featured Add – Pitcher
J.D. Martin, SP, WAS, Age 26, Triple-A
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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