StrategyMay 26, 2009

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Future Rookies: 7 HRs and a Perfect Game

By R.J. White

Time for another look at some Future Rookies. We broke the streak last week of featuring players that were soon after called up. Of course, when you write about a random no-name pitcher and an excellent hitter that will not be given a chance by his parent team, no matter the numbers, that’s bound to happen. Kris Medlen got rocked in his first start, and if he can’t put things together today against San Francisco, he’ll likely be back in the minors and back in this column for the rest of the year.

Featured Add – Hitter

Josh Vitters, 3B, CHC, Age 19, Single-A

2008 A-2593853711345.328.365.498.863
2009 A1522610272324.355.381.612.993
Last 104211714108.476   

Normally I tend to stick to featuring guys in the high-minors that could potentially make an immediate impact for fantasy teams. It’s about time to step back and take a look at a premier third base prospect tearing up the lower minors. Vitters showed why he is the Cubs top-ranked prospect in his first full season last year, posting an .863 OPS as an 18-year-old. This year he has been even better, way better, knocking 10 home runs in just 152 at-bats for a .993 OPS. He hit a home run in four straight games last week and has seven dingers in his last ten games. His K/BB rate is atrocious, but I think we can cut the teenager some slack there. His value is rising, and there is no reason to think he won’t live up to the hype. If you play in a dynasty league and Vitters is still available, add him now before the other owners wake up.

Hitter Performance Review (as of 5/24/09)


Brett WallaceAA1282251601834.281.403.438.840
Last 10AAA34314016.353.378.471.849
Kila Ka’aihueAAA1383072404233.268.432.514.946
Last 10AAA38626096.342   
Mike CarpAAA1482982402933.297.411.547.958
Last 10AAA336020105.273   
Andrew McCutchenAAA1613321691517.280.345.466.811
Last 10AAA42715337.333   
Alcides EscobarAAA18033214201130.289.333.389.722
Last 10AAA441004217.364   
Kyle BlanksAAA1602392502248.250.353.450.803
Last 10AAA385120611.132   
Gaby SanchezAAA871941611114.345.414.517.931

Featured Add – Pitcher

Jeanmar Gomez, SP, CLE, Age 20, Double-A

2008 A+138.14.551.451446110
2009 A+24.02.630.922515
2009 AA29.00.310.340126

Completely off the radar heading into 2009, Jeanmar Gomez is in the middle of making a big leap in ability and up the prospect rankings lists. His numbers so far are reminiscent of Tommy Hanson circa 2008. After four good starts with High-A Kinston, the Indians promoted Gomez to Double-A Akron. Since the promotion, Gomez has been absolutely phenomenal, from giving up only one run on two hits and a walk in his debut, to shutting out his opposition in his next two starts, striking out 13 and walking none. The streak reached an apex on May 21, when Gomez tossed a perfect game, lowering his WHIP to 0.34 through four Double-A starts. He’s really making a name for himself, and with Cleveland hurting for solid rotation guys, he could see some action as soon as this year if he continues to dominate.

Pitcher Performance Review (as of 5/24/09)


Tommy HansonAAA53.21.510.8441573
May 21AAA6.00.000.33019
Michael BowdenAAA44.01.640.9111730
May 23AAA2.018.002.50112
Chris TillmanAAA38.02.131.2111344
May 23AAA2.00.001.50002
Jarrod ParkerAA25.02.521.7201229
May 23AA4.21.932.36044
Junichi TazawaAA49.12.741.1431547
May 22AA6.00.000.83025
Carlos CarrascoAAA48.05.811.4641352
May 24AAA6.22.701.20128
Jeremy HellicksonAA30.02.100.931836
J.D. MartinAAA37.13.130.883231
May 21AAA6.03.000.83005

Thanks for checking out Future Rookies this week. E-mail us questions and comments at Good luck this week, guys!

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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