Welcome to another edition of Future Rookies. With All-Star festivities in full swing, let’s focus on the Futures Game this week. Both featured adds appeared in the game, as did several Future Rookies that have been featured in the column. Alcides Escobar went 2-for-4 with two runs as the leadoff hitter for the World team. Joining him in the lineup eventually was Carlos Santana, who went 0-for-1 with a walk. On the U.S. side, Brett Wallace started at third and drew two walks before giving way to Josh Vitters, who drew a walk as well in two plate appearances. Jason Heyward, last week’s featured hitter, went 1-for-2 in the game. Jhoulys Chacin (1 IP, 2/1 K/BB), Chris Tillman (1 IP, 0/1 K/BB, 2 ERs), Brian Matusz (1 IP, 0/1 K/BB, 1 ER), and Jarrod Parker (0.1 IP) all appeared throughout the contest. Junichi Tazawa was scheduled to start, but a four-hour rain delay at game-time prevented him from throwing a pitch in the game.
Tom Huffman, Fantasy Cafe
Mike Stanton (Florida Marlins) coils in preparation to swing.
How did our two new members do?
Featured Add – Hitter
Desmond Jennings, OF, TB, Age 22, Double-A
A Cafe favorite, Jennings has all the tools to be the next big thing in the majors. A shoulder injury cost the Tampa Bay prospect most of last year, and there were concerns he wouldn’t be the same upon return. And he’s not the same — he’s better. Jennings is turning his best slugging percentage yet while posting an outstanding 45/40 K/BB ratio. He’s also nearly impossible to catch on the basepaths, with only four failed attempts in 36 tries. He exhibited this speed by stealing three bags at the Futures Game. Since the Rays are stacked with young talent, there’s no need to rush the speedster. He’ll likely spend the entire year at Double-A and all of next year at Triple-A. Be prepared for a steals explosion in the majors when he arrives.
Hitter Performance Review (as of 7/13/09)
Former features Nolan Reimold, Mat Gamel, Andrew McCutchen, and Kyle Blanks have moved on to the majors.
Tom Huffman, Fantasy Cafe
Several Future Rookie pitchers (including this week’s feature) enjoy the festivities.
Featured Add – Pitcher
Mat Latos, SP, SD, Age 21, Double-A
After giving up two runs to Northwest Arkansas at home, Latos faced the team in their home stadium in his subsequent start on July 9. All he did in that one was allow no hits or walks in five innings while striking out seven batters. He only needed eight pitches to retire the side in the fourth inning of the Futures Game. Listed as San Diego’s #2 prospect at the beginning of the year by Baseball America, Latos’ health remains his biggest question mark, but he’s stayed on the mound every fifth day for San Antonio. Having Latos on your dynasty league team brings with it the added plus of him eventually making his way in the majors to pitch in the league’s best pitcher’s park.
Pitcher Performance Review (as of 7/13/09)
Former features Scott Elbert, Kris Medlen, Derek Holland, and Tommy Hanson have moved on to the majors.
That’s all for this week. Remember to send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, and enjoy the All-Star game tonight!
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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