StrategyJuly 28, 2009


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Future Rookies: Oriole Rising

By R.J. White

We might be getting a look at one of our prized Future Rookies very soon. Rumors abound that have Chris Tillman joining the Orioles on Wednesday and making his first start in the big leagues. Despite being lit up in his last Triple-A start, Tillman has proven why he’s one of the best pitching prospects in the minors, posting a 99/26 K/BB ratio, allowing just five HRs en route to a sub-3.00 ERA. He’s available in many fantasy leagues already, so be sure to make the preemptive pickup if you need a pitching lift.

In other news, Junichi Tazawa has been moved up to Triple-A after compiling a 2.57 ERA and 88 Ks in 98 Double-A innings. Jeremy Hellickson also has moved to Triple-A and had a solid first start. As you probably know by now, Brett Wallace has been traded to the Oakland A’s, expediting his path to the majors. Jhoulys Chacin is now in the majors as a reliever, while Gaby Sanchez and Mat Gamel switch places in our column, with the former being promoted and the latter being sent down. Jason Heyward already looks too advanced for Double-A pitching. Carlos Santana put up a big HR streak, hitting a homer in three consecutive games over the weekend.

 
Featured Add – Hitter

 
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pit, Age 22, Double-A

 ABRHRRBISBBBKAVGOBPSLGOPS
2009 A+24338145513770.247.342.486.827
2009 AA99186170730.283.324.525.849
Last 1037417048.324   

Last year’s #2 overall pick, Pedro Alvarez was a difficult sign for the Pirates, but he is well on his way to being worth the trouble. Pittsburgh’s top prospect initially struggled when brought up to Double-A, ultimately missing some games with knee trouble. He’s been on fire lately though, with a 9-for-20 stretch before Sunday’s 0-for-5. As Alvarez has adjusted, he’s been more disciplined at the plate, one of his strengths. Three of his seven walks at the level have come in his last six games. He’s also flashing some power — six HRs in nearly 100 ABs speaks to 30+ HR power. The Pirates will be tempted to bring Alvarez up in 2010, but 300-400 Triple-A ABs will only help his progression. Expect to see him up late in 2010 for a cup of coffee.

 
Hitter Performance Review (as of 7/26/09)

 

  ABRHRRBISBBBKAVGOBPSLGOPS
Matt LaPortaAAA26853134903046.306.386.541.927
Last 10AAA35726056.286   
Justin SmoakAAA7891701021.167.267.244.510
Last 10AAA423040311.190   
Brett WallaceAAA2282361901542.294.337.421.758
OAKAAA6100000.333   
Michael TaylorAAA38725278.263.370.474.843
Last 10AAA35625267.286   
Alcides EscobarAAA38567331352660.304.353.418.772
Last 10AAA40603523.375   
Buster PoseyA+29163135864545.326.428.540.967
Last 9AAA34705075.235   
Mat GamelAAA1402683202444.307.402.579.981
Last 6AAA211000310.143   
Kila Ka’aihueAAA32559134107370.265.398.468.866
Last 10AAA32605096.313   
Mike CarpAAA28051104004963.271.388.454.842
Last 10AAA37508058.270   

  ABRHRRBISBBBKAVGOBPSLGOPS
Jason HeywardAA64142130115.422.506.7341.241
Last 10AA381126075.421   
Desmond JenningsAA36768844364848.324.406.499.904
Last 10AA371015494.432   
Carlos SantanaAA29463186806355.272.398.527.925
Last 10AA317411049.323   
Jesus MonteroAA1491892901418.309.368.537.905
Last 10AA416414033.366   
Josh VittersA+848010129.238.264.321.586
Last 10A+43504116.256   

Former features Nolan Reimold, Gaby Sanchez, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Whitesell and Kyle Blanks have moved on to the majors.

 
Featured Add – Pitcher

 
Kyle Drabek, SP, Phi, Age 21, Double-A

 IPERAWHIPHRBBK
2009 A+61.22.481.1001974
2009 AA60.23.121.2231944
July 228.02.250.88017

Speculation has the Phillies trading for a marquee pitcher in an attempt to strengthen their chances at defending their championship. The Blue Jays told Philadelphia that in order to acquire Roy Halladay, the Phillies had to give up three specific players, one of which is Kyle Drabek. The son of former major-league pitcher Doug Drabek, Kyle has really blossomed in 2009, turning on the strikeouts while keeping the walk rate and HRs allowed low. There was concern about Drabek’s long-term prospects after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he’s looked great so far. The Phillies have rejected Toronto’s offer, but we’ll see if either of these teams budge by the deadline.

 
Pitcher Performance Review (as of 7/26/09)

 

  IPERAWHIPHRBBK
Chris TillmanAAA96.22.701.1552699
July 23AAA3.29.822.73144
Michael BowdenAAA93.13.091.17113564
July 24AAA7.02.570.57205
Jake ArrietaAAA45.24.341.3861743
July 24AAA4.06.752.25135
Carlos CarrascoAAA114.25.181.361438112
July 24AAA6.09.001.33145
Jeremy HellicksonAA56.22.380.9741462
July 24AAA6.03.001.33036
Hector RondonAAA18.01.501.000220
July 23AAA6.03.001.50007
Junichi TazawaAA98.02.571.0882688
July 23AA6.00.000.67015

  IPERAWHIPHRBBK
Madison BumgarnerAA69.11.560.9832052
July 22AA7.01.290.57104
Brian MatuszAA38.11.880.862739
July 21AA7.01.290.71114
Jarrod ParkerAA74.13.271.4403369
July 24AA6.01.500.83017
Jeanmar GomezAA86.13.541.2452771
July 23AA4.29.642.14155

Former features Mat Latos, Scott Elbert, Jhoulys Chacin, Kris Medlen, Derek Holland, and Tommy Hanson have moved on to the majors.

 
Remember to send your queries to fbcmailbag@gmail.com, and I’ll see you in this spot next week.

 
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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