StrategyAugust 11, 2009

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Future Rookies: Stealing Prospects Like Pirates

By R.J. White

Let’s recap what a few Future Rookies have done recently. Jason Heyward is destroying the Double-A Southern League, posting a 1.215 OPS through 111 at-bats at that level. With his developing power, Heyward has to be the top fantasy prospect in the minors right now. Buster Posey has been swinging a hot bat, homering in three of his last five games while going 7-for-19 at the plate. Pedro Alvarez has multi-hit games in four of his last six contests, including 3-for-6 and 4-for-5 games. With a .947 OPS, Alvarez already looks too good for Double-A. Brandon Allen has hit homers in two of his last three games — he’s hit 11 HRs in 111 ABs with Reno. Carlos Carrasco is having difficulty with his new team after being traded to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee deal, allowing nine runs in 13 innings in his first two starts.

Featured Add – Hitter

Dominic Brown, OF, Phi, Age 21, Double-A

2009 A+238411144153448.303.386.517.913
2009 AA30736145.333.412.7331.145

One of the pieces to the proposed Roy Halladay-to-Philadelphia trade, Dominic Brown was instead sent to Double-A after posting a .913 OPS in the Class-A Advanced Florida State League. He’s already repaying the organization for refusing to deal him, with three HRs in his first 30 Double-A at-bats, including two dingers in a 3-for-5 day on Sunday. A five-tools player, Brown will be able to contribute to fantasy lines across the board once he establishes himself in the majors. He’s really developing into one of the game’s top prospects this year, and now that he’s reached Double-A and succeeding, he’s an easy suggested add for our column.

Hitter Performance Review (as of 8/10/09)


Matt LaPortaAAA31357145613552.297.379.514.893
Last 10AAA38217046.237   
Justin SmoakAAA1301431701929.208.309.323.632
Last 10AAA36215086.167   
Brett WallaceAAA2853382902155.284.339.421.760
Last 10AAA405260411.200   
Buster PoseyAAA811531201214.272.362.494.856
Last 10AAA38737047.316   
Desmond JenningsAA38369845374852.316.395.486.881
Last 8AAA28702345.286   
Alcides EscobarAAA42675434423263.298.353.411.764
Last 10AAA37613663.243   
Brandon AllenAAA17226123341231.297.342.564.906
Last 10AAA40537129.200   
Michael TaylorAAA901131121117.256.343.400.743
Last 10AAA39416015.256   
Mat GamelAAA1842883703163.272.377.484.860
Last 10AAA342030614.176   
Kila Ka’aihueAAA36468144608377.261.397.451.847
Last 10AAA38815067.237   
Gaby SanchezAAA26744114153240.285.365.442.807
Last 10AAA35722093.286   
Mike CarpAAA33258124705275.265.378.446.823
Last 10AAA37527017.189   

Jason HeywardAA1112662411712.405.485.7301.215
Last 10AA341036143.382   
Pedro AlvarezAA1472682411841.320.389.558.947
Last 10AA386241810.447   
Carlos SantanaAA34273208207168.284.407.535.943
Last 10AA3671100810.361   

Former features Nolan Reimold, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Whitesell and Kyle Blanks have moved on to the majors. Jesus Montero is out for the year.

Featured Add – Pitcher

Tim Alderson, SP, Pit, Age 20, Double-A

2009 A+
2009 AA84.13.091.1751653

The Giants have done an excellent job drafting premier talent over the last few years. Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey (both featured in earlier editions of this column) are two of the finest prospects in baseball. Just behind them in the organization was Tim Alderson, a 20-year-old righty taken in the first round of the 2007 draft. When you’re a major-league organization that has these kind of elite prospects, it’s obvious what you should do. Trade one for Freddy Sanchez. Giants fans wish that was a joke. Alderson made his Pirates’ organizational debut at Double-A Altoona on August 1, pitching 5.2 innings of one-run ball. As a follow up, he threw six innings of no-hit ball in his most recent start, allowing just one walk on the day. I hope San Francisco gets an MVP-type season from Sanchez after trading this future ace. While broadcasters trash the Pirates for tearing down the ball club (one that was a perennial loser), this Sanchez-for-Alderson deal was the steal of the deadline.

Pitcher Performance Review (as of 8/10/09)


Michael BowdenAAA103.13.401.20113874
Aug 5AAA3.018.003.00034
Jake ArrietaAAA62.24.741.4472057
Aug 8AAA6.03.001.00004
Jeremy HellicksonAAA23.03.911.131722
Aug 10AAA6.12.840.79105
Carlos CarrascoAAA127.25.291.351641123
Aug 6AAA7.25.870.91125
Aaron PoredaAAA17.17.271.7911118
Aug 9AAA3.113.503.30154
Hector RondonAAA35.02.571.202635
Aug 8AAA6.01.501.33004

Madison BumgarnerAA81.02.111.0952459
Aug 7AA5.03.601.40035
Kyle DrabekAA78.23.661.2782658
Aug 8AA5.07.202.00144
Jarrod ParkerAA78.13.681.4823474
Jeanmar GomezAA104.23.181.1783194
Aug 8AA5.21.590.88127

Former features Mat Latos, Junichi Tazawa, Brian Matusz, Jhoulys Chacin, Kris Medlen, Derek Holland, Chris Tillman, and Tommy Hanson have moved on to the majors. Scott Elbert was sent back to Triple-A but hasn’t made any recent appearances there yet. Jarrod Parker is in danger of missing the rest of the season due to injury.

Before we go, we’re adding a new feature this week. Bryan Schubert (Cafe user Ninja BlackSox) brings us analysis of a low-minors player in a new segment called Digging Deeper. I love hearing from you guys, so e-mail with any questions or comments. See you back here next week!

Digging Deeper

Christian Friedrich, SP, Col, Age 22, Class-A Advanced

2009 A45.12.181.1021566
2009 A+54.21.320.9531870

The 25th selection overall in the 2008 draft by the Colorado Rockies had a rough pro debut in 2008. Friedrich began his career with eight great starts in Short-Season A, compiling a 2-1 record, 3.25 ERA, and 1.083 WHIP, striking out 50 over 36 innings while only walking 8. His promotion to Class-A Asheville was something he and the Rockies organization wanted to forget, or at least build upon (0-1, 7.50 ERA, 1.750 WHIP, 10 ERs, 7 BBs, but striking out 15 in 12 innings). What a difference an off-season makes! Friedrich got his revenge on the South Atlantic League with seven fantastic starts to begin the season in Asheville, with a small hiccup in his eighth, before being promoted to High-A Modesto. While the OVC product only made three starts after getting promoted to Modesto before missing about a month to irritation in his left arm, he has picked-up right where he left off in his last six starts, including another great outing last night. Friedrich should arrive on the Rockies sometime in 2010, but will probably not have a significant impact until 2011. There have been some questions on whether he can stay a starter, but from what we have seen from him thus far I think we can put those questions to rest for now.

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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