After much speculation throughout the year in this column as to which highly touted Cleveland Indians infield prospect would get the nod first, that question was answered Monday night. In addition to featuring the newest member of the Indians this week, Future Rookies takes a look at a Texas Rangers blue chip prospect rebounding this year in Double-A Frisco after a rough 2010.
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland Indians, 22 years old
Even though former Columbus Clippers teammate second baseman Jason Kipnis has been the better player at the dish, the Indians have opted to turn to third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall instead to provide a spark for the struggling ballclub. His overall stat line is rather pedestrian, but if used correctly he could be a solid player at third base or corner infield in deeper leagues. His overall line is significantly hampered by his struggles against lefties (.200/.282/.360), but makes him an intriguing option to platoon in deeper daily roster change leagues with moderate sized benches thanks to a useable line against righties (.292/.380/.455).
Considered the top prospect in the organization by most services or baseball outlets that grade them, Chisenhall is a good target in dynasty leagues. Most scouting reports I’ve read describe his swing as one capable of generating 20-plus home run power, but being more conducive to doubles and a high average. His ultimate value will be determined when it becomes clear as to whether or not he’ll be able to make the adjustments necessary to succeed against southpaws. Given the dearth of talent at the third base position, he has a chance to contribute value to deep mixed-league gamers using a corner infield position, and is probably worth kicking the tires on dealing for in dynasty formats in the hopes he is able to improve against left-handers.
Martin Perez, SP, Texas Rangers, 20 years old
Before going any further, I’d like to implore readers to move glance back up a few lines and re-read Martin Perez age. It’s easy to forget that in 2010, a year marred by injury and inconsistancy, Perez was just a 19 year old kid pitching in Double-A, the hitter friendly Texas League no less. 2011 has been much kinder to arguably the top prospect in the Rangers organization. Perez has seen his strikeout rate come down from just over a batter an inning last year, 9.12 K/9 in 2010, to 8.53 K/9 in 2011. Still a fantastic rate, and a drop that’s all the more tolerable when looking at the corresponding drop in walk rate from 4.52 BB/9 in 2010 to 3.50 BB/9 in 2011.
Using a three pitch mix that includes a fastball, change-up and curveball, the left-hander has the goods necessary to get hitters of each handedness out. Also working in his favor is that he’s been able to induce more groundball outs than flyball outs, something that should bode well for his long term success and helps limit the potential long ball damage that has tripped up many a pitcher before him who have called Texas home. Unlikely to see time at the major league level this year, Perez is mentioned here due to his availability in the Yahoo! player database and as a reminder to dynasty league owners. At just 20 years of age, time is on his side, and there is no need to rush the young man.
Josh is a graduate of SUNY Cortland's Sport Management program, and an aspiring fantasy writer. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe Forums where he posts as B-Chad. You can also follow his work at The Hardball Times and follow him on Twitter (BChad50).
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