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upton, young, and baldelli talk

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upton, young, and baldelli talk

Postby raiders_umpire » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:34 pm

CBSSportsline.com wrote:Upton, Young provide Rays of hope


There is a silver lining for us Fantasy owners amid all this hubbub around the Devil Rays and disgusted manager Lou Piniella, who apparently is trying to get bought out with his lastest tirade against management. With Piniella gone, the Devil Rays will sink further and further into oblivion.

And that is a good thing.


Delmon Young and B.J. Upton are the best teen prospects since Ken Griffey and A-Rod.
Because, come July when Piniella and the Rays are history -- if they aren't already -- the Tampa Bay front office and marketing people will have to come up with a way to get people to care about the team and come to the games for the second half of the season. (And, no, giving away tickets to hope fans spend the four bucks for a hot dog is not going to cut it.) Luckily, they have some of the most marketable talent in the minor leagues.

Enter B.J. Upton and Delmon Young. Two players many would pay to watch. And two players many in Fantasy leagues are anxiously waiting to be called up.

After the Devil Rays figure out a way to pay for the headache diagnosed as Piniella to go away, we could see Upton and Young get the call. They would be immediate must-have players in almost any Fantasy league for the second half of the '05 season.

Upton, 21, has already spent a second half in the big leagues, going .258-4-12-19-4 in 58 games and 141 at-bats in 2004. So, we know his bat is big-league ready, and Fantasy-league ready at shortstop. As for the outfielder Young, the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America, he has already been called capable of handling the big leagues by Piniella himself.

We know defense (an alarming 25 errors) and the presence of steady veteran Julio Lugo is keeping Upton in Triple-A. But Lugo could follow Aubrey Huff and Piniella out the door before the July 31 trade deadline, and Upton is hitting .300 with five homers, 30 RBI, 41 runs and 18 stolen bases right now.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound uber-prospect is a potential offensive force as a shortstop, and a talent who could become the face of the franchise for the next 10 years -- like a Derek Jeter.

Sure, the Devil Rays don't need more problems to solve with Upton's bad defense, but Jeter had 50-plus error seasons earlier in his development, too, by the way. And now he is a perennial gold glove candidate. The reports on Upton say his errors are his inability to find the proper amount of juice to use with his cannon arm.

The Rays might as well let him do it at the big-league level. It is not like Triple-A is helping to correct his error-prone ways.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Young, the younger brother of the Tigers' Dmitri, is a little further from the big leagues as a 19-year-old in Double-A. But that might be the very fact which will help him sell tickets.

We will go on record right now as saying Young is the best teenage prospect since Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. (Similar bold statements had been made about Upton.)

A-Rod and Griffey. A strong comparison we are not afraid to make because of his 40-40 talent. Young is on pace for a 30-homer, 40-steal season for Double-A Montgomery, hitting .327-13-53-43-21 right now. As a right-fielder, Young will be the man to get the call once Huff is dealt to a contender.

So, once you see Piniella and then Lugo leave town in Tampa, scramble for the names Upton and Young as fliers for your Fantasy team. In fact, they should be owned in all AL-only leagues that have available reserves. Upton is already owned by 13 percent of CBS SportsLine.com Fantasy users, while Young is on seven percent of rosters.

(For those of you who did what I did -- clicked on Triple-A Durham's box score and didn't see Upton on Thursday -- B.J. was giving a one-day leave of absence to go to Chesapeake, Va., for the high school graduation of his brother, Justin, who was the No. 1 pick in the June draft, going to the Diamondbacks. Yes, we held our breaths thinking his absence in the box might have meant he was en route to Tampa. Upton brothers and Young brothers -- wow, two incredible pairs of sibling talents.)

On the verge
For this week's on the verge, we decided to give you some news and notes that could help project imminent call-ups:
Upton and Young are not the only useful Fantasy prospects with the Devil Rays. The news of Rocco Baldelli's season-ending Tommy John surgery has an impact, too. The Devil Rays say they will not move Carl Crawford to center field. "I'm happy with where I'm playing," Crawford told the St. Petersburg Times. "I'm a left fielder, and I don't like moving back and forth." The need for a center fielder is very apparent. So-so rookie Damon Hollins and journeyman Reggie Taylor are merely stopgap options. Alex Sanchez's defense was too pitiful to slot there, which led to him being designated for assignment. He will be waived or traded in the next week. Re-enter speedster Joey Gathright (.320-1-13-35-24). He would already be the Devil Rays' center fielder if not for a oblique injury that has him on the minor-league DL. Once that heals in July, Gathright should play center every day for the Rays. His immense stolen-base potential will have him active and owned in every AL-only and Rotisserie league.

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Postby Dawgpound 1613 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:35 pm

I'm guessing they will bring them up at a time after which they won't qualify for Super Two status. I'm guessing sometime in August.

It would be interesting, maybe for hybrid, to provide a 2007 projected line-up.

If a couple of pitchers can be ready in the next couple of years, perhaps we can see a Milwaukee-type team in the next few years.
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Postby joshheines » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:46 pm

I'm a closet D-Rays fan. They're my new AL team.

C - Toby Hall
1 - ??? (Ryan Howard makes sense. Phillies want a CF. D-Rays need a future 1B. Gathright for Howard? Only problem is Gath has a weak arm. Even Rocco Baldelli for Howard.)
2 - Jorge Cantu
SS - BJ Upton (I don't think he'll stick here. Too many errors)
3 -
OF - Delmon Young
OF - Carl Crawford
OF - Rocco Baldelli
DH - Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, Joey Gathright

Believe it or not the future pitching staff looks decent.

P - Scott Kazmir
P - Jeff Niemann
P - Jason Hammel
P - Wade Townsend
P - Chad Orvella

I'd like to see the following line-up in 2007

1) Gathright (.400 OBP with 50+ steals)
2) Crawford (Fantasy monster with .300/20 HR/40 SB)
3) BJ Upton
4) Delmon Young (The Next Pujols. .320/40/120/10)
5) Jorge Cantu
6) Rocco Baldelli
7) ???
8) Toby Hall
9) ???
It's easy, fun, and 100% safe!
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Postby raiders_umpire » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:46 am

joshheines wrote:I'm a closet D-Rays fan. They're my new AL team.

C - Toby Hall
1 - ??? (Ryan Howard makes sense. Phillies want a CF. D-Rays need a future 1B. Gathright for Howard? Only problem is Gath has a weak arm. Even Rocco Baldelli for Howard.)
2 - Jorge Cantu
SS - BJ Upton (I don't think he'll stick here. Too many errors)
3 -
OF - Delmon Young
OF - Carl Crawford
OF - Rocco Baldelli
DH - Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, Joey Gathright

Believe it or not the future pitching staff looks decent.

P - Scott Kazmir
P - Jeff Niemann
P - Jason Hammel
P - Wade Townsend
P - Chad Orvella

I'd like to see the following line-up in 2007

1) Gathright (.400 OBP with 50+ steals)
2) Crawford (Fantasy monster with .300/20 HR/40 SB)
3) BJ Upton
4) Delmon Young (The Next Pujols. .320/40/120/10)
5) Jorge Cantu
6) Rocco Baldelli
7) ???
8) Toby Hall
9) ???




nice looking lineup.... one thing though i prefer rocco over ryan howard.... and when we trade huff,,,, whoever we get needs to be a 3b or a solid arm for the rotation..... i have been hearing a few rumors of huff and baez for marte and mccann of the braves... that trade would definitely fill our 3b and C slot for many years....
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Postby warrick95 » Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:00 pm

joshheines wrote:I'm a closet D-Rays fan. They're my new AL team.

C - Toby Hall
1 - ??? (Ryan Howard makes sense. Phillies want a CF. D-Rays need a future 1B. Gathright for Howard? Only problem is Gath has a weak arm. Even Rocco Baldelli for Howard.)
2 - Jorge Cantu
SS - BJ Upton (I don't think he'll stick here. Too many errors)
3 -
OF - Delmon Young
OF - Carl Crawford
OF - Rocco Baldelli
DH - Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, Joey Gathright

Believe it or not the future pitching staff looks decent.

P - Scott Kazmir
P - Jeff Niemann
P - Jason Hammel
P - Wade Townsend
P - Chad Orvella

I'd like to see the following line-up in 2007

1) Gathright (.400 OBP with 50+ steals)
2) Crawford (Fantasy monster with .300/20 HR/40 SB)
3) BJ Upton
4) Delmon Young (The Next Pujols. .320/40/120/10)
5) Jorge Cantu
6) Rocco Baldelli
7) ???
8) Toby Hall
9) ???


Nah. I disagree with the Ryan Howard suggestion. First of all, I don't like Howard that much. He has proven that he can hit at an AAA level, but can he hit in the majors? His strikeout numbers are as gaudy as his power numbers. Howard reminds a lot of players like Daryle Ward. It seems like they must work on making consistent contact; something that is harder said than done. Wes Bankston should be our future 1B. He hits pretty well, has decent pop. He's not a lights out top prospect, but he's cheap, home-grown talent who will be more than adequate. If not him, we have such a log-jam in the OF that we could probably move one to 1B. Even though Delmon has a cannon for an arm in right, he seems like the logical candidate. Delmon is slower than the rest and figures to slow down even more as he ages. Putting a CF candidate with good legs like Dukes, Gath, or Baldelli at 1B doesn't make too much sense.

I think Gomes is merely a stopgap and doesn't have the potential like the others and should be viewed as trade bait or a future fourth outfielder. He would fit pretty well on the Oakland A's with his high number of walks. Since they already have Swisher and Johnson up there, it might be another Moneyball team.

I love Gathright because I think speed changes the game on a basis that the box scores can't capture. Just having that threat changes the complexion of the game and how the pitcher pitches. I want to see Gathright/Crawford 1-2, but knowing where our team stands with the number of OFs we have, I know one of the guys will get dealt. I'm hoping it's Baldelli, but it could very well be Gathright.

I would want this particular lineup:
CF Gathright
LF Crawford
SS Upton
1B Young
RF Baldelli
DH Dukes
2B Cantu
C Hall
3B ? for now...Brignac would be the one in a few years. Marte would be nice, but somehow, I don't really see the Braves biting on anything for him. Though with Chipper entrenched there, it's certainly possible.

or

LF Crawford
RF Baldelli
SS Upton
1B Young
DH Dukes
2B Cantu
3B
C Hall
CF Gathright

With Gathright's speed in center, if he works on his defense a little, he could provide superb range.
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Postby Dawgpound 1613 » Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:53 pm

What scares me of an OF of Gathright, Crawford and Baldelli is the decided lack of power. I agree the pitching will be solid, but the Rays need some power if that is their IF.

I can't see the Braves trading McCann and Marte. My guess is they'll have McCann replace Estrada in the next year or so. I think Hall will be fine at C as I think he's solid defensively and won't be an embarassment on offense.

1B should be easy to find, and I guess Cantu, Lugo and BJ at the other 3 IF positions.

For pitching, I just don't know. Until the Rays start actually developing their pitchers, I'm going to have my doubts.
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