I'm currently only a day or two away from the deadline to get all these decisions in, so I'm trying to tie up all my loose ends for my minor leaguers. Anyway, I drafted Daric Barton and Andy Marte last year in our major league draft (anyone in the database could be drafted) and kept them on my roster all year just to keep their rights. Now my options are these: extend one or both contracts to a second year and pay the fee; or let one of both go and rely on my restricted free agent rights which basically allow me to match any offer and get them in the first year of a contract instead of the second year. I'm a bit torn because if they won't be in the bigs next year, it may be worth it to allow them to go to free agency and try to match the offer so I get them back into the first year of a contract (five year contract max unless we use the franchise tag). Any advice would be very appreciated.
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Yeah Marte should see some good time this year. I don't know that Barton is anywhere near a "good fantasy player" because I can see him hitting .300-.310 but with only 10-15 hr. He may be able to develop more power but I don't see it for a few years. If I am going to keep one of my minor leaguers around for a while its in hopes for some pretty good upside and .300 with 15 is mediocore at best for an MLB 1st basemen. I have a feeling Barton will be a much better "real" player than "fantasy" player.
I'd drop both in this case, given that you have matching rights. I'd pick both back up.
Marte will be given more time this year, but I think that Barton will turn out to be the more valuable player. A much more valuable player, really.
By 2009, Barton will be Jason Giambi (in his MVP year, but without the steroids). Marte is going to be a good piece, a nice piece of the puzzle, but he's not going to be the superstar people once thought he might. He'll be a much more valuable real player than fantasy player. Barton will be valuable in all cases.
In other words - One day, Daric Barton will be the best player in the AL. Andy Marte will never even be the best on his team.
How and why is Daric Barton so special? Unless Im missing something, he appears nothing more than an above average minor league player according to his stats
He hasnt shown a BA over .318 and had a measly 13HR in 500+ ABs last year through 2 stops in 2005. His one big positive is his plate discipline which has allowed him to take more BBs than Ks.
Marte hasnt shown an ability to hit for average in any of his previous minor league stops...highest BA, .285 in A ball. His power is obvious, having 30+HR potential for the Braves as soon as 2006 (not likely) but with terrible plate discipline and a large nack for striking out.
I dont see either player becoming a star in the majors. Each should have some success in a couple of years but nothing that should amount to a great deal of fantasy value. I just dont see where it will come from. Barton will have good average, below avg power, no speed, and an avg amount of RBIs for a MLB first basemen. Marte should have an above avg amount of HR, avg to above avg RBI, below avg Avg, and no speed for a third basemen. I could be wrong, but I just dont see either dominating the MLB. Marte wont amount to the success of a guy like E.Encarnacion in my estimation.
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Cleveland, let's compare Barton with, say, Giambi, since he's been mentioned here.
Barton #'s at A level, followed by Giambi's (I'll throw out Giambi's first year in A, as he only had 41 ABs and a comparison will be easier this way):
AGE AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG SLG
18/19 605 123 197 39 2 21 129 131 93 .326 .511/.469
22 313 72 91 16 2 12 60 73 81 .291 .470
Giambi had roughly half the number of ABs, so cutting Barton's in half we get:
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
303 62 99 20 1 11 65 66 47 .327
I rounded up to make the approximations a little closer.
The numbers are similar, and Barton is a full 3-4 years younger.
Giambi hit 28 HRs in 919 ABS with a SLG of .471 and an AVG of .273 in his 5 year minor league career, albeit one year included only 41 ABs. In Barton's 3 year minor league career so far, he's hit 30 HRs in 989 ABs with an AVG of .311 and a SLG of .478.
Giambi didn't hit the minors until age 21, and Barton has achieved this before the age of 20.
Barton is special because of his plate discipline. Let's start with a scouting report (Caveat - it's a year old but still relevent):
All scouting reports on Daric Barton begin with his bat. He has explosive bat speed, with a sweet swing that has just a touch of loft to it. He can and will hit to the opposite field, but will also destroy pullable pitches. He has no real weakness as a hitter. One Midwest League pitcher told me this summer that Barton was basically impossible to pitch to; he could hit anything you threw at him, and never reached for a pitch outside the strike zone. His plate discipline is excellent, and his strikeout rate is very low for a young power hitter.
He won't get himself out. He will lead the league in OBP 7-10 times in his career. As for the power, it will come. He's still young and filling out. And, as stated before, he doesn't swing at bad pitches so he'll make good contact all the time.
He's 20 years old and hit 20 doubles in 56 games while at double-A. He'll develop his power. Homers are the last thing to develop. He's going to be Jason Giambi.