Bobby Crosby – Shortstop, A’s
Bobby is one of the few guys on this list that appears to be in line for a full shot at the majors from day one this year. Crosby will fill the considerable shoes of Miguel Tejada at SS for the A’s this season. His AAA stat line from Sacramento (.308, 22 HRs, 90 Rbi, 24 SBs, a .395 OBP and .939 OPS in 465 ABs) is pretty impressive stuff. Figure in that he coaxed 63 walks and struck out 110 times, and you get a picture of a pretty polished hitter with some pop and speed. That picture would be correct. Bobby has all of those things. He’s also a good old-fashioned, down-and-dirty ballplayer. If you are an A’s fan you are going to love this kid. >From a fantasy standpoint you should temper your expectations a bit, especially in 2004. He’s carrying a pretty big stone as we start the season, replacing an MVP on a contending team. That’s a heavy load for any rookie. He’s also doing it at SS which is even more daunting. Chances are he’s a legitimate 15/15 caliber SS out of the box and after that, what he does in terms of average and Rbi and Runs is pretty much gravy at that point isn’t it? Eventually he seems capable of 20/20 seasons with a .290 average and 75+ Rbi, and who knows, “eventually” could be 2004. Once you get past the elite shortstops … and Edgar Renteria … and Orlando Cabrera (who are both safer bets), Bobby looks right at home sitting on the next shelf. He looks to me to be a lot like the Angel Berroa we saw last year. Keep in mind though; he’s a kid carrying a big stone. It might be a mistake to lean on him too much this year.