Thanks man.... I can only watch so many games. when it comes to rooks, I'm not a hype chaser. I like to see a guy play, so I mainly catch Angel games... With 2 or 3 year guys, the #s say more, but rooks, I really think you have to see them play and here what the players and coaches are saying.
So far this year I've picked Kendrick, Jered, Napoli and (after the early fall) King Felix as my WOW guys.
Jered I know is rock solid. When your worst game is giving up 3 in 6 and 2/3rds in Fenway, and you outdueled Beckett, you're doing all right, the Angels lost him that game. To me, he's like a young Maddux with better deception and a better fastball. Every game, hitters are saying, why aren't we hitting this guy? It was like that with Maddux early.
Kendrick is as hot as hell, based on his minor league stats, and the confidence he has and what the coaches are saying, he could be giving Mauer a run for his money soon, but with decent power and a LOT MORE speed... He's already had two base he got that were that like Jose Reyes "how did he gt there"" moments...at worst, I see a 300 hitter, 20/30.... at worst. The homers may take some time though because he;s more a line drive guy, I see him as like Jeter, but faster and stronger.
Napoli is at a minumum going to a great real life catcher but a fantasy catcher the jury isn't in. He's great with pitchers for a rookie and has good defensive mechanics. He has major HR power, and takes a lot of walks. He's been cold the last two weeks or so, but the good news is, even during that stretch, he was taking walks, so he's getting high obp even in a slump... Even his outs are oftern 3-2 counts, he works pitchers. He doesn't have a rep yet for having a good eye and I think that's cost him some called strikes that were a little off the plate. The more he plays, word spreads and umps start giving him the benefit of the doubt more.
That patience to take a walk though makes me think he'll adjust to whatever they're doing to get him to K more lately.... Plus, he's had a few hard liners right at guys so those things even out in time. I'm guessing he's a 260 avg guy, with a much much higher obp and 25 to 30 dingers a year... Could go higher though, it'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to the adjustments pitchers are making... but he is country strong. Some of his homers have been Halfer/Thome kind of shots. He could be really good.
Felix, he was WAY overhyped, but he's gonna be awesome. I'm certain of it. 2 years from now, people are gonna be saying "Holy crap I should've grabbed him when he was struggling." The Mariners have him on a leash and aren't letting him blow guys away like the cubs let Wood do. THey're forcing him to learn how to pitch with his average stuff and get by on location and change of speed, once he's got that down, the leash will get loosened more and you'll see more wicked pitches, but only when he really needs the out pitch... That is probably going to mean greater longevity than a Wood or Gooden who they just let throw their wicked stuff nearly every pitch from day one. He also needs endurance, not surprising for a 20 year old... From pitch 90 to 100 you can usually see a huge difference. The velocity drops, he starts hanging stuff. They've got to get his stronger and that takes time.