Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

It’s time to once again take a look at how some of the top hitting prospects in the game are performing thus far this season.  If there are any players you want added, just let me know.

Lars Anderson – Boston Red Sox – First Baseman
2009 Statistics (Double-A): .303 (20-66), 2 HR, 14 RBI, 11 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

He had a huge game earlier this week, driving in five, which certainly helped to skew his totals slightly.  Still, the last time we checked in on him he was yet to collect an extra base hit (5 games).  In the past 11, he’s had five doubles and two home runs, so things are definitely moving in the right direction.

Alcides Escobar – Milwaukee Brewers – Shortstop
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .265 (22-83), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 13 R, 11 SB (through 4/28)

Speed is the name of the game, with seven stolen bases in his last ten games, but it is his inability to get on base via the walk that is extremely disturbing.  He’s walked just six times this season, a walk rate of 6.7%.  That’s far from prototypical for a leadoff hitter.  He’s also struggled mightily against righties, hitting just .222.  With Rickie Weeks playing well, it’s hard to imagine him pushing for playing time, at least for now.  Definitely monitor his progress, but he seems to be a ways away at this point.

Mat Gamel – Milwaukee Brewers – Third Baseman
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .394 (28-71), 7 HR, 26 RBI, 18 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

This start brings back memories of last season’s first half romp through Double-A, before injuries significantly slowed him down.  Over his past 10 games, he’s hit five of his home runs with 15 RBI.  I know his detractors point to his .447 BABIP, which is a fair point.  There’s no way he maintains that in the major leagues, but he’s shown at every level the ability to hit for a shockingly high number.  I’m not about to suggest he can keep it up, but the guy has proven that he can flat out hit and is worth eyeing in all formats.  All that stands in his way is Bill Hall, for what that’s worth.

Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves – Outfielder
2009 Statistics (Single-A): .279 (27-61), 3 HR, 10 RBI, 11 R, 0 SB (through 4/26)

He needs more time to develop, there’s no questioning that.  He’s been playing better in recent weeks, hitting .306 over his past ten games.  He may be the future for the Braves, but he certainly is not the present.  Only long-term keeper league owners should be considering him.

Austin Jackson – New York Yankees – Outfielder
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .357 (20-56), 0 HR, 10 RBI, 11 R, 5 SB (through 4/28)

As the Yankees continue to struggle in the major leagues, Jackson’s success in Triple-A has some clamoring for is recall.  There are some red flags, however, which bring cause concern.  His BABIP is a staggering .500, obviously a number that cannot go anywhere but down.  He’s also struck out 28.6% of the time, a number that easily can get pushed even further against major league pitching.  Four extra base hits?  Not really what we’re looking for.  He could get his chance, but I wouldn’t expect a Dexter Fowler type impact.

Matt LaPorta – Cleveland Indians – Outfielder
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .368 (25-68), 5 HR, 14 RBI, 20 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

The scary thing about LaPorta’s performance thus far is that he’s been even better over the past ten games.  He’s hitting .405 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 12 R over that span.  Overall he’s struck out just seven times, versus seven walks.  It’s just staggering how impressive he’s been and it’s only a matter of time before he is slotted into the Indians outfield (could Travis Hafner’s injury accelerate his time table?).  He was the focal point of the C.C. Sabathia trade last season, so the Indians are going to want to show off what the acquired.

Fernando Martinez – New York Mets – Outfielder
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .233 (17-73), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 0 SB (through 4/29)

At 20-years old, Martinez continues to look over matched against upper level competition.  Last time we checked in he had six extra base hits, and he’s now up to ten (8 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run), so he continues to shine there.  Unfortunately he has just seventeen hits and is struggling overall.  He’s got a ton of potential, but he’s far from reaching it.  Considering that the Mets are loaded with outfielders already, don’t expect him to reach the majors this season.  A full season at Triple-A certainly would be good for him.

Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates – Outfielder
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): .282 (22-78), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 17 R, 4 SB (through 4/28)

Outside of the runs scored, he has brought very little to the table to date.  Granted, he’s only struck out nine times, but he’s also only walked five times.  His stolen bases, which were promising early on, have waned recently, with just one in his past ten games.  With Nyjer Morgan excelling in the early going, it’s likely going to take a lot for McCutchen to break through this season.  I think he’s going to see time for the Pirates, but he needs to improve significantly on these numbers first.  He had 34 SB last season at Triple-A, so we know the speed is there.

Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals – Shortstop
2009 Statistics (Single-A): .288 (19-66), 4 HR, 15 RBI, 17 R, 1 SB (through 4/28)

His slow start is a thing of the past, hitting .306 over his past ten games.  He scored runs in eight consecutive games (11 runs), a streak that was broken on April 28.  The 2007 First Round Draft Pick is still a ways away, but this is a good sign for things to come.

Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians – Catcher
2009 Statistics (Double-A): .218 (12-55), 5 HR, 15 RBI, 11 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

He has tremendous upside and is one of the top catching prospects in the game, but it’s obvious from the numbers that he has gotten off to a tremendously slow start.  It’s not just a bad patch either, as the struggles have been early and often.  Over his past ten games (33 AB) he’s hitting just .212.  He hit .326 last season, mostly at Single-A, so just give him time to adjust to level before reading too much into it.

Justin Smoak – Texas Rangers – First Baseman
2009 Statistics (Double-A): .313 (21-67), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

The power has not yet come around, but his bat has certainly come alive.  When we first checked in on him he was struggling to a .250 average, having gone 1-9 against left-handers.  He’s certainly improved there, going four for his last thirteen, while he continues to demolish righties, at a .356 clip.  He’s done a great job of putting the ball in play, striking out just 10 times, which puts him in a great position to hit for a high average.  His BABIP is currently at .333, an extremely believable number.  He’s going to be a stud hitter in the not too distant future, so keep a close eye on him.  It is not impossible to see him make an impact as soon as 2009.

Dayan Viciedo – Chicago White Sox – Third Baseman
2009 Statistics (Double-A): .235 (16-68), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 2 SB (through 4/29)

Last time we checked, Viciedo had gotten off to a good start, hitting .350 with 4 RBI and 3 R over his first 20 AB.  Since then, things obviously hadn’t gone quite as well, until the past four games that is.  He’s on a 4-game hitting streak, going 7-16 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R.  That should tell you how bad he was in those middle AB’s (2-32).  He’s extremely young, so the inconsistency should not be so surprising.  Hopefully, in time, he can get things straightened out and contribute on a regular basis.

Brett Wallace – St. Louis Cardinals – Third Baseman
2009 Statistics (Double-A): .286 (20-70), 4 HR, 11 RBI, 16 R, 0 SB (through 4/28)

The left-handed hitter is owning southpaws in the early going, at the tune of a 5-14 clip, though all of his power has come against right-handed hitters.  He is striking out nearly 25% of the team (17 times in 70 at bats).  We mentioned that early on, and it continues to be a slight problem for him.  Continue monitoring it.

What does everyone think of these prospects?  Who has the highest upside?  Who will be the first to hold value in 2009?

The Global Sports Fraternity has added a new series to their wildly popular comedic sports videos.  It’s Drunk Dialing with Sir Charles.  Charles has already made calls to Dwyane Wade, Yao Ming and Shaq in past videos.  This week he calls KG.  Pretty funny stuff.  Take a look.


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Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Joe Johnson – 25 Points, 6 Rebounds, 6 Assists
Dwyane Wade – 29 Points
Josh Smith – 20 Points, 8 Rebounds
Flip Murray – 23 Points
Michael Beasley – 18 Points
Mike Bibby – 17 Points

New Orleans Hornets vs. Denver Nuggets
Carmelo Anthony – 34 Points, 6 Rebounds, 4 Steals
David West – 24 Points, 9 Rebounds
J.R. Smith -  20 Points, 5 Three-pointers
James Posey – 18 Points
Chauncey Billups – 13 Points, 11 Assists
Chris Paul – 12 Points, 10 Assists, 3 Steals
Kenyon Martin – 15 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Blocks

Time to put on your John Denver CD and take a look at Colorado’s baseball history. Rocky Mountain High, Colorado. As you might expect, the lineup looks formidable while the pitching staff looks ridiculous.

Face of the Franchise:
Todd Helton
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Manager: Clint Hurdle 

C – Joe Girardi
1B – Todd Helton
2B – Eric Young
3B – Vinny Castilla
SS – Neifi Perez
OF – Larry Walker
OF – Matt Holiday
OF – Dante Bichette
DH – Andres Galarraga
Bench:  1B/3B Garrett Atkins, SS Troy Tulowitzki OF Ellis Burks, OF Brad Hawpe 

SP – Jeff Francis
SP – Aaron Cook
SP – Jason Jennings
SP – Pedro Astacio
SP – Armando Reynoso
P – Steve Reed
P – Curtis Leskanic
P – Ubaldo Jimenez
P – Darren Holmes
P – Bruce Ruffin
RP – Brian Fuentes
RP – Jose Jimenez

That’s the team I came up with. Do you have any changes you’d like to suggest? I’m always open to them.
Past Teams
Red Sox
Blue Jays
White Sox

Atlanta Hawks Hurting

30 April 2009

marvin-williams al-horford
Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Marvin Williams missed the past three games against Miami with a sprained wrist.  Al Horford suffered an ankle injury in last night’s Game 5 victory.  Horford was limited to just 12 minutes in that game.  It appears if Atlanta is going to close out this physical series, they will have to do it without both frontcourt players.  Maurice Evans and Zaza Pachulia will be asked to pick up more minutes in their absence.  Josh Smith will have to stay out of foul trouble because while Pachulia is a capable rebounder, he doesn’t have nearly the presence that Horford did on defense.  The series continues tomorrow night in Miami.  Game 7, if necessary, will be on Sunday in Atlanta.


Billy Butler – 4 for 5, 4 Runs, Double, 2 HRs, 4 RBI
Edgar Renteria – 4 for 5, 2 Runs, Double, 2 RB
Adrian Beltre – 4 for 4, Double, RBI
Bengie Molina – 3 for 5, Run, Triple, HR, 4 RBI
A.J. Pierzynski – 3 for 4, 2 Runs, HR, RBI
Fernando Tatis – 3 for 4, 2 Runs,  HR, RBI, SB
Chad Tracy – 3 for 4, 3 Runs, Double, HR, 3 RBI, Walk
Omar Infante – 3 for 5, RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury – 3 for 5, RBI
Anderson Hernandez – 3 for 4, Run, 2 Doubles, 2 RBI, SB
Denard Span – 3 for 5, 2 Runs, Triple
Brendan Harris – 3 for 5, 2 Runs, RBI
Justin Morneau – 3 for 4, 2 Runs, Double, RBI, Walk 
Nick Swisher – 2 for 5, 2 Runs, 2 HRs, 4 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez – 2 for 3, 2 Runs, 2 HRs, 3 RBI, Walk
Justin Upton – 2 for 4, Double, 3 RBI, SB
Todd Helton – 2 for 3, Run, HR, 3 RBI, Walk
Chris Iannetta – 2 for 4, 2 Runs, HR, 3 RBI
Hideki Matsui – 1 for 2, Run, Double, 3 RBI, 3 Walks
Curtis Granderson – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI, Walk

Yovani Gallardo – W, 8 scoreless Innings, 2 Hits, 11 Ks
Edison Volquez – W, 8 scoreless Innings, 1 Hit, 6 Ks
Doug Davis – W, 7 scoreless Innings, 2 Hits, 7 Ks
Joba Chamberlain – W, 7 Innings, 1 Run, 3 Hits, 6 Ks
Shane Loux – W, 6 Innings, 1 Run, 5 Hits
Scott Olsen – W, 5-1/3 Innings, 1 Run, 6 Ks
Zack Greinke – W, 7 Innings, 2 Runs, 5 Hits, 8 Ks
Nick Blackburn – W, 7 Innings, 2 Runs
Tim Lincecum – W, 7 Innings, 3 Runs, 6 Hits, 8 Ks
Johan Santana – ND, 7 Innings, 2 Runs, 5 Hits, 7 Ks
Ian Snell – 7 Innings, 1 Run, 5 Hits, 5 Ks

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Some reasonably available players to assist you in the Strikeouts category.  Realize that some of these will come with high ERAs & WHIPs because if a Pitcher has low numbers in those categories and a good K total, they’re already spoken for.

Scott Richmond, Toronto Blue Jays – Scott had a great week for the Jays going 2-0 with 13 Ks, a 2.08 ERA, and 1.23 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio was 9.0 and his K/BB ratio was 2.6.  Scott is 3-0 on the year with 20 Ks,  a 2.70 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.  He’s one of baseball’s best kept secrets as he’s owned in just 4.8% of ESPN, 34% of Yahoo, and 44% of CBS Sportsline leagues.

Doug Davis, Arizona Diamondbacks - Doug Davis also had a strong week going 1-1 with 12Ks, a 3.45 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio was 8.3 and his K/BB ratio was 3.0.  On the season he’s been a little snake-bitten (pun intended) with a 2-3 record, 27 Ks, a 2.91 ERA, and a 1.18 WHIP.   He’s owned in 5.4% of ESPN, 24% of Yahoo, and 31% of CBS Sportsline leagues.

Adam Eaton, Baltimore Orioles – Eaton falls into the category of helping in Ks and not much else.  Last week he went 1-1 with 11 Ks, a 4.72 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio was 7.4 and his K/BB ratio was 2.75.  On the season he’s 1-3 with 21 Ks, a 7.17 ERA, and 1.73 WHIP.  He is owned in 0.5% of ESPN, 1% of Yahoo, and 1% of CBS Sportsline leagues.  I recommend you leave it that way

Koji Uehara, Baltimore Orioles – Eaton’s teammate Uehara is a little more attractive.  He went 0-1 with 11 Ks, a 3.46 ERA, and a 0.85 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio was 7.6 and he did not issue a Walk.  On the year he’s 2-2 with 19 Ks, a 4.50 ERA, and 1.13 WHIP.  He’s owned in 5.9% of ESPN, 20% of Yahoo, and 49% of CBS Sportsline leagues.  He got hit with a liner in last night’s start so I caution you that he could miss a start or two.

Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals - Scott pitched much better this past week going 1-1 with 10 Ks, a 2.31 ERA, and 1.63 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio is 7.7 and his K/BB ratio is 2.5.  On the year he’s 1-3 with 20 Ks, a 6.08 ERA, and 1.73 WHIP.  Even when he pitches well, that WHIP is killer, which probably justifies leaving him in the free agent pool.  Speaking of which, he is owned in 0.8% of ESPN, 3% of Yahoo, and 17% of CBS Sportsline leagues.

Dave Bush, Milwaukee Brewers – Bush was solid last week going 1-0 with 9 Ks, a 3.55 ERA, and 0.95 WHIP.  His K/9 ratio was 6.4 and his K/BB ratio was 2.25.  On the year he’s 1-0 with 18 Ks, a 4.50 ERA, and a 1.27 WHIP.  He is owned in 3.8% of ESPN, 22% of Yahoo, and 49% of CBS Sportsline leagues.

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