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Prospect Review

Welcome to my debut here on RotoAuthority.  For those who don’t know me, my name is Eric Stashin and I run Roto ProfessorI will be checking in here once a week with an update on a few prospects from around the league.  If there is anyone specific you’d like to read about, please feel free to drop me a line at estashin@rotoprofessor.com.  I will do my best to cover all of the requests as quickly as possible. 

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at the first few prospects:

Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals – A former 22nd round draft choice, Garcia entered the season ranked as the team’s fourth best prospect by Baseball America, and the team’s top starting pitching prospect.  He started the season in Double A and absolutely dominated there, going 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA over 35.0 innings of work.  He struck out 41 batters, walked 16, and didn't give up a home run.

Once promoted to Triple A, things have been much the same.  He has gone 3-2 with a 3.16 ERA over 42.2 innings.  Overall he’s 6-4 with a 2.67 ERA over 77.2 innings, striking out 79 and walking 27.

With Adam Wainwright being placed on the DL and being replaced by Joel Pineiro, at least temporarily, you have to think that it is only a matter of time before the team turns to Garcia to get a few starts.  With Clayton Kershaw up in the majors and David Price (a future topic of conversation) still at least a few months away, Garcia has just as good of a chance as anyone to be an impact pitcher for fantasy owners.  He certainly has the chance to excel at the Major League level, once given a chance.  You have to like his strikeout to walk ratio and the fact that he has been able to keep the ball in the yard (4 HR allowed in 77.2 innings).  If those stats translate to the majors, it will mean a lot of success for him. 

Long-term keeper league owners should definitely be looking to grab him now, as I think he’ll be making an impact before too long.  Once he gets a chance in the majors, I would take a chance on him in yearly leagues as well if you are in need of pitching.

Thomas Diamond, Texas Rangers – Once part of the vaunted DVD trio of pitching prospects (joining Edinson Volquez and John Danks), he is now the only one left pitching for the Rangers organization.  He’s also the only one not pitching in the Majors, but part of the reason is the Tommy John surgery he underwent last season.  At one time, Diamond was considered by some to be the best prospect of the three, so there is every chance that he could still develop into a top of the rotation pitcher, or at least pitcher for the Rangers at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Given what we have seen from Francisco Liriano recently, I don’t think it is fair to expect him to join the Rangers any time before late in the season, and even that may be too much to ask. 

He has made 4 starts at Double A since returning from the injury, going 1-1 with a 6.88 ERA over 17.0 innings.  Those numbers are obviously ugly, and part of the problem is that he has walked 13 batters.  He also has struck out 21, however, a number that should at least intrigue fantasy owners.  At Double A in 2006, he struck out 145 batters in just 129.1 innings.  He has a live arm and is certainly worth keeping an eye on for the future.

Given the success that the other two DVD starters have seen, there’s no reason to think that Diamond can’t follow suit.  I’ll update his progress again later on in the season, but 2009 could be the year that he not only gets his first taste of the Majors, but makes an impact for fantasy owners.

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