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Baseball America Top 100 Prospects - ETA 2009

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list came out today.  Let's look at those who have an estimated time of arrival of 2009, since these players might have an impact in fantasy baseball.

1. Matt Wieters, Orioles.  Eighth among fantasy catchers, even with only 375 ABs projected.  Add in some replacement level performance and you can get even more from the roster spot.  It's hard to find anyone who doesn't believe the Wieters hype, even though he hasn't played at Triple A or the Majors.

2. David Price, Rays.  I've projected Price at a 4.34 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 7.0 K/9 in 130 big league innings.  He's certainly capable of crushing that projection, based on his stuff.  Price tossed 129.3 total innings in 2008, so it'd be surprising to see him get far past 160 in '09.  Of course, if you can spare the roster spot you can add 40 innings of league average performance from another player.

3. Colby Rasmus, Cardinals.  If Rasmus gets 500 ABs, I think he'd be worth a buck or two.  He could flirt with 20/20, but will he hit for average as a rookie?

4. Tommy Hanson, Braves.  An injury could open up a spot in the big league rotation for Hanson.  With 200 IP, I think he could be worth around $10.  Having pitched 138 in '08, his ceiling might be in the 170 range if the Braves want to be careful.

6. Travis Snider, Blue Jays.  Even with 500 ABs I don't see much mixed league value here.  But he's similar to Price in that projections only take you so far.

7. Brett Anderson, A's.  We're not hearing a ton about the Oakland lefty in fantasy circles.  Could be worth $5-6 with 200 IP.  He's only 21 but is quite polished.

8. Cameron Maybin, Marlins.  Might be worth $7-8, as he could steal 25 bags.  Could post a nice runs total atop the Marlins' order, too.

10. Neftali Feliz, Rangers.  I'm not sure the control is there for him to have rookie fantasy success.

11. Trevor Cahill, A's.  Similar fantasy outlook to Anderson, though his control isn't as good.

12. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates.  Would the Pirates promote him that aggressively?  PECOTA doesn't seem him succeeding as a rookie.

15. Dexter Fowler, Rockies.  Crowded outfield in Colorado, but he'd be worth $5-6 over a full season (20+ SBs).

17. Lars Anderson, Red Sox.  Another guy PECOTA doesn't see as quite ready.  It'd take an injury in Boston for him to get a shot this year.

19. Alcides Escobar, Brewers.  He's a defensive-minded guy, but in a full season he'd be a 20 SB threat at shortstop.

20.  Gordon Beckham, White Sox.  An offensive-minded middle infielder is always big in fantasy.  Still, let's see him mash in the pros first.

22. Chris Tillman, Orioles.  Rookie success would surprise me. 

23. Justin Smoak, Rangers.  In general Baseball America seems kind of aggressive with these 2009 ETAs.  The Rangers appear set at the corners for '09.

25. Brian Matusz, Orioles.  Another guy where we don't really have a pro track record to work with.  But, everyone says he'll move quickly.

27. Matt LaPorta, Indians.  Might not hit for average, but appears big league ready and could top 20 HR as a rookie.

31. Derek Holland, Rangers.  Awesome prospect, but big league ready?  Some of these guys probably need a few months dominating Triple A before mixed leaguers should think about them.

32. Wade Davis, Rays.  See Holland.

33. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates.  Could be worth a few bucks as a rookie given the 20 SB potential.

34. Mat Gamel, Brewers.  Off to a rough start, being the last one to report to camp and having a shoulder impingement.  The numbers suggest decent rookie pop.

36. Austin Jackson, Yankees.  Center field is one of the Yanks' weakest positions, but Jackson didn't hit enough at Double A to thrill me from a fantasy perspective.

37. Elvis Andrus, Rangers.  Could steal 30 bags, so that alone would give the Rangers' shortstop value.

40. Brett Wallace, Cardinals.  This kid isn't expected to need much minor league seasoning before succeeding in the bigs.  Might be more of a 15-20 HR type though.

41. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals.  The Nationals' top prospect is definitely with the right team as far as opportunity.  I like him as a sleeper, though he hasn't played Triple A ball.

42. Jordan Schafer, Braves.  He'll be a power/speed threat eventually, but expecting but big things from his rookie year may be pushing it.

43. J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays.  A catcher with double-digit pop should always be on the fantasy radar.  Could be a sleeper for '10.

50. Kyle Blanks, Padres.  He's blocked by Adrian Gonzalez for '09, and a little time at Triple A wouldn't hurt.

52. Carlos Carrasco, Phillies.  I think he could rack up some Ks as the Phillies' fifth starter.  Keep tabs on him.

55.  Aaron Cunningham, A's.  More of an AL-only type of sleeper.

56. James McDonald, Dodgers.  Another guy who could get you decent K numbers as a starter.  But, BA notes that his fastball is "very straight" and the velocity isn't great when he starts.

60. Todd Frazier, Reds.  If he comes up as a shortstop for the Reds, the 20 HR pop will be mighty appealing.

61. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox.  This guy is really tough to forecast.  He's got huge power but BA sees him as riskier than the more athletic Alexei Ramirez.

63. Aaron Poreda, White Sox.  He's got a ridiculous fastball, but not the strikeout rate to match.  Hasn't hit Triple A yet, but the White Sox rotation is unsettled at the back.

65. Michael Saunders, Mariners.  Even if the Mariners make room, Saunders will probably not generate enough offense as a rookie to make a fantasy impact.

66. Lou Marson, Phillies.  Phillies catcher doesn't really have much pop.

68. Nick Adenhart, Angels.  Another guy where the stuff outpaces the numbers. Maybe he can take the leap.

69. Jason Donald, Phillies.  If he's traded into a full-time role we could see double digit power/speed from the shortstop.

73. Taylor Teagarden, Rangers.  If his average is even halfday decent the 20 HR power from the catcher spot will play.

77.  Jonathan Niese, Mets.  Even with several vets vying for the spot, Niese could become the Mets' fifth starter. He'd be worth a buck or two as a rookie.

78. Reid Brignac, Rays.  I'm not seeing a big league opportunity or impact from him in '09.

79. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs.  Another guy whose K rate hasn't always matched up with his stuff.  I am not enthusiastic about his performance as a starter this year.

82. Adam Miller, Indians.  If Kerry Wood goes down but Miller somehow stays healthy, he could get some save opps.  Or maybe he'd just rack up Ks as a late-inning guy.

83. Michael Bowden, Red Sox.  Boston's rotation is not easy to crack.   Bowden could be a $10 pitcher with 200 IP though.  Realistically, the Red Sox don't figure to push him past 180.  One to watch for '09. 

84. Max Ramirez, Rangers.  20 HR pop from the catcher spot.

88. Gerardo Parra, D'Backs.  The Arizona OF doesn't have much power but could swipe 20.

90. Daniel Cortes, Royals.  I don't see Cortes as big league ready; he needs some Triple A time.

91. Chris Perez, Cardinals.  Good chance that Perez gets saves in St. Louis.  He's an excellent endgame pick.

97. Gio Gonzalez, A's.  Could be worth a look if you're desperate for Ks.

98. Daniel Bard, Red Sox.  Could snag a late-inning relief role in Boston eventually, but won't be a fantasy factor.

100. Jeremy Jeffress, Brewers.  He's got a triple-digit fastball; a possible long shot for saves in Milwaukee if he comes along quickly and Trevor Hoffman/Eric Gagne fail.




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