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Prospect Prospectin'

I want to start this week’s “Prospect Prospectin’” by talking about Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, formerly known as Prince. I might want to hide my true identity as well if I was the owner of a career 4.64 ERA and 5.33 K/9.  Sure, he’s a sinkerball pitcher with an outstanding defense behind him, but the Rays have approximately 1,353 prospects who are better pitchers than Hernandez, namely:

Chris Archer
Archer will be up, and he’ll be up soon. Jeff Niemann just went under the knife, and he was the only player besides Hernandez blocking Archer’s path. Let’s weigh Archer’s pros and cons:

Pros:
- Strikeouts
- Tends to strike opposing batters out
- Lots o’ K’s

Cons:
- Control
- Tends to walk too many batters
- Lots o’ BB’s

That’s Archer in a nutshell. If he can get his walks down, he’s got ace potential. In his first Triple-A start this year he only walked one batter in 5 innings, which is promising. A few more starts like that and we’re going to see Archer blowing big-league hitters away with his nasty stuff like he did during his cup of coffee last year (11.05 K/9 in 29.1 IP). And fantasy owners can start Archer with confidence knowing that the Rays handle their pitchers better than any team in baseball (last year they led the majors with a 3.34 ERA), meaning they won’t call him up until he’s ready. Stash him now, then reap the rewards when Faustberto Carmondez inevitably blows up.

Buy-Curious

Julio Teheran

Okay, so his first start was bad. Like gave-up-five-runs-to-the-lowly-Cubs-and-only-struck-out-two-batters-bad. But he’s still the same pitcher that was one of the most highly touted prospects going into 2012, and looked like freakin’ Bob Gibson in spring training this year, posting a 1.04 ERA in six starts and showing a glimpse of what his potential could be. Okay, so spring training stats are meaningless, and he could absolutely be a bust again this year, but isn’t he worth taking a chance on? If someone in your league dropped him after his rough first outing, he’s definitely worth picking up and stashing away, and I’d even put out a few low-ball trade offers out there for him. The reward could be huge, plus who would you rather hold onto that’s on your roster? Dillon Gee? Phil Humber? I didn’t think so. Fantasy baseball is all about taking risks, and Teheran is a risk worth taking at this point, especially if you can get him for dirt cheap or off waivers.

Drop It Like It’s Cold

Leonys Martin

Before the season started, Ron Washington said of Martin that he was going to “turn him loose” on the basepaths this year. This would be great for fantasy purposes...if Martin could reach the basepaths at all. In a platoon with Craig Gentry in center, Martin has struggled mightily, to the tune of 1 hit and 1 walk in 13 ABs. Small sample size, sure, but unless you’re in a deep league with daily roster changes, you can drop Martin for a hot hitter and pick him up down the road if he finally starts to get it going.

Aaron Hicks

The guy isn't ready for major league pitching. Period.

Third Base Studs You Should Stash Now, Brag Later 

Nolan Arenado

Arenado was the talk of the town last year, but was never called up since the Rockies were out of the playoff race by, well, May. Now all he has in his way is Chris Nelson, who is only batting .261 and has virtually no upside. Meanwhile, Arenado is picking up where he left off in spring training, hitting .438 with 2 bombs in 18 plate appearances. Arenado is not long for the minors.

Anthony Rendon

There was talk of Rendon being promoted last year, but the injury-prone Texan finished yet another year on the DL. With the also oft-injured Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa already playing through a shoulder injury, it seems like only a matter of time before the now healthy Rendon makes his way to the show. Pick him up now before someone else has the foresight to.

No Longer a Prospect But I’m Mentioning Him Anyway

Garrett Richards

With Jered Weaver out for at least a month, the Angels’ top pitching prospect Garrett Richards will take his spot in rotation. If you’re a Weaver owner looking for a replacement, or in dire need of wins or K’s, Richards could be a worthy add with his strikeout upside (but be forewarned, he has struggled with control). Even if he doesn’t pitch lights out, he’s in line for some wins with that lineup backing him up, and it’s worth mentioning that Richards had the best spring* of any Angels pitcher, posting a 1.45 in 6 games.

*I know spring training stats are meaningless and I keep referring to them. Deal with it.

 


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