Your fantasy baseball rankings look a little stale. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting series highlights the exploits of minor league baseball players, including top MLB prospects. Find out who'll make an impact, whether it's in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball game next week or in your fantasy baseball keeper league two years from now.
Texas Rangers pitching prospect Martin Perez is the classic example for why fantasy players shouldn't always read too much into a prospect's numbers and that talent and upside should also get strong consideration in evaluating a player's future.
Betances, friends blistered
Last season as a 19-year-old in the Double-A Texas League, Perez struggled mightily, registering a 5.96 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP in 99 2/3 innings with Frisco. He issued 50 walks and was hammered for 12 homers. The Venezuelan southpaw had problems commanding his pitches and his season ended prematurely due to a low back strain.
Despite some ugly numbers, Perez still finished with more strikeouts (101) than innings pitched as a teenager in a challenging league. And at his disposal Perez still had his filthy arsenal, which includes a trio of offerings (low- to mid-90s fastball, curveball, changeup) that all have the chance to be above-average at the big league level.
Last night in Springfield's 9-4 win over Frisco, the 20-year-old struck out nine batters over five shutout innings, while yielding only four hits and two walks. Of Perez's 81 pitches, 51 of them were thrown for strikes. Thirteen of Perez's 51 strikes were of the swing-and-miss variety.
Through two starts, the 6-foot, 178-pound lefty appears to have found his 2009 form, when he posted a 2.31 ERA at low Class-A Hickory. This preseason Perez wasn't mentioned much as one of the minors' top arms, but he has the stuff to pitch his way into that discussion real soon.
Three of the New York Yankees' top prospects have been placed on the seven-day disabled list with minor injuries. Trenton starters Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances have been shelved due to blisters on their throwing hands. Catcher Gary Sanchez, a blue chip prospect at low Class-A Charleston, will miss time due to an abdominal injury.
The 2010 California League MVP, Paul Goldschmidt, is hitting .381 (8-for-21) with five home runs, 10 RBIs, seven walks and four strikeouts through seven games at Double-A Mobile.
Much is being made of Toronto Blue Jays third base prospect Brett Lawrie's hot start at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he is hitting .441 with a homer, four RBIs and two steals through his first eight games. The downside is that Lawrie has already committed four errors at third base; defense is the weak facet of his game, and he's attempting to transition from the keystone. There's no question Lawrie can hit, but right now he doesn't give the Blue Jays many options with his glove.
About Chris Hadorn
Chris Hadorn has covered minor league and amateur prospects for more than a decade. He writes for San Diego's North County Times and has been a KFFL fantasy baseball contributor since 2006.
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