Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Jenrry Mejia, more
by Chris Hadorn
on May 2, 2011 @ 16:35:13
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.
The New York Mets planned on handling Jenrry Mejia with kid gloves anyway; they announced today that their top upper-level pitching prospect is out indefinitely after suffering a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. Mets team doctor David Altchek has recommended Tommy John surgery for Mejia, but the 21-year-old will seek a second opinion.
The MCL, also known as the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), is the same ligament that Washington Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg tore last summer. If he undergoes the surgery, Mejia would be expected to miss 12 to 18 months.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Dominican left Friday's start with Triple-A Buffalo at the end of the fourth inning due to elbow discomfort. In 28 1/3 innings with Buffalo, Mejia was 1-2, with a 2.86 ERA and a 21-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Despite the command issues, he had held opposing batters to a .168 average.
AL West prospects of the month
The 21-year-old Dominican batted .344 with two homers, 11 RBIs and 13 steals in 16 attempts during April for high Single-A Inland Empire. Segura projects as a Jose Reyes type. The big question is whether he can handle playing shortstop at the big league level or will be moved back to second base, his original position.
Barfield, the son of former big league All-Star Jesse Barfield, hit .307 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .942 OPS with Double-A Midland in 75 April at-bats. Scouts have always loved Barfield's tools and 6-foot-5, 240-pound physique, but he has struggled with making contact and his strike zone judgment in the past. This season the 22-year-old has drawn more walks (14) than strikeouts (13), a sign that he could be turning the corner.
Despite pitching in one of the worst environments in professional baseball, Gillheeney thrived by posting a 1-1 record, 3.04 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 26 2/3 innings at advanced Single-A High Desert. In his last start versus Rancho Cucamonga on April 30, Gillheeney struck out 10 batters over 5 2/3 innings of two-hit ball. Gillheeney, an eighth-round pick out of North Carolina State in 2009, doesn't light up radar guns, but he has a solid four-pitch mix that includes a changeup out pitch.
Standing at 6-foot, 175 pounds, Erlin isn't the most physically imposing hurler, but he sure can pound the strike zone. Since being drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft, Erlin has compiled an eye-popping 166-to-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 147 2/3 innings.
In five starts at low Single-A Myrtle Beach this year, Erlin has gone 2-0, with a 2.48 ERA and a 32-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 29 innings. Clocked only in the low 90s, Erlin pitches above his talent thanks to a deceptive delivery and two very good secondary pitches (curveball, changeup). He has plus command of all three pitches and will throw any of them in any count.
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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