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.
Last week we profiled Miguel Sano, a teenager in the Minnesota Twins' system with light-tower power. His Elizabethton teammate Eddie Rosario, a center fielder, is enjoying a fine season in the rookie Appalachian League, too. Rosario is hitting .319 with 19 home runs, 54 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and a 1.013 OPS in 251 at-bats.
Bauer already too much for minors
Rosario was the highest pick (fourth round) from Puerto Rico in the 2010 draft. The 19-year-old has a well-rounded set of tools. He can run, has a strong throwing arm and has drawn praise for his advancing hitting skills for his age. When he was drafted, there were some questions about how much power the 6-foot, 170-pound Rosario would develop, but he may have answered those concerns by going on a slugging barrage this year.
The Twins have gone through a drought of developing high-end position players since the Joe Mauer-Justin Morneau-Michael Cuddyer generation. Sano and Rosario have the high-upside hitting ability that the Twins' organization desperately needs. Unfortunately, both are probably at least two years away.
Last night Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Julio Rodriguez outdueled Milwaukee Brewers young gun Tyler Thornburg, lifting high Single-A Clearwater to a 2-0 win over Brevard County.
Even with the trade of Jarred Cosart, the Phillies are still loaded with promising arms, Rodriguez being one of them.
Rodriguez has gone 16-7, with a 2.87 ERA and a 150:53 strikeout-to-walk ratio, in 145 2/3 innings with Clearwater this season. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander doesn't throw particularly hard but has a deceptive delivery and a good feel for his curveball.
Standing at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, Thornburg doesn't look the part, but the former Charleston Southern star can light up radar guns consistently in the mid-90s. He also throws a wicked curveball and a below-average changeup. Thornburg, 22, has gone 10-5, with a 2.53 ERA and a 154:54 strikeout-to-walk ratio, in 131 2/3 innings in Single-A ball this year.
When he faces tougher competition, it will be interesting to see if Thornburg can sustain his performance without a reliable third pitch, or whether he will be moved to the bullpen, where he could serve in a backend role. Nevertheless, he is one of the Brewers' few gems in a thin farm system that has been depleted by trades.
Whether he arrives this September or next April, Arizona Diamondbacks first-rounder Trevor Bauer doesn't look like he's going to need much more time in the minors.
The third overall selection of the 2011 draft struck out seven over five innings yesterday in a start for Double-A Mobile. Bauer allowed just one run on four hits and a walk. Since starting his professional career, Bauer is 1-1, with a 2.63 ERA and a 40:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings.
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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