Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Chris Marrero, Eric Surkamp, Taylor Green

by Chris Hadorn on August 29, 2011 @ 16:19:08 PDT

 


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 Milwaukee Brewers promoted a third base prospect Saturday that might make Casey McGahee owners a tad nervous.

Taylor Green was promoted after hitting .336 with 22 home runs, 88 RBIs, 36 doubles, 74 runs scored, and a .997 OPS in 420 at-bats with Triple-A Nashville.

San Francisco Giants SP Eric Surkamp
Surkamp will be back

The left-handed-hitting Green is expected to serve as a bench player for the most part, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he would take a few starts from McGehee against right-handed hitters. McGehee is struggling this year, hitting just .240 with 11 home runs and a .652 OPS in 471 at-bats.

Green, 24, showed promise early in his career, posting a .922 OPS in 2007 with low Single-A West Virginia. However, he suffered a wrist injury in 2008 that sapped his power.

After Green hit just .260 with 13 home runs and .773 OPS at Double-A in 2010, scouts were skeptical about whether his bat would profile at the premium hitting position of third base.

With the assistance of Nashville hitting coach Sandy Guerrero, Green made some mechanical adjustments that helped him register the best power numbers of his career. He has already bested his previous high of 15 home runs by seven dingers this year.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound infielder has a good grasp of the strike zone, registering a .373 on-base percentage during his professional career.

Coming into this year, Green was flying so much under the radar that he failed to crack Baseball America's top-30 list of Brewers prospects. With one month remaining, Green probably won't get enough playing time to justify starting in NL-only formats, but he's worthy of a look by keeper league players for the 2012 season.

McGehee is set to become arbitration-eligible in 2012, so the Brewers could turn to Green's direction next spring as a more cost-effective option if they can find a taker for or let go the former. If McGehee returns, don't rule out Green beating him outright for the third base job.

***

The Washington Nationals promoted first baseman Chris Marrero, their 2006 first-round pick, over the weekend.

Marrero, 23, hit .300 with 14 home runs, 69 RBIs, 30 doubles, 59 runs scored and an .825 OPS in 483 at-bats with Triple-A Syracuse.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound first baseman went 3-for-8 in his first big league games over the weekend. He started one game at first base and came off the bench in another contest. With Adam LaRoche out for the season, Marrero could get his share of playing time at first base, splitting time there with Mike Morse and Laynce Nix.

Throughout his professional career, Marrero has held his own as a hitter in the minors. But he has yet to stand out at any of his stops. This season, Marrero enjoyed a solid hitting performance in the International League, but it wasn't adequate enough for first base.

Marrero projects as a below-average-hitting first baseman at this point in his career. The South Florida native shows breathtaking power during batting practice sessions, but it has yet to translate consistently to games. Marrero still has the raw talent to grow into an above-average offensive first baseman, but don't count on it. Right now, he projects as a platoon player or Quad A slugger.

***

San Francisco Giants left-handed pitcher Eric Surkamp made his major league debut Saturday, taking the no-decision in his team's 2-1 win over the Houston Astros.

In six innings, Surkamp allowed one run on six hits and three walks, while striking out four.

Even though Surkamp was optioned to high Single-A San Jose following the game, expect the southpaw to get more starts in September with lefties Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito battling injuries.

Pitching for Double-A Richmond this year, Surkamp was 10-4, with a 2.02 ERA and a 165:44 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 142 1/3 innings. The former North Carolina State star yielded just five home runs.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound southpaw attacks hitters with a fastball that usually sits in the low 80s. However, Surkamp's curveball and changeup are both plus-pitches. Both offerings make his fastball more effective.

Surkamp has a good feel for changing speeds, and his secondary pitches are tough to hit when gets ahead of hitters. The 24-year-old projects as a fourth starter, but he could outpitch that projection considering his gaudy strikeout rates and the fact that he'll play in the pitcher-friendly confines of AT&T Park.

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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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