Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Joe Wieland, Drew Pomeranz, Trevor Bauer, more
by Chris Hadorn
on April 11, 2012 @ 23:39:36
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 San Diego Padres are expected to promote RHP Joe Wieland to start their Saturday, April 14 game at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Because of his pending call-up, Wieland made an abbreviated start last night, striking out four over two scoreless innings in Triple-A Tucson's 18-6 loss to Sacramento.
In 7 2/3 innings at Tucson, Wieland is 0-1, with a 3.52 ERA and an 11:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Like Padres LHP prospect Robbie Erlin, the other prospect acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mike Adams swap of July 2011, Wieland doesn't have knock-your-socks-off stuff, but he has an assortment of four pitches that he can pinpoint for strikes.
As a result of his precision, Wieland was outstanding in the minors in 2011, compiling a 13-4 record, 1.97 ERA and a 150:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 155 2/3 innings. He did surrender nine home runs, and he's been a fly-ball pitcher his entire career. But his fly-ball tendency should be minimized by the spacious outfield of PETCO Park.
The 22-year-old has excellent command of a fastball that typically sits between the high 80s and low 90s but has outstanding movement. Wieland also throws a good 12-to-6 curveball, a changeup and a slider.
From a strictly stuff standpoint, Wieland has been likened to a fourth starter, but based on his track record, his ability to pitch and his major league destination, that's a conservative label of what to expect.
Wieland is a strike-throwing machine with gaudy numbers, so target him aggressively in NL-only formats. With Dustin Moseley's shoulder injury expected to keep him out longer than expected and Tim Stauffer (elbow) also shelved on the 15-day disabled list, Wieland will probably get a chance to make more than one start at the major league level.
Making a final tune-up start before his extended stay in the majors, Colorado Rockies LHP prospect Drew Pomeranz hurled four shutout innings in Double-A Tulsa's 6-3 win over Corpus Christi last night. Pomeranz struck out four batters while allowing four hits and a walk.
The former Ole Miss star threw 77 pitches, 48 of them for strikes. Six of Pomeranz's seven batted outs were ground balls, a plus for a pitcher will throw half his games in Coors Field.
The 23-year-old is slated to make his season debut Sunday, April 15 versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound southpaw features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a hammer curve and a decent changeup. Last year in the minors, Pomeranz was extremely sharp, averaging 10.6 strikeouts, 3.4 walks and 0.3 home runs per nine innings. When he got to the majors for a September cup of coffee following an appendectomy, he wasn't as effective as he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 13:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18 1/3 innings. However, he didn't yield a home run, which validates the long-fly stinginess he showed in the minors.
In fantasy baseball this year, Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Bauer is the most anticipated potential call-up among pitching prospects, and he continues to validate the excitement by posting eye-popping strikeout numbers and putting zeros up on the scoreboard. In Double-A Mobile's 3-2 win over Pensacola last night, Bauer (2-0) was victorious as he fanned 11 batters over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed only two hits, but he did walk four batters.
Through two starts, Bauer has struck out 18 batters over 10 2/3 scoreless frames, but he has walked seven batters, which will be a point of emphasis before he is promoted.
In 36 1/3 innings of pro ball, Bauer has now struck out 61 batters, good for an average of 15.1 whiffs per nine innings!
San Diego Padres catching prospect Yasmani Grandal has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right hamstring injury. Grandal, 23, was hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a pair of doubles and three walks in four games with Triple-A Tucson.
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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