Young players have become more prominent in Major League Baseball. Properly valuing farm players' talents, timetables and opportunities will help rotisserie and head-to-head managers win their fantasy baseball leagues.
21. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
Another shot for Arenado?
Drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Arenado had his breakout minor league campaign in 2011 with Single-A Modesto, where he hit .298 with 20 long balls and 122 RBIs in 134 games. Because of the Rockies' dearth of hot corner options, since, well, Vinny Castilla really, they were seriously considering Arenado as a candidate to force their hand at the position last year. However, his power spike didn't translate to Double-A Tulsa (.285-12-56).
Speed is not a part of his game, but then again, not many third basemen possess this skill. On to the positive: Arenado has a strong bat, and he proved last year that he'll probably be more of a batting average and contact batter than a power hitter, at least for the time being. But he's only heading into his age-22 season, so the pop has plenty of time to develop. Playing half his games at Coors Field won't hurt him as he develops into his power, either. Once considered a liability with the glove, Arenado has made some real nice strides with his leather, and his arm strength can sufficiently handle the position.
It's clear that new Colorado skipper Walt Weiss clearly favors versatility in his players, which Arenado doesn't have much of. However, Arenado's improved defensive play won't go unnoticed, and third base isn't a position that's exactly locked down in the Mile High city. He'll likely start in Class AA again this year, but if some combination of Chris Nelson, DJ LeMahieu and Jordan Pacheco isn't working, don't be surprised to see Arenado make his debut this season.
On to No. 22
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About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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