Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego Padres
The buzz about the Friars' most MLB-ready position prospect died down a bit as opening day neared, perhaps enough so that he wasn't in the queues of the majority of fantasy players on draft day. The 24-year-old's exhibition performance convinced SD's brass that he's ready for The Show, though, regardless of where they stick him.
What can Brown do for you?
The Padres will stick him at both the hot corner and keystone in the early going, while Chase Headley (fractured thumb) misses the first month or so. Gyorko's .311 average, 30 bombs and 100 RBIs combined at the Double-A and Triple-A levels should give prospective owners an idea of his upside, tempered by roughly one-quarter to one-third. Barring an abysmal showing in April, Gyorko will be around and, for someone, providing intriguing MI depth.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals
Last season was supposed to be a "breakthrough" for Cain, who then entering his age-26 campaign would get to play every day for the first time in his career. He suffered a strained groin that, during his rehab assignment, led to a torn hip flexor, which resulted in an absence of two and a half months. A September hamstring strain put the period on 2012 for him.
The injury bug has bitten Cain before, so his health record could be at the forefront of any prospective owner's mind. But he's active, now, and he still boasts the potential to hit 15 home runs and steal 25 bases - and unlike Will Venable, Cain should hit .270 or so. Give it some thought.
Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
When a potential breakout player, like Brown, has the kind of spring that Brown had (.314 average, seven home runs and four doubles in 99 plate appearances), there should be more roto and head-to-head managers who are interested. Skepticism may abound considering the start to which his career is off, however: .236/.315/.388 in 492 plate appearances.
Brown made some adjustments this past winter to shorten his swing path and reduce his load. Observers both inside and outside the organization have remarked at the difference it seems to be making, both in his comfort level and, of course, the results. Brown, 25, was expected to be a somewhat slowly developing prospect, but he appears to be on the verge of putting it together.
Shelby Miller, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
It may be just a rumor, but it sounds like the Cards named Miller their fifth starting pitcher. Really, it's time. The right-hander spent the entire 2012 campaign at Triple-A Memphis, but he failed to overwhelm (4.74 ERA, 10.54 K/9 and 3.29 BB/9) future fantasy drafters, apparently.
There were people drafting this kid last year, thinking they'd be the smart ones to get the jump on one of the best pitching prospects in the game. One growth year later, the interest has barely increased, but the pitcher is so much closer to delivering. Miller was almost unhittable in the second half for Memphis and delighted St. Louis with his MLB performance in limited exposure. Miller had his ups and downs in ST, but he was clearly the better option than Joe Kelly and, at 22, should deliver 150-plus innings of tasty K's and occasionally dominant outings.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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