Domo Arigato, Mr. Arenado?
It's still very early in the minor league season, but Colorado Rockies third sacker Nolan Arenado is off to a hot start after disappointing many last season. The 22-year-old is hitting a sizzling .463 with two homers and 15 RBIs in his first 11 games (41 at-bats) for Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League. He was also impressive this spring for Colorado, hitting .278 with four dingers in 54 at-bats.
Arenado underwhelmed last year while at Double-A Tulsa, but he still put up a .285 average and 12 homers after hitting 20 long balls the previous year at Single-A Modesto. Whether he develops into a 20-plus-homer threat at the major league level is still up in the air, but Arenado uses the entire field and has a short, compact stroke that makes him a safe BA contributor. The PCL and, eventually, Coors Field should aid his power numbers, too, and this is a kid that doesn't strike out much.
He's clearly the Rockies' third baseman of the future. Chris Nelson is currently keeping the seat warm until the organization feels the time is right, and that may not be far off, especially if Arenado keeps destroying the hitter-friendly PCL. Nelson isn't lighting the world on fire (.268-0-3 in 12 games) and doesn't offer Colorado much offensive upside, either. If he suffers an injury, you better believe Arenado will be the one to replace him. He should be owned in all formats when the time comes.
For the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, sleeper prospect Luis Jimenez has been filling in at the hot corner for Alberto Callaspo (calf), who hasn't played since injuring his calf last Thursday. Callaspo and the Angels are hoping he can avoid the disabled list, but if he isn't able to come back later this week, that'll become a real possibility.
In Callaspo's absence, Jimenez, 25, has hit .438 with three doubles in 16 at-bats. He's known as a free swinger but squares the ball up when he makes contact, and he has some real pop. He hit 16 homers with Triple-A Salt Lake last year and 15 each of the two seasons before that with Double-A Arkansas and High Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. Jimenez will rarely take a walk, and his average could easily suffer in the bigs in a large sample size because of this. His defense isn't anything to write home about, either. For now, he's a stopgap in AL-only leagues, but he'll become a little bit more intriguing if Callaspo has to be disabled. Don't write Jimenez off completely if he sticks around.
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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