Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: AFL rosters announced, door open for Taijuan Walker, more

by Tim Heaney on August 28, 2013 @ 12:17:43 PDT


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Detroit Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos
Tigers to call on Castellanos?

The New York Mets finally shipped out Marlon Byrd (on his own T-shirt night, no less) along with John Buck. Infield prospect Dilson Herrera comes over from Pittsburgh, accompanied by a player to be named later.

Herrera, 19, hits plenty of line drives and should be a serviceable offensive option if he reaches his ceiling. At Class A West Virginia, the 5-foot-10, 150-pound stick showed decent pop with 11 homers in 423 at-bats, over which he also batted .265, swiped 11 bags, plated 56 runs, slugged .421 and on-based .330. The Colombian has been aggressive with his swing selection, but Sandy Alderson probably likes his fledgling ability to get on base.

Opinions vary on Herrera's defense at second base. His range is questionable, but South Atlantic League managers voted him the best keystone defender in a recent survey. Still, New York could use any young middle-infield talent, let alone one that played in this summer's Futures Game (he went 0-for-1) and has also played a bit of the hot corner.

Expect Herrera to start 2014 at New York's Class A Savannah; he won't earn big-league consideration until 2015 at the (very) earliest -- more like 2016 or later. Either way, he's a project on whom the Muts and dynasty diggers can afford to take a flyer.


Extra bases:

  • Chris Colabello's monster campaign for Triple-A Rochester (.352-24-76, 1.066 OPS in 338 at-bats) earned him both the International League MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. He's the first to win both since J.T. Snow in 1992. Colabello, who's up with Minnesota, leads the minor leagues in BA, SLG and OPS. He wasn't much of a prospect, though, and has hit just .198-4-8 in the bigs. He'll turn 30 in October but could fight for a spot in the Twinkies' lineup next season.
  • Jonathan Gray, the third overall pick in this summer's Entry Draft, has rolled through five starts at Colorado Rockies' advanced Class A Modesto: 4-0, 0.75 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and a 36:6 K-to-BB ratio in 24 frames. The righty might arrive in Double-A Tulsa next April with his speedy fastball and effective breaking stuff. Rox pitcher prospects have been risky investments, but Gray and Eddie Butler might be ready to buck that trend.
  • Decent bets for a call-up and some fantasy impact that owners should target: Houston Astros OF George Springer and 1B Jonathan Singleton (despite his struggles), Detroit Tigers OF Nick Castellanos and Cincinnati Reds OF Billy Hamilton (pinch-running steals). Maybe the St. Louis Cardinals will summon Carlos Martinez again after roster expansion to put him in the rotation, if there's still an open spot.
  • Outside shots that should probably be attempted only in single-universe leagues: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim third baseman Luis Jimenez; Oakland fly-catcher Michael Choice; Twins third baseman Miguel Sano; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Hunter Morris; and Colorado outfielder Tim Wheeler.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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