When a baseball player is considered one of the game's top prospects, like Yordano Ventura (MLB.com No. 35, Baseball Prospectus No. 12), he tends to receive plenty of attention from fantasy baseball enthusiasts.
One of the Kansas City Royals' top two farm gems (Kyle Zimmer is the other) is on the periphery of some of those who play for big bucks. Ventura goes just a bit outside the top 300 in the NFBC and just inside the top 300 at RTSports, home of the RTFS Baseball Championship, among other leagues.
Garcia ready to shoulder more IP?
Dayton Moore may drive up interest in the missile-tossing right-hander a bit, however. "We think he's ready for the major leagues." The GM said he believes that Ventura can handle 190 to 200 frames this season.
It's pretty clear that Ventura, 24 in June, has a good opportunity to be on the parent club's opening-day roster. If he makes it, he could begin the season in the bullpen, as Moore notes. In 12-team mixed leagues and shallower, a flier on the fire-baller may not be much better or worse than any other shot in the dim light. In 15-team mixed leagues and deeper, however, he should be a fun player to roster.
It kind of seems as if KC needs Ventura to give them a reason not to bring him north. But this team's bullpen is deep, and four of the five rotation spots are likely occupied. Perhaps the organization will trade an arm. Or continue to play yo-yo with Louis Coleman. Or send Wade Davis or Aaron Crow to the minors. (Who still has options?!) Maybe Danny Duffy is the Royals' second left-hander in the bullpen and Ventura is the No. 5 starter.
This is a critical year for Moore's Royals. They plan to contend, and they probably won't keep much ammo in reserve in order to do so. One way or another, Ventura is going to log quite a few innings (and K's) for KC. Fantasy owners shouldn't mind tallying them, either.
Don't write off Garcia
Breaking news: The St. Louis Cardinals enter spring training with plenty of pitching depth. There are so many talented RHPs available to the organization that left-hander Jaime Garcia is probably last on fantasy owners' wish lists among those who are likely to make the rotation.
It's difficult to have faith in Garcia, who's coming off shoulder surgery. The potential good news is that surgery is something he put off for nearly two years. Barring a setback, he'll open a campaign in better health than in either of the previous two.
Draft him? Maybe, maybe not. Pitching is plentiful. But he should be an initial FAAB target or on fantasy owners' watch lists if his name isn't called. An ERA in the mid-3.00s, a 7.0 K/9 and good control are still part of the profile. Just remember that Garcia is probably still pretty hittable.
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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