Only one team had a less productive outfield than the Mariners in 2014. With 31 combined home runs and a .242 batting average, Seattle finished in the bottom five of MLB in both areas. No one had envisioned this out of the Mariners several years ago as Baseball America once ranked Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders as top-30 prospects in all of baseball. Both players showed signs of life in 2014. Can Saunders remain healthy and build on his .273/.341/.450 triple slash line?
Michael Cuddyer’s two year, 21 million dollar pact with the Mets was a surprise. Between the multi-year offer to a declining player and New York’s willingness to part with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft, one has to wonder if this is the first of a flurry of moves. Unfortunately, fantasy baseball owners are unable to sit with Sandy Alderson at the General Manager’s meetings and learn what other plans are in store. For now, we can only glean insight from what’s already happened.
The Boston Red Sox have a number of upper level minor leaguers capable of creating fantasy baseball value in 2015. Plus, the organization continues to identify and sign high ceiling talents, both from inside the United States and abroad. From Manuel Margot (ROTOscouting Report) to Matt Barnes (ROTOscouting Report), our picks will focus on “Fantasy Baseball Fueled By Baseball Scouting”. In living up to this, any and all future prospect and player lists published here will have a fantasy baseball slant. Other sites will release lists focusing on future MLB players, but leave readers to do the dynasty league guess work. Not us. We’ll focus on what’s important to the ROTO player.
An early season match-up between the Marlins and Braves saw a Major League-record for total strikeouts without a walk (28) and helped to launch our Solo Home Run Situations study. Miami ace Jose Fernandez struck out 14 in eight innings, while his counterpart, Alex Wood, whiffed 11. Though Fernandez succumbed to Tommy John surgery less than a month later, Wood logged 171.2 innings and 2.5 WAR in his first full season in the bigs. The young lefty possesses the stuff and the stats of a budding ace, but are his notorious mechanics ready for 200 innings?
The move of Prince Fielder to Texas in exchange for Ian Kinsler was not a move about Ian Kinsler so much as it was about salary and the future. They wanted to move Miguel Cabrera to a position where he would be less likely to hurt himself or the team defensively. But it also showed they were confident in the playing ability of Nick Castellanos.
Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom put together a Rookie of the Year-type campaign in 2014, much to the surprise of dynasty owners everywhere. The 26-year old started the season behind fellow righties Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero at Triple-A Las Vegas. After a mid-May call-up and a 9-6 record over 140.1 innings, deGrom now looks set to slot in behind Matt Harvey at the top of the Mets rotation in 2015. Has the former ninth-round pick shown enough to warrant such lofty expectations next season? Or are fantasy owners better off cashing in on a cheap investment?
This New York Yankees top-10 fantasy baseball prospects list is the first of 30. It’s a first attempt at off-season ranking for the site, so we wanted to do it a little differently. From Luis Severino to Aaron Judge, our picks will focus on “Fantasy Baseball Fueled By Baseball Scouting”. In living up to this, any and all future prospect and player lists published here will have a fantasy baseball slant. Other sites will release lists focusing on future MLB players, but leave readers to do the dynasty league guess work. Not us. We’ll focus on what’s important to the ROTO player.
While considered the best defensive left fielder in baseball, overshadowed has been Alex Gordon’s string of strong offensive seasons. The left-handed hitter has hit at least 14 home runs in each of his six full seasons and has managed a career batting average near .270. And while the numbers fail to “wow”, he has been a core piece in a lineup where consistency has been tough to find. Gordon has been good for a double-double each season since solidifying himself as an MLB regular. However, 2015 will be his Age-31 season and accurately predicting the start of the decline phase will be key to gauging future value in dynasty leagues. Can he remain a healthy fantasy baseball contributor for years to come.
When Logan White left the Dodgers front office to join A.J. Preller and the Padres, it resulted in an “ah-ha” moment. In seven years at the ballpark, many looks at the Hickory Crawdads (Single-A Rangers) and Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A Dodgers) provided insight into similarities between organizations run by Preller and White. And from what’s known about the player development preferences of Andrew Friedman, the new President of Baseball Operations for Los Angeles, ceiling and tools took a back seat to players with high floors. And from seeing many a Double-A Dodgers team, this doesn’t fit White’s style.
Pablo Sandoval finds ways to contribute in the postseason. He did it against Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the 2012 World Series. Two years later, he drove in the Giants first run against James Shields in Game 1 of the 2014 World Series. The “Kung-Fu Panda” is a proven offensive threat in the postseason whose been between 11% and 19% better than league average offensively the past three seasons. Does he have the ability to return to 2009 and 2011 form where he produced at 46-49% above league average with the bat?
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