FAAB Top Targets (Pitchers): 5/2/14
Adding pitching prospects to a fantasy roster is always a precarious thing as owners expectations are wildly out of line with actual performance. This week’s FAAB top targets profile three young prospects whose talent and opportunity for playing time mitigate the risk. With the first wave of top pitching prospects expected to be promoted soon, it’s time for dynasty fantasy baseball bottom dwellers to stash a trio of top arms before contenders wise up.
Andrew Heaney, SP, Miami Marlins ($2)
The Marlins currently sit 5.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East. Buoyed by ace Jose Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have a shot to make some noise this year. While the rotation has been surprisingly efficient (3.39 ERA, 3.43 FIP), Kevin Slowey (career 4.61 ERA) and Jacob Turner (career 5.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9) have underwhelmed in the #5 spot. Enter Andrew Heaney. Chris Blessing recently scouted him and noted “the addition of Heaney to the front end of the Miami Marlins would give them a young nucleus on par with other teams in the division.” With a three pitch mix (fastball, change-up, slider) ready for the show, it’s only a matter of time before Heaney debuts. The Marlins are aggressive in their promotion of young talent and Heaney will provide a needed left-handed presence in the rotation. He is one of the top lefties in the minors and is a strong mixed-league play in a great pitcher’s park. Make an aggressive play now to acquire his services for the back-end of your rotation.
Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays ($3)
The Blue Jays find themselves in a similar situation to the Marlins in that no clear front runner has emerged in their division. Sitting three games out of first despite their 12-14 start, the Blue Jays have a chance to improve a starting rotation with highest walk rate in the league (3.92 BB/9). Brendan Morrow and Dustin McGowan are uninspiring options combining for an ERA of six and a 39:26 K/BB ratio in 45 IP. Surely Marcus Stroman can do better. Spencer Schneier is not concerned about his small stature and he’s currently dominating Triple-A hitters to the tune of 12.15 K/9 ratio in 26 IP. After striking out 10 batters (zero walks) in 6 innings, he was pulled early creating speculation that his next start could be for the big club. He’s squarely on the FAAB top targets board: the big fastball, command, and strikeout potential is too much to ignore. Should he start in Gwinnett early next week, our own Mike Newman will be there to scout the appearance.
Kevin Gausman, SP, Baltimore Orioles ($1)
Another AL East team, another struggling pitching staff. The starting five have the fourth worst ERA (4.74 ERA, 4.57 FIP), the third highest HR/9 rate (1.30), and the worst ground ball percentage (36.1%) in the league. Other than ace Chris Tillman the rest of the staff is replacement level or worse. With Dylan Bundy nearing a return the Orioles have an exciting trio of young hurlers. Brian Molter touted Gausman a month ago in this same column after a stellar spring training, but his Triple-A start (21.1 IP) has tempered expectations. His strikeout rate has dropped from 9.25 in the majors to 8.44, while his walk rate has skyrocketed almost 90%. Some fantasy owners might be nervous but Mike Newman sees Julio Teheran-like stuff (and growing pains). It’s a buy low opportunity for astute fantasy owners.
FAAB Top Targets Roundup
Speculate on prospects and strike before their debut — especially as the owner of a poor team. Contenders, and even pretenders will hesitate this early in the season. Don’t be that guy! Grab FAAB top targets now, before another owner does.
2 May 2014 / Joseph Pytleski /
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