The minor league season has concluded, but we are far removed from the days of baseball being confined to the summer months. Next week marks the beginning of the six week long Arizona Fall League where top prospects will compete against one another. The six teams form like Voltron with each Major League organization sending seven representatives; players will shuffle on and off of the roster from there. The Arizona Fall League is often the stepping stone from which prospects in the lower minors transition into Double-A the following year.
Everything Billy Beane touches turns to gold, or so the baseball world thought until the Athletics went into a September tailspin. Nearly missing the playoffs, Oakland limped into the one game playoff against the Royals with their hired assassin Jon Lester on the mound. He allowed six earned runs in a pedestrian performance. Later, Jason Hammel (another hired hand) surrendered the game winning hit. Meanwhile, Adam Dunn didn’t play, Jonny Gomes couldn’t catch up to Eric Hosmer’s 12th inning triple and Jeff Samardzija was unavailable after throwing seven innings on September 27th. After gutting the farm system to win it all, how does Oakland and its 27th ranked MLB payroll move forward?
After the massive trade for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in which the Oakland Athletics shipped top prospects Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily, the A’s core of future assets stands depleted. This makes players including current Midland Rockhound Max Muncy more important to the health of the organization. Post trade, Oakland will count on lesser-known prospects to develop into major league players including the left-handed hitting first baseman. Does Muncy have what it takes to become a key cog on future Athletics contenders?
Sonny Gray: Buy or Sell?The Athletics shored up their staff for a 2014 playoff run by acquiring aces Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija. Both pitchers aren’t long for the Bay Area (Lester’s a free agent after this season, though Shark is under team control through 2015), but Oakland had its future ace already: Sonny Gray. On fantasy owners’ radars since starring at Vanderbilt, Gray was a popular breakout pick for 2014. The right-hander is cruising through first full season with 2.6 WAR, 7.84 K/9, and 3.33 FIP. Should owners cash in on Gray’s pedigree, or is the best still to come?
Last week on FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets we focused on players to stash for later this year or 2015. One of those players, Adam Duvall was promoted to the majors yesterday and will see time at the corners. Hopefully, readers stashed him last week while available for $1. This week we’ll look at a few other recent call ups. As always, bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all major fantasy platforms.
We offer a plethora of material at ROTOscouting, but our lifeblood is the constant stream of scouting reports. Our authors travel to games and use their baseball knowledge and experience to project these top prospects into the future. We evaluate their tools and their level of refinement to produce grades along with our prose. This week brought scouting reports on a number of under the radar prospects, including a certain Cuban that was just promoted to the major leagues.
As a 5-foot-10, 168-pound starting pitcher who lacks big-time raw stuff, Ronald Herrera may not have the upward projection of some of his Low-A peers. But the Beloit Snappers’ righthander is the youngest pitcher in the circuit and is outpitching several older, more heralded prospects through eight starts.
Each week we identify FAAB top targets at each position on the diamond. Last week, A.J. Pollock appeared in this column prior to a big weekend that had him popping up in many fantasy free agent articles. This time, we’ll look at the other side of the catcher platoon in Oakland, a fresh call up in Seattle, and the return of a veteran shortstop. We’ll also discuss a Cardinals prospect on the verge of making an impact in all formats. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major fantasy platforms.
Last night, team ROTOscouting cashed in five, 50/50 tournaments — a nice night considering Buster Posey was out and family commitments kept me from a final check at daily fantasy baseball starting lineups. In all, $15,700 for five players yielded 13.91 points. Fortunately, having $19,300 to spread across five additional players afforded us Yasiel Puig and more. Monday through Friday, ROTOscouting will provide subscribers bargain basement options to help win the day.
We scour the waiver wire to find players at each position that are worth your FAAB dollars. This week’s FAAB top targets features a pair of Diamondbacks, two up and coming middle infielders, and this year’s surprise at catcher. We’ll also focus on players whose splits can be particularly useful in leagues with daily roster changes. Recommended bids are based on a $100 budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major formats.
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