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.
Today’s installment of Mike’s top-50 fantasy baseball prospects scouted includes a pair of starters to bet on as future closers, two catching prospects who have nothing in common other than position played and an outfielder with speed, power and gaping holes in his swing. At ROTOscouting, our motto is, “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.
The Minnesota Twins have struggled finding a permanent solution at shortstop. Since trading J.J. Hardy to the Orioles during the 2011 off-season, Minnesota has started twelve different players at the position. With no long-term options in the pipeline, the team drafted their franchise shortstop in 2014. Using the 5th pick in the first round, the Twins selected Nick Gordon out of Olympia High School in Orlando Florida.
Last week’s FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets highlighted pitchers benefiting from trade deadline deals. This week’s column will profile three more pitchers whose situation has improved due to deadline deals to new teams. We’ll also profile two fast-moving recent draftees poised to make an impact next season. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget.
Greetings, and welcome to FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets for hitters. With the non-waiver trade deadline come and gone, now is a great time to look at minor leaguers who stand to benefit from playing time opening up for them. Once again, bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all major fantasy platforms.
Joel Henard (@JoelHenard) on Twitter invited me to be a guest on his “The Fantasy Insiders” podcast which we recorded yesterday. The thirty minute segment wound up going over (as always). I like to talk baseball… A LOT! Joel has been busy interviewing current and former big leaguers and decided to include our prospect discussion with interviews of Eric Davis, Bruce Sutter and Jonathan Singleton. It’s great to see Joel landing big names and an honor for him to think 30-minutes with me was worthy of being included with one of the hottest young names in MLB and two hero’s from childhood. “The Fantasy Insiders” is a podcast to keep up with.
Former first round pick Alex Meyer is expected to be a rotation savior in Minnesota. Having scouted him once before as a member of the Washington Nationals organization, it was an opportunity to assess growth over two years. In an odd turn of events, the Twins are 32-35, but just 5.0 games out of first place in the American League Central. With the signing of Kendrys Morales, is Meyer the next reinforcement to reach Minnesota?
Santana is another player with eligibility at both infield and outfield positions. The 23-year-old is hitting a remarkable .370/.407/.506 with two home runs and four stolen bases in 24 games with the Twins. Minnesota will sacrifice some defense in center field in order to keep his hot bat in the lineup over Aaron Hicks, and he may see reps at shortstop to spell Eduardo Escobar. Santana’s best tool is his speed. He stole as many as 30 bags in the minor leagues. When the hot start begins to fade, it will be his speed that will continue to provide value. That speed will also help him maintain an elevated BABIP, leading to more opportunites for runs scored at the top of the Twins’ lineup. He should be in fantasy lineups right now, but will remain valuable as a reserve in formats of 12 teams or deeper all year.
ROTOscouting offers our readers a place to view raw notes on players we do not profile in depth with bona fide baseball scouting reports. Rather than just being a vehicle for more dissemination of our content, YOUscout is also open to the public. We hope to build a crowd sourced scouting database that can continually be referenced as players progress through the minors and into the major leagues.
As the Super Two deadline passes, top prospects have one less obstacle to the Show. And as the quality of available pitchers on the fantasy market dwindles, spending remaining FAAB dollars on speculative plays becomes vital. So even though arms profiled in FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets may need an injury or ineffectiveness to break into a major league rotation, astute fantasy owners will be ahead of the curve. This week features a top prospect making his debut tonight, a trio of top-100 prospects on the verge of graduating to MLB, and a pitcher producing historic numbers who’s still available in most fantasy leagues. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across the three major fantasy platforms.
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