Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fantasy Man's Minor League Awareness Program

Fantasy Man’s Minor League Awareness Program

The Minor League Awareness Program is offered as part of the FM FEED, which is an advice email sent out to fantasy baseball managers on a daily basis. Occasionally, I will post a specific FEED here on the blog in hopes of attracting some of you to purchase the daily FEED which helps support all of the free advice offered at Fantasy Baseball Express. To register for your FM FEED, CLICK HERE!

Happy May! Starting this week, I will run through each minor league – league from AAA to Single. Each week I will highlight who is doing well in the minors and the impact they could have on their major league teams. I feel this is more what you guys would want to read about as far as minor leaguers go. Just tolet you know, I tend to pick the players that I feel actually have a shot at moving up, whether a top prospect or not while keeping tabs on the top prospects we all know and love. So lets start with the first half of the Triple-A International League…..

Buffalo Bisons (CLE)Franklyn Gutierrez is their best prospect, 24 yrs. Old and built like an outfielder. Problem is, there is no place to put him in Cleveland. Even when an OF goes down, its Shi Soo Choo who continues to get the call up and is next in line once Casey Blake and Trot Nixon are eventually out of the picture. We wont see Gutierrez this year but hopefully he’ll get traded and shine. He might be like a late bloomer and when he comes up, will be up for good. He’s batting .270 with 2 HR , 6 RBI, 2 SB in 54 AB. As for the pitching staff, Adam Miller is tearing it up with a 2.88 ERA in 25 IP, 23 K, and 1.24 WHIP. With the emergence of Fausto Carmona and the reappearance act by Cliff Lee, Miller will have to wait for another injury. I would compare his hype with that of Tim Lincecum. Once he gets a chance, he’ll be here to stay.

Charlotte Knights (CWS) – Chicago is desperate for an OF but Ryan Sweeney is only hitting .256, 2 HR, 6 RBI in 78 AB. The only other guy here in AAA that they could give a shot to while Podsednik is on the DL is Jerry Owens. Owens, 26, is a bit older than most prospects, hitting .271 and only 3 RBI. But he does have 10 SB in 70 AB. In the event that the Sox are desperate and bring up Owens, snatch him up if you need steals. He’s not a prospect though that you would grab and stash. Only use him if he’s called up. Nobody spectacular on the staff, but Gavin Floyd is pitching dect with 25 K in 25 IP and a 3.24 ERA. His WHIP is high though, giving up 27 hits in 25 IP. Nothing to write home to mom about but if an injury falls on the Sox, Floyd will get the first call!...and he’ll kill your WHIP!

Columbus Clippers (WAS) – Nothing special here. Kory Casto who was recently sent down to work on things is hitting .300+ with 4 HR and 6 RBI. He has power and if Snelling falters his chance in the Washington OF, we could see Casto back at some point. As for Pitching, Joel Hanrahan is the main spark on this team, 4 starts so far, 1.69 ERA, 22K, 0.94 WHIP, 13 hits & 7 BB in 21 IP.

Durham Bulls (TB) – In the search for a first baseman, Wes Bankston has been making his presence known batting .281, 2 HR, 11 RBI in 89 AB. He’s 24, 6’4” 215LB so he has the 1B mold. The D-Rays have been using Cantu/Carlos Pena at 1B but if they decide to give a real young player with full time potential, it might be Bankston. He might need some more seasoning, but he might be the next in line if Cantu doesn’t pan out! Andy Sonnanstine, 24, 6’3”, 185LB, 5 starts, 2.70 ERA, 37 K, 0.90 WHIP in 30 IP….. my question……when are the D-Rays going to call this guy up! He has nice size and obviously can force some K’s with good control. These numbers alone show me he could be a bit unhittable. If you are in deep dynasty leagues or leagues that utilize deep minor league benches, scoop this guy up and stash for a rainy day! Jeff Neimann also off to a good start 3.60 ERA, 30 K, 1.28 WHIP in 25 IP. This guy is a monster at 6’9”, 280LB. Lastly, Jason Hammel, 5 starts, 2.36 ERA, 29 K, 1.05 WHIP in 26 IP. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one or all three of these guys by mid season – September! All three seem to be strikeout guys!

Indianapolis Indians (PIT)Nyjer Morgan, Rajai Davis, both hitting .300+ with 12, 13 steals respectively. Neither have a lot of power but they are the best hitters on this team other than Brian Bixler, 25, SS. At 6’1”, 190LB, batting .329, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB in 70 AB. Blocked by Jack Wilson but could be the next in line in Pitt. So far on the staff, Bryan Bullington is pitching well at 4-0, 1.17 ERA, 14 K, 1.24 WHIP in 32 IP. Obviously not a huge K guy but at 6’5”, 220, that could change.

Louisville Bats (CIN) – No bats to talk about other than hot prospect Joey Votto (1B), problem is, he hasn’t got started yet batting .192 thus far. He has shown some power with 2 HR & 11 RBI but his 23 K’s in 78 AB is atrocious. Could be another Adam Dunn on our hands….who’s the hitting coach in the Reds minor league system? As far as Homer Bailey is concerned, 4 starts, 1.69 ERA, 13 K, 0.98 WHIP with only 12 hits in 21 IP. Looks like he’s ready. Bailey is an injury away. Grab and Stash if you haven’t already!

Norfolk Tides (BAL) – Honestly, nothing special here at all. Most of the major hitters on this team are all 27 or older, so no real prospects. Their best hitter, 31 year old 3B Mike Cervenak batting .337, 4 HR,and 11 RBI in 83 AB and only 5 K’s. Not bad, but he’s blocked in Baltimore by Melvin Mora.

Next week…..

Ottawa Lynx (PHI)
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS)
Richmond Braves (ATL)
Rochester Red Wings (MIN)
Scranton/W-B Yankees (NYY)
Syracuse Chiefs (TOR)
Toledo Mud Hens (DET)

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