Part 2 of the NL King's National League Prospects focuses on the players who could help your fantasy team next year but won't get called up until possibly June or July.
Pedro Alvarez - Pitt - 3B - Alvarez was a top pick in the 2008 draft who has tremendous power potential. Also keep in mind Andy LaRoche is currently the starting 3B.
Aroldis Chapman - Cinn - SP - The Reds made a big splash by signing Chapman the international free agent this past winter by giving him $25-$30 million dollars. They say Chapman has electric stuff but is a bit raw and needs seasoning. Keep in mind the last few international free agent starting pitchers have not lived up to the ace hype such as Jose Contreas and to a lesser extent, Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston.
Buster Posey - SF - C - The Giants were not ready to hand over the starting duties to Posey just yet as they brought Bengie Molina back for one more year. Posey should start the year in the minors to get regular playing time and could be up mid year to see some time and get some valuable experience. Posey projects to be a solid hitter who puts up good numbers at the catcher position. Posey will be the starting catcher for the Giants no later than opening day 2011 and for years to come.
Matt Gamel - Mil - 3B - In theory, if he had a huge spring he could make the Brewers on opening day, but the problem is he is a man who doesn't really have a position. Defensively Gamel is a liability and I can see him playing in the corners on either the infield or the outfield. The problem is the Brewers have Casey McGehee, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun & Corey Hart in those spots. If there was an injury he would get the nod as Gamel can hit as he hit .380 in AA two years ago. Line drive - average hitter who could give you good pop as well.
Fernando Martinez - NY - OF - I know Martinez looked over matched at the plate with the Mets last year (hit .176 with 1 HR in 91 AB's with the Mets) but keep in mind he is still considered a 5 tool prospect and just turned 21 in October.
Drew Storen - Wsh - RP - Was the 10th pick of last years draft by the Nats but projects as a hard throwing reliever. If Matt Capps fails in the 1st half this year would be one of the candidates to be the closer.
Todd Frazier - Cinn - OF - Frazier also plays 2B & 3B but with Brandon Phillips at 2B and Scott Rolen and his contract extension at 3B, Frazier should play at the MLB level soon but it will probably be in the outfield. Frazier is a line drive hitting machine and probably needs a little more polish. If no one claims that LF job in Cincinnati the first two months of the season watch for Frazier.
Yonder Alonso - Cinn - 1B - An injury slowed down Alonso's development last year which means Alonso will start the season in AAA. Alonso is the Reds best pure hitter in their system.
Starlin Castro - Chi - SS - A strong first half in the minors, and if the Cubs can't get answers from Jeff Baker or Mike Fontenot then you could see Castro starting at SS come the 2nd half with Ryan Theriot moving to 2B. Castro is a 5 tool talent who should be a 30 plus stolen base guy with 15 homers annually at the top of the Cubs lineup for years to come.
Jose Tabata - Pitt - OF - The ex-Yankee prospect (part of the deal that brought Nady & Marte to the Bronx) could be up mid season with the Bucs. If any of Milledge, Garrett Jones or Jeff Clement struggle in the 1st half and Tabata has a strong 1st half in the minors he will get an opportunity. Tabata is a 5 tool talent although has yet to really produce HR on the minor league level. Keep in mind Tabata turned 21 last August and Don Mattingly never hit more than 12 HR per season in his minor league career.
Logan Morrison - Fla - 1B - Balanced swing, plus power and projects as a classic # 3 hitter. If Gaby Sanchez hits the Marlins could move Morrison to LF. A big 1st half in the minors could have the Marlins thinking of a July call up.
Jason Castro - Hou - C - Really should get a full season in the minors in 2010 and then take over the starting catchers role opening day 2011 but have you seen the depth chart on the Astros catchers? Castro projects as a nice hitter (think John Baker of the Marlins) who could be a real good #2 catcher in NL only leagues.
During the season, as prospects get called up, I will do articles that day on that particular prospect.
NL King - C.Lizza