2012 Fantasy Baseball Offseason Update – Minor League Edition
Kyle S. Stafford – @KStafford32
The 2011 Fantasy Baseball Season may be over, but it is never too late to start game planning and getting your draft prep ready for 2012. If you are in a league with 12+ Teams, 30+ man rosters, and a rule book that is 5 pages long then you and I have something special in common. Fantasy Baseball is my passion. Your best friend’s girlfriend cannot be handed a Top 300 sheet and win a league like in Football. The complexes and formulas that it takes from the first pick of the draft to the 162nd game makes the competition level at an all-time high. You can also have the simulated experience of a real general manager by building a team through your own philosophy.
For those of us in deep keeper leagues it is critical to keep a close eye on the minor leagues. Digging for prospects is like playing the jackpot, but the chances are much higher to win if you know what to look for. Organizational Depth is very important in my evaluation process. If a prospect is being blocked by a player in the majors it doesn’t matter how good that player performs in the minors. A look a recent history shows players like Ryan Howard of the Phillies who was blocked by Jim Thome for several years, or more recently Jesus Montero of the Yankees who has been blocked by Jorge Posada.
In no particular order here are several prospects I am keeping an eye on for 2012:
Jarrod Parker RHP, ARI
Parker is a once top prospect in the D-Backs system. He has recovered from Tommy Surgery and reports are showing that he looks strong. Has a great slider and an above average fastball to complement it. Has a great chance to complete for a starting spot in spring training. Arizona has a bright future with young pitchers like Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, and Parker.
Wilin Rosario C, COL
Rosario’s name is already surfacing as the starting catcher for the Rockies in 2012. He is projected to have great power in Coors Field. He seems to handle a pitching staff well for only being 22, and should work well with the young pitching staff Colorado will have in 2012. The only concern I have is that he does not hit for average. I like my catchers to be consistent.
Kole Calhoun OF, LAA
Calhoun hit .324 with 22 homeruns, driving in 99 RBI’s. He also swiped 20 bags. The Angels have several aging outfielders that could eventually open a spot for Calhoun. He is a poor mans Mike Trout, but if the success continues I could see a mid season call up in 2012.
Juan Oramas LHP, SD
The Padres purchased Oramas from Mexico after the 2009 season. Since then his development has shown great progress. The 21 year old went 10-5 with 102 Strikeouts in 104 innings in Double A – San Antonio. With the Matt Latos trade talks heating up I could see a future spot opening up for this lefty.
Matt Carpenter 3B, STL
Carpenter hit .309 and showed great ability to pull the ball to the opposite field in the minors. Similar comparisons of Brandon Belt have been leveled against Carpenter. I don’t think he has the big power potential, but he can drive the ball. I project him as a corner outfielder for the Cardinals, but you never know what spots might open up if Pujols doesn’t resign.
Questions? Comments? Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32