Gambling on Prospects: Around the Sand Lot

This series will look at prospects and show whether they are worth an investment on your fantasy team. Every owner knows that the secret to a strong minors system is knowing who to throw away and knowing who to keep. Each player featured in this series will be given one of the following recommendations:

  1. Hold ’em : If you own this prospect, hang tight. While times may seem rough, the talent is worth holding onto.
  2. Fold ’em : If you own this prospect, now is the time to sell while they may still have some name value.
  3. Walk Away: This prospect is not worth paying attention to in your league.
  4. Run: Get to the waiver wire immediately and put a claim in for this prospect.

Throughout the season, I’ve looked at some lesser known prospects as well as a few of the best prospects in the game. For this, the 15th episode of Gambling on Prospects, I’m going around the bases looking at some of my favorite prospects for deep leagues. None of these players will be found on my Mid-Season Top 50 Prospect list or in my Second Half Surgers. While you likely won’t find many of these players in the CBS , Yahoo, or ESPN databases, all are available in the Fantrax database. It really is the best place to play for deep dynasty leagues.

C. Francisco Mejia, Cleveland Indians: Mejia was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Cleveland in 2012 for $350,000. At just 19 years of age, Mejia is playing in Low-A as one of the youngest players in the league. Certainly a long way from the major leagues, Mejia has the power and bat speed to make him someone to watch in deep leagues. For the season he’s hitting .266/.329/.371.  On defense, Mejia’s arm is excellent and he looks like the complete package behind the plate. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 192+ minor league players).

1B. Ronald Guzman, Texas Rangers: If you’re looking at stat lines, Guzman’s .209/.289/.323 will definitely scream out at you; just not the way you want it too. This 19-year-old first baseman boasts some of the best raw power in the minors, and when it comes together for him, you want to have him on your roster. With no speed and no arm, Guzman is definitely a bat-only prospect. Fortunately he may just enough. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 168+ minor league players)

Video Courtesy of MLB.com

2B. Wendell Rijo, Boston Red Sox: 18-year-old offensive second basemen are always worth monitoring, but I wouldn’t wait too long on this hard-hitting Red Sox prospect. As one of the youngest players in full-season ball, Rijo is hitting .266/.348/.430. Just 5’11”, 170 lbs, Rijo has surprising pop to go along with his plus speed and plus bat speed, giving him a high offensive ceiling. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 192+ minor league players)

3B. Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies: I’m cheating a little by including McMahon as he was an HM in my mid-season top 50, but I don’t think he’s talked about enough. While he plays in an extreme hitters park, at 19 years old, he’s also one of the youngest players in his league. He has very good power and the ability to hit for a high average. McMahon is a few years away, but he could be a top 10 third baseman playing in Coors Field. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 96+ minor league players)

Video Courtesy of Mike Newman, RotoScouting.com:

SS. Jose Rondon, San Diego Padres: 20-year-old shortstop from Venezuela was recently traded to the Padres with Taylor Lindsey for Huston Street. While Lindsey may have been the higher ranked Angels prospect, Rondon is the real prize of the deal. Rondon’s offensive game lags behind his defensive abilities at this time, but he makes good contact and has decent speed. At 6’1, there is still some projection to his game, and although he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, he can likely become a full-time major league shortstop. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 224+ minor league players)

OF. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago Cubs: Big 17-year-old signed last year out the Dominican Republic for $2.8 million by the Cubs, as the #1 ranked international prospect by Baseball America. Jimenez is all about projection at this point, but he has excellent bat speed and potential for plus power in the future. In the Arizona Rookie League, Jimenez is hitting .261/.311/.435 with a pair of home runs in 18 games. A lot can happen over the next few years, but Jimenez has the ceiling to become a top prospect down the road. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 168+ minor league players)

OF. Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers: This 19-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic can scoff at the Eloy Jimenez signing bonus after receiving $4.95 million in 2011. Three years later, the power is showing up and Mazara is climbing the prospect rankings. Signed along side Ronald Guzman, Mazara has clearly progressed much quicker, hitting .263/.350/.464 with 17 home runs for the Hickory Crawdads. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 96+ minor league players)

OF. Dalton Pompey, Toronto Blue Jays: The Mississauga, Ontario native has broken out in 2014, with 8 home runs, 35 stolen bases and a .380 OBP between A and AA. Pompey is an excellent defender and profiles as a center fielder with good speed and gap power. At 21-years-old, the switch hitter led off for the World Team at the Futures Game. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 120+ minor league players)

SP. Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals: Just 19 years of age, Reyes boasts a mid-90s fastball to go along with a plus curve ball and an average change. He’s striking out batters at a 27% clip, but the command has been missing (14.6% BB rate). There’s always a lot of risk with pitching prospects, but this is an arm that is worth the risk of holding. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 112+ minor league players)

SP. Touki Toussaint, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks signed this first round 17-year-old for $2.7 million in June. While your league mates are clamoring for Tyler Kolek and Carlos Rodon, check out this arm from South Florida. Toussaint is an athletic pitcher that boasts a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and an outstanding curveball. At 6’3″ and 185 lbs, there is projection for even more velocity as he fills in. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 120+ minor league players)

 

SP. Taylor Guerrieri, Tampa Bay Rays: Guerrieri is 5 rehab starts into his return from Tommy John surgery and reports are his velocity is back in the low-mid 90s. He’s thrown 9.1 innings, allowing 7 hits, no runs, 1 walk and has struck out 10. He has also induced 17 ground balls. Heading into 2013, Guerrieri was ranked as high as #44 by MLB.com in their top 100  prospect list. Still just 21 years old, there is plenty of time for him to live up to that lofty mark. Recommendation: Run (in leagues that roster 144+ minor league players)

If you’re gonna play the game boy, you gotta learn to play it right.

Paul Hartman

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Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.