Stash for a Smash
We are now into the Sweet Spot time period starting in May and going through June where impact rookies will get called up from the minor leagues. Guys that will make an impact both for their team and YOUR team. Here are four guys who haven’t seen the majors in 2013 that could be starters on your team by the end of the season. I recently wrote a lengthy article about Billy Hamilton so he will be left out but rest assured if I hadn’t, he’d be at the top of this list.
Wil Myers – Tampa Bay Rays: I was completely shocked when the Royals traded Myers during the offseason. He’s on everybody’s top-5 prospect board and was heralded as one of the men who would save the Royals along side Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and the guys from the Zack Greinke trade, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. Since the move, he predicts to be the man who hits next to Evan Longoria. Expect Longo’s production to go up (much like Mark Trumbo’s did when the Angels brought up Mike Trout) when Myers gets the call. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ben Zobrist move from the outfield to a permanent role at 2B with a Myers call up so he can play the OF. He’s absolutely worth stashing, especially in a keeper league and will provide a nice spark for your team very soon. 2013 at AAA-Durham: .275 BA, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 16 R in 26 games.
Nick Franklin – Seattle Mariners: Franklin was drafted 27th overall in 2009, the same draft the M’s took Dustin Ackley 2nd and for a better reference, the Nationals took Stephen Strasburg first overall. I’m starting to wonder why he’s still in AAA because of the excellent numbers he’s been putting up. The Mariners also glaring offensive hole at SS where they are running out Robert Andino and Brendan Ryan. Although Ryan is a gold-glove caliber SS, he nor Andino can keep their batting average over .200 and that’s always a problem. Franklin’s average however has been around .280 over the past three years of Minor League ball. He also walks a ton and has a sky high OBP (.468 so far this season). When he eventually gets the call he’ll being playing SS but in the future they’ll move him to 2B and Ackley to the OF where he played at UNC. He isn’t worth stashing just yet as the Mariners seem to be OK with the Andino/Ryan combo, but be ready to jump on him when he gets the news. 2013 at AAA-Tacoma: .356 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 16 R, 4 SB in 21 games
Oscar Taveras – St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals always like bring up youngsters to play the field. A perfect example is Pete Kozma, who was brought up after a Rafael Furcal injury, and ended up starting in the playoffs. Now they have Taveras who destroyed AA pitching last season. Destroyed. .321 BA, 23 HR, 94 RBI last season was good enough to be the Texas League Player of the Year. Ideally he would replace John Jay in the outfield, who had a tough start to the season but has been on fire the last couple weeks. Taveras may have to wait until there’s an injury or Jay cools off considerably, either way the Cardinals aren’t in a rush to bring him up. However, he’s definitely worth stashing right now in deep leagues or if you’re desperate for OF help. 2013 at AAA-Memphis: .294 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 12 R, 10 SB in 23 games.
Grant Green – Oakland A’s: Another middle infield prospect blocked by mediocrity. Green is stuck behind Eric Sogard, possibly the only position player who wears glasses in the field. He has a career BA well over .300 and spent all of 2012 with AAA-Sacramento, hitting .296 with 15 HR and 75 RBI. You can expect that as his ceiling in the Majors if he was called up today. Seriously. At the very least he’ll hit .275 with 10 homers. Want proof? He’s hit very well at every level of the Minors so even if there’s a slow start, he’ll put up a mid-to-high .200s BA at the very least once he gets his call. Stash him only if your 2B/SS position has been a revolving door though currently Yahoo! leagues has him only eligible at SS. He should be playing 2B for the A’s as he has in AAA and could also be used as a utility man, so keep an eye on position eligibility as it could gradually expand. 2013 at AAA-Sacramento: .318 BA, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 24 R, 3 SB in 26 games.
If your league allows you to stash minor leagues in an “NA” position then grab Myers first and stick him there, otherwise any of the other three would be fantastic pick ups. I can’t wait to see what these guys do and who else will be called up that will make a big time fantasy impact. Remember, at this time last year we hadn’t even seen Mike Trout at the plate for the Angels yet. Things are about to get crazy and now you’re a big step ahead. I love you all except for Hawk Harrelson. I still don’t like Hawk Harrelson.