Being a stat rat, of course I enjoy musing at the future possibility of having a team built around the finest, young baseball athletes out there and thereby giving the illusion that I have a brain. Tin Man dreams aside, drafting a team chock full of fantasy ineligible kids will get you nothing better than a dead last finish in your league. 2010 and 2011 are a ways off and with nearly a thousand players set to make time on MLB rosters this year, I find it senseless to start bragging about a 401K...err…prospect that may never quite mature. The following lineup may not all be able to join you for a legal cocktail, but these guys are sure to make some sort of impact in 2009.
Matt Wieters, C - If this is the first prospect article you’ve ever read, I’m sorry. Even sixteenth century goat herders somehow know about this guy. Mark Teixeira as a catcher is the most fitting description I can think of. Look for the 2008 minor league POY to push Greg Zaun to a backup role by Memorial Day.
Lars Anderson, 1B - All that has to happen is an injury to a Boston corner infielder, and Lars gets a shot at the show. Mike Lowell and his balky everything is my leading candidate. In 118 games between high A and AA, the patient Anderson delivered a .317 average with 18 homers and 80 RBI.
Gordon Beckham, 2B/SS - It looks like the 2008 first rounder for Chicago may just be playing himself into a starting role this season. He’s making it difficult for Ozzie to send him down because he just keeps raking this spring. He’s likely headed to 2B for the Southsiders as Alexi Ramirez is at short, but no matter, this kid can flat out hit.
Elvis Andrus, SS - “The King” has already pushed Michael Young to 3B. He’s got a nifty glove and as long as he can get on base enough (.295 AVG, .350 OBP, 53 swipes at AA in ’08), he has the wheels to swipe 30+ bags as a rookie.
Cameron Maybin, OF - It seems like we’ve been hearing about Maybin forever now. He’ll be only 22 to start the season and will get the nod in left for the Fish. He’s got 100+ strikeout potential, but like Andrus he should steal over 30 bases this summer. When the power catches up…look out!
Tommy Hanson, RHP - Hanson is making it awfully hard for Atlanta coaches to not plug him into the rotation to start 2009. Going 5-0 with a 0.63 ERA and winning the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, a league built for hitters, Hanson looks to take his 99 mph heat and three other strikeout pitches to the NL East ASAP.
David Price, LHP - If this is news to you, go do something else with your summer.
Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 18:29 )