Fishing for rookies

If you’re like me, which you probably aren’t, and mired in last place in an NL-only fantasy league, you’re looking at the wires for young players who might help you a little this year, but more in the future.

Here’s my quick scouting report on AAA NL-affiliated teams.

Chad Tracy – 3B .468 .390 5 42 58 26 23
Johnny Estrada – C .405 .515 6 40 25 18 18
Dave Kelton – OF .364 .449 8 31 30 28 58
Ryan Freel – 2B .366 .432 2 9 25 12 12
Brandon Larson – 3B .376 .574 10 38 31 14 45
Garrett Atkins – 3B .384 .529 12 53 54 22 35
Val Pascucci – OF .442 .442 7 42 39 60 67
Terrmel Sledge – OF .432 .560 12 48 48 43 50

Notes: With the acquistion of Shea Hillibrand, who isn’t nearly as good a hitter as Chad Tracy, Arizona has seemingly delayed Tracy’s arrival in the major leagues. Johnny Estrada is the Braves catcher of the future, just not this year, especially with Javier Lopez having a breakout season. But Lopez will be gone by next season and Estrada will finally get the opportunity he deserves at the ML level. David Kelton was supposed to be the Cubs 3B of the future, but they’ve been trying to convert him to LF (replacing Moises Alou) and bidding for Flordia’s Mike Lowell. Kelton’s AAA numbers look good and if Alou goes down, look for him to get another shot at the bigs. Ryan Freel failed to win a starting job with the Reds earlier, but he’s still a prospect and may get another shot. Of course, he’s way may be blocked by Brandon Larson. Larson, a converted 3B, could be handed the starting 2B job soon. Larson strikes out a lot, but the Reds seem to like players who strike out a lot. That’s bad baseball, but not necessarily bad fantasy ball. Garett Atkins — one question, why isn’t he already the starting 3B in Denver? It’s not like they have a better option (Chris Stynes, Greg Norton) there now. Val Pascucci is an enigma — he’s an OBP machine, but he strikes out more than he walks. Always has. But he has good power numbers. But it’s not likely that the Expos will give both him and Terrmel Sledge a shot at a starting job this year, and the edge for that honor has got to be given to Sledge.

P.S.: In my own league, I control Estrada, Atkins and Kelton. Larson, Freel and Tracy are controlled by other Owners. Since I’m in last, if any of these other guys get called up, they’re mine. I’m waiting for Sledge cause I need OF help most of all. Besides, how can you pass up a guy named Terrmel Sledge?

P.P.S: I’m disappointed to have so many guys with poor K/BB ratios, but you take what you can get. There are precious few legitimate prospects (meaning likely to get promoted) who have good plate discipline. I’ll probably try to acquire Larson, even though he is a strike out machine.

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