Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the Philadelphia Phillies?

The Philadelphia Phillies are finally going through the phase that every team and their fan base loves to hate, the rebuilding phase. While the rebuilding phase is ugly and can be downright frustrating at times it can usually be beneficial in the long term. As the fans sit and watch their favorite players get traded away for a crop of 20-year old kids most of us have never heard of the “Prospect Humper” (trademark pending) in us all gets to do a lot of research while setting our sights on the future. This is what the bulk of the Phillies franchise is doing right now so they are the perfect team to be showcased in our Prospects Month edition of Fantasy Baseball help. 

The good thing about a rebuilding team when it comes to Fantasy Baseball is not everyone in your league is going to do their homework on these young guys. Also you have to think that the team is going to give these prospects every chance to fail or prove themselves so if you play your cards right and if you’re digging around for one specific stat in mind a team like the Phillies can help. Let’s take saves for instance, even the worst team in the league is likely to get 30-40 saves or more a season either in one player or spread out across multiple players. Also you may have a prospect who doesn’t hit with many men on base so his RBI totals may be down but he may hit a lot of solo home runs and take a lot of walks as the only threat in the lineup so you can take those stats and maximize his value with the rest of your draft strategy and team. 

The biggest name you and your league-mates likely already know is Maikel Franco but some may not so I’ll showcase him first. Franco showed an ability to handle MLB pitching and especially an ability to hit the long ball before a wrist injury ended his 2015 campaign prematurely. In just 80 games Franco hit 14 home runs and knocked in 50 RBI so if you try and simplify things and play the game on paper you can double that and see 28 home run power and 100 RBI potential in 2016 as long as he’s healthy. 

Another prospect who should help while getting plenty of opportunities is now ace Aaron Nola. Nola has upside and has stellar command. The sky is the limit for Nola as he learns the league and continues to grow as a professional pitcher after being drafted a couple years back. Round 20 or beyond will be his territory in my opinion and if anything he can give you some wins with his nasty stuff. 

For the final showcase for the Phillies I tossed around the idea of closer David Hernandez, which FYI if you need a closer late you should grab him because he’ll likely save you at least 25 games, and young starter Vincent Velaquez, who I would stay away from initially because he isn’t penciled in to be a starter for the team out of the gate, but I ultimately ended up deciding on top shortstop prospect J.P Crawford. Over the years we’ve seen players like Francisco Lindor of the Indians and Corey Seager of the Dodgers come up and show a nice power and speed combination out of the gate and I think Crawford is the next in line to do that. The problem for Crawford as it relates to your fantasy draft though is that it likely won’t come until the heat of the summer, June or July. Keep him on your watch list and grab him to make that second half push towards a title. 

There you have it, technically five Phillies young guns and/or prospects to keep in mind when you’re drafting your Fantasy Baseball team. I hope this helped and if it did pass it along to someone else to help them too, just probably not to someone who is in the same league as you. That may be a little silly. Enjoy and thank you for reading. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)