Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Faces Hit Fantasy Baseball 2015, Should You Draft Them?

Every year in Major League Baseball there seems to be at least a couple of new faces that either defect from Cuba, get posted from Japan or come over through the posting system in Korea. The game is becoming more and more of an international game with an international feel to things and 2015 expects to be no different. With new faces like Yoan Moncada, Jung-Ho Kang and a slew of prospects making their first impressions with teams it can be confusing and scary when deciding to draft these players or not but don’t worry, I have your back.

Let’s start with Kang who came over from the Korean Baseball Organization to the Pittsburgh Pirates to be their everyday shortstop. Kang is 27 years old and coming off a 40 home run season in the Korean League, which equates closer to Triple-A in the majors than it does AAAA like Japan. Kang is in competition with Jordy Mercer for a job in Pittsburgh so he isn’t necessarily guaranteed a job and he isn’t guaranteed to even hit 20 home runs this season in the majors but he seems to be as safe a bet as any as long as defense isn’t weighed too heavily in your league.

One of those prospects I alluded to hits sort of close to home with the Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez. Vazquez is almost guaranteed to beat out Ryan Hanigan for the starting job behind the dish in Boston and will be given every opportunity to fail in Boston. With that lineup even if he hits 10 home runs and hit around .250 he may still drive in 50-60 RBI with all those runners hitting in front of him.

Another prospect close to home, my home anyway, is Jose Peraza who plays second base for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves traded away Tommy LaStella this offseason and watched Dan Uggla leave last season and without a suitable backup plan other than Alberto Callaspo on the roster Peraza may win the job outright in Spring Training. It’s doubtful as Peraza hasn’t played a single inning in Triple-A but he did combine for a .339 batting average across A Ball and Double-A in 2014 while also stealing 60 bases. Peraza is 20 years old, will be 21 in April, has an amazing glove at second base (he is a former shortstop but currently being blocked by Andrelton Simmons) and can flat out hit. He won’t hit you 30 home runs but he won’t strike out more than 100 times either and in today’s game that is a valuable attribute.

Finally we showcase a starting pitcher on the Oakland Athletics roster Kendall Graveman. Graveman was acquired in the Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie trade after blowing through Low-A, High A, Double-A and Triple-A all the way to the major leagues last season at age 24. Graveman is penciled in as the team’s fifth starter and has added a cutter and a power sinker to an already impressive repertoire. Maybe Billy Beane isn’t as crazy as we all think he is…..

No comments:

Post a Comment

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