Welcome back for another crazy week of fantasy bliss. Since the NFL kicked their season earlier in the week, I am suspecting most of you are doing double duty tracking teams in a sort of fantasy Deion Sanders/Bo Jackson fantasy (I have to confess I love the Neon Deion Tinkerbell commercials for Direct TV).
As usual, this week, largely thanks to roster expansion, another handful of top prospect hit the free agent pools of leagues far and wide, so let's start this time with pitcher Drew Pomeranz, the Indians #1 pick (#5 overall) ion 2010, subsequently swapped to the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal at the trade deadline. With just one--as in 2011--season and three levels under his belt so far with the majors making four--Pomeranz is 4-3, 1.78 over 101 innings, with 110 strikeouts and just 68 hits and 38 walks (1.05 WHIP) allowed. This is a guy to grab.
Meanwhile, the Yankees advanced one of their "Killer B" hurlers Dellin Betances, to the Show. A big (6'8", 255 LB) right hander, Bettances was an eighth round pick for the Broxians in 2006. As a minor leaguer Betances has made 90 starts (91 total games) and 426 innings, striking out 491 while allowing 341 hits. The walks, at 205, are a bit of a problem, though Betances WHIP is still good enough for the minors at 1.28. This year the 23-year old started at Double-A Trenton, going 4-6, 3.42 over 105.1 innings. That pushed the young hurler to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where over 21 innings Betances hit a wall, going 0-3, 5.14, over 21 innings (27 whiffs, but 15 walks and 16 hits). Bettances might have some adjustments at Yankee Stadium, but he does have a bright future suggested by his dominance. That might be in the pen, though, but irrespective, if you can grab and hide Betances, do so.,
Matt Dominguez was the Marlins first round selection in 2007 (#12 overall), and the 21-year old second sacker made his major league debut over the past week. Dominguez made it to Double-A in 2009 (.186-2-9 over 31 games), putting in a respectable 2010 that included .255-14-81 numbers with 34 doubles. The keystone infielder spent the bulk of the year at Triple-A going .258-12-58 with 18 two-baggers. Dominguez' average total seems a little low, but he strike zone judgment is pretty good with 166 walks to 325 strikeouts, and this youngster is another player to keep on your radar for top rookies of 2012 (and another who might help give you an adrenalin push towards the end of 2011).
Looking at another second sacker new to the big leagues, Steve Lombardozzi (he is actually a Stephen to differentiate from his dad, the former Twins infielder) was promoted by the Nationals over the last week. The 22-year old, selected in the 19th round of the 2008 draft, has pretty good minor league totals of .298-17-183 over 447 games, with 90 doubles, 28 triples, and 74 steals. Lombardozzi also has excellent walk-to-strikeout totals of 183 to 265, good for a minor league OBP of .369.
If you are looking for a relief arm for now, take a gander at the Dodgers Kenley Jansen. Originally drafted as an outfielder and catcher, Jansen put together .229-15-97 totals as a hitter over 840 at-bats before morphing into relief pitcher status. Since 2009, when Jansen's pitching career began, the right hander was 5-2, 2.37 as a minor leaguer with 110 strikeouts over 64.2 innings, and this season with the Dodgers he is 2-1, 3.15, with three saves and 77 strikeouts over 45.2 innings (26 hits, 24 walks, and a 1.05 ratio). At ATT Saturday night, Jansen clocked at 96 MPH, and showed really good stuff and I am looking to grab him for my relief staff next year on as many teams as I can.
St. Louis brought up 24-year old fly-chaser Adron Chambers to join their corps, and as with so many St. Louis outfield prospects, the 38th round pick in 2007 shows some promise. With five minor league campaigns under his belt, Chambers is .272-20-160, with 65 doubles and a fine 35 triples. Speed is clearly a big thing as witnessed by his 76 steals, though Chambers has been caught 43 times, not the best of stats. He also has a decent 183 walks to 341 strikeouts, good to help a .361 OBP, and like recent St. Louis outfield arrivals like Jon Jay and Allen Craig, Chambers could prove to be a nice addition. The big question is playing time.
At first base, in Minnesota, Justin Morneau seemed to have the lock on things for ten years or so till injuries started last year, and Morneau is still not back to form. Well, maybe enter Chris Parmelee, the Twinkies first round selection in the 2006 draft. Over six minor league seasons and 651 games, Parmelee is .226-74-370, with 125 doubles. With 315 walks to 560 strikeouts, Parmelee just completed his second season at AA New Britain, with .287-13-83, with 30 doubles, and 68 walks to 94 strikeouts, but at age 23, Parmelee should have probably moved past this level. Still, as long as Morneau cannot re-establish himself he is vulnerable in the most Wally Pipp of ways, and though Parmelee has not performed above Double-A, save his recent stint at Target Field, but, with Morneau a question mark any possible replacement is worth your focus.
Remember Dustin McGowan, that promising Toronto pitcher? The one who the Jays drafted in the first round of the 2000 draft, and who after a solid 12-10, 4.08 2007 over 169.2 innings, his first as a full time starter? Then he blew his arm out in 2008, and since has not really been heard of. Well, till last week, and his first start in over three years, where the right hander was knocked around for five hits and three walks over four innings? Well, he is back, and simply based upon McGowan's previous skill set, he merits tracking, so do so. Watch in the winter, and in the spring, and if you can stash him, well, do so,.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not note the second straight monster second half of Hideki Matsui, now of the Athletics. Last year Godzilla hit .309-11-37 after the break, and this season it is .337-6-37, so if the left handed hitter returns for 2012, do remember when he makes his hitting move.