I was looking through the MLB.com rookie page the other day, trying to figure out just who would be having Strat-O-Matic cards for the first time next year, and, well, this is going to be a fat draft in the National League for sure (For the uninitiated, Strat-O-Matic sims play based upon the previous year's stats, so unless you logged major league playing time, you get no card).
Meaning it has been a pretty good year for prospects advancing, and this week three more interesting suspects probably added their names to the list, starting with the Braves bringing up Joey Terdoslavich. A sixth-round pick of Atlanta in 2010, out of Cal-State Long Beach, Terdoslavich is replacing Jordan Schafer.
Drafted as a third baseman, Terdoslavich is now an outfielder with a solid enough bat, featurning a minor league line of .288-49-245 over 419 games, and an .815 OPS. As part of that production, Terdoslavich has a .318-18-59 line over 85 games this year at Triple-A Gwinett, a marked improvement over the .180-4-20 he produced last year over 53 games after being promoted from Double-A.
There are a couple of concerns, however, the first being that last year's 50:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio has not improved much, as it stands at 65:23 this year. However, more important in the near future is that the Braves arguably have the best young outfield in baseball with B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward, although there are obviously questions surrounding B.J.'s long-term presence. True, he is signed through 2017, but, production is the key word. Either way, Terdoslavich is probably not much more than a future flier for most roto owners.
The White Sox, perhaps tiring of waiting for Tyler Flowers, promoted catcher Josh Phegley. A first-round pick (#38 overall) of the Pale Hose in 2009, out of Indiana University, Bloomington, Phegley hit .316-15-41 this year at Charlotte, with a much improved OBP of .368 over 61 games as compared to the .306 OBP he posted over 102 contests last year. The backstop walked 20 times to 60 punch-outs last year, reducing his strikeouts this year to just 38 with 15 walks. Phegley homered in his second game with Chicago, and the 25-year-old could be a good selection from here on out.
Then the Phillies brought up outfielder Darin Ruf to replace the injured Ryan Howard. In fact, Ruf, a 20th round pick in 2009 out of Creighton University, made a September call-up appearance last year for the Phils, going .333-3-10 over 12 games, whetting the appetite of many fantasy owners heading into 2013.
Alas, coming off the .317-38-104 season he garnered last year at Redding, fostering the promotion, but time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year produced just .266-7-46 totals with just a .752 OPS. Still, as the Phillies' 2013 season continues to be so up-and-down, Ruf could get a real chance to show what he can do. For now, Ruf is surely worth a flier in a deep NL format, and all three of this week's top prospects are worthy of owning in keeper formats that allow for a generous reserve list, that is if they are not already gone.
If you are looking for a third baseman, certainly in the NL, but depending upon the depth of your reserves, Juan Uribe might be a guy to grab. Coming off a pretty successful 2010, where Uribe was a key contributor to the Giants' championship team (.248-24-85), Uribe moved to the Dodgers and struggled with his bat and body, going .204-4-28 in 2011, then .191-2-17 last year. But, part of his .275-5-27 this year includes a two-homer, seven RBI game against the Giants, and a vastly improved .349 OBP (20 walks, 35 whiffs) this year, an excellent shift for a career free-swinger. Get him while he is hot.
Looking at a couple of more hot hitters the past month, Jose Iglesias has pretty much claimed third base from Will Middlebrooks, kind of like how Middlebrooks took the job from Kevin Youkilis last year. The difference is Iglesias, just 23, is another Cuban import, and I really think players from the island play as amateurs, and are primed for the Major Leagues much better than any other culture. Meaning Iglesias, who has hit .360-0-5 the past month (.406-1-12 over 44 games and 149 at-bats) might have a lot more staying power than did his predecessor. If for some odd reason he is floating in the free agent jetsom, pick him up.
Looking to the National League, Ben Revere never seems to have his hands on a gig out of the spring, and making matters worse, he is a notoriously slow starter. But, though Revere's game is fairly one-dimensional, he is red-hot right now, hitting .404-0-8 with six swipes the last month, bringing his line to .296-0-14 with 20 swipes this season. Chances are Revere, like Iglesias, is not available in a deep league, but, in a shallow league, or in daily games, these are guys who can help you a lot.
Finally, Scott Feldman is back in the American League. Feldman had his moments in Texas before moving to Chicago this season, and assembling a 7-6, 3.46 over 15 starts and 91 innings (1.143 WHIP). Feldman did pretty well with the Orioles after last week's trade, and if you need an arm in an AL-only format, he is as good a crapshoot for your FAAB dollars as you will likely get this season. At least as of this point in time and space.