Tuesday, June 19, 2012

20 under 20%

Faithful readers will know this is the fourth time we've looked at ballplayers with favorable prospects and are under-owned in most fantasy leagues. The first time we did this, in April 2010, we unearthed Jose Bautista and Gio Gonzalez. Last April, we singled out a few solid starting pitchers like Ivan Nova, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando. In August, we suggested picking up Brandon McCarthy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Lucas Duda, and a guy who's killing it this year: Chris Capuano.

Forget about the guys who we missed on; let's accentuate the positives, as we look towards the rest of 2012...

As was the case over a year ago, together, we set sail, in search of rare finds that may help any fantasy baseball squad.

We used to average Yahoo and ESPN ownership numbers for this exercise, but ESPN has become so terrible that we're just using the ownership % in Yahoo leagues.

Trevor Bauer, SP, Diamondbacks (19%)
The uber prospect with twitter handle "@BauerOutage" has yet to pitch in the MAjor Leagues, but his minor league numbers have been so fantastic that he should be owned in more fantasy leagues. In 111 minor league innings the past calendar year, he has given up 95 hits, with 147 strikeouts. His only warts are the 54 walks, but some of that could be due to his attempts to paint the corners when bored by his competition. In fact, just this season, his BB/9 dropped from 4.84 in Double-A to 3.89 after his promotion to Triple-A. Equally as important to the recommendation are the recent statements by people around the D'backs that he will be called up "soon". After all, Joe Saunders isn't going to block him.

Yonder Alonso, 1b/OF, Padres (18%)
One of our all-time faovrites, Alonso has been streaky. He started off slowly, had a good May, struggled in June, and is ripe for another bounce-back. Here are his monthly slash lines:

April 2012: .253/.329/.347
May 2012: .298/.381/.413
June 2012: .175/.217/.246

Due to his minor league success as a prospect, we expect his future production to resemble that of May's more than April or June.

Yonder's ready to keep producing, we think, MAYBE

Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals (17%)
The Cardinals' outfielder is scheduled to start his minor league rehab assignment right now. So, his return to the big league club is eminent. Skip Schumaker just hit the DL, which adds to the need for his services in St. Louis. While he hardly played this year before hurting his shoulder, Jay hit the DL with a .347 batting average, 2 home runs, and 4 stolen bases. Upon his return, continued balanced production could be expected.

Joaquin Benoit, RP, Tigers (16%)
The current closer in Detroit, Jose Valverde has struggled and could be on his way to the Disabled List. As almost everyone searches for Saves, why not take the guy who's next in line, while posting an ERA that is less than twice as high as Valverde's?

Jerome Williams, SP, Angels (15%)
Hey, what's a little breathing difficulty among friends?

Considering that Jerome Williams will likely be okay from the impediment that forced him out of his last start, he hasn't been a terrible fantasy pitcher.

In fact, Jerome Williams has been a good spot starter and has, at least, been really effective at home, as his 5-2 record, 3.50 ERA and 32:8 K:BB ratio suggest.

Homer Bailey, SP, Reds (14%)
There are times, like these, when our selections are due to a lack of options. Homer Bailey may be a guy to let roam the waiver wire, but out of the 14% owned players on Yahoo's free agent board, he's the bell of the ball. His pedigree is good enough that scouts have been waiting for his breakout for years. Not just that, his last outing was spectacular, and under the bright lights of New York, as he faced the Mets at Citi Field.

Steve Cishek, RP, Marlins (13%)
He's not really under the radar, since his ERA is under 2.00. More importantly, his manager Ozzie Guillen has shown him respect and used him in higher leverage situations. Although Heath Bell has done an excellent job of hanging on to his closer duties, Steve Cishek should be able to continue succeeding in any role.

Anthony Rizzo, 1b, Cubs (12%)
The Cubs' number one prospect is due up in the big leagues any day now. He really could be up in Chicago. Get on this train now, folks, he really will be called up any day now and not available in many leagues shortly thereafter.

Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays (11%)
Davis is traditionally a one-category star. He's getting playing time now, while Adam Lind and a few other people blow off some steam. Good for Rajai.

Rajai Davis is a thief!

As we get later in the evening, and my drowsiness begins to take over, let's eliminate the visions of people reading the comments for our next ten selections and move to the lightning round:

David Murphy, OF, Rangers (10%)
Sean Rodriguez, 2b,3b,SS, Rays (9%)
Daniel Nava, OF, Red Sox (8%)
Salvador Perez, C, Royals (7%)
Everth Cabrera, 2b/SS, Padres (6%)
Alex Cobb, SP, Rays (5%)
Mitchell Boggs, RP, Cardinals (4%)
Will Venable, OF, Padres (3%)
Andrew Cashner, SP, Padres (2%)
Charlie Furbush, RP, Mariners (1%)
Lucas Luetge, RP, Mariners (0%)

How about that unheralded Mariners bullpen, at the 1% and 0% marks? As usual, feel free to comment or tweet any suggestions.

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