Embracing their youth movement, the Nationals have called up shortstop Danny Espinosa. Because of Ian Desmond’s place on the roster, Espinosa will be playing second base in D.C, and should find playing time on most days for the rest of 2010.
Rated Washington’s fourth best prospect by Marc Hulet, Espinosa has tools that fantasy owners should be drooling over. He has the ability to hit for power as well as steal bases, a quality rarely found in a middle infielder.
The twenty-three year old made his way through the Nationals Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this season, hitting at both levels. During his stint in Harrisburg (AA), Espinosa had an ISO of .202 and 20 steals in 432 trips to the plate. His overall numbers transferred over well to Syracuse (AAA), but his power production declined a bit, which is probably due to a small sample and an adjustment period.
Espinosa will never be a guy with a high LD%, so his batting average may pay the price. However, he’s fast enough to live with hitting grounders, and has the potential to strike out at a below-average rate, allowing Espinosa to keep a respectable batting average in the future. It’s unlikely he’ll ever hit .300, but a .275/20/15 line next year is reasonable and could be expected from the young switch-hitter.. While it’s nothing spectacular, it’s good enough to be owned in every league next year, regardless of his position in the middle infield.
If you’re in a keeper league, Espinosa’s your guy. Owners in redraft leagues shouldn’t be too eager to jump on him, but he’s a good bench option if you’re looking to fill out a roster with upside.
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