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Prospects Help: Batting Average

You’ve probably grown accustomed to long prospect profiles in my Friday morning spot, but I will be changing the layout of my posts until the start of the season to give you more practical fantasy advice for the upcoming season. I won’t be talking about draft position, ottoneu, or auction prices, rather I’ll breakdown which prospects can help your team in each of the traditional fantasy categories. Each week I’ll give you No Doubt, Overrated, and Sleeper picks.

Today, I’m starting with BATTING AVERAGE. Remember, I’m not evaluating a player’s prospect status. I’m discussing their ability to affect a single statistical category in 2013 relative to expectations.

No Doubt. Wil Myers.

Myers offers fantasy owners something Oscar Taveras and Jurickson Profar do not, security. While all three are equally superb – and Profar is superb and an awful position – it appears that only Myers will have a chance to earn playing time out of spring training. Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays have payroll constrictions that will almost certainly keep Myers in the minors through April. But, if the Rays intend to contend they would be foolish to keep him at Triple-A Durham for past May. So long as he maintains his selective approach, I do not foresee Myers struggling upon arriving at Tropicana Field. Myers has the best hands in the minor leagues, and if you aggressively pursue him he will undoubtedly help your batting average in head to head and rotisserie leagues.

Overrated. Oscar Taveras

Initially I selected Taveras as my No Doubt talent, but while Oscar Taveras has the best pure hitting ability in the minors, I decided to go with certainty (Myers) over upside. The decision was predicated on one major reason, playing time. I’m concerned that Taveras’s Major League playing time in 2013 is contingent on teammates’ injuries. In 2013, the Cardinals had the second best outfield in the National League with Matt Holliday (5.1 WAR) and Carlos Beltran (3.6 WAR) flanking center fielder Jon Jay (4.1 WAR). Jay posted impressive statistics in consecutive years and General Manager John Mozeliak would be crazy to replace him with the unproven Taveras. If Taveras is going to make it into your weekly or daily lineup, he’ll need to play every day. While an injury is far from an outlandish possibility, it is clear obstacle. Taveras is a great prospect, far better than I thought he would become, but be wary of him of overpaying for someone who may spend a lot of time at Triple-A.

HM: Nick Castellanos, Anthony Rendon

Sleeper. Positional Battles!

Ok, that’s not a player. I’ve struggled with how I should address this paragraph. We’re discussing 2013 so deep keepers are irrelevant. I want to discuss players who will actually see the field in 2013, but I’m not sure what would be informative for you. So please feel free to give me some suggestions on how to approach this section.

A few talented prospects could vie for a full-time role. For example, Kolten Wong is blocked by Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter. Wong just recently torched the Arizona Fall League and could provide your squad with a nice batting average boost. But, there are also lesser players to consider. The Mets’ outfield is barren, Nolan Arenado isn’t blocked, and Alex Castellanos could squirm is way into the Dodgers lineup too. Position battles create uncertainty and that gives you an opportunity to exploit.