Major League Baseball Rookie Report: Lawrie, Gordon, Ackley, Rizzo, Jennings, and Weeks
The Rookie Report
Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers
This 23-year old shortstop may have been rushed a bit to the Majors because of the injury to Rafael Furcal. Gordon is by all means a speedster, who has swiped 50-plus bases in back-to-back seasons in the Minor Leagues.
His lack of power actually plays well at the pitcher-friendly Dodgers Stadium, where deep flies often die at the warning track. Gordon just has to prove that he can get on base and make the plays at shortstop. Gordon was batting .315 through 50 games before his call up to the Majors. If in need of speed, he’s an intriguing fantasy pickup.
Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, Blue Jays
Lawrie is everything that Blue Jays fans could ever have dreamed of. Just 21 years old, this former first round pick is a British Columbia native who boasts all five tools, particularly power and speed. Though playing in the Las Vegas desert inflates his statistics a bit, you cannot ignore his 15 home runs, 49 RBI, and .354 batting clip through 52 games.
Lawrie was expected to be called up this week before a recent beaning set him back a week. There’s still a chance that Lawrie gets the call to man third base, a position that has become a black hole for the Blue Jays since Jose Bautista moved to the outfield.
Dustin Ackley, 2B
The second overall pick of the 2009 draft, Ackley has made some solid improvements in his second season in the Minor Leagues. There is not a particular statistic that jumps out at you when studying Ackley’s performance, but he is solid across the board.
He is an incredibly patient batter with some pop and speed. Ackley is also a middle infielder, and despite rumors of a move to the outfield, he is likely to man second base when he earns his call up to the Big Leagues.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres
Mired in last place, the Padres are certainly feeling the effects of letting Adrian Gonzalez go to the Red Sox. On the other hand, through the trade they acquired a monster bat that is tearing up the Minor Leagues and ready for a promotion to the Majors.
We’re talking about 21-year old first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is currently batting .365 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI through just 52 games at Triple-A. The numbers are a bit surprising, considering Rizzo has never hit for average before, but at this point, the Padres can’t afford to let the Brad Hawpe/Jorge Cantu platoon continue at first base considering both veterans are batting less than .240 this season.
Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
One of the most hyped prospects in all of baseball, Desmond Jennings may have been a bit overrated, considering people were talking about him as a sure-fire replacement of Carl Crawford as early as last season. The comparisons are understandable since both talents have a similar skill-set, but Crawford was an MVP caliber player while Jennings is just trying to get his career started.
In his first taste of the Majors last season Jennings hit just .190 with two steals in 17 games. The Rays deemed Jennings not ready to man left-field in the Major Leagues, so he is playing at the Triple-A level for a third year in a row. The good news is that Jennings has become more patient at the plate and is starting to drive the ball with more power. He has been far from dominant, but considering the Sam Fuld experiment is starting to go flat, Jennings would be an upgrade.
Jemile Weeks, 2B, A’s
If you missed out on acquiring Rickie Weeks for your fantasy team, you ought to get to know his younger brother Jemile Weeks. A first round pick out of Miami, Weeks is also a second baseman who will get to fill in for the injured Mark Ellis.
Weeks has yet to develop the power of his older brother, but he can supply Oakland with some much-needed offense. Through 44 games at Triple-A, Weeks boasts a .321 average with four triples and nine stolen bases. The big question now is whether Bob Geren will provide Weeks with some regular at bats, or if he’s merely an insurance option behind Scott Sizemore and Adam Rosales.