Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses five players who are getting a chance to play in the majors and how valuable they may be to fantasy managers.
Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies
With a couple of outfielders on the move, Dominic Brown has returned to the Phillies. The former top prospect hit .310 with 20 doubles in just 65 games in the minor leagues this season. A month shy of his 25th birthday, Brown’s window of opportunity is closing, so it makes a lot of sense for the Phillies to give him a shot. If you are in need of some offensive support, Brown should be able to offer a decent average and respectable on base percentage, though the power and speed have not developed the way we thought they would so far.
Mike Olt, 1B, Rangers
A late first-round pick in 2010, Olt is a big-time power hitter who slammed 28 home runs with 82 RBI in 95 games at Double-A this season. He was desired by all teams when it came to blockbuster deals at the trade deadline, but instead the Rangers plan to have him contribute in the big leagues now. This is bad news for Mitch Moreland, who offers great power but has not been given much of a shot to play everyday.
Greg Holland, RP, Royals
A 27-year-old right-hander who throws hard but does not surrender many long balls, Greg Holland picked up his first save on Wednesday night with a 1-2-3 inning. Holland can still get wild at times and is not nearly as dominant as he was a season ago, but the Royals are at least providing him with the opportunity to succeed in the high pressure role of closer.
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros
It took Brett Wallace more than 330 at-bats to rack up five home runs last year. He already has four this year in fewer than 50 at-bats after blasting two in his last start. Though his plate discipline is lacking, Wallace did offer some power at Triple-A this season while offering a .300 average. The soon-to-be 26-year-old will have every shot to contribute for the remainder of the season with the Astros in what could be his last chance at being an everyday player.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Pirates
The Marlins found no more use for the struggling Gaby Sanchez while the Pirates are eager to give him an opportunity. Sanchez has a .200 average with just three home runs this season, but this is a player who hit 19 home runs in back-to-back seasons and was batting .302 with five home runs in 34 games at Triple-A. With Casey McGehee dealt to the Yankees, Sanchez has first base to himself in Pittsburgh.
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By Eno Sarris //
Biggest Surprise: Carlos Ruiz
After spending most of his career as a sub-.260 hitter, Carlos Ruiz finally had some luck on batted balls (.335 BABIP this year, .280 career) and put together a terrific and surprising .302/.400/.447 season that would have ranked him higher if he had managed more than 433 plate appearances. Shane Victorino‘s power surge (18 homers, .170 ISO in 2010, .150 career) also qualifies as a nice surprise, but it came from hitting more fly balls and negatively affected his batting average.
Biggest Bust: Jimmy Rollins
It may seem like nicks and cuts are keeping Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup more often these days, but 2010 was the first time he didn’t amass 625+ plate appearances since his rookie year. Given his injury-riddled year, it’s not surprising that Rollins had the fewest home runs and stolen bases of his career, as well as the lowest batting average. He’ll be a 32-year-old shortstop next year, and more years like this will come in the future, even if his BABIP (.246) and ISO (.131 in 2010, .163 career) rebound in the short term.
2011 Keeper Alert: Domonic Brown
This is a great team full of solid keepers, but most of the Phillies’ regulars are also over 30 years old. Fantasy owners looking to the future should consider Domonic Brown, who will most likely replace Jayson Werth when Werth leaves in free agency. Across Double- and Triple-A in 2010, Brown showed power (.262 ISO), speed (17 SB), and a great batting average (.327). His strikeout rate was a little high (21.5%), but he’s an elite prospect.
2011 Regression Alert: Jayson Werth
Werth has been great since joining the Phillies three years ago, averaging 29 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a .279 batting average over that time. But he’s looking for a paycheck that will most probably take him away from the ever-more-expensive Phillies team. That would be too bad, because he has a .529 slugging percentage in Philadelphia (.481 career), and has benefited both from the hitter-friendly ballpark and a strong lineup conducive to counting stats. With the steals already declining, a few fewer home runs in his future, and a high strikeout rate (28.9% career) that will most likely produce a mediocre batting average, he will be a less exciting fantasy player next year.
By Tommy Rancel //
Following in the footsteps of Jason Heyward and Mike Stanton, Domonic Brown is the latest stud outfield prospect to get a call-up for an National League East team this season.
When Jayson Werth‘s name was recently tossed around in trade rumors, Brown was the one commonly expected to be his replacement in the Philadelphia lineup. With Shane Victorino hitting the disabled list, Brown no longer has to wait for a spot to open via trade.
A 20th-round pick in the 2006 draft, Brown shot up the prospect rankings. The 22-year-old started the 2009 season in the lower levels of the Phillies’ organization, but found himself in Double-A by season’s end. In a combined 454 plate appearances, he hit .299/.377/.504 with 44 extra-base hits and 23 stolen bases.
Brown became a hot commodity. He was ranked the #15 prospect by Baseball America this off-season, and was rumored to be a trading chip for Roy Halladay. Credit Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. for not only landing Halladay, but managing to keep Brown in the process.
Photo Credit: (Miles Kennedy/Phillies)
Brown started the 2010 season at the Double-A level where he continued to mash. In just over 270 PAs, he hit a ridiculous .318/.391/.602. His 15 home runs were one more than he hit in all of 2009. Clearly finished with that level, he was promoted to Triple-A. All he did there was hit .346/.390/.561 with five more bombs in 118 PAs.
Making his major league debut Wednesday night, Brown wasted no time with two hits and two RBI. Although Victorino could be back in as little as two weeks, Brown could force his way in the everyday lineup even if the Phillies hold on to Werth. For a team in need of some offensive firepower with Chase Utley out, Brown could easily replace a struggling Raul Ibanez in the Philadelphia lineup.
If he wasn’t snatched up in your league during the initial rush after his call-up, Brown is definitely worth a spot in mixed leagues, as well as NL-only formats. Act fast.
For more on Domonic Brown and the rest of the NL-East phenoms, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Kits