The Padres #2 prospect (according to John Sickels) entering 2008, Antonelli had an awful year at AAA Portland, hitting .215. Entering the year, the scouts wondered if the power would ever develop, but now they just have to wonder. His plate discipline remained good, and some say that he had some bad luck when he made contact, but .215 at AAA is .215 at AAA. His bad numbers have carried over to the majors thus far, where he's 1-for-18 since his recall. Bid $3, but only because he's a starting MI and because maybe he'll turn it around in winter ball. He's a better play in leagues with farm systems.
I don't know if Barfield is tanking because he's trying to follow the Brandon Phillips "sucking in Cleveland/thriving elsewhere" blueprint, but he's not a good bet right now. Asdrubal Cabrera has once again picked it up in the second half, and Barfield's .250 minor league BA gives him an MLE of a Triple-A lifer. Bid $1 if you're an older owner who owned Josh's dad, and wants to thank Jesse for the memories.
He's a nice long-term prospect, but the Brewers called up the 21-year-old from AA for depth down the stretch, not to contribute on a regular basis. He's got a lot of speed, is in a good place developmentally when it comes to his power, and will probably replace J.J. Hardy when it makes sense for the Brewers financially. Right now Escobar only gets a $1 bid, but those in keeper leagues will have to bid $11 or so if they want him. At that price, he might not be worth it until 2010.
The Rockies prospect had a strong year at AA Tulsa, but is still a work-in-progress. The name of his game is speed, but some scouts believe that he could develop anything from 10-20 HR power. John Sickels saw him early in the season and said Fowler's swing might be a little long, but Fowler's young enough that he could fix that. He probably needs a full year in AAA in 2009, but could be up sooner than that. He wouldn't be worse than Willy Tavares. Don't bid more than $3 in non-keeper leagues, but in keeper leagues he's worth an $8-10 flier due to the slim possibility that he breaks camp with the Rox in '09.
I suspect some touts like Gamel more than I do. You could argue that the doubles will turn into home runs, but he wasn't young for his level this year (23 at AA) and there's always the possibility that they won't. Like Fowler, he needs a full year at AA. The upside is that the Brewers aren't exactly doing somersaults over Bill Hall, and Gamel could be a low cost alternative should the Brew Crew flip Hall this winter. If that happens, Gamel could still be a $15 3B over the course of a full season. Bid $5, but maybe go $11-13 in keeper leagues if you have the roster spot sitting there.
Don't let the 5.32 ERA at AAA fool you; LeBlanc struck out over a batter an inning, kept control of the zone, and was probably more unlucky than bad. He did give up a lot of dingers, but LeBlanc (#4 Padres prospect) remains someone to keep your eye on long-term. Short term, he's a risk. He got hit hard by the Dodgers in his major league debut this week, and he has an unfavorable match-up against them this week and Hideki Kuroda. Bid $1, but if you're pushing hard for wins be aware that he's a probable two-start pitcher this week, with a match-up with the Giants looming this coming Sunday.
On the one hand, he's a 28-year-old, oft-injured hitter who has failed on multiple occasions when pressed into MLB duty. On the other hand, 42 home runs is 42 home runs, AAA or no. The issue for now is playing time. He hasn't played much yet, but he might see some action in the last three weeks at the hot corner as the Marlins try and assess what their 2009 roster is going to look like. Bid $4, but once again push the bid a little higher in keeper leagues...as long as you're aware that guys with McPherson's profile fail to make it more often than not.
With Jarrod Saltalamacchia out for the year, Teagarden's value got a little boost, and now he has two dingers since his call-up. He's definitely an upgrade on your second catcher in most A.L. only leagues, even if his long-term upside is more Mickey Tettleton than Mike Piazza. Bid $8, but bid more if your second catcher is someone like Jose Molina, you need power, and don't care about batting average.
And this one goes out to nwhorton, who asks:
What do you think of (Nate) Schierholtz? I made a FAAB of $4 for him and we process tomorrow - I was hoping to hear your two cents on him.He's a rare gem when it comes to FAAB this time of year: a guy who will probably play every day and put up nice numbers at AAA Fresno. I would bid about that for him, and maybe a few ticks higher depending on how many teams in your league are sitting there with openings. Even if Schierholtz "only" projects out down the line as a .280 hitter with 15 HR power, that's not bad for a late season FAAB pick-up.