|April 11th, 2009 JunkyardJake.Com
Travis Snider, Toronto Blue Jays, OF
At 21 years old, Travis Snider probably still TIVOs his favorite Nickelodeon cartoons but nonetheless, he has rocketed through Toronto's farm system with 50 HRs in 1158 At-bats, and now finds himself their newest leftfielder.
While he certainly could have used a bit more seasoning in the minors, he didn't look out of place during his short audition with the Blue Jays late last season, hitting .301 with 2 HRs in 73 Abs. If his early achievements can translate to the Major League level, Snider looks like a potential 25 HR player who can hit around .285.
On a scale of "Sniders," that would make Travis almost as cool as Dwayne Schneider, the superintendent from 'One Day at A Time', and rated much higher than both Rob Schneider and Dee Snider, the annoying front-man from Twisted Sister.
Available in 52 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Travis Ishikawa, San Francisco Giants, 1B
While we are on the subject of left-handed power prospects named 'Travis', another interesting fantasy waiver target is Travis Ishikawa of the San Francisco Giants. Inapposite with his surname, Ishikawa is a purely domestic vehicle, so no need to worry about pesky tariffs or too much of an adjustment to some of the less polite American pitchers.
The 24 year old has been plugging away in the Giants minor league system since 2002, accumulating 96 HRs and 410 RBI over 2,518 Abs. Ishikawa has even shown some speed for a first baseman, with 32 stolen bases.
If Ishikawa can maintain a starting assignment, his minor league performance suggests about 23 HRs, 100 RBI, and 8 SBs could be in store for 2009.
Available in 71 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers, SP
With a struggling auto industry, less tourism than Baghdad, and Jason Verlander still trying to figure out how to pitch again, Detroit has had little to cheer about over the past couple years. For a city that desperately needs a morale boost, maybe rookie starting pitcher Rick Porcello can help.
He is only 20 years old, but Porcello already has an advanced arsenal for his age, with a mid-90s fastball, a two-seam fastball with good sinking action, a curveball, slider, and also a pretty good change-up.
He was knocked around a little in his first 2009 start, giving up four runs on nine hits in five innings, but still maintained his trademark command by issuing just one walk.
Last year in the minors, Porcello granted walks at a rate of just 2.37 per nine innings, and he was impressive this spring with a 2.30 ERA and 1.25 Whip in six Grapefruit League appearances.
Porcello is definitely more solvent than General Motors, a mandatory pick-up for keeper leagues, and he could end up useful in all formats if things fall into place for him this year.
Available in 72 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Chris Perez, St. Louis Cardinals, RP
If you listen closely, you can hear the subtle sound of about 150,000 fantasy teams dropping Jason Motte and/or Chris Perez this week. At this point, it's safe to assume that not even Tony LaRussa truly knows who will be closing games for the Cardinals over the next couple weeks.
So far, major league batters have greeted Jason Motte rudely, while the rotund Dennys Reyes and the unexciting Kyle McClellan have collected saves. Chris Perez was the favorite to emerge as the closer this year, but he was shut-down and sent-down after a case of shouldersitis this spring.
Both Motte and Perez have the potential to become quality closers, but Perez seems like a better bet.
It's true that Jason Motte did wreck havoc with his 98 mph fastball in Triple A last year, striking out 110 in 66 innings, but his slider is a work in progress, and major league hitters are going to catch up with a 98 mph fastball if they see it five consecutive times.
Perez is a more advanced pitcher with an exceptional slider to go along with his mid-90s fastball. Especially if you have Motte on your roster right now, picking up Perez is a great contingency plan.
Available in 84 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Other Players To Consider:
Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins,3B
Available in 28 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Denard Span, Minnesota Twins,OF
Available in 47 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Khalil Greene, St. Louis Cardinals,SS
Available in 33 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves,SP
Available in 62 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
David Purcey, Toronto Blue Jays,SP
Available in 73 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.