2011 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Report: Brett Lawrie, Anthony Rizzo & More
There is so much activity going on in the minor leagues these days, much of which greatly affects what happens in the major leagues and thus fantasy baseball as well. With the rash of injuries we've seen to star players already this season, replacements have been called upon to come up and produce right away.
The recent trend is for big league teams to grab not necessarily the best prospect from the farm team but the one that is hottest at that current moment. This is why it is ultra important to stay on top of all that is going on down in the bus league circuit and why yours truly and Fantasy Alarm stay on top of it all year long.
Let's take a look at some prospects that have recently been called up and some that are definitely on their way soon.
Jonesy (aka FunnyJones) who happens to be the funniest sports fan on the planet and one of the head writers for The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM recently got together with our own Jeff Mans to put together this fitting tribute to one of the greatest characters in modern baseball history. This is not something you want to miss - CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!
The Blue Jays made a surprising move today in sending down struggling slugger Travis Snider and calling up the hot hitting first baseman David Cooper. Cooper has been as hot as anyone in minor league baseball of late and was hitting .395/.438/.617, two HR, 19 RBI and 16 runs scored at the time of his promotion.
Cooper has a nice power bat but has struggled hitting about .257 in the minor leagues the past couple of seasons. He has supposedly found a new approach which has helped him in reaching pitches on the outer edge and also in staying in against left-handed pitching. The Jays are just hoping that Cooper can add a spark to an offense that has struggled for stretches already this season.
The Twins called up outfielder Rene Tosoni to fill the hole left by Delmon Young heading to the disabled list. You may remember Tosoni from winning the 2009 Future's Game MVP award or from his time on the Canadian National Team. He seemed to be on his way to Minnesota in '09 when he hit .271/.360/.454 with 15 HR's and 71 RBI for Double-A New Britain but a major shoulder injury during Spring Training last year thwarted his progress.
Tosoni now appears fully recovered and was off to a nice .286/.329/.500, three HR, 16 RBI, seven runs & two steals start for AAA Rochester before getting the call to replace Young. He is an experienced player who fits the Twins mold very well and should help out in platoon duty with Jason Repko until Delmon Young returns. There is some power potential here especially against right handed pitching, where Tosoni does most of his damage.
Another player that should have your attention is Angels infielder Alexi Amarista. Amarista is a short little thing with a high octane motor. He is constantly hustling and giving 100 percent every time out of the box and on each and every defensive play as well. He has hit for a high average at every stop in the minor leagues yet is never rated highly as a prospect, probably due to his size and stature.
He's already making an impact while starting at 2B while Macier Izturis recovers from a hamstring injury. I don't care what level you're talking about, a kid who hits as consistently as Amarista should have your attention especially in fantasy baseball where middle infield help is very hard to find.
I'm starting to hear rumors of Cubs 1B Carlos Pena going on the disabled list while his thumb recovers. Pena is trying to play through a sprained ligament in his thumb and wearing a make shift cast but his numbers have been horrible.
The team would call up left-handed power bat Bryan LaHair from Iowa in such a move and insert his left handed bat into the middle of the Cubbies lineup straight away. LaHair could be a nice short term gamble for NL only leaguers so keep an eye on this situation while it develops.
It's a mystery to me why the Mets decided to call upon Jason Pridie to replace Angel Pagan instead of standout Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is knocking the cover off the ball for Triple-A Buffalo. Pridie was hitting an atrocious .186 when he got the call while Nieuwenhuis is weighing in at .324/.442/.606, four HR, six RBI, 14 runs and onestolen base.
That's not to mention that Nieuwenhuis has played all three outfield positions well while Pridie is a light armed center fielder. Keep Nieuwenhuis on your watch list however as not even the Mets can deny an impact bat like his for too much longer.
Ian Stewart is making Colorado second guess their decision in sending him down to the minors last week. Stewart is hitting .429/.556/.905, two HR, 12 RBI in just 21 at-bats for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
With Jose Lopez still struggling and Ty Wigginton hurting himself on a stolen base attempt the other night, it could be real soon when Stewart is summoned back to the Rockies. I've always liked Stewart's bat but he has a tendency to run extremely hot and cold and thus should be monitored intently while on your fantasy squad.
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Brett Lawrie: Triple-A Las Vegas (Toronto) -- .421/.470/.697, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 17 runs, 5 steals
Anthony Rizzo: Triple-A Tucson (San Diego) -- .432/.470/.797, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 20 runs, 3 steals
Alex White: Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland) -- 1-0, 1.90 ERA, 23.2 IP, 28 K's, 1.01 WHIP
Julio Teheran: Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta) -- 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 24 IP, 18 K's, 1.04 WHIP
Kevin Pucetas: Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City) -- 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 16 IP, 14 K's, 0.93 WHIP
Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.
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