Trim the fat. That’s what many major league teams are beginning to do and while this time of the year isn’t all that stressful for established players, many rookies are sweating it out. Their fate can alter drastically on short notice, which can leave some ballplayers too rattled to perform adequately. Just about all the youngsters on this list will break camp with a big league squad, but a couple of them are presently locked up in a fierce battle for one of the last few roster spots. Only a couple new entrants into the PPR discussion this week, while the young guns that presently held spots have solidified their respective slots. Check out the latest
fantasy baseball prospects only from FBS.
1) Kyle Drabek – Tor (LW:1)
With news breaking late this week that Brandon Morrow will begin the season on the DL, Drabek locked in a rotation spot that many had assumed he already earned. Drabek posted another impressive six-inning outing earlier this week, albeit against minor league competition. He has been able to show the Blue Jays staff that his control will be reliable enough to trust him and his promise is undeniable. There will be hiccups along the way like with most rookies, but this kid is legit.
2) Jeremy Hellickson – TB (LW:2)
Hellickson had himself a decent week as well. He hurled four shutout innings against a Yankees club that appeared to be featuring its opening day lineup. He struck out a pair and walked one while allowing just three hits in the outing. He showed no ill effects from the blister that had sidelined him just one week prior and looks more than ready to assume his spot in the Rays rotation from jump.
3) Zach Britton – Bal (LW:6)
The streak has come to an end. Someone was finally able to push a run across the plate this spring against a previously flawless Britton. The Yankees became the first team this spring to score on Britton and they were only able to manage one run, one damn run (shout to Uecker). This kid has all the talent in the world and continues to make front office types in Baltimore very hesitant to send him back to the minors. He is clearly ready to contribute now, but will finances get in his way?
4) Michael Pineda – Sea (LW:4)
Michael Pineda holds steady at number four this week. Reports are starting to surface out west that Pineda has all but locked up the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation. General Manager Jack Zdurienick mentioned this week that service time would not impact his decision whether or not to bring Pineda back to Seattle after camp closes. With an extensive minor league track record and filthy stuff, Pineda appears ready to step up right away.
5) Mark Trumbo – LAA (LW:3)
Trumbo drops a couple spots this week but don’t be fooled, this kid still has the first base gig in Los Angeles on lock down. With conflicting reports as to when Kendrys Morales will even be able to play in a game once the season begins, Trumbo is going to get an extended look in order to prove he belongs. Trumbo pushed past a nagging groin injury that sidelined him last week and has shown that he is quite prepared to get this season underway.
6) Brandon Belt – SF (LW:10)
Brandon Belt makes the biggest leap in the rankings this week as he is doing everything he possibly can to force his way into the opening day lineup. Most scouts and front office people figured Belt would hold his own this spring and then ultimately be sent back to AAA for more seasoning, but this young slugger had different plans. General Manager Brian Sabean mentioned last week that if Belt makes the team he would bat seventh in the lineup. Seems to me that he wouldn’t be making plans such as those if he didn’t think this kid could hang.
7) Ivan Nova – NYY (LW:9)
Nova jumps up a few spots as well this week after minimal activity. The young righty has already proven that he belongs in the majors this season and with a solid team behind him success should follow closely. He has only been scored on twice in 14 innings this spring and has flashed some remarkable control. He appears ready to shine.
8) Freddie Freeman – Atl (LW:6)
Freeman drops a few spots in my list this week after a mediocre showing the last couple times out. He is mired in a 3-30 slump at the plate and has committed a few errors as well. He is in absolutely no danger of losing his job so he sticks on the list this week, but it might be time to temper expectations a bit on this young slugger. Look for him to settle down and even out once the season begins.
9) Brad Emaus – NYM (LW:NR)
Here is an interesting name that I honestly didn’t think was going to be able to leave a mark this spring, but Brad Emaus has done just that. The Rule 5 pick has really turned some heads down in Florida this spring and appears to have locked up the second base gig in New York. With last week’s release of Luis Castillo, Emaus has assumed his position and done some nice things with it. He isn’t particularly tearing the cover off the ball, but he’s been steady at the plate and solid in the field which often times is just enough to earn a spot.
10) Brandon Beachy – Atl (LW:NR)
Another new name slides into the rankings this week after getting news that he has made the opening day roster. When the Braves decided to demote Mike Minor this week, the spot in the rotation many assumed was his defaulted to Brandon Beachy. The young righty has put together a very solid spring with some impressive numbers while earning the trust of the coaching staff. The 24-year-old right-hander impressed last season by posting a 1.73 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A and a 3.00 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio down the stretch with the Braves. On a title contender such as Atlanta, this youngster is poised to make some serious noise right out of the gate.
Dropped Out: Johnny Venters (Atl) – Jake McGee (TB)
Tags: brad emaus, brandon beachy, brandon belt, Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Baseball Advice, Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy, Fantasy Baseball Sleepers, fantasy baseball top prospects, Freddie Freeman, ivan nova, Jeremy Hellickson, Kyle Drabek, Mark Trumbo, Michael Pineda, Zach Britton