Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three rookie infielders

All three of these youngsters should be starting in the bigs this year. Each of their teams let high-priced veterans go to clear the path for them (JJ Hardy, Placido Polanco and Chone Figgins).

I wouldn't enter a bidding war for any of these players in a redraft league, but if you can snag one for $1 or in a very late round take a shot. For 2010 fantasy purposes, Escobar will be a steals specialist, Wood a power specialist, with Sizemore an all around, boring specialist. I would rank them Escobar, Sizemore, then Wood mostly based on playing time and ability to stick in the majors.

Alcides Escobar - SS, Milwaukee Brewers

• Good speed: 42 steals in Triple-A 2009
• Batting average: combined .293 average over 6 minor league seasons
• Defensive wizardry will keep him in the lineup

• Never hit more than 8 home runs in a season, averaged about 2.5
• Struck out more than 3 times for every walk
• Not going to succeed at the top of the order in 2010

• Purely a steals specialist but his glove should keep him in the lineup. The shortstop position is pretty thin this year, which increases his value somewhat.

Scott Sizemore - 2B, Detroit Tigers

• Consistent .300 hitter in the minors
• Never had an OBP below .365 in the minors
• Brings some power and some speed
• Seems to have the inside track to the starting 2B job

• Doesn't have explosive upside in power or speed (no shot at 20/20)
• Struck out 95 times in 520 combined at bats last year
• Probably won't bat at the top of the order
• Not yet 100% after ankle fracture in October

• Good target in deep or AL-only leagues, or if you are desperate for a $1 infielder in the endgame.

Brandon Wood - 3B, Anaheim Angels

• Power: 43 HR in Double A (in 2005)
• 3B job is finally his for the taking

• Strikeouts
• Has had horrible MLB stats in limited time (.192 BA and 74 SO in 224 AB)

• Purely a home run specialist and I worry about his ability to stay in the lineup. At best, Ian Stewart from last year (25 homers, horrific BA, unpredictable playing time).

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