Ben Gamel, OF, Mariners
Ben Gamel is the M's response to Mitch Haniger's injury which could cost Haniger's owners more than a month of production. The 25-year-old LHH was a 10th round pick for the Yankees and in 2010 and as you can see below he hasn't had a bad minor league career, he simply wasn't compelling enough to crack the roster in the Bronx. Ben fits quite well in the Seattle organization where there are few big market alternatives to his less-than-sexy skill set. Ben also has started to take on the statistical posture of a AAAA player. His strong suits include the ability to put the ball in play and use his speed to grow his BABIPs. Once on base he can steal you a base.
In the majors, however (a small sample of 78 ABs as of this writing), his K rate has not held, although that hasn't cut into his BABIP to this point. It's too early to draw any conclusions about what he's capable of in the majors. So let's just go with what we know so far. Ben has a solid plate approach, doesn't get fooled easily and puts the ball in play. Once he does he stirs things up.
Ben's value will be in his ABs and PT assuming he can hit well enough to earn and keep them while this opening exists on the M's OF. He won't produce much in the way of power but he'll be a league-level player in AVG., contribute some runs, and chip in some SBs. That's the same kind of lack of sexy that kept him out of the majors with the Yankees and it makes him less-than-exciting as a fantasy option, unless of course, like the M's you don't have a sexier option. I don't think Ben contributes enough of anything to get you hot and bothered, but if you are short warm bodies and PT in your lineup, he may be able to help for a while.
Long-Term Fantasy Grade - C+
Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals
On yesterday's Insider Baseball Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, Walter Kuberski and I were asked to try and figure out the method behind Dusty Baker's madness in dealing with the Nat's 5th starter slot, which has been problematic to say the least and the Nats pitching staff in general. I have no clue. What I do know is that the 5th slot is in play currently and Erick Fedde applied pressure to the 25-man in spring training with 13.2IP worth of 0.95 WHIP.
The 6-4 right-hander was the Nats 1st round pick in 2014 out of UNLV even though he had just had TJS a month before the draft. Prior to TJS Rick threw mid-to-high 90s with a highly advanced slider. He has recovered much of that velo and a lot of that slider, but his arm slot wanders at times which robs his slider of bite and sometimes prevents him from getting the downward plane, sink, and location that induces the high rate of grounds balls he draws when everything is working (53% GB% this year). Erick also needs to bring his change along to provide a third pitch to help keep hitters off balance and as a weapon against LHH. They hit .298 off him in AA last year, but he's made some gains, allowing just .161 AVG and 2.20 GO/AO this year. Command and control have been issues at times as well.
Erick has just over 213 pro innings under his belt, just 58 in the high minors, and he needs some time. There's work to do but you get the feeling that Erick will be up in the majors at some point this year, prior to the September roster expansion. He has the ceiling of a #3, with surprising good K rates, because to get there he'll need to do a good job bringing along that change up. His slider has about a -10 delta to his fastball and he may still have a little to gain on his top-end velo which will stretch that delta even more. A third speed to toss in there would make him a handful. I am going to dock him a half a grade until I see that change come along.
Long-Term Fantasy Grade - B-
Registered members can click on the following link to see the complete Prospect Central article for this week, which includes other prospects: http://www.fantistics.com/