A.J. Pollock - Third Base - Diamondbacks
The D-backs purchased the contract of A.J. Pollock from AAA in response to Chris Young's injury. The 24 year old missed all of 2010 regular season with elbow surgery but returned for the AFL and responded nicely in AA last season with a .309/.359/.445 slash line and 36 steals.
From a baseball standpoint A,J. is a bit of tweener. He lacks the power to justify a corner OF position and he lacks the high-end defensive skills required for an everyday gig in CF. He's a tweener physically as well at 6-1/205, a frame that may limit his power ceiling and already does limit his top-end speed.
The 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft is a dirt dawg and his baseball senses are developed. He's smart players, and he's considered a high scorer on the makeup scale as well. The main problem is that he doesn't appear to possess any plus skills.
His primary fantasy skill set, his ability to steal a base, comes from savy on the base paths, not elite speed, which begs the question of how much of his speed game will translate to the majors. He's solid defensively at all three OF positions but eventually, in the grand scheme of everyday play, he's a sub-standard centerfielder who, at best. appears to present power potential for the mid-teens in HRs (with sufficient ABs) maybe a hair more.
His zone control and contact skills score similarly. He's decent, and can hold his own, but nothing in his line wows you. His high BA's and OBPs in AA last year, and AAA this year, are as much a result of high BHIPs as they are his plate discipline and contact skills.
Overall I see a #4 OF here unless some aspect of his game takes a leap which I don't see coming at this point in his career.
Long Term Fantasy Grade - C-
YR Lvl AB AVG ISO HR SB BB% K% BABIP
09 A 255 .271 .106 3 10 5.8 13.0 .303
11 AA 550 .309 .136 8 36 7.2 14.1 .348
12 AAA 53 .340 .113 0 4 6.9 19.0 .429
Drew Pomeranz - Pitcher - Rockies
Acquired in last year's Ubaldo Jimenez trade, Drew Pomeranz made his Rockies debut last Sunday. The Indians' first round pick out of Mississippi in 2010, Drew rifled through the Tribe's minor league system last year, laying waste to High-A before stopping off in AA for both the Indians and Rockies, and ultimately posting 4 strong starts at the MLB level (well, 3 out of 4 anyway). He pitched fairly well last night against the Brewers allowing 2 runs in 5 IP on just 2 hits, 3 walks and 6 Ks.
Drew's bread and butter is a terrific curveball (which I will be curious to see how well it holds up in Colorado). He also has a change, although it's not on par with his other two pitches. His fastball has shown low-to-mid 90s at points last season but so far in the majors he's been averaging just under 90. His velocity drop last year was written off as fatigue from his first pro season but it's worth noting that his velocity didn't immediately return after the offseason and I find that a bit concerning.
The 6-5/230 left-hander looked nearly MLB-ready when drafted and once developed, Drew projects to be a solid and effective starter in the Jon Lester mold. It looks me however that that there are issues that need to be addressed first.
By all accounts his make up is solid, but at least his command and possibly his control is a bit spotty. His mechanics lack smoothness which may lead to his command problems. Basically he doesn't appear to be ready to take on the majors quite yet, and I believe the Rockies would do well to give him half a year in AAA . Then of course there's velocity drop. Stay tuned on that one.
Drew looks like an eventual #2 but that doesn't appear likely this year. I like Drew long term, but I think that in terms of his 2012 contribution he may be overvalued in many leagues. First he needs to find the high-end of his velocity again, and then he has refine his command and control.
Long Term Fantasy Grade - B+
YR Lvl IP ERA WHIP K9 BB9 HR9 OBA BABIP LOB%
11 A+ 77.0 1.87 1.14 11.1 3.7 0.2 .200 .295 77.7
11 AA 14.0 2.57 1.14 10.9 3.9 0.6 .196 .273 82.2
11 AA 10.0 0.00 0.20 6.3 0.0 0.0 .063 .080 100.0
11 MLB 18.1 5.40 1.31 6.4 2.5 0.0 .268 .328 56.0
Wilin Rosario - Catcher - Rockies
Wilin Rosario's start to the regular season has been quiet and uneventful. Despite a terrific spring, Wilin has neither earned steady playing time, nor has he done a ton with the time he has gotten although this week has been a better than those that came before.
There's no doubt that Wilin is the "catcher of the future" in Colorado and rumblings of his potential started almost immediately after he was signed at 17 years old. Since he hit AA in 2010, before he was injured his knee, Wilin was showing the promise of his plus power potential and he was working on his mediocre, but improving zone control.
After his return from the knee injury Wilin posted a fair AA campaign even if it was a moderately disappointing second tour at the level. Rosario's swing is short and direct which indicates to me that his zone control growth potential is limited. Much of plate discipline is pitch recognition and that generally gets better with experience (to a point) but often you can pluck some low-hanging fruit in gains from getting a hitter to the ball quicker, which allows him to read a pitch a hair longer. There doesn't appear to much in the way of that particular low-hanging fruit in Rosario's case.
Defensively Wilin projects to stay at the position. He has adequate receiving skills, and he'll get better, but it's his plus arm, that will keep him behind the plate. It's his potentially plus power will keep him valuable at that position over the long haul.
I don't believe Wilin will ever put much of a scare into .300 except maybe on the negative side of his OBP but he could easily post some 20-homer totals with enough ABs.
At this point it doesn't appear that 400+ ABs for Wilin are in the Rockies' plans for 2012, although that could be the plan as early as 2013. Wilin's 2012 offerings may be more meager than you had hoped for, but I think he begins to become a fantasy factor next year.
Long Term Fantasy Grade - B
YR Lvl AB AVG ISO HR SB BB% K% BABIP
09 A+ 203 .266 .138 4 2 4.5 24.8 .336
10 AA 270 .285 .267 19 1 7.1 19.2 .297
11 AA 405 .249 .207 21 1 4.5 21.4 .272
11 MLB 54 .204 .259 3 0 3.5 35.1 .250
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