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Jarrod Dyson - Outfielder - Royals
27 year old Jarrod Dyson has already made a couple of trips between Omaha and KC this year, and now he finds himself benefitting from Lorenzo Cain's injury, seeing regular playing time with the Royals.
I count exactly 5 homers in 5+ professional seasons for Jarrod since he was taken in the 50th (!) round in 2006, and 4 ISOs of .100 or more in 14 stat lines in those 5+ seasons, all coming on lines with less than 100 ABs. What Jarrod does provide is speed as evidenced by 49 SBs between AAA and the Majors last year in 363 ABs including 11 steals in 44 ABs in the majors.
The catch to the speed game however is always that you can't steal first base (with all apologies to Germany Schaefer who actually did - see: "The T206 Collection: The Players & their Stories"), and you can't get to first base without getting to the plate first, even if you are Germany Schaefer. So the question becomes one of whether Jarrod can hit well enough to see regular PT, and can he get on base enough to swipe a few bases.
Jarrod's zone skills of late in the higher levels have been adequate. He nearly reached 10% in his walk rate at AAA in 2011, but more importantly he's trimmed his K rate to sub 15% which means he puts the ball in play. That's when his speed becomes an asset, and that has shown up in consistently high BHIP%s. In fact all of that has combined for OBPs of .327, .357, and .363 in his last three tours of AAA and while he hasn't quite ported those rates to the majors yet, he hasn't been awful either.
What we've seen so far is a player who is doing just what we described, cutting down his K's putting the ball on the ground (65%+ so far in the majors), and beating feet. Don't be scared off by his BHIP to this point, he's going to be able to maintain a lot of that, his speed makes him one of the few players who can repeat good BHIPs. His OBP is what will determine whether he can earn playing time, and when he puts the ball in play he'll end up on base a lot. I'm also going to concentrate on his BB rate which should rebound. That should help matters.
Jarrod appears to be capable of staying in the lineup while the playing time presents itself. He should be able to get on base somewhere between 30% and 33% of the time and once he gets on, his 23 steals in 150 MLB ABs tells me he can steal bases at this level, even if it doesn;t seem that way at the moment.
All bets may be off once Lorenzo Cain returns (June, maybe July) and there's no clear promise of future playing time ... But for now, if you need SBs Jarrod is about as good a free agent source of them as you are going to run into at this point in the year in most leagues.
Long Term Fantasy Grade C-
YR Lvl AB AVG ISO HR SB BB% K% BABIP
09 AA 248 .258 .060 0 37 9.5 19.1 .330
10 AAA 195 .272 .077 1 13 7.3 14.6 .317
10 MLB 57 .211 .193 1 9 9.2 24.6 .275
11 AAA 319 .279 .078 3 38 9.5 12.7 .320
11 MLB 44 .205 .023 0 11 13.2 26.4 .290
12 AAA 63 .333 .143 0 7 5.6 7.0 .362
12 MLB 57 .298 .053 0 3 4.8 11.3 .327
Christian Friedrich - Pitcher - Rockies
Christian Friedrich was sharp in his major league debut on Wednesday, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, in 6 innings against the Padres on 5 hits with 7 Ks. He's scheduled for two possible starts this week, the first on Tuesday against the Giants, and perhaps Sunday against the M's.
The 25th pick in the 2008 draft, Christian's development stalled (or if you prefer, crashed and burned) the last two seasons most likely as a result of a pair of elbow issues, and a couple of other injuries that weren't necessarily severe but they were significant. A mechanical change that attempted to to leave him much more fluid in his motion as opposed to muscling the ball to the plate seems to have calmed most of his health issues for now.
Christian works off his fastball/curve combo. He was flicking 95 at times before the changes to his mechanics and the injuries. He can still get there in anger but he mostly tops out at 93 these days. He has begun however to add or subtract a foot from his fastball more often to keep hitters off it. His curveball is potentially plus, it's a big breaker and it's very good right now. Christian throws a change and a slider as well, but they are show-'em pitches at this point.
A presumably healthier pitcher, Christian posted 5 very solid starts in AAA this year, his first visit to the level, and all his indicators seemed to be a little bit healthier as well. His K rate rebounded and he started limiting his walks effectively. Control had been a major issues at the upper levels once you got past his health.
Opponents hit just .204 off him before the call up, but a .259 BHIP helped there and a 60.2% LOB certainly helped his AAA ERA as well. Still, we also saw an increase in GB% and another gain in LD% this year. Along with him limiting his walks, those two columns have played a role as well.
In Wednesday's start Christian also averaged 92.4 mph on his fastball, a little adrenaline rush in his debut may account for that but if that's a real gain that brightens his picture as well.
Christian's curveball is a big part of his package and I am always a little leery of Rockies' pitchers who lean on a curve. Still his stuff should play well in the rest of the NL West and if he's regained some velocity, and he can throw GBs at a 45+% rate, he's going to be effective. I'll be watching his velocity, and looking to see if a third pitch develops to the point where he can be aggressive with it.
I think a typical #3 is as high as the ceiling gets with Christian but also I think that projection would be optimistic. I see more of a #4 but I feel confident he can eventually hold an MLB rotation slot. Christian is definitely a matchup play for the rest of his stay this year, and he may never rise above that status, except in deep NL leagues.
Long Term Fantasy Grade - C
YR Lvl IP ERA WHIP K9 BB9 HR9 OBA BABIP LOB%
09 A 45.1 2.18 1.10 13.1 3.0 0.4 .212 .340 76.8
09 A+ 74.1 2.54 1.17 11.3 3.4 0.4 .211 .306 76.3
10 AA 87.1 5.05 1.55 8.0 3.6 1.0 .285 .342 67.7
11 AA 133.1 5.00 1.49 7.0 2.9 1.4 .282 .316 65.5
12 AAA 30.0 3.00 0.90 8.1 1.2 0.3 .204 .259 60.2