How’s it going? Loathing work a little bit after celebrating America over the long weekend? Looking to coast through the day, do as little work as possible, then maybe duck out at 3 or so? We support you completely, and we’re here to help. Today we bring you Part Two of our Futures Game roster fisking. Part one can be found here.
Below you’ll see four guys that will play in the game, and one guy who won’t but was going to up until a little over a week ago. You’ll see why he’s still on the list momentarily. Heck, you might’ve peaked down there and figured it out on your own already. Bully for you, you non-sequential reader.
Pennies for Someday
Mookie Betts, 2B/OF — Boston Red Sox
Mookie’s not playing in the Futures Game because he’s playing all over the field in Boston. The Red Sox are going towards a youth movement, which is pretty easy to do when you’re in last place in your division. The AJ Pierzynski experiment came to a merciful end Wednesday when he was DFA’d and replaced by Christian Vazquez, the 23 year-old defensive whiz. Betts has had some struggles adjusting to the majors, but expecting him to do anything other than that seems unreasonable. He’s going to play every day going forward at one of three or four different positions. He showed off his speed and plate discipline against the White Sox on Wednesday, and his advanced approach at the plate should keep him from any extended slumps. I don’t think he’s an add in standard leagues, but if you’re in one of those monster, 28-30 team leagues then scoop him up and see if you can catch lightning in a bottle for a couple weeks.
Kennys Vargas, 1B/DH — Minnesota Twins
The “s” at the end of Kennys stands for sizable.* Why? Dude’s 6-foot-5 and weighs 275 pounds. That’s almost 20 stone, and that’s the metric those World’s Strongest Men guys use, so that means something. The thing is, when a guy is that massive, you’d like to see him hit for a touch more power than Vargas has so far. Fourteen bombs and 13 doubles at the 82 game mark isn’t bad by any stretch, but Vargas is only valuable if he’s hitting balls that travel far at a high velocity. We’re not here to bury Vargas, though — we’re here to praise him. His command of the strike zone is admirable, and when you pair his above average power with his lack of strikeouts and solid of walk rate, we have an interesting player on our hands. He’s more than held his own in his first crack at double-A, and could be in the mix for promotion to the majors at some point next season. If I had to wager, I’d say Vargas won’t light the world on fire his first couple of years in the majors, but will have a few 30 homer seasons once he hits his late twenties.
*This isn’t true.
Jake Thompson, RHP — Detroit Tigers
Thompson’s 2013 and 2014 lines, right now, are metronomically hypnotizing. Go look for yourself. The innings, the earned runs, the homers and hits are all eerily similar. Good news for Jake — his 2013 was pretty darned good. He’s struck out a few less batters this year, but he’s also walked a few less, so his WHIP has dropped a little over a tenth so far this season. Moving up a league and producing the same results? Beautiful. Thompson could get another promotion in August if he keeps throwing as well as he has, which means he could crack the Detroit rotation by 2016. He’s not going to be an ace, but he looks like a solid, mid-rotation starter that’ll gobble up innings. That’s not the most valuable fantasy player in the world, but he’s the type of guy you’ll be happy to have in your rotation.
Jose Peraza, SS/2B — Atlanta Braves
Peraza’s not displacing Andrelton Simmons at shortstop in Atlanta. We all know that. However, Peraza’s having a pretty amazing season — he hit .342/.365/.454 in his first 66 games, which earned him a promotion to double-A, where he’s hitting .342/.375/.474 through his first 17 games. Oh, he’s also stolen 42 bags and he just turned 20 in April. It looks like Peraza’s on the fast track to Atlanta, where he could conceivably win the second base job out of Spring Training next year. Peraza’s not going to hit taters, but he could easily knock 30 doubles and 10 triples while stealing 50 bases a year. Yes, Peraza’s blossoming into a top fantasy prospect.
Enny Romero, LHP — Tampa Bay Rays
Not everyone in the Futures Game is having a bang up season, and Enny sits atop that non-bang-up-season list. I want to talk about him because his down year shouldn’t really be surprising, but the way in which he’s having it is. Romero’s always been an interesting prospect, because he never piled up strikeouts and he’s always walked a lot of batters, but he still had good results for the most part. In 2012 he had a 107/76 K/BB in in 126 IP and in 2013 it was a 112/75 K/BB in 148.1 IP. Those numbers are ugly. But the pretty numbers are his hits allowed — 89 in 2012 and 114 in 2013. You can be a little wild if your H/9 is around 7. However, this year his strikeouts are up, his walks are down a touch, and his hits allowed are way, way up. It’s almost as if he wanted to be the exact opposite of what he’s been. There aren’t many pitchers in the majors that succeed with K/BB ratios like the ones Romero’s put up, so trying to change his approach now might be the right move. It’s led to a 5.62 ERA so far this year, but hopefully this will allow him to be a better pitcher once he actually makes it to the majors. I don’t see him pitching in Tampa this year, but he could be a midseason call-up in 2015.