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House of Shlain: On the Cusp?

Nick Shlain

Nick analyzes prospects for RotoWire and focuses on the Midwest League during the season.

Well, it turns out drafting and stashing the new kid George Springer was the play. In my Fantasy Sports Writers Association league (the R.J. White league), Springer went for $70 in FAAB and we play with a $100 budget. I understand the move because basically the entire season is left for Springer, but my bid was considerably less aggressive as my outfield is already stacked, my team has good speed, and it's a league that uses OBP. It's a 12-team mixed, but I think someone drafted him and then dropped him. It's hard to keep track of which players get dropped when you play in so many leagues, but I drafted and stashed Springer in two other leagues myself. Anyway, I'm not even saying Springer won't be worth all the FAAB money thrown at him, just noting that your budget took a major hit there.

George Springer

Even with Springer's early call up, I thought there was a chance of there being a small discount on his FAAB price because, well, he hasn't done very much in his short time in the majors thus far. It's only been seven games, but he's hitting .200 with one run scored, one RBI, and one stolen base. Still, owners went after Springer hard and paid for the potential he displayed in the minors last year. Springer hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013. His potential production in those categories makes him a very attractive player at a time when it's getting harder to find power and speed combination players.

Jon Singleton

This 22-year-old has eight home runs and 25 RBI in 19 games at Triple-A already. With that kind of a scorching hot start, and the Astros lineup struggling, the only thing holding Singleton back is service time, right? Well, actually according to an article by Evan Drellich in the Houston Chronicle, April 19th was the date the Astros needed to clear for Singleton to be under club control through the 2020. In that same article, Drellich quotes GM Jeff Luhnow who mentions that Singleton doesn't have the same track record at Triple-A as Springer, who spent most of 2013 there. Still, with the service time concerns out of the way and Singleton hitting like this it only seems like a matter of time.

Nick Franklin?

Classic Mariners or is this some kind of cruel joke? Why did they call Franklin up just to sort of use him as a pinch hitter and try him in the outfield for a few innings at a time? In six games, he has 13 at-bats and his lone base hit is a triple against Yu Darvish. Of course it is. With Brad Miller (.192) cooling off in a big way—like a fat guy at a water park—the Mariners have to be thinking about giving Franklin some more big league at-bats. He has nothing left to prove in Triple-A, which he torched with a 1.213 OPS in 49 plate appearances this year. If you already picked up Franklin, I'd still hold him and see if he gets more opportunities in the coming weeks.

Mookie Betts

There's no other way to say it right now: Markus Lynn "Mookie" Betts is absolutely on fire. In 15 games in the Eastern League (AA), Betts is hitting .452/.500/.694 with seven steals in eight attempts. He has 28 hits, seven walks, and he's already scored 20 runs. Betts has also struck out just seven times, though every time has come against right-handed pitching. Against lefties, he's 12-for-19 (.632) with four walks and no strikeouts. Betts is so piping hot right now it's ridiculous. I predict a bad trade proposal by James Anderson within the hour.

Archie Bradley

Bradley's last two starts combined: 8.1 IP 12 HA 7 ER 4 BB 12 K 0 HR 3 HBP. He didn't get through five innings in either turn and it took him 104 pitches to get through 4.1 innings one start after using 83 pitches to go seven innings. The Diamondbacks didn't consider him an option to replace Trevor Cahill, but he could still be a rotation option for them during the second half of the season or sooner. When he comes up will depend on how he does in Triple-A and not how Arizona's backend replacements pitch. Bradley needs to be more consistent with his command and mechanics before he takes that next step.

Oscar Taveras

Not much to say here as it doesn't appear to be a serious injury, but Taveras was pulled out of Memphis' game yesterday after twisting his left ankle running out of the batters box. It's important to note this is not the same ankle that was surgically repair during the offseason. His absence seems to be precautionary and his status is day-to-day. Still the best hitter not in the majors.