Caribbean Winter Leagues fantasy baseball players - NL

by Nicholas Minnix on February 9, 2010 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


Advanced Instructional League fantasy baseball players

Arizona Fall League fantasy baseball players: AL | NL

Caribbean Winter League fantasy baseball players: AL | NL

The Caribbean Winter Leagues allow prospects to build their resumes, veterans to keep in shape and 2009 disappointments to improve. Heading into 2010 fantasy baseball drafts, what must roto owners learn from winter ball?

Infielders

Those skeptical of the value of the San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval now that he's exclusively a third baseman, note: He hit .395 and slugged .605 in 81 regular-season Venezuelan Winter League at-bats before shredding it in the VWL playoffs. The Panda is losing weight, gaining agility and eating up doubt, slowly but surely.

Alcides Escobar (Milwaukee Brewers) batted .393 and stole 16 bases in 173 at-bats this winter. As long as the hype machine doesn't get a hold of the youngster, he's a legit sleeper - more so in mixed leagues, though. In NL factions, the lack of depth and his upside may drive up his price.

San Francisco Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval
Less bamboo for Panda

It's not certain that Ian Desmond will begin the season in the minors, but he still needs better command of the strike zone to have a shot. In 61 at-bats this winter, he struck out 17 times and walked just two while hitting .213. Desmond has a little pop and can run, but he desperately needs the BA.

Juan Francisco will contend for an outfield spot with the Cincinnati Reds this spring. He began his case with 12 homers in 205 at-bats. Francisco struck out 52 times, though, and walked a mere 13. With that kind of approach, it'll be harder to hit .298 in the bigs like he did this winter.

Gaby Sanchez will have a tough time holding off Logan Morrison at first base if he hits like that (.232, 17 K's, 10 walks) in Spring Training for the Florida Marlins.

Outfielders

Valley Fever recovery program: The Arizona Diamondbacks' Conor Jackson - undervalued NL commodity - hit .425 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 73 at-bats. He walked 21 times and whiffed 13 in the DWL.

Fernando Martinez was 9-for-47 with one extra-base hit in the Dominican Winter League. The Mets are expected to send him to Triple-A Buffalo to begin the season. Perhaps he heard; in the Caribbean Series, he went 8-for-23 with two jacks and won MVP honors. Inconsistency remains a huge obstacle.

Gerardo Parra (fourth outfielder, D-backs) suffered a leg injury early in the Venezuelan Winter League season. He appears fine after hitting .333 and a 10-to-5 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 72 at-bats.

Pitchers

New York's No. 5 front-runner, Fernando Nieve, is building on last year's showing in an attempt to reward his club's faith. In 26 offseason innings, he struck out 26 and walked just three while giving up seven earned runs.

Is the Chicago Cubs' Jeff Samardzija ready to challenge for a rotation spot? In five starts (24 innings), the righty gave up 22 hits and six earned runs while fanning 22. He walked eight.

Deep sleeper? The Fish should give the advancing Rick VandenHurk a serious look. In 25 innings the righty allowed 17 hits. More importantly, he struck out 18 and walked a single batter.

James McDonald will have to do a little better than a 5.40 ERA and 14 walks in 28 1/3 innings if he wants to win the No. 4 spot - any spot - in the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation.

The Colorado Rockies' Franklin Morales seems to have solved his control problems with the 10 free passes he issued in 14 innings. Jhoulys Chacin, 22, posted a dull 2.00 command rate in 32 1/3 innings.

Potential closer-in-waiting Samuel Gervacio, 25, struck out seven but walked five in 6 2/3 winter frames. He should lock down a bullpen spot with the Houston Astros, but he really has to prove himself in pressure situations.

Advanced Instructional League fantasy baseball players

Arizona Fall League fantasy baseball players: AL | NL

Caribbean Winter League fantasy baseball players: AL | NL

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.


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