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Don’t Sleep On Kelvin Herrera

Ben Carsley December 29, 2012 12:31PM EDT
With the MLB and minor league seasons in the rearview mirror, it’s time to reevaluate my preseason prospect rankings.

Kelvin Herrera should be a solid four-category Fantasy reliever in 2013. Photo by Keith Allison.

It’s always difficult to find a balance between upside and probability when grading prospects, so looking back on my methods and looking to adjust heading forward is always a useful task. For readers, these will serve as a one-stop shop to catch up on how all of 2012’s prominent prospects performed and how their stock has been affected.

This is not a re-ranking of these prospects, nor is it a new prospect list. It’s simply a review of how I ranked the players before the season began, along with some analysis of what went right, what went wrong and everything in between.

In our final installment, let’s review my preseason reliever rankings and see who lived up to the hype, who disappointed and who’s in good shape going forward. We’ll also give you an early look at some new names who should be relevant in 2013 and beyond.

(PPR = Preseason Position Ranking, Pre/Mid = Preseason/Midseason Top 100 Ranking, NR = Not rated, G = Graduated to MLB. Starred* players are no longer prospect eligible.)


On The Upswing

PPR Player, Tm Analysis Pre/Mid
1. Addison Reed, CHW* Good K rate, acceptable BB rate, underperformed FIP: all systems go. 39/G
4. Tyler Thornburg, MIL I’m not concerned about his stature; I see a mid-rotation SP who’s ready now. 80/75
7. Chris Archer, TB I undersold him all year long – he has No. 2 SP potential if his control improves. 97/95
10. Alex Meyer, MIN Took big step forward in 2012, now universally viewed as high-upside starter. NR/99
13. Heath Hembree, SF Arm trouble is scary, but he’ll be a holds candidate in MLB by July if healthy. NR/NR
14. Kelvin Herrera, KC* I absolutely love him: will be underrated source of Ks, ERA, Holds in 2013. NR/NR


Staying Static

PPR Player, Tm Analysis Pre/Mid
2. Arodys Vizcaino, CHC Any talk of his starting should end now, but he could be closing games for Cubs by July. 40/NR
6. Jeurys Familia, NYM Still No. 3 SP upside, but very unlikely due to walk rate – set-up reliever in best years. 91/81
9. Jarred Cosart, HOU I remain lower on him than the industry – see him as a long term set-up man. NR/NR
12. Michael Schwimer, PHI Still like the stuff and stats, but injuries, relationship with Phillies are questions. NR/NR
15. Phillippe Aumont, PHI Should probably be in next block, but I’ll give him one more year to get walks down. NR/NR
16. John Hellweg, MIL Pitched mostly in relief after trade to Brewers, unsure how they view him. NR/NR
18. Brad Boxberger, SD Struggled with walks more than anticipated, but love his upside in Petco. NR/NR


Swaying Backwards

PPR Player, Tm Analysis Pre/Mid
3. Dellin Betances, NYY Doesn’t matter how good or fast your stuff is if you really can’t throw strikes. 79/NR
5. Sonny Gray, OAK 5.9 K/9 in Double-A has me very down on him – No. 4 starter or middle reliever. 81/NR
8. Josh Lindblom, TEX* The 1.65 HR/9 rate, coupled with move to Texas, makes him Fantasy-irrelevant. NR/NR
11. Chen Lee, CLE Sleeper arm threw just 7 innings before going down with Tommy John surgery. NR/NR
17. Jenrry Mejia, NYM* Strikeout ability has fallen off a cliff since arm injury; ruined by poor development. NR/NR
19. Justin De Fratus, PHI Threw just 36.1 innings in injury-plagued season, walk rate jumped in MLB. NR/NR
20. Nick Hagadone, CLE High K rate, high BB rate, and high injury rate: 2012 matched story of his career. NR/NR

New Names To Consider: Cody Allen (CLE), R.J. Alvarez (LAA), Luke Bard (MIN), Carter Capps (SEA), Maikel Cleto (STL), Josh Fields (HOU), Onelki Garcia (LAD), Mason Melotakis (MIN), Mark Montgomery (NYY), Bryan Morris (PIT), Josh Osich (SF), Stephen Pryor (SEA), Bruce Rondon (DET), Marcus Stroman (TOR), Jordan Swagerty (STL), Chris Withrow (RHSP)



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