With the Fantasy Baseball Season quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparing a draft strategy for those planning for success. Rookies are one of the more interesting cases in fantasy baseball. Is it worth taking a chance on an unproven commodity, or should you wait until they make their impact on a team? If your league is expecting to have a Designated Hitter/Utility spot on your roster, then you may want to take a look at some potential candidates for that DH role. Many top prospects are expected to make their debuts this season, but only a few will have any real impact such as guys like Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto last season. You’re going to have to stay sharp and keep up with a team’s plans for the season if you want to get these guys. They may not all play the DH role in a Major League lineup, but for your fantasy lineup they should fit the DH role nicely. All of these guys are also ideal for keeper leagues.
1. Colby Rasmus/ St. Louis
2. Matt Wieters/ Baltimore Orioles
3.Travis Snider/ Toronto Blue Jays
4. Buster Posey/ San Francisco Giants
5. Carlos Santana/ Cleveland Indians
6. Andrew McCutchen/ Pittsburgh Pirates
7. Cameron Maybin/ Florida Marlins
8. Matt LaPorta/ Cleveland Indians
9. Dexter Fowler/ Colorado Rockies
10. Austin Jackson/ New York Yankees
1. Rookie Designated Hitters – Colby Rasmus/ St. Louis Cardinals
The top Cardinal prospect had an injury filled AAA season, but that shouldn’t keep you from giving up on the 22 year old. He has a powerful swing, a disciplined approach at the plate, and even has some good speed on the basepaths. He was as high as AAA last season, so taking a chance on this kid at sometime in the season if/when he is called up wouldn’t be a bad idea.
2. Rookie Designated Hitters – Matt Wieters/ Baltimore Orioles
One of the top prospects in the country is one of the only bright spots for Baltimore. The very talented catcher has been compared to Joe Mauer on defense and Mark Teixiera on offense. These comparisons are not lost on this talented player. Also 22 years old, he has a legitimate shot of making the Major’s out of Spring Training, but he will definitely be in the Majors at some point in the season.
3.Rookie Designated Hitters – Travis Snider/ Toronto Blue Jays
He was rushed to the Big Leagues last year and his inexperience showed. He has plenty of talent, though, but another appearance in the Major’s might be out of the question. His short, compact swing will allow him to hit for average and some power, so he still has the talent to make a worthwhile player in deep keeper leagues.
4. Rookie Designated Hitters – Buster Posey/ San Francisco Giants
The Giants are a desperate team looking for success in the post-Bonds era, and they made that sort of pick with Posey. The extremely athletic catcher starred in college as a picther with a 90+ MPH fastball and even played shortstop. While that shouldn’t concern you, Posey has the tools to one day be a great catcher. He has some potential power, and he could be a great fantasy player in a few seasons.
5. Rookie Designated Hitters – Carlos Santana/ Cleveland Indians
Another surprising minor leaguer takes the fifth spot on the list. After struggling in his first two seasons in the minors, Santana has blossomed into a legit candidate to have a good career. He got as high as AA last season and his compact swing could allow for more. It’s a longshot for him to reach the Major’s this season, but if you want a long term solution in keeper leagues, then you may want to take a look this way.
6. Rookie Designated Hitters – Andrew McCutchen/ Pittsburgh Pirates
The promising player has fallen a bit off course recently, but this can be attributed to the Pirates poor management rather than lack of talent. He’s still young in terms of experience and he had a somewhat poor time in the minors . But don’t give up on him. One day, he will be a good ballplayer and after reaching AAA (though he was rushed!) last season, he may even see some time in the Major’s this season. but in a keeper league, you may want to look at this guy for the future.
7. Rookie Designated Hitters – Cameron Maybin/ Florida Marlins
If you want someone who can make an immediate impact, then Maybin may be your answer. He has the Major League experience and he is a very well rounded 5 tool prospect. While not as high as he was a few seasons ago with Detriot. Maybin still has the talent. He did well last season in a short stint in Florida, and look for him to even more this season if he can make the team out of Spring Training. Keep an eye out for Maybin this fantasy season.
8. Rookie Designated Hitters – Matt LaPorta/ Cleveland Indians
Here is a true DH who can be expected to make an impact this season. He was a part of the big CC Sabathia trade last season, but struggled in his first month in the Major’s. He is 24 and is quite polished for a young player, but he can still be expected to be in the Minor’s for a good portion of this season. But don’t give up on him or his natural power. He has a chance late in the season or in the future to have a big impact in Cleveland.
9. Rookie Designated Hitters – Dexter Fowler/ Colorado Rockies
That’s really his name, but baseball is also his game. A member of the Beijing US Olympic squad, Fowler should get an opportunity to play this season with the trade of Matt Holiday to the A’s opening up a spot in the outfield. He should get an extended chance in Spring Training, and don’t be surprised if this 5 tool player makes a difference on fantasy teams this season.
10. Rookie Designated Hitters – Austin Jackson/ New York Yankees
He may be a bit of a reach in the 10 spot, but expect to hear some noise from the 21 year old prospect. With a plethora of talent, Jackson can do it all. He hits for contact, can run the bases well, and has some power potential. He has all the tools to make an impact in the future. If you are in a very deep keeper league, you may want to hold onto Jackson for the future. He is the real deal for the Yanks. Barring an injury on the Yankees, it may be unexpected for him to hit the Major’s this season, but keep an eye on him. He is the definition of a sleeper who one day will be patrolling the Yankees’ outfield.