“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” – Denzel Washington
I am going to look at two players who have recently been promoted and two that are still in the minors but are about ready to contribute at the major league level. One of the players includes the minor league leader in home runs at the time of his call-up, so if your team needs power in a desperate way he may be worth a look.
Andrew Lambo – 1B/OF – Pirates (6’3” 210) Bats L Throws L
Minor League Stats: 117 G, 66 R, 31 HR, 97 RBI, 7 SB, 284/350/576
Last 10 G: 7 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 0 SB, 297/395/649
Lambo came to the Pirates organization in a trade with the Dodgers after his prospect buzz had died down. He started the year in AA and was a bit old at that level, but he showed himself well during his time at AAA. Lambo could be part of the reason that the Pirates were quiet at the trade deadline. In those last 10 games, Lambo did make some strides in his approach with 5 walks to go with 11 strikeouts. Like many power hitters, he is prone to striking out.
- Another thing to watch is that Lembo hits right handed pitching much better than left handed. His OPS against right handers is 980 but it drops to 788 against lefties. It could be that he will be the platoon partner with Tabata. I think he will be an upgrade to Travis Snider at this point. He is worthy of a pickup for 14 team or deeper mixed leagues. A watch in 12 team mixers but I do not think he is ready for teams in 10 team or shallower leagues.
Matt Davidson – 3B – Diamondbacks (6’2” 225) Bats R Throws R
Minor League Stats: 108 G, 52 R, 16 HR, 68 RBI, 1 SB, 278/348/484
Last 10G: 4 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 189/250/324
- Unlike Lambo above, Davidson was promoted following Eric Chavez going back on the DL. He is a rated prospect but is only 22 and still needs time to develop. There are comparisons to another Diamondback 3B, Matt Williams because of the similarity of their size and batting approach. Davidson does like hitting the long ball but is prone to striking out. Included in the last 10 games stats, Davidson whiffed 14 times against 3 walks.
- Other sites have recommended Davidson as a watch this year but I believe he needs more time to develop his approach in AAA. Unless you are desperate, Davidson should not be active outside NL only rosters at this time.
Kolten Wong – 2B – Cardinals (5’9” 185) Bats L Throws R
Minor League Stats: 105 G, 67 R, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 19 SB, 303/368/468
Last 10 G: 7 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 368/442/579
- It would appear that Wong is ready to contribute to the Cardinals, but due to the emergence of Matt Carpenter, there is nowhere to play him. If only he could play shortstop. Wong has been on the prospect radar for some time and the addition of the power to his game in 2013 makes him a double-double candidate at middle infield that owners love to have in their lineup.
- He should receive a promotion when rosters expand. Going forward it will take a trade or an injury in the Cardinal infield for him to have the opportunity to play in the majors. But he is definitely someone to keep tabs on going forward as his stock is rising. Could a shift of Carpenter to third improve the Cardinals? Time will tell.
Yordano Ventura – SP – Royals (5’11” 170) Throws R
Minor League Stats: 22 G, 7 W, 112.1 IP, 133 K’s, 43 BB, 2.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Last 10 Starts: 4 W, 49.2 IP, 53 K’s, 19 BB, 3.81 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
- Ventura has one of the most explosive fastballs in the minor leagues. It can reach 100 mph on the radar and his talent this year is emerging. As can be seen in his WHIP, he does put people on base but that is a bit inflated with his promotion to AAA and playing in the PCL and league that favors hitting.
- As for his pitches, Ventura throws a four seam and a two seam fastball. It sits between 94-96 mph but he can reach back for extra when he needs it. The two seam fastball has been showing more sink. His curveball is usually in the low 80’s and can have great movement to it but is still a work in progress. Ventura also throws a changeup on average at 87 mph. It has also been noted that he does have a great pick-off move to keep runners close when they reach. The Royals are in the middle of the pennant race and can probably afford to keep him in AAA for the rest of the year. But Ventura may be ready next year to take a spot in the back of the starting rotation in the 4 or 5 spot. If he does, he will be a great player to have at the back end of fantasy rotations as well if you are comfortable gambling on upside.
- Because of his size and explosive fastball, it has been rumored he could be a dominant closer someday, but it appears that the Royals want to keep him as a starter.
Greg Jewett is a staff writer for RotoAnalysis. Follow him on Twitter @Gjewett9 and all season long at RotoAnalysis.com.