Matthew St-Germain


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2008 NL West Prospects

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Deeper Mixed Leagues:

Jayson Nix, 2B, Colorado Rockies
Jayson Nix is a nice speculative pick for 2008 as he's the leading candidate to start at second base for the Rockies. Colorado has taken their time with Nix, and while he doesn't project as an All-Star, you can do a lot worse than take a chance on a second baseman playing half the time in Coors Field.

Nix sacrificed some of his plate patience for power last season, keeping identical ground ball and line drive rates from the year prior, while dropping his bb% and increasing his k% for 11 total home runs versus two in 2006 at the same level. Marcus Giles is past his prime and is nobody's friend in the clubhouse, so Nix's biggest competition is from Ian Stewart. The Colorado second base job is definitely one to watch during spring training.

Matt Antonelli, 2B, San Diego Padres
The classic over-achiever and all out hustle guy, Antonelli was supposed to be San Diego's starting second baseman this year, despite limited experience in the role, until San Diego signed Tadahito Iguchi. Temper your expectations on Antonelli, now and in the future, as he'll be playing in a park that will sap what little power he has, and while he doesn't attempt to hit the ball like Khalil Greene, it will still turn many of his line drives into outs.

He also doesn't have the glove or range that Khalil sports, and there's little chance that he unseats Iguchi any time soon. And though he's avoided major injury so far in his career, his playing style screams future issues. He also has above-average speed, though his average base path instincts say he might not be as good of a base stealer as his speed suggests. If you own, sell.

Jonathan Meloan, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Awesome make-up combined with a plus slider, two above average breaking balls and incredible command. Jonathan Meloan has the opportunity to win a bullpen job this spring training, and could see an important role if he succeeds. He derives his above-average command from his solid ¾ delivery and has plus sink on his fastball, suggesting that if his elbow holds up, he could become extremely valuable to the Dodgers. If Jonathan Broxton is moved, his value goes way up. File under: Future Los Angeles Closer.

Franklin Morales, LHP, Colorado Rockies
Franklin Morales has more upside than every player on this secondary list, and in time will become a dominant starter, however, he's still just 22-years-old, and will likely have a very difficult season pitching in Coors Field. He doesn't repeat his mechanics, his walk rate is very high thus he's fairly inefficient, and when you combine that with his high effort on pitches, we'll likely see him pulled often before completing the fifth inning. He also tends to get very flustered on the mound when things aren't going his way. Avoid in one year leagues, keep on your minor league roster in leagues that have them.

2008 NL-Only, with projected job:

Delwyn Young, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (reserve OF/2B)
Casey Weathers, RHP, Colorado Rockies (short middle relief)
Chin-Lung Hu, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (reserve SS/2B)
Eugenio Velez, OF, San Francisco Giants (reserve OF/2B)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Rockies (reserve 1B)
Seth Smith, OF, Colorado Rockies (reserve OF)
Brooks Brown, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (middle relief, possible #5 starter)
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks (reserve 2B)
Billy Buckner, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (middle relief, possible #5 starter)
Juan Gutierrez, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (middle relief, possible #4 starter)
Esmerling Vasquez, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (middle relief)
Max Scherzer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (short middle relief)
Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF, San Francisco Giants (reserve OF)
Wade LeBlanc, LHP, San Diego Padres (middle relief, possible #5 starter)
Billy Sadler, RHP, San Francisco Giants (short middle relief)
Juan Morillo, RHP, Colorado Rockies (short middle relief)
Osiris Matos, RHP, San Francisco Giants (short middle relief)
Nick Pereira, RHP, San Francisco Giants (middle relief)
John Bowker, OF, San Francisco Giants (reserve OF)
Jamie D'Antona, 1B/C/3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (reserve 1B/C/3B)

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