There have been a good number of signings and trades so far this offseason, and many of the transactions have affected the fantasy outlook for prospects in the organizations that made those moves. Let’s take a look at some of the youngsters that were affected in a negative way.
Mike Trout, OF, Angels
Albert Pujols obviously doesn’t play the same position as Trout, but the signing of the offseason’s biggest free agent fish will create a domino effect that will likely result in the top prospect spending most of 2012 at Triple-A. The Angels might wind up trading Bobby Abreu, but they still have Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter to vie for playing time in the outfield and Mark Trumbo to stick in the outfield, at third base or in the designated hitter slot. Trout’s long-term prognosis remains very bright, but his fantasy value in the short-term has taken a bit of a hit.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres
Rizzo might have started the 2012 season at Triple-A even before the blockbuster Mat Latos deal, as the Padres probably would have gone with Jesus Guzman at first base at least at the beginning of the year. Now that Yonder Alonso is in the fold, Rizzo will either begin the year at Triple-A or will be in another organization. The 22-year-old struggled mightily in his chance at the major league level last season, batting just .144/.282/.248 across 153 plate appearances, but he mashed at Triple-A to the tune of a .331/.404/.652 batting line with 26 homers, and his future is bright. The Cubs and Rays have expressed interest in Rizzo, and his fantasy value would receive a big boost if he was dealt, both because it would open up playing time for him and because he would move to a more hitter-friendly home park.
Nate Eovaldi, RHP, Dodgers
Eovaldi, who will turn just 22 in February, made the jump from Double-A this past season and certainly didn’t embarrass himself in six starts for the Dodgers, posting a 3.63 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. However, that wasn’t enough to keep the Dodgers from adding pitching depth in the form of Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. The addition of the two veterans will push Eovaldi out of the Dodgers rotation and to Triple-A, which is probably not a bad thing given how young he is and the fact that he hasn’t thrown a pitch at the level yet. But, it does certainly does dampen his fantasy outlook for 2012.
Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins
Dominguez entered last spring training as the favorite to start at third base on Opening Day, but he couldn’t hit a lick and was shipped back to Triple-A to begin the year. He didn’t hit much at Triple-A, either, batting just .249/.309/.405 while being limited to 95 games due to injury. Though he remains a terrific fielder at the hot corner, Dominguez hasn’t developed with the bat as hoped. He probably would have begun 2012 at Triple-A even before the signing of Jose Reyes kicked Hanley Ramirez over to third base, but that move solidified it.
Tyler Greene, SS, Cardinals
Given that he’s 28 and has 150 games of major league experience, it’s a stretch to call Greene a prospect at this point. But, it’s worth noting that with the Cardinals re-signing Rafael Furcal, Greene will not get a chance to be the regular shortstop as the front office previously alluded that he might. The former first-round pick sports an ugly .218/.307/.313 batting line at the major league level, but he’s hit .291/.373/.477 in his career at Triple-A and has speed to burn. It’s possible Greene could still get a shot in a platoon with Daniel Descalso or Skip Schumaker at second base, in which case he could carve out some NL-only value.
Freddy Galvis, SS, Phillies
Galvis’ calling card has always been his glove, but he hit a respectable .278/.324/.392 with eight homers and 23 stolen bases between Double- and Triple-A this past season. The Phillies said earlier this offseason that they would have no qualms about handing the shortstop job over to the 22-year-old if Jimmy Rollins didn’t re-sign, but, of course, Rollins re-upped earlier this week. Galvis needs more seasoning, anyway, as he’s played just 33 games above Double-A and has a long ways to go with the bat.