You knew Matt Wieters and David Price were hotshot prospects last season but where were you when Chris Coghlan and Andrew Bailey snagged Rookie of the Year honors? Your league was buzzing about Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg on draft day this year but what other phenoms were banished to the waiver wire? Monitoring the minors is essential to success in deep fantasy leagues. Don’t get beat to the punch when the next wave of studs get called up to the Show. Farm Fresh is your weekly look at the minor league prospects your league-mates don’t know about.
In The Box: Peter Bourjos, OF, Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
Bourjos is the No. 2 prospect in the Angels organization according to Baseball America. An athletic speedster with an incredible career stolen base success rate, Bourjos is the type of dynamic basepath disruptor Mike Scioscia loves to sport at the top of the lineup. He can handle the lumber as well. Fantasy owners should note that his OPS has risen with each minor league promotion and his gap-to-gap power is evidenced by an absurd 43 triples over his minor league career. In April, the 23-year-old tied a Pacific Coast League record with three triples in one game. The average age of the Angels’ big-league outfielders is 34 and the notoriously aggressive Halos are languishing with a stolen base success rate under 70%. We could see Peter Bourjos in Anaheim very soon. Make sure you benefit when he gets called up.
On The Hill: Andrew Cashner, RHP, Double-A Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
Cashner, a 6-foot-6 flamethrower whom Baseball America dubbed Chicago’s best pitching prospect, is posting obscene strikeout numbers in the Southern League. Through six starts totaling 36 innings (likely with strict pitch count limits), Cashner has punched out an eye-popping 42 batters. Combine that with a laughable .176 opponents’ batting average and the Cubs must be patting themselves on the back for resisting moving Cashner and his 98-mph heater to the bullpen. The 19th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Cashner is 23 and has thrown only 150 professional innings but a jump to Triple-A should be coming soon. After that, the sky (and the North side of Chicago) is the limit.
Anthony Federico covers all levels of the game for Baseball Digest and Gotham Baseball. He is the author of “Must Be Nice” – a loving look at the glory of beer-league softball. Check out www.mustbenicebook.com for more info or follow him on Twitter @AntFeds