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: Mike Moustakas, 3B, Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals)
With Aaron Crow, Eric Hosmer, Luke Hochevar and Alex Gordon on the resume, Kansas City has not had much success in the draft in recent years. Mike Moustakas is ready to change that perception. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2007 draft, Moustakas is putting up otherworldly numbers in his first season at Double-A. The 21-year-old has seven homers in only 88 at-bats, not to mention a ridiculous batting line of .364/.449/.705/1.153. Moustakas also gets credit for significantly improving his walk rate and lowering his strikeout totals, albeit in the hitter-friendly Texas League. Alex Gordon’s recent demotion leaves an opening at third base in Kansas City. Mike Moustakas is as good a candidate as any to fill it on a longterm basis.
On The Hill: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Double-A New Britain Rock Cats (Twins)
The Minnesota Twins took a huge risk taking Kyle Gibson 22nd overall out of Missouri in last season’s entry draft. Once widely considered a top-five talent, Gibson slipped due to industry-wide concerns about a forearm injury that caused him to miss time and lose significant velocity. Fast forward to May and the 22-year-old is erasing all doubts about his health and potential. Gibson simply overmatched High-A competition in seven starts with Fort Myers, posting a 1.87 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. The Twins promoted him all the way to Double-A and Gibson responded with 10 strikeouts over 7.1 scoreless innings in his debut. Baseball America rates the 6’6” righty as the best pitching prospect in the organization and projects him as a “true No. 1 starter.” At this rate, Gibson will likely get a taste of Triple-A this season. The new ballpark in Minnesota won’t be far behind.
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