This is an exciting time of the year in fantasy baseball. We try to predict and then we watch and wait to see which hot prospects will make the big league rosters. Will there be a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper this year?
And for those who get sent down, we try to guess when they might be called back up. What other players on the big league team can play their position? What time during the season can they come back without impacting their free-agent eligibility years down the road? Is the team in the rebuilding stage or trying to make a playoff run this season?
So far we have seen quite a few teams’ top prospect get sent down to a minor league affiliate. The New York Mets have sent down catcher Travis D’Arnaud, even though he had an .872 OPS in 16 games this spring. It is expected that he will be called up this year, but the timing is uncertain. The Mets are clearly not planning on making a run this year, so having him perfect his craft by playing every day in the minors is the best choice for now.
But at least one young phenom is still with their major league team. That would be Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 55 AB this spring he is batting .527 and has four steals, three HR and 11 RBI. The conventional wisdom is that he will be sent down to AA for now. But wait a minute! Won’t the Dodgers want to start both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford slowly since they are coming back from major injuries? And won’t that give Puig a chance to play enough to stay with the Dodgers? Now mix in a mid-April inter-league series at Baltimore, with three games of DH and you can see why I picked up Puig in two of my leagues. Sure, I know it is gamble and I could be wasting a roster spot, but you can’t win the league without taking gambles.
If you can get Puig now, do so.
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