There are four main story lines I want to hit on today. Two involve players that were recently sent to new teams, while two others deal with the first awards to be handed out this season.
I went on record making Buster Posey as my choice for NL Rookie of the Year and Austin Jackson as my AL choice (you can read my full arguments for both at the links to NL Rookie of the Year and AL Rookie of the Year). How accurate were my predictions?
In the NL my top-3 were Posey, Jason Heyward and Jaime Garcia – the exact same order as the official voting. The only oddity in the voting was that a voter left Posey and Heyward off their ballot meaning they didn’t put either in their top-3. That’s disgraceful. They should have their voting privilege revoked.
In the AL, I wasn’t a soothsayer. I predicted Austin Jackson, Neftali Feliz and John Jaso as the top-3. The actual vote went Feliz-Jackson-Danny Valencia (Jaso came in fifth, Wade Davis also finished ahead of him in 4th place). Again, I always favor the everyday player over the pitcher if there is any doubt, kind of like a tie on the bases goes to the runner.
Cameron Maybin a Padre
The Padres traded for ultra talented Cameron Maybin giving up two strong relievers in Edwin Mujica and Ryan Webb who will now call Florida home.
Mujica struck out more than a batter per inning this season with 72 Ks in 69.2 innings. He also didn’t walk anyone with only six walks on the year meaning his K/BB ratio was 12.00, a historic number (it was the 4th best number in the history of baseball for a guy who tossed at least 65 innings). He needs to cut down the homers though – he owns a 1.43 per nine mark. Webb allowed only one homer in 59 innings as he posted a 2.90 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP for the Padres in 2010. He is an extreme groundball hurler with an ultra impressive 3.68 GB/FB ratio in ’10, an if he keeps that up he is going to have a job for an awfully long time.
Maybin is an all-around athlete who scouts will tell you owns every physical skill needed to have success at the big league level. At the same time, the sports world is a results driven business, and to this point Maybin has been a disappointment. Through 168 major league games Maybin is hitting .246 with 13 homers, 45 RBI, 93 runs scored and 19 thefts . While that isn’t good, it’s not all far removed from the type of effort that new teammate Chase Headley offered in 2009 (.264-11-58-77-17). In addition, the 23 year old Maybin has hit .284 with 62 RBI, 65 runs and 13 steals in just 115 games at Triple-A. The question is, can he translate his talent into production at the big league level? I think that, despite going to the worst offensive park in baseball in San Diego, that Maybin has a legitimate shot to be the next Mike Cameron. He’ll post a decent average, with a good amount of pop, and enough speed to be interesting. I think he could go 20/20 in 2011, and honestly, if he plays every day and doesn’t go 15/15, I would be disappointed.
David DeJesus an Athletic
The Athletics picked up outfielder David DeJesus by sending pitchers Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks to the Royals. Mazarro will be in the Royals rotation next season after going 6-8 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 122.1 innings with the A’s in 2010. Marks is a 22 year old who was taken in the third round of the 2009 Entry Draft. He had more than a K per inning at Single-A ball last season with 136 in 129.1 innings. His future is still a few years away from hitting.
DeJesus is a solid major league player who has more value in the real world than he does in fantasy. He is a good citizen, plays defense well, runs the bases well, and does a solid job of getting on base. In terms of numbers he owns a career slash line of .289/.360/.427, and per 162 games in his career he has posted an average fantasy line of .289-11-72-93-9. That isn’t over the top production by any means, but it marks him as a solid #5 outfielder in mixed leagues, and a solid #3 option in AL-only scenarios. I really like the guy, and it stands to reason that his production won’t change too much in Oakland. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you don’t draft him expecting him to match last years .318 average – it almost certainly will not be repeated.
By Ray Flowers