In this article I’m going to look at prospects who will be good value picks for 2009. This isn’t going to include guys like David Price who will likely be valued properly or too high in most leagues. Instead, these prospects will be guys who you can pick up for cheap at the end of your draft that could provide good value. Remember that there is a risk for many of these players that they won’t be active for parts of the season.
Adam Miller, RP?, Cleveland: Cleveland still has yet to resolve their closer problem and ESPN lists Jensen Lewis as their closer right now. Miller has some of the nastiest stuff in the minors but has had problems staying healthy. He’s a candidate to move to the bullpen where he could dominate hitters for one or two innings with his two plus-plus pitches.
Chris Perez, RP, St. Louis: Like Miller, Perez also has two nasty pitches. He is currently slated as the Cardinal’s closer after picking up seven saves for them last year. Perez may be a guy who gets overrated as we approach draft time, as he still struggles throwing strikes at times (his 4.40 FIP serves as evidence of that). For now he has the potential to be a cheap saves option but that could change.
Dusty Ryan, C, Detroit: With Ivan Rodriguez out of Detroit and Brandon Inge staying at third, Ryan has a shot to be Detroit’s opening day catcher. Ryan struggles to make consistent contact, but he has good pop and would be a solid option as a second catcher for leagues that use two catchers. Do make sure you have someone who can soften the batting average hit you’d likely take with Ryan.
James McDonald, SP, Los Angeles: Despite an average fastball, McDonald has been able to succeed at every level with the help of two plus off-speed pitches. McDonald has a shot to get the fourth or fifth starter spot out of spring training and wouldn’t be a bad player to fill out a pitching rotation with.
Samuel Gervacio, RP, Houston: While Jose Valverde is coming off an excellent season closing with Houston, his delivery and workload make him a possible injury risk. Gervacio has put up excellent strikeout numbers in the minor leagues. Some scouts are skeptical of him continuing his success in the majors but if you’re looking for next year’s Brad Ziegler, Gervacio is your guy, especially if you can stash him away on a reserve list.
Drew Stubbs, OF, Cincinnati: Stubbs has a skill set that reminds scouts of Mike Cameron: lots of speed, lots of power, lots of strikeouts. With the Reds lacking a real center fielder, Stubbs could see some legitimate playing time in 2009. While he’s not going to help you with batting average, Stubbs could help you out with steals and home runs.
Jason Donald, SS/2B, Philadelphia: With Chase Utley missing the first part of the 2009 season, Donald is a candidate to be the Phillies’ second baseman until Utley returns. He’s got solid batting average skills and a little pop. Depending on where he hits, he could also help with runs. And who knows, if Donald starts off well, the Phillies might move him to third base or trade him to a team that will play him everyday.