Total Recall: Analysis of Recent Promotions | Starring Carlos Martinez
The high-ceiling potential attached to the arm of Carlos Martinez has been no secret since he signed with St. Louis back in 2010. Three years and 260 MiLB innings later, a once raw 18-year old has made quick progress in the critical areas of mental maturity (strike throwing), mound intelligence (pitch selection) and off speed/breaking ball refinement to accompany his natural ability: a 4-seam fastball that sits comfortably at 96 with reserve MPH’s to top out near triple digits. His repertoire also includes a strikeout compiling hard curveball (or slurve) and a groundball inducing change-up (1.86 GO/AO).
With the Cardinals starting rotation firmly set and Mitchell Boggs struggling to pick up outs at the backend, Martinez got the call just three starts into his 2013 campaign. He missed spring training with visa issues as well. Martinez is likely occupy the 7th inning in front of Trevor Rosenthal and Edwin Mujica, neither of which is a proven commodity long-term. Through two innings at the major league level he’s gotten five outs via ground ball (one DP), one swinging K and allowed one infield dying quail single off the end of the bat. Often compared his to namesake Pedro Martinez in terms of stuff and stature, Carlos clearly throws off a stiffer front leg and uses more “arm”; his history of shoulder problems could keep him in the bullpen. In non-keeper formats he only offers immediate value in leagues that reward holds.
Despite a strong performance in spring training, the Giants decided to break camp without their most seasoned position prospect, Francisco Peguero. The 24-year old Peguero hit .328 in 58 spring plate appearances with a homer and eight RBI, which he followed up with a .433/2/14 triple slash at Fresno. Once renowned for speed on the bases, he’s added 20 pounds in six plus years in the organization and his power and run production have spiked dramatically. His upside should result in immediate playing time in left field, territory currently inhabited by Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres. His steady defense won’t earn you fantasy points directly, but it will earn him more time on the field. He doubled in his first AB as a defensive replacement on Saturday, and went 0/4 in a start against lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu on Sunday night. Peguero is a must own in NL-only formats, even when taking into account his non-existent walk profile (BB rates between 1.7% and 3.2% the last three seasons). Bottom line: he can rake for average and still possesses useful speed.
There are two hurdles holding back Brad Boxberger from a substantial bullpen role: 1. His situation — the Padres are currently set innings 7-9 through with a resurgent Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Huston Street. 2. His self-injurious tendencies — too many free passes. Boxberger walked 18 batters in 27 2/3 big league innings in 2012, an issue he masked with a 79.4% strand rate and .222 BAA. For a guy without an electric fastball (91-94 with movement) he’s posted exorbitant strikeout totals at every level, including the majors. His deceptive delivery and much improved late “fall off the table” change-up have been his meal ticket to K’s. While the organization believes his future lies in finishing games, he’ll operate as an innings eater in the middle-late frames for the time being. Boxberger whiffed four in 2 1/3 innings in his 2013 debut, allowing only an unearned run. He’s an extremely attractive commodity in keeper/dynasty formats, but he’s unlikely to offer much aide this season barring injuries. With that said, the former USC Trojan will be turning 25 later this month and his short-term utilization plan remains unclear.
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