2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Rookie Report, April 30
First things first, Jose Abreuand Masahiro Tanaka are very good. If it’s possible, they’ve been better than advertised. Abreu’s looking like he’ll be one of the games premier sluggers the rest of the season, and for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, in New York, Tanaka is making mincemeat of opposing batters thanks to his devastating splitter and impeccable command. All in all, it’s been a decent first few weeks for 2014’s rookie class. And best of all, the class should be strengthened soon with the impending arrivals of Gregory Polanco, Marcus Stroman, and other reinforcements.
As mentioned above, Abreu has been a stud. Xander Bogaerts has been a monster in his own right. He’s getting on base at a tremendous clip, but unfortunately his good work at the plate hasn’t translated into counting stats yet, but it will if his approach continues. George Springer’s arrival was exciting, but it’s turned out to be kind of a dud so far. Don’t panic, though. In fact, if Springer was dropped by an overzealous league mate, run to the waiver wire now and scoop him up. He’s had 53 plate appearances, and it’s April. He’ll be fine. Lastly, Kolten Wong was sent down to Triple-A. He hadn’t performed well so far, but it still seems like an overreaction. He’ll probably be back up before too long, but I would have preferred to see him work through his issues against major league pitching. Speaking of not panicking, Billy Hamilton has looked better at the plate lately, even if he still looks/feels a little overmatched. More surprisingly, he’s already been caught stealing four times.
On the pitching side of things, once again Tanaka has been a force, posting the third best K%-BB% in the major leagues among starters. It doesn’t appear that fact will change much. The league will certainly adjust, as will he, but he looks like he’ll be more than fine. David Hale gave the Braves way more than they could have hoped for in place of Mike Minor. For now, he’ll either be in the bullpen or Triple-A.
Yordano Ventura has been as advertised, maybe more so given the development of his change-up as a legitimate third pitch. Savor his starts. Unfortunately for the Mariners, both James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are on the DL. They’re both working their way back. I’m not sure that they can get back quick enough, because Roenis Elias probably isn’t the answer the Mariners were hoping for. Carlos Martinez has logged the fourth most innings for any reliever so far, so it appears Mike Matheny has no issue putting the ball in Martinez’s hand. Unfortunately, it appears less and less likely that Martinez will enter the rotation at any point. Better luck elsewhere than holding out hope.