I am launching a new series for MLB Dirt, breaking down the rookies to watch for in 2012 for each team. I will be going division by division taking a look at candidates to be the top rookie for each team. It seems like any type of series being broken down by division, starts with either the AL or NL East, but I am going to go ahead and start with the NL West because I feel like it. In this series I will focus more on players who I think will contribute as a rookie, while not paying as much attention to their prospect status and overall future potential. I’m hoping this makes sense. Here is my 2012 Rookie Watch for the NL West.
I am expecting big things from the Diamondbacks this year because of their deep rotation and solid lineup. My pick for the top rookie on the team in 2012 is Trevor Bauer. I do not think that there will be much room for any rookies to see time this year with the exception being Bauer. After moving quickly through the minors last year, he could be up in no time for the Diamondbacks, and might even make the opening day rotation. Another guy to watch for is LHP Wade Miley who could find a spot in the rotation as well.
The system has not been looking very good over the last few years but I think that things are trying to make a turn towards the better and there will be some guys in the system that are ready to produce in 2012. My pick for the top Dodgers rookie this year is RHP Nathan Eovaldi. He received 9 starts last year towards the end of the year and put up solid numbers. While I do not think he will crack the rotation out of spring training, he could see 70-100 innings this year. Watch for catcher Tim Federowicz and RHP Josh Lindblom as well.
The Giants look to make another run at the division title this year but which rookies will step up to help the team? Well I cannot see too many rookies seeing regular playing time for the Giants this year unless it is out of the bullpen. The guy that could fall into that role is RHP Heath Hembree. He has been worked as a reliever his entire minor league career and could find a spot, late in games for the Giants sometime this year. Eric Surkamp is a name to watch if someone goes down in the rotation. Conor Gillaspie is another guy that could see playing time.
San Diegounloaded Mat Latos for some prospects that are ready to play in the bigs. A centerpiece of the trade and my pick for the Padres top rookie in 2012 is Yonder Alonso. He should be the Padres opening day first baseman while posting a solid average and hitting around 20 homeruns. He was my pick for the NL Rookie of the year. The system is loaded with other guys that could have an impact as a rookie this year including outfielder Jaff Decker, starting pitchers Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, reliever Brad Boxberger, and James Darnell.
I think that the Rockies will surprise people this year but the key to that will be the rotation. My pick for the top rookie in the organization is LHP Drew Pomeranz. He should crack the rotation out of spring training and see a solid amount of innings in the middle of that Colorado rotation this year. I selected him to finish second in the NL rookie of the year voting behind Alonso. Another guy that I really like who could surprise people is Jordan Pacheco. His bat is his ticket and he could see time at catcher, first base, and third. Other guys to watch for are catcher Wilin Rosario, third baseman Nolan Arenado, infielder D.J. LeMahieu, and outfielder Charlie Blackmon.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy, On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | Arizona Diamondbacks, Brad Boxberger, Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies, Conor Gillaspie, D.J. LeMahieu, Drew Pomeranz, Eric Surkamp, Heath Hembree, Jaff Decker, James Darnell, Joe Wieland, Jordan Pacheco, Josh Lindblom, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mat Latos, Nathan Eovaldi, Nolan Arenado, Robbie Erlin, Rookie of the Year, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Tim Federowicz, Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley, Wilin Rosario, Yonder Alonso