Today I give you the third article in a series in which I go division by division, previewing rookies who could have an impact for each team for the 212 season. I have already taken a look at the NL West and the NL Central and now up is the NL East. I not only see a lot of rookies that could have an impact and the division this year, but a handful of very high ceiling guys that should have an impact. Enjoy.
One of the best system’s in all of baseball projects to have a handful of rookies who could contribute in 2012. There are a few strong candidates for me to choose from but I think that Randall Delgado will have the biggest impact this year. Delgado pitched in 35 innings last year for the Braves and well but I think he is ready for a full season at the big league level. Delgado could crack the rotation out of spring training but if not, I do not think it will be long for him to get the call up. Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky is one to watch as he may be the opening day shortstop. He could provide good speed with solid average. Watch for top prospect Julio Teheran as well. He could move into the rotation or be a force in the bullpen late in the year.
The Marlins brought in a lot of guys this year and it will be interesting to see if there will be room for rookies to step up and have a major impact. My pick though is RHP Jose Ceda. He hard throwing reliever could break camp in the bullpen and find himself as a set-up man at some point during the year. Another name to watch is Chris Hatcher. Hatcher was a catcher up until 2011 where he became a full time pitcher. The reliever got a look last year in the majors and after some time at AAA, Hatcher could have a role late in games for the Marlins. Matt Dominguez is another name to watch but its hard to find a spot for him in the infield.
The Mets appear to be in rebuilding mode almost after losing some big pieces last offseason. The guy who I think will have the biggest impact for the club as a rookie in 2012 is Kirk Niewenhuis. The outfielder can handle outfield spots and projects to hit for a solid average and decent power. He will start the year at AAA but I think he’s first in line to take over if someone goes down (Jason Bay). Watch for middle infielder Jordany Valdespin as a utility guy at some point during the year too. RHP Chris Schwinden could find a spot in the rotation pretty soon and I think we will a Mets starter dealt at the deadline, allowing Schwinden to step in at some point.
The Phillies have already had a couple key players go down with injuries which might give some rookies the chance to step in. I think that RHP Justin De Fratus will have the biggest impact in 2012. He could break camp in the bullpen but if he does not I do not think it will be long before he is up in the majors. He has a great fastball-slider combo could be an important setup man for the Phillies in 2012. Freddy Galvis is another name to watch as he could be the opening day second baseman for the Phillies due to injuries to both Chase Utley and Michael Martinez. Other guys to watch for are Phillippe Aumont, Joe Savery, and Michael Schwimer.
This may just be the easiest pick… Bryce Harper. Harper was optioned to AAA to open the year but by June I think he could be up as the starting center fielder for the Nationals. He would be an instant upgrade over either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel. Watch for Steve Lombardozzi as well. I don’t see room for him to start but he could be a valuable utility man throughout the year.
Filed under: Fantasy, On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | Atlanta Braves, Bryce Harper, Chase Utley, Chris Hatcher, Chris Schwinden, Freddy Galvis, Jason Bay, Joe Savery, Jordany Valdespin, Jose Ceda, Julio Teheran, Justin De Fratus, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt Dominguez, Miami Marlins, Michael Martinez, Michael Scwimer, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillippe Aumont, Randall Delgado, Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Pastornicky, Washington Nationals