A couple weeks ago I began a series of posts as I take look at rookies in 2012. I have been going division by division taking a look at rookies who I think will have an impact in 2012 for each team. I’ve been making my pick for the guy who I think will have the biggest impact and note other names that could have an impact as well. So far I have taken a look at the NL West, NL Central, and NL East. I now present to you my 2012 rookie watch for the American League West.
The Athletics traded for a lot of young talent this offseason, some if it ready to contribute in 2012. There are so many to choose from but I think that Tom Milone will have the biggest impact as a rookie. He does not have the highest ceiling but I think he is a polished mid to back of the rotation pitcher and will go out and pitch consistently. He cracked the opening day rotation and I see him staying there all year. Watch for Brad Peacock and Jarrod Parker as well who are both at AAA and could be up by the summer. A pair of guys who should split the third base duties will have an impact as well in Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard. Then there is Yoenis Cespedes who has already had a nice start to his year with 3 homeruns and will have a big impact for the A’s in 2012.
The Angels sure love to take their time with prospects so it will be interesting to see how much playing time rookies will be given this year. My pick though is Mr. Mike Trout. Trout has already started off the season hot at AAA and I think it will just be a matter of time before the Angels give Trout the call. The outfield is pretty crowded but an injury or slumping outfielder should allow him to get the call. Alexi Amarista could also have a nice impact as a utility guy. Garrett Richards could also find his way into the number 5 spot in the rotation before long.
This pick is a no doubter for me as I think Jesus Montero will have the biggest impact. I see him hitting 20-25 homeruns with an average around .280. He should make a case for the rookie of the year award. I think that Chance Ruffin could have a role as a set up man later on in the season. Right now he is at AAA. Erasmo Ramirez could also have in impact as he is currently on the active roster as a reliever but could make the occasional spot start. Alex Liddi could also have an impact playing off the bench with the occasional start. Of the trio of pitching prospects, I think James Paxton will have the biggest impact in 2012 with starts later on this year but him, Taijuan Walker, and Danny Hultzen should all crack the big league roster at some point this year.
The Rangers look to make another run at reaching the World Series this year and I think that Yu Darvish will have the biggest impact for the Rangers in 2012. Darvish will be an important piece for the Rangers this year and I see him having a nice year. Other than Darvish, I do not see any other rookies really having much of an impact because there is no room. Leonys Martin could take over the center field job at some point this year pushing Josh Hamilton to left field.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alex Liddi, Alexi Amarista, Brad Peacock, Chance Ruffin, Danny Hultzen, Erasmo Ramirez, Eric Sogard, Garrett Richards, James Paxton, Jarrod Parker, Jesus Montero, Josh Donaldson, Josh Hamilton, Leonys Martin, Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Taijuan Walker, Texas Rangers, Tom Milone, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish