Dan Marino is trekking through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.
In part one of six he brings you the American League East:
Rookie To Watch: Jonathan Schoop – He may be a year away, but he’s a team guy who is willing to play anywhere. He could wind up being a “doubles machine”. Power should come with maturity.
Breakthrough Player: Nolan Reimold – Reimold has power, and if he can stay healthy, he can mash with the best of them.
The Party’s Over: Brian Matusz – Simply put, he just doesn’t get it. A new team with a new philosophy is the only way he has a shot to be a major league pitcher. Occasional good spurts in the bullpen are overshadowed by many poor performances.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Daniel Schlereth – There’s always a need for a lefthanded specialist. His career has been a disappointment so far, but he can throw. The question is whether or not he’ll learn how to pitch.
Just Not Seeing It: Brian Roberts – He’s coming off a difficult injury. He’s not youngster anymore.
Boston Red Sox
Rookie To Watch: Matt Barnes – Bryce Brentz was my top choice until he decided to “Plaxico” himself. Barnes needs to build stamina, but he is the real deal. He probably won’t make his debut until 2014.
Breakthrough Player: Ryan Lavarnway – He’s just too good of a hitter not to succeed. Last year he pressed. If Boston is in a rebuilding mode, it’s a perfect time to get him at-bats.
The Party’s Over: John Lackey – He was over-rated before the injury. He will never live up to that contract.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Lyle Overbay – His defense and left-handed bat could prove to be useful for the Red Sox.
Just Not Seeing It: Jose Iglesias – Sure he has speed, but what good is it if there’s a problem getting on base? He will be nothing more than a defensive replacement.
New York Yankees
Rookie To Watch: Austin Romine – Someone’s got to catch. He should be solid, but a superstar he isn’t.
Breakthrough Player: David Phelps – Before the season is over, he will play a huge role for the Yankees. He can pitch.
The Party’s Over: A-Rod – He’ll never return to his 30 homerun days.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Dan Johnson – A left-handed power hitter in Yankee Stadium? What’s not to like? He will see a ton of pinch hitting opportunities.
Just Not Seeing It: Kevin Youkilis in a Yankee uniform? Just how motivated will he be?
Tampa Bay Rays
Rookie To Watch: Wil Myers – The hype is justified.
Breakthrough Player: Stephen Vogt – He’s hit at every level, and the competition is not very fierce. A lefthanded hitting catcher is always a plus.
The Party’s Over: Kyle Farnsworth – He wants to close, but that won’t happen in Tampa unless Rodney goes down. Can a disgruntled Farnsworth be effective for the Rays?
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Shelley Duncan – Just a hunch, but he seems to find work every year.
Just Not Seeing It: Sam Fuld – Remember when he was a SportsCenter darling? Today he’s simply a good defensive replacement who may shuffle between Tampa Bay and Triple A.
Toronto Blue Jays
Rookie To Watch: Aaron Sanchez – Could be a force in the rotation. He has a nasty curveball that will freeze hitters.
Breakthrough Player: Brett Cecil – He has nasty stuff when he’s on, and he should play a prominent role in the Blue Jays bullpen.
The Party’s Over: Dustin McGowan – In 2007, he looked as promising as any young pitcher. Now, he is in constant rehab mode. Can he comeback from numerous surgeries?
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Ryan Schimpf – You have to root for a guy named Schimpf
Just Not Seeing It: Kyle Drabek – He’s hit a wall. He’s capable, but he hasn’t been the stud he was projected to be. He still issues too many walks. His future may be with another club if he has a rough Spring.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Aaron Sanchez, Alex Rodriguez, Austin Romine, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Brett Cecil, Brian Matusz, Brian Roberts, Bryce Brentz, Dan Jonhnson, Daniel Schlereth, David Phelps, Dustin McGowan, John Lackey, Jonathan Schoop, Jose Iglesias, Kevin Youkilis, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Farnsworth, Lyle Overbay, Matt Barnes, New York Yankees, Nolan Reimold, Ryan Lavarnway, Ryan Schimpf, Sam Fuld, Shelley Duncan, Stephen Vogt, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Wil Myers