Dan Marino continues his trek 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.
Now, in part three of six, he brings you the American League Central:
Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.
Part 2: National League East.
Chicago White Sox
Rookie To Watch: Trayce Thompson – He may get a taste of the big leagues at some point this season. He excelled last season in the minors, and he is a five tool player with serious pop.
Breakthrough Player: Hector Santiago – He was terrific when moved from the bullpen to the rotation down the stretch last season. He’s a left-handed strikeout machine, though his control is a somewhat erratic.
The Party’s Over: Brent Morel – He has shown nothing at the major league level to suggest he can handle third base on a full time basis. The Sox dealt for Kevin Youkilis last season because they had lost faith in Morel.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Josh Bell – The power is intriguing and perhaps he can prove that he can actually hit major league pitching. So far, he hasn’t.
Rookie To Watch: Trevor Bauer – He’s a hard throwing righthander with great stuff. He needs to improve his control if he wants to stick in the rotation.
Breakthrough Player: Justin Masterson – Never quite understood the slow start to his career. Masterson is overdue to have a quality season.
The Party’s Over: Brett Myers – 10-22 the past two seasons. A poor start could spell his doom.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Scott Kazmir – He’s left-handed and early reports indicate he has turned it around.
Just Not Seeing It: Daisuke Matsuzaka – He’s coming off major surgery, and before the surgery he was not again very well. He is wild and inconsistent.
Rookie To Watch: Avisail Garcia – The kid can hit. The Tiger outfield is somewhat crowded right now, but he should get his hacks at some point this season.
The Party’s Over: Rick Porcello – Just how long are they supposed to wait for Porcello to turn the corner. His hits allowed go up, while his strikeouts go down. A bump from the rotation is a very real possibility.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Kenny Faulk – I generally reserve this spot for veteran players looking to stick, but there are no veterans who will crack this roster. Faulk has displayed nasty stuff in the minors, and he’s lefthanded.
Just Not Seeing It: Octavio Dotel – Isn’t he due for another injury?
Kansas City Royals
Rookie To Watch: Bubba Starling – He may not get a taste of the big leagues until September, but he’s on my top ten minor league players list. He’ll be one to watch moving forward.
Breakthrough Player: Salvador Perez – As he matures, he continues to get better. He can hit.
The Party’s Over: Luke Hochevar – Count me in as one of those fooled heading in to last season that he’d be a sleeper pick. He hasn’t shown much. His ERA last season :5.73.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Endy Chavez – He’s still a very good outfielder, he’s lefthanded, and he has speed. There’s a need for that.
Just Not Seeing It: Jeremy Guthrie – I want his agent to negotiate my next raise. Not sure what KC was thinking with that contract. He will give them innings, but he’s not worth the money being paid.
Rookie To Watch: Miguel Sano – He can do it all. Unfortunately, he can also strikeout with the best of em’. Then again, that’s not uncommon with young sluggers. The kid can hit.
Breakthrough Player: Chris Parmelee – He should win the starting RF job, it’s time to put up some numbers.
The Party’s Over: Justin Morneau – Let’s face it, he can still hit, but his MVP candidate days are over.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Jeff Clement – Okay, he may be a sentimental choice because I thought he’d be a star many years ago. I’m at a loss as to what happened to him.
Just Not Seeing It: Ron Gardenhire – Another losing season may not be his fault entirely, but this could be the year he gets the axe….or he quits..
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Avisail Garcia, Brent Morel, Brett Myers, Bubba Starling, Chicago White Sox, Chris Parmelee, Cleveland Indians, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Detroit Tigers, Endy Chavez, Hector Santiago, Jeff Clement, Jeremy Guthrie, Justin Masterson, Justin Morneau, Kansas City Royals, Kenny Faulk, Luke Hochevar, Max Scherzer, Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins, Octavio Dotel, Rick Porcello, Ron Gardenhire, Salvador Perez, Scott Kazmir, Trayce Thompson, Trevor Bauer, Tyler Flowers