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 five of six, he brings you the American League West:
Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.
Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.
Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.
Part 4: NL Central Players to Watch.
Rookie To Watch: Delino DeShields – A gap hitter with blazing speed, DeShields should see some action for the Astros in 2013. What do they have to lose at this point?
Breakthrough Player: Justin Maxwell – If Houston can put up with the strikeouts, Maxwell could be a 30HR hitter. He needs to cut down his strikeout totals and put more balls in play. His power is legitimate. One of my favorite sleeper picks.
The Party’s Over: Fernando Martinez. He’s still only 25 years old, but his body is as brittle as that of a 70 year old man. If ever there was a player who could sustain an injury while walking to the mailbox or reading a newspaper, it’s Martinez.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Max Stassi – Houston needs a catcher, and Stassi is a decent option despite being relatively unknown and unproven. He can hit. All he needs is a chance.
Just Not Seeing It: Tyler Greene – No longer a prospect, he’d have trouble cracking another roster. Houston will probably go younger.
Rookie To Watch: Taylor Lindsey – How much action he sees in LA can be questioned, but once he gets there he could provide ample pop at 2B.
Breakthrough Player: Joe Blanton – He is as under-rated as any pitcher. His overall trends are good, and he’s a work horse. He can still strike hitters out with frequency. With a stellar offense behind him, she should thrive.
The Party’s Over: Vernon Wells – Going, going, gone.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Billy Buckner – He rebounded to have a decent 2012 minor league season. His lack of strikeouts could lead to his demise but the Angels list of non-roster invitees is so unimpressive, that he has as good a chance to land a spot than anyone.
Just Not Seeing It: Josh Hamilton – Daryl Strawberry went to LA and it ruined his great career when past demons returned. Could the same happen to Hamilton? For his sake, I hope not.
Rookie To Watch: Miles Head – An impressive all-around player, Head put up great numbers in the minors. He could contend for a batting title one day.
Breakthrough Player: Travis Blackley – He isn’t blessed with the best of stuff, but he has learned how to pitch and he has learned how to win. He’s overcome serious injuries, so he’s easy to root for as well.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Mike Ekstrom – Call this one a hunch. Ekstrom does keep the ball down, thus he should keep it in the park, especially the A’s spacious park. Beane hasn’t sent out many quality invites.
Just Not Seeing It: Tommy Milone – I hope he proves me wrong, but his stuff isn’t exactly electric. He could have a rough sophomore season.
Rookie To Watch: Brandon Maurer – He doesn’t get as much PR as the Mariners other pitching prospects, but he is plenty good. His control is better than most Seattle prospects. He has a nice upside.
Breakthrough Player: Erasmo Ramirez – One of the best sleeper picks of 2013. He has exceptional control. If he makes the rotation, he’ll be Seattle’s next quality pitcher. For you baseball card collectors, pick up a few of his rookie cards now.
The Party’s Over: Justin Smoak – A .220 average will get you just so far. You have to wonder what went wrong.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Mike Jacobs – Exit Smoak, bring in Jacobs though Seattle would be smart to keep searching. It seems as though they are trying to deal Mike Carp. Jeremy Bonderman is an intriguing guy to watch as well.
Just Not Seeing It: Alex Liddi NOT helping this team. He’s got skills. A trade would probably help him if he doesn’t get a chance. Liddi can hit.
Rookie To Watch: Mike Olt – They have to find a place for his bat. He will continue to improve upon his HR totals as he matures. He’s scary good. Most experts have Profar over Olt. I believe Olt will have the better career.
Breakthrough Player: Alexi Ogando – Nasty stuff. He’s 19-9 for his career. He is stingy when it comes to allowing hits. Leave him in the rotation and let’s see what happens…I’m thinking 15+ wins.
The Party’s Over: Neftali Feliz – Just not feeling it following TJ surgery. July is the likely return date.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Brandon Allen – He has intriguing power and untapped talent. He may contribute if given the chance. Arizona seemed to give up on him awfully quick. 175AB is the most he’s had in a major league season.
Just Not Seeing It: Michael Young – I think they did him dirty. He should have retired a Ranger.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alex Liddi, Alexi Ogando, Billy Buckner, Brandon Allen, Brandon Maurer, Daric Barton, Delino DeShields Jr., Erasmo Ramirez, Fernando Martinez, Houston Astros, Joe Blanton, Josh Hamilton, Justin Maxwell, Justin Smoak, Los Angeles Angels, Max Stassi, Michael Young, Mike Ekstrom, Mike Jacobs, Mike Olt, Miles Head, Neftali Feliz, Oakland A's, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Taylor Lindsey, Texas Rangers, Tom Milone, Travis Blackley, Tyler Greene, Vernon Wells