Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strasburg, Stanton are coming

Looking for reinforcements for your fantasy team? Look no further than two super prospects who are coming to a stadium near you.

Start with Washington wunderkind Stephen Strasburg, who's been blowing them away (6-2 1.43 ERA in 10 starts between Double-A and Triple-A) and packing in the stands in the minor leagues. The rookie is set to make his major league debut June 8 in Pittsburgh, and the baseball world is already buzzing. A friend of mine who works in the Nationals organization and has watched many of Strasburg's starts (they're shown on MASN, the Nats' TV partner) was raving to me last week about the righty's tantalizing mix of 99 mph fastballs and 89 mph change-ups. Fantasy players should be excited, too, and will want to have Strasburg on their team and in their lineups, because there's a good chance he can be an immediate contributor.

If you already missed the boat on the much-hyped Strasburg but still want to bolster your lineup with a top prospect, turn your attention to the Marlins' Michael Stanton, a power-hitting outfielder who's already unleashed some legendary home runs.

Stanton, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound 20-year-old (please don't confuse him with former MLB pitcher Mike Stanton!) already has 20 homers and 50 RBIs in 48 games this year and has been favorably compared to the Braves' Jason Heyward in his power potential. While he has shown a tendency to strike out too much (50/40 K/BB ratio this year), that can be forgiven if he can give us 20 or so homers at the major league level this season. The Marlins have already delayed Stanton's arbitration eligibility by keeping him in the minors this long, so there's a strong possibility we'll see him in the show in the next week or two.

If you're jealous of other fantasy owners who grabbed Heyward or Strasburg in your draft, picking up Stanton -owned in just 3.8% of ESPN fantasy leagues - would be a nice consolation prize.

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