Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo and This Year’s  Draft

RyanBraun gets his long-awaited major league debut on Friday. It’s time with the Brewers
“veteran-ness” experiment a flop, the pair of Craig Counsel and Tony Graffanino
managing 41 hits in 198 at-bats, a paltry nine extra bases and 16 RBI in almost
two months.

Braun was
down for a bit early in the month with a couple of minor injuries but he’s hit
since his return, a 1.119 Triple-A Pacific Coast League OPS fair proof the offensive production at the hot corner is
about to improve. His currently raw defense should be a concern, but the giveaway-
takeaway comparison to the others should result positively.

 
I don’t blame
the Brewers for taking this approach early; they’re in a good spot now six games
up in the NL Central — the only team above .500 — and can afford the defensive
risk. I expect Braun to succeed at the plate where Alex Gordon is currently failing.
Both are top tier prospects, Braun’s power potential slightly better, Gordon
the better defender. The Brewers approach to let Braun have a little success at
Triple-A first will probably prove be the right development course of action.

 
Speaking
of the right course of action, I wrote on Yovani Gallardo prior to his last 10 K
start, believing he’s ripe after domination of the high minors. You’ll read
about it everywhere until it does happen. Don’t be surprised if it’s soon, and fantasy
leaguers should believe it’ll be both successful and permanent.

 

I
research the draft class every year, often begin the follow a year or two
prior, but historically my job has been to pontificate first in a lengthily article before
draft date, the true analysis beginning after they have a team. But every year
I get asked who I like, often from high-end dynasty and keeper fantasy players
who know I’m usually able to give them a different perspective for their
purposes, doing it for myself for more years than I care to disclose; for
the here and now, just two picks, hitter/ pitcher, and why.

 

Hitter

Matt Wieters,
C
Georgia Tech – A Scott Boras client, he’s expected to fall in
the draft to mid-to-late first round range, only because of sign-ability. But
for fantasy, he’s a catcher who’ll likely remain one as he develops, with strong
offensive skills and high-end power; Joe Mauer-lite without the batting average
and less injury issues for now, but with the greater 30-plus home run potential.

 

Pitcher

Rick
Porcello, RHP
Seton
Hall Prep – David Bryce is the consensus #1, the safer choice, but I like Porcello,
the high school pitcher for being more ace-like with upper-tier raw material. Dynasty
leaguers generally understand the additional
length of time and risk in a high school pitcher, but this is the guy I most
like for stardom. A college, higher-risk/ higher-upside type for me is North
Carolina State’s Andrew Brackman, who could ultimately join the many from this
decade who went from college to late-inning major leaguer in a short time frame;
definitely unrefined but he should bulldoze his way through the low minors quickly.

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