There are a ton of websites and experts offering you Top 100 Prospect lists, their feelings on the potential 2009 Rookie of the Year, as well as providing a little snip-it of their fantasy relevance.
Since I'm not a certified "expert" , and I don't get paid to write this blog, I figured I'd wait until the beginning of the season until the rosters were established to make my pick. I mean what's the point of saying that Dayan Viciedo is going to win the Rookie of the Year if he's no the opening day roster?
So without further delay here's my bold prediction.
Well it's not very bold, nor is it a shock to others, but my pick for National League Rookie of the Year is none other then the Atlanta Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer.
I've like this kid for a number of years. He's a highly touted player with a great skill set, and despite that he's most commonly known for his 50 game suspension last year for his steroid use.
So why do I think he's going to beat out the likes of the Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler, the St.Louis Cardinals Colby Rasmus or the Florida Marlins Cameron Maybin?
It's the good mix of power ,speed and defense.
His minor league numbers are rather impressive.
2005- Rookie Ball- 3hr, 19rbi, 13sb, 18r, .203ba, 13bb, 49k, .256obp, .352slg, .608ops
2006- Single A- 8hr, 60rbi, 15sb, 49r, .240ba, 28bb, 95k, .293obp, .376slg, .669ops
2007-A/Advanced A- 15hr, 63rbi, 23sb, 86r, .312ba, 56bb, 126k, .374obp, .513slg, .887ops
2008-Double A- 10hr, 51rbi, 12sb, 46r, .269ba, 49bb, 88k, .378obp, .417slg, .850ops.
All before the age of 22.
The guy has double digit power and speed with solid on base numbers, and an improving batters eye. The biggest knock against him is the hole in his swing resulting in a high K rate (24.1, 24, 21.8, 29.6) which can be fixed given his age, but the real knock against him is the taint remaining from his use of HGH.
With out any real competition in the OF his job is safe and I'm expecting good things. Not to the extent of Evan Longoria last season but a solid line of 70r, 15hr, 65rbi, 20sb, .270avg from the number 6 slot. Though a move up in the order, a bounce back from Jeff Francouer and a break out from Casey Kotchman, and those numbers could look conservative.
Maybe it's a little Braves homerism, but this guy has all the tools to be a star in the big leagues, and is my pick for the 2009 NL ROY.