Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:44 am

Go D-Backs (and Towers)!

What a difference a year makes. 

At this time last year, San Diego was the toast of MLB (though just embarking on a 10-game losing streak that cost them the division) while the D'Backs were a last-place disaster.

Flash-forward twelve months, and it's now the revamped Diamondbacks who are taking baseball by surprise, doing so with former Padres-GM Kevin Towers who made his mark right away in a flurry of off-season moves.

Gone were strikeout kings Mark Reynolds and Adam LaRoche, and an entire bullpen was curiously re-assembled with the only expection being it couldn't be worse than 2010.  Towers also formed an interesting kinship with left-over manager Kirk Gibson, whose lame-duck status may have reminded Towers of his own ascension to GM before an improbable 15 year run in San Diego.

Now, as the Padres begin to dismantle the bullpen built by Towers, it's the Diamondbacks who have surprising bullpen strength after a season in which theirs was arguably the worst-ever.

No, it's certainly not coincidence after Towers' decades of bullpen building success on the west coast.

Worse for the Padres, it appears that Jed Hoyer is currently more interested in building chaotic organizational depth than a successful major league product on the field.

With Kyle Blanks, Jesus Guzman and Anthony Rizzo, the Padres have no less than 3 capable replacements for the horror that was Jorge Cantu and Brad Hawpe going into the 2012 season.

Towers, on the other hand, has had no trouble elevating Paul Goldschmidt to become their first baseman of the present after decisively trading Brandon Allen to the A's.

The Diamondbacks play with the gritty, veteran spark of both their manager and GM while San Diego suffers with an uncertain GM and uncertain future that has watched the franchise unravel in spectacular ineptitude.

Could this be the dynamic of the divisions' future so soon?  Time will.
Posted on: May 19, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: May 19, 2010 12:11 am

NL-only up-and-comers; Mejia and Medlin

Jennry Mejia throws 95 in his sleep, and the Mets desperately need a starter to no only take over for soon-to-be departed Oliver Perez, but any one 3 other ailing starting staff members.  Mejia could soon fit the bill after a few starts in the minors, but there are few reasons to believe Mejia will do any more than most 20-year-old rookie pitchers.
Of course, the interesting thing is there AREN'T any 20-year-old rookie pitchers, so their very presence on a major league roster either speaks to the lack of depth in the organization and/or immense talent.  Consider Mejia solidly in both categories.
While it would be surprising if he didn't struggle at times in the starting rotation in 2010, it would be even more surprising if he didn't flash enough talent to elevate him to sleeper status going into 2011 and become an ace by 2012.  Of course, this timetable will advance greatly once he harnesses his control enough to cut his current bb/9 totals in half.
I watched another youngster, a seasoned vet by comparison, in Atlanta tonight. 24-year-old Chris Medlen handled an efficient Mets lineup with relative ease through his first four innings, while mixing in four solid pitches to go along with his low 90's fastball.
Medlen does not have the ceiling of Mejia, but don't tell Bobby Cox, who seems to love the kid.
With a full-season under his belt to go along with his current opportunity to start regularly, Medlen could easily surpass Mejia's 2010 productivity and also become a fixture in the Atlanta rotation for the next few seasons.  Consider Medlen's ceiling to be somewhere in the Randy Wolf range, whose stuff I would compare favorably to Medlen's.
There's a good chance neither Medlen or Mejia will improve your overall bottom-only in 2010, but there's an even better chance they won't hurt it.
For NL-only keeper leagues, these are two guys worth hanging onto since any improvement immediately elevates their stock from marginal to sleeper.
Category: MLB
Tags: NL Fantasy
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