Two names you’ve heard before are on their way to the show. One is one of the brightest prospects in baseball. The other is a veteran who’s career has had numerous ups and downs. Can Mike Trout and Dontrelle Willis hellp your fantasy team?
Most preseason top prospect lists had either Mike Trout or Bryce Harper ranked one or two. Both have lived up to expectations in the minors this year and while Harper enters double-A, Trout leaves, heading for the big leagues. Trout was hitting .330/.422/.544 with nine home runs and 28 steals at double-A as he showed no signs of slowing down after dominating high-A and holding his own at double-A last season.
Normally, I am very hesitant to get behind young mid-season call-ups, but Trout is a different story. He has the plate discipline and mental game to succeed at any level, so he should be able to hit for AVG in the big leagues and be a dream in fantasy leagues that use OBP. While the power numbers are still a work in progress, I could see Trout hitting five or so homers the rest of the season if he sticks and plays every day. However, his time in the big leagues may be a short one. Peter Bourjos has struggled at the plate, but his defense is outstanding, so he’ll probably regain his spot when he comes back from his hamstring injury. That being said, Trout has an opportunity to make a huge impression and make the Angels decision more complicated. Even if he only plays a hand-full of games while Bourjos is out, he’s worth an add in any format due to his upside in AVG and stolen bases.
You can read my full scouting report on Mike Trout over at Project Prospect>>>
Dontrell Willis was once a highly touted young arm and had some great seasons early on in his career with the Marlins. However, things haven’t been going so well for Willis over the past four years and his complete loss of control has been the main culprit. However, Willis has clearly been working hard on this weakness at triple-A. In 75.1 innings, he has posted a 2.4 BB/9 rate to go along with 8 K/9 and a 2.63 ERA (3.12 FIP). If he can being that type of command/control to the big leagues, he could surprise some people. That being said, his first start will come against the powerful lineup of the Brewers, so take caution.
If Willis can show us that his new-found control is for real, he could be a second half sleeper. That is, however, one big IF.