Time for another installment of the FB365 mailbag. This one focusing on some almost ready prospects and their potential impact in 2010.
Scott J. writes:
I'm in a 12 team 5x5 roto league and we can keep and stash two minor league players from our roster last season. I've got Madison Bumgarner locked in as my first pick as he could make the rotation out of ST, but I need to chose between Mat Gamel and Ian Desmond as my second. Who do you think will get the most playing time or produce better if they get the call-up?
I see both of these players getting playing time in 2010. For Gamel it's not a matter of if he can hit in the big leagues, but can he hit enough to justify his exceptionally bad defense? Gamel just simply cannot play third and he's not going to move Prince Fielder off of first anytime soon. While Casey McGehee doesn't look like a big roadblock should Gamel have a great spring or tear up triple-A once again, he will play acceptable defense, which gives the Brewers a reason to keep him in the lineup.
Ian Desmond was a player that I really liked as a deep sleeper in this year's draft before the Nationals went out and signed Adam Kenedy to play second base. That move meant that Christian Guzman, who was going to move over to second and make room for Desmond, will once again start at shortstop. However, Guzman is an injury risk and there is a more than good chance that Kennedy doesn't replicate his 2009 numbers. That means Desmond has a good chance of taking over duties at either position before too long.
If I had to pick between the two I would go with Desmond. Both players should see playing time, but Gamel might find it tougher to get consistent at-bats due to his poor glove work. Desmond is the type of ready prospect that the Nats can simply plug in and let him play everyday. Should he get the chance, I don't think he looks back. There is potential in him for 20-plus stolen bases to go along with a decent AVG and 10-plus home runs. Plus he is shortstop eligible, which holds plenty of value in itself.