With injuries to Shin-Soo Choo and Endar Inciarte the Rangers and Braves turn to two interesting prospects for their replacements.
Nomar Mazara will be Shin-Soo Choo’s replacement and he is a classic big power, big strikeout power hitter, that comes with much fanfare.
Endar Inciarte’s replacement is Mallex Smith who is the exact opposite of Mazara. He’s a speed merchant who gets on base at a good clip, that is not exactly a household name in baseball circles.
It will be interesting to see how their contrasting styles will play out in fantasy leagues. Will speed and a more polished approach at the plate be more valuable or will the raw power in a big time hitters park rule the day?
Let’s take a look at these two promising youngsters and how they will effect fantasy leagues.
Nomar Mazara and Mallex Smith Call-ups
Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers
First we will tackle Shin-Soo Choo’s replacement Nomar Mazara. Mazara does come with some pretty big hype, ranking 21st on Baseball America’s 2016 prospect list.
In 2011 the Rangers shelled out a then record five million dollars for the 17 year old Mazara, an international unrestricted free agent. The now 20 year old, he’ll be 21 at the end of this month, has more than lived up to his reputation through his minor league career.
As far as his fantasy value, he may have more value in rotisserie leagues as opposed to points league. He has struck out out twice as many times as he has walked throughout his minor league career which could get worse in the majors and keep his points a little lower in leagues that penalize for K’s.
In rotisserie leagues he could translate a little better being a big power hitter at the launching pad in Arlington. Playing in that park should help him not miss a beat in his home run numbers assuming he can make some adjustments once pitchers adjust to him.
If he does keep the power up and make some adjustments he may stick even when Choo comes back. The Rangers are not exactly blessed with outfielders and the one’s they have are injury prone (Josh Hamilton, Choo) or just not superstars(Ryan Rua, Ian Desmond, Delino DeShields).
If Mazara is still unowned in your league I think he’s worth a pickup. The sky is the limit in terms of potential and they will find him a spot if he hits like he’s expected to.
Mallex Smith, OF, Atlanta Braves
Mallex Smith might be the exact opposite of Nomar Mazara. Smith has very minimal power but speed to burn.
He was a 5th round pick in the MLB amateur draft and he was acquired from the Padres as part of the package the Braves received for Justin Upton.
Smith is one of the best stolen base prospects in the game with a very solid 74% success rate in the minors. He’s turning 23 at the beginning of May and has played four seasons in the minors, so he has some seasoning and isn’t as raw as Mazara.
I feel Smith can be an asset in both points and rotisserie leagues. He carries a .380 OBP in his minor league career which shows his plate discipline and has 300 strikeouts but 190 walks in the minors. This combination could make him a sneaky point scorer because of his stolen base potential and walks almost cancelling out his strikeouts.
The question with him will be how his power develops. Now he’s never going to be a big home run guy but could develop some good gap power and with his speed that could translate into double digit triples totals. The rotisserie value will of course be the stolen bases and he could be a decent batting average guy but probably not in his first trip up to the majors.
I would suggest scooping him up in rotisserie where steals are needed and in points leagues because of his lower strikeout totals with the ability to draw a walk and steal many bases. Playing time once Inciarte returns may be there if he’s performing well. The Braves outfield is far from stacked and an injection of energy to their club could be a help to them.
- Week 4 Pitching Planner (April 25 – May 1): Post No-No No. 1 - April 24, 2016
- Week 3 Starting Pitching Planner - April 17, 2016
- 2016 Fantasy Baseball: Nomar Mazara and Mallex Smith Call-ups - April 13, 2016