Prospect Buzz: Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Santana, Kyle Gibson, Jaff Decker and more… | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Prospect Buzz: Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Santana, Kyle Gibson, Jaff Decker and more…

  • This week Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez stated that youngsters Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel could split the closing duties in 2011, just as Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez did in 2009.  Last season, Kimbrel burst on the scene and to say the least, was absolutely filthy.  In just 20 2/3 innings, Kimbrel recorded 40 strikeouts, which for those of you keeping score at home is a ridiculous 17.4 K/9.  He also racked up four wins and a save along the way, and allowed just a single earned run.  If he can repeat his success, Kimbrel could very well become a household name in 2011.
  • The Cleveland Indians cleared catcher Carlos Santana to resume all baseball activities, and he will be ready for the start of Spring Training next week.  In 2010, Santana’s eye-opening rookie campaign came to an abrupt halt after he suffered a hideous knee injury on August 2.  Considering that the switch-hitting catcher posted slashes of .260/.401/.467 last year in 192 plate appearances, the fact that he’s been cleared significantly increase his fantasy value.  I’m really excited to see what this guy can do over the course of a full, healthy season.

  • The Minnesota Twins blog, Twins Target, has been counting down the organizations’ Top 15 prospects leading up to commencement of Spring Training.  Yesterday they announced their #1, RHP Kyle Gibson.  As a White Sox fan, just looking at the team’s top 4 prospects – Gibson, OF Aaron Hicks, 3B Miguel Sano, and OF Joe Benson – makes me nervous.  All four are well on their way to the Major Leagues, and Gibson could even make his debut this year.
  • Friarhood tries to make sense of all the mixed reviews about outfield prospect, Jaff Decker.  The Padres drafted Decker with the 42nd overall pick in the 2008 Amateur Draft, and have since eased him through their system.  Last year, the 20-year-old struggled to adjust after making the jump from Single to High-A, and many believe his 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame will limit his potential. Although Decker posted a disappointing .874 OPS in 2010, he did put up an 1.034 OPS as an 18-year-old, and an .956 OPS as 19-year-old in his two previous seasons.
  • Our friend MTD over at Off Base Percentage assembled a team of the best 25-year-old and under players in Major Leagues.  Although they can no longer be considered prospects – I think All-Stars is more appropriate – they are all yet to hit their prime.  I always forget that Evan Longoria is only 25; it’s scary to think about the type of career he might put together. When I look at all the names on his roster, my first thought is that it looks like my ideal fantasy team.
  • What’s going on with the catchers in the Washington Nationals’ organization?  Last week they lost Adrian Nieto to a 50-game suspension after he tested positive for Oxandrolone.  On Tuesday, Hector Taveras was suspended for 25-games after he was found with an unauthorized syringe.  Both will begin serving their respective suspensions to begin the 2011 season, which for a Single-A ballplayer means most of the season.  I bet the Nats are glad they decided to stick Bryce Harper in the outfielder.

Prospect Buzz is the new, prospect-related link drop of The Golden Sombrero that will appear every Wednesday and Sunday.  As you may already know, we love prospects here at the Sombrero.  So if you have an article or link that you would like us consider for this segment, feel free to either email us or send it our way on Twitter.

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