Monday, December 10, 2012


Another day and another blockbuster trade in this crazy busy MLB offseason.  Late Sunday night he Kansas City Royals controversially traded top hitting prospect Wil Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays for a package headlined by SP James Shields.  With the trade still settling into the fantasy baseball community, let's take a look at how the transaction impacts both players for the upcoming season.

James Shields:  Already a top end fantasy baseball starting pitcher, what with two 220-plus K seasons in a row in the books, Shields actually sees even more improvement in his value now that he finally gets out of the AL East Beast and instead heads to the much offensively weaker AL Central.  Shields is one of the most underrated power pitchers in the game and considering how tough it is to pitch in the AL East, it makes Shields' 2.82 and 3.52 ERA's the last two seasons even more impressive.  He will now take his 200-plus K power stuff to the Central where the bats don't even remotely compare to what he encountered in the East, outside of Detroit.  A drop in ERA and WHIP is likely, while maintaining his 220 strikeouts.  It is not out of the realm of possibility that Shields ends up being a low end ace starter in 2013 fantasy baseball.  The fact his draft price has more often than not been cheaper than the numbers he yields makes Shields one guy you all should target in drafts.

Wil Myers:  With Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in the majors, the mantle of being the top minor league hitting prospect falls to Myers.  Blessed with top end natural power, many predict it is only a matter of time before Myers is a 40-HR dynamo in the majors.  The Rays will give him every opportunity to break camp with the team and thus get his potential Rookie of the Year season underway.  While we don't expect anything near 40 home runs for a bit, the instant success of Trout and to a lesser extent Harper, has changed the immediate outlook on top end hitting prospects who arrive in the majors.  Myers' power should at least get him to 20 home runs, with a shot around 30 being possible.  He strikes out a bit too much as most young hitters do but he is no Mark Reynolds by any means.  A .280/25 HR/90 RBI season is possible and that alone should make Myers one of the more sought after sleepers in drafts this spring.

There you have it.  We like both players for the upcoming season, with Shields the better buy since everyone will want the next big thing in Myers.  Adjust your rankings accordingly and get ready to pounce on both players this season.

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