Miami moundsman (USAT)
Get out the caps and gowns, queue up Pomp and Circumstance. Another hot MLB prospect is on his way to The Show.
The Marlins viewed Andrew Heaney as a reasonably-finished product when they drafted the left-hander with the ninth pick in 2012's draft, and it's taken just two years to get him to Miami. Heaney, just turned 23, will make his major league debut Thursday against the Mets. He's at 15 percent owned in Yahoo fantasy, rising quickly.
Heaney was a Top 30 prospect on everyone's sheet entering the year, and he had no trouble mowing down Double-A and Triple-A batters this spring. The 2014 stat haul breaks down this way: 76.2 IP, 69 H, 15 BB, 79 K, 3 HR, 2.47 ERA, 1.10 WHIP. He had 27 strikeouts against two walks in his four Triple-A turns. Miami's in the division hunt, so there's no reason to wait.
Matching primarily against the NL East is friendly work for any pitcher - especially if you play for the Marlins. Miami is the only team in division scoring any runs. Look at the red ink elsewhere: Atlanta is 28th in scoring, Philadelphia is 24th, New York is 23rd, Washington is tied for 18th. Bagels for everybody.
Obviously rookies come without a track record and there's a wide range of outcomes to consider. But Heaney sure looks like someone who could be very good right away. I added him in a few pools, dropping pitchers like Josh Beckett and Jose Quintana.
Would I drop someone like Tyson Ross (as I was asked on Twitter) for Heaney? Too far. Rick Porcello? Probably. Jesse Chavez? Yes.
Mind you, there's another option at hand: you can always shop Heaney before he ever throws a pitch in the majors. The upside of the unknown is a tantalizing thing. But there's no simple rule of thumb with these guys. Some leagues go nuts for prospects, some leagues tend to ignore them.
Bottom line, plausible upside is here. Do what you need to do. It should be fun to watch him pitch. Share your add/drop experiences in the comments.
- Sports & Recreation