html hit counter Baseball of Tomorrow: Mailbag: Craig Hansen, Dan Meyer, and more...
Friday, March 17, 2006
Mailbag: Craig Hansen, Dan Meyer, and more...
As another week's passed, it's time for another addition of Baseball of Tomorrow's mailbag. This week's mailbag starts with a question from Gunth from Plainfield, Massachusetts:
Is Craig Hansen ready to close in the major leagues?
Coming of out St. John's University, Craig Hansen was one of the big steals in the 2005 draft. He throws a 93-97 MPH fastball and a devastating slider, which was rated the best breaking ball in the 2005 draft. After pitching a total of 13 innings in the Gulf Coast and Eastern Leagues, Hansen got a taste of the majors.

To answer your question: With the Foulke/closer situation in Boston, I think that it's going to depend more on how badly the Red Sox need a closer than how ready Hansen truly is, although I think that he can hold his own at the major-league level right now.

A lot of people are writing off the Red Sox right now, but I think that Hansen, Lester, and Papelbon could change that.

Sam from the Bay Area, California asks:
What do you expect from Dan Meyer in the coming year and in his career? He plummeted to to #21 prospect in the Oakland A's team, but has looked solid in spring training.
The former first-rounder, Dan Meyer, was the centerpiece of the Tim Hudson trade last offseason. The A's had high expectations for Meyer in 2005, but he fell way short of them. Nothing went right for Meyer in 2005. He battled shoulder problems the entire year. His delivery and entire repetoire suffered as a result of the shoulder problems.

By last year's standards, Meyer's had a strong spring so far. He looks like he's beggining to return to his old form. From everything I've heard, he's going to start the season in Triple A. At this point, Meyer can't go anywhere but up.

The next question is from Chad from Long Beach, California:
Who is your candidate for R.O.Y in AL and NL this year, and possibly in 2007.
2006 American League Rookie of the Year pick: Now, I'm a big Delmon Young fan, and I think he's going to have a big year, but I think that Francisco Liriano will have a bigger impact for his team, so I'm going with Francisco Liriano.

2006 National League Rookie of the Year pick: Jeremy Hermida is the most talented of the contenders for the Rookie of the Year award. Let's be honest, though, Hermida's not going to get anything to hit in the Marlins. Prince Fielder, on the other hand, will be an integral of a contending (yes, I said it, CONTENDING) Milwaukee Brewers. So, my pick goes to Prince Fielder.

2007's tough to project because anything can happen between now and next year, but I'll give you my 2007 picks anyway.

2007 American League Rookie of the Year pick: There's a lot of guys that can step up in 2007. Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, Alex Gordon, Jeff Clement are a few names that come to mind immediately. As much as I like Wood, Kendrick, and Clement, I have to go with Gordon.

2007 National League Rookie of the Year pick: I don't want to come off as a homer... ah, what the hell... Mike Pelfrey.

Moving along, the next question is from Derek from Cincinnati, Ohio:
What is your outlook on the Reds next season?
With the Cardinals, Brewers, Astros and Cubs in the same division, the Reds are in one of the toughest division in baseball. At the major league-level, I don't expect much from them. I think the Ken Griffey, Jr. situation will be an interesting one to follow, though. Sadly for the Reds, the bleak outlook extends down to their minor league system, as well. Even though they have what is probably the worst farm system in baseball, there are a handful of guys in their system that I'm going to be following: Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Travis Wood, Travis Chick, and Joey Votto.

Next question -- Sam from Chicago, Illinois asks:
I have always been a big fan of the knuckleball. Which minor leaguer will step up and be the next Tim Wakefield?
The knuckleball is slowly going the way of the dodo. You're going to have a hard time finding high school and college pitchers that throw the knuckler because there is only one successful knuckleballer in the majors right now, Tim Wakefield, and also, frankly, who's going to get more notice from scouts: A rag-tag knuckleballer or an overpoweringly hard-thrower?

With that said, the only guy that comes to mind right away is Red Sox prospect Charlie Zink. Zink's not really even a prospect anymore. He's going to be turning 27 years old this year.

I'll wrap it up with a question from Matt from Staten Island, New York:
My friend seems to think that David Wright is the best player under 25 in the major leagues. He won't agree with me that Albert Pujols is the obvious choice. We often argue about it.

Who do you think is the best setup man in the American League?
At this point in their careers, It's clear that Albert Pujols is the better player. Keep in mind, though, that Pujols has five full seasons under his belt now. Wright, on the other hand, only has one season under his belt. Wright is also playing in a much more high-pressure atmosphere. There's also a chance that Pujols is older than he says he is. Even if you buy that Pujols' age is legit, he's technically not under 25 -- he's exactly 25.

As for the best setup man in the American League: Scot Shields.

That does it for this week's mailbag. If you have a question you'd like answered on next week's mailbag, use the link on the bottom right of the page to e-mail me and I'll do my best to get your question answered.

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