Sunday, February 5, 2012

Clocking In

It’s time once again for a few talented rookies to make their appearances in the big leagues this week. These late spring call-ups are always significant because they are normally impact players left in the minors at the start of the season in order to delay their service clock and squeeze an extra year of service from their bats, their arms, their gloves.

There are less impact rookies jumping to the majors this season than in years past, but one former high school player headlining this class may be the most talented rookie to appear in the major leagues yet.

Humberto Posada, 1B Los Angeles Dodgers
The fifth overall pick from the inaugural season makes his first appearance in the big leagues. Posada has monstrous power and drives the ball extremely well against righties, all of which will make fans overlook the occasional error at first with his glove. The Wisconsin slugger never finished a minor league season with an OPS under 1.000. The Dodgers are clearly hoping that trend continues. He’s at the top of this class and one to watch.

Willie Aldridge, RP Detroit Tigers
Big Willie’s control and effectiveness should help offset the general lack of movement on his pitches. He’s sure to become a workhorse out of the bullpen. The Tigers are relieved to have him, as the addition of Aldridge will help stabilize a group that collectively has posted just four saves in 11 opportunities so far this season. Look for Aldridge to make a ton of appearances this season.

Andrew Alexander, SP Detroit Tigers
A fairly durable starter, Alexander’s borderline effectiveness and pitches will keep him near the bottom of the rotation. While there’s nothing that stands out about Alexander as a pitcher, scouts also note that he has few weaknesses in his game either. As a result, he’ll eat a good number of innings this season, striking out his fair share of batters, and often leaving the Tigers with an opportunity to win.

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