Bill Root, MLBFP’s favorite son, has come out firing over at RotoExperts with this year’s regular season premiere of New Kids on the Diamond. Fresh from a scouting trip in Florida, Root analyzes the prospects breaking into the majors this week. After seeing Ian Desmond up close, he can’t contain his excitement:
I’m back from spring training with an important public service announcement: Believe the hype, Ian Desmond is for real
I only needed to get a first-hand look at Desmond for a few innings to see he had the tools to make an immediate fantasy impact.
You don’t even have to see Desmond swing a bat to notice his confident and quiet approach at the plate. The sneaky power and speed are apparent once he makes contact. Desmond’s career minor league numbers are far from impressive: 2,662 At-Bats, .259 Batting Average, .326 On-Base Percentage, and .388 Slugging Percentage. As a result, many are refusing to buy the hype. The 24-year-old shortstop busted out last year with a .330 BA, 21 Stolen Bases, .401 OBP, and .477 SLG. Further, in an 82 at-bat major league stint, Desmond flashed his tools by hitting .280, with four bombs, and a .561 SLG. Undoubtedly, this kid is a late bloomer. That surely doesn’t mean you should avoid him, it means he has the experience to have immediate fantasy success. Desmond won the starting shortstop job this spring over Cristian Guzman by leading the Nats in batting average (.318), posting a .500 SLG, and swiping six bases. Are you worried about Guzman recapturing the starting role? Don’t be. Guzman is now as agile as a baby mule and saddled with a spaghetti arm after offseason shoulder surgery. At the very least, Desmond is going to hit .280, with 10 Home Runs, and 20 SBs. Start Desmond in all NL-only leagues and stash him in any mixed league where he’s still available.