The trade deadline meant increased playing time for many young, future superstars and for some it means a scenery change that might boost offensive production. Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and Ubaldo Jimenez all switched uniforms around last weekend, but they won't be the ones to see their numbers improve because of the changes.
Here are 10 young players that will be given the chance to play everyday as a result of the recent roster moves and who should be on your radar for deeper leagues in 2011 and standard mixed leagues in 2012:
1. Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: Someone I've already profiled recently who will benefit from a change of scenery. As a result of Koji Uehara going from Baltimore to Texas, the Orioles received all the potential that is Chris Davis. However, up until this point Davis has been a poor use of fantasy roster space. in 193 games combined between 2008 and 2009 Davis hit 38 homers and drove in 114 runs. His average in 80 games in 2008 was .280, but beyond that he hasn't hit any higher than .250 for any period of time in the major leagues. His numbers in the minor leagues make him so tempting to own on upside alone, but he is unproven at the major league level. However, sometimes all these types of hitters need is a location adjustment. Baltimore doesn't carry a pure first baseman on their roster and it looks like Davis will own that position for the Orioles the rest of 2011.
2. Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays: Lawrie is a tremendous talent with the bat and will have two position eligibility shortly after his first game, which should be tomorrow. The Blue Jays called up their top hitting prospect after their game at Tampa Bay on Thursday, August 4 and is expected to be their everyday third baseman. At triple-A Las Vegas Lawrie hit .353 with 18 home runs, 61 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, and a 1.076 OPS in 69 games as a 21-year old. Listed in ESPN's database as a second baseman, when he plays enough games at third he will retain second base eligibility and add third base which is a shallow position so that makes him a must-add in most league formats.
3. Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays: Jennings was called up prior to the trade deadline, but he certainly has made himself a staple in the Rays' lineup since he started playing on July 23. He is someone that is obviously compared to Carl Crawford because of his power speed combo, but no one knew he would catch on this quickly. In 11 games in the show this year he has 3 home runs, 10 RBIs, 5 steal, 9 runs scored and a .354 batting average. If you don;t have Jennings already go get him if he is somehow still available and hold onto him in keeper leagues because come 2012, he is going to be a hot commodity.
4. Trayvon Robinson, OF Seattle Mariners: Acquired in the Erik Bedard trade, Robinson is mostly a player that went under-the-radar at the deadline, but may reap great benefits because of it. The 23-year old was having a great year at Triple-A Albuquerque with 26 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .293 batting average. Power might not be his strong suit at the major league level right now, but his speed makes him worth a look as soon as Seattle brings him up. With as many as 47 steals in one year and 26 home runs so far in 2011, we're looking at a potential 20/20 guy here immediately.
5. J. D. Martinez, OF, Houston Astros: Martinez isn't a glamorous prospect, mostly because he's buried underneath the train wreck known as the Astros, but he has potential to produce results. The 23-year old has been given a chance to play now that the Astros don't have Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence anymore. In his first 16 major league at-bats he's collected 5 hits and 5 RBIs. Two of his 5 hits are doubles and one is a home run. He won't show much speed, he only stole 7 bases in 200+ minor league games, but he never hit below .302 at any level in the minors and was hitting .338 at double-A Corpus Christie prior to his call-up. He could be a useful hitter in deeper leagues.
6. Brandon Allen, 1B, Oakland Athletics: The A's were in much need of a powerful bat so they sent submarine throwing Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks fro Allen. Allen has always been a tremendous power hitting prospect through the minors with the D-backs and White Sox. In 88 games in 2011 Allen accumulated 18 homers, 66 RBIs and hit .306. He also has a good eye, something the A's covet in their players. If the A's decide to make another roster move like deal Conor Jackson, David Dejesus, Hideki Matsui, Coco Crisp, or Josh Willingham at the waiver deadline then they will make room for Allen in their starting lineup. But beware, the last big power hitting first baseman the A's got from Arizona turned out to be the black hole that is Chris Carter.
7.Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks: On the flip side of the Brandon Allen trade, Arizona was given the opportunity to call up double-A prospect Paul Goldschmidt. In 103 games at double-A this year, Goldschmidt hit 30 bombs, drove in 94 runs, and batted .306. All of that followed up his 2010 campaign where he hit 35 HRs, 108 RBIs, and batted .384 in 138 games at single-A+. He has two hits in his first three games with the big league club, but one of this hits was a two-run home run off S.F. ace Tim Lincecum. He will struggle a bit like Angels top prospect Mike Trout did after being called up from double-A, but Goldschmidt has no one in his way in Arizona, expect him to take his opportunity and run with it.