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Fowler, Cahill primed for instant impact04/13/2009 12:00 PM ET
By Jonathan Mayo & Lisa Winston / MLB.com
For the past few years, the Futures Exchange has been largely one voice, bringing you all you need to know about prospects from a fantasy perspective.
Then, someone brought up a critical point, a point that we couldn't believe we'd failed to consider:
"Hey," they said, "two heads are better than one, aren't they?"There was quick and resounding agreement. If we had the resources, why wouldn't we double your pleasure? So, for the 2009 season, the Exchange will be a two-headed monster, as we'll be teaming up to make you the smartest fantasy player in your league.
The categories will stay the same -- we wouldn't want to confuse you too much -- but with a twist, as each of us will contribute one pick per level. You'll see very quickly what we mean: Lisa picks, then Jonathan picks, and so on. Easy enough, right?
For our opener, we've decided to focus on some of the top prospects from MLB.com's Top 50 list, breaking them down based on where they've started their seasons. We've also been guided by Movin' On Up, Lisa's weekly feature for keeping tabs on prospects who've cracked the bigs.
So enjoy -- and remember, if something goes wrong, you've got two of us to blame now.
In the bigsLisa's pick: Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies
The 23-year-old switch-hitter was a long shot to make the big club, as the organization thought he might be better served playing every day at Triple-A Colorado Springs. That caution was thrown to the wind, though, when the fleet-footed Fowler came on strong at the end of Spring Training. The Rockies are easing him in, and as a result, he didn't make his debut until the third game of the season, when the Diamondbacks sent their first lefty to the mound. Fowler capitalized immediately, lacing the first pitch he saw from Doug Davis out of the park, and he has since gone deep a second time while swiping a bag. While he's not a prototypical power hitter, the youngster could very well continue making an impact with his surprising pop. At the very least, he will get the chance to prove himself against both southpaws and back-of-the-rotation righties moving forward.
Jonathan's pick: Trevor Cahill, SP, A's
The decision to start Price in the Minors at Triple-A Durham has nothing to do with his stuff (still outstanding) or his spring performance (ditto -- 2-0, 1.08 ERA). On top of their rotation depth, the Rays' decision was rooted in caution; Price didn't make his pro debut until last May, so he's being carefully monitored on a 75-pitch limit while he works on fastball command with the Bulls. Price made his season debut April 11 in style, tossing 3 2/3 innings of four-hit ball against the Norfolk Tides and Matt Wieters (who went 0-for-1 with a walk against the left-hander). Of his 74 pitches, 50 were strikes. Translation: His return to the bigs could come at any time.
Jonathan's pick: Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
The Orioles don't like to rush their prized prospects and will often leave a top pitcher at one level for an entire season. However, don't assume that will be the case with Matusz, last summer's fourth overall pick who's begun the year at at High A Frederick. Making his official pro debut after signing late, the poised southpaw turned in 5 2/3 strong innings for the Keys on Opening Night. The 22-year-old is armed with outstanding secondary stuff to complement his solid fastball and slider, a repertoire that could help him move up in a hurry.
Jonathan's pick: Buster Posey, C, Giants
Further down the road
Lisa's pick: Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
Jonathan's pick: Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.