Originally written on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 10/1/12

Last week I previewed the Mesa Solar Sox here. Next up is the Phoenix Desert Dogs. The most intriguing pitching prospect represents an organization he joined at the trade deadline. Meanwhile, the outfield of the Desert Dogs is well represented in this preview.

 

*Full Rosters can be found by clicking on the hyperlink for the team.


Phoenix Desert Dogs (Braves, A's, Marlins, Brewers, Rays)

 

Standout Pitcher: Johnny Hellweg

Standout Hitter: Christian Yelich

Bonus: Khris Davis

At the trade deadline, the Brewers sent Zack Greinke to the Angels, and in return received a collection of prospects that included Johnny Hellweg. Hellweg is an imposing presence on the mound standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 210 pounds. He also brings a heater to the table that one would expect someone of his size would unleash. He parks his fastball in the mid-90s, and can hit the upper-90s. He throws a breaking ball that John Sickels called a curveball in The Baseball Prospect Book 2012 write-up for Hellweg, and Kevin Goldstein wrote that the pitch flashes plus in a Transaction Analysis piece at Baseball Prospectus in late July. His change-up gets a below average grade. His current arsenal screams late inning reliever, but it was a move from the bullpen to starting last year that caused Hellweg's stock to rise dramatically. From 2008-2010 Hellweg made just three starts out of his 101 games pitched. Last year, he pitched in 28 games, starting exactly half of them. As a reliever he struggled mightily with his control, and while he won't be confused with Greg Maddux starting, he did make huge strides in his walk rate after moving to the rotation. After joining the Brewers, he started his first two games for Double-A Huntsville, before finishing the year with five relief appearances, each two innings. It will be interesting to see how the Brewers choose to develop him. His ceiling is high, but he has a ways to go in order to reach it.

When the Marlins selected Christian Yelich in the first round of the 2010 draft, every report I read lauded his sweet lefty swing and pure hitting ability. That stroke has helped him hit a robust .322/.395/.497 in over 1,000 professional plate appearances. He's shown patience, walking in over 10 percent of his plate appearances, and has demonstrated strong contact skills striking out in under 20 percent of the time. He has flashed some power, and could best 20 home runs annually in his peak seasons. Yelich has also been an astoundingly efficient base stealer, stealing 53 bases in 64 chances (82.8 percent success rate). His potential for a well rounded stat line make him a future fantasy baseball asset. He spent the entire year in the High-A Florida State League, and the AFL will award him exposure to many pitchers that have spent significant time in the upper minors (Double-A and Triple-A).

Yelich will be joined in the outfield by Khris Davis. Davis had one of the less talked about outstanding season's at the plate. Part of the reason for the lack of chatter was that Davis missed significant time with a leg injury this year, and compiled just 316 plate appearances. Another culprit for the lack of noise about Davis's fine year is that it was split primarily between Double-A and Triple-A, with 22 plate appearances at the Rookie-Level sprinkled in as well. Across the three levels he had a combined slash of .350/.451/.604 with 21 doubles, 15 home runs, and a .254 ISO. His walk-to-strikeout ratio of 42:67 is nice on the eyes as well. His detractors worry about the length of his swing and think he'll struggle with strikeouts because of it. Goldstein is one of the most vocal supporters of his bat, and in his Monday Morning Ten Pack from July 30, he gushed about how he can “really hit.” In fantasy baseball, the name of the game is offense, which makes Davis a player worth keeping tabs on in the AFL.

 

 

 

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker