RHP, 2 years 9 months old, 30 pounds, 35 inches
Profile: Though Roderick lacks a dominant pitch, he seems to have a rubber arm; my sister clocked his rattles-per-minute at 32 the other night during one of her “baby-sitting” reconnaissance missions. But unless he takes a step forward soon—that magic age of 3 is nearing the horizon—he’ll fall into that “not good enough to start, not good enough to close” category. Players with Roderick’s skill set tend to stick around longer if they’re lefties, so his parents would be wise to switch the rattle to the other hand.
Analysis: Pass on him for now, but keep an eye for any growth spurts over the next decade.
Billy Wilson Jr.
INF, 3 years 11 months old, 35 pounds, 40 inches
Profile: Wilson’s career path has taken a downward turn ever since we listed him as a “can’t miss” prospect immediately following his birth. First it was his simultaneous development of jaundice and colic. Then his inguinal hernia set him back about six months. Being dropped three times by his mother doesn’t seem to have had any lasting effect, but scouts tend to frown on “infant crashes” because of their unpredictability. In fact, most teams pull their scouts off a prospect altogether after he’s been dropped a fourth time. After hearing rumors about Billy’s mother being drunk at 3 in the afternoon, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last you hear of Wilson.
Analysis: Cut in all leagues.
One of the Milton Twins
DH, 2 weeks old, 10 pounds, 22 inches
Profile: It’s still too early to tell which of the two twins will become the “athletic” one—that information doesn’t come until the sixth or seventh week—but whoever does immediately becomes the No. 1 prospect in the game. Just look at those measurements: think Frank Thomas, except as a 2-week-old. Word is that 14 teams already have contracts drawn up and they’re just waiting for the 4-weeks-alive threshold to pass, a new rule under the latest collective-bargaining agreement.
Analysis: Take a flyer in AL-only leagues and most mixed leagues, especially if you need power.
SP, 2 years 8 months old, 25 pounds, 35 inches
Profile: Braves fans got a scare last season when word trickled out that his incisors hadn’t come in yet. You can rest easy now, Atlantans, they came in during the offseason. The worry was justified, though. Though Francisco is signed to an unprecedented 23-year deal, the club still only has his services until he turns 25. They can’t afford him to be a late bloomer in any respect. As for now, with that tooth problem out of the way, Francisco regains his billing as the top organizational arm in baseball.
Analysis: If he’s not already owned, you should probably find a more competitive league.
Untitled Ramirez Fetus
SS, due in 6 months
Profile: When it comes to projecting a prospect’s developmental path, we tend to draw the line at birth, for two reasons: (1) the small amount of fetal information makes it an inexact science, and (2) the fetal mortality rate makes spending a lot of time on analysis simply impractical. That said, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t mention URF, if only for its status as the poster fetus for a debate currently raging in the sabermetric community: How much stock can you put into ultrasound readings when it comes to fielding prowess? Though some point to statistical projections that rate URF as the best fielding prospect of all time, the detractors point out that it’s still too early to determine the sex of the child, making all projections unnecessary. Stay tuned on this one.
Analysis: Take a flyer on URF in all leagues. If it’s a boy, at the very least you have a trading commodity. If it’s a girl, don’t cut her outright—it’s not unthinkable that the rising equality of the sexes will lead to a coed MLB in 20 years.