Rookie class of 2015
2015 will be an interesting year for rookies. In addition to the prospects drafted in recent APBA drafts, each team has a full farm system stocked with new OOTP talent. OOTP recently published their top 100 prospect list, as well as top 20 lists for each team. Earning the #1 spot is Miami third baseman Devan Arceneaux.
A 21 year old signed out of France, Devan has a short, sweet left handed swing and the ability to hit the ball into the seats. He's worked hard to become an average defender at third base. Miami GM Alvin Lewis took him with the 14th pick in the 2013 draft, and claims that Arceneaux has the fabled 'strum' technique of hitting. This is a highly efficient swing used by left handed hitters such as hall of famers Shockwave and Lewis Solo Jr. Devan has the 3rd base job all to himself after Brandon Cohen left as a free agent.
Byron Jones was also taken in that draft, by Chicago as the 4th overall pick. Jones will take over in center field for the Winds. Jones, 21, is a wiry strong 5 tool talent. At present his most advanced tools are plus range in the field. He shows an advanced feel for hitting. His power will be the last to arrive, but as he matures should develop enough power to hit 20 homers per season.
Erick Reinfelder will join the defending champion Utes. At 24, he has less room for development. He was the 15th pick in the 2014 draft, has both power and speed, and is a tremendous defensive outfielder. Along with Jones and Arceneaux, he is one of the early favorites for rookie of the year.
The game's top pitching prospect is Carlos ''Kit Kat" Hernandez of the Toronto Seagulls. He maintains a mid 90s fastball into the late innings. A native of Mexico, his screwball reminds some of a right handed Fernando Valenzejawa. Carlos will start the season in single A Dunedin.
The New York Cobra have an aging ball club, but could soon add 24 year old second baseman Lee Thompson. Only an average runner, his smooth actions make him a plus defender at second. He's very difficult to strike out, and has enough pop in his swing to turn out 20 home runs. Some see flashes of Robinson Cano or Joe Thomas in his game. He'll start 2015 in AAA.
Larry Brooks will take over at first base for Detroit. A powerful lefty hitter, Brooks was the 7th pick in the 2012 draft. Hawaii will open with two rookies in the rotation, Greg Kosman and Michael Casteel. Kosman has a low 90s fastball and average pitches in his change and slider, but his pitches play much better than average due to uncommon control. His control is especially impressive considering he's not yet old enough to drink a beer. Casteel also has good control, in addition to a forkball and cutter that produces ground balls.
Portland's Todd Barrow is a strong armed lefty with a very good curveball and change. He can hit the mid 90s with his fastball. The only question is if he will throw enough strikes. Jeff Radebaugh in Las Vegas, Elijah Tebow in Alaska, and both David Lake and Ryan Hill in Toledo will also get chances to start.
Alaska will have both Noah Colvin and Addison Hill competing for jobs in the middle infield. Both project as strong defenders with slightly above average offense. Jaime Lannister, only 20, has an outfield job in Mars. Louisville's Aaron Christian, a power hitting catcher, will be their #1 catcher.