Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Waiver Wire Cage Match: Rafael Montero vs. Derek Norris

Rafeal Montero:

Montero has yet to throw a pitch in the majors but is currently a trendy waiver wire pick up as the Mets have called him up and he is set to make his major league debut. His minor league numers are pretty solid for the most part as he's sported a 2.63 ERA, 1.031 WHIP % a 4.32 SO/BB ratio in the minors.

At the very least, I think he'll help in the strikeouts category. while his ERA was a little high in AAA (3.67 compared to 4.63 league average), this number is better than it sounds as he was pitching in the Pacific Coast League (Las Vegas) which is notoriously unfriendly to pitching and doing this in a league where he was almost four years younger than the average pitcher.

At this point, Montero is more of a wild card as it comes to fantasy. He's young, he's got lots of potential but then again he's never faced major league hitting.

Derek Norris:

I'm already familiar with Derek Norris and his very strong Sunday. Since I had Gio Gonzales starting on my team, this power spurt did play a contributing factor to losing a match up that had been pretty close culminating in a slide from 5th place to 7th.

While Norris put up acceptable stats in 308 plate appearances last year (.246/.345/.409) 9 homers/114 OPS+, he has been scorching the baseball so far in 94 plate appearances.

While his batting average is not going to be super high all year, I do think Norris is going to take a step in the right direction (.260-.270 average with an OBP north of .375 and maybe 15 homers is pretty reasonable). One positive thing that may justify an even better projection is that he has hit very well at the O.co Coliseum which isn't exactly hitter friendly.

Verdict:

While both of these players have shown promise, they are also far from being household names. While Montero has lots of potential, it is still unknown how he'll handle the transition from AAA to the majors. While Norris is off to a scorching hot start, it still needs to be kept in mind that while he is a valuable pick up there is going to be regression seen from his batting average as his .394 BABIP is bound to come down sooner or later. With that said, Norris seems to have a better chance of being the best contributor going forward.

Cage Match Winner: Derek Norris