Deep Keepers: Paulino, Peraza, Valera & Sanchez
Each week Evan Rentschler take a look at some of the more interesting pop up names and deep keeper league options in fantasy baseball. This week he’s profiling Dorssys Paulino, Jose Peraza, Breyvic Valera, Carlos Sanchez and Stefen Romero. -BB
Dorssys Paulino, SS, CLE Rookie Ball (AZL), Nov 21, 199
Paulino is both the youngest player on this list at 17 years old, and the most projectable. International
free agents typically spend the summer after their draft year in one of the latin summer leagues (e.g.
DSL, VSL), so it’s always a promising sign when a club feels comfortable skipping a draftee directly to the
States as the Indians did with Paulino. The fact that he is the son of former major league pitcher Jesus
Sanchez may have influenced that decision.
Paulino’s scouting report as an IFA was his contact ability, but what’s making him a cut above most
young infield prospects is the power he’s shown, with eight doubles, five triples and three homers in
139 plate appearances. This is important as even as a 16-year-old draft prospect, scouts were predicting
a move to 3B or 2B as he matured. Whereas most IFA SS are rail thin, Paulino is slope-shouldered and
muscular from his calves through his torso. Less commented on are his solid walk and strikeout rates,
bolstering the hit and power with a surprisingly mature approach. My feeling is that he currently loads
a little too far behind his shoulder with a lot of moving parts in his swing, but there’s minimal bat wrap,
the bat speed is plus and he generates excellent natural loft.
Though Paulino is years (stress: YEARS) away from helping your fantasy team, he’s the type of
speculative pick that can pay major dividends. Advanced contact, budding power, pro body projection,
future as an infielder and a chance to debut in full season ball at 18? Sign me up.
Jose Peraza, SS, ATL Rookie (GCL) and Short Season (Danville), April 30, 1994
Peraza is pretty far down the Braves’ depth chart at SS, but he’s looking like one of the more intriguing
ones. As opposed to Paulino, Peraza has taken the usual IFA route, spending his Age 17 season in the
Dominican Summer League before being assigned to the Gulf Coast League this season, where his
mature approach earned him a promotion to the Appy League after just 21 games.
Peraza is optimistically compared to Elvis Andrus by Braves fans, and physically there are some
similarities with both players featuring mature, compact builds from an early age, but lest we forget,
Andrus played these levels at age 16, spending his Age 18 season in High-A. He was, and is, a special
player to whom few compare.
That said, Peraza’s ultimate potential is along similar lines. He projects as a steady hitter with strong
contact ability and barrel awareness who should post solid averages, also showing the ability to draw
walks while limiting his strikeouts. His power is of the gap variety but there could be some low double
digits home run totals at peak. Most importantly he is a strong defender and should stick at SS. Danville
has proved to be more of a challenge than the complex league, but Peraza is holding his own nicely,
maintaining solid on-base skills and showing off his stolen base ability going 8 for 8 in 14 games (18 for
21 at both levels combined). Andrus? No. Andrus Lite? Perhaps…
Breyvic Valera, 2B, STL Short Season (Batavia), August 1, 1992
Valera is a Cardinals sleeper who is the fastest runner of the players listed here, though it translates
more to baserunning and underway speed than to stolen base totals. The likeliest outcome for Valera,
if he makes it to the majors at all, is as a utility infielder. He plays a credible SS but fits best at 2B, switch
hits, shows steady contact ability and really can run. Like many players with precocious contact ability he
neither walks nor strikes out much.
Valera turned 20 in the last week, and we need to see him in full season ball as he’s the personification
of “nothing left to prove” at his current level. Considering his age, skill set, and the positive reports of
his handful of games filling in for Double-A Springfield earlier this season, it might be worth considering
a jump to High-A in 2013. Valera isn’t flashy, but has the potential to surprise if he maxes out his ability,
and if the Cards have proven one thing the last few years it’s that they get the most out of players whom
others seem to look past.
Carlos Sanchez, 2B/SS, CHW High-A (Winston-Salem) and Double-A (Birmingham), June 29, 1992
Sanchez was a bit more on the radar coming into the year, but that was as much due to the slim pickings
in the White Sox farm system as to any particular belief in his potential. In many ways Sanchez is the
best case scenario for Valera. Like Valera he is a switch-hitting 2B with advanced contact ability and little
power projection who runs well underway.
However, Sanchez is the better prospect of the two for several reasons. Despite being just a month
older he has made it to the Futures Game and has earned a promotion to Double-A, where he hasn’t
missed a beat. Unlike Valera his speed does translate to stolen bases, and he has a stellar reputation as
a 2B defender. If you saw him in the Futures Game you got a good look at what he does, as he calmly
took a pitch on the outside of half of the plate (he was hitting left-handed) and flipped it to the LF grass
behind 3B. This is typical of his bat control and approach. He even played a solid 3Bat Futures, flashing
the soft hands, footwork and arm strength that will allow him turn double plays at the highest level.
This type of player doesn’t have a great margin for error, thanks mostly to the lack of power. Anyone
who fell for Ozzie Martinez’s promising 2010 Double-A season (as one for instance) knows that this
profile is more often pyrite than gold, but Sanchez really does have a shot to be an everyday major
league 2B, and my instinct tells me he’s legit.