Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Tigers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy Kevin Vela from Detroit Tigers Weblog.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Having already covered my Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013, I thought I’d expand our scope a bit and take a look at 25 more who could offer fantasy value this year. Again, predicting for arrivals is an inexact science, and there’s plenty of time between now and opening day for circumstances to change. No doubt, this list is missing some prospects who’ll surface in the bigs and make an impact in the fantasy game a la 2012 Kyle Seager. Likewise, there’ll be plenty of duds here too. Anyway, here’s how I see the next 25 2013 fantasy baseball prospects:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (22) | 2011 (25) | 2010 (27) | 2009 (28) | 2008 (27)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] AL Central
AAA: [60-84] International League – Toledo
AA: [57-84] Eastern League – Erie
A+: [73-58] Florida State League – Lakeland
A: [72-68] Midwest League – West Michigan
A(ss): [35-40] New York-Penn League — Connecticut
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Tyler Clark (RHP); Matt Hoffman (LHP); Luke Putkonen (RHP); James McCann (C); Aaron Westlake (1B); Nick Castellanos (OF)
Graduated Prospects of Note
Jacob Turner (RHP); Drew Smyly (LHP)
The Run Down
With a stacked roster at the big league level, it’s not necessarily debilitating to have a shallow farm system beneath it. That’s pretty much how the Tigers have managed their organization in recent years — big acquisitions in the majors, and just enough talent pouring through from the farm to fill in the gaps. With their top two prospects being outfielders, and a vacancy in the big league outfield, however, it looked like Detroit might have room in 2013 for a homegrown product to play an impact role. Then they signed Torii Hunter and that thought was toast. Still, don’t sleep on this system — it’s top heavy, but the best of it should be fantasy relevant within the next year or so.
Last Wednesday, I joined Rudy and Nick for the Razzball Baseball Podcast. On the show, we counted down my top 15 prospects, but truth be told, I was fully prepared to discuss my top 20. So, with the MiLB season winding down and all, I thought now would be a good opportunity to put the entire list out there in written form. This is a preliminary ranking — I’ll roll out more official and specific ranks during the off-season, once the dust has settled and I’ve had a chance to gather more intel. Please keep in mind that this list is limited to prospects still in the minors prior to September 1st call-ups. Also, in the interest of not being too farsighted, I included only guys who’ll be making their impacts within the next year or two (which is certainly a matter up for debate). Anyway, my top 20:
1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers – Current Level: MLB Age: 19 – Five-tool shortstop projects to go 20/20 annually, and he’s certainly gifted enough to do more.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A few of these guys are up as of recently. Others aren’t, but should be soon. And then a few more might not surface this year, but the mere possibility of their being called up warrants a mention. Please understand that I’m using the term “prospects” loosely here — some of the names that follow graduated their prospect status long ago. Anyway. My top ten prospect(ish) players for ROS:
1. Dan Straily | RHP, Athletics – Straily has come out of nowhere this season, but he appears to be better prepared than anyone in Minor League Baseball to make an immediate and significant impact in the fantasy game. He’ll be up soon. More on him here.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Storylines in Minor League Baseball are sometimes too good to ignore. Take this past Wednesday, for example, when Sacramento (OAK) battled Tacoma (SEA) in an 18-inning Pacific Coast League affair. The game got away from the managers as it reached deep into extras. Having exhausted their respective bullpens, both skippers resorted to calling on position players to take the mound. Tacoma opened the top half of the 18th with Scott Stavastano, a utility player, on the bump. The 26-year-old pitched a clean frame; 1-2-3. Sacramento countered with outfielder Shane Peterson on the mound for the bottom half. Peterson had struck out the first batter when Stavastano, the utility man/pitcher of record came to the plate in a 1-1 tie. You probably can guess where I’m headed with this — Stavastano worked a full count, then bombed. A walk off to give himself the W on the box. Neat stuff.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Transparency isn’t a strong suit of Major League front offices, nor should it be. Nowhere is this fact more glaring than in the case of the Kansas City Royals and the immediate future of top hitting prospect Wil Myers. The Royals have insisted that they’ll practice patience with Myers and let him marinate in Omaha for the duration of the season. Meanwhile, in Jeff Francoeur, KC holds an outstanding trade chip — an experienced bat who’ll undoubtedly be pursued by contenders across the bigs. The Royals have been pretty wishy-washy regarding Francouer’s availability, but with guys like Kevin Youkilis and Carlos Lee off the market already, one would imagine that buyers will look aggressively toward the veteran outfielder. Kansas City will be hearing offers for Frenchy, indeed, and I’m thinking there’s a good possibility he’ll be shipped out. And if this scenario plays out, the path will be cleared for Myers, who continues to post monstrous numbers at Triple-A. There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding this situation — a trade of this sort might not even be necessary for a Myers call-up. Nonetheless, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the KC rumor mill during the coming weeks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In last week’s Minor Accomplishments, I highlighted Mike Olt, his .304/.404/.576 slash line, and his 12 homers. Well, in only a week’s time Olt’s already-impressive numbers have became drastically more impressive. After blasting six more homers, he’s raised his SLG to .624 and his RBI total now sits at 48. He’s hotter than any hitter in the minors right now and he’s surely forcing the Rangers to consider their options regarding his future. We’ve discussed this plenty, but with Beltre locked up for the long term, Olt’s path to the majors as a 3B is thoroughly blocked. Frisco has been giving him some time at 1B, and given Mitch Moreland’s struggles, Texas could absolutely consider using him there. All along, however, I’ve looked at Olt as a valuable chip to be used in a potential trade. Recent uncertainties in the Rangers’ rotation have me thinking they’ll most certainly dangle Olt as trade bait in the coming months.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Billy Hamilton is the fastest player in the game. There’s really no disputing it, at this point. In his first 51 games at High-A, Hamilton has 60 steals. Over his last ten games, he’s been on a bit of a rampage, swiping 20 bags (!!!) and putting himself in position to surpass 100 steals before July. Now that’s just plain silly. Hamilton tallied 103 in a full season at Low-A Dayton in 2011, and people thought that was ridiculous. And while there’s no denying the truly remarkable nature of what he’s accomplishing this year, it’s important to keep in mind the other end of this equation: the opposing defenses. I absolutely believe that Hamilton is the fastest dude in baseball, at any level. That speed, however, is only being tested by A-Ball defenses. Pitchers are slower to the plate, catchers misfire to second, infielders are sloppy with tags. Watch any highlight reel of his, and you’ll see what I mean. Not to suggest that his wheels won’t translate as he climbs the ladder — he’ll be stealing plenty of bags when he arrives in the bigs with the Reds. But, don’t expect this kind of absurdity on the basepaths.Please, blog, may I have some more?