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:
26. Christian Yelich, OF | MIA: You may recall that I wrapped up the Top 25 list with Yelich’s teammate, Jake Marisnick. If the Marlins opt to promote an outfield prospect this year, they could conceivably go for either. I gave Marisnick the edge in these ranks based on his versatility in the outfield — he can play CF, whereas Yelich likely won’t cut it in center. In any case, Yelich is an elite hitting prospect and he brings better long-term fantasy value. Both will begin 2013 at Double-A.
27. Matt Adams, 1B | STL: As it stands, Adams seems to be buried on the Cardinals’ depth chart behind Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter. But, as we know, the Cardinals are a fragile team at the MLB level and there are a number of injury scenarios that would open the door for an Adams arrival in 2013. If he’s up and playing regularly, Adams has a skill set at the plate that would be valuable in any fantasy format. Here’s Grey’s Matt Adams fantasy.
28. Nolan Arenado, 3B | COL: There’s little standing between Arenado and the full-time 3B job in Colorado. The 21-year-old features one of the prettiest swings in the minors, but some wonder if he lacks the power profile to project appropriately at third. For more on Arenado, check out my Rockies preview.
29. Jameson Taillon, RHP | PIT: Taillon came in at #2 in my Pirates preview, right behind Gerrit Cole. He’s a long shot to arrive this year, but developmentally, he should be ready by the 2nd half. And if the Pirates are in the hunt down the stretch, don’t be surprised to see both Cole and Taillon starting games in Pittsburgh.
30. Carlos Martinez, RHP | STL: Martinez is the third Cardinals pitcher I’ve ranked on this list, behind Shelby Miller (#1), and Trevor Rosenthal (#20). Obviously, there’s not room for all of these arms in the big league rotation, but many folks around baseball believe Martinez brings the highest ceiling among the plethora of promising SPs in the Cardinals organization. He won’t get the first look, but if one or two of the guys ahead of him scuffles, Martinez will be ready.
31. Chris Archer, RHP | TB: Archer brings a huge ceiling and showed it in brief spurts last year, but poor command has held him back. If he can find consistency in 2013, he’ll work his way into the Rays’ rotation and be an attractive fantasy option with good K numbers. An impressive fastball-slider combo, and a work-in-progress changeup give Archer front-of-the-rotation potential.
32. Tony Cingrani, RHP | CIN: Adding Aroldis Chapman to the rotation certainly hurts Cingrani’s immediate opportunity, so expect him to start the year in the minors. Still, Cingrani has filthy stuff and brings exciting fantasy potential. If he surfaces this year as a starter, you’ll want him on your roster.
33. Danny Hultzen, LHP | SEA: Fatigue was evident down the stretch in 2012 with Hultzen. Expect him to get back on track at Triple-A in 2013, before mid-season arrival.
34. Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP | CHC: Fujikawa will begin the year in a setup role for the Cubs, but we’re all aware of Carlos Marmol’s volatility as a closer, and it really wouldn’t be a surprise if Fujikawa is earning saves this year. For more on him, here’s my Cubs preview.
35. J.R. Graham, RHP | ATL: If Julio Teheran can’t secure the 5th spot in the Atlanta rotation, the Braves could turn to Graham. The 23-year-old could use a bit more time in the high minors, but some think he’s ready to be tested at the big league level now. More on him in my Braves preview, where I ranked him #2 in the system.
36. Jake Odorizzi, RHP | TB: He doesn’t bring the long-term potential that Archer does, but Odorizzi might be the safer immediate option if the Rays have a need in the rotation. A deep, polished arsenal makes him ready for the bigs right now.
37. Casey Kelly, RHP | SD: Kelly isn’t the flashiest of pitching prospects, but the 23-year-old has already logged time in the bigs, and the Padres could surely look toward him once again if there’s a need. A solid fastball-curve-change repertoire, along with good size and athleticism, has Kelly looking like a quality innings-eater — and a potential fantasy option given the ballpark at which he’ll be pitching.
38. Brett Jackson, OF | CHC: Grey already went over his Brett Jackson fantasy. His prospect stock has dropped considerably over the past year, but Jackson still has the tools to develop into an above-average CF with speed and some pop.
39. Kolten Wong, 2B | STL: If Daniel Delscalso can’t cut it offensively, and Matt Carpenter can’t cut it defensively, then the Cardinals will turn to Wong, who can likely cut it in both regards. The 22-year-old will start the year at Triple-A Memphis, but he’ll be up by mid-season if the Cards aren’t comfortable with what they’re getting from their 2B. Of course, Wong is from Hawaii, so there’s always the risk of a fake dead girlfriend being exposed, in which case his prospect stock plummets.
40. Robbie Erlin, LHP | SD: Erlin lost much of his 2012 to elbow tendonitis, but he bounced back with impressive work in the Arizona Fall League. In terms of pure stuff, he’s far from an elite prospect. But Erlin offers plus-plus command, an outstanding feel for pitching, and a baseball IQ that’s through-the-roof.
41. Michael Choice, OF | OAK: #1 in my A’s preview, Choice will wait in Triple-A for an opportunity. A broken hand in 2012 seemed to hamper his power stroke, so Oakland would surely like to see that return to form before a call-up is in order.
42. Avisail Garcia, OF | DET: Garcia rose from A-ball to the bigs in 2012, but he’ll head back down to Triple-A for a bit more seasoning before he returns to Detroit. The Torii Hunter signing doesn’t help his immediate opportunity, but he’ll be ready if there’s a need. More on Garcia in my Tigers preview.
43. Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF | DET: Rumors swirled near the end of the 2012 season regarding a Castellanos arrival, but nothing materialized. He’s a top-5 prospect in terms of hitting, but he seems in line for a return trip to Double-A, so a 2013 call-up is unlikely. That said, Castellanos is one of the few prospects whose talent can supersede opportunity, so don’t write him off.
44. Mike Zunino, C | SEA: Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level.
45. Billy Hamilton, OF | CIN: He’s fast. He’s ridiculously fast, and his speed will certainly play at the big league level. But he’s just now learning to play center field, and he still needs to prove he can hit against advanced-level pitching — infield singles, bunt hits and such won’t be as plentiful versus major league pitchers and major league defenders. Still, Hamilton’s speed is unprecedented and will undoubtedly have an impact in the fantasy game, so if the Reds choose to promote him, even if it’s in a pinch running capacity, he’ll be a must-add. Here’s Grey’s Billy Hamilton fantasy.
46. Michael Wacha, RHP | STL: What I wrote regarding Carlos Martinez should suffice in explaining Wacha’s opportunity in St. Louis. His future potential isn’t quite so great as that of his competition, but the 2012 first-rounder brings a ton of polish, and has enough stuff to cut it in the bigs as a mid-rotation type this year.
47. Xander Bogaerts, SS | BOS: Bogaerts needs more time at Double-A, but like Castellanos, he’s the rare type of prospect who could force his way to the majors regardless of opportunity. If he continues mashing in 2013 at the same rate he did in 2012, it’ll be difficult for Boston to keep him down.
48. Jackie Bradley, OF | BOS: Bradley is a plus-plus athlete, and a defensive phenom in center. That skill set alone will bring him to Fenway this year. Granted, his overall fantasy future is not tremendous, but he should offer some value in AVG and speed.
49. Taijuan Walker, RHP | SEA: Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. I’ll be surprised if the M’s start his clock this season, though. It’s unlikely that they’ll be contending in the AL West, so there’s no need to rush him. (Ditto goes for Fernandez, who could’ve easily been ranked in the 45-50 range)
50. Trevor May, RHP | MIN: May had a rough 2012 in the Phillies organization, but he still features an impressive power arsenal, and the Twins are hopeful that the change in scenery will rejuvenate his development. If he can find consistency, there’ll be a place for him in the Minnesota rotation.