2011 Draft Prep: Top 50 prospects for Fantasy
Landing the right rookie or prospect could pay huge dividends later on in the summer. Scott White runs through his Top 50 Fantasy prospects for 2011, with an emphasis on who could impress this season.
Fantasy is all about tomorrow. It's about believing a player can do something before he actually does it. It's the ultimate game of forecast.
So naturally, it begins with the building blocks of tomorrow: the prospects. True, a significant percentage of them don't make an immediate impact, but you want them on your radar. You want to be the one to claim them the very moment their talent aligns with their opportunity.
With that in mind, we present the top 50 prospects to have on your radar in Fantasy. They're not necessarily the ones with the most upside, though that certainly plays a factor. They're not even the ones most likely to contribute this season, though that's again a big part of the equation. They're just the ones whose names you need to know most right now, either because they'll give you something this year or because they'll be potential All Stars down the road.
To distinguish between the immediate and long-term contributors, we've included a "2011 Fantasy impact" scale, ranging from one to five. One means the player has no chance of reaching the majors this year. Five means he's on the opening day roster.
It's not an exact science, but it's a good place to start. As long as you remember these players and keep track of their development, you'll always be a step ahead of the game.
And considering tomorrow tends to get here sooner than anyone expects, that can only be a good thing.
|RK||Player||POS||TM||Age||2010 high||2011 impact|
|Dominated upon arrival last season. Might already be the team's second-best pitcher after David Price .|
|Five-category stud owned the minors last year, but Phillies hesitant to give him Jayson Werth 's old job.|
|No arguing K potential. If he holds off Jonny Venters for saves, the Braves might not miss Billy Wagner .|
|Cuban defector's 100-mph heat was as advertised in 2010. Too bad Reds want him in middle relief for now.|
|Was closing last September after getting drafted in June. Might keep closing if he doesn't get to start.|
|MVP of AFL will arrive in 2011. Incredible bat control and emerging power should make him a Fantasy stud.|
|Unquestioned starter for Braves despite young age. Showed ability to hit for average and power in minors.|
|Minors won't contain his high-90s heat for long. He and Felix Hernandez should give M's a deadly duo.|
|Son of Cy Young winner looked polished in trial run. Will make immediate contribution as fifth starter.|
|Former No. 2 pick exploded with .999 OPS in 2010. Should be first of big Royals prospects to arrive.|
|Came out of nowhere to put up silly numbers last year. Walk rate should make him an instant success.|
|Prospect rated higher than Buster Posey and Carlos Santana last year needs trade to meet potential.|
|Carl Crawford heir delayed by signing of Johnny Damon . Will get on base and run plenty when he arrives.|
|Corrected vision allowed former No. 3 overall pick to exceed hype. May be best pure hitter in minors.|
|Best of deep pitching system could force his way into the majors. Has drawn Pedro Martinez comparisons.|
|16||Bryce Harper||OF||WAS||18||DNP -- unsigned|
|Hasn't even played a game and already the best long-term prospect in Fantasy. Teenage MLB debut is possible.|
|Former starting prospect now a favorite for saves. Could still start someday, but a nice relief sleeper for now.|
|Former first-rounder had great K-to-BB ratio in trial run. Will try to hold off Brandon Beachy for job.|
|19||Mike Trout||OF||LAA||19||Class A|
|Some publications like him better than Bryce Harper long-term. Certainly has the numbers to justify it.|
|Slugging catcher the man for Jays with John Buck (and Mike Napoli ) gone. Likely an all-or-nothing type.|
|Power-and-patience specialist finished strong after an 0-for-33 debut, but likely ticketed for minors.|
|Shows upside on level of Brian Matusz and may leapfrog Chris Tillman as preferred injury replacement.|
|Former first-rounder showed why with 26 homers last year. Only aging Ramon Hernandez stands in his way.|
|Top prospect on rebuilding club may not be 30-homer guy, but should be productive. Will debut in 2011.|
|25||Wil Myers||OF||KC||20||Class A|
|Converted catcher not as well known as Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer but has similar upside offensively.|
|Kind of a dark horse for saves right now but has stuff to claim the job by midseason and keep it long-term.|
|27||Matt Moore||SP||TB||21||Class A|
|Latest in what has become a rich pitching tradition for Rays. May be best strikeout artist in minors.|
|Projected starter deserves look in Fantasy for power and speed, but likely no help in batting average.|
|All but declared the starting third baseman already. Not much power yet, but a consistent .300 hitter in minors.|
|30||Jarrod Parker||SP||ARI||22||DNP -- injured|
|A risk after Tommy John surgery, but should regain elite form quickly. Wasn't far off at time of injury.|
|Numbers on par with Craig Kimbrel , but with more innings. If Jonathan Broxton falters again, look out.|
|The best in a whole slew of Royals pitcher prospects, but still unlikely to arrive before September.|
|Still learning second base, but bat appears major-league ready. Rebuilding Indians likely won't hold him back.|
|Astros rushing their one legit prospect. His long-term chances are good even if he struggles at first.|
|Hitting for average and big-time power in minors. Door could open for him with Dodgers undecided in left field.|
|Proved worth with big across-the-board numbers in 2010. If injury clears way for him, he won't look back.|
|Marlins determined to make him the starter despite so-so numbers in minors. Has upside, but may struggle.|
|Converted shortstop's numbers didn't match stuff last year. Only a matter of time before he becomes an ace.|
|Still raw, but speed doesn't slump. As fragile as Rafael Furcal is, Gordon could be a sneaky sleeper.|
|40||Derek Norris||C||WAS||22||Class A|
|Good power and patience for catcher. If Nationals didn't have three of them already, he'd rank higher.|
|Not as dominant as some prospects, but could be legit No. 2 for Twins. And he could get chance this year.|
|42||Grant Green||SS||OAK||23||Class A|
|Emerging power threat at power-weak position in need of better approach, but old enough to get his shot.|
|Surprised as one of three minor-leaguers to go 20-20 in 2010. Encore performance would make him elite.|
|Still hasn't tapped into power potential, but Nats think enough of him to give him shot at starting job.|
|Doesn't get much hype but throws hard and held his own in debut. Supporting cast could make him a sleeper.|
|High walk rate and improving power potential could make him an instant hit if glove doesn't hold him back.|
|Bat is already major-league ready, but Mike Scioscia prefers defense at catcher. Expect an uphill battle.|
|Near-certain rotation spot earns him a look in Fantasy. He could factor, but he's no ace in waiting.|
|Crazy numbers put him on map last year, but deep organization gives him small window to secure a role.|
|Surprise contributor last year could be surprise starter in a Mets outfield full of injury-prone veterans.|
|Best of the rest: Brett Lawrie , 2B, TOR; Chris Archer , SP, TB; Jon Singleton , OF, PHI; Shelby Miller , SP, STL; Jacob Turner , SP, DET; Yonder Alonso , 1B, CIN; Martin Perez , SP, TEX; Jameson Taillon , SP, PIT; Aaron Hicks , OF, MIN; Manny Machado , SS, BAL; Dayan Viciedo , 3B, CHW; Tyler Matzek , SP, COL; Manny Banuelos , SP, NYY; John Lamb , SP, KC; Michael Taylor , OF, OAK; Jean Segura , 2B, LAA; Alex White , SP, CLE; Tony Sanchez , C, PIT; Andrew Brackman , SP, NYY; Danny Duffy , SP, KC; Jaff Decker , OF, SD; Anthony Rizzo , 1B, SD; Zack Cozart , SS, CIN; Jose Iglesias , SS, BOS; and Ben Revere , OF, MIN.|
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