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2011 Draft Prep: Top 50 prospects for Fantasy

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Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

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.

2011 All-Rookie team
* This lineup contains only the prospects expected to win jobs this spring or to arrive soon afterward.
Pos. Player Team
C J.P. Arencibia TOR
1B Freddie Freeman ATL
2B Dustin Ackley SEA
3B Brent Morel CHW
SS Zack Cozart CIN
OF Domonic Brown OF
OF Desmond Jennings TB
OF Chris Carter OAK
SP Jeremy Hellickson TB
SP Chris Sale CHW
SP Michael Pineda SEA
SP Kyle Drabek TOR
SP Mike Minor ATL
RP Craig Kimbrel ATL
RP Aroldis Chapman CIN

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.




Top 50 Rookies/Prospects for 2011
RK Player POS TM Age 2010 high 2011 impact
1 Jeremy Hellickson SP TB 23 Majors
Dominated upon arrival last season. Might already be the team's second-best pitcher after David Price.
2 Domonic Brown OF PHI 23 Majors
Five-category stud owned the minors last year, but Phillies hesitant to give him Jayson Werth 's old job.
3 Craig Kimbrel RP ATL 22 Majors
No arguing K potential. If he holds off Jonny Venters for saves, the Braves might not miss Billy Wagner.
4 Aroldis Chapman RP CIN 23 Majors
Cuban defector's 100-mph heat was as advertised in 2010. Too bad Reds want him in middle relief for now.
5 Chris Sale RP CHW 22 Majors
Was closing last September after getting drafted in June. Might keep closing if he doesn't get to start.
6 Dustin Ackley 2B SEA 23 Triple-A
MVP of AFL will arrive in 2011. Incredible bat control and emerging power should make him a Fantasy stud.
7 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL 21 Majors
Unquestioned starter for Braves despite young age. Showed ability to hit for average and power in minors.
8 Michael Pineda SP SEA 22 Triple-A
Minors won't contain his high-90s heat for long. He and Felix Hernandez should give M's a deadly duo.
9 Kyle Drabek SP TOR 23 Majors
Son of Cy Young winner looked polished in trial run. Will make immediate contribution as fifth starter.
10 Mike Moustakas 3B KC 22 Triple-A
Former No. 2 pick exploded with .999 OPS in 2010. Should be first of big Royals prospects to arrive.
11 Brandon Belt 1B SF 22 Triple-A
Came out of nowhere to put up silly numbers last year. Walk rate should make him an instant success.
12 Jesus Montero C NYY 21 Triple-A
Prospect rated higher than Buster Posey and Carlos Santana last year needs trade to meet potential.
13 Desmond Jennings OF TB 24 Majors
Carl Crawford's heir delayed by signing of Johnny Damon. Will get on base and run plenty when he arrives.
14 Eric Hosmer 1B KC 21 Double-A
Corrected vision allowed former No. 3 overall pick to exceed hype. May be best pure hitter in minors.
15 Julio Teheran SP ATL 20 Double-A
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.
17 Jake McGee RP TB 24 Majors
Former starting prospect now a favorite for saves. Could still start someday, but a nice relief sleeper for now.
18 Mike Minor SP ATL 23 Majors
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.
20 J.P. Arencibia C TOR 25 Majors
Slugging catcher the man for Jays with John Buck (and Mike Napoli) gone. Likely an all-or-nothing type.
21 Chris Carter OF OAK 24 Majors
Power-and-patience specialist finished strong after an 0-for-33 debut, but likely ticketed for minors.
22 Zach Britton SP BAL 23 Triple-A
Shows upside on level of Brian Matusz and may leapfrog Chris Tillman as preferred injury replacement.
23 Devin Mesoraco C CIN 22 Triple-A
Former first-rounder showed why with 26 homers last year. Only aging Ramon Hernandez stands in his way.
24 Lonnie Chisenhall 3B CLE 22 Double-A
Top prospect on rebuilding club may not be 30-homer guy, but should be productive. Will debut in 2011.
25 William Myers OF KC 20 Class A
Converted catcher not as well known as Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer but has similar upside offensively.
26 Jordan Walden RP LAA 23 Majors
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.
28 Danny Espinosa 2B WAS 23 Majors
Projected starter deserves look in Fantasy for power and speed, but likely no help in batting average.
29 Brent Morel 3B CHW 23 Majors
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.
31 Kenley Jansen RP LAD 23 Majors
Numbers on par with Craig Kimbrel, but with more innings. If Jonathan Broxton falters again, look out.
32 Mike Montgomery SP KC 21 Double-A
The best in a whole slew of Royals pitcher prospects, but still unlikely to arrive before September.
33 Jason Kipnis 2B CLE 23 Double-A
Still learning second base, but bat appears major-league ready. Rebuilding Indians likely won't hold him back.
34 Jordan Lyles SP HOU 20 Triple-A
Astros rushing their one legit prospect. His long-term chances are good even if he struggles at first.
35 Jerry Sands OF LAD 23 Double-A
Hitting for average and big-time power in minors. Door could open for him with Dodgers undecided in left field.
36 Brett Jackson OF CHC 22 Double-A
Proved worth with big across-the-board numbers in 2010. If injury clears way for him, he won't look back.
37 Matt Dominguez 3B FLA 21 Double-A
Marlins determined to make him the starter despite so-so numbers in minors. Has upside, but may struggle.
38 Casey Kelly SP SD 21 Double-A
Converted shortstop's numbers didn't match stuff last year. Only a matter of time before he becomes an ace.
39 Dee Gordon SS LAD 22 Double-A
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.
41 Kyle Gibson SP MIN 23 Triple-A
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.
43 Nick Franklin SS SEA 20 Double-A
Surprised as one of three minor-leaguers to go 20-20 in 2010. Encore performance would make him elite.
44 Wilson Ramos C WAS 23 Majors
Still hasn't tapped into power potential, but Nats think enough of him to give him shot at starting job.
45 Ivan Nova SP NYY 24 Majors
Doesn't get much hype but throws hard and held his own in debut. Supporting cast could make him a sleeper.
46 Nick Weglarz OF CLE 23 Triple-A
High walk rate and improving power potential could make him an instant hit if glove doesn't hold him back.
47 Hank Conger C LAA 23 Majors
Bat is already major-league ready, but Mike Scioscia prefers defense at catcher. Expect an uphill battle.
48 Cory Luebke SP SD 26 Majors
Near-certain rotation spot earns him a look in Fantasy. He could factor, but he's no ace in waiting.
49 Brandon Beachy SP ATL 24 Majors
Crazy numbers put him on map last year, but deep organization gives him small window to secure a role.
50 Lucas Duda OF NYM 25 Majors
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; Jonathan 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; Manuel 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.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Prospects in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

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