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2013 Draft Prep: Top 50 Fantasy prospects

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

This isn't like other top prospect lists.

What would be the point? If you wanted to know which prospects were the best -- in terms of ceiling, projectability, etc. -- you wouldn't turn to some dopey Fantasy writer with exactly zero scouting experience.

But if you wanted to know which of those prospects were on the verge of making a worthwhile Fantasy contribution, then yeah, that dopey Fantasy writer might just have something to contribute on the matter.

Fantasy owners assess prospects differently from everyone else. They don't just care about the end result. They care about proximity. They care about opportunity. They care about the next big thing, not the next to the next to the next.

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Don't misunderstand: This list isn't all about 2013. Because most of our readers play in single-season leagues, it's mostly about 2013, but any discussion of prospects has keeper implications as well. And really, even owners in single-season leagues have some passing interest in what's down the pipeline.

In other words, some of the more distant prospects are represented here, just differently than you'd normally see them represented. If they're not expected to contribute in 2013, they drop a few spots. If they're not expected to contribute until, say, 2016, they drop more than a few spots -- potentially even off the list.

Fear not, Bubba Starling fans. The 20-year-old Royals outfielder will have his day. Just not today, because today, he's not one of the 50 prospects most worth knowing in Fantasy ... even if he's one of the 50 best.

Get it?

If marrying the long- and short-term philosophies is too much of a brain strain for you, then if nothing else, you can zero in on the short-term. Each prospect gets a 2013 Fantasy impact rating that corresponds to the scale on the right.

Fantasy impact scale
1. No chance
2. In case of disaster
3. If he moves fast
4. September call-up
5. Second-half reinforcement
6. Mid-season hopeful
7. Sooner than later
8. Fighting this spring
9. Pencil him in
10. Opening Day lock

Of course, you'll still want to weigh that rating against the player's ranking. An eight for Wil Myers should matter more to you on Draft Day than an eight for Darin Ruf. But I would think that's obvious.

1. Wil Myers, OF, Rays
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (12/10/90)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .314 BA, 37 HR, 109 RBI, .987 OPS, 61 BBs, 140 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
Myers didn't get his shot with the Royals, but his numbers suggest he'll be an instant success. The Rays talk like they want him in the minors to start out, but he'll be up as soon as they realize Luke Scott isn't going to cut it. So, like, in a week or two.

2. Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers
Bats: Both | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (2/20/93)
2012 Levels: Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .281 BA, 14 HR, 16 SBs, .820 OPS, 66 BBs, 79 Ks
Major-league stats: .176 BA (17 at-bats), 1 HR, 0 BBs, 4 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 7
Seeing as the Rangers don't have an opening for him, Profar's upside and favorable eligibility might make him the teensiest bit overvalued in single-season leagues. Still, of all the players on this list, he's the most likely to develop into a first-rounder someday.

3. Shelby Miller, SP, Cardinals
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (10/10/90)
2012 Levels: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 11-10, 4.74 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 160 Ks, 136 2/3 IP
Major-league stats: 1-0, 1.32 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 16 Ks, 13 2/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 9
Miller's minor-league numbers look kind of icky, but a mechanical adjustment and improved pitch selection helped him regain his top prospect standing with a 2.88 ERA over his final 10 starts. He had a shot at winning a rotation spot even before Chris Carpenter's injury. Now, he's a near lock.

4. Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 24 (2/10/89)
2012 Levels: Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .333 BA (279 at-bats), 16 HR, .975 OPS, 19 BBs, 59 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
The Blue Jays wouldn't have traded d'Arnaud for less than a Cy Young winner. Had he not torn a knee ligament last June -- preventing his certain promotion -- they might not have traded him at all. He's as well-rounded of a hitter as you'll find at the catcher position, and only John Buck stands in his way.

5. Dylan Bundy, SP, Orioles
Bats: Both | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (11/15/92)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 9-3, 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 119 Ks, 103 2/3 IP
Major-league stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0 Ks, 1 2/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
Bundy proved in his first professional season that he's the game's best pitching prospect, but his late-season promotion was more about getting his feet wet than passing the torch. Still, the Orioles' patchwork rotation is sure to have an opening at some point this year.

6. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 20 (6/19/92)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .321 BA, 23 HR, 94 RBI, .953 OPS, 42 BBs, 56 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
Taveras is one of those rare sluggers who have a knack for making consistent contact -- you know, like Albert Pujols. His successful transition to Double-A last year firmly implanted him in the best-prospect-in-the-game discussion, so you can bet he'll get the first crack when Carlos Beltran goes down.

7. Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds
Bats: Both | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (9/9/90)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .311 BA, 155 SB, 37 CS, .830 OPS, 86 BBs, 113 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
The Reds were prepared to install Hamilton, who is as much an on-base specialist as a record-setting speedster, as their center fielder and leadoff hitter before acquiring Shin-Soo Choo this offseason. Still, he'll claim the role at some point, whether because of an injury or a regression for Ryan Ludwick or Zack Cozart.

8. Mike Zunino, C, Mariners
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (3/25/91)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .360 BA (161 at-bats), 13 HR, 1.137 OPS, 23 BBs, 33 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
Rarely does a prospect advance to Double-A the same year he's drafted, but Zunino did. His dismantling of minor-league pitching must have played some role in the Mariners' decision to trade John Jaso this offseason. How long can they live with Jesus Montero's deficiencies behind the plate?

9. Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (9/8/90)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 9-7, 2.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 136 Ks, 132 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
The likelihood of Cole contributing for the Pirates this season hasn't gotten much pub, so perhaps a draft-and-stash in single-season leagues is overly optimistic. But the first overall pick in the 2011 draft has already reached Triple-A. If Pirates are even fringe contenders, he'll be up in the second half.

10. Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (5/30/90)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 12-8, 3.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 148 Ks, 149 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
After turning Matt Harvey loose on the majors in the second half last year, the Mets figure to do the same with Wheeler this year. And if pedigree has any say in the matter, it figures to yield even better results. Wheeler's ace potential makes him worth a draft-and-stash in NL-only leagues.

11. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 19 (5/11/93)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: .258 BA, 28 HR, 100 RBI, .893 OPS, 80 BBs, 144 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 3
With each step Sano takes up the minor-league ladder, the Miguel Cabrera comparisons seem all the more valid. He's still a few a steps away, but you never know. Players with his kind of talent sometimes take two or three at a time.

12. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (10/1/92)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .307 BA, 20 HR, 81 RBI, .896 OPS, 44 BBs, 106 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 4
Jose Iglesias' continued ineptitude with the bat makes Bogaerts an interesting prospect for 2013. Hitting certainly isn't his problem -- he's the Red Sox's best up-and-comer at shortstop since Hanley Ramirez -- and the injury-prone Stephen Drew is clearly just a stopgap at the major-league level.

13. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (12/1/92)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: .294 BA (293 at-bats), 16 HR, 24 SB, .888 OPS, 14 BBs, 69 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 3
When you talk Baez, you talk bat speed. When you talk bat speed, you talk power. When you talk power and you talk shortstop, you usually incorporate "stud" into the conversation. The Cubs have absolutely no reason to rush Baez, but he's a must-have for keeper league owners.

14. Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 24 (12/6/88)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .375 BA, 7 HR, 130 R, 44 SB, .978 OPS, 59 BBs, 76 Ks
Major-league stats: .259 BA (85 at-bats), 2 HR, 2 SB, .794 OPS, 14 BBs, 15 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 10
Other than Wil Myers and maybe Shelby Miller, Eaton figures to be the first of these prospects to go off the board in single-season leagues. His upside is in question since he did most of his damage in favorable hitting environments, but the Diamondbacks wouldn't have traded Justin Upton if they didn't believe.

15. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 24 (9/23/88)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .311 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI, .921 OPS, 51 BBs, 95 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
Gyorko is another tricky prospect to assess because of where he played his minor-league ball, but if he transitions to second base as expected, he doesn't need a .900 OPS to make a significant Fantasy impact. Here's betting he's better than Logan Forsythe, if nothing else.

16. Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (1/17/91)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 12-2, 2.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 157 Ks, 130 1/3 IP
Major-league stats: 1-2, 6.06 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 17 Ks, 16 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 9
Safe to say Bauer's stock is down now that the Diamondbacks have traded the chronic overthinker (and former third overall pick) for 50 cents on the dollar. But a 22-year-old with less than two years of professional experience is the furthest thing from a lost cause. If he wins a rotation spot, he'll matter in mixed leagues.

17. Jose Fernandez, SP, Marlins
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (7/31/92)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: 14-1, 1.75 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 158 Ks, 134 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 3
No prospect opened eyes quite like Fernandez did last year. His young age and limited experience make him a sure bet to return to the minors for more seasoning, but if he delivers more of the same, how will the Marlins resist bringing him up?

18. Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (4/19/90)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .315 BA, 9 HR, 24 SB, 42 2Bs, .911 OPS, 87 BBs, 89 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
How Bradley transitions to the upper levels of the minors will likely determine how long Jacoby Ellsbury remains in Boston. As an on-base specialist with power and speed, he's clearly the Red Sox's next center fielder. The question is if it begins this year.

19. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (12/5/91)
2012 Levels: Rookie, Class A
Minor-league stats: .329 BA, 12 HR, 20 SB, .918 OPS, 49 BBs, 85 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 4
Yelich has the makings of a five-category player and has thoroughly dominated the lower levels of the minors. Normally, you'd think he'd still have a year or two to go, but the Marlins have so little talent remaining in the majors that a 2013 debut is hardly out of the question.

20. Taijuan Walker, SP, Mariners
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (8/13/92)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: 7-10, 4.69 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 118 Ks, 126 2/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 3
If the Diamondbacks had been able to send Justin Upton to the Mariners for a package headed by Walker as planned, they would have "won" the deal, according to popular opinion. Because they had to settle for a package headed by Randall Delgado instead, they "lost" it. That pretty much says it all right there.

21. Jameson Taillon, SP, Pirates
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (11/18/91)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 9-8, 3.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 116 Ks, 142 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 3
Remember that guy who went off the board right after Bryce Harper in 2010? He's right here, and after a slow and steady climb up the minor-league ladder, he's knocking on the door at Double-A. Granted, Taillon is still second in line behind Gerrit Cole, but at least he's in line.

22. Bruce Rondon, RP, Tigers
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (12/9/90)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 29 saves, 1.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 66 Ks, 53 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 10
As the projected closer in Detroit, Rondon is all but certain to get drafted in Fantasy. But because he's a closer, he's subject to all the pitfalls that go along with the role and, therefore, not an especially attractive keeper. But hey, he throws 100 miles per hour.

23. Dan Straily, SP, Athletics
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 24 (12/1/88)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 9-7, 2.78 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 190 Ks, 152 IP
Major-league stats: 2-1, 3.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 32 Ks, 39 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 9
If nothing else, Straily will deliver some strikeouts as the A's fifth starter. His minor-league-leading 190 last year are what put him on the map as a prospect. Whether or not his stuff is good enough to deliver more than a league-average ERA and WHIP, however, remains to be seen.

24. Tyler Skaggs, SP, Diamondbacks
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 21 (7/13/91)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 9-6, 2.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 116 Ks, 122 1/3 IP
Major-league stats: 1-3, 5.83 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 21 Ks, 29 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
Maybe if Skaggs' late-season look had gone without a hitch last year, he'd be a lock for the fifth starter job over Randall Delgado and Patrick Corbin. He's the only one of the three with ace potential, but at 21, he'll probably get another go at Triple-A.

25. Julio Teheran, SP, Braves
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (1/27/91)
2012 Levels: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 7-9, 5.08 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 97 Ks, 131 IP
Major-league stats: 0-0, 5.68 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 5 Ks, 6 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 10
Arguably the game's best right-handed pitching prospect a year ago, Teheran bombed in his second year at Triple-A, but unbeknown to most, he had altered delivery. He switched back in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, and the results were so good that the Braves have already handed him the fifth starter job. An intriguing sleeper for sure.

26. Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins
Bats: Both | Throws: Right
Age: 23 (10/2/89)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .286 BA, 13 HR, 32 SB, 11 3Bs, .844 OPS, 79 BBs, 116 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
Hicks was a top prospect, and then he wasn't, and now he is again after a breakout year at Double-A that has manager Ron Gardenhire angling to get him in the starting lineup. If he beats out Darin Mastroianni this spring, his outlook isn't so different from Adam Eaton's.

27. Danny Hultzen, SP, Mariners
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 23 (11/28/89)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 9-7, 3.05 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 136 Ks, 124 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 7
Hultzen looked like a lock to finish his first professional season with the big club when he compiled a 1.19 ERA in 12 starts at Double-A, but he hit a wall at Triple-A. Once he proves his control issues were just a blip on the radar, the Mariners shouldn't have trouble finding a spot for him.

28. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (10/10/90)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .287 BA, 9 HR, 21 SB, .754 OPS, 44 BBs, 74 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
The best pure second baseman in the minors plays for a team that's trying to get by with Daniel Descalso in the majors. So basically, they're on a collision course with the inevitable, provided Wong's high contact rate and gap power translate to Triple-A.

29. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (3/4/92)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .320 BA, 10 HR, .815 OPS, 36 BBs, 118 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
The Tigers wanted to bring up Castellanos late last year, but he needed more time in right field. He would have had a shot at that job this spring if the Tigers hadn't signed Torii Hunter. Seeing as his batting average dropped from .405 at Class A to .264 at Double-A, a little seasoning couldn't hurt.

30. Mike Olt, 1B, Rangers
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 24 (8/27/88)
2012 Levels: Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .288 BA (354 at-bats), 28 HR, .398 OBP, .977 OPS
Major-league stats: .152 BA (33 at-bats), 0 HR, 5 BBs, 13 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 7
Olt's biggest problem is the same as Jurickson Profar's: He has no place to play. His Josh Willingham-like power and patience would make the natural third baseman an attractive mixed-league option, but because he's no better than a platoon player for now, you can leave him for AL-only leagues.

31. Trevor Rosenthal, RP, Cardinals
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (5/29/90)
2012 Levels: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 8-6, 2.97 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 104 Ks, 109 IP
Major-league stats: 0-2, 2.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 25 Ks, 22 2/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
As a reliever, Rosenthal throws 100 miles per hour and gets outs. That much is confirmed. But the Cardinals want a look at him as a starter as well. Shelby Miller has the inside track on the final rotation spot, but Rosenthal is probably next in line, even if he's working in short relief to begin the year.

32. George Springer, OF, Astros
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 23 (9/19/89)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .302 BA, 24 HR, 32 SB, .908 OPS, 62 BBs, 156 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
The Astros selected Springer 11th overall in 2011 thinking he could be another Matt Kemp. In his first full year, he didn't disappoint. If his high strikeout rate doesn't cause him to stall in the upper levels, he's probably coming up this year. Justin Maxwell isn't much of a roadblock.

33. Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (2/25/92)
2012 Levels: Rookie, Class A
Minor-league stats: .299 BA (134 at-bats), 5 HR, 12 SB, .832 OPS, 12 BBs, 19 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 4
Because he played competitively in Cuba, Soler is more advanced than most players his age and looked it in his brief stint at Class A Peoria last year. He's already signed for the next eight years, so it's not like the Cubs have financial incentive to keep him down. But they'll make sure he's ready first.

34. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (4/16/91)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .285 BA, 12 HR, 36 2Bs, .766 OPS, 39 BBs, 58 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
At this time last year, most would have assumed Arenado would be the Rockies' starting third baseman by now, but when his power numbers dipped in his first year at Double-A, the Rockies decided to slow his ascent. Could he come up this year? Sure, but history suggests you should curb your anticipation.

35. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 21 (9/18/91)
2012 Levels: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .284 BA, 21 HR, .893 OPS, 88 BBs, 131 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
Singelton has already mastered Double-A, so despite his young age, the Astros planned to give him a shot at a roster spot this spring. But then he tested positive for marijuana, incurring a 50-game suspension. It'll delay his arrival for sure, but not a whole year. His high-OPS bat is exactly what the Astros lineup needs.

36. Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates
Bats: Both | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (10/20/92)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: .309 BA, 16 HR, 35 SB, 33 2Bs, 13 3Bs, .909 OPS
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 2
Shortstops aren't supposed to hit like Hanson did last year, and the ones that do certainly aren't supposed to sneak up on anyone. But that's exactly what he did at Class A West Virginia last year, emerging as a legitimate power-speed threat. So was it legit? Owners in long-term keeper leagues can't afford to wait for that answer.

37. Carlos Martinez, SP, Cardinals
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (9/21/91)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 6-5, 2.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 92 Ks, 104 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 4
Yet another in the Cardinals' embarrassment of riches. If they didn't have so many other young pitchers raring to go, someone as talented and as far along as Martinez would be sure to crack the rotation at some point. As things stand now, though, he'll likely get no more than a token start or two down the stretch.

38. Archie Bradley, SP, Diamondbacks
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 20 (8/10/92)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: 12-6, 3.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 152 Ks, 136 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 2
The Diamondbacks might not have been able to justify trading Trevor Bauer this offseason if they hadn't taken Bradley four picks after him in 2011. So far, Bradley's strengths (strikeouts) and weaknesses (walks) are the same as Bauer's, but because he came out of high school rather than college, his timetable has more wiggle room.

39. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (6/6/90)
2012 Levels: Rookie, Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .233 BA (133 at-bats), 6 HR, .851 OPS, 23 BBs, 29 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 4
If Rendon could stay on the field for 50 games, he'd probably be a special hitter, but injuries have undermined his potential so far. Because he's blocked by Ryan Zimmerman, he might be a lost cause for this year anyway, but rumors of him eventually moving off third base persist.

40. Kevin Gausman, SP, Orioles
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (1/6/91)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: 0-1, 3.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13 Ks, 15 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
One year after selecting Dylan Bundy fourth overall, the Orioles selected Gausman fourth overall in 2012. He's not as far along, obviously, but because he's two years older, he's just as likely to make a splash in the second half this year. A budget-conscious AL-only owner will draft accordingly.

41. Matt Barnes, SP, Red Sox
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 22 (6/17/90)
2012 Levels: Class A
Minor-league stats: 7-5, 2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 133 Ks, 119 2/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
Because he debuted against inferior competition at lower Class A last year, Barnes' overall numbers might lead you to believe he's more overpowering than he is. But he's a hard-thrower with good control who, at age 22, could break through this year if a need develops in the Red Sox rotation.

42. Chris Archer, SP, Rays
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 24 (9/26/88)
2012 Levels: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 7-9, 3.66 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 139 Ks, 128 IP
Major-league stats: 1-3, 4.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 36 Ks, 29 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 7
Yeah, he walks a few too many, but Archer showed during his time in the majors last year that he's a bat-misser even against top competition. The Rays don't have room for him to begin the year, but he'll be up with the first Jeff Niemann injury.

43. Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 19 (12/18/93)
2012 Levels: Rookie
Minor-league stats: .248 BA (165 at-bats), 5 HR, 11 SB, .448 SLG, .792 OPS
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 1
Consider this a representative pick. Bubba Starling, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell or any in a long list of slow-developing, high-upside prospects could have gone in this spot. Buxton gets the nod because he's the one the scouts are highest on right now, but if you play in a dynasty league and can afford the wait, take your pick.

44. Wily Peralta, SP, Brewers
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 23 (5/8/89)
2012 Levels: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 7-11, 4.66 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 143 Ks, 146 2/3 IP
Major-league stats: 2-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 Ks, 29 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 9
If you're still trying to figure out what made Peralta so much more effective in the majors than the minors last year, you're not alone, but because his pedigree better matches his major-league numbers, the Brewers are buying in, all but assuring him the final rotation spot over fellow rookies Mark Rogers and Tyler Thornburg.

45. Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Age: 21 (5/9/91)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .320 BA, 17 HR, 98 RBI, .928 OPS, 51 BBs, 107 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 5
Arcia is still a bit under the radar as prospects go, but when he continued to produce a .900 OPS even at Double-A last year, it opened some eyes. The Twins plan to have Chris Parmelee start in right field to open 2013. Here's betting he doesn't hold off Arcia all season.

46. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 26 (3/25/87)
2012 Levels: Did not play -- in Korea
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 10
Ryu will be the first player to go straight from the Korean Baseball Organization to the majors. His contract all but assures it. Because no one has done it before, though, no one knows what to expect. Overseas signings tend to be hit-or-miss anyway. If Ryu produces Wei-Yin Chen-like numbers, it's a victory.

47. Tony Cingrani, RP, Reds
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Age: 23 (7/5/89)
2012 Levels: Class A, Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 10-4, 1.73 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 172 Ks, 146 IP
Major-league stats: 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 9 Ks, 5 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 6
Though he was drafted as a reliever and debuted as a reliever, Cingrani's numbers as a starter last year say he deserves a chance in the role. He had a 1.11 ERA in the California League, for crying out loud. Maybe if Aroldis Chapman doesn't pan out in the rotation, Cingrani will get that chance.

48. Kyle Gibson, SP, Twins
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 25 (10/23/87)
2012 Levels: Rookie, Class A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 0-2, 4.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 33 Ks, 28 1/3 IP
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
Gibson's return from Tommy John surgery late last year didn't get much attention in Fantasy. But for him, picking up where he left off means competing for a rotation spot this spring. And unlike most Twins pitching prospects, he actually has some strikeout potential.

49. Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS, Athletics
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 30 (7/31/82)
2012 Levels: Did not play -- in Japan
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 10
The Athletics like Nakajima enough that they plan to start him at shortstop over Jed Lowrie, who they paid a steep price to get. But as a 30-year-old middle infielder coming over from Japan, his offensive viability is rightfully in question. If a 10-10 campaign is your cup of tea, have at him.

50. Darin Ruf, OF, Phillies
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Age: 26 (7/28/86)
2012 Levels: Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .317 BA, 38 HR, 104 RBI, 1.028 OPS
Major-league stats: .333 BA (33 at-bats), 3 HR, 1.079 OPS, 2 BBs, 12 Ks
Scott's 2013 Fantasy impact: 8
The signing of Delmon Young seemingly put Ruf out of the mix to start in left field, but manager Charlie Manuel's effusive praise of the late-blooming slugger makes him an attractive sleeper in NL-only leagues still. He always hit for average in the minors, so if his newfound power is legit, he might be as well.

Honorable mentions: Michael Choice, OF, OAK; Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD; Gary Sanchez, C, NYY; Carlos Correa, SS, HOU; Addison Russell, SS, OAK; James Paxton, SP, SEA; Bubba Starling, OF, KC; Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT; Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE; Delino DeShields, 2B, HOU; Brad Miller, SS, SEA; Martin Perez, SP, TEX; Casey Kelly, SP, SD; Matt Davidson, 3B, ARI; Hak-Ju Lee, SS, TB; Wilmer Flores, 3B, NYM; Nick Franklin, SS, SEA; Chris McGuiness, 1B, CLE; Tyler Thornburg, RP, MIL; Avisail Garcia, OF, DET; Brett Jackson, OF, CHC; Mark Rogers, SP, MIL; Evan Gattis, OF, ATL; Matt Adams, 1B, STL.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Red Sox looking at Brandon Workman as a reliever
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:12 am ET) The Red Sox are looking at pitcher Brandon Workman as a reliever this spring, according to the Boston Herald

Manager John Farrell seemed to think Workman would be more than adequate in the role. "His mentality is one that embraces those higher leverage type of innings," Farrell said. "In one-inning stints, his stuff plays up a little bit more with power, a little bit more swing-and-miss ability with his fastball."

Workman seems open to the change. "If John tells me that’s where I’m going to fit in, that’s where I’ll fit in," he said.

The 26-year-old Workman posted a 5.17 ERA over 87 innings last year. 


Twins' GM believes Kyle Gibson can get to the next level
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:44 am ET) Twins general manager Terry Ryan believes pitcher Kyle Gibson can get to the next level, according to the Star Tribune.

"The guy has too good of stuff not to be more consistent," Ryan said. "I don’t think it’s 'if' he makes another jump. He’s going to make a jump. It’s a matter of how high."

Gibson showed flashes of promise in 2014. While his overall numbers were just average, Gibson was solid during the first half of the year. He posted a 3.92 ERA over 101 innings to start the year, but struggled with a 5.17 ERA in the second half. Gibson said the reason for his success last year had to do with execution.

"The reason for the jump was my focus on executing pitches," Gibson said. "In 2013 I got caught up in all the information and the scouting reports instead of realizing this is the pitch I need to execute so let’s execute it."

Gibson said he's hoping to increase his strikeout rate this season, but wants to make sure he can still retain his strong ground ball rate. The 27-year-old posted a 4.47 ERA over 179 1/3 innings last season. 


Rays manager believes Grant Balfour will be ready for opening day
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash believes pitcher Grant Balfour will be good to go by opening day, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Balfour is currently in Australia, tending to his sick father. Cash said Balfour was still working out, and expects the pitcher to be ready for the start of the regular season. The 37-year-old posted a 3.46 ERA over 62 1/3 innings last season. 


Rays' Alex Colome may miss the start of the season
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rays pitcher Alex Colome may not be ready for the start of the regular season, according to the Tampa Tribune

Colome has been delayed by visa issues thus far, though he's been able to throw at the Rays facility in the Dominican Republic. Colome is facing hitters, but manager Kevin Cash still expressed some doubt about his availability once the regular season begins. 

Colome, 26, posted a 2.66 ERA over 23 2/3 innings last year. 


Diamondbacks' Randall Delgado facing a roster crunch
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado is facing a roster crunch, according to azcentral.com.

Delgado had some success after adding a slider last season, but faces a lot of competition this spring. While the competition for the fifth starter spot contains a lot of players, Delgado's experience in the bullpen last year could help him make the club. On top of that, he's out of options, giving him a better chance of breaking camp on the 25-man roster. 

Bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre said he believes Delgado could get the job done. "He can be a valuable piece in that bullpen, knowing that there might be some guys that are going to get protected," Stottlemyre said. "The fact that he can pitch in some different roles — he can give you some length, he can come in and strike a guy out. I saw this guy go through the middle of lineups on some good ballclubs and make the hitters look bad. It's there."

The 25-year-old Delgado posted a 4.87 ERA over 77 2/3 innings last season.


Nationals sign Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Nationals have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league deal, the team announced. 

Gwynn will be invited to major-league camp with the deal. The 32-year-old hit .152 over 105 at-bats with the Phillies last season. 


Nationals' Matt Purke hoping to get on a mound soon
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Nationals pitcher Matt Purke is hoping to throw off a mound in a few weeks, according to MLB.com.

Purke had Tommy John surgery last May, and has struggled with injuries since being selected in the third round of the 2011 draft. Purke was actually released by the club during the offseason, but came back on a minor-league deal. 

Purke said he was frustrated by the injuries, but understands he has to take it all in stride. "It's just something you have to take in stride, keep moving forward," he explained. "I'm ready to keep progressing the best I can and really get myself out there and pitch and perform. When my number is called, I'll be able to help when I can."

Purke is currently in the middle of a throwing program. He's been able to long toss, and hopes to throw off a mound in a few weeks. The team is still unsure when Purke will be ready for game action.


Twins' Danny Santana learning to play multiple positions
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Danny Santana came to the Twins in 2007 playing primarily shortstop. Now, Santana is playing in the outfield and learning how to transition to a new position on the field.

"I didn't know how to play the outfield and I needed a lot of work," he said to MLB.com. "It wasn't hard, because I have the ability to play many positions. But the hard part was being in center field and throwing to the bases. At shortstop, you throw from different angles. In the outfield, you need to be on top to throw."

Santana hit .319 with 40 RBI and 70 runs scored in 405 plate appearances in 2014.

"There's a lot of people here who believed in Danny Santana's future for a long time. We were able to get a glimpse of that last year," manager Paul Molitor said. "I have a lot of confidence in that kid. He's going about his business very professionally. He's really a good listener and applier. Some guys listen well and have trouble taking it out there. He's pretty good at taking information and putting it into play."


Padres' Cameron Maybin to hit leadoff in first spring game
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin will hit leadoff in the team's first spring game, according to MLB.com.

Manager Bud Black basically confirmed the news, though he wouldn't make it official as he prefers to let the player know before the media. Maybin is the forgotten man in the team's outfield heading into camp. While he's proven he can play center field, the club is expected to go with Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton when the regular season starts. 

Maybin, 27, hit .235/.290/.331 over 251 at-bats last season. 


Giants experimenting with Norichika Aoki in the leadoff spot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Giants are experimenting with using outfielder Norichika Aoki in the leadoff spot, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Aoki will hit leadoff on Tuesday with Angel Pagan sidelined. While Pagan is expected to claim the role once the regular season begins, manager Bruce Bochy said he would consider using Aoki in the leadoff role occasionally. When that happens, Pagan would hit in the third spot in the order. 

Aoki, 33, hit .285/.349/.360 over 491 at-bats last year. 


 
 
 
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