MLB

WHO TO WATCH: Top 10 prospects

Share This Story

foxsports admin

 
   
 
Prospects ... even if you're team is playing like a crap sandwich, there's always hope down on the farm. That's why we love prospects. And that's why we at FOXSports.com, who care deeply about your wants, needs and desires, have decided to devote this weekly space to satisfying your prospect jones. 

Next week, we'll begin organizational reports, which, appropriately enough, will entail ranking the prospects within each organization and providing a system overview. And we'll even do the .

This week, however, we're going to take a quick look at those prospects who are at least somewhat likely to have a fantasy impact this season. Keep in mind, these are prospects who are likely to see significant playing time at the major-league level this season. And no others. So no emails from red-faced, white-knuckled fans who want to know how the !@#$% I could leave off a best-prospects list. Forthwith ...

1. ,
We can quibble later over whether Japanese imports should be included in the prospect pile. For now, know that Matsui is an incredibly safe bet for 2003. He has power and plate discipline, and 100 RBIs should be a given in the strong lineup. 

2. ,
A great steal by Tribe GM Mark Shapiro. Hafner has done nothing in his career but knock the crap out of the ball. He'll be in the lineup Opening Day and stay there for the next six years or so. Twenty-five homers are a good bet. 

3. ,
The trade of to Montreal vaulted Ainsworth's fantasy value. The have already named him as their fifth starter. He has impressive minor-league numbers, he'll be toiling in the best pitcher's park in the NL, and he'll have a top-tier offense on his side. He's a strong buy. 

4. ,
His spring has been a mixed bag, and it's not certain he'll be in the rotation to start the season. Right now, is in the fifth spot, with J-Con headed for the bullpen. He'll get at least a few starts over the course of the season, but don't expect to log more than 20. As for how he'll perform, Cuban pitchers are something of an unknown quantity. He could be El Duque; he could be Rene Arocha. Caveat emptor.

5. ,
Villafuerte was a middling pitching prospect before coming over to the organization prior to last season. Since then, he's improved his game tremendously. So much so that he's been named closer in place of the injured . Whether Villafuerte has truly made progress or is simply suffering from lightning-in-a-bottle syndrome is yet to be revealed, but he will rack up some saves in Hoffman's stead. And he'll probably do so with a sub-4.00 ERA. 

6. ,
Talented hitter in a good park for hitters. Unlike Matsui, he might not be in the lineup every single day, but he'll probably get 500 plate appearances this season. He's still young, so don't expect him to light the world ablaze just yet. Great pick for keeper leagues, though.

7. ,
KC won't come out and say it yet, but MacDougal will start the season as closer. They have other options in and , so MacDougal's leash won't be incredibly long. He needs to improve his control, but he has the makings of an excellent strikeout pitcher. He'll get some saves.

8. Mark Teixeira,
Teixeira is has the most upside of any player on this list, but his playing time is left to question at this point. A recent spate of injuries means he's likely to make the 25-man roster coming out of camp. After that, however, there are rumblings that the want him to get a bit more seasoning in the minors before calling him up for good. He's going to be a tremendous hitter at the major-league level, but he may not get the ABs he deserves this season.

9. ,
He's got a lot of promise, and he's penciled in as the Opening Day starter. There are some reasons to be concerned, though. First, he's platooning with . Second, his manager is Dusty Baker, who has a manifest preference for veterans. If Choi struggles early, does he begin to lose more and more playing time to the corpse of Karros? Third, Choi has a somewhat inconsistent history, so those early struggles may be a likelihood.

10. ,
Manager Eric Wedge has named him as the starting second baseman. He's a genuine talent who's put up solid numbers throughout the minors despite always being young for his league. He's a tad overrated, though. He's a free-swinger, which is a habit that will exact a price at the highest level. A good talent, but don't expect him to thrive right away.

Honorable mentions: , ; , ; , ; Xavier Nady, ; ,
Tagged: Orioles, White Sox, Indians, Royals, Twins, Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, Mets, Padres, Giants, Diamondbacks, Livan Hernandez, Jack Cust, Mike MacDougal, Michael Cuddyer, Travis Hafner, Xavier Nady, Mark Teixeira, Hideki Matsui, Jose Reyes

More Stories From foxsports admin



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..