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Mike Trout, Bryce Harper Met Expectations

Ben Carsley November 11, 2012 11:50PM EDT
With the MLB and minor league seasons in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to re-evaluate my preseason prospect rankings.

Mike Trout emerged not only as 2012’s best rookie, but also as Fantasy’s best overall player. Photo by Keith Allison.

It’s always difficult to find a balance between upside and probability when grading prospects, so looking back on my methods and looking to adjust heading forward is always a useful task. For readers, this will serve as a one-stop shop to catch up on how all of 2012’s prominent prospects performed and how their stock has been affected.

This is not a re-ranking of these prospects, nor is it a new prospect list. It’s simply a review of how I ranked the players before the season began, along with some analysis of what went right, what went wrong and everything in between.

In our sixth installment, let’s review my preseason outfield rankings and see who lived up to the hype, who disappointed and who’s in good shape going forward. We’ll also give you an early look at some new names who should be relevant in 2013 and beyond.

(PPR = Preseason Position Ranking, Pre/Mid = Preseason/Midseason Top 100 Ranking, NR = Not rated, G = Graduated to MLB. Starred* players are no longer prospect eligible.)


On The Upswing

PPR Player, Tm



1. Mike Trout, LAA* Disappointed as he failed to reach the 40 homer/40 steal club in his first season


2. Bryce Harper, WAS* More than lived up to hype: should challenge 25 homers, 20 SBs next season


3. Wil Myers, KC Now the best Fantasy prospect in the game thanks to power, average and opportunity


6. Yoenis Cespedes, OAK* Excellent rookie season overshadowed by Trout – stud Top 30 OF moving forward


11. Christian Yelich, MIA Rumors that he’ll move to 1B are worrisome, but no one doubts the hit tool


14. Oscar Taveras, STL Vastly underrated him in preseason – arguably the best pure hitter in MiLB


15. Starling Marte, PIT* Don’t expect an average above .275, but could challenge for 20/20 club in 2013


17. Mason Williams, NYY Doesn’t project as superstar and part of value is his D, but still a solid Fantasy OF


19. George Springer, HOU I’m a little worried there’s some Brett Jackson potential here, but love the tools


25. Bryce Brentz, BOS Close to majors, has plenty of power, just has to make enough contact to matter


26. Aaron Hicks, MIN Strong bounce back season, finally displaying moderate 5-tool potential


28. A.J. Pollock, ARI Can hit and run, but probably a 4th OF on a good team. Should open 2013 in MLB


37. Oswaldo Arcia, MIN Crushed Double-A as a 21-year-old, will see MLB by mid-2013, 3rd Fantasy OF upside



Staying Static

PPR Player, Tm



7. Gary Brown, SF Pretty mediocre 2012 season, but held his own in Double-A; doesn’t profile as a star


8. Rymer Liriano, SD I am in love with his upside, but we need to start seeing some more power output


11. Tim Wheeler, COL Unsurprising he hit for little power after hamate injury, but rest of stats were good


12. Anthony Gose, TOR* Looked overmatched in majors but did well in Triple-A, just needs time to figure it out


18. Leonys Martin, TEX Nice combination of tools and approach, could put up very good numbers in Texas


20. Robbie Grossman, HOU Will only be a Fantasy starter in OBP leagues, but the trade to HOU helps ETA


21. Mikie Mahtook, TB Hit like he was supposed to in High-A, then hit a wall in Double-A; moderate ceiling


23. Brian Goodwin, WAS One of my favorite prospects, higher on him than most, Double-A is important test


24. Matt Szczur, CHC I’m sure he’ll carve out an MLB career thanks to speed, but not a starter for me


30. Grant Green, OAK Won’t be much of a factor if he stays an OF, have to hope he gets time in the infield


32. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, NYM* He is what we thought he was: an up-and-down No. 4/5 OF, NL Only-relevant only


33. Marcell Ozuna, MIA The approach is worrisome, but have to like the 24 bombs, 27 2Bs


35. Brandon Nimmo, NYM Positive scouting reports and OBP, but hit just .248 with little power or speed


38. Charlie Blackmon, COL* A solid 4th outfielder who could be Fantasy-relevant at times thanks to Coors



Swaying Backwards

PPR Player, Tm



5. Bubba Starling, KC Conservative assignment and mixed scouting reports temper my enthusiasm


6. Brett Jackson, CHC Very concerned that contact issues will prevent him from starting long term


9. Michael Choice, OAK Injury and organizational OF additions make his future in Oakland murky


10. Jake Marisnick, TOR Stats aren’t impressive, but was pushed very aggressively; should repeat Double-A


19. Joe Benson, MIN Another hamate injury victim: struggled even when healthy, and MIN OF is crowded


22. Josh Bell, PIT Saw just 66 PA thanks to knee injury: still has big upside, still three-plus years away


27. Brandon Jacobs, BOS Unimpressive High-A campaign as contact, approach issues continue to plague him


29. Michael Taylor, OAK He’s now 27 in an org loaded with OF talent – no Fantasy value unless he’s dealt


31. Vinnie Catricala, SEA Horrible year in Triple-A. If you can’t crack the Mariners lineup, where will you play?


32. Larry Greene, PHI Multiple scouting reports suggest he’s a 1B or DH, and the power didn’t play in Low-A


34. James Darnell, SD Missed most of the season with a shoulder injury, tons of in-org talent behind him


39. Destin Hood, WAS Will need to repeat Double-A in 2013, but has time: doesn’t turn 22 until April


40. Scott Cousins, MIA* Hit well in Triple-A, struggled in MLB … classic extra up-and-down No. 5 OF



New Names To Consider: Albert Almora (CHC), Tyler Austin (NYY), Barrett Barnes (PIT), Jorge Bonifacio (KC), Jackie Bradley Jr., (BOS), Lewis Brinson (TEX), Corey Brown (WAS), Byron Buxton (MIN), David Dahl (COL), D.J. Davis (TOR), Khris Davis (MIL), Corey Dickerson (COL), Adam Eaton (ARI), Randal Grichuk (LAA), Billy Hamilton (CIN), Courtney Hawkins (CHW), Max Kepler (MIN), Tyler Naquin (CLE), Kyle Parker (COL), Joc Pederson (LAD), Gregory Polanco (PIT), Cesar Puello (NYM), Yasel Puig (LAD), Domingo Santana (HOU), Logan Schafer (MIL), Alfredo Silverio (LAD), Jorge Soler (CHC), Trayce Thompson (CHW)



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