MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 7: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds looks to umpire Bruce Dreckman as Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers applies the tag after sliding into home plate at Miller Park on July 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Here at Fake Teams, our aim is to provide fantasy baseball advice, and it would not be complete without providing our 2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Ray and I have been giving you our take on the Prospect rankings by position for 2012. Shortstop may be the most important position for long-term dynasty leagues, as players who start at shortstop end up being moved to other positions over time. Here are the links to the other positions we have completed:
Here are my top fantasy shortstop prospects for 2012. These rankings are for fantasy purposes, and JUST for 2012.
I will also provide a ranking for those of you in keeper leagues at the end.
Top SS Prospects for 2012 Season Only
1. Zack Cozart (CIN)
2. Tyler Pastornicky (ATL)
3. Adeiny Hechavarria (TOR)
4. Tim Beckham (TAM)
5. Nick Franklin (SEA)
6. Jose Iglesias (BOS)
7. Freddy Galvis (PHI)
8. Eduardo Escobar (CHW)
9. Hak-Ju Lee (TAM)
10. Jean Segura (LAA)
Some notes on these rankings, along with keeper league rankings, after the jump:
- Profar and Machado aren't likely to be ready until at least 2014, but both are in my top 5 prospects in all of the minors right now.
- Cozart seems to me like he could be Drew Stubbs-lite if he gets full time playing time, which is expected at the moment. I could see 15+ homers and 20+ stolen bases from shortstop, which could make him a top 10 shortstop this year regardless of whether or not he hits for a reasonable batting average.
- The Braves seem to be content to have Tyler Pastornicky as their every day shortstop, and he could steal 20+ bases with a decent batting average this year. Like most rookies, there could be struggles, but they seem committed to him.
- I placed Jose Iglesias on the 2012 list as he's likely to get some time in the Majors this year, but as of now he's not likely to be fantasy relevant even if he becomes a full-time player.
- Dee Gordon has already passed the limits for ABs for rookies, but if he hadn't I would have him at the top of the list.
- A majority of the top prospects at the position are in the low minors right now, with Profar, Machado, and Bogaerts unlikely to start the year higher than AA.
- Hamilton needs to show his performance in 2011 can be repeated at High-A in 2012, but if he does he could be a top 20 prospect overall based on his speed alone. We could be looking at a shortstop with 80+ stolen base potential.
For my dynasty rankings, I have only included players that have been playing SS recently. There are quite a few that seem unlikely to remain at shortstop, but until their respective teams have not moved them, neither will I. Here's my top 15 fantasy SS prospects for dynasty/keeper leagues:
1. Jurickson Profar (TEX)
2. Manny Machado (BAL)
3. Xander Bogaerts (BOS)
4. Billy Hamilton (CIN)
5. Zack Cozart (CIN)
6. Hak-Ju Lee (TAM)
7. Francisco Lindor (CLE)
8. Javier Baez (CHC)
9. Nick Franklin (SEA)
10. Jean Segura (LAA)
11. Trevor Story (COL)
12. Wilmer Flores (NYM)
13. Christian Colon (KCR)
14. Andrelton Simmons (ATL)
15. Tim Beckham (TAM)