Over the last two weeks, the staff here at Fake Teams has provided you with their top 20 prospects in the minors at each of the infield positions (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS), and their top 50 outfielders and starting pitchers. Here's a bit of how our determinations were made:
- Each player ranked at a position is either currently playing there, or widely anticipated to end up there by the time they reach the major leagues. As an example, Billy Hamilton is not expected to remain at shortstop long-term based on the opinions of others within the field. As a result, he can be ranked at shortstop since he currently plays the position, and will also be ranked at second base, as he is most likely to end up at that position.
- Primarily, we are viewing prospects who remain in the minor leagues, or who have been up in the majors for less than one month at most. As a result of this, players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout will not appear on the outfield rankings.
- Draftees are not necessarily being included within the main rankings, but each position will have a few players from the draft mentioned as players who potentially could be in the top 20/50 lists created during the upcoming offseason.
- In many cases, prospects ranked within a spot of each other could likely be switched and still be fine in my rankings. As with all rankings, they are a good look at how we see the group of players at the time of the list preparation.
My 2012 Midseason Shortstop Prospect rankings follow after the jump:
Each player will be listed with their name, their organization, and their current level in the minor leagues.
1. Jurickson Profar, TEX, AA
Profar is probably one of the top 2 or 3 prospects in the game right now. He skipped High A and was promoted to AA to start the 2012 season, and hasn't missed a beat, as he is hitting .298-.379-.492 with 7 HRs, 17 doubles, 6 triples 45 runs, 29 RBI, 9 stolen bases and a 43-34 strikeout to walk ratio in 258 at bats. And he's just 19 years old. Profar more than likely gets a call up to the big leagues by this time in 2013, and possibly sooner if the Rangers decide to not invest long term in Josh Hamilton. Some say the Rangers would be fine with Ian Kinsler in left field, and Profar at second base next season.
2. Manny Machado, BAL, AA
Machado doesn't turn 20 for another few weeks, so he is one of the youngest players in the Eastern League, but he has struggled thus far in 2012. He is hitting .241-.327-.357 with 3 HRs, 15 doubles, 25 runs, 23 RBI and 9 stolen bases in his 241 AA at bats. But there are some positives to focus on, as he has lower strikeout rate from 18.5% to 17.8% and increased his walk rate from 8.5% to 10.1%. He still has time to turn his season around, and I hope to catch him when Bowie visits the Trenton Thunder in August.
3. Xander Bogaerts, BOS, A+
I know. He probably won't stay at shortstop, but the Red Sox have some guy named Will Middlebrooks who is the reason why the team is looking to deal Kevin Youkilis at the moment. The Red Sox chose to go one level at a time with Bogaerts, but he is still young for his level. He is hitting .295-.369-.485 with 9 HRs, 15 doubles, 30 runs, 42 RBI and a 58-24 strikeout to walk ratio in 241 at bats this season. His power is down a bit from last season (.191 ISO vs .249 ISO), but he has cut down his strikeout rate and improved his walk rate slightly thus far, and has a .383 wOBA and a 138 wRC+. Pretty impressive.
4. Francisco Lindor, CLE, A
The player who some think was the best prospect in the 2011 MLB draft has not disappointed prospect hounds in his first full season in pro ball. He's not hitting for much power, but has his triple slash line at .285-.369-.410 with 4 HRs, 41 runs, 23 RBI, 15 stolen bases and a solid 42-26 strikeout to walk ratio in 249 at bats. As an 18 year old hitting like this in Low A, he could be in the big leagues before he is able to drink. Legally.
5. Billy Hamilton, CIN, A+ (Profile)
If you want to win the stolen base category in your league in 2014, draft this guy. What he is doing on the base paths this season is historical. Last season, he stole 103 bases in 550 at bats in Low A. This season, he has stolen 80 bases in just 270 at bats. It appears he is running every opportunity he gets as he has also been thrown out 16 times, so he has attempted a stolen base in 96 of the 116 times he has been on either first base or second base this season. The minor league record for stolen bases in one season is 145 by Vince Coleman way back in 1983. Looks like Hamilton will break that record assuming he stays healthy and doesn't go into any lengthy slumps.
The Cubs first round pick in 2011 is showing off the power some saw in him when he was drafted. In a small sample size of 63 at bats this season in Low A, Baez is hitting .317-.419-.556 with 4 HRs, 13 runs and 11 RBI. He is also flashing some speed as he has stolen 7 bases in 7 attempts.
Franklin is having a solid start to the 2012 season, hitting .322-.394-.502 with 4 HRs, 25 extra base hits, 25 runs, 26 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 11 attempts. He owns a solid eye at the plate, as his 38-24 strikeout to walk ratio indicates, and is hitting for more power this season. Apparently, he impressed the Mariners front office enough to get promoted to AAA on Tuesday night.
8. Jean Segura, LAA
Segura stole 50 bases two years ago and appears to be on track to approach that level this season. He is hitting .284-.326-.399 with 5 HRs, 35 runs, 30 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 31 attempts this season. He could stand to walk more, as he has walked just 14 times in 271 at bats, and the jump in the strikeout rate at the higher level is a bit of a concern as well.
9. Brad Miller, SEA, A+
Seattle has a couple shortstop prospects, eh? Miller is proving that his .415-.458-.528 triple slash line in 53 at bats in Low A last season was no fluke. He is hitting .322-.411-.531 with 9 HRs, 24 doubles, 64 runs, 34 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 273 at bats. What makes his season look better is that he is walking in 13% of his at bats, while striking out in 16.1% of his at bats, so the breakout looks real. The challenge will be if he can continue to hit like this in AA.
10. Josh Rutledge, COL, AA
It was just announced yesterday that Troy Tulowitzki will miss the next 8 weeks due to surgery on his groin, and I wonder if the Rockies will eventually decide to move him off shortstop. That may not be for awhile, but if they do, Rutledge could be the guy to replace him. After hitting .348-.414-.517 in High A last year, he is hitting .303-.336-.486 with 9 HRs, 43 runs, 26 RBI, 13 stolen bases and a 49-13 strikeout to walk ratio in 284 at bats in AA this season.
11. Chris Owings, ARI, A
12. Alen Hanson, PIT, A
13. Christian Colon, KC, AA
14. Jonathan Villar, HOU, AA
15. Trevor Story, COL, A (Profile)
16. Hak-Ju Lee, TB, A+