2012 Prospect Rankings Review: Shortstop

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 14: Jean Segura #9 of the Milwaukee Brewers makes a running throw to first base to retire Jordany Valdespin of the New York Mets in the top of the sixth inning at Miller Park on September 14, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Over the next couple weeks, I will be taking a look back at how the players on our preseason and midseason positional prospect rankings performed, and whether or not they improved or worsened their stock during the season. Note that each of these reviews will not be new rankings, and will not discuss anyone not on the rankings at either point.

So far I've looked at the catcher, first base, and second base positional rankings, so we'll keep going around the diamond to shortstop. You can find the preseason rankings here and the midseason rankings here. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.

The Graduates - Each of these players has surpassed the standard eligibility limits for prospect lists (130 AB in the Majors), or expected to prior to the end of the season. For these players, all statistics are through Friday's games.

Zack Cozart (Reds)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

5

Not Eligible

MLB

127

523

70

15

32

4

29

103

.243

.285

.402

Cozart came into the season as the only player on our top prospects list likely to start the season in the Majors. He was expected to have the potential to provide double digit power and steals at a slightly weak position, and was definitely targeted by me as a late round flier. The power and runs scored have been nice, but Cozart to this point has been a black hole in the other three categories really. He's missed a number of games in the past couple weeks due to an injury.

Manny Machado (Orioles)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

2

2

AA/MLB

142

524

76

15

74

15

51

94

.269

.327

.443

Machado spent most of the season at AA before being summoned to the Majors to help the Orioles with their stretch run. Despite playing very little third base in the minors, the Orioles determined (it appears quite wisely) that he was still likely to be more productive than their previous group at the hot corner. Machado looks at ease in the bigs, and appears to be a bit wiser than his age would lead us to believe. And if you haven't seen this one from him yet, definitely take a look.

Josh Rutledge (Rockies)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

NR

10

AA/MLB

141

554

85

20

63

20

18

104

.303

.319

.513

Rutledge was called up when Troy Tulowitzki hit the disabled list back in July, and with the season he has had may have staked a permanent claim to the 2B job when Tulo is healthy again. All he has done is hit at both AA and in the Majors,, but the walk rate is a tiny bit concerning.

Coming Soon To A Stadium Near You (AA and Above, Under Limit)

Jurickson Profar (Rangers)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

1

1

AA/MLB

131

489

78

15

64

16

66

81

.282

.371

.460

What do you say about the top prospect in the game really? Profar won't turn 20 years old until February, but is already up with the major league club after having a great season in the Texas League. None of the facets of Profar's game necessarily scream "elite", but nearly everything he does ends up at an above-average level. And of course there's the story of his game-winning hit against the Rays on the eighth of the month.

Hak-Ju Lee (Rays)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

6

16

AA

116

475

68

4

37

37

51

102

.261

.336

.360

This was Lee's second time around in AA, as he finished up the season in 2011 with a 24 game stint there for the Rays. Defense is always going to be Lee's calling card, but he did improve his steal success this season (37 for 46 overall), and still ended up with 15 doubles and 10 triples. It would be extremely unlikely that he is moved from the position long-term, but for fantasy purposes he may end up being a bit less valuable.

Nick Franklin (Mariners)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

9

7

AA/AAA

121

472

64

11

55

12

48

106

.278

.347

.453

Franklin was one of the risers after the 2010 season when he crushed 23 home runs in the Midwest League, but missed significant time in 2011 and it was unclear how he would return. He split time between AA and AAA this season, and the Mariners had him play both second base and shortstop at both levels this season. It's a bit unclear to me exactly how he fits into their long-term plans, as it seems that they may not have confidence in his ability to play shortstop, and Dustin Ackley is cemented in long-term at second base.

Jean Segura (Angels/Brewers)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

10

8

AA/MLB

130

497

68

7

53

41

34

78

.289

.322

.384

Segura jumped onto prospect radars after posting a 10 homer, 50 steal season in 2010 in the Midwest League. However, injuries derailed his 2011 season, and lost some of his luster as a result. Segura was included as the key piece in the Zack Greinke trade by the Angels, and has been starting most of the time since being acquired by the Brewers.

Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

3

3

A+/AA

127

476

71

20

81

5

44

106

.307

.373

.523

Bogaerts reached AA at the age of 19, and some of the numbers in that short stint look great (5 home runs, .326/.391/.598 in 23 games), while others don't bode well (1 BB/21 K in 92 AB). There were concerns prior to the season about his ability to stick long-term at the position, but recent reports have been a lot more favorable about that possibility.

Billy Hamilton (Reds)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

4

5

A+/AA

132

512

112

2

45

155

86

113

.311

.410

.420

Did you know that Hamilton went 155-for-192 in stolen base attempts this season? Were you under a rock all season if you didn't? Hamilton set the single season minor league steals record pretty easily, but the bigger story of this year for him is the fact that he didn't really falter when he was promoted to AA. Hamilton has solidified his standing as a prospect and not just as a speedy player.

Brad Miller (Mariners)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

NR

10

A+/AA

137

557

110

15

68

23

74

105

.334

.410

.512

Miller got off to a red-hot start in the Cal League, and at this point I would imagine he has supplanted Franklin as the top shortstop prospect in the Mariners' system. He hit .320/.406/.476 with 4 home runs and 4 steals in 40 games for their AA affiliate, and could be in Seattle by September 2013.

Lower Level Prospects (High-A and Below)

Javier Baez (Cubs)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

8

6

A/A+

80

293

50

16

46

24

14

69

.294

.346

.543

Baez started the season in extended spring training, and was eventually sent to full-season Low-A. After thoroughly crushing the pitchers there (12 homers, .979 OPS in just 57 games), the Cubs promoted him to High-A. The power continued, but the batting average fell off a cliff in that small sample. I absolutely love what I've seen so far, but the only real concern I have right now is the walks compared to strikeouts.

Francisco Lindor (Indians)
Preseason Rank Midseason Rank Level G AB R HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG

7

4

A

122

490

83

6

42

27

61

78

.257

.352

.355

Lindor impressed early on, as he played the full season in Low-A as an 18 year old and more than held his own. The numbers don't really seem to tell the whole story, but the level of polish in his game at this young age is extremely impressive. Add in that his defense will keep him at shortstop long-term, and there's a ton to like here still.

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