It's not too early to start thinking about the 2011 fantasy baseball season, especially if you play in a keeper league where you can draft minor leaguers. I was checking out Baseball America this morning and came across this Ask BA question that I thought would provide insight into which prospects could make an impact in 2011.
Two weeks ago, you listed the best prospects at each position. Could you do the same thing with a projected all-rookie team for 2011?
Only five players made both my 2010 all-prospect and 2011 all-rookie teams: Zach Britton, Desmond Jennings, Jesus Montero, Mike Moustakas and Michael Pineda. Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown and Rays righthander Jeremy Hellickson finally received promotions that took them out of the running. Remember that the all-rookie team is based purely on 2011 performance, so opportunity matters just as much as talent.
C: Wilson Ramos, Nationals
Wouldn't have made this list if the Twins hadn't dealt him for Matt Capps.
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
I'd take Logan Morrison (Marlins), but he'll lose his prospect status this summer.
2B: Cord Phelps, Indians
More ready defensively, clearer shot at playing time than Brett Lawrie (Brewers).
3B: Mike Moustakas, Royals
Kansas City hopes does what Alex Gordon was supposed to.
SS: Zack Cozart, Reds
This would have been Starlin Castro if he weren't so precocious.
LF: Nick Weglarz, Indians
Has bounced back nicely after hitting .227 in Double-A a year ago.
CF: Desmond Jennings, Rays
Tampa Bay has to make room for him in the lineup next season.
RF: Michael Taylor, Athletics
Having a mediocre year in Triple-A, but he's better than that.
DH: Jesus Montero, Yankees
Though his catching skills are still shaky, New York can't ignore his bat much longer.
SP: Kyle Gibson, Twins
Combo of stuff, polish and contending team should allow him to lead rookies in wins.
SP: Zach Britton, Orioles
Will start pushing his way toward the front of Baltimore's rotation
SP: Michael Pineda, Mariners
Could he be Prince Michael to King Felix?
SP: Alex White, Indians
Cleveland's 2009 first-rounder will be better than any of their recent trade pickups.
SP: Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays
Best part of the Roy Halladay package is Toronto's future ace.
RP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
Don't be shocked it he supplants Francisco Cordero as Cincinnati's closer.
A couple names schocked me here with Aroldis Chapman at the top of that list. Chapman as the Reds closer in 2011? I could see it, but they would have to eat some of Francisco Cordero's contract if they can deal him in the offseason.
Cord Phelps at second base over Brett Lawrie also surprised me. Then again, where will the Brewers play him now that they signed Corey Hart to a 3-year deal and finally have a healthy Rickie Weeks at second base for a full season. Weeks is having a great season, and if the Brewers do deal Prince Fielder this offseason, I can see them giving Weeks a 3 year deal as well. Could Lawrie be trade bait for a starting pitcher?