Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday football and Christmas Eve. Here's this week's installment of the minor league links:
Minor League Ball:
Prospects in the Gio Gonzalez Trade - Minor League Ball
"On the eve of the eve of Christmas Eve, the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals pulled off a huge trade. Oakland sent southpaw starter Gio Gonzalez to the nation's capital, in exchange for four prospects. I wrote my Washington Nationals Top 20 Prospects for 2012 report just two days ago, and all four minor leaguers involved made the list, making this a huge boost for the Athletics farm system."
Los Angeles Angels Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
"Luis Jimenez strikes me as an underrated prospect worthy of more respect than he receives. Kole Calhoun, Matt Long, and toolsy Jeremy Moore should all be useful role playing outfielders.
Miami Marlins Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
"This system isn't empty, but it is pretty thin. Yelich and Ozuna give some hope for the future outfield, with Yelich showing a good balance of skills in his full-season debut. Ozuna's tools stand out and he made progress refining them last year, but he still carries significant risk. Realmuto will rank much higher in a year if he can polish up his defense. Everybody knows about Dominguez: great glove, but will he hit? It looks like role players beyond this group with few guys who project as regulars."
Fantasy Prospect Shortstop Rankings for 2012 - FakeTeams
Jason Hunt ranks his top fantasy shortstop prospects both for 2012 and for dynasty leagues.
Fantasy Prospect Third Base Rankings for 2012 - FakeTeams
Fake Teams ranks the top Fantasy Prospects at Third Base for 2012, and also provides their top 15 fantasy prospects long-term as well at the position.
Fantasy Prospect Rankings for 2012: Catcher - FakeTeams
Ray Guilfoyle ranks his top 15 catching prospects for fantasy purposes for 2012.
Fantasy Prospect First Base Rankings for 2012 - FakeTeams
Ray Guilfoyle ranks his top 20 First Base prospects for fantasy purposes for 2012.
Bullpen Banter: Arizona Diamondbacks Top 15 Prospects
"The Diamondbacks had a very good draft in 2011 and that has this system looking up - though I'm not as high on it as some. The story of Arizona's farm system starts with three elite pitching prospects."
Los Angeles Angels 2012 Top 15 Prospects
"Segura made the transition to short stop last offseason, and it has gone fairly well so far. Whether he has enough range to stick there long term is still a question mark. Big things were expected in 2011 from him in the CAL, but he tore his hamstring early in the season and never got on track. Segura has excellent bat speed and has impact potential even if a move back to second proves necessary."
Miami Marlins 2012 Top 15 Prospects
"Out of necessity, Christian Yelich played first base during his high school career, and there was the thought that – despite his athleticism – his lack of arm strength would force him there long term. His throwing mechanics have improved and the outfield is absolutely viable. The tools are in place for him to be a good defensive left fielder. He profiles as a good hitter for average who should grow into average power."
BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Rankings: Organization Top 10 Prospects: 2012 Toronto Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects
"The 2010 draft stocked the system with several promising pitchers, including five who made our Jays Top 10 Prospects list: Justin Nicolino, Aaron Sanchez, Deck McGuire, Noah Syndergaard and Asher Wojciechowski. All were part of Toronto's bounty of nine picks in the first three rounds."
BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Rankings: Organization Top 10 Prospects: 2012 Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Prospects
The Rays' first two picks weren't supposed to get to them, high school righthander Taylor Guerrieri at No. 24 and Louisiana State outfielder Mikie Mahtook at No. 31, and they continued to blend college players and prep talent afterward.
Cleveland Indians 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"Playing in New York/Penn League at just 17-years-old, Lindor is already considered to be a defensive wizard at shortstop and his selection in the first round earlier this year proves that he has the confidence of the Cleveland organization. "
Texas Rangers 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"He has seems to have all of the tools for success in the big leagues. One has to wonder if there is room for him to be a shortstop with the Rangers as long as Elvis Andrus is playing in Arlington. A positional move is quite possible, and Profar has the athleticism to profile at 2b or in the OF. The question isn’t will he be successful, but rather, will he be an elite player. He has the tools and seems to have the makeup to be the real deal."
Los Angeles Angels 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"The knee injury ended his season and off-season surgery should have him ready for spring training. Expect him to start the season with the High-A Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. At one point we assumed he would be on the fast track to the majors. Now we can’t help but wonder if he’s an appealing trade piece in the wake of the Albert Pujols signing. Mark Trumbo and Kendry Morales probably wonder where they fit in as well."
Cincinnati Reds 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"He likely starts 2012 with the Reds and doesn’t look back. Though there could be a little adjustment time as he adapts to the new level of competition, Mesoraco looks to be a high-end catcher and quite possibly an all-star catcher in the major leagues."
Tampa Bay Rays 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"It’s probably a year too early to formally announce this, but it looks like the Rays finally have the shortstop they’ve always wanted! Lee has hit well at every stop, but struggled in his short stint in AA this year. He will probably need another year in the Minors, but if he hits well in AA he could see some time in the majors in 2012."
Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"Taillon and Cole were scored so close by us and we went back and forth on it, but in the end game we just think that right now, Taillon has more upside. His frame and pitch mix are that of a future ace and if he stays healthy we’re looking at a very special pitcher."
New York Yankees 2012 Top 10 Prospects List | Baseball Instinct - Do You Have It?
"Banuelos is a possible #3 starter with #2 upside. He’s still working on his command of the curveball and should get a little more time in Triple-A to get ready for the Yankees. He’ll slot into the back of the rotation and work his way into the middle eventually."
Seedlings to Stars
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #15: Gerrit Cole - Seedlings to Stars
"If you rank entirely on ceiling, Cole’s in the conversation for best non-Moore pitching prospect in the game. With Moore set to graduate to the majors in 2012, a strong season could put Cole in the discussion for baseball’s top pitching prospect, as it would be tough to remain apprehensive about a player with this sort of upside and immediate success in the upper minors."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #16: Wil Myers - Seedlings to Stars
"It’s easy to get carried away with the mediocrity of Myers’ 2011 regular season, especially in light of his position switch. But when you really stack him up against other offensive prospects, "handled Double-A only moderately well at age 20″ isn’t as big of a flaw as you’d think. Myers was so far ahead in his development that he basically gets a mulligan for 2011, which already looks smart due to his AFL rebound."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #17: Gary Sanchez - Seedlings to Stars
Sanchez has a number of skills that are well-developed at age 18, which is fantastic. However, he does have big flaws with his defense and strikeouts; while it’s easy enough to brush those off with "he’s just 18, what did you expect?!" right now, that excuse will only fly for so long.
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #18: Xander Bogaerts - Seedlings to Stars
"That’s pretty much the story with Bogaerts–he’s showed extraordinary in-game power at a remarkably young age, and he’s enough of an athlete that he could have some significant defensive value as well."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #19: Cody Buckel - Seedlings to Stars
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #20: Drew Hutchison - Seedlings to Stars
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #21: Randall Delgado - Seedlings to Stars
CBSSports: Highlighting Top Pitcher Prospects for 2012
"The minor leagues are full of pitchers who throw hard, and pitchers who throw hard are perhaps just a tweak away from greatness. It could be the development of a secondary pitch. It could be the refinement of their existing arsenal. It could be improved control, command or mechanics. Or it could be none of the above. It could never happen, which is most often the way it goes."