With the New Year comes hope that your fantasy baseball teams will do well in 2012, and knowing about some of the top prospects in the minors could very well help you toward a championship next year. With that, here's this week's links for the minor leagues:
Fantasy Second Base Prospect Rankings for 2012 - FakeTeams
Ray Guilfoyle ranks his top Fantasy Second Base Prospect Rankings for 2012
Fantasy Prospect Outfielder Rankings for 2012 - FakeTeams
Jason Hunt of Fake Teams ranks his top fantasy outfield prospects for 2012, and also gives his rankings for dynasty leagues as well.
Minor League Ball
Chicago White Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
Chicago White Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2012. The horror... the horror....
New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
"1) Matt Harvey, RHP, Grade B+: He can be a number two starter and someone to build around. Some evaluators see him more as a closer if his changeup remains erratic, but I'm cutting him some slack on that issue and am optimistic."
Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
"1) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Grade A: Cole can be enigmatic and sometimes gets hit harder than he should given the quality of his stuff, but he's still a Grade A prospect. At his best he throws strikes with three excellent pitches, and I think he'll get more consistent. Looked great in Arizona Fall League, except for the disaster in the Rising Stars game."
Colorado Rockies Top 20 Prospects for 2012 - Minor League Ball
"2) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Grade A-: Lost velocity late in the year, but had extenuating circumstances (two-week layoff because of the trade with Cleveland, followed by appendectomy) and was still effective even with less zip on the fastball. Projects as a number two starter but could use some Triple-A action to polish up his changeup."
Fantasy Baseball 365
FantasyBaseball365 : Athletics 2012 5x5 Prospect Rankings
"Time is rapidly running out for [Michael Taylor] to translate his tools into useable skills....After flashing all the skills at the Double-A level you'd hope to see from a fantasy outfielder while with the Phillies in 2009, he has failed to duplicate that success with his current employer. Taylor will probably open the season in Triple-A, but if the light goes on, and he's able to tap into the skills he once put on display with his previous organization, he could offer modest home run and stolen base contributions with a decent batting average"
Fantasy Baseball 365: Astros 2012 5x5 Prospect Rankings
"Oberholtzer came to the Astros as part of the Michael Bourn trade. He won't overwhelm viewers with his stuff, but attacks hitters with an upper-80s-to-low-90s fastball, curveball, slider and change-up. None of his pitches are plus offerings, but all are average and play up because of his excellent control and command"
Fantasy Baseball 365: Angels 2012 5x5 Prospect Rankings
"He barely qualifies as a prospect coming up just seven at-bats short of losing his rookie eligibility. Regardless, Trout is a special talent. He reached the majors before his 20th birthday, and has the type of upside that could one day make him a top half of the first round fantasy talent. He epitomizes what it means to be a five-tool player, but more importantly to fantasy gamers, he could be a five category star. "
Top 15 Prospects: Boston Red Sox | FanGraphs Baseball
"The Boston Red Sox top prospects list has undergone an upheaval over last season’s like no other. Only one player in the Top 10 (Ryan Lavarnway) appeared on the list a year ago, which accounts for an unprecedented amount of movement. The list lost just one prospect to graduation (Josh Reddick) while the other eight players either lost value or were surpassed by more promising talent. The good news for the system is that it still has a fair bit of depth and some of the players who stumbled in 2011 could rebuild their prospect value in ’12."
Bullpen Banter: Houston Astros 2012 Top 15 Prospects
"It has taken some dismantling at the major league level, but Houston now has a system that is on the upswing. Given how low the valley was, the effort still leaves it in the middle of the pack; still, it is significant progress, and there are upside plays that we have not seen in some time. George Springer has one of the highest ceilings of the 2011 draft class – think 30/30 type of production with a healthy walk rate and good defense. The UConn center fielder has loud tools with tremendous bat speed and a work ethic that bodes well for their continued progression into skills."
Bullpen Banter: Colorado Rockies 2012 Top 15 Prospects
"Nolan Arenado was a name prospect last year, but the work he has put in at trimming down and improving his defense at third base puts him squarely in the former category. Even if his defensive ceiling at third base is limited to merely average, the bat makes him an exciting player. The hit tool has been on display for some time, and there is hope that he eventually grows into plus power."
Seedlings to Stars (Top 100 Prospects)
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #8: Shelby Miller
"More than any sort of statistical dominance, Miller’s always been known for having a very powerful right arm. He whips fastballs in the 93-96 range with excellent riding life up in the zone, and he backs it up with a solid curveball and a workable changeup. His delivery is extremely simple and effortless, so he isn’t sacrificing durability for the sake o/f velocity. At 6’3″ and a sturdy 200 lbs. he’s built to pitch deep into games."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #9: Jameson Taillon
"We’re splitting hairs here in the top 10, and Taillon is simply further from the majors than any of the pitchers above him. There’s a lot that can still go wrong with him, as he has yet to make it to the upper minors; he also needs to stretch out far more, as the Pirates had him on a very short leash all season. While he’s built for durability, build alone isn’t necessarily going to keep him healthy, and he’ll also need to prove he can hold his stuff deeper into games."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #10: Anthony Rendon
"For much of 2009 and 2010, Rendon was considered a near-lock to be picked first in 2011, and he was still the #1 college position player taken and the second position player overall. The reason why he slipped even that far can mainly be attributed to ankle problems that slowed him in his final year at Rice. There’s some debate on how well he’ll recover, but it’s widely held that he has an excellent chance to return to his previous dominant form."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #11: Robbie Erlin
"You could make a good argument that Erlin has the best command in the minor leagues; at the least, only a couple of pitchers (Tom Milone and teammate Joe Wieland come to mind) that are on his level. Erlin, however, has better stuff than Wieland or Milone, showing three pitches that all could end up above average."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #12: Devin Mesoraco
"Mesoraco may not be a star, but it looks like his floor is "average starting catcher," and that’s got a ton of value. It’s quite likely that he’ll be a well-above-average backstop for many years, contributing in every facet of the game save for baserunning. If he can return to 2010 form, he could be a regular All-Star selection, but even if he’s more of a doubles hitter and he doesn’t shut down the running game, he should have a career equal to that of the backstop he’s replacing in Cincinnati, Ramon Hernandez."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #13: Manny Machado
"Machado already boasts solid power and an advanced feel for hitting and for the strike zone as a teenager, and he should grow into more pop as he matures. He swings at good pitches and gets good plate coverage from his sound swing. He already doesn’t have a major weakness as a hitter, and as he adapts and matures, he could become a monster offensively. Furthermore, he should have some defensive value."
The Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects, #14: Trevor Bauer
"Bauer gets the edge over Cole here because he got into pro ball a bit earlier and proved that his stuff translated exceptionally well even to Double-A; there was late-season talk that he would play in the majors the same year he was drafted. Even with the Diamondbacks acquiring Trevor Cahill in the offseason, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Bauer open 2012 in Arizona, and he could certainly be up at some point during the season."
Rays Colored Glasses - Robbie Knopf breaksdown the top catchers for the 2012 draft: Parts #1, #2, #3, and his rankings.
Deep Leagues - Bradley O'Neill released his top 50 outfield prospects list and his top 25 third base prospects list.
Prospect Instinct - Thomas Belmont gives a great scouting report on newly acquired Oakland Athletics P Tom Milone.