*The following list is based solely on future fantasy value projected for each player during the prime years of their career. Defense is not taken into account whatsoever in this list. Comps are based on who a player will profile most comparable to during the prime years of their career in terms of fantasy value. Prospect value is based on a mix of future fantasy value plus how soon they will be contributing to fantasy teams.
1) Delino DeShields – In 2012, DeShields became the first player in minor league history to hit at least 10 HR’s while compiling at least 100 SB’s. Although he didn’t put up quite the same HR/SB splits in 2013, the Astros young 2B prospect was able to raise his BA from .287 in 2012, to .317 in 2013. If you combine DeShields 2012 and 2013 stat lines, you get a .300 BA, 17 HR’s, 213 R’s, and 152 SB’s. Those are very impressive numbers for a 21 year-old 2B prospect. In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball. With Jose Altuve enriched as the 2B in Houston, DeShields might need to switch to the OF before getting a look in the majors. I expect him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a solid major league player for a long time, with the possibility of helping fantasy owners by becoming a difference maker in the SB category.
Future Fantasy Comp: Michael Bourn
2) Rougned Odor – One of the Texas Ranger’s top prospects, Odor is still just 19 years-old and finished the year in AA. Most of the players on this list have demonstrated a nice combo of power and speed, and Odor is no exception. Although he has quickly risen to AA, the Rangers will be in no hurry to rush him to Arlington. With Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, and Jurickson Profar already clogging up the middle infield positions for the Rangers, someone will eventually need to be moved to another position or traded. But if Odor continues to develop at this rate, he will just add to this organization’s wealth of middle infielders.
Future Fantasy Comp: Brandon Phillips
3) Eddie Rosario – The Minnesota Twin’s 2B prospect is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League. Rosario also played for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Rosario has hit close to .300 or better in each of his first 4 minor league seasons. This organization is desperately in need of some offense, and I can’t wait to watch Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Eddie Rosario join Joe Mauer at Target Field. There isn’t really much in terms of road-blocks keeping this trio from Minnesota, so expect to see them with the big league club as soon as they show management they are ready.
Future Fantasy Comp: Howie Kendrick
4) Arismendy Alcantara – This young prospect started the season playing SS for the AA Tennessee Smokies, then was moved to 2B after Javier Baez joined the team. Alcantara earned a trip to the Future’s Game, and hit an impressive HR off of Anthony Ranaudo. This small bodied prospect has surprising power and good speed, hitting 15 HR’s with 31 SB’s this year. Alcantara will turn 22 later this month, and a promotion to AAA to start the 2014 season is likely. Darwin Barney isn’t much of a roadblock, so we could see a changing of the guard at 2B in Chicago in the near future. Alcantara is now considered the Cub’s 2B of the future.
Future Fantasy Comp: Alexei Ramirez
5) Kolten Wong – Wong has been ranked higher than this on most 2B prospect lists, but I do not see his ceiling being as high as the other second basemen listed. The Cardinals do an amazing job of developing their youngsters, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a nice fantasy option in the future. He has already joined the big league club, logging 59 AB’s towards the end of the season. He played sporadically and was used mostly off the bench, so it is hard to put much stock into the .153 BA. Hopefully the Cardinals find a way to make Wong a full-time player in 2014 so we can see what he has to contribute to this already stacked organization.
Future Fantasy Comp: Neil Walker