Top 100 Fantasy Prospects for 2012: 20-1

From Hisashi Iwakuma to Matt Moore.

After spending the past few weeks at a secure, undisclosed location (Code Name: Parent’s Basement), I’ve emerged with a list of 100 prospects who, I’m fairly confident, will make an impact on the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Just how much impact? In some cases, it could be a lot; but in others, it could be minimal — or even none. That’s the inherent risk in predicting and projecting not only prospects’ development curves but also how these players could possibly fit into their big-league team’s plans during the upcoming season.

That’s why, much like I do with my Mining the Minors columns, I’ve done my best to incorporate both talent and opportunity. Sometimes, a player’s talent is so elite that it’s worth bumping him up the rankings even if his path to playing time isn’t all that clear (think: Mike Trout). But there are also plenty of players in the rankings who will skew more toward the opportunity side of the spectrum, as in: talent aside, they’re (nearly) ready from Day One. Trying to weigh and balance these two aspects — talent and opportunity — is what makes a list like this so challenging. And so fluid. Which is to say, my mind could change on any of the players on the list between today and tomorrow. Or even today and later today.

What I hope this ranking provides for you readers is some semblance of an idea of which prospects will be making an impression on the 2012 fantasy baseball landscape. If you happen to think that the guy ranked No. 18 should be No. 93 … or that there’s no way the dude at No. 47 should be outside the Top 10 … well I can’t say you’re wrong. I can only say this is my guess based on my knowledge of these players and their teams — and where everything stands at the moment.

So over the coming weeks, I’ll be unveiling my rankings 20 players at a time, starting from No. 100 and working all the way to the top of the list.

Remember, to be eligible for this, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (or 30 appearances) in his career.

Also to be clear: This is strictly for 2012. While some of these players are already owned, about to be drafted or could make for nice in-season acquisitions in keeper leagues, the goal here is to help fantasy owners in 2-0-1-2.

Previous Installments
Nos. 100-81
Nos. 80-61
Nos. 60-41
Nos. 40-21

20: Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners SP
Talent: 6
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Nippon Professional Baseball

The soon-to-be-31-year-old righty had been one of NPB’s top starters for quite some time (2.67 ERA, 1.13 WHIP since 2007), and he’s going to be in Seattle’s rotation, so we’re talking instant impact. But his 7.0 K/9 rate leaves a bit to be desired, so don’t expect him to be more than a streaming option in deep mixed leagues or a passable SP5 in AL-onlies. He won’t hurt, but he doesn’t exactly move the needle, either.

19: Tyler Pastornicky, Braves SS
Talent: 6
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Triple-A

If not for the Fallow Fantasy Shortstop Era, Pastornicky would be much lower. He’s just 22 with all of 27 games north of Double-A, and his .719 career OPS is evidence of a somewhat hollow hit tool. But Pastornicky has Atlanta’s starting job — for now — and is capable of swiping 15-20 bases if given regular PT, which makes him an option in deep NL play. Hey, it’s hard out here (at shortstop) for a fantasy owner.

18: Shelby Miller, Cardinals SP
Talent: 9
Opportunity: 7
2011 Highest Level: Double-A

Miller kicks off a quartet of uber-prospects who are here more for their talent than their opportunity. While some would argue that the Cards righty won’t sniff the majors until September, there’s a case to be made that if he’s good enough in his first shot at Triple-A, he could force the Cardinals hand — and Jake Westbrook out of the rotation. And this precocious 21-year-old’s stuff and moxie indicates success might just be immediate, whenever the debut happens.

17: Bryce Harper, Nationals OF
Talent: 10
Opportunity: 7
2011 Highest Level: Double-A

Folks, your guess is as good as mine. If you think Harper — who’s the top prospect in baseball in this guy’s book — makes it to Washington for Opening Day, then he’s probably in the Top 5; but he could just as easily spend four months in the minors before getting his first big-league look-see. My personal feeling is it would be better for everyone involved — and fantasy owners — if the Nats go the latter route, allowing Harper to conquer at Triple-A rather than sputter in the majors. After all, how many beastly MLB seasons have their been from 19-year-olds exactly?

16: Trevor Bauer, D-backs SP
Talent: 9
Opportunity: 7
2011 Highest Level: Double-A

Bauer, the No. 3 pick in 2011, could adapt to pitching in the bigs right now, so it was a bit unfortunate when Arizona brought back Joe Saunders to plug the final spot in its rotation. But between Saunders’ so-so-ness and Josh Collmenter‘s he-can’t-do-that-again-can-he-ness, there’s no reason to think Bauer can’t tear through the high minors and start whiffing major league hitters by, say, late May or June. The peripherals could be a bit icky on occasion, but the strikeouts will be plentiful enough to satisfy even some mixed-league streamers.

15: Danny Hultzen, Mariners SP
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 8
2011 Highest Level: N/A

Despite signing too late to make his pro debut during the minor league season after going No. 2 overall last June, there’s at least the possibility that Hultzen, 22, pulls a Mike Leake and makes Seattle’s Opening Day starting five. The lefty squashed the Arizona Fall League comp (19.1 IPs, 3 ERs, 16 Hs, 18:3 K:BB) and has the poise and know-how to survive should that possibility become a reality. More likely, though, he’ll head to Double-A and pitch his way to the bigs by mid-season. At that point, Hultzen will be a credible AL-only play, given his favorable ballpark.

14: Brad Peacock, A’s SP
Talent: 7
Opportunity: 9
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Peacock has come a long way in a year, his 2011 was flat-out nasty (2.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 10.9 K/9) and his new digs will only help. Plus, he’s all but got a rotation slot locked up. Still, he’s not quite the elite prospect some would have you think — his low-90s heater is pretty straight — so don’t expect oodles of swings-and-misses, meaning he could blow up your ERA and WHIP on occasion without brining much to your K tally. It’s just too hard to ignore the cozy situation he’s in.

13: Jacob Turner, Tigers SP
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 8
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Since being drafted in 2009′s first round, Turner has been extremely consistent. The 6’5″ right-hander may have only a slightly-above-average 7.7 K/9 rate for his career but his power stuff could play up in Detroit. If that sounds familiar to Rick Porcello, well, it is — and it isn’t. Turner’s heater is a four-seamer that bodes better for Ks, as opposed to Porcello’s two-seam, sinking fastball that gets grounders. Plus, Porcello’s minor league strikeout rate was just 5.4/9. Turner’s in a battle for the No. 5 spot, and if he gets it, he should be able to post a useable ERA, decent WHIP and earn enough wins to matter in all AL-onlies. And maybe some mixed leagues.

12: Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics OF
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 9
2011 Highest Level: Serie Nacional

Count me among fantasy owners who were disappointed to see Cespedes land in the anti-hitter confines of the Coliseum, simply because a guy with this much power deserves to be able to take advantage of it. The other worry is the growing likelihood that the 26-year-old starts his MLB career in the minors, which obviously hurts his 2012 value. If given around 400 ABs, there’s a good chance he could reach double digits in homers and swipe some bags, but after what we saw in his Winter Ball showing, Cespedes could also struggle in his initial exposure to major league pitching, strike out a ton and hit sub-.250. Don’t overdraft him in AL leagues, and until we know whether he’s made the club, don’t bother drafting him in mixed formats.

11: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 1B
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 9
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Everyone, including the Padres, might just have been too quick to jump off the Rizzo bandwagon after a mere 128 ABs in the scariest hitting environment imaginable. Yes, the stats — .141/.281/.242 — were brutal, but Rizzo’s power (back-to-back 25-homer seasons) and patient approach (14% BB during his disastrous MLB debut) are legit, and he’s still only 22 years old. Once he gets to Wrigley, his bat will play up, too. So long as Rizzo uses his time at Triple-A to work on the holes exposed in the majors while Bryan LaHair does what he can to hold down the gig at first, Rizzo can still be an impact hitter. And sooner than those of you who’ve already moved on think.

10: Julio Teheran, Braves SP
Talent: 9
Opportunity: 8
2011 Highest Level: Majors

In 2011, Teheran suffered a bit from the Rizzo Effect — that’s what I’m calling it when there’s an overreaction to a brief yet unsatisfying introduction to the majors — when he posted a slightly-unsightly 5.03 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in his first 19.2 IPs over a few fill-in starts. Combined with a drop in K/9 from 10.0 to 7.6, and you can see why there were the makings of an uprising in the non-Teheran camp. But one look at his other digits (15-3 W-L, 2.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) in his intial campaign at Triple-A, not to mention the fact that he just turned 21, and it’s worth pointing out that Teheran justifiably deserves the benefit of the doubt. He’s not yet settled into a rotation spot with Atlanta, but injury concerns plague the starting five, and if a spot opens up, the right-hander could be ready to seize his next opp.

9: Mike Trout, Angels OF
Talent: 10
Opportunity: 7
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Before you go all up in arms, remember that Trout is still a pup (20) and has approximately 13 big-leaguers to climb over on the depth chart. While Trout’s power-speed combo would be a great fit for the Angels offense — perhaps even as a leadoff hitter — the club is clearly not going to rush him when there’s no need to. But as soon as one or two of Vernon Wells, Bobby Abreu, Kendrys Morales or Mark Trumbo either gets hurt or slumps, Trout will be on call to inject some explosion into an otherwise aging lineup. Until then, expect his dynamic Double-A performance in 2011 (.326/.414/.544) to translate rather well to Triple-A, a level he’ll be seeing for the first time, by the way. Yet another reason it’s tough to rank Trout any higher.

8: Jarrod Parker, A’s SP
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 9
2011 Highest Level: Majors

The 2007 first-rounder pitched about as well as you could expect in his first year back from TJ surgery, putting up a 3.79 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 7.7 K/9. Most importantly, those stats came over 130.2 injury-free innings, a career-high. That means Parker is ready to pitch close to a full slate of innings in 2012, or at least “full” by the standard that applies to a player who should exhaust his rookie eligibility this year for his new club. Speaking of that, while his move from the NL to the AL isn’t going to do Parker any favors, he does have a much better park and a much clearer path to an Opening Day job as a member of a big-league starting rotation, especially while Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden remain DL’d. Expect Parker to make an impact in all AL-onlies and deeper mixed leagues.

7: Devin Mesoraco, Reds C
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Majors

The elephant in the room here is Dusty Baker‘s Dusty Bakerness when it comes to sticking by his veterans rather than handing jobs to more-than-ready prospects. While that could certainly be an issue — and fact is, Ryan Hanigan ain’t a bad alternative at backstop — the guess here is that Mesoraco makes the team out of camp, starts out as the backup in April then hits too well for even Dusty to ignore, thus seizing the starting job by early May. Hanigan will still get more play than a typical No. 2 catcher, but Mesoraco’s stick will fit right into a strong Cincy lineup and the former first-rounder will be mixed-league worthy before Dusty can say Michael Barrett.

6: Zack Cozart, Reds SS
Talent: 7
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Another Reds player? What in the name of Dusty Baker is going on here! Okay, hear me out. Cincinnati hasn’t had a reliable shortstop capable of doing good things on both sides of the ball since, like, Barry Larkin. Cozart isn’t a high-end talent, but he should be steady on D, and the 26-year-old is ready to put his solid all-around offensive game to the big-league test. To some extent, his value will depend on his spot in the batting order, but even if he spends most of the time hitting in the bottom third, Cozart has enough pop and baserunning savvy to produce double-digits in homers and swipes. Coming from the shortstop spot, that would make Cozart a starting SS in NL leagues and a mixed league MI.

5: Yonder Alonso, Padres 1B
Talent: 8
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Alonso isn’t your prototypical power bat at first (career .466 SLG and 15 HRs is his best total), but the 2008 top pick by the Reds — yes, that team again — has a swing tailor-made for the alleys in Petco. The 24-year-old, now out from behind Joey Votto and no longer forced to fiddle with left field, can focus on knocking doubles left and right and maybe even a few balls over Yonder. (Hey oh!) He won’t get much in the way of lineup support, so runs and RBIs could be lacking for a power position, which is why you won’t want to draft him to be anything more than a reserve in mixed leagues. But Alonso will make for a fine CI in almost all NL formats.

4: Addison Reed, White Sox RP
Talent: 7
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Majors

The thinking here is that Reed could very well turn out to be 2012′s version of the guy the Sox just traded away this winter, Sergio Santos. That is, a hard-throwing, whiff-inducing reliever who works his way from set-up man to closer over the course of the season. Reed’s first full pro season was a thing of beauty — a 1.26 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9 and 12.6 K/9 across four minor-league stops — that culminated in a very strong 7.1-inning MLB debut (12:1 K:BB) in September. Assured of an Opening Day role in a bullpen sans Santos and reliever-turned-starter Chris Sale, the 23-year-old Reed could approach 100 Ks and 15-plus saves, even if Matt Thornton and/or Jesse Crain is the closer to start the year.

3: Jesus Montero, Mariners C/DH
Talent: 9
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Before anything else, it’s important to clarify something: This ranking is based on Montero being catcher-eligible in your format heading into the season. If your league requires anything more than 20 games played at a position to gain eligibility, that could hinder his value enough to drop him back a few spots. While the bat is very much for real — the 22-year-old could hit .280 with 18-20 HRs this year — the problem, of course, is that using up your Utility spot to roster him just doesn’t do much good. He could hit enough to be worthy of starting there in AL-onlies or deep mixed, but don’t waste a valuable lineup position on a rookie. If you can plug him in at catcher, though? Yeah that’ll work in every AL league and even some mixed. But catcher is actually deeper than you think this year, so don’t go overpaying for Montero just because he’s a hyped rook. Also, even though he’s guaranteed ABs with Seattle, I think his value is hurt much more by the Mariners’ lineup and ballpark than it would have been had he stayed in a more tenuous role with the high-scoring, friendly-park Yankees.

2: Yu Darvish, Rangers SP
Talent: 9
Opportunity: 10
2011 Highest Level: Nippon Professional Baseball

By now, you should know all about him. The chances that the Japanese phenom turns out to be the best rookie this year are rather high, given that he’s experienced 25-year-old who is ready to contribute — if not dominate — in the majors from Opening Day. Darvish could certainly sport a low-3s ERA, WHIP in the 1.10-1.15 range and approach 200 Ks in his inaugural campaign. But he’s No. 2 on this list for two reasons: 1) The guy at No. 1 is pretty freaking fantastic; and 2) there are enough questions about the transition from NPB to MLB (and Japan to the U.S.) to give pause. How will he adapt to the different baseballs? How will he hold up pitching every five (not six) days over a longer season? How frustrating will it be to pitch in hitter-friendly Rangers ballpark? How much tougher of a challenger are major league hitters going to pose? You get the idea. I borderline love Darvish, but I’m not willing to rely on him to be anything more than an SP3 this year, at least on draft day.

1: Matt Moore, Rays SP
Talent: 10
Opportunity: 9
2011 Highest Level: Majors

Ranking Moore ahead of Darvish — and No. 1 overall for 2012 — is a bit of a gamble. Not on the talent, which is as good as it gets, but on the opportunity. Make no mistake, Moore is pitching in the major leagues this year, but he also isn’t guaranteed of an Opening Day rotation spot because Tampa still has five other starers. And let’s not forget that the 22-year-old’s innings and workload will likely be monitored, especially in the second half. But Moore is way too good for the Rays not to find a way to get him 25+ starts, and if any first-year pitcher is going to pull a 2010 Strasburg and flat-out pwn (yes, pwn) the competition, it’s Moore. Even going up against the wicked AL East — hey, he shutout the Yanks over 5 innings with 11 Ks in his MLB debut — Moore’s mid-90s power stuff from the left side is going to be too much to handle on more days than not. And the Rays’ defense is also among the best in baseball, so he’ll have some help even when batters manage to, you know, make actual contact. Again, you can’t count on Moore to be your SP1 or 2 because those should be horses, but he might just be an ideal SP3 with a crazy mix of whiffs and miniscule periphs.




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Jason Catania is an MLB Lead Writer for Bleacher Report who also contributes to ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider and MLB Rumor Central, focusing on baseball and fantasy content. When he was first introduced to fantasy baseball, Derek Jeter had 195 career hits, Jamie Moyer had 72 wins and Matt Stairs was on team No. 3. You can follow him on Twitter: @JayCat11


40 Responses to “Top 100 Fantasy Prospects for 2012: 20-1”

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  1. Steve says:

    Awesome stuff here. As a related but unrelated question… In a keeper league, would you rather have Matt Moore or Brandon Beachy for 2012? I have the first pick in our upcoming draft and Beachy is available who I’m very excited about but someone offered me Matt Moore for the first pick and I’m torn. It’s a points-league that highly rewards quality starts for what that’s worth.

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    • JV says:

      If someone offered me Moore for Beachy in one of my keepers, I’d be hitting “Accept” as fast as I could. I still like Beachy, but Moore has to be one of the most valuable keeper commodities out there right now.

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      • Jason Catania says:

        Steve: Have to agree with JV. Their 2012 values may be similar, though I think Moore outperforms Beachy, and Moore going forward is the keeper.

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  2. Michael Smith says:

    Worst list ever. Bryce Harper at #17 is absurd. Jurickson Profar not in the top 20. Yu Darvish at #2 is laughable. Whoever wrote this needs to find another occupation.

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    • Todd says:

      I think you’re missing the focus of this list. It’s not a list of the top 100 prospects in baseball, but a list of the top 100 prospects who can, potentially, help your fantasy team in 2012. So, projected playing time for the upcoming season is taken into account (which is why you don’t see Profar in the top 20).

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    • Jason Catania says:

      Give Michael a sec, folks. He’ll get there…

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    • Lukehart80 says:

      There’s clearly a huge emphasis here being placed on 2012 production, not a player’s value in keeper leagues. Notice the “opportunity” metric. If Harper doesn’t play in Washington until after the All-Star break, #17 isn’t absurd at all.

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      • Young Whipper-Snapper says:

        #17 might be reasonable even if harper breaks spring training with big club. He’s 19.

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    • Stooge Newton says:

      I would have to agree somewhat with Michael Smith. The Yu ranking is fine enough. Peacock will be streamable vs bad teams at home, but so will a lot of pitchers, he’s not all that special. Yonder=Loney, and who wants Loney? Rizzo might possibly be a slobbering destitute man’s Mark Trumbo,maybe.
      I was really looking forward to the top 20 in this series, and I’m quite disappointed.

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      • Jason Catania says:

        Stooge: That’s fine if you disagree. But I would ask you this, given that I was counting down, who else were you expecting to be in the Top 20 that isn’t? Or is it just that you see this rookie class as not all that special overall?

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    • Daniel says:

      gosh dude its for 2012. of course profar isnt on the top 20! he’s not even in the top 100 if you notice because his chances of playing all year are like .001% and get any playing time is like 1%. read the story before you say its the worst list ever

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    • nilbog44 says:

      what’s it like being incredibly dumb?

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  3. Ayuh says:

    Did Gerrit Cole not make this list?

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  4. Tvators says:

    You failed to mention that Moore start was against the Yankee’s was really their bench & AAA call ups… lineup of jeter (played 3 Innings, replaced by Dickerson), nunez, Teix, Swisher (also played 3 innings-replaced by R. Pena), Jones, Montero, Posada, Laird, Golson.

    I LOVE Moore but its not going to be all smooth sailing and a full yr of AL east (not AAA east) lineups will have an effect as well. I cant wait for next year when everyone is disappointed in Moore and he falls in drafts and auctions or could be traded for cheaply in keepers

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    • Jason Catania says:

      Tvators: You did watch Game 1 of the ALDS, right? You know, Moore basically tearing up the explosive Rangers lineup. In his first playoff start.

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  5. Tvators says:

    yes I am aware and I have moore in an Al only keeper/w 4 minors for 3 years now, i love him, I really really do, but everywhere and everyone is so high on him and maybe rightfully so, I just dont know if its going to be immediate, young pitchers struggle sometimes, I’m sure he will have dominant games but I just think there will be times, he gets hit around, again I just do not think he’s going to cruise this year. I would not be drafting or paying for him in auctions this year at all….if he was in say NL central I’d be all over it, just think all yr in that division, facing lineups repeatedly, plus a bit of babying this year he will disappoint (for this year only)

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  6. d_i says:

    My biggest objections with this entire list were J Paxton at 51 (especially given Hultzen’s rank – they’re in the same boat both in terms of talent and oportunity), T. Pastornicky at 19 (he’s not even a 6 for talent and will be awful this year), and Rizzo/Cespedes – just don’t think either is as good as they’ve been made out to be and I think LeHair holds onto that job for the whole year.

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  7. Harry Pennis says:

    My five year old sister could come up with a better list than this numb nuts. Where are Gerrit Cole, Nolen Arenado, Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Travis D’Arnaud, Leonys Martin, or Miguel Sano. Whoever made this list must take it the long way.

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  8. Hugh G. Rection says:

    The only thing dumber than this list is the person who wrote it. Tyler Pastornicky & Zack Cozart couldn’t hit a watermelon if Jason Catania threw it at them. Maybe if fielding ground balls was a stat in fantasy then they would be relevant. And if Yu Darvish pitch to the Nippon Ham Fighters all season then he may put up some decent numbers. This list is doggy doo doo.

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    • James says:

      Both those guys might not put up great stats versus all of fantasy baseball, but because of their opportunity and probable starting positions they’ll put up higher counting stats than other guys on the list. That’s why they’re ranked so high. Half a season of Harper might not beat out a full season of a less talented player. That’s what the list is about, it’s pure fantasy application for this season only.

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  9. Hugh G. Rection says:

    Jason Catania needs to get the MLB package in his mother’s basement.

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  10. Jays All The Way says:

    I’m disappointed by the lack of puns. I wanted moore.

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  11. Daniel says:

    jason, I have an idea…post in huge letters between every paragraphs that THIS IS FOR 2012 AND NOT AN OVERALL PROSPECT LIST! cuz most commenters think you’re the worst baseball guy in the world (which im sure you’ve figured out) because they don’t know how to read an article instead of skimming it and posting a criticizing comment.

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  12. Hugh G. Rection says:

    Someone should re-evaluate this list at the end of this season so we can all see that Tyler Pastornicky & Zack Cozart can’t hit the backside of the barn. This LIST FOR 2012 sucks a big hard one.

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  13. Kevin says:

    Wow. Are people really this stupid?

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  14. ash says:

    Not a prospect per se but can you weigh in on Norichika Aoki… he doesn’t even have a player page here and might be an opening day outfielder for the brew crew

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    • Jason Catania says:

      ash: From the previous 20 in my rankings, which can be found here: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/?p=27643
      34: Norichika Aoki, Brewers OF
      Talent: 6
      Opportunity: 9
      2011 Highest Level: Nippon Professional Baseball
      Aoki’s stock dropped on this list after we found out Ryan Braun wasn’t going to miss the first 50 games after all. The former NPB star (.329/.408/.467 career with several seasons of double-digits in HRs and SBs) had a career-worst 2011 — .292 BA, 4 HRs, 8 SBs — but he might be a decent reserve in NL-only leagues.

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  15. Jeff says:

    great list Jason. Serves a big need, and a purpose, given the lack of lists out there dedicated to 2012-oriented prospects. keep up the good work.

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  16. balticfox1917 says:

    Thanks for the work Jason. With the possible exception of Pastornicky, the final list is solid. For those of us who play mainly in deep leagues, the rankings in the 30-60 range are especially useful.
    I certainly agree that Harper, despite all of the hype, is not going to break camp with the team regardless of what he does in spring training. The owners of the Nats don’t want that clock starting prematurely, and despite the brave words of Davey Johnson, the organization doesn’t want to rush a player with this much raw talent.

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  17. Curtis says:

    Great list. Darvish and Moore, no brainers at 1 & 2… But one guy not even in the top 100 is Erik Surkamp ( I don’t think I saw him). He’s gonna be first in line to replace Zito or Vogelsong when 1 of them implode, not to mention if somebody gets injured.

    In that ballpark with Dave Righetti, add on an amazing bullpen to hold his victories, he could very well reach 140 innings, 20-25 starts with 10 wins and an ERA in the 3.90 range. He’s had a great BB/K ratio in the minors, and even though his fastball tops out at around 90 mph, his control is good enough to put up average k numbers, at least numbers that won’t hurt you. He’s not great wih great stuff, but in that environment in that ballpark with that staff around him, I think he’ll pitch better than he actually is… Think Ryan Vogelsong last year. And just think of the horrible lineups he gets to face.

    For 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes in the top 10 of rookie pitchers, as far as fantasy production goes.

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  18. camisadelgolf says:

    It’s a myth that Dusty Baker sticks with veterans more than other managers. That whole thing started back when he was with the Cubs and was short on reliable options, hence he relied on a mediocre veteran instead of an over-matched prospect in his early 20s.

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