This is the second in a three-part series counting down the top fifteen prospects who will make a fantasy impact in the 2013 season. Keep in mind that this list is specifically focused on fantasy impact players– those guys who you can expect to contribute significantly to their teams and yours in the coming campaign. With that in mind, let’s get into the second group!
When the Mets began talking to Toronto about trading Cy-Young winner R.A. Dickey, they expressed that there was no deal unless D’Arnaud was in it. That says a lot about what they think of the young catcher’s chances of helping the major league club in the near future. After a fine 2011 at AA New Hampshire that saw D’Arnaud hit .311 with 21 HR, Travis was poised to do even more damage at AAA. Unfortunately, a PCL tear in late June of 2012 cut his season short. He still managed 16 HR and 52 RBI in just 67 games. D’Arnaud is healthy again and only veteran John Buck stands between him and majors. Look for Travis to be called upon around the All-Star break as the mediocre Mets begin to fall out of the race. He should bring a decent BA and good power for the catcher position.
#9: Jurickson Profar (SS, TEX)
Highest Level in 2012: MAJ
The switch-hitting, slick-fielding Profar is regarded by many scouts as the number one prospect in all of baseball. While he has yet to fully fill out his frame, Profar has shown an increase in power numbers for the last two seasons at A and AA, while maintaining a low strikeout rate and consistent speed metrics. The Rangers love his athleticism and compact swing, and even though their roster is tight, the word is that they will find a spot at the major league level for the young shortstop at some point during 2013. With regular playing time, he could grow into a 20/20 fantasy star.
#8: Mike Zunino (C, SEA)
Highest Level in 2012: AA
Mike Zunino has only 151 professional ABs in his career, but they've been very impressive, enough so
that the Mariners moved Jesus Montero into the DH role to clear the way for Zunino. He is a fine defensive
catcher who shows great power and bat speed. Although he is a bit of a free swinger, he's been able
to keep his BA above .300 at all levels thus far. Like many youngsters, he'll likeley struggle with the breaking stuff early on, but if Zunino does in fact leave Spring Training as the Mariners' starting catcher, he projects to hit in the area of .265 with 22 HR and 80 RBI. Zunino could be a cheap #2 fantasy catcher with some serious upside.
#7: Trevor Bauer (SP, CLE)
Highest Level in 2012: MAJ
Trevor Bauer seemed ready to take the majors by storm last summer. In a season split between AA and AAA, he posted a 12-2 record, 2.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 157 K in only 130 IP. The D-Backs’ only choice was to move him up to the major league level in late June. But over his four starts in the bigs, Bauer was just not the same pitcher. lacking command and falling behind hitters over and over again. The stuff was there-- mid-90s fastball, nasty slider and solid changeup, but he just couldn’t put it together with any consistency. Bauer also didn't mesh very well in the clubhouse, which led his trade to the Indians this offseason. His unorthodox delivery makes him very tough on hitters, and he could break camp as the Indians #5 starter. If he gets himself together again, he’s certainly capable of winning 12-14 games with a high strikeout total over a full season of starts.
Jedd Gyorko is a flat-out professional hitter. He has never hit under .284 at any level in the minors. Last year, Gyorko hit .311 with 30 HR and 100 RBI between AA and AAA. The problem is that Jedd just isn't great with the glove. That said, with Logan Forsythe looking more like a utility option for the Pads, Gyorko could hit his way into the major-league lineup to start the season. As long as he doesn’t make too many game-destroying errors, his offense should be enough to keep him around. Chase Headley is also a free agent at the end of this year, and if the Padres struggle, they could move Headley by the trading deadline, opening up 3B for Forsythe and clearing the way for Gyorko on the right side of the infield.
Still to come: Part III of the Impact Prospects rankings. Part I can be found here. And if you've missed them, be sure to also check out RotoBaller.com's other pre-season 2013 fantasy baseball positional rankings for more in-depth analysis:
- First Base - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (1B)
- Second Base - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (2B)
- Third Base - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (3B)
- Shortstop - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (SS)
- Outfield - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (OF)
- Starting Pitchers - Fantasy Baseball Rankings (SP)
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