Your fantasy baseball rankings look a little stale. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting series highlights the exploits of minor league baseball players, including top MLB prospects. Find out who'll make an impact, whether it's in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball game next week or in your fantasy baseball keeper league two years from now.
Baseball fans will soon hear a lot about this Cuban shortstop, but he's more of defensive wiz than a fantasy contributor. Despite a respectable .291 career average in the minors, Iglesias' total offensive game is pretty bland. He has yet to hit a professional homer and has never topped double digits in steals, and he is a free swinger who doesn't walk much. In 35 at-bats this year, Iglesias is batting .257 with two RBIs, six runs and one stolen base.
The Royals aggressively placed Colon, the No. 4 overall pick from the 2010 draft, in Double-A, where he is hitting only .205 through 44 at-bats. But he has shown a diverse set of offensive skills, evident in his two homers, two steals and eight walks to only five strikeouts. The former Cal State Fullerton star projects as a .280 hitter who can reach double digits in both homers and steals.
The 2009 first-round selection put up good baseball-card numbers in the California League last year, hitting .318 with 20 homers, 39 doubles, 87 RBIs and nine steals. Green also struck out 117 times to only 38 walks, which raises skepticism about how legitimate his performance was in a hitter's circuit. Green has gotten off to a slow start in the Texas League (.184), but he has shown a better grasp of the strike zone (six BBs, eight K's). Green projects as a power-hitting middle infielder with a middle-of-the-road batting average at best. The big question is whether he has enough glove to stick at shortstop.
Beckham, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, has hit only .262/.331/.373 in his professional career. Although he has stolen 43 bases in the minors, he has also been gunned down 25 times. In 51 at-bats in the Southern League this season, Beckham is hitting .255 with two homers, seven RBIs and two steals. Only 21, Beckham still has time, but it's going to be a challenge to turn his fortunes around in a tough circuit.
Franklin has as promising of an offensive game as any shortstop in the minors. Last year as a 19-year-old, the switch-hitter hit .281 with 23 homers and 25 steals for low Single-A Clinton of the Midwest League. There are some long-term questions about whether he will stick at shortstop. There are even questions about his aggressive approach (123 strikeouts, 50 walks at Clinton) but he does have the uncanny bat speed to overcome some of his holes.
Segura is an explosive athlete who just moved to shortstop from second base. The Dominican is off to a torrid start in the California League, hitting .382 with four doubles, two triples, six steals and a .970 OPS through 55 at-bats. Last year in the Midwest League, Segura hit .313 with 10 homers, 79 RBIs and 50 steals. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound infielder has the wheels to compete for stolen base crowns one day.
Machado, the third overall pick of the 2010 draft, was taken that high because scouts loved his bat. The South Florida prep star projects as a good hitter in both the batting average and power department. Machado, 18, has held his own in the South Atlantic League, posting a .280 average and an .803 OPS in 50 at-bats.
Scouts love Profar's glove. There are mixed opinions on how much Profar's bat will develop, but the 18-year-old has held his own so far by showing some pop, solid plate discipline and the ability to swipe bases. In only 29 at-bats, Profar is hitting .179, but the teenager already has two homers, a triple, two steals and four walks.
About Chris Hadorn
Chris Hadorn has covered minor league and amateur prospects for more than a decade. He writes for San Diego's North County Times and has been a KFFL fantasy baseball contributor since 2006.