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.
Today we profile some outfielders that took part in Sunday's All-Star Futures Game in Phoenix.
Harper went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the showcase, but there's no reason to be alarmed by the performance. He was the second youngest player in the game. It's so rare to see an 18-year-old in Double-A, and Harper has shown no signs of being overwhelmed there while hitting .357 through his first four games at Harrisburg.
The Las Vegas native is going to make a strong push for a major league roster spot next spring and will likely debut no later than June 2012 as a 19-year-old. In the last 25 years, he's right there in the conversation with Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez as the best teenage prospects in professional baseball.
Myers went hitless in three at-bats Sunday, driving in a run on a fielder's choice. The former catcher lost significant fantasy value when he was moved to the outfield this year, and he hasn't quite hit like an outfielder should, batting only .265 with three homers, 21 RBIs, five steals and a .724 OPS in 200 at-bats with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Despite the rough year, Myers is an impressive hitting talent who brings breathtaking bat speed to the table.
The 20-year-old is a five-tool talent who shares some similarities with another converted catcher, Jayson Werth. It's not discouraging to see a 20-year-old hit the wall in Double-A. Myers posted a .934 OPS as a teenager in the minors last year, so there's no reason to believe he can't develop into an All-Star-caliber outfielder.
The basestealing machine went 1-for-2 with a run scored and a stolen base in Phoenix. Selected by the Giants with the 24th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Brown has enjoyed a fine debut with high Single-A San Jose, hitting .312 with seven home runs, 51 RBIs, 67 runs scored and 36 steals in 50 attempts. The former Cal State Fullerton star projects as a 40- to 50-steals rabbit at the big league level.
For a leadoff hitter, Brown is not much of a walker, so it will be interesting to see if he can maintain a decent on-base percentage as he faces tougher competition. For a runner who supposedly has 80 speed on the scouting scale, his basestealing efficiency has been mediocre when one considers the context of the California League.
Silverio cracked a two-run home run off Cleveland's Drew Pomeranz in the sixth inning, finishing the game 1-for-4. The 24-year-old has been in the Dodgers' system since 2003 and has gradually become a productive player over the last few years. In 325 at-bats with Double-A Chattanooga, Silverio has been an extra-base hit machine, hitting .314 with 10 home runs, 28 doubles, 12 triples, 57 RBIs and a .566 slugging percentage.
The downside is that Silverio is an overly aggressive hitter with only 14 walks this year, and his approach could be exploited as he moves up the ladder. He also has been horrendous on the basepaths, successful on just 10 of 19 basestealing attempts this year. Considering the Dodgers' financial troubles, there is a chance that Andre Ethier could be playing elsewhere in 2012, which would open two outfield spots for two of their top-level outfield prospects. Silverio could be in the mix for a starting job next spring along with prospects Jerry Sands and Trayvon Robinson.
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.