24. Max Fried, SP, San Diego Padres
Fried: a steal in 2012 draft?
Although Fried was taken seventh overall in last year's draft and is at the ripe age of 19, he's already listed as one of the Friars' top prospects, with perhaps a much higher ceiling than names such as Jedd Gyorko, Rymer Liriano and Casey Kelly. When an organization has as deep a pool of prospects as San Diego does, you take notice.
The problem is that he's young and made just nine starts (3.57 ERA, 17 K's, 1.13 WHIP in 17 2/3 innings) in the Arizona Rookie League last season. Fried fires a low- to mid-90s heater from the left side and possesses a nasty curveball that can consistently fool hitters, according to Baseball Prospect Nation. A developing changeup should give him the arsenal to become a front-line starting pitcher in the Padres' rotation eventually, but his combination of the fastball and curve have many scouts wondering how he even fell to No. 7 overall in last year's draft.
Fried's stellar command of his pitches is what makes him most intriguing. That and the fact that he can easily grow into his 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame - which could help him touch mid- to upper-90s on occasion - give him the potential to serve as a staff ace down the road. Even though San Diego's rotation has some major question marks, Fried won't become a realistic option to start every fifth day in the bigs for at least another season. He should be making his way onto the radar of dynasty and keeper leaguers, though.
On to No. 25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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