8. Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers
Castellanos was drafted by Detroit in the first round (44th overall) back in 2010 out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida. He crushed pitching at High Single-A Lakeland last year (.405/.461/.553 in 215 at-bats) before being promoted to Double-A Erie, where he hit .264 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 322 at-bats.
Castellanos, 21, is a pure-hitting prospect despite his lack of patience; he's posted high BABIPs in his two minor league seasons. He consistently squares the ball up with hard contact and has solid pitch recognition. He only has 17 long balls in two seasons, but he should grow into some more power at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. He's a natural infielder - he played shortstop in high school - but he was moved to right field last year to give him another avenue to The Show. He uses the entire field when hitting and could develop into a consistent, middle-of-the-order run producer soon.
There is a good chance that Castellanos will start the year in the minors, but he has shown to be a quick study in left field this spring, and his bat is making Jim Leyland's decision tougher. It's possible he starts the year as a right-handed hitting platoon to Andy Dirks. Brennan Boesch was just released and Quintin Berry isn't a long-term option. Because he has the potential to hit near .300 with 20-plus home run power, Castellanos will be in the discussion for a full-time job next season.
On to No. 9
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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