4. Trevor Bauer, SP, Cleveland Indians
Bauer Power turned on soon?
Bauer was drafted third overall in the 2011 draft out of UCLA and was shipped from Arizona to Cleveland last winter as part of a three-team swap. Last year with Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, he dominated (12-2, 2.42 ERA and 157 K's in 130 1/3 frames) before being called up to the D-backs, where he struggled in just four starts (6.06 ERA, 7.2 BB/9, 11 ER).
From Bauer's unique pre-game long toss routine, to his unorthodox over-the-top delivery, to his reportedly stubborn attitude, there are plenty of things not to like about him. But when it comes to his stuff, it's hard to argue with his tremendous long-term potential. He has an advanced repertoire - mid-90s fastball, slider, splitter, changeup and plus curve - but an inconsistent release point led to control problems last season. If those problems continue, somewhere down the line he may be asked to scrap a pitch or two to become more effective at throwing strikes.
Bauer, 22, is extremely dedicated to maintaining his health and staying in peak physical and mental condition, which should bode well for his longevity as a dominant workhorse. He's competing with Carlos Carrasco and Scott Kazmir for the last rotation spot this spring, and it's unclear who has the inside track on the job. Terry Francona and the Indians might prefer to have Bauer start off in the minors, but the fact that he's walked only one in 11 spring innings is encouraging. Bauer will contribute at some point this year, but he won't be mainstay in the rotation until 2014.
On to No. 5
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.
Don't miss these great reports....