By Rob Gordon and Jeremy Deloney
The minor-league staff at BaseballHQ.com has assembled the HQ100, a list of the top 100 prospects in the minor leagues for 2013. What follows is the cream of the crop - the Top 10 prospects in the game. These players are projected to have the most long-term impact on fantasy rosters over the next several years and should be on every fantasy player's radar.
New uni for Myers
Each player's snapshot includes a short scouting report, a note about where the player is expected to be assigned in 2013 (some are closer to the majors than others), and what to expect several years down the road, when the player reaches maturity at the MLB level.
For additional information including the entire HQ100, as well as the most complete daily fantasy baseball analysis, subscribe to BaseballHQ.com. Now, on to the list:
1. Jurickson Profar (SS, TEX)
Comments: Young and advanced infielder who bypassed High-A and was September 2012 callup. He has a myriad of skills and talent and projects as perennial All-Star. Mostly plays SS, but can slide over to 2B. Possesses excellent range and a strong arm along with nimble actions. Owns incredible bat speed, bat control, and pitch recognition. Could grow into plus power with natural strength and seems destined to be .300+ hitter.
Development Path: Unless Elvis Andrus is dealt, Profar will likely head to Triple-A to begin the season. The Rangers will have some difficult decisions to make if he continues to produce.
Fantasy Impact at Maturity: There are few questions about his game offensively or defensively. At his peak, he'll hit an easy .300 with 20 HR and 25+ SB.
2. Dylan Bundy (RHP, BAL)
Comments: Advanced and strong starter reached Baltimore at age 19. Few prospects can match his upside and ability to dominate. Despite a strict innings limit and pitch count, he easily worked way through minors due to his advanced repertoire. His plus-plus 93-98 mph fastball is thrown with and effortless delivery and command while his curveball and changeup also elicit swings and misses. Once he achieves consistency, Bundy should be an annual Cy Young contender.
Development Path: He has the skills to pitch in the big leagues now, but will likely begin 2013 in the minors to build up stamina and arm strength. He's likely a second-half call-up.
Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Bundy has ace stuff and should evolve into legitimate #1 starter who contends for strikeout titles.
3. Wil Myers (OF, TAM)
Comments: Natural-hitting prospect who finished second in minors in HR in 2012 and is banging on door for immediate big league success. He profiles as an ideal middle-of-order run producer with exceptional bat speed and strength. Myers should hit for both BA and power due to pitch recognition and plus hand-eye coordination. He offers slightly below average wheels, but has plus arm strength and instincts suitable for RF.
Development Path: He was the subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason, and the speculation came to fruition in his move from Kansas City to Tampa Bay. He has the talent to not only win a starting outfield job, but vie for Rookie of the Year.
Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Other than stolen bases, he should be a multi-category standout, particularly with BA and HR.
4. Gerrit Cole (RHP, PIT)
Comments: Cole has developed into the best pitching prospect in the NL. He is aggressive on the mound and comes after hitters with a plus 92-97 mph fastball that tops out at 100 mph. Cole also has nasty power slider, a good change-up, and a curveball. His command within the zone can be a bit iffy and he sometimes leaves pitches up in the zone, but his raw stuff lets him get away with it.
Development Path: Look for Cole to get a shot to make the Pirates starting rotation this spring. He likely needs a bit of additional seasoning at Triple-A and the Pirates will look to delay the start of his arbitration clock, but if Cole pitches up to his potential, it might be hard for the Pirates not to take him north.
Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Cole has the potential to be a true #1 starter and a stat stuffer. He doesn't miss as many bats as you would expect, but that should change as he becomes more consistent and improves his control. Look for a k/9 rate north of 9.0 with a low WHIP and plenty of wins. He also has the size and mentality to develop into a workhorse who logs plenty of innings.
5. Oscar Taveras (OF, STL)
Comments: Taveras has quickly developed into one of the top prospects in baseball. He has an aggressive approach at the plate and takes a viscous hack, but makes consistent contact and has good balance. Plus bat speed, excellent hand-eye coordination, and good strike zone judgment enable him to hit for power and average. A year ago, scouts wondered if he would hit for much power, but he responded by smacking 23 round-trippers at Double-A. Solid speed and a strong arm allow him to play all three OF positions.
Development Path: Taveras will likely start 2013 at Triple-A Memphis, but he is not going to need much more minor-league seasoning.
Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Taveras has the power, contact ability, and plate discipline need to hit for both power and average and could a multi-category fantasy stud.
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