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Top 200 Prospects: Harper Comes in No. 1

John Sickels

John Sickels

John Sickels writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

All prospect lists are a blend of short-term, medium-term and long-term potential. We try to consider both fantasy and "real life" baseball in mind when doing these lists. As a result, this list looks different than if we were looking solely at pure baseball ability, or if we focused entirely on fantasy value. Obviously youíll need to adjust your investments based on the context in which your fantasy team plays. Players who have exceeded rookie qualifications (130 at-bats, 50 innings) are not included.

1) BRYCE HARPER, OF,WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The real deal: Enormous power and unusually polished for an 18-year-old. A medium- and long-term fantasy investment, but the best prospect in the game overall. ETA: 2013.

2) JEREMY HELLICKSON, RHP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
A complete pitcher with terrific command of a four-pitch arsenal and the mound presence of a 10-year veteran. Major league numbers were no fluke; heís really this good. ETA: 2011.

3) AROLDIS CHAPMAN, LHP, CINCINNATI REDS
ďCuban Randy JohnsonĒ comparisons look valid at this point. Command is still an issue and it remains to be seen if he starts or relieves long-term, but the upside is undeniable. ETA: 2011.

4) DOMONIC BROWN, OF, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
He was rushed somewhat last summer but the complete package is here, and heís made steady progress turning his tools into skills, producing both power and speed. ETA: 2011.

5) JESUS MONTERO, C, NEW YORK YANKEES
He isnít likely to remain at catcher in the long run, but his offensive potential is excellent, able to produce both batting average and power. Caught on fire last year after a slow start. ETA: 2011.

6) JULIO TEHERAN, RHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Dominated at three levels, and if Hellickson/Chapman graduate to the majors, he could rank No. 1 on this list in 2012. Features excellent stuff with sharp command. ETA: 2012.

7) ERIC HOSMER, 1B, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Laser eye surgery and a healthy wrist unleashed the talent that made him the third pick in the 2008 draft. Should be the centerpiece of the Royals' offense for years to come. ETA: late 2011.

8) MICHAEL PINEDA, RHP, SEATTLE MARINERS
Made big progress refining his slider and changeup to complement his mid-90s heat. K:IP and K:BB ratios point to a pitcher with a special future, and the park will help him a lot. ETA: 2011.

9) MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Amazing season saw him tie for minor league homer lead, erasing bad taste from mediocre Ď09. Can handle third base, and can hopefully become the player Alex Gordon was supposed to be. ETA: 2011.

10) MIKE TROUT, OF, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Combination of speed and on-base ability makes him a future leadoff guy, while managers love his excellent defense. If he develops more home run power, his fantasy value will be huge. ETA: 2012.

11) BRETT LAWRIE, 2B, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Traded to Toronto in Marcum deal. A Canadian, Lawrie doesnít look like a second baseman but has a potent bat and surprising speed. He may still end up in right field eventually. ETA: 2011.

12)WIL MYERS, C-OF, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
As good as Hosmer and Moustakas are, Myers could be better in the long run. Excellent bat, hits for average and power. Defense is the question, he will probably move to the OF. ETA: 2012.

13) FREDDIE FREEMAN, 1B, ATLANTA BRAVES
Freeman was strong in Triple-A at the tender age of 20.Although scouts donít like him as much as Hosmer, he will have a very productive career once he finds his footing. ETA: 2011.

14) MATT MOORE, LHP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
1.53 ERA with an amazing 92:13 K:BB in his last 59 innings in High-A, led minors in strikeouts. Excellent stuff from the left side, and if command stays sharp, look out. ETA: 2012.

15) KYLE DRABEK, RHP, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Doug Drabekís son looks like a workhorse who can eat innings and dominate at times, especially if he can improve his changeup and sharpen his command a bit more. ETA: 2011.

16) JAMESON TAILLON, RHP, PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Top prep pitcher from 2010 draft is difficult to rank, but if he lives up to his full potential he can be a No. 1 starter. Move him up or down your list depending on time horizon. ETA: 2014.

17) CHRIS SALE, LHP, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
First-round pick from 2010 draft looked amazing in the major league bullpen, but the White Sox see him as a starter long term due to his three-pitch mixture. He could be an ace. ETA: 2011.

18) MIKE MINOR, LHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Vanderbilt product from Ď09 draft gained velocity due to mechanical refinements, jumping to the majors faster than expected. He already knew how to pitch. Expect better numbers. ETA: 2011.

19) JOHN LAMB, LHP, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Royals have three of the best left-handed prospects in the game. Lamb can hit 90-95 MPH with his sinker and has good instincts for pitching and changing speeds. ETA: late 2011.

20) MIKE MONTGOMERY, LHP, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Montgomery will probably get to the majors ahead of Lamb and has a higher ultimate ceiling, but isnít quite as polished and missed time with a sore arm in Ď10. ETA: 2011.

21) DANNY DUFFY, LHP, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The third member of the Lefty Triumvirate, Duffy can hit 95 MPH like Lamb and Montgomery, but his speed can vary and he isnít as advanced with his secondary pitches. ETA: late 2011.

22) DUSTIN ACKLEY, 2B, SEATTLE MARINERS
He didnít have a terrific season, but hit .424/.581/.758 in the Arizona Fall League, convincing scouts heíll be a very good hitter. Average glove wonít impact fantasy status. ETA: 2011.

23) BRETT JACKSON, OF, CHICAGO CUBS
Jackson is blessed with both tools and a strong skill base, including speed, on-base ability, a good glove and improving power. He should help in many fantasy categories. ETA: late 2011.

24) MANNY MACHADO, SS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
A long-term prospect, this Ď10 draft product should hit for both power and average and perform well with the glove. He has the ability to be a Top Ten prospect a year from now. ETA: 2014.

25) BRANDON BELT, 1B, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Adjustments to his swing unleashed a monster season. He hits for power, controls the strike zone, and can even steal a few bases. Most scouts think he is for real, and I agree. ETA: 2011.

26) ALEX WHITE, RHP, CLEVELAND INDIANS
White uses an impressive sinker/splitter/slider combination to chew through lineups, collecting plenty of grounders. He looks like a workhorse No. 2 starter type. ETA late 2011.

27) KYLE GIBSON, RHP, MINNESOTA TWINS
Another college pitcher from the Ď09 draft, Mizzou product Gibson fires a nasty slider and change with his 90-93 fastball. He was healthy after pre-draft arm problems. ETA: late 2011.

28) DANNY ESPINOSA, 2B-SS,WASHINGTON NATIONALS
He wonít hit for a great batting average, but Espinosa should do most other things better than other infielders, including hit for power and provide double-digit stolen base total. ETA: 2011.

29) DESMOND JENNINGS, OF, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Replacing Carl Crawford in the outfield, Jennings isnít quite that good but should still be a solid player, with plenty of stolen bases, batting average, and perhaps some power. ETA: 2011.

30) SHELBY MILLER, RHP, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Armed with a 95-98 MPH fastball and a power curve, Miller dominated the Midwest League and showed better than expected control. He could be in the top ten next year. ETA: 2013.

31) DEVIN MESORACO, C, CINCINNATI REDS
Swing adjustments and better plate discipline unleashed his power potential last year. His glove got better, too, throwing out 41% of runners, although he still needs polish. ETA: 2011.

32) YASMANI GRANDAL, C, CINCINNATI REDS
University of Miami product from Ď10 draft is waiting in the wings in case Mesoraco fails. His glove is well-regarded and he should be at least a decent hitter for power and OBP. ETA: 2012.

33) NICK FRANKLIN, SS, SEATTLE MARINERS
He may end up at second base eventually, but Franklinís power/speed combination will be appreciated at any position. High strikeout rate may shrink his batting average a bit. ETA: 2013.

34) CHRIS DWYER, LHP, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Dwyer isnít far behind the Lamb/Montgomery/Duffy combo, with a solid fastball and a plus curve that can be overpowering. If he sharpens command, he could be a top-20 guy. ETA: 2012.

35) JACOB TURNER, RHP, DETROIT TIGERS
The Tigers love rushing pitchers, and Turnerís hard sinker/curveball combo with good control will make it tempting to do so again. He could be a rotation anchor if all goes well. ETA: late 2012.

36) GRANT GREEN, SS, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Finding a shortstop who can hit isnít easy, so the Athletics will be patient while Green seeks to improve his plate discipline and prove that his range is good enough for short. ETA: 2012.

37) JORDAN LYLES, RHP, HOUSTON ASTROS
Lyles doesnít have the fastest fastball in the universe, but he changes speeds, throws strikes, and has pitched very well against advanced competition at a young age. ETA: 2011.

38) ZACH BRITTON, LHP, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Still underrated by many, Britton has an unusually good power sinker, mixing it with a plus slider and rapidly improving changeup, along with sharp command within the zone. ETA: 2011.

39) TREY MCNUTT, RHP, CHICAGO CUBS
McNuttís breakthrough in Ď10 was unexpected, but the former 32nd-round pick is a legitimately excellent prospect with a mid-90s fastball and surprisingly sharp command. ETA: 2012.

40) SIMON CASTRO, RHP, SAN DIEGO PADRES
Heís still working to refine his command, but Castroís 90-95 MPH fastball, solid changeup, and improving slider can make him a sound No. 3 starter if all goes well. ETA: late 2011.

41) ALEX COLOME, RHP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Heís raw, but Colome hits95 and has a good breaking ball. The Rays know something about developing pitchers, but their sedate promotion schedule makes him a long-term play. ETA: 2013.

42) JAKE ODORIZZI, RHP, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
This former high school shortstop came into his own last year with his 90-95 MPH heater, curveball, slider and changeup. He throws strikes and has excellent makeup. ETA: 2013.

43) WILMER FLORES, SS-3B, NEW YORK METS
Flores needs better plate discipline and faces a move to third base, but was very young for his levels and could still develop into an excellent hitter. Risky, but high reward. ETA: 2013.

44) J.P. ARENCIBIA, C, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Excellent power is obvious and a catcher with pop is valuable, but donít expect a high batting average due to remaining contact issues. Defense is good enough if he hits. ETA: 2011.

45) MARTIN PEREZ, LHP, TEXAS RANGERS
If you want a young pitcher with plenty of upside, you could put him 10 spots ahead due to his lively left arm, but he is at least a year away from being ready to help in the majors. ETA: 2013.

46) ALEX WIMMERS, RHP, MINNESOTA TWINS
2010 first-round pick out of Ohio State features excellent command and control, typical for a Minnesota pitching prospect, along with a 90-plus MPH fastball, curveball and changeup. ETA: 2012.

47) YONDER ALONSO, 1B, CINCINNATI REDS
Explosive second half in Triple-A put him back into the elite category after injury struggles in Ď09. Not as much power as some first basemen, but will produce high OBP. ETA: 2011.

48) ENGEL BELTRE, OF, TEXAS RANGERS
Excellent tools with plenty of speed and wiry strength, although his power is still undeveloped. His plate discipline needs work, although his low strikeout rate is a good marker. ETA: 2013.

49) LONNIE CHISENHALL, 3B, CLEVELAND INDIANS
Smooth stroke from the left side has produced consistently good-but-not-excellent numbers in the minors. Scouts anticipate similar production in the majors; solid and reliable. ETA: late 2011.

50) JASON KIPNIS, 2B, CLEVELAND INDIANS
Excellent bat from a smaller player, adapted well to second base after playing outfield at Arizona State. Quick bat, can produce a solid batting average and some power. ETA: late 2011.

51) ZACH STEWART, RHP, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
His stock has dropped somewhat, but he remains an intriguing prospect due to his sinker/slider combination. Still working on the changeup to avoid bullpen fate. ETA: 2011.

52) DEE GORDON, SS, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Remains a strong prospect, especially fantasy-wise, due to blazing speed. Needs Triple-A time to refine his approach on both offense and defense. Donít expect much power. ETA: 2012.

53) DREW POMERANZ, LHP, CLEVELAND INDIANS
University of Mississippi product earned first-round selection with 90-plus MPH fastball and nasty breaking ball. Profiles as number two starter as he refines changeup and command. ETA: 2013.

54) DECK MCGUIRE, RHP, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Georgia Tech ace earned first-round selection due to excellent command of four pitch arsenal. Very polished and shouldnít need much time in the minor league system. ETA: 2012.

55) CHRIS ARCHER, RHP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Emerged alongside Trey McNutt as potential rotation anchor in Cubs system, using mid-90s heat and a nasty curve. Still working out command and control, but high ceiling. ETA: 2013.

56) DEREK NORRIS, C,WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Hampered by injuries, although still drew a huge number of walks and improved his defense. Expect him to be a throwback to the days of Mickey Tettleton or Gene Tenace. ETA: 2012.

57) CRAIG KIMBREL, RHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Obscene strikeout rate and low hitability make him an excellent closer candidate, if he can tone down the walks a bit more. He certainly has the stuff to succeed in late innings. ETA: 2011.

58) ANDREW OLIVER, LHP, DETROIT TIGERS
Detroitís insistence on rushing pitchers quickly backfired with Oliver, but his 92-94 MPH heater is a strength. Still working on his slider and changeup, and overall command. ETA: 2011.

59) CHRIS CARTER, OF-1B, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Carter is a feast-or-famine hitter, capable of enormous hot streaks as well as brutal cold spells. Expect it to even out with a mediocre batting average but plenty of power. ETA: 2011.

60) RANDALL DELGADO, RHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Another product of the Atlanta pitching pipeline, Delgado hits 95 MPH and made big strides with his curve and changeup last year, but needs to refine his command a bit more. ETA: 2012.

61) ANTHONY RANAUDO, RHP, BOSTON RED SOX
Injury-plagued season at LSU was a red flag on draft day, but he rebounded in the Cape Cod League, showing his mid-90s fastball, curve, and changeup. Can be an ace if healthy. ETA: 2013.

62) CHRISTIAN COLON, SS, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
A solid all-around player who can hit for average with sparks of power and wonít need much polish. Might end up at second, though Royals are optimistic he can stick at short. ETA: 2012.

63) MIGUEL SANO, 3B, MINNESOTA TWINS
He is a long way off, but Sanoís offensive upside is among the best of the minors. Could become a Miguel Cabrera clone, but it will take time. Invest only if you have that time. ETA: 2014.

64) GARY SANCHEZ, C, NEW YORK YANKEES
Scouts love his bat, comparing him to Jesus Montero with a better glove. Like Sano, he is a long way off, but if youíre league situation allows, heís a great long-term play. ETA: 2014.

65) JORDAN WALDEN, RHP, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Has always had promising stuff but held back by command and health problems. Can be a major league closer if he throws enough strikes and he looked great late in the year. ETA: 2011.

66) BILLY HAMILTON, INF, CINCINNATI REDS
Blazing fast,Hamilton thrived in the Pioneer League,meaning heís a long way from the majors. Should hit for average and provide strong defense if you can wait. ETA: 2014.

67) MANUEL BANUELOS, LHP, NEW YORK YANKEES
Lefty with a very smooth delivery and surprising velocity in the 92-94 range along with a good curveball and changeup. Arm strength belies his 5-10, 155-pound build. ETA: 2012.

68) BEN REVERE, OF, MINNESOTA TWINS
Heading to Triple-A unless someone gets hurt in the spring, Revere has shown the ability to hit for average and steal bases, but is never going to provide much power. ETA: 2012.

69) TYLER MATZEK, LHP, COLORADO ROCKIES
Suffered command problems in the Sally League, although he still posted a good ERA and flashed mid-90s velocity along with three secondary pitches. Has to lower walks. ETA: 2013.

70) JONATHAN SINGLETON, 1B, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Named the Top Prospect in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America, Singletonís breakout surprised everyone but the Phillies, who loved his power and discipline. ETA: 2013.

71) AARON HICKS, OF, MINNESOTA TWINS
A terrific athlete who draws walks, Hicks hasnít quite lived up to expectations, but the Twins remain optimistic he can develop into a multi-skilled contributor with power and speed. ETA: 2013.

72) JARROD PARKER, RHP, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Tommy John survivor was hitting mid-90s following completion of rehab. Monitor him closely in the spring; if he gets his control back he could be ranked much higher next year. ETA: 2012.

73) ANTHONY RIZZO, 1B, SAN DIEGO PADRES
Draws walks, has plenty of power, but needs to improve defensive reliability. Takes over as first baseman of the future for Padres as part of Adrian Gonzalez deal. ETA: 2012.

74) DELLIN BETANCES, RHP, NEW YORK YANKEES
Recovered from elbow surgery to show 95 MPH fastball and nasty curveball. Showed much better than expected command, but needs to sharpen changeup to avoid bullpen. ETA: 2012.

75) TONY SANCHEZ, C, PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Hampered by injuries, but hit well in the Florida State League. Catcher of the future in Pittsburgh, projecting as a solid player with enough bat to be well-valued at position. ETA: 2012.

76) ARODYS VIZCAINO, RHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Missed the middle of year with torn elbow ligament but didnít have surgery. Hits 95 and has a great curveball, and he throws strikes. Can rank much higher once he proves healthy. ETA: 2013.

77) TRAYVON ROBINSON, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Athletic, has speed, draws walks and provides sparks of power, but will need to cut back on strikeouts to keep high batting average. Could put up huge numbers in Triple-A. ETA: late 2011.

78) JAFF DECKER, OF, SAN DIEGO PADRES
Bad body but a potent bat, hit .305/.439/.616in the California League second half after a slow start. Very polished hitter for his age. Scouts worry about his defense. ETA: late 2012.

79) BRANDON BEACHY, RHP, ATLANTA BRAVES
Undrafted free agent came out of nowhere with amazing 148:28 K:BB with a 1.73 ERA. Stuff is slightly above average, but he has excellent pitching instincts and throws strikes. ETA: 2011.

80) TANNER SCHEPPERS, RHP, TEXAS RANGERS
Can hit 99MPHbut had problems with secondary pitches and mechanical consistency late in the season, resulting in disappointing Triple-A performance. Can rebound quickly. ETA: 2011.

81) BRODY COLVIN, RHP, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Huge breakthrough candidate, on the strength of his 90-94 MPH heater, improving breaking ball, solid changeup, and better-than-expected command in the Sally League ETA: 2013.

82) JARED COSART, RHP, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Colvinís teammate at Lakewood, Cosart throws even harder at 96-97 but missed the second half of the year with a sore elbow, hurting his stock. He could rise fast if healthy. ETA: 2013.

83) ZACK WHEELER, RHP, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Some command issues and a tight pitch count restricted his innings at Augusta, but Wheelerís combination of a high strikeout rate with grounders is a good marker. ETA: 2013.

84) JEAN SEGURA, 2B, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
21-year-old Dominican gets surprising power out of a 5-11, 155 frame, to go with impressive speed and line drive hitting ability. Fits mold of classic Angels infield prospect. ETA: 2013.

85) JURICKSON PROFAR, SS, TEXAS RANGERS
Would rank higher in pure baseball terms, but long-distance ETA reduces fantasy value. Excellent potential with terrific defense, but weíll have to see how bat develops. ETA: late 2014.

86) CARLOS PEREZ, C, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Could vault to top of catching prospect lists in Ď11, due to polished hitting approach combined with very strong defensive skills. Main question is how much power heíll show. ETA: 2013.

87) NOLAN ARENADO, 3B, COLORADO ROCKIES
More power will come as 41 doubles should mean more homers, and he can already hit for average. Defense needs work and heís not a walk machine, but he doesnít fan much. ETA: 2013.

88) LIAM HENDRIKS, RHP, MINNESOTA TWINS
Australian right-hander has history of injuries but was extremely good last year, showing excellent command of a four-pitch arsenal including a low-90s fastball. ETA: late 2012.

89) JERRY SANDS, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Still fights skepticism of some scouts despite excellent performance, especially in the power department. Could develop into a Jason Bay-type if he reaches full potential. ETA: late 2011.

90) ALEXANDER TORRES, LHP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Gets so much movement on his fastball, curve and changeup that he has problems with walks, but also picks up tons of strikeouts. Dominates when his command lets him. ETA: late 2011.

91) ROBBIE ERLIN, LHP, TEXAS RANGERS
Excellent performance from a 6-0, 175 pound athletic lefty. Velocity is average to a tick above, but he changes speeds with his curveball and changeup like a 10-year vet. ETA: 2013.

92) ANDREW BRACKMAN, RHP, NEW YORK YANKEES
New Yorkís faith may be rewarded, as Brackman overcame Tommy John and command issues with a strong Ď10. Future role is unclear; he could dominate in relief. ETA: 2011.

93) TYLER SKAGGS, LHP, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Acquired from the Angels in the Dan Haren deal, Skaggs has average velocity but projects more to go with his curve and change. He already throws strikes competes well. ETA: 2013.

94) GARRETT RICHARDS, RHP, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Stuff has never been the problem for Richards, and heís developed much better command than he showed in college at Oklahoma. Could develop into a number three starter. ETA: 2012.

95) JOSH SALE, OF, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Very lively power bat from the 2010 high school class should provide offensive boost for Rays system. Defense is questionable but that wonít have a fantasy impact. ETA: 2014.

96) HANK CONGER, C, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Proven as a solid hitter with good strike zone judgment, Conger remains a work in progress defensively and may have to switch positions, increasing pressure on his bat. ETA: 2011.

97) WILIN ROSARIO, C, COLORADO ROCKIES
Lost playing time due to knee injury and has fallen off lists as a result, making him a sleeper; may start Ď11 on disabled list. Heís a great thrower and has excellent power potential. ETA: 2012.

98) CASEY KELLY, RHP, SAN DIEGO PADRES
Acquired from Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, Kelly put up weak numbers in Double-A but was young for the level. Scouts like his athleticism and upside but he needs time. ETA: 2013.

99) MATT DOMINGUEZ, 3B, FLORIDA MARLINS
Scouts love his defense; he has great range and a strong throwing arm, earning Gold Glove predictions. His bat is still developing, though he can develop into a 20-homer source. ETA: 2012.

100) FABIO MARTINEZ-MESA, RHP, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Electric stuff as reflected in outstanding K:IP and H:IP ratios make him highly intriguing, but he needs to lower walk rate and prove he can stay healthy after bout with sore shoulder. ETA: 2013.