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House of Shlain: Surprising Surplus

Nick Shlain

Nick Shlain

Nick analyzes prospects for RotoWire and focuses on the Midwest League during the season.

I wrote about the top-five shortstop prospects on my top-200 prospects list last week. Here are the rest of the guys currently listed as shortstops in my top 100. I have included where they rank on my list in parentheses.

Corey Seager, Dodgers (31) - Seager has an advanced bat. After posting a .309/.383/.520 line in 46 Pioneer League games last season, he has a .306/.394/.502 line in 61 Midwest League games at Low-A Great Lakes. Not bad at all for a 19-year-old. Seager is a big kid (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) who sprays the ball to all fields. He projects to get stronger and have even more power in the future. Seager doesn't have great range at shortstop and as he fills out it's likely that he'll end up moving to third base eventually (then again, the Dodgers think Hanley Ramirez is still a shortstop). He has the arm to play either position and impact bat written all over him.

Raul Adalberto Mondesi, Royals (36) - Mondesi projects as one of the best fielding shortstops in the minor leagues, on the same level with Francisco Lindor. He has an outstanding feel for the game, insanely quick hands, and a strong arm. Offensively, he has a good approach, speed, and some gap power at the moment, but there is upside for even more in the future. He doesn't turn 18 until July 27th.

Alen Hanson, Pirates (49) - After leading the South Atlantic League in total bases (258), Hanson hasn't had as much success at the plate with Bradenton in the Florida State League this year (.280/.342/.427 in 82 games). Still just 20, and with his offensive upside and plus speed, it's easy to see Hanson continue to progress and land in the majors in the second half of 2015. Where he'll be on the diamond by that point is also up for debate as despite his good range he might be a better fit at second base because of his lack of arm strength.

Chris Owings, Diamondbacks (54) - After mashing in the California League and struggling in Double-A last year, Owings started the year in Triple-A and hasn't looked back. He's hitting .353/.376/.502 in 95 games with Reno. Owings' approach still needs some work as he's walked just 14 times all year. His approach contributed to his struggles last season, but he can hit. Owings generates a lot of bat speed and could be a .285 hitter with gap power at the big league level. He's a gamer and it looks like he'll stick as an average fielding shortstop with solid offense and a little speed.

Dorssys Paulino, Indians (70) - Getting his first taste of full season professional baseball as an 18-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, Paulino has struggled. His .632 OPS isn't living up to the lofty expectations, but it's obviously still very early in his career. Paulino garnered so much buzz about his bat in the Dominican Republic that the Indians signed him for $1.1 million in 2011. With more time and a few adjustments, the bat should play. Paulino can hit and hit for power. He's also a candidate to move to second or third base down the line.

Luis Sardinas, Rangers (76) - Everyone knows about Jurickson Profar, but Sardinas is another good shortstop prospect in the Rangers' system. Sardinas is very athletic, he has above-average range and arm strength at shortstop. His swing is fluid from both sides of the plate. Sardinas is hitting .294/.352/.359 in 84 games this year in the California League. He'll hit for average and has big time speed with 24 stolen bases. Sardinas is slight and has missed time with injuries in the past so if he could add some strength it would help in more than just the power department. He's another with a late 2015 ETA.

Jonathan Villar, Astros (84) - The switch-hitting Villar is hitting .320/.381/.505 against right-handed pitching at Triple-A this year, but he struggles against southpaws. Villar might be the closest to the majors on this list, but he plays the game with almost reckless abandon. His 90:30 K:BB ratio shows a very aggressive approach at the dish and he tries to force plays on defense as he's made his share of errors. It's a balls-to-the-wall approach to all facets of the game. Hopefully, as he matures he'll let the game come to him and allow his tools to take over from there.